NQA Member Spotlight
Chris Lynn Kirsch
Chris Lynn Kirsch creates her quilts and fiber art in a log home in Watertown, Wisconsin. Having a degree in dental hygiene and no formal art training, she began her quilting journey in a traditional class she was dragged to by her sister-in-law in 1987. She was immediately addicted and within a few years was teaching classes herself. Along the way she discovered she enjoyed all aspects of quilting from the collecting of antique textiles, to the challenge of precise workmanship and even to the appreciation of quilted art. She was drawn to working with pattern and color and was inspired to attempt to create some of her own designs after taking a class with Caryl Bryer Fallert. Chris was very excited to discover an inner creatively she didn't know she possessed. In time she was making quilts for challenges and competitions and her work was winning awards around the country. Her current work is inspired by her Christian faith and the joy of playing with color, fiber and design.
Over the years Chris has had the opportunity to write 3 books. The first one, "Repliqué Quilts" (Maringale and Co., 2001), uses a technique for accurately reproducing favorite photographs in machine appliquéd. By stitching directly on an enlargement of the picture, wonderful replicas can be achieved without the need for fusibles or a degree in art.
Her second book was inspired by the birth of her first grandchild, Hanna. It reintroduced her repliqué technique as a clever way to add words to quilts. "Snuggle and Learn Quilts for Kids" (Martingale and Co., 2006) contains patterns for projects that are not only colorful and snuggly, but educational too.
Another pattern Chris is known for is Mariner's Compass. In the early 1990's, she came up with a way to easily draft a traditional compass block using only paper, a pencil and paper folding techniques. Because of this simple drafting trick, blocks can be made any shape and any size. Once drafted, paper piecing keeps everything accurate. This past year she decided to try her hand at self-publishing (with a great deal of help from her daughter-in-law Betsy who is a very talented graphic designer) and "Compass Capers - Create Your Own Unique Mariner's Compass Quilt" is now available.
Chris also teaches classes on free motion quilting (quilting the quilt should be as much fun as making the top!) and inspiring traditional quilters to create their own fiber art (if she can do it, she believes it's inside of all of us). She has a love for sharing her passion with others and presents her classes and workshops throughout the United States. She also enjoys travel and has been blessed with the opportunity to lead quilting adventures throughout the United States and Europe. Through a business she's built with her good friend Wendy Rieves, "Sew We Go" adventures takes quilters on riverboat cruises and bus tours. They have just returned from an October trip where their group of over 20 quilters toured, stitched and ate their way through Italy.
When asked about her quilting journey Chris replies "I am very blessed! I get to do what I love and people want to see my quilts and hear their stories. It doesn't get much better than that!"
Chris and her husband, Mike, are currently watching their 7 month old granddaughter, Sommer, full time while her parents are at work. It does cut into her quilting time, but they're a team and are enjoying this season of their lives immensely.
You may contact Chris at: email@example.com