Kathy Lichtendahl

Growing up on Prince Edward Island, Canada, I learned to sew at a young age. My mother was very involved in 4-H and my sister and I could hardly wait until we were old enough to participate! I was introduced to quilting at age 10 when my great grandmother passed away, leaving behind seven unfinished quilt tops that my mother and her sister decided to finish with the assistance of their seven children. I have wonderful memories of kneeling on a chair at the old homestead in Cavendish, leaning over the large wooden frame and helping to hand stitch the beautiful quilts.

From the beginning I designed my own patterns and experimented with techniques. At the age of 19 I attended a one year, full time college program titled “Textile Arts” in which students were encouraged to try new things while also focusing on the basics of clothing design, quilt construction and doll making.

Quilting and sewing took a back seat as I attended university to get my bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s in international business and then spent a number of years working as a marketing manager and traveling the world. It wasn’t until I returned to college in the mid-90’s to pursue a degree in interior design that I really began focusing once again on all things fabric. Since then I have designed and constructed more than 100 quilts, many of which have been entered in regional, national and international shows. I have been very lucky in that a number of my quilts have been published in a variety of magazines and books.

My quilts tend to follow one of two themes: stories or nature. In the case of the former, many of my pieces are actual backdrops for children’s stories or poems I have written. My nature quilts are often influenced by the beautiful surroundings in which I now live, at the base of the Beartooth Mountains in northern Wyoming. Although I love the traditional methods of piecing and appliqué I am not averse to using any technique I feel will work to tell the message. Many of my quilts are painted and/or constructed using my own hand-dyed fabrics. Although most of my work is designed to hang on the wall, I also make clothing, 3-D pieces and even the occasional bed quilt.

Besides designing and constructing quilts I also enjoy teaching and serving as an NQA Certified Quilt Judge.