Questions with Quilters- a new series

 “Questions with a Quilter” will showcase our wonderful stable of WAQA accredited teachers over the next few months.  I hope you enjoy reading these posts.

I know from the blog comments, that many of our followers love reading about other quilters, and how they got into quilting and what inspires them.

Today we are featuring, “Phillipa Thomas”,  best known as Phil.  Phil came to Perth   seven years ago with husband, Jerry, who is a lawyer for a mining company. Following his job around the world, she has lived in Australia, Brazil, India and England and loves doing anything creative.  Phil has four adult children but as none are married yet, they are true ‘boomerang’ kids who keep coming back!


  • Have you always been creative?

Yes, I crocheted a double bed blanket at the age of 9 and was sewing my own clothes by then too. I also made all my miniature furniture and accessories for my dolls house before that – sad

  • Your first foray into the quilting world was?

Moving to Brasilia in 1987 and I needed to join something. A beginner’s sampler quilt class fit the bill and then I was hooked. I started teaching quilting a couple of years after that.

  • Your first quilt or first piece of craft ?
  • A double bed sampler



  • Have you won any quilt awards? Locally, nationally, international?

First won a prize (a first) at the national quilt championships, Sandown England in 2005 for an applique quilt.  Since then have won a number of QuiltWest awards and was accepted into Stitched and bound last year. I’ve also had quilts displayed at the AQC in Melbourne


  • In your spare time you enjoy………?

Walking, reading, painting and drawing and of course quilting.  I love traditional hand work but lately I’ve been doing a lot of pictorial quilts – portraits and landscapes

  • What is the best part of teaching students that you enjoy?

I love seeing the student’s excitement when they realise they CAN make a quilt, and I love seeing the finished results.  Teaching is also a great way to make friends and I’m still in touch with students who now live all over the world – in Holland, France, Canada, USA, India, Brazil and the UK. Thank goodness for the internet!





  • Favourite movie?

Any classic adaptation (I love Jane Austen) or Science fiction!

  • Favourite book?

“Pride and prejudice”

  • Where where you were born and raised?

Born and raised in Yorkshire England. Left the UK in 1983 then returned there in 2001 before coming to Perth in 2011

  • A bit about your family? are they supportive about what do you do?

They are very supportive and usually appreciate what I do. They don’t complain too much about my quilts hanging on the walls even though husband sometimes asks ‘is that new’ when it’s something I’ve been making for years or been on the wall for ages.!


  • Do you have any pets?


  • Favourite place to holiday?

Anywhere with mountains, lakes and coastline – In the past, the lake district in the UK and the French alps for skiing but recently New Zealand, which I absolutely love

  • Favourite quilting/sewing tool you can’t live without?

 Computer, rotary cutter AND FUSIBLE WEB which I couldn’t live without

  •  I can’t live without……….

Chocolate and my ipad 

  • Follow patterns or like making and designing your own things?

Hardly ever follow a pattern. I prefer to do my own designing or adapt from other things. Google is my best friend

  • Your favourite part of the whole quilting process? 

With traditional work – hand quilting is the best bit of making a quilt. With contemporary work it is the designing and playing with fabric

  •  Your number one tip you can pass on to another quilter is?

Take time to follow the basic rules at each stage of the quilt making process. Rushing and skipping out on the basics (trimming as you go, marking and cutting accurately etc.)  creates more work in the end

  • Do you have a “fabric/ribbon/buttons/thread stash”?

I’m quite good at not buying massive amounts of yardage but I’m a sucker for fat 1/4s! and threads in rainbow colours!

  • Are you lucky enough to have a designated space in your home, to be able to close the door behind you and leave the mess?

I am obsessively tidy in my work room and might need some therapy at some stage 


Having been lucky enough to visit Phil at her home, I can vouch that her area really looks as tidy as this photo depicts!!

  • Do your prefer working on bigger quilts or pieces or smaller items?.

Smaller art quilts are my thing now. I swore that my queen size ‘Dear jane’ quilt would be my last bed quilt…




  • Do you travel all over WA to hold your classes? Or prefer to be in metro areas.

So far, whilst in Australia, I’ve only taught in Perth but I’m teaching two classes at the Albany Summer school in January. I also teach beginners twice a month at the Alexander Park Craft house.

  • Anything weird or wonderful, that has happened in one of your classes?

Whilst in New Delhi, India, a new student turned up to my group who I’d taught 5 years previously in Brazil! Neither of us had kept in touch, so it was a complete surprise for both of us… Its small world!

Phil also hosts our beginner group at The Alexander Park Craft House in Menora, Perth on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month.  She is also an avid Contemporary quilt member and writes blog posts for this group at

You can also read more about Phil and what she gets up to on her blog:

Thank you so much Phil, for sharing your story/photos with us.

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4 Responses to Questions with Quilters- a new series

  1. nancycos says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. I am sure it will be a great series. Thankyou, Nancy Costantino 

    Sent from Samsung tablet.

  2. Megan Byrne says:

    Great post Lorraine, can’t wait for the rest of the series!

  3. Joan Day says:

    Very enjoyable read. Great to get to know the members.

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