Kansas Troubles


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I signed up for my first quilting class more than 25 years ago at a local quilt shop. When I admired a pattern with houses and stars, the owner asked if I’d like to make a sample for the shop with my payment as a kit for the same project. I returned a week later with two completed quilts – one for the shop and one for me. The sample for the shop was made exactly like the pattern had instructed with dozens of template pieces and y-seams. My quilt was a bit different… I had simplified the pattern by using connecting corners and layered triangles. That’s when the shop owner informed me, “You’ll never amount to anything as a quilter if you can’t follow instructions.”

I took this as a challenge.

For the next few years, I made little quilts to sell and peddled my own patterns locally until I finally took the leap and attended International Quilt Market. A Block-of-the-Month quilt I’d created using mostly Moda fabrics caught their attention and I was asked to join the Moda Designer team the following market. That was almost 17 years ago. More than 50 fabric collections later, I still embrace the nature-inspired color palette and prints that are Kansas Troubles’ classics.

I’m continually learning and growing as a designer, developing more simplified ways to piece traditional quilt blocks using my Layered Patchwork technique. I enjoy sharing my quilts and methods with quilters all over the country, teaching at quilt guilds, shops and on cruises. What a delightful way to spend your life, surrounded by quilts and quilters!

  • Moda Blockheads Week #38
    Blockheads Week #38 - Question of the Week I'm not that Mother/Mother-in-Law that insists my kids & grankids eat a second Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday just for me. Rather, Robert and I have a low key day, hanging out in our pj's, snacking on whatever we want and catching up... Read more »
  • All in a Row Again
    I'm so pleased to be included in the second edition of Martingale's All in a Row Again book. It's always fun to see what the other Moda designers dream up for their rows and how they all seem to work together. A warm "Thank You" to Lissa Alexander of Moda... Read more »
  • Moda Blockheads Week #37
    Blockheads Block-of-the-Week #37 - Double Delight Star by Lynne HagmeierMy Double Delight Star this week perfectly illustrates how my Layered Patchwork technique simplifies a difficult looking block. By breaking down the block into a basic 9-patch, then layering and topstitching the triangles & squares, I've eliminated more than 2 dozen seams... Read more »
  • KT Winners
    Look who's won an autographed copy of my new book, Cozy Quilts and Comforts - Judi Lovinger I have been awaiting this book (and not very patiently...just ask my friends!). I love the one on the wall above the bed, but this Checkerboard Garden takes my heart to a new level!! It... Read more »
  • Moda Blockheads Week #36
    Block-of-the-Week #36 - Shoo Dat by Carrie NelsonCarrie offers us a fun, easy block this week that's basically four square-in-a-square blocks with sashing. Very cool! Find Carrie's instructions on her blog HERE.Kathy's traditionally pieced block (left) goes all red and green for the holidays (are you even thinking about Christmas... Read more »
  • Cozy Quilts and Comforts Sneak Peek - Day 6
    November is FINALLY here! My new book, Cozy Quilts and Comforts will soon be at a quilt shop near you. Check out the final few projects in my Sneak Peek featuring traditional piecing and my Layered Patchwork technique below. Preorder you copy TODAY!My Prairie Pinwheel quilt is the perfect example... Read more »
  • Blockheads Week #35
    Block #35 - Northridge by Lisa BongeanAnother great block by Lisa that's kind of a dressed up square-in-a-square. Very clever (no surprise). Kathy made her traditional version of Northridge in Lisa's navy and cream mini prints. Joy chose a red/tan/navy color scheme for her Layered Patchwork option. Click HERE for... Read more »
  • Cozy Quilts and Comforts Sneak Peek - Day 5
    Oh my goodness! What a whirlwind at market - showing the quilts from my new book, Cozy Quilts and Comforts, demo-ing my Layered Patchwork technique, signing books, and visiting with all the good people from Martingale who have made it possible. A million thanks to Karen Johnson at Martingale who... Read more »
  • Cozy Quilts and Comforts Sneak Peek - Day 4
     It's almost time! November is just around the corner and so is the release of my new book, Cozy Quilts and Comforts, published by Martingale. As I've mentioned before, the staff at Martingale did an outstanding job of creating a beautiful, quality book that embodies the Kansas Troubles' style. Thanks... Read more »
  • Blockheads Week #34
    Block #34 - Jan's House Wouldn't you love to visit Jan Patek's house to see all her gorgeous quilts and primitives??? I know she has an open house each year. I need to add that to my bucket list. This week, she's sharing her home with in the form of a... Read more »
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