When I look at Kathy York's body of work, it's hard to believe she has only been making art quilts since 2003. Her award-winning quilts are easily recognizable for their bold and graphic styles, bright colors, and whimsical or humorous topics. I'm an especially big fan of her three-dimensional pieces.
This is an artist who doesn't mind making a bold visual statement: she recently had the floors in her home done in bright blue concrete!
Kathy's work has been featured in Quilting Arts Magazine several times and made the cover twice this year, including our current issue. I just love the spirit she portrays in this self-portrait.
Kathy has done some amazingly creative things with the satin stitch, so she was one of the first artists we asked to prepare a video tutorial for our interactive eMag, Quilting Arts In Stitches. In it, Kathy takes you through the process satin-stitching around a circle of fabric from beginning to end, starting with how to choose the thread.
While we had some time with her, we took the opportunity to ask a few questions about Kathy's favorite stitchers, stitching, and stitch tips, and I'm sharing her answers with you!
Q. Whose stitch work do you particularly admire/with whom would you like to take a stitching class?
A. I love Laura Wasilowski's stitch work. She has wonderful machine quilting motifs. I enjoy her whimsical style, and I admire the way she embellishes with hand stitching that perfectly complements her machine stitching in terms of pattern, texture, and color.
Q. What is your favorite type of stitching?
A. I love to machine quilt because it is so versatile. But I am also drawn to hand work as it pulls me back to my quilting roots and gives such a wonderful texture to my work. It has a softening effect and draws the viewer in, creating a very organic style.
Q. What is your must-have stitching tool or supply?
A. I must have a good thimble! My favorites are the leather ones because they fit so well and are comfortable. They also have to have that little metal disc for catching the end of the needle.
Q. What is your number one stitch-related tip, trick, or technique?
A. My favorite tip is one that I learned last summer: how to bury the ends of my thread by using a separate needle that has a loop of thread in it. Just insert the needle between the quilt layers with the loop of thread hanging out. Grab the threads that need to be buried and pull them through the thread loop. Then, as you pull the needle all the way through, the loop will carry your threads between the layers of the quilt–fast and fabulous!
That's a great tip! For more tips like these, plus Kathy's satin stitch tutorial and interactive articles, videos, gallery slide shows featuring other top art quilters, download Quilting Arts In Stitches now.