Clueless In Katy

Judy Murrah: Blogging And All That Jazz

I had the most amazing experience yesterday. I got the opportunity to spend the day with the wonderfully talented Judy Murrah—so I just had to share it with you.

Here’s how yesterday’s adventure began.

Prior to November 13, 2011, Judy and I had never met face-to-face, but we have had a variety of email conversations. I had hoped to meet her in person one day, but the opportunity hadn’t presented itself.

Opportunity came knocking when I went to the Grand Opening of the Texas Quilt Museum. As I anxiously waited for the ribbon cutting ceremony to begin, I searched the crowd for familiar faces and checked the name badges of various Museum staff and volunteers, in hopes of putting a face to a name.

Much to my delight, I saw a name I recognized—Judy Murrah. I won’t go into the details of how I introduced myself—but I did—and I am happy to report that Judy is as delightful in person as she is in her emails. Now when I read her emails I can hear her voice, which makes them even more special.

Recently I got an email from Judy asking me if I would help her with a project. I was obviously flattered and bit surprised that she would need my help. For the life of me, I couldn’t imagine what I could help her with, because Judy knows everybody—and I mean EVERYBODY.

The reason I say she knows everybody  is not an exaggeration. Judy is the VP of Education and Administration at Quilts, Inc. and she actually knows thousands of talented people and all of them would help her in an instant, if she were to ask.

She didn’t ask them—she asked me—so I agreed to help. The project she needed help with was not a business project, but a personal one.

Judy Working On Her Blog_1

Judy is very focused as she works her way through each step in the process.

You see, Judy wanted to start blogging, but felt she needed a little help to get started. I don’t think she really needed my help, but I was more than happy to offer my assistance. We met yesterday, with the goal of getting her blog up and running. Judy was initially anxious, but settled into the process like a seasoned pro.

As I said, Judy and I have had a variety of conversations. She had told me about her past and the books she had written, but for some reason, my brain would not put two and two together. I would hear her and read what she was saying, but I wasn’t absorbing it. I only thought of Judy as a friend and someone who worked at Quilts, Inc. That was it!

No other thought than that. No math involved. No simple two plus two going on in my head. Nothing. Nada. I can be such a goober at times.  

Judy Working On Her Blog_2

Introducing yourself to the world is both exhilarating and frighting

Prior to setting up the blog page, I recommended that we find something for Judy to photograph for her Hello World! page. I thought her books would be a great subject, because they were colorful and people would recognize them. So . . . she gathered them up (I arranged them.), and she took a few photographs. Jeez, I’m so stupid! I know that’s what you’re thinking. I don’t have to be psychic to know that. 

As we worked on setting up the blog, I would leave Judy alone periodically so that she could concentrate her Hello World! copy. During one of these little breaks I decided to take a few photographs, so I could tell you about my day with Judy.

Judy Murrah: Jacket Jazz And Other Books

An assortment of books from Judy's Jacket Jazz series.

I start by taking a few photos of Judy working at the computer and then I decide to take a few shots of her books. You know what’s coming next, don’t you?

As she’s working away, I start taking pictures. The more pictures I take, the more I start paying attention to the covers. As the lightbulb slowly starts to come on, I start to realize what I’m doing—and WHO I’m doing it with.

OMG! I’m helping JUDY Murrah.


The famous JACKET JAZZ, JUDY MURRAH. The one I had heard about when I started quilting.

OMG! I am standing in THE JACKET JAZZ JUDY MURRAH’S studio and I can’t believe it.

I’m in THE JUDY MURRAH’S studio and I wasn’t smart enough to know it—until that very moment. Like I said, I am a REAL goober at times.

Once this awareness dawned on me, I couldn’t let her know that I was freaking out inside, so I didn’t make a big deal out of it—which I’m sure she was grateful for.

She obviously knew who she was and didn’t need me to remind her—but OMG!—I am helping JUDY MURRAH BLOG! . . . In HER HOUSE—for Christ’s sake! How did this happen? How did I get to be so fortunate? I’m practically dumbstruck by this revelation. This is the reason I named the post Clueless in Katy.

In spite of my awe and admiration for Judy, we finished the day without incident—meaning I didn’t have to be escorted from the premises.

We had lots of laughs and discussed a variety of things, from what she has done, to what she plans to cover on her blog. I absorbed this information like a sponge and am anxiously awaiting Judy’s future posts.

We did everything we set out to do blog-wise, but you are not really a blogger until you post something. So before Judy could achieve her blogging goal—she had to actually publish her first post. With this goal clearly within her grasp, Judy, Tommy (her husband) and I, read and reread her maiden post.

Finding the post error-free, Judy releases it into the world . . .

Judy Sends Her First Post Out Into The World

Judy is now a blogger. There is no turning back. Yea for her and for us!

Yesterday was a big day for both Judy and I, but for very different reasons.

My goal yesterday was to help a friend send her voice out into the world. Along the way, I happened to learn she was famous—really famous. How delightful and surprising was that? That said, Judy’s fame or status doesn’t change the way I feel about her, it only adds another layer of  richness to our friendship. The Lord continues to bless and surprise me at every turn.

Judy’s goal for yesterday was to start blogging, so that she can share her creativity, ideas and experiences with other like-minded individuals. She hopes to build a community of creative people through her blog. From my brief conversations with Judy, I have learned that she is dynamic, caring, creative and full of insights and ideas. I think her blog will quickly become a must-read for many of us looking for entertainment as well as enlightenment.

So, without further ado . . . (Insert drumroll)

Please join me in welcoming Judy Murrah to the wild and wonderful world of blogging.

I hope you will drop by Judy’s site, say “Hello!” and wish her well! I know she will enjoy hearing from you. Goodness knows, I sure do.


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28 Responses to “Clueless In Katy”

  1. Denny Says:

    I don’t think you’re a goober! I love your blog. Thanks for getting Judy Murrah started on her blog. Another blog to add to my reading list!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Denny, Thanks, but I’m pretty sure I’m a goober. I do some very stupid things from time to time. 🙂

      I’m very excited to follow Judy’s blog. It will definitely be on my reading list.

      Thanks for trying to make me feel better.

  2. Lynn Kelly Says:

    Thank you thank you Mr. Tom! You are such a hoot. I just had some bad health news today about a very dear, dear, friend and I needed to laugh!



    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Lynn, I’m glad you found joy in my ignorance. I’m sad to hear about your friend. I know you will do whatever you can to support them. That support may not heal them, but they will find great comfort in it.

      Love to you,

  3. Nikki Brackin Says:

    “As the lightbulb slowly starts to come on —- OMG”……”Once this awareness dawned on me…….” Deja vu! Love this story Tom!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi NIkki, You know, as I was writing about my experience, I thought back when we met and got the same feelings I knew you had. That memory helped me more clearly articulate what I experienced with Judy.

      I think this sudden awareness is like hearing your name being called out, because you are going to be the next contestant on The Price is Right. Your emotions are rapid-fire. There is surprise, elation, excitement and shock, all happening at the same time.
      You can’t believe something like this is happening to you—and it’s really hard to contain yourself.

      An awakening like this is truly an amazing thing to experience. Like in our relationship—nothing changed—but everything changed. Our world got bigger and we didn’t have to do anything, just enjoy the new friend we had made.

      It’s really amazing how the universe works. As Yogi Berra famously said “This is like Deja vu all over again!

  4. judymurrah Says:

    What a great day I had with you here, Tom. I have been excited all day wanting to get home from Quilts, Inc. office and play again. I have taken pictures of my Christmas-messy studio as the before picture so I can get busy on the after clean-up picture to hopefully inspire others to do the same to start off the new year. That will be my next blog. I’ll be calling you, my new friend. I can’t thank you enough for your help and friendship.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Judy, I’m glad you enjoyed the day as much as I did. It was magical for me, and that was even before I realized who you were.

      I can’t wait to see your before and after post. I’m sure we will all be inspired and learn a lot from you.

      IMPORTANT NOTICE TO MY READERS: Judy’s studio is amazing. I mean AMAZING. You are in for a treat as she shows it to you. She has many marvelous collections and has fantastic ideas for showcasing them. If you love collections . . . you are going to love seeing her studio.

      I urge you now to sign up for her blog. Don’t hesitate. You won’t be sorry. Trust me. I could spend weeks photographing there. It’s an awesome creative space.

      Call anytime. Your success and happiness brings me joy beyond measure.

  5. Brenda Wall Says:

    You are so delightful. I am glad that you were able to help Judy and she did not put out a restraining order. That is a good thing. Now off toJudy’s blog.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Brenda. I’m also happy that no restraining order was necessary.

      After spending the day with Judy, it would be very easy to become a stalker. She is very generous with her time and her personality radiates warmth, but I think I’ll just keep our relationship on the friendship level.

      Judy has assured me that we will stay in touch. That’s a good thing because I hate to have to sleep in her flower beds at night in hopes of catching a glimpse of her working on her next project. 🙂

  6. Leslie C Says:

    Thanks (you-are-NOT-a-goober) Tom! I get a big smile on my face whenever I see an email-update indicating you have another post. Here’s to a wonderful New Year for you, and all of us! I’m off to check out Judy’s blog…

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Leslie, You are too kind, but if you really knew me, you would realize I can be a goober at times. I readily admit it and think it adds to my charm—or at least I hope it does.

      I’m glad to hear that my posts bring a smile to your face. What more could a person ask for.

      Thank you for the well wishes and I have a feeling 2012 is going to me an amazing year. Having Judy’s voice added to the conversation is a sure sign of good things to come.

      I appreciate your time the time to comment. It really means a lot.

      Happy New Year to you and yours.

  7. Mary English Says:

    Tom, I am really excited for you and Judy. Look forward to reading her blog. The first quilt project I ever attempted was one of Judy’s fabulous jackets!! A friend of mine had taken one of her classes, and I figured if Laura could make a jacket so could I. Nearly drove poor Laura crazy with questions. It was fun and I’ve been hooked ever since.
    Mary English

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hello Mary, Thanks for writing. Judy is an amazing and talented lady, if she ever decides to teach again—run don’t walk to get registered for the class. To say she is gifted, would be an understatement.

      I’m looking forward to her posts too. I think we are all in for a treat.

      Thanks for writing and Happy New Year!

  8. Jayardi Says:

    • • • Of course! she is going to ask you for help. You are famous too and, as far as I am concerned, you have the BEST blog ever. Yours is the only one I follow daily.

    Thank you for introducing her to us.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Oh, you . . . I could just ((((hug)))) you. What a compliment. I don’t know what to say. Thank you.

      Those two little words say a lot, but they don’t convey the full range of emotions I feel at this moment, so I will say them again . . .

      Thank you, with all of my heart.


  9. Norma Hornung Says:

    Hi Tom, another great blog from you. She was smart in asking you. A lot of people will be visiting her blog. And you get a lot of thank you’s for the job you did to get her started. I look forward to 2012 with both of you.
    Happy New Year

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Norma, It’s good to hear from you again. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It was a fun day, so I had to share it.

      The smile on Judy’s face after she saw her blog go live, was all the thanks I need. It was magical moment for me and I will always remember it.

      I can close my eyes and see her face. Magical. There is no better word to describe that moment.

      Happy New Year to you!

  10. Clara Kosloff Says:

    Loved your blog. This looks like another blog I might enjoy. Aunt Clara

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Clara, Glad you enjoyed my little story. I was an exciting day and I still can’t believe I was there.

      You are going to enjoy Judy’s blog. She has tons of ideas and creative ways of making the ordinary extraordinary! I think we are all in for a treat.

  11. Eddie Landreth Says:

    Hi Tom,

    I loved this post, it had me smiling and laughing all the way. 🙂 And partly because I’ve had my own goober moment like that in the quilting world where it just didn’t dawn on my who someone was. A while back Leah had been emailing me about a “Pat Speth” person who she had contacted to be one of our national teachers at Quilt Arkansas in 2013. I replied with a lukewarm “Ummm, yeah, ok, whatever.” because I didn’t really know who she was talking about. Finally, after several back and forth emails it hit me: “OH!!! She’s the Nickel Quilt lady!!!” I’m dense, I’m a goob! So, you’re in good company, Tom, been there in a similar moment!

    I’m glad you were able to get Judy up and rolling with her blog, will have to add it to my list of ones I visit and learn from. What a special day it was that you got to spend with her, opening up a whole new world to her.

    And P.S. Many of us hold you in the same admiration you know, you are a rock star of quilting, too! 🙂

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Ha! What a funny story. I knew I wasn’t the only one who has had an experience like this, but it’s always great to hear another tale of enlightenment.

      It was truly a wonderful day. I will cherish the memories of it for a very long time. Those memories have nothing to do with Judy being famous. The memory I will cherish most is when she hit the Publish button and became a blogger. It was MAGICAL. I will never forget the look on her face.

      You are too kind. Thanks for sharing your story. It brought a big smile to my face. What a great way to start the new year.

      Happy New Year Eddie!

  12. Jackie Says:

    Of course she’d contact you, your blog is great. I have to say seeing a new one listed makes my day, I love reading your stories and seeing your pictures. It just proves even “famous” people are human just like me….

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Jackie and thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed my story. It was a great day and I couldn’t help myself, I just had to share it with everyone.

      Judy is wonderfully kind and talented and I felt that way long before I realized she was famous. Realizing who she was became the icing on the cake.

      Famous or infamous, we are all human. You just gotta love that about us. 🙂

  13. Kim DeCoste Says:

    Tom, I undersand your excitement in spending a day with Judy. I work with her daily on the Education team of Quilts, Inc., and every day with her is a treat! She does have so much to share, and is so creative! Thanks for helping with her blog, and for sharing the experience from your perspective.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Kim, You are a lucky man indeed to get to spend your days with Judy. She is delightful to be around and so talented. Yep, you are lucky.

      The experience brought me a great deal of pleasure. Seeing her blog up and running brings me joy daily. She’s almost reached 1,000 hits. I’m SO PROUD!

      Thanks for dropping by.

  14. daniellewilkes Says:

    That’s so awesome, Tom.

    (Notice I’m acting like I know you.One of my girl friends asked me if I knew you. I told her I’d know you by morning. Tom, I’m Danielle, nice to meet you.)

    Anyway, so this one time, I took a class from Becky Goldsmith, and I was so awestruck, that I just couldn’t get over the fact that I was there with THE Becky Goldsmith. I was so dumb. I asked her if people in airports stopped to take pics with her and get her autograph. She said no, so I didn’t ask for a pic of the two of us because I didn’t want to be “that girl.” Bummer.

    Okay, so I gotta run and read the rest of your life story by morning.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey there, Act away. We are friends. It just took a little time before we actually met. It’s nice to meet you and I will be looking forward to our next rendezvous.

      I’m sure Becky would have loved to have her picture taken with you. You should not have been shy about asking for an autograph or a photo. Both of you could have had that memory for a lifetime.

      Be “that girl,” life will be more interesting for you. 🙂

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