Naomi McEneely was raised on a farm with lots of siblings and animals. For most of her life, she has worked with her hands weaving, spinning, knitting, sewing, crocheting, embroidering, quilting, basketmaking, and experimenting with ways to "finish off" her creations. She learned many of these techniques at her mother's and grandmother's knees but researched others from cultures worldwide.
McEneely's involvement with textiles is broad and diverse. She has made, repaired, quilted, and finished at least 175 quilts. One was commissioned by the National Council of Jewish Women for its 100th anniversary and was displayed on "Good Morning America," made a 13-gallery tour of the United States, and the designs and plans are in the Smithsonian Institution. She has woven and designed fabric for five different fashion designers, with her work shown through out the United States and on the cover of Woman's Wear Daily and in Vogue magazine. She has taught basketry at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and the Textile Art Centre Chicago, taught in-services for the Chicago Public School District, taught design and weaving of textiles and rugs for the Textile Arts Center and at weavers' conferences. She has also painted on commission large floor cloths and room murals, and custom-sewn window coverings and other home furnishings. Her most recent venture is constructing and covering with canvas wooden cornices that she then paints and she's planning a series of one-of-a-kind handbags.