I live in Bullaburra (central Blue Mountains near Wentworth Falls) on 6 ½
acres with my husband, Ron and our four beloved cats, Yoki, Brocky, Sasha and
Fluffy. From my studio, I have views to Sydney – a very inspiring place to
a child, I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by fabric and yarn. My mother was
a very clever and creative lady - music teacher by profession, but a crafter by
passion. She knitted and embroidered but her forte was with fabric. Mum and the
Bernina could do anything together. My Dad was a painter and decorator and a
very artistic person. He had a wonderful sense of colour and I credit him for
imparting this passion to me.
I learned to sew as soon as I could reach the pedal on the machine – making
doll’s clothes and simple little projects. I always had a craft project planned.
Along the way, I have tried most crafts… crochet, leather work, pottery,
tatting, oil painting, knitting and cross-stitch. Thanks to Mum’s precise
training (she was a perfectionist) I am quite a credible dressmaker and have
made most of my own clothes over the years, as well as wedding dresses and a
vast array of theatre costumes in my “other” life as a Secondary Music teacher.
However, life changed when I discovered patchwork!! Dress making fabrics soon
gave way to fat quarters and the bookshelves rapidly filled up with Patchwork
I have been fortunate in being able to attend classes with many inspiring and
creative teachers over the years and I credit each one with a particular
technique or inspiration that they have given me.
However, my greatest good fortune was in having Susan Harris as my first
patchwork teacher. Susan is both a superb designer and a wonderful practitioner.
She taught me sound techniques and methods that have continued to stand me in
good stead and I now find myself modelling my teaching very much on what I
learned from Susan. Her wise words, as I roared off down the edges of my first
machine piecing effort, still echo in my ears... “Slow down!! You’re not
dressmaking now!!” I constantly repeat this mantra to my students – probably the
most important piece of information I can give them.... take time and the
results will reward you – rush and you’ll be disappointed!!
a designer and teacher, I greatly enjoy the challenge of meeting the very varied
needs of my students. My mission statement is to give my students the skills and
confidence to make their own choices work for them. I believe that every person
is creative if given the right environment, skills and encouragement.
I usually have several design projects on the go at the same time. I like to
design quilts using new ranges of fabrics - some quilts that can be made quickly
(not everyone needs to embark on a life’s work with every quilt!) – and quilts
that help use up the stash, as well as "epic" projects -especially antique
A particular source of design inspiration for me is from tiles and
architecture. I am amazed at the incredible designs that have been wrought in
Middle Eastern and ancient European churches, temples and public buildings.
These patterns just ache to be transposed into fabric.
Fabrics of all colours and designs fascinate me. I see a new collection and I
can’t wait to create something with them. I don’t really have favourites – every
style has its place and challenges me to use it.
Quiltmaking allows me to be the artist that I believe is trapped somewhere
inside of me...I’m sadly quite useless with a paint and brushes, but fabric is
I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to now work in this
area that I love so much. I once read that, “If you can take your passion and
make it your profession, then you’ll never work another day in your life.”