Above: Circles 1, Liberty logs and the absolutely stunning Moonflowers quilt which is in Kaffe’s Kaleidascope of Quilts.
One of the most delightfully encouraging and generous quilters I have met on flickr is Ruth Eglinton. Ruth, who used to be an editor with the UK magazine Fabrications, now works for Rowan as their technical editor. Ruth explains below in her own words how her present dream job came about.
My mother was an accomplished dressmaker and I recall having many pretty clothes as a child and being the youngest of four I also had my share of hand me downs but that’s fine if they’re handmade and lovely! I recently helped my sister Clare finish a hexagon patchwork that she started when she was about twelve. It was full of fabrics from our childhood clothes and it was a delight to see and remember while stitching it, it even has a small brown grease stain where my father used it as an oil rag! I ‘m sure it was a mistake!
My first job was in banking, and my ability with numbers, computers and organisation was born there. After getting married we were one of the first families to have a home computer as my husband Andrew is an engineer and he could see the future lay in computers. He worked for himself and I ‘did the books’ while looking after our three children.
I took up dressmaking for my little girls and it was during a shopping trip that I met my great friend Maggie Wise. Maggie was the catalyst that launched me into the quilting world.
After a while I discovered that the ‘mathematics of quiltmaking’ is my real flair. I began designing my own quilts and writing the patterns, drawing the diagrams on my home computer. As my children grew I worked for Maggie at her shop, Sunflower Fabrics writing patterns and maintaining her website .
My new career in technical editing and illustrating began almost by chance. Maggie had a customer in the shop one day who wanted a quilt made based on an antique star quilt and Maggie suggested that I would be ideal to make it. We then discovered that the lady was Linda Parkhouse the editor of a new British quilting magazine called “Fabrications”.
Linda commissioned me to make the quilt and asked if I was able to do the instructions too, which I did. She then came to me and asked if I could draw up the instructions for two other quilts going in the first issue of the magazine. By Issue 3 I was Technical Editor, drawing diagrams and writing and checking instructions for most of the projects. I did that job for two years. Linda was also involved with Rowan and put my name forward when their technical person said she did not have the tim e to do another of Kaffe Fassett’s patchwork books. So I became their technical editor working along with Pauline Smith, who stitches the majority of Kaffe’s Quilts for Rowan.
I get very high resolution photographs, sketches and hand drawn diagrams to work from, and occasionally, if necessary, I get the quilt to work from. I draw the diagrams and write the instructions for each quilt then export them into a format the setters can read, all a bit technical. I have been doing this since Patchwork and Quilting Book 4…..and have just completed book 11, wow 7 years. I’ll be starting book 12 in the autumn and I’m currently piecing a quilt designed to go in the book, Kaffe is very gracious including one of my creations sometimes.
Kaffe, Brandon, Pauline and Liza (Prior Lucy) are lovely people and it’s a dream job I have!”
Below is the latest quilt which Ruth has up on flickr, its absolutely delightful, much like Ruth. Thank you so much Ruth for filling us in on your back story, you deserve much success as you are as talented as you are generous…and you have more of those qualities than most. I think that is one of the reasons behind your success….your generosity of spirit has attracted people and opportunities …and your talent was the icing on the cake!
Ruth can be found on Etsy here
and her patterns are available through her good friend Maggie’s shop Sunflower Fabrics.com