I started my career as a shoe designer, after completing a degree in Fashion & Textiles in Leicester. This dream job in a creative consultancy involved lots of travel, glamorous fashion shows and a high pressure work environment.After the inevitable burn-out I turned to knitwear design, but first I had to learn to knit. Being left-handed I never learnt properly at school. Hand and machine knitting mastered (roughly), I produced ranges of knitwear for London fashion shops and sold my work on Portobello Market. This led to enquiries about designing knitwear and I soon found myself designing ranges for yarn companies, including Jaeger and Rowan. A move north to Yarm saw my open a retail shop to sell knitwear and yarn and learn more about the commercial and retail trade.
Two children later, a move south to Nottingham and a severe bout of early-onset arthritis had me looking round for a design craft that wouldn't hurt my fingers as much as knitting. Patchwork and quilting soon filled the void and proved to be the perfect fit.Largely self-taught, I then did a City & Guilds diploma at South Notts College and was invited to teach the class there. Further teaching at local quilt shops followed, along with a teaching degree.I was invited to join The Living Threads Group, a Midlands based stitchcraft collective who put on a huge gallery exhibition bi-annually. My quilts attracted plenty of attention and I started to enter quilt competitions and have collected a fair number of rosettes and awards. I joined the Quilters Guild and was selected to represent my region (Region 10) at the Festival of Quilts in 2009, for the 'In the Spotlight' gallery which promotes upcoming artists. The finished quilt "Karma" was made from over 4,000 small squares making up the image of a Buddha's head and won much acclaim.My quilt "Adam's Oak" was selected for the Quilters Guild exhibition at Rufford Abbey and the regional exhibition "Quilts in the Cathedral" in Lincoln.
Apart from exhibiting regularly with Living Threads, my journal quilts join the contemporary quilt show tours and we have a regular exhibition at The Big Textile Show in Leicester annually.
Recently my quilt "David" won 1st place in the Large Wallhanging category and overall Quilt Champion UK at Sandown this year, 2015. (Lots of silverware to polish!)
I joined Contemporary Expressions in 2009 and exhibited with them at the Spanish Quilt Show in Sitges and Loch Lomond Quilt Show 2011 and an invitation exhibition at the Shoe Museum in Northampton. Under increasing teaching and time pressures I left the group in 2012 to concentrate on my own work.
As well as my design work and pattern writing, I now teach workshops around the country and run local classes. For further details please see the Workshops page.
I belong to the East Midlands Contemporary Textiles Group and I'm an active member of the Region 10 Quilters Guild committee, currently editing the newsletter, Cobwebs.
I continue to design quilts in my head every day, and am striving to find more time to put my ideas into fabric!