During September this year the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild had the pleasure of hosting two quilting workshops by Kathleen Riggins.
Kathleen comes to us directly from a teaching gig at the Australian Machine Quilting Festival held in September 2018 in Adelaide. It is not her first visit here as she and her husband have holidayed here before and both enjoy Australia. They live in Camrose, a relatively small city in central Alberta, Canada, amid some of the richest farmland in the prairies.
She grew up amongst some talented quiltmakers including Mom, Dad and Grandma. “My first quilt was a Kindygarden quilt with plus signs” Kathleen says. “I made it on my own after watching Alex Anderson’s TV show, Simply Quilts at the age of 8. It had some strawberry, blue and peach fabric and I wanted more blue, but Mom wouldn’t let me. I still resent it!” She finally finished the quilt after almost 14 yrs, as part of a Guild Challenge .
At Twenty-nine now she started free motion quilting when only 14 and long arming quilting at 24. “I was sponsored by APQS Canada & Sparrow Studioz in 2014 and was given APQS Lucey to use in my living room! We sell Pfaff Creative Performance and a Janome 1600P in our store so I have these two machines as well.”
Kathleen does all her quilting hand guided. She loves pretty much anything to do with a sewing machine. Free motion quilting is by far her favorite technique. She will do almost anything to avoid hand sewing and prefers to do her quilt binding by machine.
“I choose machine quilting as a career as my parents have a quilt store “Quilting From The Heart” and they wanted to expand. They asked if I would join the Company and I said okay. My husband joined too. He is our machine technician. He really likes machine embroidery and does it for fun even entering competitions!” Kathleen smiles.
Kathleen replied, “I love bright cheerful fabric ranges. Australian born Jan Mullens is my favourite fabric designer. Rachel Dorr is my favorite quilter, I love the way she combines geometric quilting with feathers for magic!”
While Kathleen’s work is incredibly inspiring, she tells us she is inspired by the free motion quilting of Angela Walters and Margaret Solomon Gunn and the design work of Judy Niemeyer, Jaybird and Elizabeth Hartmann. “I love so many modern quilts I simply can’t pick just one. My favourite work so far is was ‘Ice Bubbles’ a collaboration quilt completed by Kat Jones, Rachel Frost and myself. It has just won viewers choice in Adelaide. I would love to win ‘Best Longarm Machine Quilting’ at Quiltcon, but it won’t happen, because they like straight lines and I do better than that!”
Those that attended Kathleen’s workshops were extremely happy with what they learned and their individual results. Kathleen’s website is full of inspiration, online learning and her wonderful books.