Thursday, March 18, 2010


I wish I could get to London to see the new V&A exhibit. The V&A will present its first ever exhibition of British quilts, with examples dating from 1700 to the present day!

This exhibit is timely as quilts and quilting fabrics seem to be taking on a life of their own. As a child I always watched my grandma quilt. She made quilts for the bed and to hang on the wall. One of my favorite quilts of hers is one where she printed photos of the family onto swatches of fabric and quilted the family into the quilt....a family tree quilt! What I love most about this quilt is all the little details that she has sewn onto it....a button from an old dress and jewelry from the past. A special quilt indeed. (I wish I had a photograph to post with this.)

It seems like over the past 10 years there has been a surge of younger artists beginning to quilt. Along with this has come a wave of designers creating quilting fabrics with edgy designs and bold colors. Quilting fabrics these days are not just used for quilts but for clothing as well. I wrote about my friend Josephine Kimberling last month. She is a great example of one of the new designers out there creating great quilting fabrics with bold and bright colors. A few others that I like are Amy Butler, Heather Bailey and Anna Maria Horner.
Why has quilting seen this surge of popularity? Is it because of the "handmade movement". Or is it the economy and the time we live in?

I grew up sewing. My grandma who was quilting was also teaching me to sew clothes for my Barbi's. I have always enjoyed sewing. There is a calmness that settles with me-much like how I feel when I am painting. Is this why other people sew? To take a break from the ciaos and focus on a needle and thread? Why do you sew? I really wan to know. Grandma-why did you start quilting?


needle+thread said...

some of my favourite memories are sitting on my grandma's lap as she made my raggedy ann doll's wardrobe that much better. i think our generation has embraced sewing because to us it embodies a way to show how special someone they are to us, that they have something handmade. i love sewing and feel the exact same way. when i actually sit down to sew, it stills my mind and makes me focus. thanks for a great post diane!

Diane Kappa said...

Hi Kam!
I thought of you as I was titling this post:) I had a friend post her comment on facebook. She said needles+thread=frustration :( It is funny how something so relaxing to some us can cause such misery in others:)

Thanks for sharing Kam! Happy Sewing!

grandma J. said...

I actually was about 10 years old when I was in the 4-H club and learned simple sewing. I went to crocheting and some knitting in the forties. I love the feel of fabric and then started quilting in the early 80(s) maybe. Gave many away as gifts including about 15 baby quilts. Still have the desire to make a few more quilts.
So interested in your designing line Diane. Beautiful work!!

Diane Kappa said...

I had no idea you had started seriously quilting in the 80's. I thought it was much earlier. I do know you did at least one quilt earlier since I have one of those baby quilts from 72:)

Glad you have the desire for a few more quilts....I would like another:)

sisters gulassa said...

Hi Diane!
I just LOVE your everything! I love your designs, what you write about, your aesthetic, your YOU! You will seriously go far, just keep it all up! Thanks so much for your post on my blog...I see you answer directly in yours, so I will now too! I appreciate the time coming over to our world! Hey, are you up for any of your work going to Surtex? Or is your rep already taking you there? Anyway, keep up the great work! All the best, cyrille aka sistersgulassa

Diane Kappa said...

Hello Cyrille!
We meet in New York in January-remember? I am the American who lives in Hungary. I love your blog too-great stuff! I already have a rep that is keeping me rather busy at the moment. But thank you for the offer and for all the encouragement! Good luck at Surtex and lets definitely keep in touch!

Diane Kappa said...

The next time you are in Budapest lets meet for coffee. I will do the same the next time I am in Vienna!