My name is Katja and I'm PhD researcher at the University of Kent in England. I'm obsessed with quilting, a feminist activist, and love literature and reading. Naturally, my PhD project is focused on exactly these three things: stitching, writing, and feminist activism. 

I became first acquainted with quilting about ten years ago during my one year stay in the US as a high school exchange student. Everyone seemed to have some kind of quilted object in their home: simple rag quilts, appliqué wall hangings, traditional samplers. I was (and still am) fascinated by their texture - the cool feeling of cotton on your skin on a warm summer night and the cozy warmth a quilt provided during the cold Wisconsin winter. 

About three years later, when I had half a year off in between finishing high school in Germany and starting university, the time had finally come for me to learn how to make my very own quilt. I started out with a cheap AEG sewing machine, a patchwork magazine, and some fabrics for soft furnishings. Through a series of wonderful coincidences I was then introduced to a local group of women who had taken up quilting a few years previous. These women (most of them in their mid-fifties and early sixties) took me in their midst -no questions asked- and infected me with the quilting virus. They were more than happy to share their knowledge with a young person and I am extremely grateful for the knowledge and sisterhood they provided. 

Since then I never stopped stitching, dug into the history of quilting and have become a regular flaneur of the vast online quilting scene. In 2014, I started teaching quilting classes at a local quilt shop in Southeast England and some of my quilts have been in small quilt shows in Germany and the UK. My own work is inspired by traditional quilts and techniques as well as the modern quilt movement. I'm a fervent upcycler and like to include old clothing and sheets in my projects. All my works are quilted by myself on my home sewing machine or by hand. 

I'm intrigued by the stories quilts and cloths tell about their makers and the kind of bonds they create between women - a quilt is so much more than a mere utility object! My academic work attempts to theorize this and to highlight the radical political potential of quilts (and needlework) and the practise of making textile crafts. Any suggestions, questions, feedback and constructive criticism are more than welcome! Please do get in touch!

And in case you've been wondering what Kamaquilts means: it's a word play with the word 'karma' (which means the sum of somebody's good and bad actions in his or her life) and my first and last name. Get it?


The opinions and views expressed on this blog are entirely my own and do not reflect those of any institution or association I am or may be affiliated with.
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