I started sewing, making rag dolls and dolls clothes sometime early on using a treadle sewing machine which is now in my hallway, and I watched as Mum made clothes for herself and all of us kids.
After I got married I made rag dolls, soft toys and Christmas decorations for sale, then in 1984 a friend wanted to start a patchwork class. I agreed to go along to make up the numbers, and make some cushions for Christmas presents. By lesson three I was hooked!
The next term, the friend left town and left me teaching her next class. I was about three stitches ahead of the class!
I haven’t stopped making quilts since, but also still made dolls, some bears, lots of Christmas decorations. After selling work through shops and at craft fairs for a long time, I found having to mass produce items was hard work, parting with quilts heartbreaking, and there was little time to play with new ideas.
I’m not good at following directions and always had to try something a bit different, and I started designing quilts in a small way almost as soon as I made my first block. I began teaching patchwork and quilting before I had made a quilt even, then started designing dolls from scratch instead of severely altering some one elses pattern, which lead me to conducting doll workshops.
Now I spend time playing with designs, then publish the patterns for quilt projects, rag dolls, bears, Christmas decorations and other crafty stuff as well as offering a variety of classes and workshops, so that others can make the projects, instead of me making dozens of similar items.
Sometimes I make the quilt and write the directions at the same time. With the help the help of Electric Quilt I can even publish patterns for quilts I haven’t made yet! Perhaps one day I will follow my own directions to make up these designs. (I’m still not good at following directions though, even when I have written them!)
Tutors are welcome to use my patterns for classes, providing that every student purchases a copy of the pattern. You may also make up kits if you include a pattern as part of the kit.