How I started quilting - Fiona Payne

My quilting journey started about three years ago. I had made a one-off quilt for the Cambridge Open Studio, an annual event, that I was participating in for the first time since moving to Cambridge. This quilt, a Janet Clare design of sea gulls flying across the face of it hung proudly in my home amongst my paintings and prints for sale. I was thrilled that a buyer purchased it, sang its praises and wanted me to personally help him hang it in his home as a wall hanging. Since then, the painting and the printmaking have become secondary to quilt making and my art studio has become less furnished with easels, paints, inks and canvases but more fabric, threads, needles, rotary cutters and of course a new sewing machine. 

I was hungry to learn more and began to join local quilting communities. I was already part of a very supportive drop-in quilt group at a local fabric store, Backstitch, and then heard about and joined the Cambridge Quilters. Over the last 18 months I’ve also dived into several Zoom workshops, talks and sew-alongs, slowly building my library of skills, knowledge and techniques such as free motion quilting, walking foot quilting, binding edges, tackling curves, quilt design to name a few so gradually more challenging quilts are part of my daily work. I have also found a great national and international community through Instagram and Facebook. 

I see myself developing as a ‘modern’ quilter as I love bold brightly coloured contemporary quilts. I really love the quilts made by the quilters of Gee’s Bend whose quilts have been exhibited world- wide on art gallery walls and this year at the Festival of Quilts. I am inspired too by all the quiltmakers at Cambridge Quilters whose skills and experience I can tap into and learn from. I’ve also met up with some Cambridge based textile artists and am exploring combining fabric, paint, ink and stitch into abstract pieces often using recycled garments and fragments left from my larger quilting projects. 

I am a retired Health Visitor and midwife having worked in the NHS for 30 years. At a recent meeting with Cambridge Quilters I learnt of the project to make tiny quilts for babies in neo-natal intensive care units.  What better way to use my fabric stash and my growing skills to also make these small gifts for tiny new-borns, it fits nicely into my new rhythm of life here in Cambridge.

Fiona Payne

Print | Sitemap
© Cambridge Quilters 2023