Tigerfish is McKenna Ryan‘s latest premier line of Batiks with Robert Kaufman. Featuring a gorgeous range of sweet and bright colors, this collection pulls inspiration from the sea. The coordinating Aurifil Thread Collection, The Tropical Box, features our 50wt thread. Though it was designed to coordinate with Tigerfish, it makes a terrific Summer sewing companion to a variety of prints and solids!
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
The Tropical Box
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 12 Large Spools
1125 – 2588 – 2435 – 1148 – 2805 – 5005 – 2105 – 3660 – 2884 – 3320 – 1243 – 3840
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 10 Small Spools
1243 – 2805 – 3320 – 3840 – 2884 – 3660 – 2105 – 1148 – 1125 – 2435
To view this info on our website, click on either of the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
How did you first discover the world of quilting and what was it that really drew you in?
As a child, my greatest joy and solace came from immersing myself in nature, collecting driftwood, rocks and wildflowers to create natural one-of-a-kind art pieces. I told my family that someday I would live surrounded by mountains, flowers and wildlife, near lakes and streams. Years ago, I found myself immersed in a corporate lifestyle in Boston and made the grand decision to leave it all behind and move to the wilds of Montana. On the way there, I wandered into a quilt shop for the first time. It was mesmerizing and I felt as though time almost stood still. The colors, textures and designs of the quilts moved me beyond words and the seeds were planted.
How did your new surroundings inspire an eventual quilting career?
As I settled into my new community of only 200 residents, I quickly discovered that many of the women spent the wintry months quilting. I took an appliqué quilting class, bought my first sewing machine for $50.00 and found a passion I had never really known before. Living at the edge of Glacier National Park, natural beauty was all around. I wanted to reflect this, in quilts, but at the time there were few nature-inspired patterns, so I started making my own.
What is the process of creating like for you, whether it be for a new fabric collection, a new pattern, or something different entirely?
Over the years, I’ve realized that designs tend to come to me in their own time and I just need to trust the process. Sometimes an entire compilation will just appear in my head and I have to quickly sketch the overall composition. Then, I start pulling fabrics and colors that I know will achieve a certain feel. Next, I go to work on the details, cutting as many as 25 prototypes of a plant or animal before selecting one that best fits with the scale and flow of the entire piece. When I can connect to the creative process as a part of creation itself and let my work fulfill a higher purpose, then I am always pleased when the process is complete. It is not so much that I have created a new design, but participated in it. The better I become at trusting this process, the more I am able to access a certain grace that is inherent in the process. This grace or connection is what I believe makes art come to life. And I believe all great art is alive.
How did you decide to start your own business and what was the process like for you?
As I continued to grow and learn within the practice of quilting, I found a color, balance and design that were uniquely my own, and decided to start my own design company. On one of my long drives through the Rocky Mountains (2.5 hours to the grocery store!) I noticed the beautiful pine forests and claimed the name for my company: Pine Needles. I attended my very first Quilt Market in 1995 and though it was a wonderful experience, I found that my personal success came when I didn’t worry about trends in the marketplace and instead followed my heart. At my second Quilt Market, I introduced “Moose Junction.” I consider it to be one of my big milestones! It had masculine character with feminine appeal, and it was just what the market needed.
How would you describe your creative vision and how it infects your work?
My tag line is “Simply Beautiful…Beautifully Simple”. As I’ve grown over the years, I find that I want to challenge myself in capturing more depth and dimension with the use of fabric, while still making it a project that is easy and fun. I love the idea of quilting as a ‘living art.’ When I design, one of the greatest gifts is the awareness that what I create is going to come to life again and again in a myriad of incredible and unique ways. When I started my company, part of my mission statement was that I wanted to somehow touch the lives of others through my art. Since starting, I feel that my designs have touched the lives of many. It is this aspect of my work that truly means the most!
*Patterns for all quilt projects shown above will be available on McKenna’s website starting in October.
MCKENNA’S APPLIQUE QUILT METHOD (via Fons & Porter)
To enter-to-win 1 Tropical Box by McKenna Ryan for Aurifil Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Tigerfish by McKenna Ryan for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, August 10! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, August 11. Good luck!
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Terry Helms!
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McKenna Ryan’s Art Quilt and Fabric Showroom is nestled in the hamlet of the historic Milwaukie district just South of Portland proper. Her website has become a destination for quilters worldwide. Visit either to truly immerse yourself in McKenna’s world, where hummingbirds hover over brilliant flowers, elk bugle in lush fabric forests, eagles soar across quilted landscapes and smoke rises wistfully from cabins in the woods. Come in, cozy up, and see why McKenna’s quilt artistry has captivated fans across the globe. (see more via McKenna’s Robert Kaufman Designer Page)
**All images and biographical text courtesy of McKenna Ryan Designs.