A bit of Background:

I have been working with textiles since I was a child - I first made my first hexagon coverlet between the age of 8 and 11 while I was watching Blue Peter after school! My mother and I found out about English Template Patchwork from a part work magazine in the 70's, but I didn't discover quilting until my 2nd year at art college in 1983, while studying weaving and knitting at Winchester School of Art. Since then I have been addicted to quiltmaking. I set up my own business in 1986 in Derbyshire where I had a shop and have worked in 3 private studios in Manchester and London. Between 1999 & 2004, I took a C&G Embroidery course part 1 & 2 at East Berkshire College, Windsor. In 2005 I wrote The Quilter's Guide to Twists & Tucks, with Wendy Lowes. In September 2006 I am moving to Hove.

Eclectic Classes:

You will see from the list of classes I have an eclectic range of interest and skills. Although I have offered some of the classes for a while, I am constantly upgrading them with new skills and ideas as well as adding new classes each year.

Teaching Experience:

I have taught many quilting and embroidery groups around the country and 3 years of adult education in Manchester. I now teach privately and home and itinerantly which fits in with family and church commitments (I am married to an URC minister). I am open to college teaching as my children get older.

Artist In Residencies/Group Projects:

I have also organized many group / community projects and done several artist in residencies at schools. I particularly like combining math's with art in that context. I was the Young Quilter's Rep for the London Region of the Quilter's Guild from 2002 - 5. My children have been using my sewing machines since they were 3! In 2005 I made a huge school wallhanging with 192 3 – 11 year old self-portraits at Park Walk School in Chelsea.

Maths:

My particular interest for my own artwork is with mathematical theory. I have been developing ideas with John Sharp for several years. I hope to write a book on my Fibonacci / spiral series of quilts with other geometrical ideas I want to explore. I am particularly interested in exploring number patterns.

I am giving a paper at the Bridges conference in August 2006.

Multicultural Interests:

I have always loved ethnic textiles. In Manchester I loved visiting Asian fabric shops & in London I studied Ghanaian textiles for Part 2 C&G Embroidery, which gave me plenty of opportunity to get to know the Ghanaian members in our London Churches - though I haven’t yet had chance to redeem my 40th Birthday fund to visit Ghana. I particularly love Kente Cloth, which brings me full circle to my weaving roots.

I have taught classes on African textiles at several Black History Month events.

I also have a growing collection of worldwide textiles & books, which I can use for teaching & inspiration.

Environmental Issues:

I am an avid recycler in all aspects of life. In my work I often use fabric leftovers & pieces too small for patches for general quiltmaking for pieced backgrounds. Other pieces too small for that get used in my embroidery these days, even thread snippets. Likewise used paper is being recycled into art pieces or for origami samples. Another foible is charity shops, where I love to find beads, wool & fabric for my work or pieces of embroidery from around the world.

Quilting, embroidery or fabric sculpture?

At the moment my work seems to be either quilts or embroidery, but I am sure there will be more & more crossover. My most recent work is very 3 dimensional & I am increasingly drawn to doing large-scale sculptural pieces.

Encouraging others:

One of my greatest joys is to get people hooked on sewing, so I hope to get you addicted to fabric too!

Hope to meet you soon,

Louise

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Louise Mabbs, Textile Artist
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