Find out more about Valerie and the bright idea that became Justhands-on.tv
Personal story of Valerie Nesbitt
Like many girls of her generation, Valerie was given a sewing machine for her 21st birthday. Sewing was always essential both in terms of excellent, fashionable clothing. Also in the home are curtains and cushions, but having discovered patchwork. Quilting in the mid-1980, Valerie no longer does curtains, buttons, or turning up men’s trouser hems!
In the 1970s, Valerie’s mother made quilts using the Hexagon template and papers and the offcuts of clothes from the dressmaking, so the quilts were and are natural family history. Visiting her mother was always inspirational for Valerie. She always left full of good intentions to make her quilts, just like Mum. Unfortunately, unlike Mum, Valerie’s patchwork didn’t fit as well and became a UFO in the cupboard.
Ten years later, Valerie moved to Wallingford and discovered a neighbor who taught appliqué, a local quilt shop that sold fabric (Village Fabrics when Kathy and Arthur Warner were in charge), the rotary cutter, and strip piecing. That was the beginning of her continued passion for the craft.
In 1989, with Kathy’s blessing and help, Valerie opened the shop, Creative Quilting, at Hampton Court Surrey. Back then, the shop was tiny, but it was an excuse to be able to buy more fabric and felt like a personal fabric stash! Over the years, the shop has blossomed and grown, moved up the street to 32 Bridge Road, and sold to Isabelle Saulet.
Valerie continues to help in the background by organizing the shop’s class schedule and helping on the stand at various shows. Her teaching schedule allows her to share her passion for patchwork and quilting.
The idea behind Just hands-on. Tv is to continue that sharing through workshops and demonstrations and concentrate on this country’s talented patchworkers and quilt artists. Additionally, to allow patchworkers to enjoy workshops and inspiration in their home environment from tutors. They might not otherwise have access to, at any time of the day or night that suits them and their lifestyles. Besides it, to encourage groups and shops to tap into this wealth, inspiration, and talent.
It has been and continues to be a learning curve, both on technology and habit. I am learning that the computer can be a source of fun and inspiration, not just spam and junk emails.
Any regrets? Running the website does take me away from my sewing machine, and I regret that my mother wasn’t alive long enough to share my patchwork journey with me. She would have LOVED it.