Sunday, February 21, 2021

Member Spotlight : Kelly Buch

This month we're spending some time with one of the Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild's newer members, Kelly Buch.

KMQG: How long have you been quilting?

Kelly: 15 years

Who or what inspired you to start quilting?

My dad encouraged me to make my first quilt. His mom died when he was young, and one of his last memories of her was when they quilted together, so he encouraged me and my sisters to try it out. My oldest sister, Kristin, and I both loved it, and we've been quilting together ever since. Over the past few years, I've started to quilt without her (because she lives in Illinois and has several kids), but I try to work on a project with her once a year.

Tell us about the first quilt you ever made.

The first quilt I ever made was part of a Lutheran World Relief project. We picked up a bag of 12" squares from church and made a quilt top from that. The fabric was all donated and mismatched, and I remember spending hours moving blocks around until we liked the pattern. Turns out to this day, my favorite part quilting is when I'm the floor, placing and replacing blocks until I'm happy with the layout.

What is your favorite quilt you’ve ever made?

My sister and I made a quilt for her friend's wedding. It was kind of brick-like, with bricks that were all 1 inch by 3 inch, 6inch or 9inch. All the fabrics were shades of purple or gray. We wanted it to appear random, so we created a really detailed pattern based on sevens. We had to create a very intricate numbering and naming system to know what part of the quilt we were working on. It was so complicated, but it made my math brain very happy.

What kind of sewing machine(s) do you have?

Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2

What is your favorite sewing tool or notion?

a wool ironing pad

What are your favorite colors to use in quilts?

Teals, purples, and greys

Describe your quilting style in one word.


What other hobbies do you have?

Knitting, Tree Identification, being an aunt, inclusion and diversity in STEM, math, going to breweries, candle making

Do you collect anything? (Other than quilting fabric, of course!) If so, what?

Pint glasses from breweries

What is your favorite movie?

The Princess Bride

What is your favorite book?

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

What is your favorite food?

Crab Legs

Coffee or tea?


Sweet or savory?


What is your dream job?

A professor at a primarily undergraduate institution, where I can split my time between teaching and facilitating undergraduate research

Where is your dream vacation destination?

Anywhere warm. Maybe with mountains and water.

Which is your favorite season?


If you won millions in the lottery and had to selfishly spend it on yourself, what would you treat yourself to?

A personal stylist and a house with lots of guest bedrooms

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?


When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Last month I made candles for the first time!

Would you rather be able to run at 100 miles per hour or fly at 10 miles per hour and why?

Run at 100 miles per hour. I am always late to things.

Want to learn more about Kelly? Check out her academic website or follow her on Instagram: @kellyyyruth. You can find KMQG on Instagram @KnoxMQG.