Kate’s Musings on Quilts and Quilting Fabric

I am a life-long admirer of quilts- starting with my baby quilt (lanky)- which i still have in tatters, as well as Lanky Two which I re-backed with some fabric I made in art school and my babies now use!

the remains of my baby quilt- where it all started...

the remains of my baby quilt- where it all started…

the back is a faux-bois I made in Intro to Textiles, the front is Lanky Dos, hastily reassembled before the birth of my first child!

the back is a faux-bois I made in Intro to Textiles, the front is Lanky Dos, hastily reassembled before the birth of my first child!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love  “outsider” quilts such as the exquisite quilts of Gee’s Bend.

this is a book of these quilts- run dont walk if you havent already seen them!

this is a book of these quilts- run dont walk if you havent already seen them! Click on the image for more

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have attempted several quilts- some I have even finished (gave them all away! no pics!), although I do have at least 5 still underway in my studio at the moment. My approach to quilting has always been to use up scraps from other sewing projects, or old clothes that are too worn to wear but too dear to throw away. Over the years of my screen printed fabric design business we collected a LOT of scraps of a LOT of colorful silks and cotton velvets- so I have a couple of quilts on the go from these beauties.

Silk scraps!!! Colour saturation par excellence. Yum!

Silk scraps!!! Colour saturation par excellence. Yum!

This is just the tip of the hexy iceburg- i have a box with hundreds more waiting to be sorted...Destined to be an all velvet wonky hexagon extravaganza!

This is just the tip of the hexy iceburg- i have a box with hundreds more waiting to be sorted…Destined to be an all velvet wonky hexagon extravaganza!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just read a very motivating modern quilting book- Sunday Morning Quilts which is all about the scrap possibilities. I’ve been ploughing through books on quilting from the library and this one is my favourite so far.

Fabulous book about quilting with scraps- very inspiring!

Fabulous book about quilting with scraps- very inspiring!

I have been sloooowly over many years collecting for a quilt made up of brand-new, unused patterned fabric, nervous to cut it up as it’s quite expensive and so lovely: Liberty tana lawn.

A selection from my liberty stash. My treasures!

A selection from my liberty stash. My treasures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of all the quilting fabric on the market today, I love Liberty tana lawn the best- it’s SO soft and silky and fantastic. The patterns consistently appeal to me- I love the colours and I’m a total sucker for their florals. Here are just a few right now that I need to work with soon… (Click on the image for more info…)

the hidden repeat, the attention to detail, the sizzling palette- all combine to make one gorgeous Liberty print!

the hidden repeat, the attention to detail, the sizzling palette- all combine to make one gorgeous Liberty print!

this has been a fave pattern of mine for a LONG time- perfect colour & tone balance no matter what the colorway - and so simple and jolly.

this has been a fave pattern of mine for a LONG time- perfect colour & tone balance no matter what the colorway – and so simple and jolly.

 

 

There's something very relaxing AND stimulating in the liberty florals- the repeat fades into the background and the colours pop- sublime!

There’s something very relaxing AND stimulating in the liberty florals- the repeat fades into the background and the colours pop- sublime!

A non-floral Liberty beauty for you- the tried and true primaries plus black and white palette is very satisfying. I love the movement in this pattern- it's electric!!

A non-floral Liberty beauty for you- the tried and true primaries plus black and white palette is very satisfying. I love the movement in this pattern- it’s electric!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before I was involved in Repeat(ed), I was woefully under-informed about the quilting fabric scene- and I have learned a TON about the various manufacturers making fabric for quilters these days. I just read Kaffe Fassett’s autobiography, Dreaming in Colour- a total page turner, highly recommended- and I love many of his quilting fabrics for the UK company Westminster/Rowan. I am drawn to his colour palette- the hot pinks and rich reds are pretty irresistible.

i love the hot colours and the jam-packedness of this design

Persian Vase: i love the hot colours and the jam-packedness of this design

Such a spring-y palette and great forms too

Palm Fan: Such a spring-y palette and great forms too

this one is so saturated and scorching- sign me up!

Oriental Trees: this one is so saturated and scorching- sign me up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I  like a lot of Japanese fabrics available to quilters, my main go-to for these is superbuzzy.com- their books and crafty kits are off the charts too. Heaven. Here are some of the Japanese fabrics I’m eyeing at the moment…

Kasuri - Sakura - Indigo: I really love the indigo and the look of a stencil in this very traditional pattern

Kasuri – Sakura – Indigo:
I really love the indigo and the look of a stencil in this very traditional pattern

kimo-tangerine: I love the colours in this one, and the bold graphic quality

kimo-tangerine:
I love the colours in this one, and the bold graphic quality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also admire individual designers including the judges of this competition! One of the major factors that motivated me to apply was the incredible line up of talent in the judge pool- even in my quilt world ignorance I was aware of Amy Butler ‘s luscious fabrics and patterns, as well Kim Kight, her awesome blog, True Up, and her really useful book A Field Guide to Fabric Design.

I’m not a huge fan of the holiday-themed fabrics on the market. Santa, pumpkins, witches and easter bunnies… just not my cup of tea. I like to keep an open mind though and I love being surpised by something I thought I wouldn’t like. We did this amazing exercise once when I was in my first year of art college, where we chose two colours that we did not like together. I chose baby blue and beige. Then we all talked about what we liked about our choices. My friend Lisa said mine reminded her of the sand and the sky and in that moment I LOVED that colour combo, and I have ever since- and I always think about this when I react negatively to a pattern or colour palette. It’s so cool how re-framing something can change how we feel about it.

As far as my pattern designs go, I think my work fits in best with the smaller design houses, like Cloud9 or Echino,

Cloud9 Seven Seas: Love the graphic simplicity of this pattern, and the colours too!

Cloud9 Seven Seas:
Love the graphic simplicity of this pattern, and the colours too!

Cloud9 Simpatico: i like the broken geometric a lot and the muted tones are pretty nice too. it's about the pink for me!

Cloud9 Simpatico:
i like the broken geometric a lot and the muted tones are pretty nice too. it’s about the pink for me!

Echino: Cherry: I love the colours and the contrast between detail and silhouette in this piece

Echino: Cherry:
I love the colours and the contrast between detail and silhouette in this piece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I also think Alexander Henry could be a good fit.

Broome Street Blossom: I love the shades of red against this steely blue, and of course the twinkly nature of these little blooms!

AH Broome Street Blossom:
I love the shades of red against this steely blue, and of course the twinkly nature of these little blooms!

Urban Garden: I am really drawn to the primary palette at the moment- with some neutrals thrown in for good measure.

AH Urban Garden:
I am really drawn to the primary palette at the moment- with some neutrals thrown in for good measure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Generally I find my style fits best in the European or Japanese (kawaii!) manufacturing scene. Here are a few examples of my work over at Spoonflower…

Park: Toronto I love blue and pink together- especially as a mother of boys! Let EVERYONE wear pink please! And blue too!

kateaustindesigns: Park: Toronto
I love blue and pink together- especially as a mother of boys! Let EVERYONE wear pink please! And blue too!

 

Skyscraper: Montreal La belle ville- I love cities- there are patterns everywhere!

Skyscraper: Montreal
La belle ville- I love cities- there are patterns everywhere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vine: Spring The seasons are a constant source of inspiration to me- right now spring is on my mind!

Vine: Spring
The seasons are a constant source of inspiration to me- right now spring is on my mind!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have learned so much about the vibrant contemporary quilting world in these last couple of months and now more than ever I wish I had 300 extra hours in a week JUST for sewing… Hope you have enjoyed my musings!! Happy quilting!!!!

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2 comments on “Kate’s Musings on Quilts and Quilting Fabric

  1. Aisha on said:

    very much nice effort by you…… keep it up.

  2. That original lanky is wonderful! Thanks for introducing me to some really nice new fabrics I didn’t know about, Kate!

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