The story behind Capitol Hill’s quilt house

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by JOE FRYER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 23, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 23 at 8:03 PM

SEATTLE – In a tiny studio above Seattle Stair and Design, through a door that nearly everyone must duck down to get through, a young Seattle artist defies demographics.

His name is LUKE Haynes – yes, he capitalizes all of the letters in his first name – and he is a professional quilter.

“The stereotype for quilter would be old ladies,” acknowledged Haynes, who just turned 30.

But Haynes considers himself more of a quilt architect.  After all, architecture was his first calling.  He designed and built homes before teaching himself to use the needle and thread. 

“I make quilts like I design architecture,” he said. 

For a recent project, he stitched together images inspired by photos and used actual material from his models’ clothes to make the quilts. 

Haynes just might be to sewing what rock-and-roll was to music.

“I figure I’m the Lady Gaga of the sewing world,” he said.  

Perhaps no project has received more attention than the one along 15th Avenue East on Capitol Hill, where Haynes covered an entire house in quilts. 

“If you’re gonna go, go big, right?” Haynes said. 

Haynes spent weeks collecting about 500 pounds of hand-crocheted blankets from Goodwill stores.  With help from about 30 others, he needed only two days to dress the house. 

Why? 

Haynes was simply helping his friends announce, in dramatic fashion, that the once-abandoned home will be the future home of Ada’s Technical Books. 

“They’re not moving in for a while, but they wanted to do something with the building to say, ‘Hey, community! We’re here!’” Haynes said. 

The project impressed just about everyone who walked by.  But a few weeks ago, Haynes returned from an out-of-town trip to find several quilts from the home’s left side missing. 

“Likely it was because they needed a blanket and this is an easy place to get them,” Haynes said. 

He quickly replaced the missing quilt and left a few more out front for people to take if they needed one. 

Haynes refused to let the missing blankets unravel his attitude. 

“That’s what you get for using functional items in your art,” a friend told him.

“My next installation will be shards of glass,” he responded with a smile. 

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