Thursday, October 3, 2013

brave new quilts- kathreen's legacy tour

It is with great pleasure that I present to you Brave New Quilts, from Stashbooks! This is not just the latest book I'm excited about, nor is it simply a new quilting book- it is the final work of Kathreen Ricketson.  I am honored to be a part of the Brave New Quilts Legacy Tour. Kathreen is a legend in this international crafting community. She was at the forefront of the of the on-line creative revolution when she began Whipup in 2006. It showcases art and craft of all mediums, and she mentored and supported so many of us by graciously introducing our work to the world. As much as she was a brilliant curator (with a fine eye for catching talent),  she was first and foremost an artist and maker, herself. A prolific and inspiring one! Kathreen passed away tragically last spring while she was writing and living her dream... a family road trip book. She never saw Brave New Quilts in print, but I think she would have been thrilled! It's an amazing contribution to the art world.  And I am so honored to introduce it to you today as a stop on the Legacy Tour... a celebration of Kathreen's new book- a brave approach to quilting and an homage to her eternal creativity.

 12 quilt designs bring to life the art and social movements of the 20th century- everything from Bauhaus and mid-century to Art Nouveau and punk and pop.  Kathreen's articulate and down to earth narrative gives background on history and politics and how it intersected with design and art. She had a gift for informing through inspiration and teaches color theory alongside incorporations of the natural world.

Always one to promote creating your own rules and finding a personal voice, Kathreen encouraged each quilt to be a launchpad for your own design or interpretation. She even included 4 alternate colorways to each piece to illustrate how much a shift in color could impact the overall experience of each design. The instructions are clear and thoughtful... a new sewer as well as a seasoned quilter will have plenty to get excited about and should be prepared to want to dive in.

With all of the leather scraps I've been working with, I was especially captivated with the idea of using some in a version of Gray Play.

Inspired Johannes Itten, and his belief in education through play and color contrasts with gray... along with Josef Albers "Homage to the Square", Kathreen designed this quilt that has me reaching for my rotary cutter and gray leather! Rescued leather in a quilt? Not traditional, but I think Kathreen would have said "YES!" I'll let you know how it goes...

 Kathreen was always coming up with something new and exciting... she authored several books with Chronicle publishers and a series of kids crafting books for Hardie that I wrote about here. What I admired most of all, was her philosophy on creative and capable kids. We connected deeply around how we mothered, and I will miss those new editions of Action Pack fiercely! You would think that we had sat around the wood stove drinking tea together, but our worlds remained on opposite sides of the planet. Still, we managed to grow our friendship through our written words and photos shared through the wires. In writing this post, I went through the archives of our personal letters to each other over the years. Oh Kathreen, I miss you so! I was especially moved reading our correspondence after my husband left. Her wisdom and sensitivity were present in every letter, but even more was her down to earth girlfriend voice... the one who makes you laugh and stay grounded. She truly knew who she was and that afforded her the ability to give with such abundance... of her self, her positivity, and her vision. The last thing she ever wrote to me was this:

"Keep your chin up and keep onward, Maya - that's what we women have to do."

 And that's what I believe she would have wished for all of us as we courageously pursue our dreams, thoughtfully mother, and bravely create!  I love you Kathreen!

Hold your head high and never stop marching forward. 

Please follow along on the rest of the Legacy Tour to see more peeks at the book and read on about Kathreen and her lasting impression on the world:

Tuesday 10/1 Heather Jones
Wedneday 10/2 Kristin Link
Thursday 10/3 Maya Donenfeld
Friday 10/4 Alexandra Smith
Monday 10/7 Sonya Philip
Tuesday 10/8 Ellen Luckett Baker
Wedneday 10/9 Andrea Jenkins
Thursday 10/10 Shannon Cook
Friday 10/11 Mimi Kirchner
Monday 10/14 Cheryl Arkison
Pin It


  1. What a wonderful book. I've always wanted to try quilting and this may be just the right book to get me started. I didn't know Kathreen well, but each of my interactions with her left me with a positive impression. Her advice to you is good, and she no doubt loved you too. xo

  2. I still pray for her children. This book looks like a gem.


  3. what a nice tribute to your friend - her book is a great legacy, as I'm sure her children are too.

  4. Thanks for sharing such a personal post. I only way Whip Up a few months before the accident, bu tI can tell I missed a lot. This book looks amazing, and I'm an Albers color square fan too.

  5. Thanks for this heartfelt post about Kathreen and her work. She was really one of the most grounded people I've ever known. Quietly, there is one more of Kathreen's Action Packs in the wings, so keep an eye out on Regards, Kate

  6. I'm so touched to read about your friendship with Kathreen. I never had the privilege of knowing her, but felt like I did, from her online presence and her books. When I saw that a new book was coming out, I felt trepidation--I thought it would be such a sad thing to experience. Instead, reading the remembrances of Kathreen and the glowing reviews of what looks to be a spectacular book, I feel uplifted and excited to get a copy of my own. Thank you.