Why quilting? I love patchwork and quilting because it just ticks all my creative boxes. The process of stitching soothes my soul.
Have you tried plenty of others? I’ve tried folk art, hobby ceramics, knitting, crochet and macramé just to name a few.
If you weren’t doing this, what else would you be doing? I can’t imagine doing anything else because every time I think, “I don’t have any creative ideas,” within a few days I will see something that makes me think, “What if I put those fabrics and made this block, maybe I could add that bit of embroidery and use some appliqué and then … ” and I’m off on a new design.
Who taught you your craft? I had sewing classes in high school but I think I learnt more from watching my mother making my clothes as far back as I can remember. I started sewing my own clothes when I was about 16 and some were fabulous and some ended up in the bin. I did some classes at my children’s high school with the textile teachers in 1988 and it just took off from there.
Is it hard to find time to do it or is it a profession? It started as a hobby, then it became my profession as a shop owner, designer and teacher and now that I am retired, I’m re-discovering my joy in playing around with bits of fabric and ‘What Iffing’.
Do you teach your skills to others? I have taught a beginners’ sampler for 20 years and nothing gives me more satisfaction than witnessing those ‘light bulb’ moments when it all starts to make sense and a fledgling quilter finds her wings.
How would you describe your style? What makes it unique? Other people have told me they can recognise my designs but I just make what appeals to me at the time. I just love piecing and often tweak traditional patterns to make them simpler to sew. When I’m doing appliqué, I usually have a rough sketch but I will cut the fabric and play around with it until I am happy with the result. Then I photocopy the block and draw the pattern up from that. If it doesn’t work I will try adding some embroidery, and if it still isn’t working, it goes in the charity bag or on occasion, in the bin.
What is your advice for beginners? To any beginner I would say, never say never because never is a very long time. Don’t be afraid to play. It’s only bits of fabric, not life and death. Be open to trying new things because that is how we grow. For example, I’m very drawn to modern quilting at the moment, which is a big step outside my comfort zone. The clean lines and shapes with lots of negative space for simple quilting are really appealing.
Therese Hylton, Patchwork Pumpkin –