Meet a Member – Jenni Smith

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Get to know The Guild better by meeting our talented members! We have interesting and inspiring members all over the country doing amazing sewing and we want you to be able to share their work.

Meet Guild member Jenni Smith, a quilting and dressmaking designer.

Jenni Smith

Jenni wearing one of her dress designs.

What are you working on now?

I have just designed and pieced a Lone Star quilt for Liberty’s new collection, Orchard Garden on my machine – not by hand, which was quite a pleasant surprise when it came together so well.  An English Paper Piecing version may never have got finished, with three kids and a busy schedule.

Orchard Star Quilt design

What is your favourite quilt that you’ve ever made?

One of my favourite quilts I ever made is the one I sleep beneath each night.  The key fabric is a Liberty Print by musician and artist Edwin Collins and I also own one of the drawings featured in it.  Remnants of organza flowers from my wedding dress are stitched into it, and I have so many special memories bound up in the one quilt.

favourite

Who are your quilting heroes?

Five years ago, I won a beautiful small quilt by Sheena Norquay at a Guild Evening where Tracy Chevalier spoke about her novel The Last Runaway.  I was then lucky enough to meet Sheena, and have now worked with her for the past three years on the Aurifil stand at the Festival of Quilts. I admire Sheena’s dedication to her craft, and how she has spent so many years perfecting techniques, exploring new subjects and teaching others.  She has a warm and generous spirit, and has been so kind to me. Sheena’s work embodies the colours, textures and beautiful details of the landscape she has grown up in and I am always amazed by its beauty.

Jenni and the Aurifill team at FOQ 2018

Jenni, Sheena and the Aurifil team at FOQ 2018.

Can you recommend a good quilting read?

A favourite quilt book of mine is the Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories, edited by Sue Prichard, which accompanied the V&A exhibition. When I visited that show eight years ago it confirmed that I had found a passion I would pursue for life.  It’s also a fantastic historical reference book when I am working on designs and heritage projects.

What do you love about The Guild?

The Quilters’ Guild has given me so many spine-tingling moments through exhibiting its collection. Nothing beats the moment you see a quilt that blows you away, and that you can’t take your eyes off. The Guild offers pure inspiration, fascinating stories and a community of like-minded people.

 

We are asking Members to tell us a bit about their sewing life using five simple questions. At the end of the interview each member suggests another to interview. This way we hope to bring you a wide range of makers from all corners of The Guild over the next weeks and months. If you know an inspiring quilter who we should feature, get in touch digital@quiltersguild.org.uk and we’ll send out a copy of our questionnaire.

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