Michelle McKillop

Michelle McKillop2018-11-15T23:40:40+00:00

I grew up bothering my grandmother to teach me to knit, annoying my neighbour to show me how to make macrame plant hangers and creating monster bobbin snarls on my mums sewing machine! I also liked to paint and draw, and I think I must have been born with a needle in one hand and a paint brush in the other.

I participated in my first quilt in Girl Guides, it was a technicolour explosion of 1970s hexagons. I was mesmerised by the quilting process and the sheer beauty of what we had created from our mothers’ dressmaking scraps.

Quilting officially began for me in 1992 when I took my first quilting class, that first quilt was a double Irish chain and in the making of it I knew that I had discovered my passion in life. From that day to this, I have stitched every day of my life. I find the act of sewing is like meditation and I love the ‘flow’ moments when I am completely consumed by what I am creating. I have made hundreds of quilts across all mediums and genres, traditional, eclectic, art, mixed media, repurposed textiles and fabric dying. I love what I do, and I do what I love, I am a tactile, creative soul who has been blessed with a family who supports my craft.

In the early 2000s I studied fine arts and creative writing, which I feel has only added to and amplified my own design process, I still paint regularly, art journal and collaborate my two loves into mixed media pieces.

Throughout the 1990s and into 2000 I did a lot of quilting commission work while I was home with young children.

In 2000 I began teaching and designing. I have taught for many quilt stores in Melbourne and for the Janome Company. I began patterning and marketing my own designs around 2005 and today I am a designer for the JenKingwell Collective and have had several patterns and articles published in magazines.

I would describe my style as traditional/eclectic, I love the harmony of repeating pieced blocks combined with applique. I also like to work with value in a quilt and print scale to make the design ‘sing’.

As a teacher I love watching my students grow and find their own voice and develop their own style. I enjoy the way they interpret my patterns and make them their own. Quilting has such a rich heritage and tradition, it is a bringing together of diversity of both people and materials to create such harmonious community.