Quilter's Bucket List: Kathy Doughty

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Hi all! It's great to be back with an interview with the very talented Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession fame. Kathy and I had a nice chat (via email—Australia and the United States are not entirely compatible for phone calls) about bands, kids, places we've lived, oh, and quilts too!

Kathy's books, quilts, and blog are filled with gorgeous fabrics and stunning photography. She taught me to look at my stash in an entirely new way, often with dynamic results!

What are you working on now?

My studio is full of projects! On one wall I have a quilt using my current fabric collection with Free Spirit called Flock Together made with frames of 2 1/2" hexagons and big medallion prints… on another wall I have a small work in progress using Liberty Fabrics and 1" hexagons! In a corner is a quilt inspired by an antique quilt made by Mrs. Hannaford, a quilter from long ago in Australia. On my cutting desk are five new Creative Grid rulers that I am aching to play with, and in the TV room are the final blocks of Bride and Bloom, a block-of-the-month sample I am making and need to finish!!! If I keep thinking I’ll come up with more started projects!!!

Do you have a favorite quilt you've made?

Yes… well actually there are several that I refer to as my favorite, sort of like Sophie’s Choice. When we make a quilt it is filled with the desire to express an idea, and it is hard to decide which is more important. However, I’d say Gypsy Kisses, a foundation-pieced Wedding Ring–style block that defines my aesthetic, but I also love Hope Hammock which is in Mixing Quilt Elements . It is a hexagon quilt that I started when I learned I had breast cancer. When I look at it I see my strength and ability to persevere despite obstacles.

Do you have a favorite quilt you own (not made by you?)

Once, many years back, I “taught” a group of crazy quilters we referred to as Cut Loose. They were traditional quilters looking for new ideas, and we had a blast working together. I’d set a challenge, and they would all go and make a quilt in a month. Together we made a quilt in the style of Gee’s Bend, and I love that for the memory and the style.

What's on your Quilter's Bucket List?

Time. I want to wake up, walk in my studio, and sew with wild abandon to my favorite radio station, Triple J. No deadlines, no objectives, no restrictions… just me and my glorious stash.

That sounds like heaven!

Anything non-quilt related on your bucket list?

Practicing yoga every day.

And just for fun, here's some lightning round questions about how you quilt:

Barefoot or shoes?

Weirdly, shoes.

Quiet or music/movie/tv/podcast?

Music!!!

Salty or sweet?

Salty!!

Self taught or schooled?

Self taught.

Planned or scrappy?

Scrappy.

Perfect or done?

Done… I hate even the word perfect and all it implies.

Kathy, thanks so much for your time. Your quilts and your story are truly inspirational!

Heather Kojan is a quilt teacher, lecturer, and author living in Baltimore, MD. She's the founder of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild and a contributing author to Classic Modern Quilts. You can read more about her quilting life on her blog www.heatherkojan.com.

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  • Kathy Doughty
  • Quilter's Bucket List
  • Mixing Quilt Elements
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