Kathy Doughty, owner and creative director of the innovative patchwork shop, Material Obsessions in New South Wales, Australia, was the November 2021 guest speaker for New Millennium Quilters Guild (NMQG).
Originally from Ohio, Doughty lived in New York City for 10 years working in advertising, fashion and marketing. All of this taught her to look at traditional things with a new eye. Kathy’s move to Australia in 1990 introduced her to the world of sewing and quilting.
For Doughty, quilting is always about looking at tradition, the structure and how quilts are built, and then making them more colourful. Quilting is about creating line; how strong or how soft we make that line to blend colours together is the essence of what we are doing. Sometimes we see a line very clearly; sometimes it interferes with shape and colour. There is always an element of confusion as to what will happen next.
Kaffe Fassett, best known for his colourful designs in the decorative arts, had an enormous influence on Doughty, both as a person and a quilter. His muscle memory for working with colour and understanding colour is very evolved.
Although each quilter has their own comfort zone, Doughty likes to gently encourage quilters to add in some bright colours, textured prints, stripes, or larger scale prints that add a highlight colour. For other quilters, she may suggest adding in some graphic prints, spots, stripes or plaids; and for those who are immersed in colour, to pull it back a little and bring in some tonal colours. She likes to incorporate graphics, stripes and plaids into projects, as stripes act as palette consolidators, picking up and connecting the different colours in the quilt.
Doughty finds lots of inspiration from the environment as nature tells us how to think about colour and provides a visual reference. Palettes for quilts that come from the environment and do not have to match. Doughty’s quilts are always about interest, not about matching.
Originally a “Free Spirit” fabric designer, today she is a fabric designer for “FIGO” (division of Northcott). Her design collection has a variety of textures and images that invite the quilter to come play.
Doughty’s presentation entitled “Organic Appliqué,” along with her “Then to Now Journey” gave everyone a new perspective to enhance their own quilting journey.
The November meeting was indeed very global, with members and guests attending from Arizona, Florida, British Columbia and NSW, Australia. Once again Zoom allows us to expand our horizons globally and embrace numerous opportunities. As Doughty said, “If you can’t be there, be square.”
The guest speaker for the Dec. 21 meeting will be “Quilter on Fire” Brandy Maslowski from Summerland, B.C. Maslowski is a fibre artist, quilt teacher, speaker, judge and author. From clumsy beginner quilter to showing her fibre art in galleries, she has a passion for fabric, stitch, colour, texture and everything quilting.
The outreach committee’s Sew Day is Dec. 6 and special groups continue to meet monthly.
New members are always welcome. Anyone interested should contact email@example.com.