I live…therefore I sew which means that I will often have some sort of needle in my hands!

Textiles have always been a part of my life; my mother was a knitter and always sewed our clothes until I started clothes sewing during my teens. My grandmother also stitched, embroidery and crochet were her primary activities.

I have always sewn lots of my clothes, made wedding dresses, loved tailoring beautiful woollen fabrics into jackets, enjoyed machine embroidery, knitting, crochet, basketry, embroidery, spinning and I even tried weaving. These have mostly been my weekend and relaxation activities away from my professional career. Those different crafts and the many projects were inspiring and enjoyable and I roamed across many … but then I discovered patchwork and quilt making in the late 1980s. I still knit, crochet, make clothes but I patchwork every day.

This everyday activity could have me doing any quilt-related activity including; drawing/designing patterns, writing patterns, testing ideas, thinking about fabrics, buying fabrics, collecting my patchwork library (did I mention that I love books almost as much as fabric), quilting, thinking about the next quilt, sewing on one of my multiple projects in the sewing room, playing with tools and gadgets, stitching bindings, researching quilt history, photographing quilts, documenting every quilt I have made and playing in my sewing room.

Every part of the process of designing and making quilts gives me endless opportunity to learn, play and develop my skills. As my work is firmly grounded in traditional designs, I love the precision and linear patterns that come with machine piecing. Most traditional block designs require structural and mathematical precision as bits of fabric are joined together and despite this, I am no mathematician, but find the logic in the process to be always inspiring and captivating. Then there are the secondary surprises that often occur in quilt designs that keeps me sewing new designs.

I enjoy every part of the process from the design, fabric choices, fast machine stitching, contemplative hand stitching, binding and sometimes the quilting. Many of my quilts have been expertly quilted by long-arm specialists. If I must single out one part of the making of a quilt, then choosing the colours (ie the fabrics!) is simply the best part. I do have a great fabric stash to support this part of the process. A painter blends paints to give just the hue and its intensity, quilter’s simply use a great supply of fabrics and threads. This is why, I need lots and lots of different greens, blues, reds, yellows, pinks, greys, oranges and purples. I must acknowledge too, the important part that my local quilt shops have played in my quilt making, they have enabled, supported, scheduled workshops and inspired much of my work.

The entire process of making quilts has been a meditative process that helped to give a balance to my life throughout my very full working life. Quilting has been an important part of my relaxation away from work. I have been very fortunate to have the time to play, unlike many women in the world, so it has always been a priority for me to gift many of the quilts that I have made.

After a career in both education (Home Economics and Textiles teacher), non-government and health sectors, I now have lots of time to focus on my creative passions. My pursuits have always been actively supported by my family who have visited quilt shops, travelled to quilt shows, take photographs, helped to manage the household and waited for meals whilst I ‘just finish this bit’.

I have many more quilts than I need to keep me warm. My family and friends have quilts. But, I still need to make quilts as a part of my creativity, so from time to time, I have donated quilts to various organisations.

If your museum has a quilt collection contact Margaret if you are interested in adding 1 or 2 quilts from her collection to yours.