Biography

Catherine Redford

I was brought up in the Northwest of England, the “middle child,” with an older brother and a younger sister. I learned to knit and sew at an early age and kept my family’s Barbie Dolls and Action Men well dressed.

University took me to Reading where I met my future husband, Steve. Knitting him a long “Doctor Who” style striped scarf and making needlepoint pictures gave welcome relief to the chemistry and microbiology courses demanded for my degree in Food Science. We married two weeks after I graduated and 33 years later have four grown children.

We moved to Naperville, IL from London in 1995. I had been teaching cross-stitch and just had my first pattern accepted for publication when we moved. Buying warm coats for the Illinois winters and making new friends kept me busy for a while and then in 1998 I discovered quilting.

I took my first class at Stitches and Stuffing in Naperville. There seemed to be lots to learn. Fifteen years later I taught classes at Pieceful Heart Fabrics in Lisle, just 10 minutes from my home for 10 years until the shop closed in June this year. I am now teaching and speaking at Guilds around the country and continue to learn.

I’m a member of my local quilt guild, “Riverwalk Quilters Guild,” where I have served as program chair, vice-president, co-chair of “the Gathering” committee, and have just finished a 2 year term as president. I am also a member of the Fiber Art Divas, an art group that meets at Naperville Art League and of PAQA, the professional art quilt group. Last year I co-founded the Naperville Modern Quilt Guild to further explore the modern quilt aesthetic.

A class with Phil Beaver in 2005 challenged me to take my art further and I have been creating more of my own original pieces. I have also developed a lecture and workshops of my own and am available to visit your shop or guild. After taking many different classes locally my style could be described as “eclectic” but I am known best for my originality and innovation when completing my projects, particularly in the realm of free-motion quilting and embellishment.

I believe we all have an innate need to create in some sphere of our lives, being made in the image of a creator God. Quilting is my outlet of choice. I share my love of quilting as an inspiration to others. I have found that as I pass on the knowledge I have gained on my journey I learn more tips and techniques that take me still further.

Quilting is a choice and as such I think that all quilters have the right to choose the elements of their craft that bring joy to them. There are always parts of our lives that we just “have to do” in pursuit of our long-term goals. It’s the same when we quilt. I always encouraged my children to try a new vegetable but could accept that there were some that they would never learn to love. I encourage my students to try all the processes involved in finishing a quilt but accept that there will be some people that find their joy in making tops by machine whilst others enjoy handwork and still others love to machine quilt. That’s OK! That’s where teamwork comes in and there’s a whole community of quilters out there willing to help.

Please contact me with your comments or queries about a visit.

Recent Posts

(Almost) All is revealed.

So now I can reveal what I have been working on for the last few weeks. I was asked to tape three new segments for the 1400 series of Quilting Arts TV and after a couple of conversations and a few e-mails back and forth we had a plan! I have been devising some cute projects and stitching lots of step outs, hoping it would all be alright on the night…

Tuesday morning found me in make-up.

DSC07492 I always forget how grey my hair is until I see a picture like that one.

Cheryl was up first so I was able to relax and watch her on the screen. Here she is enjoying some Sharpie fun with Susan, the new host of QATV.

DSC07496 My trays were looked over and organized. I had three trays this time.

DSC07499 DSC07500 DSC07501 Cheryl’s segments all done it was time for lunch. Then, after all the waiting, all of a sudden I was on… Things happen so quickly but we did remember to snap a few pics on set.

Here we are sitting together, very graciously, on the sofa. My machine quilting samples are set up in the front.

DSC07512Cheryl went back to the green room and took this one of me waiting to be joined by Susan. That’s a great blouse from dream on. (thanks Bridget!)

DSC07517 The segment was all about quilting with the walking foot. Here I am in action at the machine..

DSC07525 We changed our clothes between each segment. That makes for a lot of work for the sound guy, finding somewhere safe for the microphone each time.

DSC07531 Susan and I were all smiles before the second segment.

DSC07533 Here’s my view from behind the table.

DSC07535 And here we are in action. I made paper foundation pieced blocks for a pin quilt.

DSC07544 Vivika joined us for a photograph before my third project. Looking great?

DSC07549 And here I am with my clamshell paper pieces for an english paper piecing segment.

DSC07555 My pillows looked good on this white chair!

DSC07565And that was that! Cheryl had some more taping to do so I learnt lots watching her at work. Meanwhile it snowed!

DSC07595

The little bit of the white stuff was not enough to deter us from a final dinner out with the gang. We made a quick stop in at the studio on Wednesday morning, just to discuss a few details for future adventures…

The drive home was uneventful with Cheryl at the wheel. No sleeping this time as we shared our experiences and discussed our plans. There’ll be no slowing down any time soon!

  1. Off, out and away? Leave a reply
  2. A quick project for the grandchildren. Leave a reply
  3. On retreat… Leave a reply
  4. Out and about (but not too far away!) Leave a reply