by Mary Beth Krapil
Handi Quilter welcomes Lynda Jackson of Sheffield, UK as our newest Ambassador. We thought you’d like to get to know Lynda. Here’s what she had to tell us during our interview:
HQ: Please tell us a bit about how you came into the world of longarm quilting
LJ: I come from a family where many are crafters and the ladies have always made things with their hands, be it knitting or sewing. My mother taught me to sew when I was young and I have never stopped since.
At 19 I became a servant to the public (Police Service) which I did for 30 yrs but continued my love of everything sewing related. When I retired from this post I began work in a small fabric store which sold both dressmaking and quilting fabrics. One of my tasks there was to make the quilt samples for display in the store and I soon became hooked. The quilting on them was basic and I wanted to do more, I wanted to create those beautiful feathers and ruler work, and so began my free-motion quilting journey.
Leaving the store saw me buying a Handi Quilter Avante and falling in love with both the machine and the freedom it gave me to express myself. I started my business Capricorn Quilting in 2013 and shortly after in 2014 was asked to become the Educator for the UK Handi Quilter distributor. This is when I had the Pro-Stitcher added to the Avante. I love interacting with the students and seeing them have those ‘aha’ moments, and then progress and grow as a quilter, having confidence to try new techniques.
I have been fortunate enough to have won and be placed in a number of competitions in the UK and in the World Quilts Show during this short time, and love the challenge of creating something different for each one. Although I have the pro-stitcher my heart will always be with free-motion, hand-guided quilting.
HQ: What does being an HQ Ambassador mean to you?
LJ: When I received the message asking me to become an Ambassador was so excited. I feel so honoured to have been given the post after such a short time in the quilting world, and so much pride that HQ have seen such potential in me during that time. I love my Avante and never tire of telling everyone how much I get from quilting, not just for myself but for others. I love working at shows and demonstrating the machines, and showing people just what is possible with practice and dedication. And teaching, I love teaching, especially when you see the ‘aha’ moment float across the face of the student. I have already met a few Ambassadors and Educators and they have made me feel a part of a large family.
HQ: How long have you been quilting on a Handi Quilter?
LJ: I have owned a Handi Quilter Avante with Pro-Stitcher for 4 yrs now and love it. I am hoping to get a second machine very soon, so that I can have my custom and competition work on one machine and the quicker ones on my Avante. I have so many ideas and designs in my head that a second machine is becoming a must. I love the freedom the machine gives me to express myself and create in reality what started off as just an idea. In particular micro work is one of my favourite techniques, as you can see from the size of the needle next to the stitching on this quilt. The different feet available for the HQ are also a joy to play with.
HQ: What is the most fun thing you look forward to doing as an Ambassador?
LJ: Continuing to meet other quilting enthusiasts and passing on my knowledge to others, both at shows and in the classroom. I am a member of a group of HQ owners here in the UK (which is growing all the time) and I enjoy helping them out when needed. We also have a yearly challenge that many join in with and at the end of each year all their quilted pieces tour the country in the shows. Its fantastic to see how, with the right support, owners grow in confidence and skills.
HQ: Of all your quilts, which is your favorite?
LJ: I am probably like many other quilters when I say that the current one is my favourite, though if I was really pushed I would say it would have to be Cappuccino Dreams. This is the one that has received the most ribbons and takes pride of place in my studio. It is also the biggest I have done for myself as well measuring 95 x 95. It is made with Radiance fabric and was a personal challenge at the time of making it.
HQ: Do you still have your first quilt?
LJ: Unfortunately, no I don’t; but I do have the first one I quilted on my Avante! It was done as practice piece and when I look at it now I both cringe and grin. I think about how proud I was to have done it at the time and now I look at it and think about how far I have progressed. When people say to me ‘I could never do that’ I tell them that I felt exactly the same way when I first started out, but if you don’t try and practice, you never will.
HQ: 6. Who is your inspiration/muse?
LJ: There are so many people out there that inspire me, not just in the quilting world, but in other aspects too, that I find it impossible pick out just one. My mother has had a huge influence on my crafty life, teaching me how to sew, knit, quilt. She has always encouraged me in everything I have done. My father is also a big influence and artist in his own right and is a wood turner and carver and has in the past been a fabulous artist, though wood is his current love. I think it must me in my genes. Away from the family though there are many, both in the way they produce their art and in the way live their lives, especially in the face of adversity. I try to learn something from everyone.
HQ: Of all the “tasks” in creating a quilt, which is your least favorite?
LJ: This one is easy, binding. Lets face it, it will never be as much fun as the quilting and designing.
HQ: Thank you Lynda, we look forward to seeing wonderful quilting and inspiration from you!
You can visit Lynda’s website here. If you’d like to contact Lynda her email address is: