Signs of Life

This week has marked the definite change of seasons.  It’s getting cold enough to frost overnight and it snowed and sleeted today.  We’ve brought in all the plants that I want to winter over and put the hoses away.  The wind has blown most of the leaves down, so raking will be our next task.  And we’ve been watching the Cubs and Indians (go Cubbies!) playing in the World Series.  It must be fall.  

The teaching schedule is winding down a bit too.  But the good news is that with the change of season, there will be more time to spend at home sewing.  I’m beginning to work on some new patterns including a Mystery Quilt Weekend that KayLynn Designs will host online this winter.  Sign up for our newsletter to get updates about the Mystery Quilt Weekend and watch for details in future posts. 

At times like this I also spend time reading and exploring new ideas.  Something that has interested me throughout my artistic explorations is the influence of culture and tradition on my art.  We have strong traditions in quilting that came to the United States from all over the world.  Many of our favorite quilting patterns involve spirals and circles.  Our pieced blocks are dominated by squares, triangles, and circles and many of the block patterns form an “X” pattern, diamonds, squares, or circles.  Have you ever wondered why?  

signs-of-life-cover-1

One of those books I picked up during a “down” time was Signs of Life: The Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them, by social anthropologist, Angeles Arrien.  What I learned was that there are simple graphic design elements that throughout time and across cultures have carried with them similar meaning.  Those designs are the circle, square, triangle, spiral, and equidistant cross.  My workshop, Signs of Life, is based on this idea.  Dr. Arrien’s study of these universal shapes will help you understand why there are certain patterns you are drawn to, or that you find easier to work with than others.  

Join us at the Gloversville Sewing Center in Saratoga Springs on Thursday, November 3rd for Signs of Life.  We will look at these universal shapes and what they mean within our quilting traditions.  Each participant will then create an individualized wall hanging based on their understanding of these design elements.  For more information and to sign up for the workshop, go to the GSC Website.  Past participants in this workshop have created both art quilts and traditional designs.  It’s open to any skill level – you will be able to design something within your quilting comfort zone.  Come explore and learn a little about why you quilt the way you do.  Hope to see you there!

Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven

The New Book from KayLynn Designs!

KayLynn Designs new book, Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven 2016 Quilt Pattern Book
KayLynn Designs new book, Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven 2016 Quilt Pattern Book

We are excited to announce the release of our second book, Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven, available today in the KayLynn Designs Store!In our first book, Amish Shadows, Light Reflected, we used the traditional Amish Shadows block to create 10 new settings.For this book, instead of using one block, we have worked with a group of blocks that have similarities, but have many different names and color/fabric placement options.The best known of these blocks are Jacob’s Ladder and Road to California.But there are Roads to Oregon, Paris, Chicago, Ohio, Oklahoma, and St. Louis, just to name a few.The Roads to Chicago and St. Louis block names came from the World’s Fairs held in those two cities.Most of the other “Road To” names came from our national migration east to west, first to Ohio, then the Midwest and finally the West Coast.

Almost as soon as our first book, Amish Shadows Light Reflected, was published, we began working on this project. A number of ideas were explored, inspired by an antique Jacob’s Ladder quilt Kathryn found in an antique shop.We played with various blocks and Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven began to take form. Jacob’s Ladder and the many different “Roads to...” designs provided opportunities to modernize, resize, and collaborate to create the 11 Projects included.

The blocks are simple in construction using Square, 4-Patch and Half-Square units.We have enjoyed our exploration of these blocks and hope you are inspired as well.We encourage all of you to play with the blocks and create some new settings on your own.

Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven Quilt Pattern Book by Kaylynn Designs - Railroad Crossing - Design by Lynn R. Makrin
Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven Quilt Pattern Book by Kaylynn Designs - Railroad Crossing - Design by Lynn R. Makrin

The KayLynn partnership took on new meaning for the Projects in this book. Half of the designs were create by Kathryn and half by Lynn. Each of us had different ideas, making this book richer in content and broader in creative possibilities.

Kathryn and Lynn would like to thank Mary McNamara, Mary Ellen Tardiff, Mary Albers, Deb Kreifels, Lynn Lauzon-Russom, Cara Molyneaux, Lee Poremba, Eileen McNabb, Noel Payton and Carrie LaCroix-Pan for testing our patterns and creating many of the beautiful quilts pictured in the book. Thanks also to Eileen and Tom McCabe and Kathie Lutz who edited the patterns, Barb and Steve Rothe who lent us their home for photography, and Melanie Markham who did the final layout for the book. Without these wonderful people's hard work, creativity, and artistry, the book would not have been possible! 

Please contact us at info@kaylynndesign.com if you are interested in booking the Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven Workshop where we walk through block construction and design options!