Quilt Artist, Teacher, and Owner of Kena Quilt Studio
Kena began quilting over 20 years ago while living in Harlem, NYC. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Kena moved to New York City and lived there for 18 years before moving west to Los Angeles, CA
She was originally self taught and started out by learning the basic techniques for piecing traditional blocks and patterns. Early on, Kena was influenced by many of the Harlem Renaissance artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Zora Neale Hurston, James Van Der Zee, and Langston Hughes, to name a few. So, it’s no surprise that when she quickly became intrigued with portrait quilts, that she began making raw edge appliqué story and art quilts using images that reflect African American people.
While living in Harlem, New York, Kena had an abundance of access to African shops and boutiques along 125th Street, so she began infusing African wax prints, kente cloth and mud cloth textiles into her quilting projects - by making wall hangings, table runners and quilted bags with them. She also loves working with Indonesian Batiks and had fun purchasing a large collection of them on her trip to Indonesia a few years ago!
Kena teaches both in-person and live virtual CLASSES, WORKSHOPS and LECTURES. A number of her classes such as “Let’s Make a Selfie-Portrait Quilt” is available on-demand for open enrollment and “The Big, The Bold, The Beautiful: Working with African Fabrics in Quilts” is coming soon!
When not designing and making quilts, Kena teaches filmmaking and television production to high school students and is an adjunct professor at a local college where she teaches cinema and multi camera television studio production courses.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a look around. Check out my BLOG and my GALLERY to learn more about what I do. I'd love to keep in touch through my NEWSLETTER as well. Thank you for joining me on this quilting journey together!