Monday, July 28, 2014

Approaching Half A Million………

When I started this blog I had no idea how long I’d be doing it. I didn’t know if anyone would be interested in reading it.

Well sometime today or tomorrow I will be hitting half a million views of my blog.

I’ve talked about my quilts, color, my family, my activities, and anything else I want to keep a record of.

In reality it has become my diary that I share with anyone who wants to read it.

I am going to do a rerun of the first week of posts.

If you look carefully at these posts you will see there are some quilts that still aren’t finished.

You also may notice there has been a new direction with the work I am currently doing.

I am no longer teaching quilting or giving programs. I devote my time to my own work. I am finishing many of my works in progress and starting a few new ones along the way.

I’m also a few years older and happy to still be making art.

UPDATE: About 1 p.m. on July 29, 2014 I reached 500,000 views of my blog!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bolt of Color

This is a quilt which few people have seen. I have never exhibited it because it was sold right off my design wall within hours after I finished it.

The center section was painted with Procion dye. Fabric paint was applied over the dyed painted fabric to emphasize the shapes.
The fabric I used for the border was left from a larger piece I had dyed for another project. I was able to blur the division between center and border by carefully cutting the border so the colors blended together.
It is machine quilted. I used an iridescent thread to quilt lines to define the shapes.
Each section was then quilted with a unique design to emphasize the shape.

By clicking on either photo you can see a close up and the detail of some of the quilting.

Posted by Kay Koeper Sorensen at 9:36 PM 2 comments:

Labels: Fabric I dyed

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Multitasking Big Time

I spent this evening watching football, watching the Emmy Awards, monitoring incoming mail on my computer, writing this blog and finishing another one of my show quilts.
Since the football game and the Emmy Awards were on at the same time I was queen of the remote control with the aid of Tivo.
The game is over and now I'll finish watching the Emmy Awards.
It is always such a great feeling when I finish a quilt. It means I can move it to my finished list.

This is a section of the quilt that I showed you the prototype for.
I dyed all the fabrics for this quilt. Much of it is various types of shibori dye.
It is one of the June quilts that will be in my January-March 2009 show.
My solo show will include The Colors Of My Life series and my June series.

Posted by Kay Koeper Sorensen at 9:39 PM 2 comments:

Labels: Fabric I dyed, Quilts: Another Dimension, Shibori

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Introducing my studio assistant

How many times have you said "If I had a studio assistant I could accomplish so much more?"
I am very fortunate to have had a studio assistant for almost a quarter of a century and she does help me a lot.
I was glad to have her around today as I finished the quilting on another one of the quilts for my upcoming show.
One important thing when choosing a studio assistant is to find someone who does not expect you to talk to them all the time.
I also prefer someone who is a quilter themselves.
I don't feel they must have the same quilting style as I do, but they must be passionate about their quilting.
They have to be able to stay on task without your constantly telling them what to do.
She is not easily distracted. A few years ago my then 2 year old granddaughter thought my assistant was unfriendly. Heidi looked up at her and said "Hi!"
When my assistant didn't even answer her she got the strangest look on her face.
A positive attitude is another important atribute.
She never expresses a negative opinion not matter what I do.
She has never put things in a place that I can't find them.
She is older than I am so I can draw on her wisdom.
I would like to introduce you to my studio assistant.

She has a few more wrinkles than I do as you can see in her close-up.

"Quilting Granny" by Sara Baker 1984

Posted by Kay Koeper Sorensen at 7:14 PM 1 comment:

Labels: Studio

Friday, September 19, 2008

Amish Southwest Fusion

I love the simplicity and the colors of Amish quilts.
The use of dark or dull colors along with the clear brights is what makes those Amish quilts sing.
I find the Southwest a very inspirational place to visit.
I put the two loves together in this quilt and added prairie points for an unexpected accent.
The unexpected makes a good quilt great.
The simple diagonal quilting on the black background complements the quilting in the ditch in the pieced area.

Posted by Kay Koeper Sorensen at 10:20 PM No comments:

Labels: My original technique

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Eight Pointed Star for One Armed Quilter

Several years ago I was unable to use my left arm and was in considerable pain. I was not recovering and the pain medication was not doing it's job. I knew that doing something positive could help the healing process.
When I couldn't sleep I got up at 4 a.m. and thought about making a Lone Star quilt with strips I had already cut. I went to the computer and using the first colors on the palette designed a Lone Star.
I pulled out my box of strips and with one arm began sewing them together. As I did each step, I noticed I was improving enough to do the next step.
After making all the points I looked through my fabric collection and finally found the perfect fabric to finish the quilt.
After completing the first quilt top I realized I had the same background print in another color way.

I created this Broken Star using this fabric as my inspiration
I wanted to do this with a fabric that did not have a quarter circle design.

This quilt was done with a fabric with a linear color striation.
I will be teaching my Eight Pointed Star for One Armed Quilter at the Lighthouse Quilt Guild in Racine, Wisconsin on Monday September 29, 2008.

I will also be doing my lecture "Creating Spectacular Quilts" for them that evening.

Posted by Kay Koeper Sorensen at 7:16 PM 9 comments:

Labels: My original technique

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I love Shibori!

I did this prototype for a larger shibori piece. The larger piece is one of my show quilts.
The shibori fabrics talk to me and tell me what to do with them.
Prototypes also give me a chance to test quilting designs and quilting threads.
You can click on the photo to see the detail of the quilting.
A successful prototype stands on it's own as a finished work of art.

Posted by Kay Koeper Sorensen at 9:55 PM 1 comment:

Labels: Fabric I dyed, Shibori

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cubic Jubilee

This quilt is made from hand dyed fabrics. Even the black is hand dyed. Obtaining a deep dark black with Procion dyes is not the easiest thing to do as most dyers will attest to.
I did not dye the fabrics for this quilt.
It is 51 inches square.

Posted by Kay Koeper Sorensen at 11:28 PM 1 comment:

Labels: hand dyed fabric., My original design

Monday, September 15, 2008

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again

This quilt started out as a strip pieced quilt shading from roses through blues.
It then was cut into a curve shape and sewn together to create a new design.
It DIDN'T work. It was so bad I don't even have a photo of the original.
I had put a lot of time in it and I knew it was salvageable.
Step 1: I cut it into diagonal squares.
Step 2: I added one inch black strips between each square.
Step 3: I added a plain black border and some leftover piecing from the original strata to the left of the quilt.
It needed more.
Step 4: I went to my fabric collection and found a large tropical print. I cut pieces from it and laid them on the quilt in a pleasing arrangement. I appliqued them to the quilt.
It still needed something.
I spied the leftover pieces that resulted when I cut the original strata into the curve shape.
Step 5: I laid them on the quilt and VOILA - that was it!

Posted by Kay Koeper Sorensen at 11:39 PM 3 comments:

Labels: Quilting Problems

Quilts for the Millennium

I sometimes introduce myself by saying "My name is Kay, - I don't do bed quilts - Sorensen.
I made an exception to that for the Millennium. I made a king size charm quilt for each of my 8 grandchildren.
Each quilt has 2000 different fabrics with a Millennium Border Print.
I traded fabric with over 350 people from around the world to do the project.
The grandchildren are only allowed to sleep under them on New Year's Eve or other special occasions. Each quilt is accompanied by a Journal so they can record their activities, photos and share where they were each time they use the quilts.
They were started in April 1999 and finished on December 15, 1999.
This would not have been possible if I had not had Sandy Schilawski of Green Bay, Wisconsin quilt them. She did a fantastic job and I really appreciated it.
No one was more amazed than me that I finished all 8 in that period of time!
The photo shows only 1 quilt but there are REALLY 8 - each with different borders and backings, but all with similar color layouts.

Posted by Kay Koeper Sorensen at 1:04 AM 11 comments:

Labels: family, Millennium quilts

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Journey is the quilt you see on my header.
It is 18.5 x 320 inches.
It is made from hand dyed fabrics using reds, oranges and yellows alternating with blacks and shades of gray on one side.
The other side is greens, golds and yellows alternating with browns, tans and beiges.
Two years ago when doing some redecorating I realized I could hang it in an archway between my sunroom and kitchen.
This proved to be the perfect place to hang the quilt so you can appreciate both sides.

Posted by Kay Koeper Sorensen at 7:48 PM 1 comment:

Labels: My original technique

My Colorful Quilts

I love to create quilts - large quilts, small quilts, miniature quilts, art quilts, quilts made from fabric I've dyed or painted or both, odd shaped quilts, long quilts, three dimensional quilts, embellished quilts, post card quilts, altered playing card quilts, fused quilts, pieced quilts, appliqued quilts, hand quilted quilts, machine quilted quilts, even an occasional bed quilt.
What do they all have in common?
Think about the first quilt you remember seeing that impressed you.
How do you describe it?
Probably the first word you use is the color name.
We see the color of a quilt before we see the pattern or the workmanship.
I will be sharing some of the quilts I've made with you. I hope you enjoy them.


Deb said...

I love your blog! I don't always get to read every post as I'm a busy grandmother helping to take care of grandchildren. But when I'm trolling around for quilting or dying inspiration your blog is always my go to place! As for the info on the quilt on your header. I've always wondered about that piece. I think it's my absolute favorite of yours and I could stare at it for the longest time. It's comforting and interesting all at the same time and to me that's a perfect blend of quilts. Thanks for being so very diligent with your blogging!

The Inside Stori said...

Thank you for the walk down memory lane.....very enjoyable as it always is seeing and learning from your creativity and skill.