Liz Jones - My Fabric Journey
My mum was always sewing! I loved turning the handle on her treasured Singer sewing machine while she created curtains and all kinds of clothes for her and me. Most evenings I would sit sewing clothes for my teenage doll or inventing patterns for teddies and horses, I still have them!
As a very shy and rather anxious child, I completely lost myself in crafts of all kinds and later, in my 42-year teaching career, I realised how important creative activities are to mental health, both for children and adults. It is relaxing, and almost meditative; enabling one to immerse oneself in another world.
Fast forward to 2014 when I retired. Both my mother and grandmother had reached 100 and it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t too!! So I needed a new career! One day I noticed an advertisement on Facebook about a Thread and Thrift course at Chateau Dumas in SW France run by Mandy Pattullo. It was just magical and my love affair with old fabrics was born. I went back the next year and it was here that I started experimenting with vases of flowers inspired by the work of Winifred Nicholson.
It suddenly became very clear to me that this was the direction I wanted to take but I had to think of something new and original to make my work different from other makers. This came with my purchase on eBay, of a huge old battered quilt which was absolutely nothing to look at but what treasures it was hiding within! Layers of the most exquisite, fragile fabrics in the most beautiful subtle faded colours... I was ecstatic. The fabric was so ancient that it couldn’t be cut.... tearing it gently became my style and I am incredibly grateful to Mandy Pattullo for including a piece of my work in her book Transforming Textiles.
I started making and selling Mindful stitch kits and was really surprised when they took off! I think the teacup kit is about my 7/8th kit... I also run workshops which I so enjoy.
I have to thank several wonderful women who have so helped and encouraged me along the way. Mandy Pattullo who taught me so much, Lizzie Hulme who owns Chateau Dumas, Lucy Haywood who believed in me right from the beginning and Caroline Zoob who took me under her wing and gave me so many opportunities to grow and develop.