One of my earliest memories is playing with fabric scraps under the dining room table, accompanied by the comforting whirr of the sewing machine above as my mother made clothes or soft furnishings. She was a needlewoman of considerable talent, and I inherited my love of all things textile from her.
I turned my hand to any and every variation of thread and fabric manipulation over the years, whether it be curtains for a new cottage or desperate attempts to persuade my sons’ school trousers to see it through to the end of the year, and finally took a City and Guilds Design and Embroidery course to bring it all together. For some reason though, I’d never learnt to quilt. This gap was filled when I moved to Kuwait and joined the KTAA – the Kuwait Textile Arts Association – and was persuaded to join their quilt group, the Q8 Quilters, despite my protestations that it was inappropriate for me to join the quilters when I clearly wasn’t one. Surrounded by a talented, multi-national group of ladies, all of whom wanted to share their skills and were uniformly encouraging to a rank beginner, I very soon became a quilter. I went on to become the President of the KTAA for 2 years, and concentrated on absorbing as much as I could of as many different quilting skills as possible.
My next move was to America, where I continued to develop and refine my skills. I started teaching beginners – all those ‘silly’ mistakes and questions were still fresh in my mind and that made the process easier somehow. I also started collecting antique and vintage quilts, telling my husband it was planning for the next ice age! I joined the local quilt guild of course – ended up as President there too – and I bought myself a long arm quilting system. Now back in this country and living in Cornwall, I teach a range of quilting classes, give talks backed up by my antique and vintage quilt collection (it might as well be put to use whilst waiting for that ice age…) as well as running a long arm quilting business. It’s my idea of heaven!
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