Solids that Shine: "Between River & Sky" by MJ KInman

Solids that Shine:

You may have seen MJ Kinman's fantastic "Between River & Sky" quilt on Instagram; we are thrilled to have all the details to share with you here! Inspired by the idyllic setting of a small-batch distillery overlooking the Ohio River, this beauty combines two gemstones in a breathtaking design made from Painter's Palette Solids. We asked MJ to tell us more about her quilt and what inspired it, so scroll down after you finish admiring the quilt! 

Between River & Sky quilt
"Between River & Sky" by MJ Kinman
71" x 69"
Q. What inspired you to create your Between River & Sky quilt?

MJ: A friend introduced me to the B-Line in northern Kentucky—a new bourbon tourism line that features boutique distilleries. One of the distilleries is Old Pogue. The building is a farmhouse that sits on a steep hill, and you can sit on a rocking chair on the porch and see the Ohio River, its banks, and the sky. I love the setting. I wanted to create a piece that celebrates the bourbon being made there between the river and the sky.


Q. How did you come up with the jewel combination in your quilt?

MJ: I did some research—the fun part is searching of the diamond divas that inspire my quilts. I found a square citrine and a step-cut aquamarine from Wild & Petsch, an international gem cutting company. I though it would be cool to superimpose one on the other.


Q. Tell us about your color choices.

MJ: I love working with contrasting colors. The reddish oranges of the amber and the bluish aquamarine just pop. This piece features about 60 different shades of Painter’s Palette Solids (see swatches below). I love how the solids allowed me to experiment with gradations of color.


Photo: @MJKinman709


Q. Can you tell us how you decide on your design?

MJ: I play with the gemstones—twist them, turn them, change the sizes. AT first I thought I’d turn the citrine to put it on point, but I really liked the solidity of having it square in the middle of the aquamarine. The aquamarine represents the framing of river and sky around the bourbon. I also like the energy of where it’s set—floating on up to the upper right corner, kind of like Maysville, floating in the upper right corner of the state.


Q. What do you like best about the quilt?

MJ: I love the color. I love the movement of the light through the quilt. It has a lot of sharp edges and angles, specifically the citrine. I love the movement of your eye across the quilt—there’s a lot of energy. And of course the contrast of hot bourbon colors with cool aquamarine.

Photo: @MJKinman709: quilting in progress


"Between River & Sky is on display at the EAT Gallery (Exquisite Art Treasures) in Maysville, KY from October 3 - 28. 

Photo: @MJKinman709MJ (right) with Laurie Watt and "Between River & Sky" at the EAT Gallery in Maysville


Visit Old Pogue Distillery on October 13 for an event celebrating the Distillery's entry into the B-Line Tour.  

See more of MJ's gemstone quilts here and find out more about her Birthstone Series blocks here.

Find all 168 colors of our Painter's Palette Solids here and ask for them at your local quilt shop.