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!

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!

Fall Lectures and Shows

The summer is winding down, our overnight temperatures are cooler, the days are getting shorter, and kids are heading back to school.  As the fall begins, the KayLynn Designs schedule of lectures and teaching is ramping up.   September begins with Kathryn making a visit to the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT (near Burlington) to accompany a quilt that is being donated to their collection.  The quilt was made in Plattsburg, NY in 1933 and won 3rd place in a Regional Competition that led to it being exhibited at the Chicago World’s Fair.  The family making the donation wanted to have it placed in a collection that could be seen by more people and a facility that could care for it properly.  The Shelburne Museum was our first choice because of its proximity to Plattsburg and the quality of their textiles department and displays.  Anyone interested in quilt history should make a trip to the Shelburne when you are in the area.  Check out their website www.shelburnemuseum.org. We will have a great day.  

KayLynn Designs Kathryn Greenwold Burgoyne Surrounded Quilt Pattern

On September 17th Kathryn will travel to the Wiltwyck Quilters Guild meeting in Lake Katrine, NY.  Doors open at 9:30 AM and the meeting begins at 10.  Kathryn will be presenting her trunk show, The Quilts of Upstate New York.  The lecture is accompanied by a trunk show of Kathryn’s collection of New York state quilts - both old and new.  Guild members are encouraged to bring in their quilts that were or may have been made in New York State.  This always adds a great deal to everyone’s experience.  By the way, their show, Quilts in the Valley will be held October 8 & 9, 2016 at Rondout Valley Intermediate School, 122 Kyserike Road, Accord, NY.  For more information, check out their website.  

KayLynn Designs Courses Our Class, Signs of Life, is based on this book of the same title by Angeles Arrien. Visit www.kaylynndesign.com

Later in the month Kathryn will be teaching at Gloversville Sewing Center (www.gloversvillesewingcenter.com) in Gloversville, NY.  On September 22 she will teach Signs of Life: Quilts as Meditation.  This workshop explores 5 universal symbols and leads the participants in a personal exploration of their meaning.  This workshop was inspired by the book, Signs of Life, by Angeles Arrien.  Each participant will then make an individualized wall hanging or meditation mandala based on 3 of the 5 symbols.  On the 24th she will lead the workshop, Impressionist Landscape.  Beginning with a landscape photograph, participants will create a small art quilt using small bits of fabric, as the Impressionist painters used small brush strokes.  Go to the GSC website for more information and to sign up for either of these workshops.  

KayLynn Designs Impressionist Landscape Workshop www.kaylynndesign.com

Last, but certainly not least, Kathryn and Lynn will be participating in the Quilters United In Learning Together-Schenectady (www.quiltschenectady.org) Autumn Inspiration Show on October 1 & 2 at Proctor’s Theater (www.proctors.org) in downtown Schenectady.  For more information, contact us at info@kaylynndesign.com.  KayLynn Designs will be vending and both Lynn and Kathryn have quilts in the show.  More than 200 quilts will be exhibited and over 20 vendors are scheduled to participate.  Come see KayLynn in the lower level of Proctors.  

Maple Leaf Table Runner For fun, on September 16 Kathryn will be doing some ice dyeing with a local art quilt group.  Watch for pictures of our end results in our next post!  

One more announcement we would like to make is that we will be launching our first Mystery Quilt Weekend this winter. It will be on online, interactive event complete with tutorials, videos, and a private discussion group for participants! Keep an eye on our Facebook Group for details about the event!

Give Your Creative Juices a Shot of Inspiration

Renew, Refresh, and Relax This Summer

Summer is a time for vacations, visiting family, gardening, relaxing and quilt shows! Some of my favorite vacation memories are of when we were on Cape Cod, Washington, DC, or traveling through Indiana on our way to Chicago, and stumbled across quilt shows. My family was indulgent and let me stop to see the quilts. It has always struck me how different regions of the country foster different quilts. The trends in piecing or appliqué are unique, even in this day and age of internet communication.

KayLynn Designs

August 6th & 7th, Lynn and I will travel to Lake Luzerne, NY for the Hudson River Piecemakers Quilt Show. I have judged this show since 2008 and always look forward to seeing their newest creations. KayLynn will be vending throughout the show. I am offering appraisals and I will present my lecture, “Don’t Throw It Out – Save That Quilt!” Repair and restoration techniques are presented and I will demonstrate some methods for giving a quilt a few more years of life. Some quilts cannot be saved, but often they can be reproduced, so we will also talk about how to create a new “old” quilt. There is a per quilt fee for appraisals that will be shared with the guild. Contact us to schedule an appraisal or for more information.

The Hudson River Piecemakers have members from throughout the east/central Adirondack Region, bringing their own distinct style and techniques to us in this show. It’s only an hour from Albany and well worth the trip.

Summer is also a time for county and state fairs. Lynn and I were at the Saratoga County Fair last week for a book signing. Several local authors were participating and we were in the Home Arts Building. All the quilts from this year’s Fair were hung from the rafters above us and we were surrounded by paintings, garments, photographs, embroidery, hooked rugs and other craft and art items. It was a wonderful two days sharing our quilt patterns and books. If you can’t make it to Lake Luzerne, find a show or fair close to where you live or while on vacation. See what other quilters are doing. You will come home refreshed and inspired to get back into your own quilt projects, or to start some new ones!

Peace,

Kathryn

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!