Artist Profile: Kimberli MacKay

One of the best qualities of a dynamic teacher is that she continues to learn from others. Kimberli MacKay returns to Fiber College as a teacher this year but many of you probably met her as a student in the Gee’s Bend or Cal Patch’s classes last year. Kimberli is a Sewing Teacher, Pattern Maker, Knitter, Embroiderer, Modern Quilter, Food Lover, Gardener, Milliner, & employee at Brother Int’l. What talent! Enjoy learning more about Kimberli and then go sign up for her Weds-Thurs class Perfect Fit – How to Make a Perfect Shift Dress. Such a great opportunity to learn from the best!

Who are you? Tell us about your fiber journey. My name is Kimberli D. MacKay and I’m a recovering fashion designer. My journey has brought me from the mountains of NH where I grew up making my own clothes, to college earning a BPS in Fashion Design, to NYC, Italy, Tokyo and Asia (to name a few) working with some of the most giving and talented people I could ever hope to work with in the NYC Fashion Industry for 20 years. I spent the last few years freelancing and teaching sewing and pattern making in NYC and NJ and recently joined Brother International Corporations Home Appliance Division, working in the product development (we make Sewing and Embroidery Machines).  I still teach as often as I can squeeze it in, and am working on a collection of home sewing patterns that will allow women to get a good fit!


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given a student?
Learning is wonderful, but don’t take the process so seriously that you forget to have FUN!

What’s your favorite piece of work that you’ve created?
My most recent favorite are these cuties! I have been working on holiday windows for flag ship stores (Macy’s, Saks, Lord & Taylor) in NYC, Boston, and Chicago for a number of years. Last year these were in Chicago’s former Marshall Field’s location, now Macy’s. Each of these needs to be custom made as they are all slightly different sizes… and they are often animatronic… they MOVE!!

Kimberli creates animatronic figures for big department stores.

Kimberli creates animatronic figures for big department stores.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
SHARP – Scissors, pencils, pins, and needles. Sharp, Sharp, Sharp!!!

Kimberli's two-day class at Fiber College is on Weds-Thurs.

Kimberli’s two-day class at Fiber College is on Weds-Thurs.

What would your FC students be surprised to know about you?
I am a passionate cook. I especially love to cook Asian cuisines.

How do you manage/balance your work self and your creative self?
After freelancing for 4 years and returning to an office, this is the most difficult task at hand. I spend much of my non-work time in my homes studio letting the work flow. You have to create ways to allow yourself this time. For me it’s essential for my mental health!

What inspired you to become a fiber artist?
I grew up watching my mother knit, crochet, sew, and repair clothing and it was love at first sight! I’ve been doing all of those things and MORE for over 38 years. It’s a part of who I am at my very core.

Please list your website or blog url here: Blog is under re-construction, but follow me on InstaGram @TheMacKayWay to see what’s going on in my studio and some of what’s coming out of my kitchen.

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