Quilter’s Name: Katherine Kohler from Western New York
Type of Quilt: Bed Quilt
Name of Pattern: Original Design
Featured Date: 5-17-23
My name is Katherine Kohler and I lived most of my life in New England. Many of my quilts reflect that colonial design and color. Then I met Heidi, who grew up in a missionary family in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She speaks Lingala fluently! We both now live in western New York, right near Lake Erie. Heidi brought a lot of ethnic fabrics when she settled back in the United States, and her one dream was to have a quilt made with these fabrics. She started her own cleaning business and that’s how we met. She noticed the quilts in my house, and one thing led to another!
This quilt is a full bedspread size for a queen bed. We knew that small pieces wouldn’t work with these fabrics, so we went with larger blocks. We photographed it on my king-sized bed.
Heidi and I designed the quilt. All those fabrics mean something to her—frequently in skirts that she made herself. After we knew the dimensions, we laid out all the blocks so we could move them around and get the perfect variety. The green swirl border is also the backing. My favorite square is one with the lime green background with the elephants. She likes them all, especially the one with a red background and the large black/beige circles. You can see it in the second row from the bottom in the photo where she is holding up the quilt with me. You can also see it in the third photo with her other favorite (looks like a peacock feather swirl) just above it. We are standing in the Calico Patch quilt shop in North East, PA, where she chose the backing. I made many other little items with her fabric. You can see the elephants in the photo of the bag and Heidi’s favorite was used for the handles. Once Heidi packed the entire finished quilt in a suitcase to take to show her sister when she visited! It has so greatly added to my quilting style and thoughts. This project totally changed the way I think of color when I quilt! I am still a New Englander, but I have more color and texture and will experiment so much more. A new world! This quilt is definitely one of my prizes.
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