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Tutor Focus - Liz Musselwhite - Patchwork & Quilting

Updated: Apr 18, 2022

Liz is our amazing Patchwork and Quilting tutor for this year's Craft Retreat. You can find out more about Liz's course by clicking the Pink Button below.

I first met Liz on the AndyCrafts Retreat in 2018. This bubbly, chatty, smiling friendly lady, full of energy simply lights up any room she walks in to. You can't help but want to talk with her!

As a tutor myself I found that I didn't really have a lot of time on the Craft Retreats to chat with Liz and get to know her a little more.

BUT, this is a lady I really wanted to know more about, so I asked her to send me an email and tell me more...

She didn't disappoint.

I'm now even more fascinated by the wonderful and talented Liz Musselwhite! I hope you are too. Enjoy the read...

"I come from a long line of very talented professional and hobby sewers, so there really was not a chance of me not being a stitcher.

I started sewing at a very early age, so early that I hadn’t developed yet which hand would be my dominant hand. I learned sitting ON Mum's knee doing what she did, which was everything right handed. But I eventually turned out to be left handed, so much so that I can only write with my left hand, but can only sew with my right hand!

There’s no wonder I am totally confused to this day about lefts and rights!

One of my earliest memories is of sitting under a huge table in the workroom at the back of a dress shop in the early 60s, where mum was the lady who did the alterations to garments being purchased. I sat there with my dolls and was already designing and trying to make glorious garments for my dolls to wear out of the scraps in the box under the table.

I came to Patchwork & Quilting after many many years of dress making, including wedding gowns and cruise wear as a side-line business. I was fed up of making clothes for myself and other people, wanting something more creative. There were all those lovely scraps of fabrics I couldn’t possibly throw away, a rainbow of colours in the boxes.

Liz Musslewhite's patchwork quilt in red, orange, yellow and green
Star of Harvest

My lovely husband became very seriously ill in the mid-90s and I found myself being a carer, whilst still working as an Occupational Therapist. I had a stressful and hectic job and needed something to lose myself in when I had a few quiet minutes. So I signed up for the City & Guilds course in Patchwork and Quilting at the local college. After the first class I was TOTALLY hooked.

That was it, I never wanted to make anything other than quilts from that point on.

I started teaching P&Q shortly after completing the course, while still working and caring, but knew that was really my passion.

Sadly, I was widowed in 2010 but in 2013 the cat and I moved to Devon with the idea of sewing, cycling and surfing as much as possible. I linked up with a few local teaching outlets and set up classes in my village, then it all just started to grow from there.

I am now a member of the team at Step By Step Patchwork Centre in South Molton, Devon where I teach in the classroom 2 days a week and do lots of Saturday workshops. I run retreats in various locations and head out to any groups and shops who might want me to do workshops for them.

Liz Musslewhite's patchwork quilt in blues & white
Calm After the Storm

I have entered several quilt shows and been lucky enough to win various rosettes, including a Best in Show. I design all my own work and love that as much as the making. I am an avid Free-Motion Quilter, which I do the “old fashioned” way; no computers, rulers, stitch regulators or long-arms, just me moving the quilt under the sewing machine needle.

Housework only gets done in my house when I know someone is coming, otherwise it's tough if you don’t like the dust! I would much rather be designing and sewing than doing anything else.

My personal motto should be –

“Easily distracted by fabric and cats, and maybe puppies."

I am a total Fabricaholic, I have so much in my stash I will need to live until I'm 150 years old to use it all, and that’s no exaggeration!! I find it impossible not to buy fabric I like when I see it, normally with no purpose in mind – I just like it!

Image of a Polar Bear looking though a window
Liz & her Polar Bear

I live in a beautiful part of the world and when the sun shines I can be distracted even from sewing. I love to walk on the beaches, surf & swim in the sea and ride my e-bike round the moors and cliff paths.

I love to travel and have been to some amazing and inspirational places – I have seen Grizzly bears catching salmon in the wilds of Alaska, Polar bears in arctic Canada, been inside the pyramids near Cairo, and sincerely hope to be able to do more when the world is a healthier place once again.

Black cat, Baxter, sprawled out on his back on a patchwork quilt
Baxter on the quilt

During the winter I look forward to evenings in front of the log fire with my fat furry friend Baxter, my long haired black cat. We share an armchair with either a good book or a bit of hand sewing, and when the fancy takes me a small glass of exceptionally good single malt whiskey."

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm certainly looking forward to seeing Liz again on this year's Craft Retreat.


There are a couple of places available on Liz's course, click the pink button below to book yours now!


Want to know more about ALL of the TUTORS and the COURSES? Take a look at where you can discover more about all of them.

Have a read of the Tutor Focus Blog featuring Fiona Potter, Mixed Media Artist

Click the blue button below


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