Gillian Travis

A brief biography


Gillian is an award

winning textile artist

based in a small village

in the North of England. She loves teaching and passing on her skills, ideas and enthusiasm to students of all ages. She travels extensively for pleasure and teaching, and makes regular trips to India. Most of the textiles she makes are inspired by her travels. She takes lots of photographs and later uses them to design and develop into quilts.

Gillian's work is colourful and contemporary. She specialises in paint, print, felt and machine stitch; and always uses natural fabrics. Over the last 20 years Gillian has taught virtually every embroidery, patchwork, quilting and appliqué technique and has also taught at City and Guilds level.

Gillian has been participating in the Quilters Guild Contemporary Quilt Group Journal Quilt Challenges since 2007 and is a member of several International Quilt Groups. In 2009 she received a 1st Prize at the Festival of Quilts for her Felt Flowers in the Quit Creations category and this year was awarded a 2nd Prize for her Scandinavian Jumper quilt. Gillian has exhibited the world over from Canada to France.

Take a Simple Shape with Gillian Travis


Thursday June 8th to Thursday June 15th 2017 - FULL



Gillian has recently been working on the concepts of counterchange (dark motif on a light background and light motif on a dark background) and repeat patterning. She started with a simple Pomegranate shape that soon progressed to Pears, Jugs and Flowers and recently made a quilt with Guinea Fowl images and Trees. (See photos below.)

She has found teaching how to make these quilts so rewarding as it is so effective. Achieving a pleasing design, choosing the right shapes, colours and fabrics does take some thought and skill though!

Producing new textile art is always a journey and Gillian continued working on the concept and started working with wool felt. It was too thick to appliqué so she developed a method of insetting the appliqué and then embellished the images with machine stitch. She has now made quilts using images of jumpers, hats and mittens.

During this course we will carry out repeat patterning design work that you will interpret into making a wall hanging/quilt in batik cotton. Inspiration may be taken from the local porcelaine factories, the immediate surrounds, clothing or just about anything!

Day 1

Arrive today. Meet and greet supper with wine to get your creative juices flowing! Gillian will show some of her collection of Interchange Applique quilts and discuss briefly how they are made so that you are ready for the next day to start making some samples


Day 2
Design work.
We will start the day with a short set of exercises to understand the technique first in paper before moving on quickly to fabric.

We will be working with batik fabric and bondaweb. We will discuss what makes a suitable design, what shape to choose and easy ways to change the size of your design. An ipad is a very useful tool but not essential. We will spend the rest of the day cutting, ironing and developing our ideas.

Day 3

More cutting, ironing and watching the squares or rectangles grow to make a quilt or smaller textile piece.


Day 4

This morning is an outing to a local Vide Grenier to bargain hunt for fabulous French finds!


The afternoon is spent working on our materpieces, making them into cushion covers, placemats or wall hangings. We will discuss the finishing / putting it all together and the binding.

Day 5

Back to using paper and scissors and sticking our ideas into a sketch book to learn how to use notan principles to design quilts. The rest of the day can be spent either developing these ideas into fabric or working on the quilts already on the go.


Day 6

Day 6 is an outing day to Aubusson, the famous tapestry making town. Whilst visiting the town, its galleries and museums we shall look for inspiration and discuss shapes that we could use when we return to the studio. We will also sketch and take photographs. The studio will be open on your return to continue working.


Day 7

Taking the images that we have seen in the museums in Aubusson we will develop the notan principles to make another smaller item or continue on with the our other pieces already on the go.


Day 8

Today we will say our goodbyes and 'tie up any loose ends' and hopefully spend some time showing to others the items we have made, and discuss how we can continue using this technique when we get home.



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Cornwall PL15 9SX


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