Is being an artist and a craftswoman part of your family heritage?
Not really. I was born on a farm and my family was not at all familiar with art, but after attending the local college, I moved to London, got a degree at St Martin's School of Art and started working in the fashion industry for three or four years. In 1976, I began working independently, and have been happy doing so ever since.
When did you decide to focus on quilt making?
When I was 25, I had a lucky encounter with a very old book about quilts. It dated back to the 20s. At the beginning, I was fascinated by geometric styles but soon I shifted to natural, organic imagery.
© Phil Dickson, PSD photography
Why do you like quilts so much?
I love the way that light reacts with a folded piece of textile. The shading reminds me of nature – be it a landscape or wild plant-life – my favourite subjects. Especially with my special pieces, which take up to nine months of work, creating them for me is like going on a journey with the expression of a certain thing.
Do you work alone?
My husband, the sculptor and fine artist Charlie Poulsen, has his studio at Allanbank Mill Steading too, where we live, and occasionally I have someone to assist me with administration tasks. But in my craft I want to be in full control: it has to be me making the work. It’s both a matter of self-expression and quality control.