Designer Spotlight – Kathryn Wagar Wright

Quilts above by Kathryn Wagar Wright:
Nancy’s Closet from Quiltmaker July/August 2016 (left), Half-Square Shuffle from McCall’s Quick Quilts August\September 2017 (right)

The following is from the Designer Spotlight feature with quilt designer, Kathryn Wagar Wright, from the Quiltmaker January/February 2019 issue.


An Artist Creates

Kathryn Wagar Wright is a native of West Milton, Ohio. With a BA and MFA in Studio Art, her design style is influenced by the styles of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and she looks to nature as her source of color inspiration. “I believe all color combinations can be observed in the outdoors, and I don’t rely on more formal color science for the visual appeal of my quilts,” says Kathryn. While her color inspiration is fascinating, we love getting a sneak peek into her relatively small sewing studio to see how she works.

How long have you been quilting?

I started sewing my own clothes in 7th or 8th grade and started my first hand-appliquéd quilt when I was a senior in high school (I still have the parts and pieces, I never finished it).

Tell us about your sewing space. Where is it located in your home?

My primary sewing space is in one of our extra bedrooms.

What do you love best about your space?

Great light with my sewing table in front of a window, and an entire side wall for pin-basting quilts. I use the same wall, covered with white, felt-backed tablecloth fabric (with the felt side out) for my design wall.

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Wagar Wright

How is your space laid out? Is there anything that helps your workflow or process?

Everything is positioned around the outside walls, including most of my fabric storage racks. Everything revolves around me (!) for easy access.

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Wagar Wright

What is your best storage tip?

I use a wire basket system so I can see and find my fabrics easily. I sort the fabrics by color or kind but not in an obsessive way.

How do you keep things organized? (“Organized” is a relative term, tell us what works for you.)

I’m a very scrappy designer and quilter, and I design and make both traditional and art quilts. The only organization is typically by color. Designer, manufacturer, even quality of fabric really doesn’t matter in some of my work.


Enjoy learning about the artists behind the quilts? Check out the Designer Spotlight featuring Terri Vanden Bosch also from the Quiltmaker January/February 2019 issue.

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