Born and raised in central Utah, Kelly was interested in sewing and "crafting" from a young age. Her mom got her and her two sisters (she is one of five siblings) involved in various sewing projects and she fell in love with sewing and never looked back. She was educated at Snow College and Weber State University in Northern Utah, and graduated with a nursing degree in 2006. She loved the humanitarian aspect of nursing, especially rural nursing, where she articulated that she did everything a nurse could do while working at Gunnison Valley Hospital in Central Utah.
Kelly, who at 51, is quite the energizer bunny. Delightedly, she continued her love of sewing and quilting even after working countless night shifts as a nurse. Married to Bret Ashton (a business developer for an Aerospace company) since 2006, they live a full life in a blended family of seven children (ages 15-35) and seven grandchildren (ages 8 months to age 8). With boundless enthusiasm she was able to stop her nursing job to pursue her passion of quilting and share her vast knowledge as an Hand-Quilter Educator worldwide! She has been long-arming since 2007, and has traveled to Russia; South Africa; Australia; The Netherlands and France to spread her awesome attitude with all things quilting and Long-Arming to the delight of many quilting enthusiasts.
While listening and watching Kelly work the class (14 students), she really is enamored with the quilters she meets, giving everyone her winning smile and depth of knowledge in a clear and concise manner (especially throwing out a lot of information at once!). When I asked Kelly: "What is your Why?" she said spreading the joy of long-arm quilting where she knows her students will be able to finish many of the projects they have started...from a day class to a 30 year old top that was stuck in a closet or drawer.
To keep up with the times, this purple loving gal currently long-arms on two Handi-Quilter machines; an "Amara" and an "Infinity", and her work is absolutely stunning (she brought samples of her work share with the class).
In addition to all the above, and Kelly being a member of the LDS (Latter Day Saints) with local and global missions of helping others, she has traveled to Honduras, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic when not traveling and teaching for Handi-Quilter. As a nurse and humanitarian she has helped bring books in Spanish to local orphanages; hygiene kits to indigent folks living in squalor, and medical missions in giving immunizations of Hepatitis B shots to hundreds of people throughout South America. She cares deeply about the world, her family and her students, and it was very evident today in her class that I was privileged to attend!
I must give a Shout of Thanks to my quilting buddies, Mary Nielsen and Carrie Casto, in highly recommending I attend Kelly's class! It was fantastic! I would also like to give a Shout of Thanks to Spring Water Designs in welcoming all the students and Kelly to learn and share our love of long-arm quilting with each other.
BSoleille! The bright side of learning and #CelebratingOthers with Kelly Ashton!
Photo of Kelly Ashton
|Kelly and her family|
|Classroom at Spring Water Designs in Columbia, MD|
|The class with the Handi-Quilter truck|