“Years ago, an image of a lovely crystal arrived in my mailbox. That little gem not only caught my attention, it grabbed hold of my soul. In doing so, it launched a journey that has enriched my life.”
Textile artist and instructor MJ Kinman likes to say she makes the biggest diamonds in the world. Her quiltmaking adventure began 22 years ago, when she discovered a beautiful image of a gem and decided right then and there that it had to become a quilt. She spent the next few years researching the best quilting methods, and seven years, later she finished her first gem quilt. MJ’s latest series, Bourbon Diamonds, celebrates the iconic spirit of Kentucky. Her work has been exhibited in Quilting Arts Magazine and on Quilting Arts TV, as well as in galleries, museums, and contests throughout the U.S. See more at mjkinman.com.
Bite-Sized Gems: Piecing Color and Light
Using the design and piecing techniques MJ relies on to create her diamond quilts, students will create their own singularly beautiful works of faceted light. Using a preprinted template based on a slice of one of her own designs, MJ will show you how to code each piece for color, location, and adjacency. You will learn how to position template pieces onto fabric to achieve the desired light effects and ultimately create your own unique study in faceted color. You will leave class with an 18″ x 18″ quilt top that can be quilted at home by hand or machine.
Wild-Motion Quilting on Your Domestic Machine
In this class, students experiment with the unique free-motion quilting techniques MJ uses to enhance the facets of her diamond quilts. Quilting adds an additional design dimension to every quilt. In order to allow the flow of light and color to remain the focus of her work, MJ developed random, non-directional quilting that allows the faceting pattern to shine through. This is fun! Perfectionists need not apply, since rules and precision don’t pertain.
Be sure the see the Bourbon in the Bluegrass: The Bourbon Diamond Quilts of MJ Kinman quilt exhibit at AQS QuiltWeek – Fall Paducah.
The Bourbon Diamond series celebrates Kentucky’s iconic spirit through quiltmaking, one of our Commonwealth’s most beloved arts. Each quilt is inspired by a specific Kentucky bourbon maker.
Don’t miss the excitement at AQS QuiltWeek – Fall Paducah!