2016 Featured Quilter Kathleen Stuart

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2016 Featured Quilter Kathleen Stuart

Like many of you, I started doing needlework at a very early age.  I taught myself to sew using a Singer treadle sewing machine, making clothing for my family. When I married, I continued to make my husband’s suits, the children’s clothing, wedding gowns, costumes for school plays and even some custom clothing.  Anything fiber related was my passion, the only thing I had never tried was quilting!

We moved from Canada to Florida where for the next 8 years golf became my main hobby. This left little time for sewing. In 2001 we moved to Chicago where you can’t golf in the snow!  A friend suggested I take a beginning quilting class.  It was so much fun! I was hooked!!  But I had a problem with that 1/4 inch seam. In 2004 I was so lucky; my husband bought me a Gammill quilting machine. I took lots of classes from all the best teachers and practiced on all my tops and those of my friends.  I found that I really loved to make wholecloth quilts the most….again, back to that 1/4 inch seam…no seams and you can just quilt away finishing with a perfectly square quilt every time.

I started to enter my work into quilt shows.  It is great fun, even when you don’t win.  I love to see what other people are doing and try to bring my work up to that level and yes, it is a rush when you win a ribbon!  My favorite ribbon to win is Viewers Choice.  I tell people, I’m just one of you guys, not a professional, just enjoying one of the best hobbies in the world!

With my wholecloth quilts, I started making the traditional one color quilt, perfecting my feathers and learning different ways to trapunto.  I ventured into painting, using oil sticks and rubber stamps for the center and borders.  I then tried my hand at coloring a whole quilt. Also, starting with a wholecloth, I’ve been learning how to use all those machine embroideries I have and venturing into the world of art quilting as well.  I find that when I go from traditional type of quilting to art quilting, then when I go back to my first love I have a new point of view and am willing to try new things.

Aside from my quilts, I also try to give some of my time to others.  My favorite thing now is to do Quilts of Valor.  There are many who make the quilt tops, but not as many who can quilt them, so, since I am not in business I find I can at least help out with the longarm.  I have also done several quilts for Habitat for Humanity, neo-natal quilts, Project Linus and I donate quilts for cancer Quilt for the Cure and a women’s shelter.  Needless to say, with all my time spent in the studio, my golf game is not quite what it used to be!

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