Lesley has a cheery disposition and every time I see her at meetings or events, she is always busy lending a helping hand. It is wonderful to have people like Lesley within our Association for whom no job is too big or too small. I hope you enjoy her story.
Lesley has been a member for approximately ten years and has been involved with Community Quilts, Sponsorship and Member Services plus Vice President under Gwen Parry, nine of these years have been served on the Management Committee. Her involvement commenced on her very first visit to a Sewing night where she volunteered to deliver a couple of quilts to a neighbouring suburb. The rest is history.
Have you always been creative?
Gosh no – it was a mid life crisis of “what will I do in retirement” that made me do something! As a financial planner I saw a lot of folk retire just to clean and shop, walk and read books, which I knew wouldn’t be enough for me. I wanted to balance my analytical brain, searching for my creative side! Its way out of balance again but the other way!!
Your first foray into the quilting world?
I’d always admired the “wiggly texture” on quilts (now known as stippling!) I called an unsuspecting quilt teacher in Willetton, Gilly Marshall, who ran classes in her converted garage. Poor Gilly had no idea what she was letting herself in for! I had no pattern, fabric, thread nor a machine. She provided a sampler pattern, picked the fabric for me (mainly Jan Mullins) and loaned me a machine. What a woman! I am forever grateful for her kindness (and tolerance).
Your first piece of work was?
The quilt sampler I made under Gilly was for my Mum. Unfortunately she had a bad fall and died from consequences whilst I hand appliqued the seagull block. So its always been mine and has never been used.
Have you won any quilt awards? Locally or nationally?
Ha ha, that’s funny…no the most I’ve pushed myself is through Contemporary Group
and the WAQA challenges. I don’t like competition. Having said that, I was in a
womens accapella group (Perth Harmony Chorus) and won a world champion small
chorus award in America one year!
Lesley’s entry into the WAQA Challenge quilt (2018). ” A curio/curiosity” came 4th place.
In your spare time you enjoy?
Sewing, every single second of it – but mainly in 10 minutes blocks every day.
Difficult but I would have to say Sleepless in Seattle…or You’ve Got
Mail…or Love Actually – you get the gist of my favourite genre!
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens…a recent favourite,having
taken over from Jasper Jones by WA writer, Craig Silvey.
Perth born and raised?? Or was born and raised somewhere else and came to Perth when?
Long story short. Essex in England born and raised. Married young, my
brothers’ family emigrated to Perth (to play soccer) and we (somewhat reluctantly at
the time) followed in 1982. The dramatic change of lifestyle and innocence of youth
left me as a divorcee at age 27 and life got real…. Single, travel, career
orientated…amazing and lucky lifestyle. Met Jon Warren and remarried in 1993,
inheriting 2 sons and now 5 Grandies. Retiring at age 54 I would not have wanted to
spend life in any other place but Perth.
Do you belong to any WAQA small groups or any other craft groups.
I am in a small Tuesday night group with other WAQA members and love my Contemporary Quilt Days. I also meet each Wednesday morning with a group of buddies in Fremantle (or on Zoom) – they also LOVE retreats, so that works really well for me!
“Little guys” I spied this quilt hanging at the Boddington Field Day of quilts in October.
Favourite place to holiday?
Oh well – can’t beat a river cruise in Europe! Was due to go to Portugal and Spain June 2020 – still got that to look forward to…2023??
I do also have a buddy who also likes to do textile tours – India and Japan ticked off so far…long list to tick off yet.
Favourite quilting/sewing tool you can’t live without?
My Bernina 570QE. Im a fairly recent convert. Its awesome..oh backed up by the Sweet 16 of course!
Can’t live without?
My Thermomix – oh my lordie how do you feed a family everynight without one? Ive just upgraded to the TM6 and its been like a revelation…Just ask me if you have an hour to spare!
Follow patterns or like making and designing your own things?
Quilt patterns are for guidance only – I’ve never bought a kit….bag patterns (with which Im obsessed) must, however, be followed for a successful outcome!
Your favourite part of the whole quilting process?
The planning and the quilting…I’m not a piecer…and certainly not a handworker, but I am trying to get over my aversion to picking up a needle.
Your number one tip you can pass on to another quilter is?
Never start a new project without finishing the last. Ive never had a UFO.
Are you lucky enough to have a designated space in your home, to be able to close thedoor behind you and leave the mess?
A few years ago we revamped the house layout as there was a lot of space not being used….well, I offered the front lounge to Jon as his office, but he said he liked his small man cave. Took me about ten minutes to pack up and move the whole sewing room !! I am lucky and love my space… Its not tidy, but I do know where everything is!
Thanks Lesley for taking the time to share your quilting journey with myself and our readers.