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Meet the quilter: Helen Philipps

As we are all missing our monthly meetings and wonderful speakers, this week we have a treat for you and welcome a special guest to the Shropshire Quilters blog. Helen Philipps is a designer and author with a passion for textiles, embroidery, colour and photography.


How long have you been quilting and do you still have your first quilt?


I began doing English paper pieced patchwork when I was a schoolgirl, inspired by a friend’s older sister and I sewed hexagons into a quilt top when I was an art student in the 1970’s. The quilt is now an archive of Liberty prints and Laura Ashley fabrics of the time. (Though not my style/colours now!)


Do you have a favourite fabric style or colour?


I am drawn to beautifully coloured and well designed fabrics like Tilda, Lecien, Liberty, and Moda. I love to play with colour and pattern to create my own designs using applique as well as patchwork and have explored this in my new book Home Sweet Home Sewing published by Tuva publishing. I also love simple two colour quilts as well, like red and white and blue and white.


Helen's new book, Home Sweet Home Sewing, available to pre-order here


What's your essential notion or tool?


My most useful notions at the moment are a rotary cutter and a Frixion pen for marking quilts. And for making little toys and other small projects a turning tool makes the job much easier.


Helen marks her quilts with a Frixion pen


And your favourite snack (or tipple)?


Favourite quilting snack…..a cup of tea or coffee in a pretty mug and maybe some mini eggs (if in season) or a biscuit.


Helen's quilting essentials: needle, thread, thimble and a lovely mug of tea


Do you listen to anything while you quilt?


If I’m hand quilting in the evening I really like to watch a TV film or series. During the day I work on lots of different things, but if I sit down to sew I sometimes listen to Radio 4 or some music.


Can you share a top tip/online resource?


Top tip… save all your fabric scraps, even tiny pieces… especially your favourite prints…it’s surprising how you can use them up in little projects and create lovely effects.


Helen shares inspirational photographs on Instagram


Can you recommend a book?


I have lots of quilting and crafts books which are very useful and informative. My favourite to look through and be inspired by at the moment is Red & White Quilts Infinite Variety from the American Folk Museum. Every year I make a red and white quilt for myself and I love choosing the next one.


Helen's favourite book


Have you had any quilting disasters?


I haven’t really had a quilting disaster…yet!!


Do you have a favourite quilt block?


My favourite quilt block is probably the nine patch because it can be used in so many ways, and is the basis of the Irish Chain quilt which I love. I used this block in my Honey Hives quilt combined with applique beehive blocks. It’s in my new book, and is the one I’m holding in the photo here.



Where can we find you online?


Website: Helen Philipps

Instagram: @helen.philipps


Thank you Helen for being our first special guest, 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 again next Friday to meet another quilter...


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