Who is Philippa Naylor?
Born in Yorkshire, England, Philippa Naylor discovered a love of sewing and knitting as a child. A second-hand sewing machine for her thirteenth birthday enabled her to progress from making dolls clothes to full sized garments for herself, family and friends. After training to be a clothing designer she worked in industry for five years designing lingerie for Courtaulds Clothing. After this she moved to Dhahran Saudi Arabia with her husband Peter, who at he time was working as an English language teacher. Here she set up a business making bespoke wedding and evening dresses, and had two sons Daniel and Benjamin.
A chance meeting, in Saudi Arabia, in 1996 led to a short quilting course, after which clothing became less interesting and quilting an all-consuming passion. It is only in the last few years the Philippa has been making garments again, other than fancy dress costumes for her sons!
Philippa combines her technical expertise and designer training to produce intricately pieced, appliqué or whole-cloth quilts which are heavily machine quilted often utilising trapunto. For over 20 years Philippa used a domestic BERNINA sewing machine for all her work. This machine, an old 1260 model, was the size of any normal home sewing machine and did not have any special features like a stitch regulator (which helps the maker to regulate the size of the free-motion stitches). Her lovely old BERNINA 1260 had to be retired in 2014 and Philippa now works on a BERNINA 710 - which is even nicer to use than her old favourite 1260! A great advocate of the BERNINA brand Philippa says that once you have a machine of a good quality it is not about the machine but about what you are prepared to do with it. There is no magic to any of this. Anyone who gets quite good at anything does so by lots and lots of practise. Persistence is the key!
Philippa has had great success in quilt shows in both the UK and America, and won many prizes - notably the AQS ‘BERNINA Workmanship Award’ with "Pop Stars" in 2002 and AQS 'Best of Show'' with "Lime Light" in 2003. “Star Sign” won ‘The Pfaff Award for Machine Artistry’ at the IQA show in Houston TX in 2007, same award being won again in 2008 with "Flower Power". This quilt went on to win the 2009 AQS BERNINA Workmanship Award and is the third quilt Philippa has in the collection of American National Quilt Museum in Paducah Kentucky. She is the only non American to have more than one quilt in the collection of the Paducah National Quilt Museum. Philippa's evening outfit 'Scarlett's Crimson' won first place in the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival 'Wearable Art' category. This was a return to Philippa's clothing roots and she was delighted that her first ever garment entry toured the USA in 2014 with the International Quilt Association.
2008 saw the publication of Philippa's first book 'Quilting In The Limelight'. An autobiographical story of life and quilting in Saudi Arabia, a gallery of Philippa's quilts and a detailed technique section complete this popular book.
In 2014 'Appliqué Mastery' was published. This second book contains completely new material and has an extensive appliqué and finishing technique section and also a full sized pattern with complete instructions on how to make your version of Philippa's award winning quilt 'Bird By Bird'. In 2004, after living in Saudi Arabia for fifteen years, Philippa returned to Yorkshire and is enjoying the opportunity to teach more widely when she’s not working in her studio or outside digging in her garden and on her allotment.