Karen Kay's Bio/Resumé
After graduation from Lock Haven University (a Pennsylvania State Teachers College) with a bachelor’s degree in Education in 1978, I found teaching positions were not only difficult to find, but nonexistent. While my husband was attending post graduate school, and I was working full time in the insurance industry, I enrolled in a quilting class at the local high school.
Since my first quilting class in 1982 I sought every quilting class possible to improve my techniques. In early 1986 my husband was offered an executive position in the Philadelphia area. As an incentive to my agreeing to move from Carlisle, Pennsylvania to a metropolitan area, we decided that I could open a small shop devoted strictly to quilting and quilting instruction. I immediately began to develop a business plan and using my education background, began developing classes and lesson plans.
On November 26, 1986, I opened The Country Quilt Shop in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The business grew by leaps and bounds. I taught beginners through advanced classes, dozens of workshops and gave many lectures. I continued to attend workshops myself. I used some of these quilters ideas for classes and workshops, and by 1988 began creating my own classes and patterns.
In the summer of 1989, my husband was appointed a position with the government in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After selling The Country Quilt Shop, we returned to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. At the time we sold the business I had taught over one thousand students how to quilt and many others on mastering different techniques. I left that aspect of quilting behind me and devote my time to teaching, designing and writing.
After finishing a book on beginners quilting during the summer of 1990, I entered into a publishing contract with the American Quilter’s Society, and my first book FROM BASICS TO BINDING: A COMPETE GUIDE TO MAKING QUILTS was published in the Spring of 1992. My second book, ABOVE AND BEYOND BASICS and my third book, LOVE TO QUILT: BEARS, BEARS, BEARS, were released in December, 1996. Along with several other authors, I worked with Rodale Press on a wonderful book called THE ULTIMATE VISUAL GUILD, which was released in the Winter of 1997. I have written several articles for quilting magazine. My fourth book APPLIQUE BASICS: FLOWER WREATHS was released in March, 2000. I am currently at work on a new book about designing borders for your quilts. It is due out in the Spring of 2006.
I have over 250 quilts to my credit, and my personal work has received numerous awards including seven Best of Show awards. I was voted teacher of the year by the PROFESSIONAL QUILTER MAGAZINE in 1997. My work has been featured in numerous magazines and calendars. I have thirteen cover quilts to my credit (I consider myself very lucky!). One of my quilts was chosen by Senator Wofford’s wife to be placed on display in the U. S. Capitol in 1992, and another was chosen for the same display in 1993. I have appeared on Simply Quilts and the new AQS show American Quilter. I have a very busy schedule teaching, judging and designing.
Yours in quilting,