Meet Lyric Kinard

L_kinardI’ve been looking for other modern quilt bloggers in North Carolina, so I was happy to discover Lyric Kinard, an artist whose work includes quilted and multi-media objects as well as more traditional art.  I thought you’d like to know a little about her, so here are her answers to a few questions:

Are you a quilter…

When people ask me what I do I say I’m an artist and… often create things that have the structure of a quilt.. I am definitely a quilter. But I also play with other media so that term doesn’t cover it all. People have a set picture in their minds when they hear the word “quilter” that does not match what I do.Lyric art 1

What’s your most encouraging phrase to keep yourself going?

Here are a few favorites: No Fear, Just Do It, Just Keep Swimming.

Inspiration for your designs?

I am inspired often by the materials I use. Aren’t we quilters because we love to touch fabric? Everyone that sees textile artworks has an immediate connection with cloth – we are wrapped in cloth from the day we are born… Lyric art 2You know everyone wants to pet the quilt but rarely do people reach out and touch a painting. My abstracts and often improvisational art spring from a small collection of cloth and embellishments that I take with me on a trip or to whatever practice or lesson my kids are at.
Lyric detail
Share a recent work with us?
I just finished a piece for the Exquisite Moment show curated by Leslie Tucker Jennison and Jamie Fingal that will premier at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall. It’s a continuation of a series about my love for music titled “Bach Suite I: Gigue”
Bach_Suite_I LyricLyric teaches a variety of techniques, and has a fun-sounding retreat coming up this fall in Blowing Rock, NC.  Go to the “learn” section of her website and look at the “Once In A Blue Moon Retreat”.  While you’re there, look at all the other things she’s teaching, too.
For more information:  www.LyricKinard.com

One Quilt, 3 Ideas

OOPS…some of you got this last week, before it was finished..sorry!  Still learning the software  🙂

I’ve mentioned before that I like to do something new with each quilt, so I thought I’d share a few things I’ve done on one of my donation quilts. Try this stuff and let me know if it works for you.

Make extra blocks from leftover fabric

Blended borders labelled

Fall Frolic, 40″ x 40″

When you’re making a big quilt, make enough extra blocks for a donation quilt.  You don’t have to buy extra fabric, just pull from your stash.  It won’t take much time to make a few more blocks since you’re already set up to cut and sew a particular block.  The quilt above is made from extra blocks I did while constructing my husband’s quilt, which you can see here.

If you have a multicolor floral or leafy print, try a blended border

Border detail labelled

A year or so ago I bought a book called Blended Borders because I was fascinated with the concept.  I tried out several variations on donation quilts; here is one.  Ideally, I would have used some of the border fabric in the quilt blocks, but this was a seat-of-the-pants operation, not a planned-ahead quilt!

Quilt it easily on your home machine

Chicken scratch labelled

Your walking foot will do more than straight stitch.  I like to use this stitch because it’s done in the ditch but you don’t really see if it wanders from the ditch.  It also adds some decoration to the quilt.  I often use variegated thread because it goes well with my favorite batik fabrics.  I don’t know what this stitch is officially called, even by my machine’s maker, but I call it “chicken scratch”!

Try some of this and let me know how it goes!

Time to Start Christmas Projects!

I liked this block so made it into a holiday placemat

I liked this block so made it into a holiday placemat

“Christmas in July” isn’t an excuse for a party if you’re a quilter, it’s the way it has to be if you want to give a finished product rather than a promise on Christmas Day! Placemats make great gifts and there are so many options that you don’t get bored making them. Here are a few ideas.

LeafPlacemats all labelledIn general, a rectangular placemat needs to be about 12″ x 18″, though variations from this can work just fine.  One Christmas I looked up some cute Christmas block patterns and made one of each, the added borders to make them placemat-size.  Each family member now has an individual holiday placemat.

One of my favorite ways to make placemats is to stack 4 coordinating FQs (fat quarters), cut them up randomly, and re-assemble them.  I then trim to the finished size.  If you do this,

This was made by stacking FQs and cutting them randomly

This was made by stacking FQs and cutting them randomly

9Patch placemat labelled

This was a stack of FQs cut freehand to make a wonky 9 patch placemat

you’ll need 4 coordinating FQs for the placemat tops, about 1 yd of fabric for backing, and about 1/3 yard of fabric for binding, assuming you cut your binding 2″ wide.  You can cut the fabric as many times as you like, any way you like.  This is a good time to do some improvisational piecing since you’re only risking 4 FQs. If you want more than 4 placemats, add more FQs.

I gave my husband the woodworking shop of his dreams–on a placemat!

There are many placemat patterns available, but I’ve mostly made up my own.  Here are a few more pictures, including one showing my husband’s ideal woodworking shop.

Now, go make some placemats and send me pictures!

I couldn't resist these coffee-themed fabrics

I couldn’t resist these coffee-themed fabrics

Get a Quilt Group!

Joining, or forming, a group of quilters is a great way to make friends, learn skills, enjoy mutual support, and have fun.  

This little wreath was made as part of a guild program several years ago

This little wreath was made as part of a guild program several years ago

I’ve moved often, and have found that joining a quilt group is one of the best ways to find interesting friends in a new place.  It’s also a great way to find friends even if you never move!  I’ve met a lot of interesting women (and a few men) who never would have crossed my path if I hadn’t joined with other quilters.

A friend and I taught ourselves to quilt from Lesley Linsley’s original Weekend Quilt book, but there was so much more to learn when I met other quilters!  Quilting friends have taught me new techniques and gone with me to classes where we got new ideas.  Quilt guild programs and “show and tell” have been invaluable in expanding my skills and ideas.

The rest of these pictures are from a current block exchange with one of my groups

The rest of these pictures are from a current block exchange with one of my groups

I belong to multiple quilt groups, and I have supportive friends in each of them.  One of my best friends formed a very small group (4 members).  We do a retreat together twice a year where we make quilts and talk about our lives.  Much is accomplished in several ways!  I don’t know about the others, but I consider the mutual support of these women one of the things that keeps me sane.

If you’ve been hesitant to join a quilting group, now is the time to “just do it”!  A quilt shop can direct you to local groups and you’ll learn about others from

Needle-turn applique by my friend Jerri!

Needle-turn applique by my friend Jerri!

there.  You can find the nearest Modern Quilt Guild by looking on the national Modern Quilt Guild webs

Design from a Craftsy BOM (Block of the Month) class

Design from a Craftsy BOM (Block of the Month) class

ite.  Have fun!P1000621

Design from a Craftsy BOM class

Design from a Craftsy BOM class

P1000611

Another swap block by a friend

P1000613