Hi, my name's Kaya. I make beautiful, bright, colourful things in my light-filled studio in Melbourne. I've always been creative - it's something I learnt from my mama who spent years teaching me how to sew, knit, cook and decorate cakes. There was always a joy for me being in the background whilst she was busy making lovely things. My mum was very resourceful and very talented - from those soft hands she made so many beautiful things. Creating and giving were her ways of showing love.
In early 2011 I lost my beautiful mama to ovarian cancer. My sisters and I had each taken some of mum's clothing to remember her by. I wasn't certain what do with her pyjamas (an item I considered too personal to give away or throw out) and I decided to cut them up and make a quilt. I hadn't sat at my mum's sewing machine for over 15 years so the idea was a little frightening. However it became the most healing and peaceful exercise, a way to connect with her, to be quiet and to grieve. Turning on that machine, hearing the noise it made when the needle moved and seeing the little light switch on warmed my heart. Suddenly again my mum was with me in the room.
To this day I still curl up under that pink quilt when I've had a tough day, when I miss her most, when I need a hug or when I want to celebrate the joys in my life. I run my fingers over the buttons, the pockets, the silk, and memories of her come flooding back. Months later, I set up the sewing machine at my home
and made a second quilt for my sister. As the months passed, I sewed colourful quilts for the
abundance of beautiful babies that were born into our circle of friends. Each quilt was made
with love, with great attention to detail, with care.
I created Wholehearted as a way to honour my mama and keep her memory alive. I've learnt the hard way that life's too short to not do what you love and makes you happy. I now spend my days making bright colourful things that I hope will bring happiness to others, just as she taught me. With my husband's support I gave up my desk job to spend my days following in mum's footsteps, making each item with love and from the heart. My mama is with me every day when I sew. She fills my studio with light and love, guiding my hands, and I know she never leaves me.
Through her love, all things are possible...