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Meet the quilter: Glenys Davies

For the first in our brand new series we welcome the Shropshire Quilters' chairperson, Glenys Davies!

How long have you been quilting?

I've been quilting since I retired in July 2014, though I have been dressmaking and making home furnishings since I was a child. I was initially taught by my mother, but since I left home at the age of 18 I have mostly learned by trial and error. I learned the basics of patchwork and quilting from Georgina Murdock of Spindle Cottage Workshop in Lincolnshire. I have attended workshops by a range of local and national figures and learned a great deal just by watching others either at my weekly sessions with the Country Quilters at Alberbury, and my fortnightly sessions with Diana at Castle Court in Whittington.

A sampler pieced by Glenys 2016-18 when she was living in Lincolnshire

Do you still have your first quilt?

My first quilt was basic and colourful - so much so that I've never used batik since! It is well used though and sewn on my 36 year old Frister and Rossmann with no quarter inch foot or walking foot!

Glenys's first quilt

Do you have a favourite fabric style or colour?

My choice of fabrics how is mainly fairly traditional these days. I love the vintage designs of Tilda and the like and mainly favour small prints that cut well for piecing. My favourite would be Liberty every time but the cost limits my use! I can't say that I like using their relatively new range for quilting and dressmaking, preferring their traditional tana lawn even though it's less robust for day to day use.

Fancy Fox, made by Glenys in 2019 for a friend's granddaughter

What's your essential notion or tool?

As I mainly hand quilt my favourite tools are associated with that. I have a large magnifier that I hang round my neck (originally my mother's) and a freestanding LED lamp that sits alongside my favourite sofa for stitching while watching TV.

And your favourite snack (or tipple)?

I often find that couple of hours between the days activities and preparing our evening meal to be when I turn to my sewing. That means I retreat to my sewing room upstairs with a cup of tea and a couple of ginger nuts in hand!

Do you listen to anything while you quilt?

I have a TV in my sewing room that is of limited use in the late afternoon, so my tablet with BBC Sounds App is always there beside me too. There's always a podcast of some murder/mystery to catch up on, or a afternoon play or even Woman's Hour.

Can you share a top tip/online resource?

Top Tip? that's one I've learned the hard way but still don't always follow myself until I'm stuck - READ THE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU START! Ironic really coming from a retired teacher... I'm not yet sufficiently confident to create my own designs and patterns - I need the security of a set of instructions!

Can you recommend a book?

My most used book is Lynne Edwards' Essential Sampler Quilt Book. I was fortunate enough to go on a Sewing retreat of hers a couple of years ago. She's an excellent teacher and got us to draw out this 3D design and calculate the size of the pieces before we even started to stitch - just my thing! I learned so much from that weekend.

A complex block pieced by Glenys at a Lynne Edward's quilting retreat

Have you had any quilting disasters?

Like most of us I think, I've had a few disasters in my time. Most of them have ended up in the bin. I still have one on my sewing room wall to remind me that colour choices are crucial and that a black and white photo of proposed fabrics is a great way to ensure that dark and medium and light fabrics have a great enough contrast to make patterns work effectively.

Do you have a favourite quilt block?

My favourite block has to be one of Lynn Edwards' - Inner City

Thank you Glenys, its been lovely to get to know you!

And we'd really LOVE to get to know our talented membership too: if you'd like to share your quilting story please send an email to info@shropshirequilters.org for the Q&A sheet.

Visit us again next Friday to meet another quilter...

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