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Helen Longfield Kelley
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August 05, 2013
I miss dear Helen so often as I quilt in my sewing room. Her picture is there with her words of wisdom. She stayed with me for the last Minnesota Quilt Show that she attended in Rochester and we went to the dinner together. The picture that I look at was at that occasion. I miss her and her wonderful words of wisdom, her kindness and her sense of humor. Rest in peace dear, dear Helen - you are missed!
August 04, 2013
I was recently given a large stack of quilting magazines, including The Quilters Newsletter - most issues between 1973 and 2003. I intended to quickly browse them before passing them on to more serious quilters - but I had to pause at each one to read Helen Kelley's column. Her sense of humor, her wisdom reached out to me. I wanted to tell her how much her columns meant to me and was devastated to learn of her death. Her words will live on. Thank you, Helen, for that.
September 16, 2010
It's been two years as of September 1st 2010 since Helen moved on to her next great adventure. She has been missed. Recently another great quilt legend and a fellow Honoree in The Quilters Hall of Fame has joined Helen as of September 4th. Bonnie Leman who gave Helen the opportunity to share her wonderful sense of humor and legendary writing with all of us in her column "Loose Threads". That makes five TQHF Honorees who have passed on in the past three year, including Shiela Betterton, Helen's dear friend from Bath, England; Mary Schafer of Michigan and Cuesta Benberry of St. Louis. All left their indelible mark on the late 20th century quilt revival. What gifts they all left us! Thank you again Kelley family for sharing Helen with us for so long!
September 04, 2010
Dear Kelley Family,

I still grieve the loss of this most memorable woman. I also still laugh when I read her stories. And, my heart still remembers her kindness, as she took time from her busy schedule to write me a thank you note for sending her a willow tree quilt figurine. I wanted to send this as a symbol of thanks to her for always lifting my confidence and uplifting my spirits. I did not grow up with anyone in my family teaching me the love of quilting. Through her writings, Helen, in essence, was my mentor.

Also, I will forever cherish the block she made and sent to me and I am sure she will look down from heaven to cheer me on as I incorporate it into a quilt honoring her.

She was generous with her time and love for others. She made it evident that the threads of love hold hearts together.

Helen will always be remembered and live in my heart. I will always think of her when I see the birch trees too.

Thank you for always being such an incredible and supportive family to her and for honoring her memory while celebrating her life.

Wishing you peace and fond memories.

Sincerely,

Shannon Nay
August 09, 2010

Dear Kelley Family,
It is so touching that you are letting people express their thoughts and feelings about your mother in pen.

Her thoughts and feelings made me laugh, kept me focused on living with a joy-full attitude. I read through all the old QNMs all the time, and her article is the part I savor the most.

I would have loved to quilted and had a cup of coffee with this remarkable woman.

I am truly sorry for your loss and the loss her absence leaves on the worlds of many.

Sincerely,

Vicky Fueyo
August 01, 2009
Dear Kelley Family
Some time ago I read your Guest Book after reading of Helen's death and was inspired to get our all my old QNMs and reread her wonderful words. She has made me laugh, smile and cry, and inspired me to achieve new heights in my own work. When I put the last magazine down I lay on my bed and sobbed - for all of us, for all our losses and griefs. But I know that Helen would have said - I never met or had any contact with her - that sorrow is a part of life and it makes us appreciate the good times in our lives.

She was a wonderful person and I, for one, will not forget her. I am sorry for your loss.
July 31, 2009
It is just a little over a year ago that Helen was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame. While attending the Quilters Hall of Fame this year it bought wonderful memories of Helen being there last year. To see her stand there with humility as they put the medal around her neck showed her true self. She did not think of herself as a fantastic quilter, loving mom, dear spouse, and giving person to each of us. I miss her as a friend, and quilt expert. The fantastic personal attention she gave to questions, and her answers of wisdom are sorely missed. Love and will always remember you, Helen.
July 29, 2009
Helen remains a living part of my quilting world through her books and articles that I have lovingly saved over the years. I treasure a hard copy of an email she sent me years ago. What a delightful inspiration!
April 17, 2009
I heard about Helen's death from another quilter, and was so sad to know she is gone! Gone but NOT forgotten! I loved Helen's column for years and years! I became a quilter in 1975, and read her column from the early 80's until I quit getting QNM last year....sorry I didn't find out until recently that she had died. I felt like she was my friend, and sometimes I felt like she said just what I thought about a project or life. I bought her book "Joy of Quilting" about four months ago, and after enjoying every page and every word, bought four more copies to give as gifts to my most special quilting friends. I send my hugs to all of you in her family. What a wonderful person she was, her great soul and personality shone through in each column she wrote. Thanks to Helen for all the wonderful quilting memories! Suzette Shoulders, Oregon
April 07, 2009
Dear Kelley Family,
From the first time I read Loose Threads in Quilter's Newsletter it was my favorite. Helen Kelley wrote with kindness, wisdom, and caring. She is missed by so many of us who never knew her except for her writings. I am sorry for your loss.
Monica
April 03, 2009
Sometimes when I got my brand new unopened copy of Quilter's Newsletter I would turn immediately to Loose Threads, but sometimes I would delay, and flick through the magazine savouring the moment when I would read Helen's (if I may) page. I never had the pleasure of meeting her, never exchanged a phone call or letter with her, but somehow I felt I knew her, and admired her - oh how I admired her! I must be one of thousands who wish they had met her. I cried when I heard of her death. My magazine is not so appealing now she is no longer in it, and I'm sure the world has a Helen shaped hole in it.
March 08, 2009
Dear Bill & family, and friends, too,

I learned belatedly of Helen's passing, and was so sorry to hear about it. We have lost a lovely, gifted, and courageous woman, and my heart goes out to you. I had the pleasure of knowing her for a while when I was filling in as pastor at North Como. I cherished our visits, and found her to be such a strong spirit, so bright and passionate, so generous. I came to her one day with a quilting question, and she pitched in, showing me exactly what I needed to do. She was a gem. You are all in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve her loss. I will remember Helen as someone who had weathered some storms, grown stronger, and lived fully until it was time to go. We are all joined and knit together, writes Paul in Ephesians 4, and I would add, in this life and beyond. Blessings to you all!
March 04, 2009
You, the family and all the quilting world has lost a genuine treasure. Whenever I got my Quilters Newsletter in the mail, I always turned immediately to her column and read it first. I felt like I was visiting with a long time friend. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you all
February 18, 2009
My heartfelt sympathy to Helen's family. Her humor, poignant insights to life and reflections on quilting will be sorely missed.
February 16, 2009
I was deeply saddened to learn recently of Helen's passing. I had never met her, but i did correspond with her once by email and was thrilled to get her reply. I read her column for many years in QNM and it was the column i always read first. I really felt i got to know her and her family reading it. She had such a great sense of humour! And she gave such wise and thoughtful advice.
Please remember that Helen will always be with us for as long and we remember and think lovingly of her. I for one will continue to do so. God bless you all in your grief and know that many others are praying for you on your journey of healing.
February 10, 2009
I was so saddened by this news...I've read and adored and looked forward to Helen's column ever since I started quilting in 1994. I am a bookkeeper for a sewing shop, and last year one of our customers dropped off her complete collection of QNM - how fun it was to read over Helen's column going back 20+ years! She was a treasure.
February 07, 2009
I never met Helen, but feel that she was one of my good friends. Her column was always the first thing I read in QN. I shall miss her beautiful, uplifting words. Please have her columns published in book form! Bless you all as you adjust to your loss.
February 04, 2009
How much everyone will miss Helen's wonderful columns. The wisdom, humor and compassion shown in her postings, much needed in today's world, leaves a sad void. My love, prayers and smypathy to her family.
February 01, 2009
I was saddened today as I was reading the Dec/Jan issue of Quilter's Newsletter and learned that Helen passed away. I sat for a long time and felt such a sense of loss. I loved her columns; they were one of the best parts of the magazine for me. She could capture a feeling, a moment or an image with such clarity and freshness. I will miss her terribly as we all know, she spoke to us about so much more than quilts, she spoke to us about life. I am so lucky to have been comforted and inspired by her words over the years. God Bless all of you in your time of loss.
January 31, 2009
I met Helen when she came over to do a Retreat in Liecestershire, England some years ago. I have never forgotton her, and she was indeed a lady.
January 28, 2009
I am so sorry for your loss. I've enjoyed her writing for quite a few years now. I miss her.
January 25, 2009
Things just aren't the same...gosh, how I miss her articles. She made us feel part of her family and let us laugh with her and at ourselves. She showed us all that quilting is about so much more than the fabric.
January 23, 2009
Helen's column was the first article I turned to in QN! I know she can never be replaced. God Blessed us with her.
January 22, 2009
Dear Helen,
every time I get the QN delivered to my mail box, I want to open it and flip hastily thru the pages until I see your column. No more, - I miss your witt, charm and expertise badly.
January 20, 2009
I was shocked and saddened when I read about losing Helen in the QNM. It truly broke my heart; her column was always the first thing I read when I received my magazine. God Bless.
January 18, 2009
The only reason I subscribed to QN is because Helen Kelley was a columnist. Her writing was so clear, so plain, so heart-catching; I loved her thinking and her lovely thoughts. I miss you, Helen.
January 16, 2009
I enjoy Helen's writing so very much. Reading her column feels like reading a letter from home. I'll miss those "letters". My deepest sympathy to all of her family.
January 15, 2009
My sincerest condolences to you, Helen's family. I frequently shared her columns with my children because they would wonder why mom was chuckling to herself!
Her columns filled with wisdom, human foibles, gentle humor and quirks, unique to quilters, invited us into a larger world of quiltmakers. I will miss her perspective on our world.
My sincerest sympathies,
January 12, 2009
My own Mom's name was Helen, so maybe I felt an affinity for your Helen because of that. Her columns were fun to read and a great inspiration to me. I am sorry for your loss, but it is nice to think that your Helen is still sharing her love of everything with all of heaven! (and maybe she has met my Helen!)
January 11, 2009
Dear family of Helen Kelley,
How sadden I was to read of your dear Helen's passing. I was so impressed with her when she answered my email to her thanking her for her articles in the QNM last spring. When receiving the QNM each month I would turn to her article first thing. I will miss her thoughts terribly as I know you will. What a legacy she leaves for her family. God bless, Eleanor
January 06, 2009
Helen Kelley's column was always a joy for me to read. Her humor was so much like my own mother's that I identified with her immediately. I loved looking at her quilts, the one that most stands out when I think of her is the one with the playing card. Bless you all.
December 30, 2008
I will truly miss reading her column, I learned a lot from her.
December 23, 2008
Helen's column was such an inspiration - the first thing I turned to, from the beginning to her final column, it was so full of quilterly optimism. I will miss her very much.
December 23, 2008
I was so surprised and saddened when I logged onto QNM this morning and learned of Helen's passing. I looked forward to reading her column each month. Her humor and insightfullness always made for a 'great read'. She will be sorely missed.
December 18, 2008
News travels slowly to Dubai and it is only today that I read with great sadness of Helen's passing. From the tine I began quilting her column was always the first thing I sought when Quilter's Newsletter Magazine came to my door. Her love of life, quilting and especially of her family showed in all that she wrote. She had a wonderful knack of seeing the best in everyone and everything and there will never be anyone quite like her. My warmest condolences to her loving and supportive family. What a wonderful legacy she has left you in her quilts and her writings.
December 15, 2008
dear bill&family,we will sure miss Helen. you will miss her more than us we are so sorry for your lose. her columns were always read first. she had down to earth wisdom.thank you for sharing her with us. sincerely Bette Stevenson.
December 14, 2008
"Shannon, I don't know why, but this book made me think of you the second I saw it." That's what my friend Stacy wrote to me when sending me Helen's first book for my birthday. Well, I knew why the second I held that book in my hands. I felt an instant connection to Helen and have loved her from the first word. She was the reason I subscribed to QN. I admired her stunning quilts online and once wrote to her to express how much I admired her work and her writing. I was anxious to tell her how much it all meant to me, as I have been teaching myself to quilt since 2006 and she kept me going when I experienced more frustration than fun. It was as if her writings were saying, just keep at it and keep smiling along the way. What I wanted to tell her the most is how much I appreciated her giving me a giggle and uplifting my heart more than she realized. I have had 25 loved ones die in the past 4 years. Her words and the connection to her that I felt, but can never explain, was the saving grace God brought to refresh my soul at some of the deepest, saddest times of my life. Helen was such a genrerous being and I will never forget her going above and beyond to honor a request I made. I asked her to send a scrap of fabric with her signature on it because I wanted to one day make a quilt for myself... a quilt of comfort since I experienced so many losses. It is indescribable the comfort, joy and awe my heart experienced when I opened the envelope to find not only a piece of fabric, but a WHOLE BLOCK. And, she sent a hand written thank you for a statuette I had sent her. Here, a very busy, famous quilter/writer took time to send a note to a fan. I was just preparing to send her a CD including a song titled Birch tree, as one of her articles mentioned how much she loved them, when I learned of her passing. I believe Helen was like a beautiful tree... strong, planting roots and yet branching out to embrace life and grow. I learned of Helen's death two weeks after losing my beloved, little dog Jack. I need that quilt of comfort more than ever now. I live in Texas and it doesn't usually snow here, but last week, I witnessed the first (and maybe the last) snow fall this season. And, do you know, it was as if Helen came to visit, flying in the snowflakes and softly landing on my palm, while gently encouraging me. I could almost hear her say "just find the joy in your heart, keep at it and make your quilt of comfort." I believe Helen was a mentor to many of us. She will truly be missed and I am wishing Mr. Kelley and all of Helen's family a comforting peace and many fond memories. Her legacy will not only live on through her beloved family, but also through all of us she chose to share her wit and wisdom with for many years. Pieces of Helen are pieces of heaven stitched in our hearts forever.
December 10, 2008
I was so shocked to read about Helen's death in my QNM. That is always the first place I would turn to read when my magazine came. I have been reading her articles since 1983 and really loved all of them! She seemed like a great person and it was so great that she had the honor of being inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame before she died. What a wonderful privilege for a great quiltmaker. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and husband.
December 10, 2008
I was so sad to read about Helen's death today when I visited the QNM web site. She was one of the reasons I loved QNM. Her stories always inspired me, and gave me the confidence to try new things and to add my own unique perspective to my quilts. I loved the way she conquered problems, both in her quilting and in her life. I loved reading about her art, her family and her way of life in Minnesota (my home state). QNM will never be able to replace this wonderful quilter. I wish I had known her personally.
December 09, 2008
I was so sorry to hear of Helen's death. Like many quilters, I always read her page first in QNM. As my copy always takes a while to arrive and I have been away, I have only just heard. It will not be the same without her. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
December 09, 2008
December 9, 2008

While visiting the QNM website today, I learned of Helen's passing. I have not been a subscriber to the magazine for a few years, but was there to get info to order a gift subscription for a friend. During the years that I received the magazine and pored over it from cover to cover, one of the first things I would turn to was Helen's column. She had a knack for hitting the nail directly on the head and did so with her marvelous sense of humor and truth. I extend my sympathy to you, her family, and all of us in the worldwide quilting family have indeed lost a dear friend.
December 07, 2008
I just read my Quilters Newsletter and learned that I have lost a friend. Over the years, we have shared a lot. She has inspired me to try new things, finish old things (or throw them out!), and to stop and appreciate my tiny little part of the world. I will miss her words and thoughts tremendously, but I'm happy that she seemed to have been doing what she loved right up to her last moments. Her love for her family showed through all of her work--may peace be with you.
December 06, 2008
Helen will be missed. What made her great was that she was just a quilter like us. She struggled with color and seams like us. She had a good life. God Bless her husband. I know he will miss her greatly. Thanks for sharing her with us for all these years.
Charlotte Maxwell
December 06, 2008
I was so sad to read of Helen's passing. She will be greatly missed. Each time a new Quilters Newsletter came to our library Helen's page was the first I would turn to. It will not be the same now.My condolences to all her family & friends. She was truly a blessing for all of us.
December 06, 2008
I am so sad that Helen has died. For years I have read her column, and I felt I had a close friend. One who had the same trials and tribulations with quilting that I did, but also the joy when things went right. I was fortunate to take one of Helen's classes (I live in Scotland), and she was just what I thought she would be - friendly, inspiring, down-to-earth. Please convey my heartfelt, sincere wishes of condolence to her family and friends.
December 05, 2008
I am so sad. I read here column every month. They were so informative. I will miss her very much
Laura O'Shea
December 05, 2008
I feel like I have lost a beloved family member. Helen's wit and loving spirit was the highlight of every QNM magazine. I will miss her. My sympathy goes out to all her family and friends and the quilting world. We have all lost an amazing lady.
December 05, 2008
How empty QNM will be without Helen. She always made you to feel she was just like you - struggling to find the right fabric - the seams that didn't match - just an average soul. But she was so much more than that - she reached out to all of us and we all responded back by feeling we had known her forever. Heaven is all the richer for our loss. Oh - we shall miss her!
December 04, 2008
I am so saddened by this news. I was just re-reading her fabulous column about starting new things and being avid about her quilts. I have read her column in Quilter's for ages and I will sorely miss her. My prayers are with her family, especially her wonderful husband. God bless them all and God Bless and thank Helen for all those wonderful years she gave the craft.
December 02, 2008
when I received my quiltersnewsletter this morning and read about helen I cried.Why? Because she has been part of my life for the last 20 years. Like a familymember.I have enjoyed reading her column in quiltersnewsletter ever so much. she has given me inspiration to keep quilting. I have never met in person but I am sure I will in the other quiltersworld.To Helen s husband may you enjoy the wonderful feelings she bestowed on other people throughout her life. I wish you a long life. My name is Emma Tasker -van Dam andI live inCambridge-England.
December 01, 2008
I absolutely loved the articles that Helen wrote for all quilters.
I will miss reading her column in Quilters Newsletter. Even though I had little time to quilt, reading her column inspired me to keep quilting and reminded me of the pleasure it brings me and all quilters.
November 30, 2008
I picked up a copy of quiltersnewsletter magazine,and as usual I was flipping to find Helen's column---instead I found the sad editors note--indicating Helen Kelley passed away. It took me a couple of moments to digest what I had just read. Helen was my friend who I never met,nor spoke with--however I felt so connected to her. I have read all of her published books--and loved each one. Her columns were my inspiration. Her writing was personal and made one feel as if she was speaking directly to each and every reader. She had a wonderful appreciation for age and the old fashioned way--however she seemed to also appreciate and understand youth --tying in all generations. This unique quality is one that only few possess. Her ability to laugh at herself--and be so naturally human and honest was always so refreshing. Her kindness,warmness,good character, and love for her family was always evident in her writing. My deepest condolences are sent to her family. crafting.sewing,quilting and the creative process has enriched my life in ways that cannot be defined in words. May it be comforting to know that Helen lived her life doing what she loved,surrounding herself with people she loved ---this is truly a blessing!!! May the family find comfort in knowing Helen was an inspiration to so many-and truly a wonderful person.
November 30, 2008
I just got around to reading my December/January issue of Quilters Newsletter and learned of the death of Helen Kelley. I feel I need to tell you, as wonderful as Quilters Newsletter magazine is (and I’ve been reading it for more than 15 years) the first thing I turned to has always been Helen’s column because it always started my joyful reading of your magazine with a giggle.

The world is a slightly sadder and smaller place with Helen gone from us. Thank you Quilters Newsletter for sharing her joys and thoughts with us for so many years. She was a remarkable woman.

Judith Ferris
Houston, Texas
November 29, 2008
Learning of Helen's loss was a painful shock. As others have already written, hers was the first thing I read in QNM, every issue without fail, for over 20 years. I met her at a quilt event a number of years ago, and enjoyed visiting with her. I loved her cheerful outlook and ability to laugh at herself. She reminded me so much of my own mother, also a quilter and also now gone. She will be greatly missed.
November 29, 2008
I was so saddened to read that Helen had died. It is like losing a friend although we never met. I loved her columns and her lack of pretense about quilting. It was wonderful to read how such an accomplished quilter still struggled with her work and her own lack of confidence at times. She will be sorely missed! My most heartfelt condolences to Bill and to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
November 28, 2008
With a heavy heart I read the news of Hellen's passing. She was an inspiration to me, many thousands of miles away. I was a suscriber to QN, and the first thing I did upon the magazine's arrival was look up her column. Her poignant writting, the wholesomeness of her stories told of a wonderful woman, a woman of character, of strength and of a great heart. She will be missed.
November 25, 2008
I was deeply saddened to hear of Helen's passing. I always looked forward to reading her column as soon as I received my QNM. I feel as though I lost a very dear friend. Her down to earth style reminded me so much of my own mother who passed away in 2003. She will be qreatly missed. My heart and prayers go out to the family.
November 24, 2008
Helen brought humor (for ourselves) and empathy (for others) to all of us who made her column "the first thing I have to read" when the magazine arrived, no how busy my day. Although never having met her, I feel that we would have been good friends had we met. My sympathy and prayers to your family.
November 24, 2008
i was shocked to hear the new. the very first column i always red was helen's. i will carry her sympathy with me in every quilt i'll make. she will always live since we carry a piece of her in us.
November 23, 2008
I am so sorry to hear of your loss, our loss, my loss. Like many others, the QNM's arrival signified a cuppa and chat with a dear friend, a kindred spirit, someone who lived and understood the slightly weird world of quilters every where. She will be sadly missed and my thoughts are with you all.
November 23, 2008
While checking the Quilters Newsletter website, I saw Helen's obituary. One of the highlights of QNM and the first thing I read in each issue was her column. Her presence in the quilting world will be missed. I loved her down to earth insights and delightful humor in any situation. My sympathy to all her family. Her inspiration will be missed.
November 23, 2008
I am so sorry to hear of Helen's passing. Reading her column each month was like sitting down to a cup of tea with a dear friend. We will miss her. My prayers and sympathy to her family.
November 22, 2008
I was so sorry to hear of Helens passing, she was an inspiration to me several times while I was just starting to quilt back in the 90's. Helen helped me several times-she will be saddly missed, since I thought of her not only as friend, but a fellow Minnesotan, I was from Duluth, and left there in 1982-My love and prayers go out to Bill and her wonderful families. I shall look forward to quilting with her in Heaven someday-
November 22, 2008
What a sadness, what a loss. Several years ago I wrote Helen despairing of my efforts - darned good but unschooled, and traditional, not "inspired". She wrote an encouraging and supportive reply that I will always cherish. No wonder so many of us have always read her column first! I will miss looking for what Helen would be saying "this time".
November 21, 2008
Only know I found out about Helen's passing away. I will miss her dry down to earth humour and her so recognizable stories. She was like a dear auntie.

Annemieke, Creston BC, Canada (A Dutchie living in Canada).
November 21, 2008
I just learned about Helen's death and am so sorry. Her monthly coumn in QNN was always so positive and inspiring . She will be missed greatly
November 20, 2008
i sit here and cry as if i have lost someone from my own family. she was a dear person, who made opening the magazine every month that more exciting to read what she had to say for that month. my best to the family, and so sorry that she is gone.
November 20, 2008
I am so very sorry to hear of our loss of Helen Kelley. I have been a devoted fan and admirer for over 20 years. Her talent, her wit, her wonderful outlook on life (even when things wern't going just right!) will be sorely missed by the entire Quilting Community. My deepest sympathies go out to her family at this sad time.
November 20, 2008
Helen, we will all miss you as much as if you'd been a member of our own family. Because, you were.
November 20, 2008
I was shocked and saddened to hear that I will no longer have my monthly visit with Helen, who I have known in person for thirty years. She was unique and will be missed, but her contributions to all of us will live in our hearts
November 20, 2008
Dear Helen, your writing was a delight and an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing part of yourself with us all those years.
My deepest sympathies to your family and many friends.
November 20, 2008
I was deeply shocked to open my Quilters Newsletter mag. to read of
Helen's passing. I emailed her on the occasion of her 80th birthday and she was so kind as to take the time to reply. Her column was one of the very first things I read when I got a new magazine. I will definitely miss her great sense of humour and anecdotes. Please except my sincere sympathies.
November 20, 2008
I feel as though I just lost a friend. I too learned of her passing through QNM. Reading her articles and books I felt like she was looking into my soul and heart and could put words to what I too feel about quilting and life!

I emailed her a few years ago and she took the time to email me back. I have that email printed out in my quilt scrapbook. I treasure it.

I know I am among thousands of quilters who will carry her sweet spirit with us until we meet her again.
November 19, 2008
I just found out about Helen. I feel as though I lost a dear friend. Every month I looked forward to reading her new adventures or misadventures. I send my deepest condolences to Bill and her daughters and grandchildren.
November 19, 2008
I was so very sorry to hear of Helen's passing. It was her ablility to relate tender loving thoughts thru her writing of "Loose Threads". I was a better person for having read her articles and books. I truly will miss her each month in Quilter Newsletter. Happy Quilting Helen.

Nancy DeAngelis
Brighton, Michigan
November 19, 2008
I was just shocked to read of her passing as I just received my Quilters Newsletter magazine today. It definitely won't be the same without her article (Pretty much the only reason I subscribe to it). I'm so happy that I did get to meet her in Paducha a few years back. She certainly was a wonderful woman. I will miss her dearly.
Cindy
November 19, 2008
I will miss Helen and her column in Loose Threads. I so enjoyed it. May you be comforted in the memories and legacy she has left behind and may the God of all comfort, comfort your hearts.
November 19, 2008
I received my copy of Quilters Newsletter yesterday and saw the notice of Helen's passing. I will miss her column as I have read it for 25 years. My condolences to her husband and family.
November 19, 2008
I was saddened to read of Helen's passing in QN magazine. Her column was one of the first things I read in the magazine. It brightened my day!
November 19, 2008
I only knew Helen through her column in QN. I have been a subscriber for years and I have always enjoyed her columns. There were many issues over the years the only thing I read was her column. She made everyone feel as if she were speaking directly to them instead of millions of readers.I feel as if I know your family in a small way, she welcomed us into her life and shared many things.
My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Thank You to Helen for the gifts she gave to us all.
November 19, 2008
I will miss her column "Loose Treads". I enjoyed reading first thing when my magazine arrived. So nice she was honored in the Hall of Fame.
Her works will continue on for a life time.
November 18, 2008
I've always looked forward to reading Helen's column. I will miss her. My thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones.
November 18, 2008
It was just today that I read of Helen's passing in QNM. Hugs to you all, her family, and to the rest of us, her quilting family. I'm so sorry for our collective loss. Helen's column often was the ONLY part of the magazine that I made it to in a busy month. She was a special treat, indeed.
November 18, 2008
I was so saddened to hear of the passing of Helen. Her articles brought a smile to my heart and showed us what a wonderful person she was. I am thankful that I could share in her wonderful experiences and will miss her and her articles dearly. My thoughts and prayers are will Bill and her family.
November 18, 2008
I'm so sad to read of Helen's passing. Her columns have been a chief reason for my subscribing to Quilters Newsletter all these years. I felt that I knew her and Bill as she shared her thoughts and experiences, encouraging with love and common sense. Godspeed, Helen.
November 18, 2008
I have lost a friend that I looked forward to meeting every time I received my quilting magazine, she will be greatly missed.
November 17, 2008
It was probably in the '70's that I met Helen, and because I live in Schenectady, we felt like friends. That feeling lasted through our very rare contacts, and today I feel as though I've lost a friend. I send my love to her family.
November 17, 2008
I received my copy of QNM today and am so sad to hear of Helen's passing. I always read her articles first. Using her wonderful sense of humor, she put things into perspective. I realized that even the pros make mistakes and have to "reverse stitch" just like I do. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
November 17, 2008
I will truly miss having a monthly coffee with Helen. Even though it was only through QNM that I knew her, it was like visiting with a friend. To her Husband Bill, her daughters and the other members of her family, I am truly sorry for your loss.
November 17, 2008
After reading about Helen's passing away in the Dec/Jan issue, I felt like I lost a friend. I have never met Helen, but loved her column the best. She made me laugh; she made mistakes; she got frustrated; she had fun; she loved to share. Even though we know that she is with her Savior, I know that her family and her quilting family will sorely miss her.
November 17, 2008
I just read in Quilters Newsletter of Helen's death. I always loved her columns but I never read them first. I saved them for last so I could savor them, like dessert. My prayers are with her family.
November 17, 2008
I always looked forward to Helen's wonderful witty column and shall miss this portion of Quilters' Newsletter. The quilt world has lost a great woman...My sympathy to her family.
November 15, 2008
In 1999 (or was it 2000?) I attended the Williamsburg Quilt Festival for the first time. There I was pleased and inspired to see in person Helen's golden wedding ring quilt, showing herself and Bill as they were on that day 50 years earlier. I loved the festival - I took classes, looked carefully at the quilts on display, and knew I wanted to become a real quilter. Later, as I struggled through the airport laden two suitcases and a tote bag filled with my new purchases and class project pieces, a courtesy cart drove by me. A woman on the back of the cart, her face glowing with kindness, wanted the driver to stop and let me on. He said no, so I smiled and thanked her, and the cart drove on. She looked so happy and so familiar - I only realized after a few hours that she was Helen Kelley. The image is fresh in my mind, all these years hence.
Thank you Helen for your kindness, which radiated from your face that day in the airport, and through your columns and your books. You encouraged me to become a better quilter, and a better woman. Your affection for Bill was evident always.
My husband has always enjoyed reading your columns as well. We will both miss you.
With condolences to your family and loved ones,
Michelle Bellows
November 15, 2008
We will all miss Helen, her articles, and quilting knowledge that she sharded with us all. It is a sad moment for us all in the quilting world.
November 15, 2008
I am so sorry to hear of Helen's passing. I only knew her through her column, 'Loose Threads', and I eagerly read them all. She had some wonderful insights about quilting and life. I will miss her.
My sincerest condolences,
Elvia Purnell, Wakefield, RI
November 14, 2008
I just learned of Helen's passing.
The first page I turn to when my copy of Quilters' Newsletter arrives, is her letter to us. I feel as if I know your family almost as well as my own (especially Bill!) Although she is off on a new adventure, she will be missed. My condolences to her family whom she cherished and loved so deeply.
November 13, 2008
I've just learned about Helen. I was deeply moved by the message that she is no longer with us. I have red her columns since the beginning of QNM availability in our country, the Netherlands, Europe. I always loved her sence of humor about everything related to quilting and family. I will miss those wonderful stories, but I am grateful for the smile she gave me, everytime I had red her column.
November 12, 2008
November 12,2008
I just happened to open up the QNL web page to find out the loss of one of my favourite quilt authors and teachers. In 2000, Helen came to Winnipeg to teach a class on Mother Nature (foundation pieced). She was a joy. When I finished my quilt (after a bout with breast cancer), I sent her a picture of my creation. Wonderfully, she took the time to acknowledge my achievement. I still have her note and will continue to cherish it.
November 11, 2008
Helen was such an inspiration to me. I faithfully read her columns every month. I have saved many of her columns. She will be greatly missed.
November 10, 2008
Helen's column was the first thing I read in every new issue. She always made me smile, especially when I recognized myself or fellow quilters in her experiences.
November 10, 2008
I treasure her book Scarlet Ribbons from first meeting with her on a long ago visit to the UK. On receipt of QNM, I always turned to her words first. I will miss her encouragement and will never forget her. My deepest sympathies to all her family.
November 09, 2008
I felt as though Helen and I were best friends after reading her books and columns. I feel that I have lost a kindred spirit and will miss her writings terribly!
November 09, 2008
Ms Kelly's gentle words and kind spirit were uplifting. She will be missed by all of us, whether we began reading her months or decades ago.
November 09, 2008
I feel as if I have lost a dear friend, one that I visited whenever a new magazine arrived, My sympathy to all her beloved family whom she so joyously shared with us, a lovely light has gone from the sewing world
November 06, 2008
I truly enjoy Helen writing, she will be miss.
November 05, 2008
My sincere sympathies to all of you. I had the pleasure of meeting Helen and so enjoyed our visit. Her words, that she shared monthly, never failed to bring a smile.
November 05, 2008
I am so sad to learn of Helen's passing . Her wit and humor have been such a blessing to many over the years and I will miss her making me smile . Her quilts are exqusite and I hope to be able to gain inspiration from her for a long time to come even though she has gone on ahead . My condolences to all of her family and friends .
October 28, 2008
When I read the announcement of Helen's passing on the QNM website, I felt as if I had lost a beloved aunt. She expressed such a wonderful personality through her writing. We will all miss her terribly.
October 28, 2008
Helen touched my life with her gifted writing. She was so helpful to me to prepare for a quilters' retreat with just the perfect selection of her columns. I shall miss her.
October 27, 2008
I was very saddened to learn of Helen's passing. I always read her column first when I received a new issue. What a great loss to us and an even greater loss to her family. My sincerest condolences to all who had the pleasure of knowing her personally.
October 27, 2008
Helen's column in QN was something that I looked forward to! During a time of bedridden illness, I read and re-read her columns for comfort. She made a small difference in my life.
October 27, 2008
I truly enjoyed Helen's writing style, and her messages! What a legacy she has left! She will be missed!
October 24, 2008
My very deepest and sincerest of sympathy on the loss of Helen. My heart is broken to know that I will never read her wonderful, uplifting, funny and creative column again. I've only been reading them for the past few years after moving to Charlotte, NC. But, each time I opened the magazine, it was her column I "longed" to read first! I felt as if I were reading a letter from a "best friend" and many times I kept saying "I'll email her one day and tell her how much I enjoyed her words." Now, that chance is gone and I'm heart broken for procrastinating, so I pray she will know somehow just how much I will miss her. I'm 57 and my mother died when I was 4, and reading Helen's words always made me wish I could have adopted her somehow. Please know my prayers and thoughts are with her family during this difficult time. May God bless her family. Helen has blessed my life in many ways. Thank you.
October 24, 2008
What joy your mother brought me each month. I so looked forward to her columns. May knowing how much she was loved bring you peace.
October 24, 2008
I was saddened to hear of Helen's death, as I enjoyed her column and thought many times after reading it about the relationships she had with her husband (ever suffering, to hear her speak of it), and her family. I will miss her words, but more, her outlook on life. She obviously loved it.
October 24, 2008
Condolences to Helen's friends and family. We will miss her delightful QNM column full of good sense and wisdom. May she rest in peace.
October 23, 2008
Helen's column in QNM was always the first thing I turned to. I am saddened to hear of her death. I will miss her insights and wit. My thoughts are with her family.
October 22, 2008
I will definitely miss Helen's commentaries on life and quilting. Her article was always the first I turned to when I received Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. My sincere condolences to Helen's husband and family.
October 22, 2008
QNM will not be the same without you. We will all miss your special insight to the world of quilting.
Wendy
October 21, 2008
I was just reading Helen's column last night before going to sleep and got on line this a.m. to try to update my address to get all the issues I missed after my house was destroyed in a flood last December. I was shocked to read of Helen's death. I always read her column for her advice about quilting, but it was really advice about life. She almost always made me smile quietly to myself. I will really miss her.
October 21, 2008
I am so saddened to hear of my dear friend's passing. I never met Helen, but after reading her column and books for years, felt like she was a friend in the wings. God bless her soul and keep on quilting in Heaven, Helen!
October 20, 2008
My condolences. It's like losing a friend. God grant you and her peace.
October 20, 2008
I loved her column, such common sense (not so common these days) and humour, plus we met her family through her writing. I feel I have lost a friend
Wrap yourselves up in her quilts and feel the warmth of her love. Bill you are in my prayers.
Iris Taylor
Tenby. Wales UK
October 19, 2008
Helen was such a vibrant speaker when she came to Vermont Quilt Festival a number of years ago. I was the coordinator to introduce her lecture. As I was preparing equipment in advance, Helen was taking a "power nap" in one of the auditorium seats. She said it's like what some professional athletes do! We had a nice chat and she shared such a warm personality. She was ready to go right on schedule.
I, too, always read her column FIRST when my QNM arrives!
October 18, 2008
I am so sorry to have just learned about Helen's death. I loved her column and read it for many years. My thoughts and prayers go out to her husband and family.
October 18, 2008
Like most subscribers, Helen's article was the first one I always read in any QNM. I will miss the smiles, the laughs and nods that I got from reading her words.
October 18, 2008
My deepest sympathies go out to the Kelley family. I've read Helen's columns in Quilter's Newsletter since the early 1980's and I will miss her. She was truly the most gifted quilter in the quilting world. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.
October 17, 2008
I guess we shall see some different rainbows now that Helen is in charge of patchwork heaven. Such an inspirational lady.
October 13, 2008
I remember Helen from my very first Quilters' Retreat. It was held at the Salvation Army Camp in St. Anthony, MN. I attended alone and knew no other person there. When I checked in Helen said to me: "Janet, how nice to have you here." How did she know my name? It seems I was the very last one to arrive but she never mentioned it--instead made me feel very, very welcome! I enjoyed several classes with her. She told about getting a quilt ready for a National Show and something horrible happened on the back. She went to work making a special applique to cover up the problem and shipped off the quilt. One of the judges commented that they especially liked the detail on the back!
I enjoyed her columns for many years. She will be missed by all who knew her. She was a very special person.
October 13, 2008
I was sadden to hear of Helen's passing - my condolences to her family.
I will miss her monthly articles in QNM - it was a feature I always turned to first in every issue, and I have read them for years! And I have some of her quilting designs and DVDs.

Helen had a huge impact on all of us in the quilting world. Again, my condolences to her family.
October 12, 2008
So sad to hear of Helen's passing~my condolences to her family. If I am sad, can only imagine how those close to her must feel. I will miss her monthly articles in QNM~it was a feature I always turned to first in every issue. Her stories and her humor are legend.
October 12, 2008
I was so sad to learn from a friend in the US that Helen had passed away. I was fortunate enough to take a class with Helen when she came to Leicester some years ago, and was a follower of her little articles in Quilters Newsletter.

My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this very sad time....she was a wonderful lady, who had a great talent and who was so happy to share her love of quilting and knowledge with others.
October 11, 2008
My sincere condolences to Helen's
family and friends.

I will miss reading her wonderful column in each issue of the magasine.

This is a terrible loss for all the quilters in the U.S. and Canada as well.
October 11, 2008
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Helens' family and friends. I only know her through her column and feel as though I have lost a dear friend. She will be sorely missed, but I can't wait to see the quilts she will be making now! God Bless!
October 11, 2008
My thoughts are with Helen's family at this sad time. It is my hope that they will be comforted by the great memories that she has left to quilters all over the world. We spoke fondly of her yesterday at a class in Scotland!
October 11, 2008
How sad for us that Helen is gone from this earth, but how wonderful for her that she is in a better place. I never had the pleasure of meeting her, though I enjoyed reading and re-reading her essays. Know that the quilting community shares your grief. My prayers are with you.
October 09, 2008
My heart and prayers go out to Helen's family and friends. I never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, but her wit, humor, and knowledge of life and quilting have blessed me for many years. How wonderful that she has left her books and writings behind, so that new generations of quilters may also know her. Her loss leaves a void in the quilting world she helped to inspire and to build.
October 09, 2008
i am so very sorry at the loss of such a dear sweet, woman. I feel like I have gotten to know Helen through her writing. She was inspirational and humourous. I thoroughly enjoyed her Loose Threads columns and have read them over and over again. She will be sorely missed as a writer, quilter and a wonderful human being. My deepest sympathies to her family and close friends.
October 09, 2008
I am saddened to hear of Helen's sudden death and my thoughts go out to her husband, Bill, and their family. Over the years of her writing she shared so much of them as a family and I felt like I knew them. I was encouraged by Helen's last contribution re the saggy eyelids as it is becoming my problem too. Her wisdom and quilting expertise has spread around the world. "Thankyou Helen for sharing your life with us".
October 07, 2008
I just learned of Helen's passing yesterday and have been grieving her loss. She was a special person who shared so much with the quilting world. I was able to see her passport quilts at the Quilt Museum in La Connor and was amazed at her use of fabric and her artistry. I hold her in my heart as a special friend. I hope you, her family, find solace in knowing how much she meant to all of us!
October 06, 2008
I just finished reading her book "Loose Threads" and was tickled by her short stories tying quilting to life lessons. I was anxious to see some of her quilts and logged on to read more about this wonderful woman. I'm so sorry to hear of her passing. Such a loss of such a charming woman (or as she said - a feisty woman).
October 05, 2008
My deepest sympathy to you the family of Helen Kelley. I first heard of and saw her on the PBS Series, Lapquilting with Georgia Bonesteel, where she opened up the world of Applique to me. I actually met her on teachers night one year at the Chaska Quilt Show. She will be missed by all.
October 04, 2008
I want to express my deepest sympathies to Helen's family. I never met Helen, but I thought of her as a friend who came to visit with funny stories and wisdom every month with my QNM. For years I have thought that I should drop her a note to tell her how much I enjoy her thoughts and her quilts and to thank her. Now, of course, I wish I had. Her love for her family and friends was obvious through the stories she told. I wish you all God's blessings and that the good memories will sustain you through these hard days.
October 02, 2008
My sincere condolences for the loss of your dear Helen. I have read her column for years in the Quilter's Newsletter and enjoyed her stories about quilting. When I think of her though it is not of her friendly and enjoyable articles but of a beautiful quilt that she created to remember her marriage to Bill. When I saw the quilt it moves me always; she captured the love she felt in the folds of her dress and Bill's suit. I can feel the deep caring everytime I look at her labor of love. The quilt is a wonderful gift that she shared and is a beautiful piece of art.
May you wrap yourselves in her quilts and remember how much she loved you always.
With deep sympathy,
Regards,
Anna
September 24, 2008
Helen was a lovely, gracious person. The world of quilting -- and just plain life -- is a better place for her having been here.
September 24, 2008
I was so surprised to learn of Helen's death when I logged on to her web site for the very first time today. I will miss her wonderful columns in Quilter's Newletter. She was like a friend although I never met her. My condolences to her family.
September 24, 2008
Our heartfelt sympathies to Helen's family. We were so saddened to learn of Helen's leaving us so soon. We had the privilege of hosting Helen in our home when she was a guest speaker and held a workshop for the St. Cloud Heritage Quilters - quite a few years ago. She was a joy to get to know and a wonderful house guest! We also had the opportunity to meet Bill at their home a few weeks later and enjoyed her hospitality. Remembering that visit puts a smile on my face. She enjoyed sharing her knowledge of quilting, and her sense of humor will always be fondly remembered. Thank you, Helen, for memories never to be forgotten!
September 23, 2008
I have been reading Helen's column for a long time now and am deeply saddened to hear of her passing. She was a wonderful writer and made you feel you were sharing a part of her life. I will remember her often.
I especially enjoyed the story of her recent birthday and the special cake.
I also loved the quilt she made of Bill and herself on her Wedding Day.
September 23, 2008
As with so many others, Helen's column in the Quilters Newsletter was the first thing I looked for. This last one I just read had inspired me to send an email to her and let her know how I enjoyed it. I was going to let her know the subject had a special meaning to me as I am about to have the surgery she talked about and wanted to thank her for reassuring me of the process. We will all miss her her even though I had not met her, she seemed a friend of long standing. My heartfelt sympathy to the family, lots of love is coming your way in her memory.
Dot Thrall
September 17, 2008
Helen was so alive to me that when I found her obituary in the paper I just couldn'e believe it. I only knew her through her column in the QNL magazine and her books but I loved the comfort, humor and down to earth common sense they gave to me. I was always uplifted by them.
I will truly miss her and always remember her.
September 16, 2008
What a woman. What a life. What a family. How I wish each of you could have attended Helen's induction into The Quilters Hall of Fame in Marion, Indiana, in July of this year and experienced each of these highlights of Helen's life first hand. Working with Helen to prepare for her induction was a great privilege. Working with she and her family in person during Induction Week was a treasure we will all long remember. With the help of daughter Helen, Helen Sr. put together an amazing PowerPoint lecture about what quilting had meant to her in her these past 30 years. It was filled with her wonderful sense of humor and insight, even as it captured the phenomena of the late 20th century quilt revival. How fortunate we are to have that lecture recorded for posterity, as well as her actual Induction luncheon. Our heart-felt condolences to Bill and the family at your loss. Thank you for sharing her with us for so many years. Thank you for all your contributions at her Induction.

Karen Alexander
President
The Quilters Hall of Fame
September 16, 2008
I had the pleasure of meeting Helen at the Quilters Hall of Fame celebration this past July. Your mother was so gracious. She inscribed a message to me in each of her books that I had purchased and my sister-in-law took a photo of us together as she wrote. Pat and I are deeply saddened to learn of her passing. To listen to her talk about her quilting journey was such a delightful treat. Her quilts were so beautiful. We knew we were viewing a master quilter's work. I've enjoyed her column for years and will miss the humorous thoughts of a wonderful lady. She has left us with a true legacy of spirit and love.
September 15, 2008
I don't know Helen personally, only through her column in the quilting magazine, which I have enjoyed over the years. But I can't believe that she is now gone. Tonight was the first time I have ever signed on to her website and was shocked by the news. But I have learned yet another lesson from her. Don't put off doing something. I have been meaning to check her website for some time now and now find that I will never experience her wit and wisdom from it as I am sadly too late. My heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends.
September 11, 2008
Helen was an inspiration for quilters; she had great wit, a warm and compassionate perspective of the world, and her place in it. Helen’s written word, her charm and humor will be missed~~but held close in heart and treasured by those lucky enough to be touched by her grace. My thoughts are for her family, as they struggle with this loss.
September 10, 2008
To Helen's Family: I was saddened to hear of Helen's death. I had the privilege of meeting her several years ago at the MN Historical Society where I worked at that time. Most recently, I happened to see her at the State Fair and exchanged greetings with her. What a gracious lady she was! She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.
September 10, 2008
Our deepest sympathies go out to Helen's family. We were blessed to work with her for so many years on her column for QNM. Her love for her family, her unfailing sense of humor, and her gentle encouragement to quilters of every stripe impressed everyone who read her words. She will be missed by so many who never met her in person. We are grateful that we had a chance to know her.
Mary Leman Austin/Bonnie Leman and family
September 10, 2008
I just learned of Helen's passing and wish to extend my sincere sympathy to Bill and the family. I met Helen through the Quilt Camp at Silver Lake that she and Pat Cox did every year for so long. I will always remember her kindness to me in sending Bill to pick me up at the airport one year and bringing me to her house twice. Her gentle but very instructive way of teaching always had me reach new levels in my quilting and life. I will sorely miss her column in Quilter's Newsletter (the first thing I turned to when the magazine comes). I know she is well and happy where she is and may that bring comfort to her family along with the knowledge that she lives on in many hearts and minds across the world.
September 09, 2008
I am soo sorry to hear of Helen's passing, it was her writings both in the magazine and her books that always brought a sparkle to my soul. If I was discouraged about a pattern it seemed that month she wrote about her failures and problem solvings--she was a great inspiration to all. She is sadly missed.
September 09, 2008
Helen's wit and wisdom were enjoyed and appreciated by all quilters, and she will be greatly missed. Her quiet smile was always a welcome part of the early quilt conferences. I treasure my remembrances of her.
September 09, 2008
Helen's visits to Bear Patch Quilting were a delight! She was always on a mission to find that perfect fabric for her current project. Her book signings were a special event at our store. We will miss her infectious smile, stories, and friendship.
September 09, 2008
My condolences to Bill and his family. I could feel Helen's love for her family and friends when I was in her presence or reading her column in Quilter's Newsletter or seeing some of her quilted masterpieces. The whimsy of her quilts touched me like none other. More than once, I could relate to her stories and would belt out a hearty laugh. I will miss you Helen.
September 08, 2008
A number of years ago I asked Helen to speak to my quilt guild (Women of the West) and she said that she wouldn't do it for money, but would come if we collected a donation for cancer research. We were only to happy to oblige and thoroughly enjoyed her presentation. This lovely, caring woman, whom thousands of us quilters were lucky enough to know either through her classes, presentations or books and columns, will be sorely missed.
September 08, 2008
Helen, you have my deepest sympathy during this time....know that you and your family are in my prayers! May your fondest memories of your Mom bring you comfort.
September 08, 2008
The staff of Quilters Newsletter is deeply saddened by the loss of Helen, our dear friend and longtime contributor. For 25 years, our readers have been saying that her column, Loose Threads, is the first place they turn when they receive a new issue. Helen put her own unique spin on the quiltmaking life, but at the same time, she spoke for all quilters in addressing their universal concerns. We'll miss you, Helen.
September 08, 2008
Helen's column was the highlight of each issue of QNL for me, as I'm sure it was for many others. Although we never met, her writing gave me a strong feeling of connection with her. I will miss her columns and that sense of connection to a wonderful quilter and an inspiring person.
September 08, 2008
I had the privilege to serve as Helen’s editor at Voyageur Press and was so very fond of her. Helen’s energy, kindness, and graciousness were simply unmatched, and I’ll miss her terribly. More than a professional colleague, Helen was a personal friend, and we always took time to catch up on family matters or laugh over the latest mishap in our lives. Like many who knew her, I was struck by the devotion between Helen and her husband Bill—their life together has been an inspiration to my husband and me.
September 08, 2008
I was so excited to see that Helen was doing a book signing at the Rochester Quilt Show. I made sure to find out what time she would be there and was able to purchase and have her sign her brand new book. She was so gracious and funny, and so happy that her book had just arrived from the publisher. I have given her books as gifts to many of my quilting friends and all of us have enjoyed reading about her quilting adventures. I will truly miss her humor, her helpful insights, and mostly her wonderful sense of wonder, delight and appreciation of the art of quilting.
September 08, 2008
I enjoyed reading Helen's column immensely and, although I was never able to meet her, she felt like a quilting friend. She will be greatly missed by quilters worldwide.
September 08, 2008
A loss in the quilting world and of course to family and friends.
I am so sorry and I will keep you all in my prayers.
I did not know her personally, but I am a quilter also.
September 07, 2008
I feel priviledged and blessed to have known Helen. I am a Minnesota Quilter and got to know Helen through two community quilt projects that we worked on together. I marveled at her never-ending creativity and energy. I will miss her very much. My thoughts and prayers are with Bill and the rest of Helen’s family.
September 07, 2008
I know Helen only through her QNL column, the first thing I would read. I appreciated so much how she shared herself with us readers and especially that she was still learning about quilting and passing on her thoughts and ideas. I will miss her. My condolences to her family, she was a special and talented woman.
September 07, 2008
Helen was the Minnesota Quilter of the Year in 1998, the first year I attended the MQ Show. It was amazing that the sweet little woman talking to me had made the wonderful quilts I was admiring. During the next ten years I learned that Helen was a giant not just in the Minnesota Quilters world, but in the whole world. What a truly amazing, lovely woman. My heartfelt condolences to the Kelley family.
September 07, 2008
Helen Kelly Family, I spoke briefly with Helen at the Minnesota Quilter's Show this Spring in Rochester, MN. She always had a warm, friendly smile, a twinkle in her eye and a great story. I will miss her. Her inspiration to many will live forever!
September 07, 2008
Jim, I'm sorry for your loss. I will never forget the time you and Helen stayed at our home while teaching and her lecture for our local guild here in Waterloo.
Rita Campbell
September 07, 2008
Helen Kelly was a marvelous person. I will miss her wisdom on quilting and life. I looked so forward to her column in QNL.My sincere sympathies.Jan Brown
September 07, 2008
Helen's writing has been an inspiration to me for many years. She expressed the thrills and anquishes of quilting; one always felt that self expression was a constant and rewarding struggle. She wrote with honesty, humor and devotion to this most personal art form. Sympathies to her loved ones.
September 07, 2008
Helen will be greatly missed in the quilting world. Her warmth and joy showed through equally in person and in print. My sympathy to all her family.
September 07, 2008
The guild members of Keepsake Quilters in Cedar Falls, Iowa, send our deepest sympathies and condolences to Helen's family and friends.
September 07, 2008
Jim, Helen and Family. Our thoughts are with you.
Your Friends at Portage Lake.
Marty and Sandy Gyllander, Steve Jones
September 07, 2008
I have read Helen's column for so long that I feel like I know her. What a wonderful, sharing lady. We are all poorer for her loss and all blessed by her wisdom. Condolences to her family.
September 07, 2008
Thank you Helen, you will be truely missed, love, Inge in The Netherlands
September 07, 2008
Through QN Helen has been a part of my quilting life for over 20 years.
I will miss her every time I get a new issue.
September 06, 2008
Deepest sympathy to Helen's family. I first read Helen's columns in QNM when I was introduced to Patchwork & Quilting in the early 80's. Her wisdom was boundless. How wonderful that many could share that wisdom and humour for so many years. Deepest Peace to Helen's husband, children & grandchildren. We think when we die, we are gone, but our true immortality is to be remembered by those that love us dearly.
September 06, 2008
I am very honored to have had the opportunity to meet Helen at the Minnesota Quilter's Show and at a meeting later on. She is a remarkable person and the quilting world will truly miss her. My sympathy to her family, my heart goes out to all of you.
Elaine Klennert (Hill City, MN)
September 06, 2008
I offer my deepest sympathies to Bill and all the members of Helen's family. Her legacy is rich in quilts, words and the warmth of her heart. That she was able to share so much of herself in this life is testimony to the wisdom and wealth of her soul. She will be missed by all whose lives have been graced with her sunshine spirit and blessed by her love of all things "quilting".
September 06, 2008
I have enjoyed being acquainted with Helen for many years through Minnesota Quilters. She was a gracious and generous friend to everyone she met. I will miss her. My thoughts are with her family and husband, Bill.
September 06, 2008
I am very sad that I won't have Helen's wisdom to look forward to each month in QN. What a wonderful lady. My condolences to the family for your great loss.
September 06, 2008
My Sympathy to Helens Family. She will be dearly missed by all the Quilters. I always read her page first.
September 06, 2008
The quilting world has lost one of its jewels. Her inspiration, creativity, and friendship to so many will be sadly missed. Helen was one of those people who truly made a difference in the world. My thoughts and prayers to all her family.
September 06, 2008
As a fellow Minnesota Quilter, I would like to say how sorry I am to hear of her passing. What a wonderful woman she was and such great accomplishments not only for herself but to share with others. My sympathy to her family.
September 06, 2008
Sadness always leaves beautiful memories. My prayers to all of Helen Longfield Kelley's family. I will keep quilting and smile when my projects turn out beautiful and wish they would look like Helen's. God Bless. Karrol Barbieri
September 06, 2008
I had the privilege of scribing for Helen a few years ago when she was a judge for the MQ show. I admired her sincere efforts to encourage each and every quilter. She was a mentor to many by her generous words and deeds. She will be missed.
September 06, 2008
Helen was one of the frist quilt teachers I had contact with, she was always gracious and sharing of her time, even for "dumb" questions. I have known her for over 25 years and she always knew me by name..."so long Miss Helen"
Betsy Munroe, Rochester MN
September 06, 2008
Quilters everywhere have lost a great friend. Her columns, books and musings have brought us together like sisters. Her personal reflections relating to her life, her (and our) hobby and quilters in general are lasting legacies for us all.
September 06, 2008
Although I've never met Helen, I feel like I've lost a friend. I always looked forward to her columns. Her gentle humour and kind thoughts always guided me, and her enthusiasm for quilting inspired me. We have all truly lost a great lady. My thoughts are with you, her family.
September 06, 2008
I only knew Helen through her books and articles in QNM and thoroughly enjoyed them. My deepest sympathies for your loss.
September 06, 2008
Helen and I were friends since the beginning of Minnesota Quilters.My admiration for her as a quilter and my love for her as a friend is endless. I am really sad she is gone. She is a great lady!
September 06, 2008
I was lucky enough to run into Helen both as a fellow MN Quilter and as a fellow teacher. She was funny, feisty, knowledgeable, encouraging and had a good outlook on life. I enjoyed her writings and, of course, respected and coveted her beautiful art quilts. She, and the other organizers of MN Quilters, have added a wonderful extra to the lives of thousands of quilters here in the Midwest. Her impact on quilters is something we must count ourselves fortunate in receiving. My sympathy to her family on their loss of a beloved, witty, wonderful woman.
September 06, 2008
I live in Australia and wrote to Helen on a couple of occasions and she responded personally on both occasions. Helen will be sorely missed - I just love reading her column,
Margaret in Brisbane, Australia
September 06, 2008
I will miss her stories in Quilter's Newsletter. I never met her, but felt like I knew her from those stories. She will be missed by a lot of people, and mostly her quilting friends.
Barbara Calabrese, Maitland, Florida
September 06, 2008
Whata great loss to our quilting community. I loved reading Helen's words about quilting life
September 06, 2008
It is a blessing to have known Helen, and I'm glad we were able to meet again last summer(2007), the same wonderful Helen I knew from years back. Helen's passing away is a great loss! Both I and Michael feel deep sympathy with our Kelley friends.
Love and compassion from
September 06, 2008
Please accept my deepest sympathies.
September 06, 2008
To Bill and all of Helen's family,

Most sincere condolences from Margaret Bauldreay of Nantwich, England whose computer is out of order. I valued Helen's friendship very much.

The message is being sent by Val Shields, of Gresford, North Wales. This village is depicted in Helen's Postcard Quilt of Wales where I hosted a workshop with Helen on one of her UK visits and both Margaret and I helped her with her research on Green Men.

We shall both miss her very much. We kept in touch with her life monthly by reading her columns in QNM, the means by which so many came to know and love her.

We were delighted when she was inducted into the Quilters' Hall of Fame earlier this year.
September 06, 2008
I had the priviledge of meeting Helen Kelley on one of her trips to the UK and attended her workshop. She was the sweetest, most gentle and knowledgible lady of her kind, eager to share her expertise with her worlwide group of friends. I shall miss her monthly magazine columns as it is always like receiving a letter from a dear friend. My condolences to her family at this very sad time.
September 06, 2008
Let us believe that Helen is quilting among the angels. My deepest sympathies to her family and friends.
September 05, 2008
When I think of Helen I see her smile, it was always there.... I will miss it, but maybe I can honor her by trying to smile whenever I meet others. Thank you Helen for the wonderful memories and the beautiful work you have left us.
September 05, 2008
How do you put into words your feelings when you lose a dear friend? I have been enjoying her column for years and feel like we grew together. I never met her face to face but will miss her quilt to quilt.
September 05, 2008
In a minute not an hour
the time on earth is like a flower
live your fullest everyday
cause you never know when to say
this is now my last day
September 05, 2008
I Live in the UK so only "knew" Helen through her QNM articles, wise, witty and about life as much as quilting. I shall think of her with needle in hand. We'll not see her like again.
September 05, 2008
To the Johnson Family,

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you at this time.
September 05, 2008
The quilting world has lost another giant. Quilters Newsletter and all of us will miss you greatly Helen. My deepest sympathy to your loved ones.
September 05, 2008
I never met this wonderful lady in person but in every issue of QNL and thru in books, I know of her greatness. She will be missed.
September 05, 2008
I met Helen when she autographed her latest book for me at the Minnesota Quilters Guild show in Rochester this summer. "Piece and joy" she inscribed, with a twinkly in her eye and a warm friendly smile. She has been a huge inspiration in every way. We will miss her.
Andrea Johnson
September 05, 2008
Our sympathies to the family. We met her most recently at the State Fair and even in the briefest moments were struck by her positive, uplifting spirit.
September 05, 2008
I will miss Helen greatly as her column in QN was eagerly read just as soon as I could find it. I always learned something, enjoyed a smile or two and certainly felt that Helen understood our everyday lives.
September 05, 2008
It was wonderful spending time with Helen and her family at Quilters Hall of Fame. Helen was a dear friend who showed her love and family history through her quilts. My prayers are with you, Kelley family, and all those who loved her. Her absence leaves a piece missing in our quilting life. Her books and QNM articles have been treasured in our home for many years.
September 04, 2008
My heart goes out to you, Bill, and all your family. Several years ago I emailed Helen about one of her Loose Threads columns and was surprised and touched to receive a warm reply. All of us in the quilting world have lost a caring pioneer and will miss her presence greatly.
September 04, 2008
I just found out about Helen's passing. I did not realize she was from the city I live in. I have her book of her columns that she wrote for the mag. QNL,next to my bed, I am just half way thru. Have been enjoying reading it. It is a great loss to the quilting world, she will be missed. My sympathy to her family and friends.
Katie Peterson {Mpls. Mn}
September 04, 2008
I so enjoyed Helen's outlook on life and her monthly Quilter's Newsletter Magazine columns. I truly looked forward to them and her wisdom. I would have liked to have spent time with her. I am so sorry for your loss.

Lynda Burns
Spokane, WA
September 04, 2008
Our sympathy to Bill and family. Helen was a truly great inspiration to all. Helen taught us so much about family, life and parenthood. Our memories of her will last a lifetime. May we all celebrate and honor the days of her life that she was with us. We will all miss her dearly.
September 04, 2008
I started reading Helen's columns soon after I started quilting in 1982 (I became pregnant and saw the play the Quilters which inspired me to start the quilting journey.) She always put a wonderful take on the world. Thank you Helen for so many great columns.
September 04, 2008
Helen's was one of the first columns I would read when my new issue of Quilter's Newsletter arrived and I will miss so very much her wonderful stories and thoughts. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
September 04, 2008
My Prayers go our to all of the family and friends of Helen. I had not meet her personally, but we did correspond through emails. She was scheduled to come and speak to our Guild meeting next month. I was very sad when her daughter called to tell me about her death. Helen seemed to really enjoy life and always had a smile. It was like you could see her smile through her stories!

I always paged through my copy of QNM until I came to her article. Had to read that first! What a legacy and a gift she has left for us and her family. Such wonderful, colorful quilts and words!!

You will be missed Helen, always, and by many. Thank-you for everything!
September 04, 2008
I always looked forward to her column in QNM and will miss her greatly. Also met her at the Houston Quilt Festival a couple of years ago and will treasure the memory.
September 04, 2008
Reading Helen's column in QNM was the only way I knew her. Sometimes, when I needed encouragement to be a bit more circumspect about my life, her column was the first thing I read. Other times I saved Helen's column for dessert. I have many back issues. I think I'll be visiting with Helen for years to come.
September 04, 2008
I'm so sorry to hear of Helen's death. She was so important to Minnesota Quilters as a group, and as individuals. I only knew her in a small way, but I am heartbroken. God bless her family and friends.
September 04, 2008
My oh my! I am so saddened to hear about Helen's death. I am glad that I had time with her in July when she was honored by the Quilter's Hall of Fame. I will miss her as a friend and fellow quilter.
September 04, 2008
My condolences to you and your family. By now you must have gathered how much Helen was treasured in the world of Quilting. Her column was always my first port of call in QNM. Heard her speak in the UK when she visited. Such fun we all had.
September 04, 2008
My thoughts and prayers go out to Helen's family. I will truly miss her column in QNM. The column was one of the first articles I always read.
September 04, 2008
Helen will be dearly missed by myself,
Patricia and the boys - James, Geoffrey, Nathaniel and Kristopher.
Helen made a lot of beautiful quilts in her lifetime and blessed a lot of people with them. Thank you.
Bill, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Take care now and may God's peace and blessings be with you Bill and your family.
September 04, 2008
So sorry to hear the sad news of Helen's death. I always enjoyed her column in QNM; she made me laugh out loud many a time, and sometimes brought a tear to my eyes.
September 04, 2008
I never met her but loved her common sense column. She was like a mentor to those of us who have been quilting for a while as well, and she was honest about her preferences. My condolences to her family.
September 04, 2008
My sincere sympathy to you, Bill and to your wonderful children. It is a great loss to many but, especially to you. She will be remembered, always, as a wonderful quilter and teacher and as a great friend.
September 04, 2008
I have enjoyed reading her columns very much. They were always the first thing I turned to in Quilters Newsletter. She will be greatly missed by the entire quilting community. Loving thoughts are coming to her entire family.
September 04, 2008
My thoughts and prayers go out to Helen's family. I will truly miss her column in QNM. I would have loved to have met her!
September 04, 2008
It was our pleasure to have spent the last week of Helen's life with her at the Presbyterian Clearwater Forest Senior Retreat near Brainerd. She was an inspiration to all of us as she shared her writings, her interests and life with us. May God richly bless her family. Read John 14:1-4
September 04, 2008
My gramma always felt the love of her family and friends; whether they were near or far...quilters or regular, mortal folk.

Though she was an amazing artist, Gramma's quilting skills were shadowed by her warmth and compassion. She always had an eye for the best qualities in others and she truly loved to see them shine.

I hope that many of you had the opportunity to be touched by her gracious nature.
September 04, 2008
She has not gone far, because she lives in our hearts and minds through her work , her writings and her gentle sweet personality, which shone through in everything she did. I will not mourn her passing but celebrate her living. My sympathy to all her family who are already missing her dearly.
September 04, 2008
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I met her a few years ago, right after I made my very first quilt, and she gave me so many encouraging words. What a sweet woman she was and so talented. She will be missed by many.
September 04, 2008
My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I wish you comfort that surpasses all understanding. God Bless.
September 04, 2008
Loved reading every story and always looked forward to her writings.
September 04, 2008
My sympathy to Helen's family. The quilting world is very sad--I can only imagine how her Family must feel. This is a great loss, but she will be remembered fondly.
Kitty Longo(Syracuse, NY
September 04, 2008
To her family: Your sorrow will end, love never dies, we take it with us wherever we go.
I have no doubt, Helen is stitching clouds together to make her own batting and soon to follow,will be a quilt of love, to shelter you all.
September 04, 2008
I've read all of Helen's columns over the years and enjoyed her wise and witty comments. To her family: know that she will be long remembered by thousands of sisters in the quilting community.
September 04, 2008
She will be missed. She was a wonderfully talented gracious lady. I had the good fortune to hear her speak a few years ago. My condolences to her family.
September 03, 2008
How I will miss Helen's brilliant writing and quilt making.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.
September 03, 2008
The quilting world has lost a dear friend. My heart felt sympathy and prayers for Helen's family.
September 03, 2008
I knew Helen for almost thirty years. I never tired of visiting with her. She will be missed by many in the quilt world.
My husband is a retired Stephens College professor and now the college archivist. I hope you don't mind that I let the college know of Helen's passing.
September 03, 2008
To the Johnson Family,

Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss.

Although it's difficult to see beyond the sorrow,
may the loving memories that you cherish comfort you in the days to come.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Rob Dalicandro & Cesar Ramirez
Fleet Services Canada IT
September 03, 2008
Our hearfelt condolences to the Johnson Family. May her soul rest in peace.
September 03, 2008
I will always remember Helen's kindness to me as a beginning quilter in the 80's. I have manygreat memories of the retreat at Silver Lake. She always made you fell like a personal friend.
September 03, 2008
To the Johnson family
We were saddenned by the news and we are sorry about your loss, please accept our condoleances.
Our family and Small christian community prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time
September 03, 2008
Helen will be missed by thousands of quilters she touched every month in her magazine column, and especially by all the Minnesota Quilters. I extend my heartfelt sympathy to her family.
September 03, 2008
Bill: Charlie and I are so sad for your loss. Helen was a delight and on top of that a wonderful quilter with a marvelous sense of humor. We shall all miss her tremendously.
September 03, 2008
I did not know Helen personally but her family was so proud of her world-renowned quilting artistry I felt I knew her. Her exceptional talent and dedication to family and friends have been passed down successfully to her children and grand-children. My most heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends.
September 03, 2008
Helen touched so many, she will be remembered for her support, humour and insight. I know she is now leading the big guild in the sky and happily sorting through fabric and patterns knowing her points will always be sharp and her stitches straight.
Her family and freinds are covered with her love and quilts. Helen's generous donation of a doll to Minnesota Quilters' silent auction sits in a place of honor in my home
September 03, 2008
Helen I will truely miss your many wonderful stories and your quick wit.You will be missed by so many. My prayers go to you Bill and your family.
September 03, 2008
My heart goes out to all who loved Helen. We at Minnesota Quilters have much to be grateful to her for - not only for her vision as one of our Charter Members or for her inspiration to quilters around the world, but for her generous gift of herself. Her quilts were beautiful and fun - but not as much as she was.

President, Minnesota Quilters, Inc.
and a Helen Kelley fan
September 03, 2008
Helen's guidance to quilters will be missed beyond words. I grew up in the quilting world under her tutelage through QNM and her quilting efforts. My condolences to her family.
September 03, 2008
I considered Helen both a mentor and a friend. You could not help to fall under the spell of her love for life and quilting. She was an exceptional talent who was always willing to share.
To her family, my most heartfelt sympathy. The world is a little sadder today.
Carol Butzke
September 03, 2008
Dear Kelley Family,
Helen's contribution to the quilting world will live on for a long, long time. Her delightful wit, humble personality, and enthusiasm will be so very missed. My thoughts are with you during this time. From a "Minnesota Quilters" quilter.
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