I have sewn for as long as I can remember, in fact I had my first sewing machine (a hand turn, with the long bobbin, Singer No 28) while I was still in infant school. I just wanted to be like my mum and make things.
Sew Happy began in one of the chalets at the Craft Village, at Wyndley Garden Centre in 1994. I started selling rag dolls and quilts and doing curtains and general repairs. I then expand into haberdashery and fabrics and then someone suggested that I teach people how to make their own quilts...
It was at this time that I helped set up a local quilting group - Sutton Coldfield Trinity Quilters. I'm proud to say the group is still going strong, we have a couple of meetings a month with speakers and workshops and we stage an exhibition every other year.
I did a couple of City & Guilds, one in teaching adults and the other in Patchwork & Quilting, and as the teaching was taking over I had to take the tough decision to close my shop and go out on the road to teach. I ran a number of patchwork and quilting classes at various locations including The Trinity Centre, Heirloom Needlecrafts, The Community Centres in Mere Green, Park Hall and Collingwood, the Sewing shop in Lichfield and a group in Tamworth.
It makes me smile to think that the sampler quilt I designed all those years ago is now probably in a couple of hundred homes in the general north Birmingham area, leave alone all the other projects I've set people over that time.
I was working really hard, and my work was ruling my life until one day I had a bit of a moment and decided I needed a rest. So I took some time out and did the Foundation course in Art & Design, and renewed my teaching qualification.
Then one day, I heard that L&M Nutt Sewing Machine Shop were looking for someone to teach patchwork in their brand new facilities... a fresh, light and airy space, comprising a sewing room (complete with sewing machines all set up ready to use), a cutting room, and a kitchen.
Although I admit, at first, I was scared to death of the computerised machines, now they are so familiar, I even have one of my own:)
I can see lots of potential for future projects.