Nationally acclaimed quilter visits SaddleBrooke Friday Quilters

Friday Quilters were immediately caught up in Keith’s love of quilting.

Varda Main

Keith Dommer, a nationally acclaimed quilter, brought a large trunk show of his quilts to the Friday Quilters meeting November 30. Keith began quilting seriously in 1990 and has gone on to win 10+ national and 20+ state awards! He shared his journey from traditional quilter to that magical middle between traditional and art quilting where quilters mix components of traditional and non-traditional designs, colors and surface techniques, textures and embellishments.

Quilters follow many different paths as they evolve from first-time to long-time quilters and from beginning to serious/professionals. Keith was initially attracted to quilts inspired by other quilts and by structured techniques such as piecing (sewing together pieces of fabric cut out using templates to ensure precision). He found these techniques gave him the structure to be creative in his quilt designs and color choices. At first, he used fabrics from his mother’s and grandmother’s stash of fabrics. Coming from a large family of quilters can come in handy. If you ask quilters, they’ll tell you there can never be too many fabrics on hand. Keith says he doesn’t have a fabric stash, he has a fabric library. However, he views running out of fabric as a challenge, rather than a frustration. He looks for how to use alternate fabrics like including small pieces of silk ties and Asian-themed fabrics in a Christmas quilt.

Keith is fascinated by the way quilt blocks (the individual building blocks of many quilts) intersect. He began playing around with what effects occur as one manipulates these intersections. Keith has always been motivated by people telling him “no, you can’t do that.” It makes him want to find out a way to do just that. When it comes to designing quilts, Keith is of the philosophy that wonderful things come out of play. He’ll start a quilt with the germ of an idea and then lets the quilt evolve, designing as he goes.

Keith then started working in series, developing a series of quilts using a common theme, e.g. incorporating punctuation marks into the quilt design, as a way of challenging himself to fully develop his ideas. Over time he began incorporating more and more applique work (stitching a smaller piece of fabric onto a larger one to create a design) into his quilts and to finding design and color inspiration from things other than quilts. Keith has developed his own technique of using applique not just as a design element but as a means of building the quilt.

Friday Quilters meets every Friday, 9:00 a.m., Studio 4, SaddleBrooke One Arts & Crafts Building. We are a mix of traditional, magical middle and art quilters and fiber artists. Some of us have just started quilting and others of us have been doing it since were very young. At meetings we have demos of techniques/tools, show and tell of our projects and plan charity projects. Please come visit!