by Mary Beth Krapil
You may know Kelly Cline from her Quilting Vintage Facebook Group. She does amazing things with vintage linens and her Handi Quilter Fusion with Pro-Stitcher! But did you know that she is a HQ Ambassador? We sat down with Kelly to get to know her a little better.
Kelly lives in Lawrence, KS, and quilts on an HQ Fusion with Pro-Stitcher and a Simply Sixteen. Married to her high school sweetheart, Carl, for almost 40 years, Kelly and Carl have 2 grown daughters and 3 grandchildren. She has stitched and crafted since she was a little girl. Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design and having a lengthy career as a professional calligrapher, she has always been involved in the arts. Kelly was bitten by the quilting bug when she found an unfinished quilt in her grandmother’s basement in 2005. She hand quilted it and gifted it back to her grandmother. Adding a long arm to her life in 2013, she found a faster way to finish those forgotten tops and quickly developed a fondness for the handwork of long ago.
HQ: What does being an HQ Ambassador mean to you?
KC: In order for me to endorse anything, I have to wholeheartedly believe in the quality, integrity, and craftsmanship of the product. It’s easy representing Handi Quilter because I believe in their products, their people, and their company. For me, there is nothing more fun than to share this craft, meet new people, and associate with quilters. I guess you could say, I’ve “found my tribe” with Handi Quilter.
HQ: How long have you been an HQ Ambassador?
KC: I’ve been an HQ Ambassador since 2016.
HQ: Do you have a technique that you specialize in?
KC: Yes I do! I’ve always admired vintage linens, quilts, and handwork. When I began quilting for hire, I was not a piecer and really had nothing to practice on. My friends all offered their tops, however, I wasn’t comfortable practicing on their beautifully pieced creations.
I had the idea to buy inexpensive tops from online sources such as Ebay. I soon discovered I bought plenty of practice pieces, and like my grandmother’s quilt, knew there would be tops that would remain unfinished. This is what really started my journey into vintage quilting. Over the last several years, I have developed an affection for smaller, intricate pieces. I take embroidery, lace, and old linens; and transform them into modern day pieces of art.
HQ: What is the most fun thing you have done as an Ambassador?
KC: I’ve been teaching my spin on quilting vintage pieces for about 2 years now and simply love demonstrating my tips and techniques. Talking to quilting guilds, showing my trunk show, and teaching vintage quilting on the long arm and domestic machine has become something I’m passionate about sharing. The most rewarding experience has been the countless friendships I have made on this journey. As an HQ Ambassador, my husband and I traveled to Australia last year where I taught at the 2017 HQ Academy Down Under. What a fabulous experience seeing the beautiful country and meeting such wonderful people!
HQ: Of all your quilts, which is your favorite?
KC: Hands down, “Champagne and Caviar”. This quilt began its life as a tablecloth. It was completely hand embroidered with silk thread and drawn thread handwork about 100 years ago. I quilted it for a 2017 exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum. It was on exhibition for 4 months. Affectionately, I call it my masterpiece, as I may never do anything quite like this again.
HQ: Do you still have your first quilt?
KC: I do, only because sentimental reasons will not allow me to get rid of it. I made it in 1984 for my first daughter. The theme for her nursery was clowns, so I drew a clown, cut out shapes, and did a sort of applique on a backing. I really didn’t know much of what I was doing, but it worked. She and I enjoyed many hours with that quilt!
HQ: Who/what is your inspiration/muse?
KC: So many people have touched my life! Many I’ve never met, but I so admire their handwork. For me, inspiration is everywhere. I find it in art, nature, fabric, friends, travel, the list goes on and on. It seems to come out of nowhere and when you least expect it.
HQ: Of all the “tasks” in creating a quilt, which is your fave and least favorite?
KC: I’m not much of a piecer, I’m more of a quilter. I can hardly wait for the design process on a new piece. Figuring out the quilting design is tops on my list of faves. My least favorite would be the repetition of a design. Once I’ve mastered the design, repeating it is dreadful, for me. I really enjoy that first creative process.
HQ: How can our readers get in touch with you?
KC: You can find me at www.kellyclinequilting.com and also on Facebook and Instagram at Kelly Cline Quilting.
Thank you Kelly, for creating beautiful quilted works of art from abandoned vintage textile pieces and for representing Handi Quilter in such a unique way. We love having you as a part of the Handi Quilter family!