Meet the quilter: Lynne Goldsworthy
Updated: Jan 14
This week we welcome special guest Lynne Goldsworthy, who you may also know online as Lily’s Quilts. Lynne lives in the middle of the Peak District and has been making quilts on and off for about 20+ years, with a long hiatus when she had kids and had no time to herself!
Lynne designs for various fabric companies and magazines, almost exclusively UK magazines. She has written a few books including Quick and Easy Quilts and 500 Quilt Blocks which she co-wrote with Kerry Green.
Lynne was also one of the Fat Quarterly team (since disbanded) who ran an online quarterly quilting magazine as well as London quilting retreats. She is now one of the team of three who are The Thread House (@threadhouseuk on Instagram) and they run retreats - real and virtual - sell patterns and have just started an online, year-long Block of the Month called the Folk Dance BOM. Lynne tells us that it's not too late to join them for a year of making this fabulous quilt and learning lots of new techniques. There are video tutorials to accompany every month’s block which will take you, step by step, through the whole process!
From left to right: Karen, Lynne and Jo with their Folk Dance quilts
Do you still have your first quilt?
I don’t still have my first quilt – it became known as the Fugly quilt as it was really ugly and ended up being used for all sorts of sad jobs like picnic rug, dog blanket and even put under the tyres of my husband’s car once to get him off the drive on a snow day! I am colossally unsentimental about my quilts – love making them but tend to sell them or give them away almost as soon as they’re made. For anyone who would like to buy one, I sell them periodically on my Instagram account!
Do you have a favourite fabric style or colour?
I really love all fabrics although I struggle to love batiks and certain cheesy novelty fabrics. I really love to work with fabric lines and I think that is where my strength lies. That comes from designing for fabric companies where it is my job to make their new fabric line sing and show it off in its best light. I’m probably most drawn to monochrome lines, like red and cream lines because I love the look of the finished quilt when the colours are so simple.
Stars and Dashes from issue 67 of Today's Quilter
What's your essential notion or tool?
My most used and probably simplest tool is my Hera Marker which I use to mark quilting lines. I almost always quilt a diagonal cross hatch of lines on my quilts – it gives a lovely even texture to the quilt, doesn’t fight with the design, is very easy to do because you can always use the bias line you’re quilting along to ease out puckers and I’m also pretty hopeless at FMQ!
And your favourite snack (or tipple)?
I am pretty rigorous about downing tools and not working after 6pm but if I’m close to finishing the quilting on a big quilt and 6pm is fast approaching, I might occasionally have a sneaky glass of wine along with that final bit of quilting. But after an incident when my daughter delivered me a cup of tea and tripped as she put it down and it splashed onto some cream fabrics, I am pretty wary about mixing food/drink and quilting!
Do you listen to anything while you quilt?
I tend to watch things on iPlayer, ITV Hub, Netflix, Prime etc. while I’m quilting – anything and everything - as much as background noise as anything else as I often can’t hear a thing and can’t follow anything too complicated as I can’t look at the screen while I’m sewing and often also can’t hear what’s being said!
Can you share a top tip/online resource?
Not so much a top tip but a suggestion to your members – normally QuiltCon is held in the US and so is not easily accessible to UK quilters but, in the current climate, they are holding this event virtually so all classes are accessible online and there will be zoom conversations with the class teachers for tips, tricks, answering questions etc. I am teaching three classes, Georgetown Dresden, Graphic Design Quilts and a Modern Mystery Medallion and would love to have some UK quilters come along to any of those. In the first we learn how to make a one or four block Georgetown Dresden. In the second I teach the process of making a quilt from a piece of graphic design.
In the third class we work through a series of fun blocks which can all be put together to make a beautiful medallion quilt.
Can you recommend a book?
I do love my book Quick and Easy Quilting in the same way as you inevitably love your own children, but my favourite quilting book of all time is Fons and Porter’s Quilter’s Complete Guide. It was my first quilting book, I bought it in American many, many years ago and I just fell in love with quilting right there and then.
Have you had any quilting disasters?
Well not so much a disaster as a kind of mystery. I made a Christmas quilt for Today’s Quilter a few years back. The fabric was kind of dark and depressing, the design went wrong more times than I can say, I made sections at the wrong size and back to front and with the fabrics in the wrong places. And when it was done, I was not the only person who thought it was one of the ugliest quilts I’ve ever made, so how Today’s Quilter decided to put it on the front cover that month, I’ll never know!
Lynne's least favourite quilt in all its glory!
Do you have a favourite quilt block?
Well as clichéd as this is, I am a nut about the half square triangle. I make all my HST units on paper in batches of four or eight and have just brought out a tool kit with paper templates for nine sizes of HST between ½” and 4 ½”. The method is quick and easy and there is no additional fiddling about trimming – you sew then cut along the printed lines and miraculously you have eight HSTs all in one go. The pattern also includes a pre-cut friendly quilt pattern in three sizes: baby, lap and bed size. The idea is that suddenly you realize you need to make a quilt gift for a friend and this pattern is very quick and very easy! It’s called Super Speedy HSTs and you can buy it here if you’d like to try out this method.
Where can we find you online?
I had a blog called Lily'sQuilts for a few years. It’s now dormant, but I’m seriously considering restarting it as I think it’s still a great way to connect with a lot of quilters out there and to share a closer look at whatever I’m working on, whereas Instagram is more like fast food. I’m @lilysquilts on Instagram and that’s where I share most of my work.
Thank you Lynne, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for the Q&A sheet.
We'll be taking a short break over Christmas and the New Year, but visit again on Friday the 8th of January to meet another quilter...