Born Mid Century Modern

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Born in 1956 and raised mid-century modern, I had a head start on creativity. I always had the big box of 64 Crayons, huge pads of paper and parents who valued creativity and a sense of humor.

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My parents were childhood sweethearts in a small town called Sapulpa Oklahoma 

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Daddy was an IBM exec who broke out of his dark suits and white shirts on the weekends to don Ricky Ricardo shirts, jump in his latest sports car, play a few rounds of golf and wield his latest camera in the search of some artistic outlet in his corporate life. 

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Mother dabbled in numerology, painted, longed for clothes straight from Vogue and made them all herself. My favorite creation was a pink mini-dress with marabou feathers sewn to the bottom to make a tiny skirt.  She was kooky and had us watch for UFO’s every nice evening in the summer in Oklahoma. We’d sit on the patio and watch while waiting for Daddy to come home from IBM.

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We lived in a modern house in Bartlesville, Oklahoma with flip down appliances and all aqua and red furnishings.  

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I am originally from Oklahoma and most of my family has some Native American roots. I had a great grandfather who was a sheriff in Indian Territory and another who was a Pony Express rider.  

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My maternal grandfather owned a pool hall (which my grandmother MiMi insisted was a “billiards parlor”) and later became country tax assessor. MiMi was the first woman in the chamber of commerce in her town; she owned a baby shop from the time my mother was little, that grew to children’s clothing as my mother grew up. She still had the Nancy Kay Shoppe when I was a kid so I was spoiled for clothes. She and her sister (who was a professional seamstress) made quilts. I have one they made.  

On the other side of the family I had a grandma who was a baby in the back of one of the wagons racing for land in the Oklahoma Land Run. They didn’t get any. My dad was the first one on the family to go to college. His dad went thru 3rd grade and went to work in the oil fields; his mom went all the way to 8th grade.

This grandmother, Nanny, spoiled me and taught me knitting, rug hooking, sewing, crochet and hand embroidery.   

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We were moved often over the years as I grew up and I was constantly being exposed to different types of people and absorbing new ideas. It was fertile ground for a young person searching for a voice. My brother is the poet Brent Hendricks. 

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I attended Emory University at 17, met my future husband at 18 and became a teacher after graduation. When I was 24 years old, we married and moved to New Orleans where I got my Masters degree at UNO and worked as a high school teacher in the public school system. We had a daughter five years later and a son in 1987. I

n 1992, we moved to London, where I completed my City and Guilds in Patchwork and Quilting and in Design and built a collection of antique quilts and cross-stitch samplers. 

In 1993, we moved to Copenhagen where I wrote my book Quick Quilting. I entered and won prizes at my first quilt competitions, the National Patchwork Championships in the UK and the American Quilt Society show in Paducah, Kentucky.

In 1995, we returned to the US to Connecticut and in 1996 we landed in Houston, the home of the International Quilt Festival.

Since my return to the states, I have concentrated all my energy in the studio and in getting my work out to the public.

I also help promote the art of the quilt with my volunteer work for the International Quilt Association and Studio Art Quilt Associates and through my work as Co-Director of the national touring exhibition Fine Focus.  I live in Houston with my husband, my 4 cats and my 2 dogs. My two kids are off at college.  

I am currently working on a project with the Texas Childrens Cancer Center and am planning to make an art car.                                

7 Responses to “Born Mid Century Modern”

  1. Denise Aumick Says:

    I loved reading your family’s history and looking at the pictures. What a great tribute.
    Denise

  2. PaMdora Says:

    What a great family history. There’s a few things I can relate, but mostly your family is a like some kind of glam-dream-movie thing! Love the things you say about your mom – wish she was mine! Thanks for the ride.

  3. alison schwabe Says:

    The old family photos are wonderful, and your clear passion and enthusiasm that comes from being part of an interesting family and taken you through an interesting life shows through your writing. I would like to suggest though, that there is too much detailed information that many readers won’t have time to deal with. Think about what regular readers will be looking for. Initially they will probably come through your website link or follow your address on the Quiltart and similar lists, therefore, initially at least most of your readers will be textile and quilt minded people. Remember, your blog is a public document and you have no idea who is out there reading it and what they are making of any of it. Someone on the quiltart list commented about some of the hazards this may lead us into. I’m careful about relevant and identifying personal information re myself and others mentioned on my own blog – I don’t think there are any potential hazards to our dog, but you won’t even see her since my own blog is a pet-free zone. Cheers – and take care.

  4. Gini Inman Says:

    H Kim! Your mom called me yesterday to make sure that I went to your website and read your Blog—she was so thrilled with it and with all of the pictures! And so was I–how wonderful to read about my dear friend and her family! Your work is so wonderful too, and was glad to see the recent ones. Gini

  5. Janice Says:

    I live in B’ville and we are in the market for a mid century house – is your childhood home still in existence? Where was it?

  6. sandrar Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  7. charlie heard Says:

    Kim,
    What a treasure for me to view your family pictures. I think of your parents often and have a picture of your Dad in my living room. I got to see your Mom and Brent over a year ago in Tuscaloosa. How’s your family-John?