Every three or four months, I have been stepping back and taking a moment to focus on a member of my amazing staff to give them the recognition they so deserve. Today, I would like to profile the invaluable Diane Kirkhart.
I do not use the word “invaluable” lightly. Diane makes the majority of samples for the shop and, in so doing, proofs the patterns. When we receive phone calls with questions about orders or piecing a quilt, it is Diane who often answers the phone.
Diane is also our notions “queen.” She places orders and hunts down interesting new gadgets to try always looking for the best prices to pass along to you.
Diane started sewing at the age of five. Her mom asked her if she would like to make a coat for her doll. When Diane answered, “yes” she said her mom “told me I should do it all by myself, so I did!” This was just the beginning of a lifetime of interest in arts and crafts.
In the 1990’s, Diane was teaching decorative painting when a student brought her along to a meeting of her quilt group. “I realized I could do my art in fabric,” Diane says. A quilter was born!
Applique and hand quilting are Diane’s favorites. “Thanks, Emily,” dedicated to her first appliqué teacher Emily Martin, won best hand workmanship for a wall quilt at the former Williamsburg quilt show, now the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.
“Beauty Happiness, Family, Love,” began in a class with teacher Patricia McLaughlin where Diane learned to create a lifelike Japanese lady. From this, she created this beautiful and peaceful scene. She found patterns for the blocks from Kumiko Sudo’s Circles of the East with the Japanese symbols being found on the internet. This quilt was accepted into the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2012.
When asked what her favorite quilt is Diane didn’t hesitate to answer that it is usually whatever she is working on. It is the challenge of trying something new that she loves best.