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My Hats – A quilter

1995 saw the birth of my first daughter… Army life was put on hold – and maybe even over it seemed. However as much as I loved my baby with every breath I took, I am a person who still needed to achieve each day for herself to stay sane… And I believe this also made me a better and more present mother.  So within a couple of weeks of the birth of Molly I was studying a 2 year Certificate IV in needlecraft skills. I also began a children’s clothing business just to fill in my ‘spare time’  – crazy I know… But not a person to sit idle my mind still raced, and ideas kept flowing. 

The final 6 month elective of the course was to be chosen by class vote. My sister was an accomplished quilter and had already furnished baby quilts – so I chose Elizabethan blackwork!!! but of course that wasnt a popular vote and so I began a six month extensive research project and learning process of quilting – the beginning of my quilting hat.

Another posting, another baby and no family support saw me start to teach from home in our postings – other mums and their kids would come each week to learn, and soon I began designing my own projects to teach them to get around any copyright issues. Another posting and it was time to do this properly – Hugs ‘n Kisses – a design brand was born.


Moving forward to today – Under my Hugs ‘n Kisses brand I have published over 600 patterns featuring embroidery, stitchery, english paper piecing, applique and quilting techniques. Through teaching and writing I’ve developed methods and products to support them, to make beautiful quilts enjoyable to make and achieveable to all. And I have rebranded 4 times!

From my first finished quilt back in 1995 – the classic sampler – to my prize winning quilts of today, every single one of them has taught me something new. A new tip, a way to do it better, a new way to teach it, a new stitch or a new design style.  There is always more to learn, through trial and error, listening, sharing and just experimenting. And I love that I have been able to travel around the world and impart some of this experience to others, bringing joy and excitment when they too learn something new. 

I have also self published 5 books, had two others published by major publishing houses, been in several compilation books with other amazing designers and done commissioned projects for many many magazines around the world. Yet my mind still races, and my ideas keep coming – there is only so many hours in the day and my days are whizzing by quicker than I can keep up. To sit and make a few stitches or sketch on my ipad or sketch book at night is my downtime, my therapy, my solace. And my achieving each day.

I now have a shopfront – yes a real bricks and mortar quilt store  Quarter Inch, where we manufacture HNK applique paper, stabiliser, EPP Iron-on templates and more along with inhouse printing of all of our patterns. Since Covid my travel has stopped but we’ve pivoted to an online classroom with video classes and downloads so you can still learn our methods and techniques.

I design up to 25 projects per year – most are for our clubs and programs, our events and gatherings and usually one major quilt each year to satisfy my needs and challenges… As much as I dream up wonderful challenging designs that i’d love to make and exhibit, right now I just don’t seem to find the time for this- perhaps in my ‘retirement’ if that is even a word for a quilter?

I’m sure I’ll be quilting or stitching and sharing the process for as long as my hands and eyesight allow me to… it is my happy place – is it for you?  


Birds of a feather

Opus Tweet

Simply Applique book

Flower Power quilt with small girl

Simply applique book

Simply applique book

Simply applique book


Flower Power


Simply applique book

Snap crackle pop

Stordalen garden

Petite Cherie

In the good old days

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