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Luke Haynes - Quilter, Designer, Textile Artist

Posted by Brenda Wolfensberger on

Photo credit: Nate Watters -
Photo credit: Nate Watters

The September Quilter's Stash Box will feature designer Luke Haynes.

Luke has designed a new pattern that our subscribers will be first to see. As curator for September, he has chosen fabrics from Paintbrush Studio that will be included in this month's exciting Stash Box.

Well known for his highly textured work using reclaimed and recycled fabrics, Luke is in demand for events, lectures and teaching. He travels extensively and has an upcoming excursion to Iceland. Throughout 2017 he is scheduled to appear in France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and other locations.

Blue Skies

Many first time quilters naturally choose a piece that is relatively easy to complete - perhaps a lap quilt or even a baby quilt. We we were stunned to find out that Luke's first work was 7' x 10'.

Blue Skies began as a series of blue, red and black squares from his mother that Luke had held onto for a while. He started hand sewing blocks together during classes and quickly changed to machine piecing. While he tells us that he didn't intend for his first quilt to be this large, the final outcome was indeed the abstract interpretation he set out to create. This piece is now part of the collection at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum.

How did all this begin? In the eighth grade Luke took a class on using a sewing machine. Many years later he went back to a machine, became comfortable enough to begin asking the right questions, and taught himself to quilt. 

A Labor of Love

His first quilt took almost two years to complete, but on average Luke now typically spends between 60 and 600 hours on a piece. This varies due to the complexity of some of his designs, such as this piece with Benjamin Franklin.

Spread over a surface as shown above, Franklin appears multidimensional, sitting upright as an optical illusion. Below you can see the quilt design flat, from above.

Given the level of detail and work that goes into every piece, we were interested to understand if Luke starts out with an idea or color palette first. "The colors are meant to illustrate the concept," he explains. "I use white, black, and red unless the design calls for something different... because developmentally those colors respond most with our biology."

Log Cabins of Donald Judd

Luke recently completed 50 quilts all in variations of the log cabin style. Made from reclaimed fabrics, each quilt is 90" square. They are "all different variations with the same language," Luke told Quiltmania, "all red centers with white and black fabric. "

The Disciplined Designer

Many of us have more UFO's awaiting completion than we care to count. Luke is disciplined about his unfinished work. "I have a shelf that it has to fit on," he says. If an unfinished project won't fit on his UFO shelf, he must finish another project to make room.

Follow Luke at his official website or on his Facebook page.

Subscribe in time to receive the September Quilter's Stash Box!

Join us as we take inspiration from Luke's Paintbrush Studio fabric selections and his brand new pattern in the September Stash Box. You can choose a monthly subscription in the U.S. to enjoy steeply discounted shipping, and we offer international shipping as well. Our annual subscription saves you $200 over the cost of single boxes in the U.S.

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  • I’m going to practice more discipline in finishing. Having had a fractured foot this year has put me way behind but I’m going to get very serious after daughters wedding in two weeks!

    Lorraine Zensen on
  • amazing wish I had more discipline

    Faith Meadows on

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