What crafts do you do? Patchwork, quilting, spinning, knitting, crochet.
Who taught you your skills? Both my parents were skilled crafters. My mum knitted and sewed all our clothes, and my dad did woodwork, upholstery, soft furnishings and painted as well. I learnt by watching them. Mum taught me to sew when I was three, and to knit when I was 6. I made my own clothes for 40 years, clothed my children while they were growing up and made many smocked dresses to sell at markets. I struggled through my first quilt when I was 14, as a gift for my mum. It was barely quilted, but it kept her warm for many years. I learned patchwork through books and magazines, there were no classes back then in the ‘70s, and I made every mistake it was possible to make. But I was never discouraged, because I loved every aspect of quilting. Even now, I will turn to books or the net when I want to learn something new; it’s all there waiting for me to find it, and I can learn at the pace I want.
What do you love most about crafting? It’s relaxing and good therapy, and you meet the nicest people.
What is your proudest crafting moment/achievement? In 1998 I went to America to be the guest speaker at the Machine Quilting Conference in Springfield Illinois. It felt very odd to be treated like a celebrity there; at that time machine quilting was just beginning to take off, and I was one of the few people designing quilting patterns. I was aware that it was the start of something Big, but I had no idea how huge it was going to get. It was wonderful to be right there at the start of it all.
5 words that best describe your craft style? Traditional, exact, historical, detailed, unexpected.