1. When did you begin quilting?
I sewed my very first stitch at the age of 9 on my mother’s sewing machine and I sewed right through my finger. It would be almost 20 years before I gained the courage to sit at a sewing machine again. In 1987 I purchased an old Singer and began taking sewing classes with a local 4H group. The 4H kids made me feel right at home, encouraged me and also inspired me with the garments they were creating for the county fair. Garment construction didn’t hold my interest for very long and within a couple of months I was making rail fence baby quilts and progressed to bed size log cabin quilts. Before long, everyone in my family and community received a hand made quilt from me, whether they wanted it or not. I was uncontrollable, churning out the quilts as fast as I could. I eventually joined a local quilt guild, began taking structured quilt classes and purchasing a stash of fabrics that would outlive my own life expectancy. I guess you could say I became a card carrying member of The Quilters Club!
2. Why do you quilt?
I can’t imagine life without quilting. I am a better person when I make time for quilting. Quilting brings me joy, peace, and happiness and brings a sense of balance and fulfillment to my life.
3. What was your most recent fabric purchase?
My fabric purchases aren’t as frequent as they used to be. Remember I told you about my stash and life expectancy issue, so I try and discipline myself when I enter a quilt shop, which is often since I am a quilting instructor at my local quilt shop, JanniLou Creations in Philomath, Oregon. After 20 years of traditional quiltmaking, I have started creating art quilts. I no longer rely on commercial fabrics as much as I used to. Instead I apply textile paints and other surface design techniques to white cloth and create my own unique one-of-a-kind fabrics. Getting back to your questions of my most recent fabric purchase…last week I purchased 6 yards of muslin for a double wedding ring quilt I am currently piecing. Yes, I am still creating traditional quilts because let’s face it, you can’t snuggle up to an art quilt……I hang those on the walls.
Midnight in the Garden
By: LuAnn Kessi
My most recent quilt, it was a challenge project for my local quilt guild.
4. What is your favorite quilting tip?
I can’t pick just one tip…..that’s impossible. I share my personal tips and technique links on my blog regularly. I am a strong advocate of Sharing What I Know, so I enjoy posting helpful information on my blog. I wish quilters blogs had been around 25 years ago when I first started quilting. We all started out as beginners, we had to learn somewhere, and it was usually through trial and error. I am happy to share what I know, and hope that it will help someone along their quilting journey.
5. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt?
I entered “Stormy” in the October 2010 Quilt Festival. Stormy is a horse portrait quilt. It is a Toni Whitney pattern. You can view a slideshow of the making of Stormy here. When I was 13 I was surprised on Christmas morning with my very first horse, Tex. It was love at first site, and I have continued to have horses in my life ever since.
By: LuAnn Kessi
6. Do you sew other things?
My favorite part of the quilting process is the actual quilting, getting the fabric sandwich under the needle and creating quilted textiles. Because of my interest in art quilts the last few years, I have been known to quilt through wallpaper, jello prints, melted crayon prints, shaving cream prints, book & magazine pages and even metal.
In The Moment
Mixed Media Quilt By: LuAnn Kessi
Rusted Fabric, Paper, Used Coffee Filter, metal found objects, couched leather cord & waxed linen cord.
7. Anything else you would like us to know about you?
I live on a cattle ranch in Oregon. My love of photography and gardening have been combined with my passion for quilting. I have incorporated many of my photo images of flowers, animals and people into portrait quilts.
Portrait Quilt By: LuAnn Kessi
Neocolor II Watersoluble Crayons & Shiva Paintstiks
In recent years I have become involved with a special group of motivated quilters. We formed a group called Permission 2 Play.
It is a privilege to be part of such an inspiring and talented group of quilting instructors who share their time and talents to lead free art quilt classes to cancer diagnosed patients. What a joy and inspiration it is to see the students come to class and create art journal quilts, which are eventually put on exhibit at our local hospital to inspire the patients and staff. As quilters we all know the healing benefits of creating quilted textiles, how soothing it is to sit at our sewing machine and stitch. It brings us peace and joy, and now the Permission 2 Play students can experience this Quilters Therapy for themselves. It is extremely fulfilling to be a part of this special group of quilters. If you have a special gift or talent, share what you know. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself as well as others.
Thank you LuAnn! We quilt for many of the same reasons, I’m sure many readers can completely relate too.