BIOGRAPHY

Kayla Kennington has been creating one-of-a-kind silk clothing and art-to-wear showpieces for galleries, individual clients and shows for over 35 years. She jumped into the sewing world in 2000 as an author, educator, small pattern company, and world class art-to-wear designer.

Winning the “Crème de la Crème” Award in the Bernina Fashion Show in 2001 with the “Butterfly Coat”, and again in 2002 with the “Fire Blossom Phoenix” she received the Bernina Hall of Fame Award in 2003. Kayla won another International award at the Fashion Fantasia competition in Australia, November, 2004. Kayla then created two more Bernina showpieces (but not for judging) in 2003 and 2004, and then was a judge at the 2005 Bernina Fashion Show. Kayla created “Fantasia Fleur du Soleil”, a fanciful Cirque du Soleil-like showpiece for the 2006 Bernina Fashion Show and created the “Omega M17-Queen of the Heavens” gown for the 2007 show, (again, Kayla did not participate in the judged portion of the competition).

A National Speaker and Educator, Kayla spends part of her time traveling, giving workshops, retreats, trunk shows, fashion shows, and inspirational slide presentations.

She also writes for national sewing magazines; Kayla Kennington is a contributing author for Threads Magazine, Designs in Machine Embroidery, Belle Armoire, and Fiberarts magazine. Kayla has also has been featured on DIY and Oregon Art Beat, and in various books. Kayla had a Master Class article in Threads May 2007 describing her process of creating an Art-to-Wear Showpiece.

Modular Design or Couture Artwear is Kayla’s small pattern company, translating her (more subtle) couture garment designs into a pattern collection which sells worldwide. These patterns include Kayla’s signature/unique seaming styles, and an illustration for nearly every step, addressing the abilities of both beginner and advanced sewers. Kayla’s patterns have no facings, no zippers, and no buttonholes, and lots of creative potential.

Her previous career as an integrated circuit layout design specialist in the high tech industry (Kayla’s “day-job” until 1985), has contributed much to her ability to engineer complex works of art-to-wear as well as translate her designs into patterns and clear instructions.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kayla returned to college and studied fashion Design in 1985 and achieved three scholarships, divisional honors and 1st place state-wide in a design competition. She has been doing what she loves, full-time, ever since.

 

PUBLICATIONS

  • SPIN Magazine, Silk Painters International, feature, January 2015
  • “Artwear Update”, Newsletter October 2013
  • Statesman Journal, featured article, Tu-Tu Tuesday, August 12, 2012
  • Our Town, feature article, front page, Silverton Oregon, November 2011
  • Threads Magazine, Master Class “Mini-Shibori”, Issue #153, Dec. 2010
  • Times Colonist, Victoria BC, Canada, Feature “Designer Creates Wearable Art”, March 11, 2011
  • Stitches Magazine, feature article, “The Show Stopper”, December 2009
  • Through The Needle, Bernina Fashion Show Garment, Winter 2007
  • Designs in Machine Embroidery, “Feathery Embroidery” ,June 2007
  • Threads Magazine,Master Class “Develop Your Personal Style”, May 2007
  • Through The Needle, Bernina Fashion Show Garment, Winter 2006
  • Belle Armoire, Feature Artist, April 2005
  • Through The Needle, feature, May 2005
  • Sulky Machine Embroidery Book, feature, 2004
  • Threads Magazine,” Designer Challenge”, April/May 2005
  • Threads Magazine, “In Design” back cover feature ” Happy Flowers Regalia Girl”, Feb. 2005
  • Threads Magazine, “Simple, Sophisticated, and Designed by You”, Feb. 2005
  • Designs in Machine Embroidery, cover, feature "Tessellated Embroidery", Feb. 2004
  • Fiberarts Design Book 7, “Fire Blossom Phoenix” showpiece
  • Fiberarts Magazine, “Copyrights, Trademarks, and Workshop Ethics” feature Dec.2004
  • “Fashion and Imagination”, designer show book, Nov.2003
  • Professional Association of Custom Clothiers, National Newsletter, feature November 2003
  • Threads Magazine, " Hand Embellished Machine Embroidery", September, 2003
  • Designs in Machine Embroidery Cover, "Reversible Embroidery", March, 2003
  • Threads Magazine, " Embroidered to Suit", Nov. 2002
  • “Fashion and Imagination”, designer show book, Nov.2002 Designs
  • in Machine Embroidery "Embroidery on Chiffon", May,2002
  • Threads Magazine, " Mini Quilts and Color Groups", June 2002
  • “Fashion and Imagination”, designer show book, Nov.2001
  • Threads Magazine, "Seams as an Element of design", Dec 2001
  • Threads Magazine, "Abstract Fabric Collage", Dec2000
  • San Jose Mercury News, feature “Style” Museum of Art show, March 15, 1999
  • San Jose Mercury News, feature on Quilt made with Kayla fabrics November 1997
  • Contemporary Doll Magazine, 3 page “feature article” January 1994
  • Sebastopol Times, Feature as “Art Trails” participant
  • Sunset Magazine, mention re: “Art Trails” 1993
  • Sonoma Style Magazine, Cover Story, January 1992
  • San Jose Mercury News, Feature  May 25th 1988
  • Santa Cruz Sentinel, feature, 1986

AWARDS

  • First Place, All Silks, Fashion Fantasia International, Australia, Nov. 2004Bernina
  • Fashion Show Hall of Fame, 2003
  • First Place, art-to-wear "Crème de la Crème" Award , Bernina Fashion Show International 2002
  • First Place, art-to-wear "Crème de la Crème" Award , Bernina Fashion ShowInternational 2001
  • Second Place, San Jose Museum of Art, "Headdress Ball" 1989First Place (Statewide),
  • "Creative use of Textiles", Fashion Symposium, San Francisco 1986
  • "Design Student of the Year", West Valley College 1986 "Divisional Honors"
  • West Valley College, 1986 "Associated Student Body Scholarship", West Valley College 1986

SIGNIFICANT PROJECTS

  • Judge, Bernina Fashion Show , Houston, TX, October 2005
  • Endorsements for Bernina International Sewing Machine Co, 2007
  • Judge, hobbs Fashion Show, Paducah, KY, April 2007
  • Mentor for Passion for Fashion Competition, Novi MI, Sept 2007
  • Promotional materials for Bernina BSR ad campaign, stitched “free lady”, July 2005
  • Sample garments for serger ads for the Bernina Sewing Machine Internationally. 2006

SHOWS

  • Santa Fe, Silk Painters International Fashion Show, July 2014
  • Art at the Source, Sonoma County CA, May/June 2014
  • Flirt with Fashion, Fashion Show, Creekside Grill Nov 21, 2013
  • Canada Designer Sale, Sept 28, 2013
  • Fashion Show, Howard Hindsale Wine Bar, Silvertton, Oregon Feb 10, 2013
  • Flirt with Fashion, Fashion Show, Creekside Grill Nov 17, 2012
  • Canada Designer Sale, Sept 28, 2012
  • Vast Art Tour (Open Studio), Marion County, Oregon ,Sept 9, 2012
  • Fashion Show, Howard Hindsale Wine Bar, Silvertton, Oregon April 1, 2012
  • IPCA, International Textile Expo, Fashion Show & booth March 2012
  • “Lust for Couture”, Gallery Show, Fiber Arts Design, Palo Alto, CA May 2012
  • Stitches in Bloom, Silverton, Oregon January 2012
  • Mens Night Out, & Brides, Silverton, Oregon Dec 11, 2011
  • IPCA, International Textile Expo, Fashion Show & booth March 2011
  • Fashion Show, Howard Hindsale Wine Bar, Silvertton, Oregon July 11, 2011
  • Ladies Night Out, Oregon Garden, Silverton Oregon, January 28 2011  
  • PIQF, Designing Women Fashion Show, Santa Clara, CA Oct 15, 2010
  • Sewing Show, Victoria BC Canada, Keynote and Fashion Shows,March 2010
  • IPCA, International Textile Expo, Fashion Show & booth March 2010
  • Sewing Show, Kitchner, Onterio, Canada,keynote/fashion show, March 2009
  • IPCA, International Textile Expo, Fashion Show & booth March 2009
  • Sew Expo, Puyallup WA, booth and Fashion Show, February 2009
  • American Sewing Expo, mentor, Passion for Fashion, Detroit MI, Sept 2008
  • Food For Fashion, fashion show for local cherity, Salem Oregon, May 2008
  • IPCA, International Textile Expo, Fashion Show & booth March 2008
  • Creative Festival, Toronto, Canada, keynote/fashion show, October 2008
  • Bernina Fashion Show, Houston Texas, October 2007 (special non-compete invitation)
  • IPCA, International Textile Expo, Fashion Show & booth March 2007
  • Sew Expo, Puyallup WA, booth and Fashion Show, February 2007
  • Bernina Fashion Show, Fantasia Fleur du Soleil, Houston, Texas Oct. 2006 (special non-compete invitation)
  • IPCA, International Textile Expo, Fashion Show & booth March 2006
  • Sew Expo, Puyallup WA, booth and Fashion Show, February 2006
  • American Sewing Expo, keynote speaker, Detroit MI, Sept 2005
  • IPCA, International Textile Expo, Fashion Show & booth March 2005
  • Marin Needle Arts Festival, Display 5 award winning garments, September 2005
  • IPCA, International Textile Expo, Fashion Show & booth September 2005
  • Threads Garment Challenge, Minneapolis, MN 2005
  • Fashion Fantasia, Australia, “Modern Japanese Bride”, 2004 (1st place all silks)
  • PIQF, Santa Clara, CA, Designing Women Oct. 2004
  • Quilt Expo, Husquvarna Fashion Show, The Hague, The Netherlands, “Modern Japanese Bride”, 2004
  • Quilt Expo, Bernina Fashion Show, The Hague, The Netherlands, “Madame Dragonfly”, 2004
  • Bernina Fashion Show, Houston, “Happy Flowers Regalia Girl”, 2005(special non-compete invitation)
  • Creative Sewing and Needle Arts Festival, Toronto, Canada “Butterfly and Fire Blossom Phoenix”
  • Bernina Fashion Show, Houston TX "Madame Dragonfly" Nov, 2003 (special non-compete invitation)
  • Widney Moore Gallery, Portland Oregon, February-March 2003
  • Bernina Fashion Show, Sew Expo, WA "Fire Blossom Phoenix" Feb. 2002 (Crème de la Crème winner)
  • Bernina Fashion Show, Houston TX "Fire Blossom Phoenix" Nov, 2002 (1st place Winner)
  • Bernina Fashion Show, Barcelona , Spain "Bernina Butterfly Coat" February 2003
  • Bernina Fashion Show, Houston TX "Bernina Butterfly Coat" Nov, 2001 (1st place Winner)
  • Skylight Gallery, Art Allience, December-January 2003
  • Santa Fe Weaving Gallery, "Secret Messages", Oct. 2001
  • Oregon College of Art and Craft “Art on the Vine” benefit auction May 2001
  • Santa Fe Weaving Gallery, “art dolls”, December, 2000
  • Santa Fe Weaving Gallery, “Cirque 2000” October,2000
  • San Jose Quilt Museum, “tic-tac-toe”, June 2001
  • San Diego Quilt Museum, “tic-tac-toe,” April 2001
  • Fine Focus, On-line, "tic-tac-toe" Jan, 2000
  • San Jose Museum of Art, “Art for Wearing” March 22, 1999
  • “Open Studios” Santa Cruz County, October, 1999
  • American Quilters Society, quilt show in Paducah, KY , April 1999
  • “Art in Fashion” Oakland Museum of Art, November 1998
  • Folk Art Museum, San Francisco, Fort Mason Center, Yearly 1992-1998
  • Obiko, San Francisco , biannual benefit fashion shows 1986-1997
  • Artful Eye, Healdsburg, Trunk Show 1996
  • Obiko San Francisco, Figurative Sculpture (dolls) 1993
  • Jacquline Lippetz Gallery, Glenco, biannual Trunk Shows 1994-1996
  • Artful Eye, Calistoga, Trunk Show, October 1996
  • Art Trails, Sonoma County 1992,1993,1994
  • Mindscape Gallery, Figurative Sculpture Show, Evanston, IL 1994
  • Open Studios, San Jose CA 1987,1988
  • “Best” of the Contemporary Arts and Crafts, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco CA 1993
  • “Art in Fashion” Marin Civic Center 1992
  • “Figurative Sculpture” Sun Gallery, Hayward 1992
  • “Art to Wear” Convergence’90, Handweavers Guild of America, San Jose 1989
  • San Jose Contemporary Arts Gallery,” Fiber Arts Show”, San Jose, CA,1990
  • “International Fashion Week”, Taipei Taiwan, Far Eastern Co., World Trade Center 1989
  • “Images” Fashion Show , Hong Kong, 1989
  • “Interior Design Center Fashion Show”, Showplace Square, San Francisco, 1989
  • “Designed to Wear”, Portland School of Arts and Crafts 1988
  • “Art for Wearing”, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA 1988
  • “Tribal Themes” Nordstrom , Valley Fair, San Jose 1987
  • “Design Symposium”, Showplace Square, San Francisco, CA 1986

MEDIA

  • Abstract Fabric Collage, CD, June 9, 2010
  • Abstract Fabric Collage, You Tube, June 9, 2010
  • Roll-Hem sewinhg demo, You Tube, Dec 2007, (104,150 “hits” as of Nov 2013)
  • Roll-Hem sewinhg demo, part 2 You Tube, Dec 2007
  • Promotional DVD testimonial for Bernina BSR “I’m free” campaign
  • Oregon Public Broadcasting, "Art Beat" featured artist-“update”, November 2005
  • Oregon Public Broadcasting, "Art Beat" featured artist, February 2003
  • Oregon Public Broadcasting, "Art Beat" guest of featured artist, June 2003
  • Scripps Howard News Service "DIY" TV, Sew Much More, featured guest January 2003 (reruns, 3 months throughout the US in 2005)

WORKSHOPS and LECTURES

  • Silk Painters International, keynote lecture and workshop, July 2013 Santa Fe, NM
  • Columbia Stitchery Guild, Portland, OR, Lecture & Workshops, March 2014
  • Winter Magic Retreat w Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Maxwell Court, Santa Rosa CA Feb 2014
  • Modular Magic Retreat, Maxwell Court Santa Rosa, w Jean Cacicedo, Oct 2013
  • Treasured Bits Neckpieces, Maxwell Court, Nov 19, 2013
  • Panel Vest Variations, Maxwell Court, Santa Rosa, CA Nov 2013
  • Whimsical Wool Hats, Maxwell Court, Nov 10, 2013
  • Tu-Tu Tuesday, Maxwell Court, teach children to use machine, Nov 5, 2013
  • Modular Magic Sewing & Design Retreat, Silverton Oregon, Sept 8-12, 2013
  • Modular Magic Retreat, Santa Rosa, CA October 8-12, 2013
  • Columbia Fiber Arts Group, lecture, March 2013
  • Fiber Clay & Intuition, art doll making, August 1-3, 2013
  • Peninsula Wearable Arts, keynote and workshops, October 2012
  • American Sewing Guild, Salem, Oregon, 2012
  • Modular Magic Sewing & Design Retreat, Silverton Oregon, August 7-11, 2013
  • Me Posters, collage, Silverton, OR 2013
  • (gap in records due to lost data)
  • Greenbaums Quilted Forest, Salem Oregon, Abstract Fabric Collage workshop, April 2012
  • Modular Magic Sewing & Design Retreat, Silverton Oregon, August 2011
  • Sewing Tradeshow workshops, Victoria BC Canada March 2010
  • Modular Magic Sewing & Design Retreat, Portland, Oregon, August 2010
  • Sievers School of Fiber Arts, Modular Design/Abstract Fabric Collage, June 2010
  • Sewing Tradeshow workshops, Victoria BC Canada March 2009
  • Modular Magic Sewing & Design Retreat, Portland, Oregon, August 2009
  • Sievers School of Fiber Arts, Modular Design/Abstract Fabric Collage, June 2009
  • Sew Expo, Puyallup, WA, workshops/lecture/booth March 2009
  • Modular Magic Sewing & Design Retreat, Portland, Oregon, October 2008
  • Creative Festival, Toronto, Canada, workshops keynote, October 2008
  • American Sewing Expo, Mini-shibori class, Novi MI, Sept 2008
  • Sievers School of Fiber Arts, Modular Design/Abstract Fabric Collage, June 2008
  • Modular Magic Sewing & Design Retreat, Portland, Oregon, October 2007
  • American Sewing Expo, Mini-shibori class, Novi MI, Sept 2007
  • Columbia Stitchery Guild, Lecture/trunk show/workshop, Sept 2007
  • Sievers School of Fiber Arts, Modular Design/Abstract Fabric Collage, August 2007
  • AQS, Paducah, KY, lectures/workshops, April 2007
  • Modular Magic Sewing & Design Retreat, Portland, Oregon Coast, October 2006
  • Bernina sewing shops tour, lecture/trunk shows, Nov 2006
  • Sievers School of Fiber Arts, Washington Island, WI June 21-29, 2006
  • Habermans Fabrics, Royal Oak, MI April 7,8,9 2006
  • IPCA Fashion Show, Las Vegas, NV, March 28,29,30, 2006
  • Sew Expo, Puyallup WA, March 2,3,4 2006
  • Hawaii Stitchery & Fiber Arts Guild, Honolulu, HI, Feb 4-9 2006
  • Seams Wild Guild, Eastern Washington, Jan 21 &22, 2006
  • Bernina Fashion Show, Houston, TX Judge, Oct 27, 2005
  • IPCA Fashion Show, Las Vegas, NV, Sept 26, 2005
  • Marin needle Arts Fair, keynote, San Rafael, CA Sept, 2005
  • Bernina Creativity retreat, Chicago IL, “keynote”4 classes, August 2005
  • Hawaii Stitchery & Fiber Arts Guild, Honolulu, HI, June 1-7 2005
  • Sievers School of Fiber Arts, Washington Island, WI, June 20-5, 2005
  • Bernina National Teachers Retreat, Chicago, Dec. 2004
  • American Sewing Expo, Novi, MI Sept. 2004
  • Sievers School Of Fiber Arts, Washington Island WI, June 2004
  • D’Leas, Denver, March 2004
  • A Common Thread, Lake Oswego, OR, Jan 2004
  • Osbornes, Santa Cruz, CA , October 2003
  • A Common Thread, Lake Oswego, OR, October 2003
  • Olympia Sew and Vac, Olympia , WA, October 2003
  • Waechters Silk Shop, Asheville, NC, September 2003
  • American Sewing Expo, Novi, MI, September 2003
  • Los Angeles Wearable Art Guild, LA, CA August 2003
  • Seattle art-to-wear, Kirkland, WA, July 2003
  • Columbia Stitchery Guild, Portland, OR, June 2003
  • Sievers Retreat, Washington Island, WI, June 2003
  • Bernina University, Monterey, CA June 2003
  • Design and Sew, Canby OR, May 2003
  • Marin Needle Arts Guild, Corte Madera, CA, April 2003
  • PACC, Portland, OR, March, 2003
  • 27th Street Fabrics, Eugene, OR, March 2003
  • Fresno Fiber Arts Guild, January 2003
  • Linda's Sewing Center, Corvallis, Oregon December, 2002
  • Olympia WA, October, 2002
  • Professional Association of Custom Clothiers, Portland, Oregon, September 2002
  • Lake Oswego, Oregon, A Common Thread, Sept 2002
  • Handweavers Guild, "Convergence 2002", August, Vancouver B.C.
  • Hillsborough, Corvallis Guild special Class, July 2002
  • Design and Sew, Canby, Oregon, May 2002
  • Concord Valley Stitchers Guild, February 2002
  • Peninsula Wearable Art Guild, February 2002

LICENSING CONTRACTS

  • Paula Vincent Designs, Hawaii, 721 pant pattern Sept 2005
  • Amazing Designs, Designer Series, Kayla Kennington Collection 1, June 2003
  • OESD, Designer “take out” series, Nov. 2003

PUBLISHED SEWING PATTERNS

Modular Design for Couture Artwear, Kayla ink.

  • 918 Panel Top and Panel Vest, Dec. 2002
  • 425 Cross Over Top. April 2003
  • 1226 Angel Top, March 2003
  • 729C Kangaroo Bag, July 2004-revised 2005
  • 303 Paris Evening Coat, Feb 2005
  • 721 Perennial Pant Collection, June 2005
  • 518 Fantasia Top & Jacket
  • 511 Kwan Yin Kimono, August 2008
  • 0815 Two Tops Top, Sept 2011
  • 0913 Lanai Top, July 2011
  • 0216, PDX Coat, Nov 2011

(pattern company sold to Sewingpatterns.com June 2012, still in print)

MISCELLANEOUS

Kayla’s “Amazing Designs” Embroidery Designs were used in the winning garments for the top three prizes (blue, gold and white ribbons) in the Sulky Challenge 2005.

Kayla has created custom clothing for:

  • Alice Walker
  • Isable Allende
  • Shakti Gawain
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Christine Mac Vee
  • Ganga Gee
  • Starhawk
  • Naseem Rakha
  • Amy Tan
  • Ashaki Glover
  • Zelda Williams