The Mystery (Quilt) is Solved!

A stack of blocks created by Mystery Quilt Participant, Melody R.

A stack of blocks created by Mystery Quilt Participant, Melody R.

This last weekend KayLynn Designs hosted its first Mystery Quilt Weekend. It was great fun. We met some new people, made new quilting friends, and watched the quilts develop through the various stages of the mystery. One participant said she enjoyed the weekend very much and especially appreciated the fact that the pattern was less complex than some mystery quilts she’s done before. She was able to get each step done within the time framed allowed. Here are some pictures of how the quilts evolved.

Thanks to all who participated and we hope you with sign up when we do it again!

Kathryn has designed several Mystery Quilts for the QUILTSchenectady (NY) Guild, but this is her first online mystery. In the pictures you can see how different each person’s quilt is depending on the fabrics chosen. It’s always exciting to see what other quilters choose to work with – they are all beautiful!

A row from the Mystery Quilt assembled from Lynn Makrin.

A row from the Mystery Quilt assembled from Lynn Makrin.

The finished Mystery Quilt top, Garden Maze by Kathryn Greenwold

The finished Mystery Quilt top, Garden Maze by Kathryn Greenwold

The pattern name is Garden Maze and it will soon be available in our shop. You won’t have to wait to see what the next step is, although that’s always been what I enjoyed about a Mystery Quilt. 

The snow is receding a bit and spring finally seems to be just around the corner. And, with that, we are going to be busy in the coming months. Next Sunday, February 26, Kathryn and Lynn will be leading a workshop at Pookie’s Fabrics in Troy, NY. The focus of our workshop is Italian Tile, from our first book, Amish Shadows Light Reflected. Space is still available in the workshop. If you do not want to begin a queen size bed quilt, you are welcome to choose any quilt from the book to work on during the workshop. Because all of the basic construction is the same for the patterns in the book, we are able to assist you in the project you would like to work on. Call the shop (518-272- 6479) or go visit their website to sign up. Signed copies of the book are available at the shop or from Lynn and Kathryn.

On March 6th and & 7th we will be at QUILT North, Clifton Park, NY. Monday evening, the 6th , at 7 PM, we will present the lecture, Quilts in Upstate New York which includes a trunk show of antique and contemporary quilts from around the state in addition to Lynn and Kathryn’s own creations inspired by the history and diverse quilting traditions in this part of the country. On the 7th , Kathryn will lead the workshop, Pathway to Friendship, which is one of the quilts in our second book, Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven. As with the Amish Shadows workshop, if you do not want to tackle a bed size quilt, you may choose any project from the book to work on. For more information about QUILT North and information on how to sign up for the workshop, go to their website, www.quiltnorth.org and click on Meetings and/or Workshops at the top of the Home page. Kathryn will be teaching at Gloversville Sewing Center, at both locations (Gloversville and Saratoga, NY) during March. For more information about the classes offered and dates, go to their website. On March 27, Kathryn will travel to New Hartford, NY to lectures to the Mohawk Valley Quilt Club there. Check out their website, www.mohawkvalleyquiltclub.com for more information.

We hope to see many of you at these upcoming workshops and lectures.

Modern Quilts from Traditional Blocks

by Erica Greenwold Reisen

KayLynn Design Blog - Modern Quilts from Traditional Blocks. Learn how to take traditional quilt blocks and infuse a modern influence.

First to introduce myself, I am Erica, Kathryn's daughter and website czar of KayLynn Designs. I am trained as a Fashion Designer, but have dabbled my whole life in quilting and other textile arts. Being Kathryn's daughter meant that I was sewing by time I was 5 years old and accompanied her to many quilt shows, appraisals, and guild meetings. Even though my mom and I share a love of textiles and sewing, we often have very different opinions about aesthetics, colors, fabric choices, etc... As a kid and teen, I was more interested in making garments and costume designs than I was with quilting. I think this is in part because I didn't feel the connection to traditional quilting like my mom did.   Though, in the early 2000's, a new trend in quilt design began taking shape. One which ultimately piqued my interest and would bring me back to the art of quilting.

KayLynn Designs Blog - Modern Quilts with Traditional Blocks - "Sol" by Kathryn Greenwold

Modern Quilting is characterized by use of bright colors and prints, high contrast, solid neutral backgrounds, minimalism, and asymmetry. Many utilize traditional blocks in atypical arrangements and color pairings. Often, quilters will showcase complicated, intricate stitch-work over the neutral backgrounds.

Modern Quilting has grown in popularity largely because of social media and blogs, reaching a new generation of quilters that didn't necessarily grow up knowing how to sew or learning about traditional quilts.  You can find beautiful examples of Modern Quilting all over Instagram and Pinterest. Like modern art, Modern Quilting uses minimalism and space to communicate emotions and ideas. Younger quilters (Gen Y and the Millennials) are drawn to this style because it mirrors many elements of our values, lifestyle, fashion, interior design, architecture, etc... It is also a relatively easy style of quilting to learn, many modern quilts use simple piecing techniques such as strip-piecing or Half-Square Triangles (get your FREE Half-Square Triangle Tutorial here!).  As artists and makers, we are drawn to work that we can obsess over and lose ourselves in, but that in the end is both beautiful and functional.

KayLynn Designs' two books, Amish Shadows, Light Reflected and Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven both include designs that work marvelously as Modern Quilts.

Foundations

This quilt uses the traditional Amish Shadows block in a high contrast magenta-red ombre made from 4 tone-on-tone fabrics from Jinny Beyer set on a gray background. Kathryn drew inspiration from a crumbled building we came across on a hike when I was a child, near Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks. The remains of this woodland homestead are echoed in the asymmetrical and off-kilter placement of the blocks. Foundations invokes the Modern style through these elements. This quilt was created as a collaboration,  designed & quilted by Kathryn, and pieced by Lynn.

Modern Quilts from Traditional Blocks Blog Post from KayLynn Design. "Foundations" from the book, Amish Shadows, Light. Reflected Designed & Made by Kathryn Greenwold & Lynn Reynolds Makrin
Modern Quilts from Traditional Blocks Blog Post from KayLynn Design. "Foundations" from the book, Amish Shadows, Light. Reflected Designed & Made by Kathryn Greenwold & Lynn Reynolds Makrin

Catskill Mountainscape

Also featured in Amish Shadows, Light Reflected, Catskill Mountainscape was designed with modern influences, and also draws inspiration from traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e paintings. Important elements for both styles are the use of positive and negative space to create "Floating World" effect signature to Ukiyo-e.  Catskill Mountainscape is a perfect example of a tradititional block and inspiration being used in an innovative new style. The design is by Kathryn, and the quilt itself was made by Mary McNamara.

KayLynn Designs Blog - Modern Quilts from Traditional Patterns - "Catskill Mountainscape" Designed by Kathryn Greenwold, Pieced & Quilted by Mary McNamara
KayLynn Designs Blog - Modern Quilts from Traditional Patterns - "Catskill Mountainscape" Designed by Kathryn Greenwold, Pieced & Quilted by Mary McNamara

X Marks the Spot

This quilt was featured in Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven. What makes this a truly modern quilt is the application of pop colors set against a dark background. This quilt was made with a strip pack and layer cake from the same line of polka dot fabrics and was intentionally designed to work with the precut sets.

KayLynn Designs Blog - Modern Quilts from Traditional Blocks - "X Marks the Spot" by Kathryn Greenwold. Pattern Available in the KayLynn Designs Shop
KayLynn Designs Blog - Modern Quilts from Traditional Blocks - "X Marks the Spot" by Kathryn Greenwold. Pattern Available in the KayLynn Designs Shop

Tile

Tile is a Mondrian inspired Modern Quilt which uses a simple rectangle and strip based pattern which you can download here! Designed & made by Kathryn, this quilt channels mod style and mid-century modern elements.

KayLynn Designs Blog - Modern Quilts from Traditional Blocks - "Tile" by Kathryn Greenwold
KayLynn Designs Blog - Modern Quilts from Traditional Blocks - "Tile" by Kathryn Greenwold

Design Your Own Modern Quilt

As I mentioned before, it is not too difficult to get started with Modern Quilting. If you have never quilted before or you just like some guidelines, grab a pattern or one of the KayLynn Designs' books. When choosing fabrics, go bold and high-contrast. Choose a neutral for your background, grays, white, ivory, or black are the usual suspects. For your colors, some options to consider are ombre of one color family, brights & neons, or go full-rainbow!

KayLynn Designs Blog - Modern Quilts from Traditional Blocks - Close up of a block by Erica Greenwold Reisen

When I was starting my own Modern Quilt, using the Field & Fallow design from Amish Shadows, Light Reflected, I opted for a cool gray solid for my back ground and 4 shades of teal for my ombre. For the quilting, I replicated the design from the lightest fabric by making a paper hexagon template to trace with chalk.

The color story and design of this quilt are inspired by two of my favorite shows, The X-Files and Twin Peaks. Which I realize is probably a little strange! I have yet to finish this quilt, but when I do, I will definitely share it on the KayLynn Designs Facebook Page!

I hope that you are feeling inspired to go out and start your own Modern Quilt! If you need more inspiration, check out The Modern Quilt Guild's website and Instagram, and the Me + You Instagram! If you use a KayLynn Designs pattern for your own Modern Quilt, be sure to share photos of it in the comments or on our Facebook Page! We love to see what people come up with! Happy Sewing!

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!