A little about me
I was born in London and at an early age discovered that I had an enthusiasm for all things sewing related. Toys and teddy’s alike had clothes made and scarves knitted for them. With a professional seamstress for a mother and an uncle a Saville Row Taylor, I was never far from fabric and sewing advice.
I longed to get onto the sewing machine and when my mother found me trying to get the bobbin thread through that little hole in the throat plate she relented and showed me how to use it. It was a blue Singer, extremely heavy and set in a teak sewing cupboard.
I can still remember the smell of the draws filled with paper patterns and mysterious sewing equipment like stilettos and bodkins, rolls of bias binding, a leather patch for an elbow.
I also remember spending many a happy time as a teenager sorting through the fabric bags with my mum to look for a length of fabric to make an outfit to wear. Handling the fabrics discussing their properties where they had been bought and what they might have already been made into and the stories that went along with them.
I soon discovered that this was where my career was going to go and I chose to train as a theatrical costume maker in Liverpool. Working at Glyndebourne Opera House brought me to Sussex and ultimately to Brighton where I have lived for the past 25 years.
While working as a pattern cutter at Glyndebourne I realized I loved to share my knowledge with others and encouraging them to try new skills. This led me to taking a teacher qualification and I began a career in Adult education.
It was during this time that I began to return to the crafts that I had enjoyed exploring in my younger years and quilting became a passion. I had made my first quilt in 1978 from hexagons cut from Laura Ashley fabrics. Keen to get going I started a Sampler quilt. Half way through this project I was asked to take on a Millennium Quilt project for the local Community Association. The project was huge with over 400 children and adults involved. The resulting three panels are an historical record of both the children and the area of Prestonville in Brighton.
Wanting to develop my quilting knowledge further I spent 4 years studying for a City and Guilds in Patchwork and Quilting.
I have developed quilting courses to enable students to get started and to progress to more advanced levels. I established Brighton Fashion and Textile School so that I could offer City and Guilds courses at all levels to students eager to learn.
It gives me great pleasure to share my knowledge with students and give them the chance to enjoy this wonderful and varied craft.
More recently I qualified as a Quilt Judge with the Quilter’s Guild. The chance to study art and design in more depth was fantastic. I have judged at the Festival of Quilts, Europes largest quilt show as well as at smaller shows.
The publication of my book Bojagi: techniques and design in Korean textile art is the culimination of ten years of research into this fascinating textile tradition of wrapping cloths.