"As a young girl I dabbled in embroidery, knitting, macrame, drawing and other handcrafts, mostly via my participation in Girl Guides, where I was a serial badge-earner. Eventually I learned to sew by machine in middle school (where I made an impressive green corduroy book bag complete with gold rope drawstring). Following my mother’s lead, I took over making my own Hallowe’en costumes and very simple sundresses in my teens. After leaving home for university, I didn’t have a sewing machine to use until the mid-90’s when I inherited my late mother-in-law’s Pfaff 1212 and 1956 Singer Featherweight. I dabbled in placemats, napkins, a sweet zebra costume for my first baby, even a pair of beaded moose hide and canvas mukluks. Finally in 2000, I discovered my local quilt shop and signed up for a course. I love being able to say that I started quilting at the turn of the century. Like other quilters I’ve met who began at a comparatively young age, we just had no idea how this new-found passion would take over our lives!
Images: Small Studies I & II
"Fast forward to 2020 and I now make a modest living from my quilting through teaching, designing and running retreats. I like to describe my work as “traditionally-informed modern quilting”. As someone without formal art training, I lacked design confidence and spent my first few years of quilt making following patterns and making quilts like the ones I saw around me in shops and at guild meetings. I really had no idea that some people designed their own quilts! Several things converged that greatly influenced the direction of my quiltingmaking: a chance viewing of quilts from Gee’s Bend in Toronto, 2004, joining Flickr swap communities and blogging. By expanding my quilting community from local to global via the internet, I was exposed to exciting new styles in quilt making. Swapping challenged me to try new colour combinations, construction techniques and designing original work.
Images: Night & Day, Quarter Turn
"One of the most significant shifts in my quilts was the move from working with commercial prints to solid-coloured fabrics and upcycled clothing (greatly influenced by the wonderful quilters of Gee’s Bend, with whom I did a 2-day workshop in 2011). Then, in 2014 I traveled to the UK to meet many of my online friends at a retreat in London. It was there I met Michael for the first time and was able to see Oakshott fabrics in person. I brought a few precious pieces home with me and shortly after was given the opportunity to showcase the Lipari line in a quilt to feature on my blog. I have since made many quilts exclusively with Oakshott Colourshotts, Lipari and Scandinavia shot cottons. My most treasured stash-building purchase to date has been my sublime Oakshott Colourbox!
Images: Will I Remember Colour, Varietals
"Oakshott shot cottons give my work an added dimension that solid-coloured cottons cannot achieve. Sometimes the visual effect is quite subtle, other times more pronounced, depending on the colour contrast of the warp and weft threads. These fabrics elevate even the simplest quilt block construction with their added texture and depth. Working with the fabric is a joy; it presses beautifully, has a quality hand, and the wonderful tight weave frays minimally for a shot cotton. I’ve been fortunate to show some of my quilts made exclusively with Oakshott fabrics at QuiltCon, QuiltCanada and in local shows. These quilts always generate compliments, interest and inevitable requests to touch them, because people just want to get closer and experience this fabric! It’s been a pleasure introducing students to Oakshott Colourshotts with custom kits I created for my Temperature Check and Variegated Threads workshops.
"Designing block-based patterns does not come easily to me. Improv work is my preferred approach and I rarely draw or sketch detailed plans in advance. When inspiration strikes, I most often turn to my Colourshott stash. I always look forward to my next Oakshott fabrics creation!"
Images: Variegated Threads (Simply Moderne), Quarter Shott