Featured Artist: Kay Laboda

Texas-born artist Kay Laboda teaches and volunteers in San Diego, California. In addition to volunteering and making postcards and quilts, Kay makes pine needle baskets.

Tell me a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Texas.  My son once gave me bag with a picture of Texas and a cowgirl on it with the word GRIT written across it. Then in small letters it said: Girls Raised In Texas.  That pretty much describes me in many ways.  I tackle most jobs like I was roping a calf- full bore and with lots of gusto and determination.

I started sewing when I was about 8 years old by making clothes for my Barbie dolls.   My mom showed me quite a bit about how to make them and helped me with the hard parts.  I started making my own clothes in junior high.  I used to make clothes for my friends in high school to make extra money.  I started making quilts about five years ago when I was going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. A friend of mine gave me a prayer quilt and I decided that I wanted to learn more about quilting.  I took a class with Karen Cunigan through the San Diego Continuing Education program and fell in love.   I started and still facilitate a prayer quilt group through my church. Being able to make and give these quilts for others going through a tough time is incredibly rewarding for me.

I graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1975, with a BA in Fine Arts.  After graduation from college, I moved to San Diego, CA. I started working on my master’s degree in art at San Diego State University, but after getting married, I started having babies.  I never finished my master’s degree, but did go to San Diego Design Institute and received a second BA degree in Interior Design.  I worked several years specializing in Kitchen and Bath design.  Now I am retired, happily making quilts and babysitting for my grandson Nehemiah.

I do teach fiber arts classes for my church.  I have taught several fabric postcard classes that are very popular.  I also teach how to make fabric baskets and in the summer I will teach a one-day mystery quilt class.

Why did you join Postmark’d Art?

I found out about fabric postcards in the quilting class and discovered Yahoo groups.  I joined Art2Mail and when the group disbanded after a couple of years, I found and joined Postmark’d Art. and like the group a lot.  We have become friends and at times a support group.

How do you display your postcards?

I have them in a special album that you can view front and backs.  I also have some on my kitchen pass through counter top.  I change that up when I get new ones and I keep some on my desk in my studio.  I love sharing them with my quilting groups and with the people in my fabric postcard classes.  Everyone finds them so fascinating.

What have been some of your favorite themes?

I don’t know if I have a favorite.  I love the theme groups and always have so much fun making AND receiving them.  I love the landscape postcards that I have made and received. I think I will enjoy the upcoming Claude Monet theme, as he my favorite artist of all time. I also have enjoyed the alphabet group.  It really is amazing how everyone comes up with such creative and imaginative works of art.

Tell me about your other interests.

My other passion is for an organization called Royal Family Kids Camp. This is a camp that I help organize and run for abused and abandoned children that are currently in the state foster care system. They are ages 7 through 11. We take them for one week to one of the local camps in San Diego County for a week of safe fun. They arrive with frowns and withdrawn. They leave with smiles and hugs. You can read more about this camp at http://www.rfkc.org

I also volunteer at Visions Art Quilt Museum in San Diego. I serve on the Exhibitions Committee deciding on and planning the exhibits usually two to three years in advance. I also arrange where the quilts will go in the gallery once it is time to hang the next exhibit. I love this part of the job. Hanging the quilts is really such a privilege. We get the first look at the quilts and we get to hold and touch them (with white gloves of course). We always are in such awe of them.

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