Joyce Kelly, a Portland, Oregon native, has been sewing and designing since her childhood in Multnomah where she and her girlfriends played with their paper dolls in the girl’s restroom in Multnomah Grade School (now Multnomah Art Center). As a high school senior she won second place in the Singer Teen Sewing contest for the state of Oregon. She majored in clothing and textiles at OSU with dreams of a career in fashion or costume design.
Marriage, a move to California and the arrival of her children put her dreams aside for a bit. However the garments she created for her children turned out to be the start of her toddler clothing line, Daisy Originals, which was carried in stores in the San Francisco bay area.
Several years later, a move back to Portland found her teaching creative sewing classes at an S. W. fabric store. When patchwork designs became fashion “musts”, Joyce designed a patchwork skirt pattern for one of her classes. With this design Patches of Joy, Creative Sew Patterns, was born. That skirt was the first of over 40 patterns, 6 books and a contract with McCall pattern company as well as national seminars, trade shows and media articles for Joyce and Patches of Joy.
Now, Joyce has retired only Patches of Joy Patterns. She designs and creates handbags and home décor items for galleries, museum stores and specialty boutique shops.
Joyce explains, “Fabric has always been my “go-to” when I create so when I discovered a decorator showroom wanting to get rid of their discontinued sample pieces I jumped at the chance to collect them rather than let them be added to a landfill. I have been picking them up for about 15 years now and creating handbags & pillows with them!
“My current endeavor is creating new purses using antique/vintage purse frames that I salvage when they are no longer usable as a purse as the original fabric has not survived the passage of time. I select fabric from my stash of beautiful samples to pair with each frame creating a one-of-a kind purse that can now be used or placed on display. Some of the beaded bags that are still attached to the frames, but beyond use, I mount with other assorted items in shadow boxes to create interesting assemblages.”
Joyce Kelly and Joyce Kelly Designs is at Table #23.