It’s such a buzz to start a new quilt… gathering up a pile of fabric possibilities and design ideas. For me, it’s the fabric that comes first. Fabric is what gets my fingers twitching to start something new.

Usually it’s a gorgeous print I could use as a background; one that an applique design would sit on, but in a slightly faded or washed out way… or maybe sit on in a bold and stark way! It’s just as the mood takes me. I work very impulsively and very rarely will I plan the entire quilt before starting. I’d like to say that’s because I’m an artist who works organically, but truthfully, it’s just because I’m very impatient to get started. I’ve learned over the years that when the fingers start twitching – ‘just begin’… I think that’s when the magic happens. And quilts have a way of working out if you always work with the fabrics you love.

But here’s the paradox. I start quickly but I’ll work slowly. Hand piecing and hand applique are favourites of mine because I really enjoy the gentleness of the art form. It takes me out of the modern world and into a less hurried time. I just love it. But of course, I’ve been known to whip up a quilt on the machine in a weekend too, and loved that just as much.

You’ll see some of my newest designs in my first book ‘Quilts from the Colonies’ published this year by Quiltmania. After the whirlwind of designing and making these 17 quilts, it’s lovely to work again without the deadlines. But those fingers are still twitching madly and I have plenty more quilts underway. A few I’ve even finished.

I hope to inspire you to make some of my quilt designs, and make them your own… working with the fabrics you love. Maybe using your fabrics in a slightly offbeat way, to achieve a faded antique or vintage look reminiscent of an English coverlet or an American quilt. It’s fun to make a start and see where the journey takes us.

Join Margaret’s Class…