Meet The Team!
Our aim is simple; to develop & deliver crafting courses of the highest quality! One of the absolute core values we have is to provide best-in-class Course Tutors - and we feel our current stable of hot crafting talent is second to none!
Whether Sewing & Quilting with brand headliners such as Sarah Payne, Jennie Rayment, Janet Clare, Sarah Ashford, Nicholas Ball, Svetlana Sotak, Gary Mills and Heather Jacks or Papercrafting with top names like Carley Duff, Scanning & Cutting with Gentleman Crafter John Bloodworth, discovering or refining your Photography skills with Jake Whiteley, working with Mixed Media with Lou Withers, splashing acrylic/oils on canvas with artist Joe Lowe or getting creative with Karen Lewis and screenprinting, we're proud to count on the fabulous skills of these wonderful ladies & gentlemen as we strive to provide YOU with unique course content you'll treasure forever! Our list of Guest Tutors is set to expand in the coming weeks and months as we extend our range of Online Interactive Workshops and Weekend Retreats. No two events are alike and we already have a stream of valued crafters who've attended multiple events, sometimes with the same tutor, but never delivering a direct replication of what might have gone before. Here are the profiles for our current crop of wonderfully talented crafting/artistic specialists:-
I’ve been surrounded by craft and the arts for as long as I can remember! My Dad was artistic and Mum was a machinist who always had a sewing machine on at home, she was always creating something (she was also a champion ballroom dancer, but that’s another story!) My husband is a photographer/designer, and now our daughter wants to be a set designer! Me? I’ve dabbled along the way, but right now I simply love Mixed Media. Craft & art always seemed to surround me, providing solace, fun, or a way of connecting, eventually providing me with a living when I presented it on television! In 2019, I found my purpose: I decided to build a wonderful, creative, inspiring, fun, friendly community where people can learn and follow their passions, but also make friends, laugh and enjoy great food at the same time. Craft is therapeutic, inspiring and joyous; who doesn’t want to be surrounded by that? For anyone who knows me, they know I can be a ‘cheeky monkey’: now I’m a CraftyMonkie too - come join the fun!...
Where would we be without the wonderful Kerry Green?!
A talented quilter in her own right, Kerry
Green is a sewist, quilter, garment-maker and also CraftyMonkies social media manager!
She writes our Instagram and Facebook posts so you may already have talked to her in comments and messages!
Kerry has been sewing since she was small, She’s a regular contributor to UK quilting magazines like Today’s Quilter and Love Patchwork & Quilting and the co-author of ‘500 Quilt Blocks’. Kerry also teaches at retreats and quilt guilds. She’s a fan of all things vintage and sews on a 1970s Bernina 1030 sewing machine in a room packed with thrifted vintage finds. She loves sewing small projects, foundation paper piecing, scrappy quilts and appliqué.
It goes without saying that we're absolutely delighted to have Kerry 'on board' in so many ways!...
A crafter since she was a tiny tot, Sarah gave up a career in IT in 2011 to pursue her crafting dreams. Since then, she has opened a popular UK-based fabric shop & training centre, become a regular contributor to all the major UK quilting magazines and brought out a successful range of fabrics. Sarah's new book 'Sarah Payne's Quilt School' came out in the summer of 2019. She has also found the time to become a regular quilting demonstrator on both the UK & US Create & Craft shopping channels as a quilting guru, and on stage at the NEC in Birmingham (UK) and last Autumn she embarked on a six-week tour of the States where she gave & attended a series of seminars on quilting. Sarah’s approach to quilting is fun, fun, FUN: you're sure to have a wonderful time on one of her classes!
PATCHWORK & QUILTING
Judith is a Patchwork & Quilting Designer and Tutor living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She's been teaching since gaining her City & Guilds in Textile & Design in 2008. Judith's classroom is situated in a beautifully restored Victorian linen mill in Belfast and, in normal times, she teaches up to 72 people per week across 6 weekly classes and one-off workshops. She teaches & sells her own patterns and has also been a regular contributor to a variety of quilting publications throughout the years. Judith's philosophy of sewing is that this ‘playtime’ is essential for healthy mind and body, that it should always be fun and searching for perfection - well, that's greatly over-rated!
A huge CraftyMonkies "Welcome" to Judith - we're delighted to have her on-board!
We could not run CraftyMonkies without the 'Queen of Quilting' Jennie Rayment!! Unique in her field, she's internationally known for her quick, simple, innovative and original techniques. Jennie teaches a wide variety of classes for all levels and abilities of sewers from patchworkers, quilters and embroiderers to fashion, soft furnishing and home décor enthusiasts. You'll be captivated by her deviously ingenious textural designs and benefit from the wealth of creative ideas arising from her magic manipulations.
Nine books, work exhibited in various galleries around the world and presenting on Create and Craft TV keeps her busy and we can’t wait to bring you retreats and day workshops with this very clever, talented and lovely lady!
Gary says he was born sewing, he just cannot remember not doing textiles! From the moment he could hold a pair of scissors he was cutting into scraps of cloth to make something! His passion and experience grew with him, exploring all things textiles. His career has taken him on a fantastic journey from an early start as a freelance fashion designer, then to an extensive time spent in the world of academia, becoming Head of Fashion, Textiles & Surface Design for the University Somerset. Gary now continues that journey breaking out into the public domain with his infectious enthusiasm delivering online teaching, which is fun and achievable. He is currently a featured tutor for the Embroiderers Guild, West Country Embroiders and the creative textiles tutor for the WI Denman College.
Welcome aboard, Gary!
When it comes to moral support and help, Janet has supported CraftyMonkies 100%. She’s great with a pep talk or an idea, but of course she is also immensely talented! After completing a Textiles and Fashion Degree she worked as a freelance designer for many years. Janet enjoys quilting, dressmaking, knitting, painting, drawing, gardening, baking and reading. She loves nothing more than to make do and mend and be in her studio with her thrifted, hand-me down treasures. She cant have a day when she is not creative and we LOVE that about her. It’s in her blood! As an experienced speaker and teacher, Janet regularly host talks and workshops focusing on the design process and the creative techniques she uses. We’re not quite sure how she has the found time to write five books, create a range of quilt and stitchery patterns and designed eleven fabric collections in collaboration with Moda, but she has! We welcome Janet and her impeccable talent on board with huge Monkie hugs!
Nicholas is a truly talented 'improv quilter' from Cardiff, South Wales.
With a passion for improv quilting, his aesthetic is an organic one, preferring to sew without the use of patterns or templates. He takes a lot of inspiration from the natural world and his Vegetable Patch quilts in particular showcase his love for liberated sewing. He teaches Improv Quilting workshops both nationally and internationally, regularly gives talks on inspiration in quilting, has contributed to the UK's leading quilting magazines and was a co-presenter of the QNNTV show ‘Quilt Monkey’, alongside fellow UK quilter Katy Jones. His debut book ‘Inspiring Improv’ was published in April 2019 by Lucky Spool and his coordinating Aurifil thread collection followed in August that year.
We're absolutely delighted that Nicholas has agreed to join the expanding CraftyMonkies team; his first class is scheduled to take place in August 2020!
Sarah designs quilts and creates patterns and articles for a variety of quilting publications including Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine. She founded the #GreatBritishQuilter Instagram Challenge in 2017 and her debut fabric collection GBQ Back to Basics for Dashwood Studio was launched in February 2020.
Sarah is also part of the Quilter's Planner Team, a US-based publication who produce an annual diary/planner specifically designed for quilters, and writes inspiring content for their social media platforms, blog and newsletters. Sarah also designs her own quilt patterns, small project patterns and sells glitter vinyl project pouches in her Etsy shop. She has taught quilting both internationally and nationally and she can't wait to share her love of quilting at more destinations around the world both in real life and online: welcome aboard, Sarah!
Svetlana Sotak lives with her family in the Netherlands and is a (wonderful!) self-taught sewist. Svetlana started sewing in 2011 when her children were weenie and she was looking for a hobby that would keep her occupied after their bedtime. Since then her passion for sewing has expanded so much so that it is now her full-time job! Svetlana loves designing stylish as well as practical sewing projects. This is reflected not only in her digital patterns, but also in her book, That Handmade Touch, published in spring 2019 by Lucky Spool.
We're absolutely delighted to have Svetlana on-board as part of the CraftyMonkies team and have no doubt she'll prove to be an enormous hit with our viewers!
With over 20 years of bag-making experience under her bag strap, Lisa is responsible for popularising bag-making as a craft in the UK. Lisa has gone on to write several books (including best-seller 'The Bag Making Bible’), been a Craftsy instructor, taught various US & UK workshops and she was a regular guest designer on Sewing Quarter. Her work has also appeared in many UK craft magazines and she has designed countless bags!
Lisa has been sewing since age 8. After being let loose on her mum’s Singer and funky 70’s fabric stash, an enduring love of sewing began. Lisa has fond memories of spending many happy hours being taught by her patient sewing wizard mum. These years of sewing experience were finally consolidated at an Accessories Design and Manufacture course at London College of Fashion. Always with a sense of supportive fun, Lisa loves sharing her knowledge either on paper or on film, and she firmly believes that fun and learning should go hand in joyful hand - when no sewist is left behind, everyone has a good time!
We're delighted to be able to welcome Lisa into the CraftyMonkies fold!
Carley considers herself to be very blessed to work within the craft industry professionally for over 10 years.
She is a regular on television's Create & Craft and teaches all over the country at workshops, craft days and retreats.
Carley has two amazing children and a cat named Doris and the family live happily in Essex
Carley's love of craft started with her grandmother when she was small, but she was totally hooked!
After graduating from university she started to teach in school as an Art teacher, but within two years was back teaching craft!
For Carley, she gives you that product knowledge and seed of inspiration, and you grow your own creations!
We're very happy to have this lovely lady on-board - welcome Carley!
Trudi has been sewing and crafting since she was 6 or 7 years old. Initially a dressmaker, she found quilting 30 years ago as a hobby. Originally she was taught hand-quilting in the Durham style, she taught herself Free Motion Quilting to speed up the process. Too many tops and not enough time! She has been quilting professionally as a Longarmer for the last eleven years. Trudi has contributed patterns and quilting designs to various magazines including Quilt Now, Love Patchwork and Quilting and Today's Quilter during that time. She has also quilted for fabric distributors Hantex and Makower UK, working in collaboration with fabric designers, pattern writing and quilting, as well as authors towards several books. Trudi also teaches classes throughout the United Kingdom and we're delighted to welcome her aboard!
We’re so excited to be working with the very talented Karen Lewis!
Karen is a hugely talented
screenprinter, author of Screen Printing at Home and Wabi Sabi Sewing, a Robert Kaufman fabric designer and quilter!
Her work is regularly seen in Love Patchwork and Quilting, and Today’s Quilter magazines. Not content with being a hit in this country she also travels to Denmark and features at Quiltcon and Sewtopia in the US. She is an incredible designer AND teacher and the skills she’ll share with you will be absolutely invaluable!
The lovely Lucy Brennan is a quilter and blogger at 'Charm About You'. She is a pattern designer and regularly teaches quilting classes. Lucy worked for two years as a designer and demonstrator on TV and often has projects featured in magazines. Her quilting and sewing patterns are sold on her website and in her Etsy shop. Inspired by the history and varied techniques of patchwork and quilting, Lucy enjoys mixing modern and traditional to create her miscellaneous style. She actively encourages crafts on social media as one of the three global hosts of the #saturdaynightcraftalong on Instagram each week. Her passions are combining fabric, learning new skills and giving confidence to crafters and quilters.
Jacqui's mother taught her how to sew and her father how to do everything from wallpapering, tiling and painting! So with her fashion background and love of colour, textiles, trimmings and trends, it wasn’t long before she was drawn to interior design and interior craft. The lovely, affable, engaging Jacqui has presented and produced so much television including Discovery's home series Room 2 B You, Viacom’s US Channel BET and UKTV’S Love Home, showing viewers how to make everything from clever storage, to sofa covers and is about to appear in a new BBC series! As well as being ultra-talented on screen, Jacqui loves to teach! Come along to one of her Upcycling courses; you’ll never forget it, and you’ll learn a ton of exciting tricks along the way!
With over thirty years (& counting!) under his belt working as both a photographer & graphic designer, the fabulously talented Jake is as enthusiastic about his craft today as he was when he first started out all those many moons ago! Ever keen to share his knowledge & skills with a wider audience about what helps make us take better photographs, Jake joined the CraftyMonkies in 2019 and will be hosting a series of One-Day Workshops and Two-Day Retreats throughout 2020 and beyond! Whether you’re a beginner or intermediary looking to achieve/improve pictures that make people go “Wow!”, you’ll find Jake's Photography courses hugely beneficial. A highly personable, relaxed but highly motivational tutor Jake's focus - no pun intended! - is to help you improve your photographic skills!
SEWIST & QUILTER
We are so excited to work with Charlotte, winner of the Great British Sewing Bee 2016! She is what’s known as an all-round crafter and loves quilting, dressmaking and knitting. She was taught to sew as a small child by her mum, grandma and school teachers, and well & truly caught the crafty bug! As well as making a full time career out of her hobby, she also loves to pass on her knowledge to others. Charlotte certainly falls under the ‘TV Personality’ remit, as she was the winner of BBC¹s Great British Sewing Bee 2016! A lovely lady both off and on camera, she is a great member of the CraftyMonkies team and will teach you so many things you never thought you'd be able to learn!