Tutor Profile on Rachael Porter

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How long have you been quilting and what got you started?
I’ve been quilting for over 15 years now. It was a colleague at work who first got me started. She taught beginner’s classes herself and she persuaded me to go along to one of those. I’d only ever done a bit of needlework at that stage and didn’t even have a sewing machine so it was really intuitive of her.

How long have you been teaching and what do you specialise in?
I’ve been teaching at Blueberries for just over a year now. Prior to that I was in the NSW Public Service so it was a complete change for me. My husband and I moved up to the Central Coast with his work so it was a great bonus for me to discover Blueberries. I tend to specialise in English Paper Piecing and appliqué.

What and where do you draw your creativity from?
Mostly the fabrics themselves, especially the different colours and textures. But I also get a lot of inspiration from anything around me, books, movies, people, etc. The Quilt and Craft Fair at Darling Harbour is displaying a quilt that I wrote the pattern for and it’s been on the Blueberries website as well.

Do you have any favourite colours or designs?
I like more of the old English style and also antique designs for quilts. And reproduction prints. The colours are dustier and have softer tones.

What have you learned from your students as a tutor?
I’ve learned that anybody can be creative if they put their mind to it. For some people it just takes a bit longer. I get a lot of pleasure from students’ reaction when they make a breakthrough, or even when they just do something they didn’t think they could do. And they get a real buzz about being able to do something, no matter how small.

Rachael’s Block of the Month classes are at Blueberries on the fourth Tuesday of the month, the next three being 22 June, 27 July and 24 August. Click here for more details.

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