colorful philippa naylor

colorful philippa naylor

By Patricia Belyea

WAUCONDA WA  I was completely taken by Bird By Bird at the 2014 Festival of Quilts in Birmingham UK. Winning first-place in the traditional category, the 74" x 74" quilt was like something out of a candy shop—sweet as could be with delectable colors, rickrack trim around delightful details, and a scalloped edge.

Who could create a quilt like that? The answer is Philippa Naylor—a quilter with great style, a love of color, and the highest technical abilities.

Years ago I read Philippa’s first book, Quilting in the Limelight, and became familiar with her story. While living in Saudi Arabia, Philippa worked as a lingerie designer and a maker of bespoke wedding dresses. Then, in 1996, Philippa took a quilting class and her life was forever changed.

Philippa has gone on to win awards at many quilt shows in the UK, where she currently lives, and the United States. In recent years, miniatures have captured her attention. Her quilt Circuit Training (11.5" x 11.5") won first place in the Miniature category at 2018 Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, 2019 American Quilters Society show in Paducah, and 2019 International Quilt Festival in Houston.

For the last few months, I've been a voyeur of Philippa’s vivid life in Yorkshire on Instagram (@naylorphilippa). Whether viewing her garden or seeing her newest creation from the oven, Philippa has a flair for everything. Especially with her wardrobe!

Last week, I interviewed Philippa over the phone to learn what she’s been up to. Without foreseeing that COVID-19 was going to cancel in-person workshops, Philippa started filming online quilting classes last year. Called Quilters’ Question Time, Philippa creates a new episode every month that focuses on a different quilting technique.

Now that I’ve experienced a few classes on Quilters’ Question Time, I can suggest a new name for the series—Quilters’ Answer Time. Philippa is not only exciting teacher, she’s very generous with her knowledge. There’s lots to learn for even the most experienced quilters—especially best practices to ensure incredible results.

BELOW: Here’s a photo that Philippa sent to me. Can you imagine free-motion stitching such a huge quilt on your domestic sewing machine? Titled Star Sign, this award-winning quilt measures 89" x 89".

Philippa bursts with non-stop energy. As she said to me: I can’t sit still. I always have to be doing something. If I’m sitting in the garden and see some weeds, I just have to get up and pull them out.

If you want lively Philippa to teach and encourage you in your sewing room, sign up for Quilters’ Question Time. Her 3-hour classes are $15 each. Her one-year package of 12 monthly classes is $150. I promise you will thank me for this! For the link +click here

BELOW Another miniature by Philippa—Sewing Bee, 12" x 12". Whole cloth with colored threads.

Please note that I received no compensation from Quilters’ Question Time for recommending Philippa’s online classes. PB

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  • Patricia Belyea
    Lolly—So glad that Philippa makes the grade! I know that you are always looking for exceptional teachers. PB

    Based on your recommendation, I started these classes and am so happy I did. I realized I needed proper instruction in some basic skills and some urging to take on new challenges. She is a delight and an inspiration to learn and improve and strive for better. Thanks.

  • Patricia Belyea
    Elizabeth—Consider taking Philippa’s online classes. They will transform your abilities and confidence. See: PB

  • Elizabeth Rivera
    Oh your quilt is outstanding. I wish I had your ability and artistic flare.

  • Patricia Belyea
    Susan—Philippa would love it if you signed up. She has interactions with her students as part of her online classes. PB

  • Patricia Belyea
    Michele—Philippa is a good teacher and very generous with her special techniques and tips. I have learned a lot from her as well. PB

  • Susan S
    I have been lucky enough to take some in person classes with Philippa and had hoped to take her 5 day machine quilting master class on the East Coast this year. Sadly I don’t see that class happening. (I had not signed up due to procrastination,) I will think about taking the online class series. It sounds really good.

  • Michele Wallace
    I am watching her classes right now and have learned a lot. I am enjoying her personality. She is so funny when she says she is going to be quiet and concentrate on something she is showing us but keeps talking through it.

  • Patricia Belyea
    Carolyn—Only the best for you! PB

  • Carolyn Burton
    All I can say is WOW!!! I signed up immediately. And she’s another Brt :-)

  • Patricia Belyea
    Louise—How nice to hear from you. So glad that you’ve discovered Philippa’s classes. I have learned a lot from her over the years—from her books and online classes. PB

  • Louise Sakihama

    The Quilters’ Question Time classes have been a godsend during this stay at home time in our lives. I second your endorsement of the classes. I have so much more confidence in trying new techniques and have found gratification in the efforts to date.
    I want to thank you for your blog and the interesting non traditional quilting activities that you highlight. There is so much creativity in the world today.
    Much appreciated.
    Louise Sakihama