Kate Findlay at the Guildford Quilters’ Group meeting in July 2019
Kate Findlay, a textile artist and tutor, treated Guildford Quilters to a very interesting talk about her work and background. She came fully armed with an excellent presentation and actual examples of her work. Kate describes herself as an experimental quilter. She has had a very interesting and varied career. After her degree in art specialising in textiles, she worked as a surface pattern designer in the carpet industry. She then re-trained as a teacher, teaching Art, Design and Technology to all age groups at various times, from pre-school children, primary and secondary schools through to adult education and Quilters’ Guild groups. She has been chairman of the Henley Art and Crafts’ Guild, setting up and running the Henley Arts Trail.
Initially inspired by a newspaper article on the Hadron Collider in CERN, Kate’s technical background shines through her famous Hadron Collider body of work. Her work incorporates a mix of media as well as textiles. Wire, fibre optics, LEDs, Glow in the Dark threads and laminated plastics are a few of the materials with which Kate has experimented. Kate generally concentrates on a series of works and showed us some of her sets of subjects. She explained how she built up her layers and described how quilting the final composition changed the look of the whole quilt resulting in a double layered composition.
Using her artistic painting skills Kate’s series covers topics such as scenes of Henley, landscapes, woodlands, birds and other wildlife. Kate’s quilts of Highland cattle and a Jacob sheep were superb. She dyes most of her own fabrics and is revisiting classic quilt construction techniques such as applique and free motion quilting to ‘draw’ with her machine needle. Her designs can now be found for sale on cushion covers, mugs, tea-towels, greeting cards and limited print editions, as well as a book co-authored with Linda Seward on her bird series. Photo manipulation on computer devices and digital printing onto fabric are opening up new areas to be explored.
This very interesting talk was followed up the next day, with a great workshop on appliqued confetti woodland scenes. This is where Kate’s excellent teaching skills together with her artistic and technical skills, which she so generously shared with us, gave us another great inspiring day. Thank you Kate Findlay.