A New Year

I have never been able to keep a New Year’s Resolution, so I never make them.  But I do start each year with a desire to learn something new – to do something I’ve never done before.  That doesn’t mean I’ll go rock climbing or sky diving.  But I will experiment a little with new quilting techniques, develop some new patterns, and lead workshops for new shops and guilds.

In addition, this spring, our grand-daughter has decided to move close to us and begin her college work here in Schenectady.  We will be helping her get established and find her way in a new place and new endeavors.  It’s an exciting time, to see her blossom as an adult and begin her studies in Social Work.  

KayLynn Designs will be hosting its first Mystery Quilt Weekend next month!  We will launch in the next week or so.  You will be able to sign up and then download yardage requirements and cutting instructions so you can be ready to sit down and sew all weekend.  The quilt is a new KayLynn design.  You have the option of completing it in Twin or Throw sizes.  The piecing is simple, traditional and it lends itself to many color combinations.  

The Mystery will be unveiled during President’s Day weekend, February 18-20.  Watch Facebook and the website for the formal launch announcement and I hope you will join us for this challenging and enjoyable weekend.  

Other events and workshops are also coming up in February and March.   

In February, in addition to our Mystery Weekend, Kathryn will lead a small group in ways to use ombré fabrics for quilts.  A variety of possibilities will be explored.  It’s an exciting prospect – we will go into it with fabrics in hand and not be certain of what the end result will be, but I’m confident some wonderful quilts and wall hangings will be created.

On February 26 Lynn and Kathryn will be at Pookie’s Fabrics in Troy, NY.  Call or go online at www.pookiesfabric.com to sign up for Italian Tile (one of the patterns from our book, Amish Shadows Light Reflected).  Spaces are still available in the class.  If you haven’t been to Pookie’s yet, stop by sometime soon.  They have a wide variety of fabrics including landscape, children’s prints, wide backings and African prints that are wonderful.  

On March 6 we will present the lecture, Quilts in Upstate New York at the QUILT North Guild meeting in Clifton Park, NY.  This is a walk through the last 150 years of quilting in New York State.  

Kathryn will teach Pathway to Friendship (a pattern from our book, Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven) for QUILT North on Tuesday, March 7.  Go to their website, www.quiltnorth.org for more information or to sign up for the workshop.  

Try something new this winter – a new technique, take a class from a different instructor, add some embroidery to your next quilt – or do something completely different.  Perhaps some of you might try rock climbing or sky diving.  Let us know if you do!  

Upcoming Classes & Shows

It’s the second week of October and the leaves are in full color, especially up in the Adirondacks.One of the joys of living where we do is being able to take a short drive and see such natural beauty.The color is inspiring.And, so when I head to Old Forge on the western edge of the Adirondack Park, I will not be thinking about the fact that we might have frost tonight.I’ll be thinking more about the color, the wonder of nature and how thankful I am for living in such a place as upstate New York.No, I don’t love the three foot snow falls, but most of the year it is a great place to be. 

Kathryn will be at View Gallery in Old Forge (www.viewarts.org) to serve as the awards juror for Quilts Unlimited, an annual show the gallery has hosted for a number of years.The quilts were juried into the show, and now I am honored to award cash prizes to the best of the best included.I will also be presenting my talk, “Cleaning Up the Leftovers” which is my take on what to do with UFO’s and the leftovers we seem to always have following the completion of a quilt project.It will include a trunk show of some of my solutions – from notecards to bed size quilts, with many art quilts along the way.A luncheon is also offered.To sign up for the luncheon and lecture, go to their website (link above) and sign up.In addition I will be offering private quilt appraisals from 2-4 that afternoon.

My quilt Autumn Breezes is a result of “cleaning up the leftovers” and is included in the Quilts Unlimited exhibit at View.The central rectangle was made in a workshop where I learned to do reverse appliqué “mola” style.It sat around for several years before I set it with the Marimekko fabrics leftover from a pair of curtains I made.I then hand quilted it. 

In addition to Quilts Unlimited, View also has an exhibit of Log Cabin Quilts including traditional, contemporary, and deconstructed quilts running through the end of October.Join us this weekend, enjoy the drive to Old Forge and see the creative efforts of many talented quilters from around the country. 

miniature-garden-pathway

During the rest of October Lynn and I will be teaching at Gloversville Sewing Center in both Gloversville and Saratoga Springs, NY, and at Pookie’s Fabrics in Troy, NY.At GSC I’ll be teaching Roads to Everywhere, Ladders to Heaven in Gloversville, and Hand Quilting at the Saratoga Springs shop.More information is available on their website.On October 26 at Pookie’s, Lynn and I will present our lecture Amish Shadows Light Reflected, based on our first book, with a trunk show of the quilts from the book.I will be teaching a class based on the book on Thursday evening and Saturday during the day.To sign up for any of these events contact Charlie at Pookie's

Both the Amish Shadows and Roads to Everywhere classes are based on the designs in our books.Each student is asked to purchase a copy of the book, but then they are able to choose the project they want to work on – large or small – beginner or advanced.Yardage and tools needed for each project are listed in the book, so you have all the information you need to take the workshop. 

We hope to see you at these upcoming events!

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!

Get to know the Artists!

By Kathryn Greenwold kathie and lynn at showLynn and I have been friends for about 10 years and have collaborated on two quilt pattern books.  Our creative partnership works because in many ways we are the same.  We are inspired by the world around us, find joy in life, work for peace and justice within our community, and are devoted to our family and friends.  However, it also seems to work at least in part because we are so different in our approaches to quilting.  Lynn focuses on precision, paper piecing, miniatures, and details.  I love traditional quilting, but rarely focus on precision piecing.  I especially enjoy the freedom of art quilting, use of non-traditional materials, and experimenting with new ideas.  We balance each other which keeps it real for both of us.  

Lynn and I decided we wanted to share a little more about ourselves and our approach to quilting.  So far on this website we have mainly shared images from our books and patterns, but we have each made a plethora of quilts, wall hangings, and textile art which reflect who we are as individuals and as artists.  

KayLynn Designs Kathryn Greenwold Sol Art Quilt

"My quilts, patterns, and textile art span a wide range of styles.  I still love to make traditional quilts with the challenge of recreating a part of our quilt history.  In contrast, I love to work with unusual art materials and textiles making art quilts and framed textile pieces.  The freedom of design is exciting.  I have always been interested in space exploration, geology, and landscapes.  Much of my creative inspiration comes from these interests.  Sol pictured to the left is my response to the paintings of Sol LeWitt.  I used 20 pre-cut solid fabric strips for the colors.  The challenge in designing this quilt was calculating the angle for cutting.

KayLynn Designs Kathryn Greenwold Burgoyne Surrounded Quilt Pattern

Burgoyne Surrounded was my first published pattern.  I streamlined the piecing to make this tedious traditional pattern easier to piece and more accurate in block construction.

As I have explored the history of quilts and quilting, I took the AQS Appraisal Skills Course and apprenticed myself to one of the Certified Appraisers for a period of 3 years.  I also studied judging quilts through the NQA program.  I now offer appraisal and judging services as well as teaching, designing, writing, and custom quilting.  

KayLynn Designs Kathryn Greenwold Pine Bush Forest Floor Art Quilt Mixed Media

The work, Pine Bush Forest Floor, is one of a series of forest floors I have made using cotton, wool and silk rovings, real lichens and bark, handmade flowers and leaves, bark paper and other found objects.  They are made to be laid on a table or floor, as if you are looking down at the forest floor.  The elements included here were inspired by the Pine Bush, a unique habitat in the Albany, NY area that is home to the Blue Karner butterfly and other rare flora and fauna. "

Read more about Kathryn in her Bio on the About Page.

And now let's hear from Lynn on her personal approach!

"In 8th Grade I made my own dress for the graduation ceremony. Since then sewing has always been my hobby. Quilting, however, came to me in a blizzard, when the school where I was teaching in Hoboken, New Jersey was closed for an entire week. It was then I learned about the power of creation using little bits of fabric scraps and a plan, however simple. In these 20 years since then, I have taught both music education and quilting to students of all ages and skill levels.

KayLynn Designs Lynn Reynolds Makrin FLW Frank Lloyd Wright inspired set of small quilts

My recent focus has been on collaboration within the arts. Any time two or more work together on a project, great things are bound to happen. Working with Kathryn on our books and the development of KayLynn Designs has led to greater creativity in my designs. The results have been not only fun, but also added to my feeling that “the possibilities are endless” when it comes to artistic collaboration.

For my personal projects, I often draw inspiration from art and architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright’s windows were the inspiration FLW, a pair of small quilts.  Stained glass and the work of artists like Dale Chihuly often inform my design ideas.   Miniature quilts are one of my passions.  It’s a challenge to take a standard pattern and make it smaller.  It also allows me to be “green” by using up leftovers from other projects in these small creations.  

KayLynn Designs Lynn Reynolds Makrin Petite NY Beauty Miniature Quilt

To the right is a miniature New York Beauty that was inspired by the Schenectady (NY) guild’s raffle quilt one year which was a standard size New York Beauty.  Note the tape measure (12”) on the left hand side of this picture.  Each block is about 2” square and over 150 tiny pieces were pieced to create this quilt.  

For this next quilt, the "squiggles" technique was learned from a local art quilter in the winter of 2011.

Seven

Layers of fabric are sewn with a free-hand drawn design and then cut away to reveal the gorgeous colors below.  The piece was completed with appliqué fibers sewn to cover the seams and free-motion quilting to accent the other design elements. This technique leaves lots of room for creativity and surprise."

To learn more about Lynn, visit her bio on the About Page.

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!