My life has always revolved around music and creativity. I feel a strong pull towards the history and heritage of eastern Kentucky and Appalachia, and I strive to help preserve that heritage. Right after I was born, my grandmother and mother started a quilt shop in my grandmother's garage. I grew up to the whir of the machines, doing my school work as my grandmother quilted and my mother did the binding on a quilt. If I wasn’t in the quilt shop with my Mamaw and Mom, I was in my grandparent's living room sitting beside my Papaw as he sang and played guitar. Just like those Appalachian folk songs, the heritage of quilting sings to my soul. This is one of the main reasons I am inspired daily to pass this craft on to my daughters, and to preserve it for future generations.
My art is centered on bringing traditional quilt patterns (Lone Stars, Log Cabins, Irish Chains, etc.) into the modern era. I try to pick fabrics in colors and patterns that have a modern vibe, but instead of always pairing them in the more modern geometric patterns, I try to pair them with traditional patterns that aren’t always in the spotlight anymore.
I often start with a quilt pattern in mind, then gravitate towards choosing my fabric. I pride myself on having an eye for color, and I love pulling together abstract patterns that end up going together so well in a quilt. I love mixing florals and geometrics with abstracts. I love throwing a print in the mix that you’re just not sure will work until you start piecing the blocks together.
I hand cut every piece on my dining room table, then piece it in my living room. I usually work late at night, and I love the quiet brought by that time of night. All of my quilts are quilted on a mid-arm quilting machine, all hand guided by me. I do a combination of hand-guided pantographs and free-hand quilting. I love the creativity of picking the perfect pattern to match the quilt top I just created. Picking the thread colors and seeing how the quilt pattern offsets the piecing is another of my favorite parts. After the quilt is quilted, I either hand bind it or apply the binding on a sewing machine.
Quilts don't just bring physical warmth (although they're great at that!), they also bring a great artistic warmth to the space, and a wonderful sentimentality as well. I am a third generation quilter, raising four future fourth generation quilters, just hoping to ensure our Appalachian heritage continues to grow.