Sewing, Patchwork and Quilting are a not only creative, fun ways to spend time, I have also found them brilliant activities which provide relaxation and escape from the day to day strains. When sewing you are completely focused on your project – you don’t have time to think about other things.
The GillyMac Classes are always relaxed and informative. Support is available after the class, by phone or email, or even just drop back to get some help. Classes come with teas, coffee, and juices and more often than not, freshly baked cakes. I have a range of the latest sewing machine that you can use if you don’t have your own or if you don’t want to bring your machine to the class. Just let me know at the time of booking.
For more information, to book classes or for extra dates contact Gill Towell on 07818 551232 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I teach at home in Maidenhead, at the Liberty Sewing School in London and at Juberry Fabrics in Beedon in West Berkshire.
Weekly/Regular Group Lessons
Each week (during the school term) there are normally at least 3 regular adults classes running. They are on Thursday Morning (10am-1pm), Thursday Evening (7pm-10pm) and on Friday Mornings (10am-1pm). These classes have become wonderful Modern Sewing Bees. The classes decide if they would like to follow a GillyMac Project – for example making one of the quilts below – or if they would like to bring their own projects to work on. In the past, the classes have worked on quilts, bags, tuffets, dresses, cushions, and wall hanging. Every class is accompanied by lots of tea, coffee, and homemade cakes. The cost of the class is £15 paid 1/2 termly in advance.
Currently, the status on spaces in these classes is
Thursday Morning – No spaces
Thursday Evening – Standby Space (at the beginning of each 1/2 term I will know which weeks I have spare slots, but there is no slot to come every week).
Friday Morning – Standby Space (at the beginning of each 1/2 term I will know which weeks I have spare slots, but there is no slot to come every week).
If you are interested in being made aware of the standby slots, then drop me an email on email@example.com
Single Classes or Short Series Classes
GillyMac Applique Baby Quilt – Day Class, Wednesday 13th September – 10am-3.30pm £50
This class aims to build a number of the basic blocks on the day and discuss how it will be constructed and quilted. Fusible applique is a simple, fun and modern way to build a quilt and this is a FUN quilt. There are girl and boy options for each of the nine blocks and I will show you how to created consistent applique letters to personalise the quilt. I designed each block of this quilt and I am sure that you will love and enjoy it as much as I do.
Sewing with Stretch Fabrics – Making a Raglan Tee – Two-Evening Class – Tuesdays 12th &19th September – 7pm-10pm £60
Dressmaking often starts with woven fabric as stretch fabric seems very daunting. In fact, when you know the basics of working with stretch fabrics you are likely to find them easier to work this as there are no tricky fastening to deal with. This class is an introduction to stretch fabrics using a great pattern from GrainLine Studios. This Raglan T-Shirt is oversized to allow it hang loosely and stop it clinging
The techniques involved include sewing with knits, straight seams, and attaching a knit neckband. Each participant will receive their own GrainLine pattern and we will start the class with a demonstration of which stitches to use to machine sew on stretch fabrics. This class is FULL
Storm at Sea – Day Class, Wednesday 20th September – 10am-3.30pm £50
During the Summer of 2016, I started to plan this quilt. There are so many options to how it can look, depending on the colour choices made and then there was the decision as to whether to foundation piece this quilt or use rulers. After some time and lots of fun, I chose to use rulers (which are superb and make cutting out the pieces very quick and easy). As for my colour choices, there were too many that I liked, so I am continuing to make this quilt in smaller forms in different and more gorgeous colour mixes.
In this class, we will make at least one block, if not more, during the day and we will discuss how the project can be completed and quilted. There are full notes for every stage of this quilt (including quilting) which you will be given on the day
Autumn Dressmaking – Evening Class each Wednesday from 20th September to 11th October – 7pm-10pm £95
Join me for four weeks of dressmaking. Bring along a dressmaking pattern for yourself or a child. If you have sewn before but just want to sew with company and someone to help with the tricky bits, then this is perfect for you. If you are a complete novice, we will cover how to read the pattern sleeve and pattern itself, as well as learning about material weave and how it impacts the garment. During the sessions we will cover cutting out the pattern, pinning, cutting and transferring markings. As you make up the garment we will learn about seam allowance, machine operation, and useful feet. Depending on the patterns you bring we can also talk through inserting zips, setting in sleeves, sewing dart etc. Finally, we will finish the garments with hems, and fastenings. It will be a packed class, setting you up for many hours of dressmaking! You will receive my full teaching notes which will help you through many years of sewing.
Sewing Machine Basics – Monday 25th September – 7pm-10pm – Price £35
Bring along your machine for a relaxed evening getting to know your own machine and learning some of the things you can do with it. This packed evening will cover The Parts of Your Machine, Sewing Machine Needles – Getting Started, Threading Your Machine (top & bobbin threads), Your own machine stitches explained, Stitch Length and Width and why and when to change them ?, Sewing Basic Seams inc. blind hemming (we’ll even have a practice !), Essential Sewing Machine Feet, Why is ‘Needle Position’ as important as machine feet ? & Sewing Machine Care Essentials.. and we will finish off putting a zip into a small purse !!
….And if there is time we will talk about some useful Websites and Local Shops (for the best deals around)
GillyMac Supersonic Bag – Day Class – Wednesday 27th September – 10am-3.30pm £50
This type of bag is all the rage at the moment. I have written my own pattern which incorporates 4 zipped compartments and 3 internal pockets, all contained within one bag. It is perfect to keep all your sewing gear in, or also a really useful large pencil case or even a make-up bag for holidays!
The day is in two parts. We will spend a couple of hours cutting out the pieces, another two creating the inner bag and then finally we will construct the bag and finish it off. It is a super way to learn a lot about bag construction.
Please don’t think that a bag like this is beyond you… it is easy when you know how and I will be there to help you each step of the way. This class is FULL
Free Motion Applique – Evening Class, Monday 2nd October – 7pm-10pm £40
Taking simple designs and scraps of fabric this class will teach you how to create wonderful decorative pieces in a very free way. There are many of my own templates for you to follow, and we will use marking tools that you may not have used before, however the essence of this class is to learn how to use your sewing machine in a more versatile manner to create bespoke small panels that could be made into bunting, bags, pouches, small quilts and many items of homeware. You will have the use of all my oodles of scraps a well as wadding and other stabilisers for you to try out. – so you will only need to bring a base fabric.
Get To Know Your Overlocker – Evening Class (over two evenings), Tuesdays 3rd & 10th October – 7pm-10pm £55
Overlockers look extremely tricky beasts, but this two evening class will demystify your overlocker and get you using it in your everyday sewing. The class will cover :-
- The parts of the overlocker and what it’s function and stitch is
- Threading and rethreading the overlocker
- Working with stitch length
- Understanding differential feed
- Sewing corners and curved edges
- Creating rolled hems
- Making two projects completely with your overlocker
I have two overlockers and so if you don’t have an overlocker and would like to use mine to see if you like them, then that is possible – just let me know at the time of booking. This class is FULL
**JUST ADDED **Get To Know Your Overlocker – Evening Class (over two evenings) Tuesdays 7th & 14th November – 7pm – 10pm
Patchwork for Beginners – Day Class, Wednesday 4th October – 10am-3.30pm £55
Come and learn the fundamentals of patchworking whilst making a mini quilt. The fabric for the quilt top is included in the price for the day and all the tools will be provided to make the day as easy as possible. This is a simple and fun class suitable for everyone. The class covers how to cut fabric with a ruler and rotary cutter, how to sew a perfect ¼” seam, how to sew ½ square triangle, how to piece sections of a quilt accurately together. You will also be given instructions on how to quilt and bind the piece. (3 places remaining for this class)
A Morning of FMQ – Part 1 (free motion quilting) – Friday 6th October – 10am-1.30pm £30
I have made the class 3 1/2 hours so we can have 30 minutes of faffing getting the foot on and the initial questions on using the machine in free motion over and then we get 3 whole hours to sew; In the 3 hours we would cover.
– setting up your machine for free motion
– setting up yourself for free motion – how to sit, what to think
– practice 5 everyday free motion designs
– how to break up a quilt or piece into sections ready to free motion
– the importance of doodling
– books and inspiration
This is a taster class to get your confidence level up. It is a jam-packed class and will be limited to 4 people
Baby Essentials Class – Day Class – Wednesday 11th October – 10am – 3.30pm £55
This class is a smorgasbord of options for you to choose from to make on the day and you will be able to take a pack of patterns home to use later as well. You will have the option to make bibs, burp cloths, a nappy basket, car seat blanket (it fits in the car seat and we will create buttonholes to feed the car straps through), a hooded towel and sunhat. Once booked on the class you will be able to legitimately buy those beautiful baby fabrics you’ve had your eye on !!
GillyMac 2017 Jelly Roll Quilt Class – Day Class – Wednesday 18th October – 10am – 3.30pm £55
In this class, you will be using your jelly roll (pre cut fabrics) and a plain fabric to build two different blocks. The blocks are really effective. If you’ve been on the basic patchworking day, then this is a brilliant next step. We practice the blocks on the day and you will leave with all the instructions to finish the quilt yourselves, but of course, you can always come back to the drop ins to help you along the way. For those of you who are seasoned quilters, this is just a super nice quilt to make and results in some great shapes to quilt from the pieced patterns that are made.
It is no secret that I love Swoon Patterns. I import the patterns from the US and have enjoyed making a number of bags in 2016. New for 2017 is the Sandra bag. If you are new to bag making, this is a lovely easy bag to make, The price of the class includes the original pattern, foam, interfacing and metal hardware for the bag.
Starburst Quilt – Day Class – Wednesday 8th November – 10am-3.30pm £50
This super popular class returns !! In this class, you will make a stunning quilt and as you make it you will learn the magic of 1/2 square triangles! Bring along your favourite fabrics and learn how to successfully cut fabric, create 1/2 square triangles and sew with a 1/4″ seam. As always the classes are relaxed and fun. Fabric requirements will be sent to you at time of booking.
Christmas Makes – Evening Class Over 4 Wednesday Evenings – 8th November to 29th November – £25 per evening or £90 if bought together
Come along for one evening or for all 4, but I guarantee that you will have fun. You will have the opportunity to make a Christmas Table Runner, a Christmas Tree Skirt, gift baskets, Christmas make up and toilet bags, Christmas baby bibs, a Christmas cushion or personalised gift tags. You won’t be able to make everything, but I will help you enjoy making whatever you choose and you will be hooked on making things for Christmas. Only 5 places for this class.
Memory Bear – Two Evenings Monday 13th and 27th November 7pm-10pm – £60 inc. stabilisers, eyes, joints, and stuffing
Reuse old clothes as a beautiful keepsake in either a traditional bear or a cute little puppy over two evenings. You can bring along either woven garments (such as shirts and cotton dresses) or/ stretchy fabrics (such as babygrows and T-shirts) and you will learn how to stabilise the fabrics and make them up into the bear or puppy. If you would like a patchwork effect, then expect to bring along 4-6 garments. This class involves a mixture of hand and machine stitching. Only 5 places for this class.
Custom Bibs & Burps Cloths – Evening Tuesday 21th November 7pm-10pm – £35
It is so simple to make bibs and burp cloths and they make amazing gifts. I will show you how to make these and will supply the waffle or toweling fabric (whichever you would like to use), all you need to bring is your focus fabrics. This is one of my simplest classes and you will love the result you get with just some simple straight stitching.
A Morning of FMQ – Part 2 (free motion quilting) – Tuesday 28th November – 10am-1.30pm £30
- Quilt with consistent stitch length without a regulator
- Learn 4 more all over designs
- Look at how to create variety using a large and small trick
- Add your own personality into your quilting
- Mark and create simple feathers
- Trouble shoot the questions you have now you have been quilting for a little while now
As this is another jam-packed class, it will be limited to 4 people
Pennine Windmills – Day Class – Wednesday 6th December 10am-3.30pm – £50
I first made this quilt on holiday in the Lake District. It is a jelly roll friendly quilt which uses a ruler to create the Windmill shapes and so it goes together relatively quickly. We will make at least two blocks during the day, but you will be able to borrow the rulers to make more blocks when you get home. The windmills could easily be made into cushions if you would prefer that. Why not make some Christmas Cushions !!
Sewing Machine Basics – Wednesday 10th January 2018 – 7pm-10pm – Price £35
Bring along your machine for a relaxed evening getting to know your own machine and learning some of the things you can do with it. This packed evening will cover
- The Parts of Your Machine,
- Sewing Machine Needles
- Getting Started,
- Threading Your Machine (top & bobbin threads),
- Your own machine stitches explained,
- Stitch Length and Width and why and when to change them,
- Sewing Basic Seams inc. blind hemming (we’ll even have a practice !),
- Essential Sewing Machine Feet,
- Why is ‘Needle Position’ as important as machine feet ? &
- Sewing Machine Care Essentials
- .. and we will finish off putting a zip into a small purse !!
….And if there is time we will talk about some useful Websites and Local Shops (for the best deals around)
Scrappy Swoon – Day Class – 17th January 2018 – 10am-3.30pm – Price £50
Come and use all those scraps to put together this fun quilt. You can scale it using 1.5”-2.5” blocks – changing the size of your piece. It is constructed by ironing the small pieces onto gridded vilene (fusible backing) and batch sewing them (much quicker). So keep those scraps and I will help you term them into a masterpiece in 2018 !
For more information or extra dates contact Gill Towell on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07818 551232
I will also be teaching at Juberry Fabrics, Beedon, and at the Liberty Sewing School in 2017/8. Please check their websites or contact me for further information.