What I Do

Textile art and Quilt designing

Working with textiles has been a lifetime passion of mine. My mother taught me to embroider at eight and I started sewing my own clothes from the age of 10. I have always been highly tuned to the ways colours, textures, and styles can work magic. When I look back on it now, I see that Mum made us learn to sew so that she didn’t have to make our clothes!

On travelling to Nairobi in 1983, I was blown away by the riot of colour being worn by the African women. I bought more than 30 metres of fabric despite having no idea about how I was going to use it.

My fascination with Africa continued with a trip several years later to West Africa. Fabric was everywhere in colourful piles and hanging in market stalls. I couldn’t stop myself. At the end of a 2 month trip I had accumulated 80 metres of fabric. At this point I had never quilted but ideas started to swim around in my head.

Three examples of African prints

Three examples of modern African prints

On this trip I met my husband, Glen, an Australian with a shared passion for travel on the wild side. We married a year later after a long distance courtship and I shifted to Melbourne, bringing my fabric collection along.

I began quilting after I moved to Australia and found myself in Melbourne with time on my hands and a trunk full of fabrics. I attended a quilting course and made a sampler quilt combining different traditional blocks. I was hooked!

That was 25 years ago and since then I have explored the many different styles and techniques in quilting. I particularly enjoy modern and art quilting techniques – anything goes improv style. To finish off a quilt I usually apply free-motion quilting and other embellishments.

In more recent times, I have experimented with creating my own fabrics and textures. Having a studio in the country allows space to study, practice and teach another love of mine, Textile Arts and in particular eco-dyeing. My love of the outdoors also plays a big part in this. Botanical colour, in the outdoors, in particular are a huge influence. I experiment with, and teach eco-dyeing techniques, which involves the transferring the  natural colour of plant material onto fabric.

I find there are never enough hours in the day to complete the quilts waiting to get out of my head. I decided to start Quilting Fabrications to share these ideas with the wider community.

Read my Blog or signup to my Newsletter for some articles on my quilting journey and fabric dyeing experiments.