I’m excited to feature Kit of Kit Lang Fibre Art! Her quilts are fantastic and I hope you enjoy getting to know Kit better –
1. When did you begin quilting?
I grew up in a family where the women of my mother and grandmother’s generation were sewers and crafters. Quilts were a part of that tradition, but they were unlike the quilts that modern quilters would be accustomed to seeing. They were (very) utilitarian and all of the same pattern. Big squares or rectangles of fabric from cut up family member’s clothing, sewn together,
hand-tied, and stuffed with old pantyhose and rags. They were double sided, weighed a TON and were used only at the cottage, camping, or on hunting trips. Utilitarian with a capital T, although now, I see they had their own beauty.
Although I was a life-long sewer, and had been saving scraps for all of my adult life – it was only four years ago that I realized one day I had enough “leaf green” scraps to finally make a quilt. And so using leftover curtain fabric, my sons’ baby clothing, old suits and bits and bobs – and I made my first quilt top in my own pattern of squares and rectangles in the family tradition. I was pleased with it, but knew I didn’t want to hand-tye it, and googled around looking for quilts. I came across something called “free motion quilting”, thought “How hard can that be?” and went to work. Of course, I found out just how hard it was, but when I looked at that first finished quilt, I fell deeply, passionately in love, and that was it. A quilter was born.
2. Why do you quilt?
I quilt because I have to, I think. In addition to being a life long sewer, I had also been a life-long singer, working as a professional back-up singer for people you would know in addition to having a small solo career. I thought singing was my great love, but when I discovered quilting, it was well and truly the end of my singing career. That first year, I produced 28 full sized quilts and six baby quilts! With the demands of a full time job, a spouse and children, I didn’t have time to sing. I miss singing professionally, but I’ve never looked back. – quilting – and all that goes with it, whether making art quilts, dyeing and/or painting my fabric, discovering new techniques of surface manipulation or making pretty things to tuck up under – I love it all with more passion than I ever felt for my singing!
3. What is your favorite quilting tip?
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fabrics! Although I do on occasion, use cotton (I did in this past Festival quilt); I almost never do. Because I grew up with a tradition of quilts made from whatever was handy, I make all of my quilts from whatever appeals to me. My second quilt (which was in your very first Bloggers’ Quilt Festival) was made from silk, satin, chennille, batik, and *gasp!* blends, with a silk taffetta back. One of the comments on that post was “If you were a more experienced quilter, you never would have done that” – and I remember thinking, “Why the heck not?” The quilts we go to see in museums that are two hundred years old are made from old dresses and feed sacks and whatever was available and ready to hand. If they’ve lasted a hundred years, ours will too.
So experiment – have fun with fabric – go to the fabric stores not *just* your LQS, and fall in love. And then make a quilt that you’ll adore.
4. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt?
A monkey butt. :)
I was lucky enough to be one of the people selected by Generation Q Magazine’s Thomas Knauer to participate in The Scrap Splat Challenge. We were each sent 40 2.5 inch squares and were to use them all in one quilt. Before I even got the scraps, I had two designs done up – but I needed to see the scraps to know which design I would pick. When I saw the monkey butt, I knew.
5. Do you sew other things?
I do. When my boys were little, I made all their clothes, and still make most of my own. I also make home decor items, tote bags, make up bags, journal covers, pet beds – pretty much anything that’s made out of textile that I need or want, I’ll give it a shot!
6. Anything else you would like us to know about you?
I mentioned it briefly above, but for the last couple of years, I’ve been exploring the delightful world of textile art and surface design. Hand dyeing and painting my own fabric, needle felting and thread painting, working with soy wax and tyvek and disperse dyes and of course, quilting it all together, because quilting will always be my first love. I’m very excited to be learning and growing in this new-to-me art form, and have fallen in love just as passionately.
Consequently, I left my first blog (Diva Quilts) behind, and now blog under my own name, because I don’t just show and tell now, I tell *how*.
Thanks for having me on your show, Amy… er, your blog, that is. It’s been a lot of fun!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful quilts Kit! So glad to know that you are carrying on the family tradition.
Have a great weekend & Merry Christmas everyone!
Blessings ~ Amy