At school and at home I always enjoyed painting, drawing and being creative, but encouraged by my results I completed a degree in optoelectronics and a second qualification in business management and went on to (most of the time) enjoy a career in telecoms. By 2012, the hours, the travel and the stress finally outweighed the amount I was gaining from it .. and in the meantime, my daughters were growing up, largely without me.
In May 2013, after a year off, I set up GillyMac Designs and began teaching. My classes focus on encouraging my pupils of whatever age to have a go. By 2014 my Senior Girls Sewing Group had won an award at the Festival of Quilts for their quilt, “Sunflower Magic” and the Junior Sewing Bee narrowly missed out with their “Butterfly Garden” wall hanging. The following year, the girls once again won an award at the Festival of Quilts with their piece “Wizarding Magic” and in the same year Sunflower Magic was taken as part of GenArt , a touring exhibition of exceptional art created by children, and was shown at the Turner Contemporary. In 2015 I started teaching at Liberty of London. I also volunteer to support Young Quilters nationally for the Quilters Guild of the British Isles, teaching at their event in the NEC each year and writing blog posts for their teen audience.
The awards for the group quilts made in my sewing classes have been graciously received each year ranging from winners, runner-up and ‘highly commended’ in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 in either the UK National Quilt Championships or the Festival of Quilts at the NEC each year,
The backbone of GillyMac Designs is my weekly children’s classes and my two Thursday groups and more recently a blossoming adult Friday morning group. These groups either have a ‘treat’ bowl for the kids or oodles of cake and coffee for the ‘grown-ups’. Over the past year, these classes are as close to a traditional sewing bee as you could get – which is absolutely wonderful!
I have no ambition other than to be a great teacher and to enjoy sewing whilst my girls grow up. This is happening fast, with my elder daughter now having completed her degree and the younger one midway through her senior school years!
The most recent reviews of my classes can be found here.