In the history of quilts and quilt makers, there’s a lot written about “making do” – using what you have, working within the constraints of circumstance, finding all kinds of substitutions and work arounds, and not giving up when encountered with limitations. In older quilts we often find that the quilt maker has run out of a certain fabric and has just substituted what she had on hand, or has re-used an old blanket in place of batting, or has simply sewn together leftover bits and pieces of fabric scraps, willy nilly, to make something that will provide comfort and warmth for her family. I find these “make do” quilts beautiful and inspiring. I’ve also found that the very limitations we encounter in life can foster creativity and ingenuity.
My quilts are made from both new fabrics and a variety of upcycled fabrics – from thrift-store shirts to vintage linens and fabrics found at estate sales, and many of them are embellished with machine embroidery, inspired by Redwork which was so popular more than a century ago. Many of my quilts are influenced by the antique quilts and quilt blocks that I happen to be studying at the time, but all of them seem to hover in between the past and the present, with my sometimes more modern take on piecing, and more contemporary edge-to-edge quilting designs. More often than not, my version moves beyond the original inspiration simply because I am “making do” with what I have!
Although some of my quilts are in private collections, many are still available for purchase and for exhibit.
Please call Katie at 615-504-2845 or email at Katie.Longsmith@gmail.com for more information.