Kim Mather

Board Member and Artist in Residence for textiles and fabrics

Kim Mather is a fibre and textile artist as well as an educator. Her calming ability to share information encourages people to tap into their creativity and experiment with techniques that may be new for them, but in fact draw on traditions that go back generations.

Kim’s work with free-motion embroidery is based upon skills that have been practised for hundreds of years, and have been adapted for use in quilting and thread painting. They now form part of the artistic expressions taught by Art With a Heart. The technique uses a sewing machine travelling through fabric or another suitable medium, and instead of using a sewing guide to create straight lines of stitching, the fabric is turned, shifted and stretched to allow random, curved and decorative stitches that transform the work into art.

She also works with students to teach embroidery, painting acrylics on cotton and textiles and through a technique called transfer painting, when one paints an image onto paper and then transfers it onto fabric. Kim has a framing certificate and offers those services to Art With a Heart as well.

Kim has lived in Durham for 21 years and grew up in Toronto’s Thornhill and later Brighton. She began sewing when she was 10, first learning to make her own clothes and then knitting. After graduating high school, she worked in the family catering and restaurant business before joining Elna, a sewing machine and serger manufacturer. She spent three years with them and travelled across Canada to teach sewing machine dealers how to set up and use the knitting and sewing machines. She proved to be a deft facilitator.

After her daughter was born, she went to work with Whitby’s Ferguson’s Knitting, where she taught machine knitting and later embroidery. She stayed with them for almost five years before opening her own business in 1998, selling supplies for embroidery, counted embroidery and other stitchery techniques. She also does custom picture framing.

Her business offers classes and workshops and Kim lectures for a number of guilds. Recently she delivered a designing and instructional workshop about counted-canvas embroidery to the Scarborough Needle Arts Guild.

This sharing of skills and techniques is one of the aspects she enjoys in her work with Art With a Heart. Her ability to recognize the ingenuity in others encourages people to discover their own points of expression.