Creating art has always been part of Kathie’s life. As a child she could usually be found drawing or making things from cardboard, cloth, yarn or whatever she could find. It was the element of texture, both tactile and visual, that drew Kathie to textiles as a medium. She began using a sewing machine at 11 when she drafted her first dress pattern. She pursued drawing and sewing as hobbies through college and careers in education and Information Technology.
An encounter with fiber art dolls in the early 1990s ignited a passion for fiber art. Enthralled with the possibilities she began to create her own and soon her cloth art dolls were featured in books and magazines. She published patterns and began teaching nationally which put her in contact with art quilters and exposed her to a new way to use fabrics to make art. Shifting her focus to contemporary textile painting, she left the business world in 1998 to dedicate her full time to fiber art.
With a life long love affair with nature Kathie found the inspiration for her art quilts in the flora and fauna surrounding her northern Michigan retreat. In 2016 she moved to North Carolina finding new inspiration: breathtaking mountain vistas punctuated by dilapidated tobacco barns, vine covered trees and magnificent waterfalls. Daily walks in the country with her dog Bridget keep her in close contact with roadside plants, busy pollinators, and the neighborhood cows.
Kathie most often begins an art quilt by creating a background; sewing a combination of her own hand-dyed and commercial fabrics to create “quiet noise”. After quilting the background she layers and stitches the design elements often using her own photographs as reference.
Her art quilts have been displayed in many regional and national exhibitions and won numerous awards. Her work has been published in several books and magazines including Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World, Cutting Edge Art Quilts, Adventures in Design, Art Quilt Studio, Art Quilt Quarterly, Quilting Arts Magazine and Quilts Magazine.
Texture, both tactile and visual, is what draws me to textiles as a medium. I learned to use a sewing machine at 11 and was always fascinated with the what happens when you sew two different pieces of fabric together. My art dolls were fantasy creatures created from a wide variety of exotic fabrics in vivid colors. But as my focus changed my palette evolved to subtle natural colors and my materials to primarily batiks and fabrics I dye or print myself, though I occasionally break into saturated color. My art is built from small pieces that fit together to become the story and continues to evolve from a somewhat realistic portrayal of flora and fauna to more abstracted exploration of of both natural elements and how we coexist for better or worse with our environment.
Charlevoix Circle of Arts 2010
Jordan Valley District Library 2009
Charlevoix Public Library 2007
2012 Invitational Quilt Exhibition, Brigham City Museum, UT 2012
“Doorway to the Future”
Mercy Education Project. Detroit Michigan 2010
Selected Juried Exhibitions:
Juried Fine Arts Exhibition
Crooked Tree Art Center Petoskey, Michigan
2013, 2012 2011,2010
“Pieces” Cycling Salamander Gallery, Charlevoix Michigan
“Volusia Wrapped in Fiber”
Peabody Auditorium, Daytona Beach, Florida
“All Media Statewide Exhibit
ArTCenter, Traverse City, Michigan
International Quilt Festival Chicago. Illinois and Houston, Texas
“SAQA at Park Church”
Convergence Grand Rapids, Michigan
Selected Publication of Artworks:
1000 Quilt Inspirations, Sandra Sider, Quarry Books 2015
1000 Dog Portraits, Robynne Raye, Rockport Publishers 2014
2013-2014 Michigan Art Guide (cover)
Art Quilting Studio, Winter 2013
Cutting Edge Art Quilts, Mary Kerr, Schiffer Publications 2013
Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World, Martha Sielman, Lark Publishing 2012
Adventures in Design, Joen Wolfrom, C & T Publishing 2011
Machine Quilting Unlimited 2012 & 2011