There is no one quite like Katie Pasquini Masopust, also known as Katie PM. She’s been called the rock star of the quilting world – and with her high-energy, enthusiastic charisma and long list of international awards, it’s easy to see why.
Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or an art lover who’s never sewed a stitch, it’s impossible not to be impressed with Katie’s mind-blowingly dimensional contemporary art quilts, which range from complex abstracts to landscapes so detailed they could be mistaken for paintings on canvas – that is, until you get close enough to notice the fine fabrics and creative stitching techniques.
Fortunately for Ferndale, the Redwood Coast is home to a vibrant quilting community that includes Katie, who lives in Fortuna. This Saturday (May 13), Katie PM is coming to Ferndale quilt shop, Stitch, to sign copies of her latest book, “Artful Log Cabin Quilts: From Inspiration to Art Quilt – Color, Composition & Visual Pathways.” Log cabin quilting is a common traditional block featuring strips of fabric pieced around a center square. But as she does with so many other quilting techniques, Katie looks at log cabins from a totally different angle to create linear abstract works of art.
We caught up with Katie to learn more about her new book and the visually stunning craft of contemporary art quilting, including her inventive approach to making log cabin quilts.
How did you discover art quilting, and how does it differ from traditional quilting?
I got into quilting by taking a class to entertain myself as I was taking care of my terminally ill mother in Woodside, California. We were staying in her sister’s guesthouse and I took some courses at Cañada College in the area. It was a great way to pass the time sitting with my mother and keeping her company between doctor visits.
I enjoyed all of the quilt shops in and around San Francisco so much that when we moved back to Eureka I opened a little quilt shop in Old Town Eureka (Katie’s Quilt Shop). I made traditional quilts for a while and taught classes but wasn't satisfied. I was a painter before I became a quiltmaker, so I started creating my own designs rather than using the traditional patterns and I was hooked. Traditional quilting and art quilting are the same in their construction and use of fabrics but the traditional usually follows a pattern and the art quilts are original designs
You lived and traveled all over the country before returning to the North Coast. How does the quilting community here compare?
There is a strong quilting community in the North Coast with big guilds in both Eureka and Fortuna. There are some art quilters here, but the majority are the more traditional – yet with an interest in exploring different kinds of quilting techniques and styles.
The quilting community is strong all over (the world). I travel and teach all over the Unite States with several trips a year overseas. I enjoy teaching and recently I have been teaching online course on Color and Composition and Working in a Series. I like connecting through the Internet to teach. I always love when I get an email from a student showing me the finished project of the piece they started in my class.
Can you tell us about your new book? What makes it different than anything you’ve written before?
Artful log cabins came about when I was scheduled to teach at a venue where I teach every year. I have some of the same followers year after year so I had to come up with something new and different. I love to make log cabin quilts and do so several time a year with my sisters. But to teach a traditional log cabin class would not be exciting enough for my advanced students.
So I thought, “What if we used a photograph for inspiration, placed a grid over the photograph and then made each log cabin block color choices based on the colors from the photograph in each square of the grid?” So the artful log cabin was born.
The book shows how to work with the different grids to find the one that works best with your particular photo, how to choose colors to match those in the photo and how to construct the blocks. The book is filled with the most beautiful pictures of my students and my quilts, laid out so well that each page is a delight to explore. Lots of color, lots of inspiration, and easy to follow to create one of your own.
Meet Katie and check out her amazing quilt creations at Stitch in Ferndale this Saturday. Owned by local quilters Sally Frey and Jacque Becker, Stitch features an extensive collection of beautiful and fun modern fabrics, from the best linens to in-demand prints from brands like Rifle Paper Co., along with a wide range of supplies and classes.
Book Signing & Reception with Katie Pasquini Masopust
Saturday, May 13
385 Main Street