The art quilt is a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Introducing Kevin Womack

Hello Everyone, I am Kevin Womack, a textile artist and fabric dyer/surface designer and a native of Lynchburg, VA.  I am blessed that I get to pursue my art full time.  I also teach, lecture and sell dyed fabrics and clothing to help pay the bills.  I have always loved quilts.  As a child, I marveled at the beauty of scrappy family quilts and wondered which of my ancestors' clothing had gone into making them.  In 1986, with the help of my grandmother, I decided to make a quilt of my own from family clothing.  After we finished the hand quilting (using old wooden frames hung from the ceiling) and the binding, I proclaimed that it would be a long time before I attempted another quilt!  The next morning, I drafted templates and started tracing and cutting the patches for my second quilt.  Twenty-nine years later, I'm still just as excited about making quilts.  Although I've shifted my focus to making art quilts (and art cloth), I still make traditional quilts periodically (usually using Kaffe Fassett fabrics).

Q:  In addition to art quilting, do you engage in any other artistic endeavors?
A:  I have always been interested in art.  I started in photography in college, dabbling in metals/jewelry, pottery, and oil painting throughout the years.  Some examples can be seen on the "Archives" page on my website:   Throughout that time, my interest in quilting has remained.  I see it as an extension of my artistic pursuits - in another medium.  I also count my dyeing and surface design work as another artistic endeavor.  I enjoy color theory, exploring interactions of colors and color mixing, so I get to play with those during dyeing sessions.

Q:  Do you have your own studio or do your work wherever you can find a spot?  What is your favorite feature of your work space and what is your least favorite feature?
A:  I do have a dedicated studio -- a 10' x 11' room in my home that used to function as a bedroom. My favorite feature is my 8' x 8' design wall.  My least favorite feature is that the room is not large enough for me to get back far enough from the design wall.  I am thankful for my reducing glass!  I also have a dedicated dye area in my basement for dye mixing and surface design techniques.  Actual dyeing takes place mostly outside in my yard.

Q:  Do you offer a professional service?
A:  Yes, in addition to teaching and lecturing on quilting and dyeing, I Shibori dye or monoprint fabric, t-shirts, scarves and sarongs that I sell.  Some examples are in my Etsy shop:  and on the "Shop" page of my website:  If you have any specific color requests, want to see photos of other dye techniques, or have any questions, please contact me at

Poisoned Water Art Cloth

Q:  Are you a member of a traditional quilt guild?  If so, how involved are you with your guild?  How many art quilt groups are you involved with?
A:   I am a member of Peaks and Pieces Quilt Guild of Bedford, VA and have been a member for twenty-four years.  I am currently serving as President.  In addition to SAQA, I am a member of the Art Quilt Network (AQN) , a group of approximately 80 art quilters that was founded in 1987 by Nancy Crow and Linda Fowler.  We hold two retreats each year, usually in Colombus OH, over a Thursday-Saturday long weekend, one in the Spring and one in the Fall.  At these retreats, we: have nationally-known speakers, participate in exercises/activities in strengthening our skills, hear in-depth presentations by members on their artistic journeys and participate in member sharing --where we all bring one piece we have finished or are working on to show to the group.  Although it is a conference and not a group, I attend Quilt Surface Design Symposium every year.  There are several other artists who attend regularly and I gather so much encouragement and inspiration working among them.  Making friends that I see yearly feels like we are in an unofficial group.  I call it my art tribe.

Sentinel by Kevin Womack

Q:  Is there anything that I didn't ask that you would really like to share?
A:  Yes.  I'm excited about my collaborative work with Eleanor McCain.  Through QSDS and AQN, I became friends with Eleanor and we decided to work together collaboratively on a series of quilts about the bed during different stages of life.  We are using photographic imagery, printed at Spoonflower, in a traditional kaleidoscope block to illustrate the subject of each "bed".  Pictured here is Death Bed, with a detail.
Death Bed collaboration by Kevin Womack and Eleanor McCain

Death Bed detail

People always ask "Who did what part?", assuming that we work independently of each other.  Both of us have been fully immersed in each aspect of making these quilts, from choosing the subject matter, choosing the photographic imagery, cutting fabrics, designing the quilt layout, sewing the quilt top together to the quilting.  Since she lives in Florida and I live in Virginia, we only have the opportunity to work together once a year, for one week at QSDS.  Lots of pre-planning and pre-cutting helps us in designing and sewing two quilt tops each time we get to work together.  There are a lot of late nights and marathon sewing sessions during our week together.  It is a lot of work, but oh, so worth it!  I cannot stress enough how richly rewarding this process has been.  Challenging each other, being open to trying someone else's ideas, and holding steadfast for ideas that you consider imperative have all helped me grow in my artistic journey.  More of our work can be seen here

As a result of our collaboration, I have become increasingly interested in printing my own designs on fabrics.  I never thought I would use digital imagery in my work, but I am enjoying the process of manipulation photos and seeing what effects I can create.  I guess I am coming full circle and incorporating my first love of photography in my fiber art.

My website is

Thanks Kevin for sharing a little about yourself and also for sharing your  interesting work with us.  Your dyed garments and the art quilts are beautiful!  Best wishes to you.

Anyone else in the NC/VA SAQA region who would like to be a featured artist on our blog, please contact me at


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