Monday, August 5, 2013


I've been attending classes at Quilting by the Lake in upstate NY for more than 15 years (not consecutively).  My first class was taken when the program was at its first site in Cazenovia, NY.  Since then it has moved to Morrisville, NY and finally to its present location near Syracuse (where thankfully the dorms and classrooms are air conditioned).  Not so at the previous locations and sometimes it could be brutally hot.

Well, not to blather on...this year I could only attend for two days because of family obligations back home.  The class I took was Fractured and the instructor was Kathy Doughty of Material Obsessions in Australia.  I've been following her blog and purchasing BOM's from her shop for many years and was overjoyed that she was teaching at QBL this year.  Kathy, and her delightful friends/employees had been in the US for about a month during which time she taught at the quilt show in Sisters, Oregon and City Quilter in NYC.  QBL was her last stop in her schedule.  Lucky us--she had not run out of energy by this time.

This class was great!  And Kathy is such a great teacher.  Even more than working on the project and enjoying everyone else's projects, I came away with a new found desire to do my own work, listen to my own inner voice.  She is an inspirational teacher!  And she has a great sense of humor.  This class was a joy.   Don't ever miss taking a class with her.

Back to my work.  In following Kathy's blog and seeing photos of the quilts she makes, I was determined to try to mix contemporary fabrics with more traditional ones.  The above photo is my quilt in progress.  I chose to work with Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the more prominent pieces.  Originally I wanted to use all Kaffe but struggled with finding combinations I found successful.  I may have to resort to my stash for non-Kaffe.  My idea is to have more predominantly blues diagonally on the left side running to reds and oranges on the right side.
Trying to get a gradual change is tough.  I may have to go and buy more fabric (what a shame!).   I still don't think I've captured the ability to combine traditional with more contemporary in a more consistent manner, but if I'm following Kathy's advice I am listening to my own voice and doing what pleases me.   I will continue to attempt to do that but for this quilt it's a struggle for me.  Originally I thought I could finish it more quickly but I see that is not to be the case.  So it's going to be on my design wall while I search for better transition fabrics.  I live in an area where traditional quilting fabrics are more the norm so I'll be internet searching or hopefully find some that will work at the Pennsylvania Extravaganza near Philly in Sept.

Please be sure to check out Kathy's blog and her website.  Her block of the month programs are designed by Kathy and other Australian well-known quilts and are spectacular.  And get yourself a copy of her book Making Quilts which has been newly published by C&T and is available now in an all English version.

Sorry this has been such a long post.  I hope you get a chance to visit her blog.  Her latest entry shows photos of our class and other students' work.   You'll see how different--and great--everyone's is.


  1. That must have been such a fun experience. I've seen a few other posts, including Kathy's, where all the students and their quilts are showcased and they are all wonderful, but so different from one another. I got the book on your recommendation and am ready to start one of the quilts in it. Can't decide yet between Fractured or Red Center, although they both use the same technique. We'll see. Anyway, I get exactly what you are saying about the combination of traditional and contemporary and think it might be a bit of a challenge for me too. That's just not how we were taught to use fabrics here in the states. I love the way the Aussie quilters combine their fabrics... it's an art unto itself! Good luck... you've got a great start! And, btw, you look terrific in the video and photos I've seen.

    1. Thanks. I needed a hair cut. And you're right--the Australians do have a different outlook on combining fabrics. I'm continuing to struggle. Trying not to buy more fabric but think I'll have to if I want this to work the way I want. It's a shame, isn't it? Ha!


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