Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Double Wedding Ring - anything but traditional!

No post yesterday. I was looking forward to posting about my day but when I got home after 10 p.m. I was too tired.
I taught The Eight Pointed Star For One Arm Quilter for the Lighthouse Quilt Guild yesterday. I had a fantastic very competent group of students. I can't wait to see the photos of their finished quilts. They promised they'd send pictures and when they do I'll post them here.
In the evening I did my lecture "Creating Spectacular Quilts" for the guild. The turnout was much larger than I expected. I had printed over 100 bookmarks with my contact information and the information about my upcoming solo show in January.
I was shocked when I ran out of them with a large portion of the audience not getting one.
I showed about 40 different quilts and did include 2 of my first quilts so people could see where I started - and believe me it was not even near the top!

One of the quilts I showed was this Double Wedding ring quilt. When we were planning the new addition for our house quite a few years ago I had a color scheme before I even had a final plan. I had purchased a rug that came from Peru because I fell in the love with the colors, colors I had no where in my home at the time.
They were the inspiration colors for this quilt.

This next photo shows a closeu0p of the quilting and colors. If you think you see blue lines to mark the quilting you are right. I thought if I left the markings on the quilts the quilting would show up better in photographs. I think it is time to remove them! The colors are very accurate in the close up.

Both photos are clickable so you can see the details and colors better.
This quilt is blankie size. I think it is time to retire my other blankie done in the 70's and think about using this one.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bodacious Blossom

I haven't blogged the last 2 evenings as I've been wiped out.
I'm trying to do too many things at once.
I'm still organizing my basement and laundry room after having just enough water in it to make things a mess this spring. I had some landscaping done to prevent the problem in the future. I decided to take out the carpet and replace it with ceramic tile and area rugs. I finally feel I'm almost done. I can see the floor, the table top and the top of the washer and dryer in the dyeing studio.
I'm also getting my supplies together for the two classes I'll be taking at Nancy Crow's Barn in October. I have to admit I usually do this at the last minute. By getting things together now I'll be able to decide if I have to ship some of my supplies and will be able to get them there in time for class.
Tomorrow I am giving a class and lecture for The Lighthouse Quilt Guild in Racine, Wisconsin.
Since my lecture is real live quilts - no slides or power point presentation it has taken time to collect them from several places. I always redo my notes and the quilts I include each time I do a presentation so that ws another thing I had to do
I also had to prepare the class materials and supplies.
One of the quilts I will be showing is Bodacious Blossom.

I dyed all the fabric for this quilt myself in a class I took several years ago.
Rather than putting the fabrics I dyed on the shelf with fabrics I had dyed previously I decided I'd make a quilt with them.
I started by putting a piece of heavy paper on the design wall and drew the design free hand and full size.
I then cut the design up into individual pattern pieces. I added the seam allowance by eye when cutting them.
I machine quilted it with various quilting designs.
The center spiral section was all quilted with a similar design.
Each petal was also quilted with a similar design.

When I got to the background I had a field day filling the area in with a variety of quilting designs doing whatever the space allowed me to do.

By clicking on each photo you can see an enlarged version and see more detail.
This quilt has won several awards. I am most proud that it won an award in an all media art show against paintings, sculptures,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In Living Color

When Jinny Beyer first came out with her palette fabrics I bought some 5" squares of each of the 100 colors. They got me so excited I had to make something with them right away.
I drew up squares divided into either 12 or 13 wedges so I could use all 100 colors.
I pieced the section of colored squares closest to the middle.
But - I had a problem.
Since the fabric squares were only 5 inches I was left with a hole at one corner of each square. To fill in this section I fussy cut pieces from a black paisley print and appliqued them over the holes.
I had no overall design in mind when I started making this. Each round was designed as I was ready to do it. I made design decisions to enhance and relate to the work already created.
The next step was designing something for the star in the center. I chose to use a gray to black gradations design. Each diamond was hand appliqued.
The third round was similar to the center but I only used 2 fabrics in each diamond.
Round four was more of the palette fabric with either 12 or 13 in each unit.
The last round was another black to gray gradation.
I hand quilted this quilt.
It won First Place Professional in RJR's Palette Fabric competition.
It was pictured in McCalls Quilting Magazine.
I was also featured on Simply Quilts with this quilt.
Occasionally old shows from Simply Quilts are shown on TV and I will have people come up to me and say "I saw you on Simply Quilts" last week.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reversible Quilt By Accident!

I love to put a beautiful back on a quilt.
The back on this quilt was really an accident.
I had a limited amount of the Pointillist Palette fabric from Lunn Fabrics.
After piecing the front of the quilt (below), I cut the remaining fabric into bias strips for my binding using every last bit of the fabric.

I was ready to decide on a backing and saw all those leftover strips. I laid them out, sewed them together and was able to piece enough for the back. I was extremely pleased with the back, almost more so than the front.
After I sewed them together I realized I had used by binding fabric.

I decided at this point to make it a reversible quilt and carefully cut the back so I had a casing that lined up with the back of the quilt.

I bound the quilt with a black on black print.

It can be hung so that you can see both sides.

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.

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.

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 closeup.

"Quilting Granny" by Sara Baker 1984

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.