Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI
Kelley’s love for fabric is reflected in her work. She claims to sit for hours choosing the textures, colors, and prints that go into each piece. Even the thread is carefully chosen to complement the overall look. This fiber artist does it all, from the pattern making and designs to cutting and sewing. From the bricks in the doorstops to the fabric on the pillows, she reuses and transforms materials using techniques from a century ago. The raw edge applique adds character to each piece and mimics how fabric would have frayed before glues and stabilizers were used. Kelley particularly enjoys working with prints and frequently uses fabrics with different aesthetics (e.g., a futuristic print with a vintage brocade) to blend into a new style all her own.
Vintage and new upholstery fabrics are used for the base of her creations. Topstitch quilting and apparel fabrics are used to form faces and create a raw-edge look. Kelley does not use glues or other stabilizers, rather, she strives to create her kritters using the same traditional techniques from long ago. Many pieces are sewn on by hand and each piece is finished using a blind/ladder stitch for a seamless look. Kelley sketches all of her own patterns and hand cuts all pieces–no commercial dies or patterns are used.