About Judy . . .
As far back as I can remember, I've had a crayon or pencil in hand—drawing or just
doodling—mostly for my own pleasure. In 1969, I entered Oklahoma State University as an art
education major but eventually changed to English, my second love, thinking I would one day
combine these two interests by writing and illustrating a children's book.
I give God all the credit for any talent I have and for surrounding me with creative,
nurturing people. My grandmothers were both talented needle artists, one a quilter and
embroiderer and the other a professional seamstress. My mother could take a picture I'd
torn from a fashion magazine, put a couple of patterns together and come up with the
same look! She taught me to sew (and to love books). Later, a college roommate
introduced me to cross-stitch. I learned crewel and candlewicking from my MIL, and my
FIL was a commercial artist. I still use his old, handmade art board.
My introduction to needlepoint came when my husband's job took us to Austin, TX, where
answering a "painter wanted" ad in the newspaper led to a job as a copy artist for a
needlepoint designer. Wow! I had no idea this industry even existed, and I was
immediately smitten. Over the next few years, job transfers took us to several states
(life's an adventure with my DH!) which gave me the opportunity to do custom work for
various LNS's. Shortly after a move to Memphis, TN, a chance meeting in a doctor's
office resulted in a visit with the owners of a new shop, Stitchers, Inc. With their
encouragement and the support of my family, J. Malahy Designs was launched with my
first exhibit in Phoenix, AZ, in 2000. It wasn't until 2005 in a "now or never" moment
that I made the big leap, joined TNNA, and took a small line of canvases to the winter
trade show in Long Beach, CA. The rest, as they say, is history.
Forty-three years of marriage, two sons and five gorgeous grandchildren later, Joel has retired
and we're beginning a new chapter starting with a move to The Woodlands, TX.
The adventures continue!
What I used to view as a craft has now become an artistic endeavor. From the design of the
canvas painter to the creative skills of the stitcher and finisher, needlepoint is truly an
art form. After all these years, I'm still a much better painter than stitcher, but I'm
workin' on it. As for that children's book I was planning to write? Maybe someday….