Adult Classes

Term-time Weekly Group Lessons

Each week there are a number of regular classes for adults. They are on
  • Monday Morning (10am-1pm)
  • Thursday Morning (10am-1pm),
  • Thursday Evening (7pm-10pm)
  • Friday Mornings (10am-1pm)
These classes have become wonderful Modern Sewing Bee communities. The classes decide if they would like to follow a GillyMac Project or if they would prefer to bring their own projects to work on.  In the past, the classes have worked on quilts, bags, tuffets, clothing, cushions, and wall hangings. Every class is accompanied by lots of tea, coffee, and homemade cakes. The cost of the class is £15 paid 1/2 termly in advance. All of the classes are full at this time, but there is a waiting list being managed for the classes and spare spots. If you are interested in being made aware of spaces for these classes as they come up, please drop me an email on mail@gillymacdesigns.com. _____________________________________________________________________________

Workshops or Short Series Classes


Sewing Machine Basics – Evening Class

Come for a relaxed evening learning all about your machine and all of the many things you can do with it.  This packed evening will cover the function of the different parts of your machine, what the sewing machine feet are for, how to thread your machine properly, which threads are best to buy, what your machine stitches are for, how and when stitch length and width should be changed and how understand tension in simple terms. During the evening we will discuss how to sew accurate seams and how to master blind hemming. We learn how to create buttonholes and will finish off by making a simple pouch for you to take home and inserting a zip into it. The class is accompanied by full notes which you can take away. ….And if there is time, we will talk about some useful websites and shops (for the best deals around)

Evening Class –  Monday 9th September  7pm-10pm – Price £40 (inc. all materials)

Evening Class –  Monday 13th January  7pm-10pm – Price £40 (inc. all materials)


Get To Know Your Overlocker – Evening Class (over two evenings), 

Overlockers look extremely tricky beasts, but this two evening class will demystify your overlocker and get you using it in your everyday sewing. The class will cover:-
  • The parts of the overlocker and what it’s function and stitch is
  • Threading and rethreading the overlocker
  • Working with stitch length
  • Understanding differential feed
  • Sewing corners and curved edges
  • Creating rolled hems
  • Making two projects completely with your overlocker
I have two overlockers and so if you don’t have an overlocker and would like to use mine to see if you like them, then that is possible – just let me know at the time of booking.

Evening Class – Mondays 10th & 17th June 7pm-10pm £65

Evening Class – Mondays 20th & 27th January 7pm-10pm £65


Sedona Curved Sampler Quilt By Sew Kind of Wonderful

New for this year is this modern curved sampler called the Sedona Quilt by Sew Kind of Wonderful. The pattern uses 11 different blocks, which are a mixture of straight edge and curved designs. Using the Mini Quick Curve Ruler,  we will make the blocks over two full days. Then you can combine the blocks either in the black and white version or in the colourful version. However, should you wish, you could even make your own quilt pattern with these blocks. In this class, you will receive an original Sedona Quilt Pattern in both versions pictured worth $20USD.

Tuesday & Wednesday 15th & 16th October 10am-3.30pm both days £135 (inc. original pattern) – 4 places remaining 

Tuesday & Wednesday 3rd & 4th March 10am-3.30pm both days £135 (inc. original pattern)


Free Motion Applique  *New Designs* – Evening Class

Taking simple designs and scraps of fabric this class will teach you how to create wonderful decorative pieces using a very free and simple technique. Using a selection of my own templates, we will use marking tools to transfer the designs to the fabric and you will learn how to use your sewing machine in a more versatile manner to create bespoke small panels that could be made into bunting, bags, pouches, small quilts and many items of homeware.  You will have the use of my oodles of scraps as well as wadding and other stabilisers to try out this fun technique.

Wednesday 17th July   – 7pm-10pm – Price £45 (inc. all materials to create three applique panels) – focusing on Summer Travel Designs

Saturday 3rd August  – I will be teaching this class at NEC for the Festival of Quilts – bookings via the FOQ website. 2 spaces left

Monday 4th November – Christmas Gift Bag/Tea Cosie Designs (with new Christmas/Winter 2019 Designs) £45 … no doubt with mince pies 7pm-10pm – 5 spaces left


Patchwork for Beginners (or those just started) – Series of Four Evening Classes

In this class, we will focus on both the basics of patchwork and also applique. This simple quilt can be made in any size. If you want to make a baby quilt, a table runner, a cushion or a throw for the sofa, we can do it with this pattern. During the four weeks, you will learn many of the fundamentals of patchwork
  • How to cut fabric successfully every time using a rotary cutter,
  • How to sew a consistent 1/4″ seam
  • How to create a primary fix for your applique pieces
  • How to sew your applique pieces and choose the right stitches to use
  • How to frame your piece (and what fabric value is)
  • How to set your machine up for quilting
  • The difference between a walking foot and free motion quilting
  • How to create your own bias binding
All classes come with cakes and laughter … Have a go .. once you have learned the basics you won’t look back. If this is your first patchwork class then you will be given a fabulous 150+page book to support your continued learning.

Tuesdays 2nd, 9th, 16th, & 25th July –  7pm-10pm £135 – 4 places remaining 

Wednesdays 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th January – 7pm-10pm £135


Patchwork Next Steps – The Starburst Quilt  – Series of Four Evening Classes

This gorgeous pattern was one of the first patterns I put together. It uses a really useful method to create the triangle pieces called half square triangles. In making this quilt you will learn how to make half square triangle blocks as well as become proficient in sewing consistent 1/4″ seams and matching them row by row. Once the quilt top is made, we will quilt the piece with either walking foot or free motion quilting and finally bind your piece. The resultant quilt will be ~ 56″ square
Tuesdays 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 25th July –  7pm-10pm £135 (this series will have a mixed class with at least two beginners making the Heart Quilt)

Tuesdays 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd October 7pm-10pm – £135 – 6 places available


GillyMac Log Cabin Quilt or Cushion – Day Class

We have recently had marvelous fun and great success in my regular weekly classes with the latest Creative Grids Log Cabin Rulers. In this class, you will learn how to use the rulers to make incredibly accurate log cabin blocks. During the day you could make either a cushion or begin a quilt (you will be able to borrow the rulers to complete your chosen project). This iconic design has many eventual looks which we will investigate on the day.  For example, feature fabric could be used for the middle square to make an ‘I Spy’ quilt for a child. The size of the eventual piece is completely up to you.

Wednesday 9th October 10am-3.30pm £60


GillyMac Magic Squares – Day Class

This original GillyMac pattern will look amazing in whichever colour pallet you choose. Why not change out some of the plain fabric for patterned fabric to create a very different look. This quilt comes together quickly and each pattern comes with a bonus quilting plan. There are no scary Y seams and you will have people guessing as to how you made it! The quilt comes in lap/baby, single and twin sizes. This quilt is not difficult and is beginner friendly.

Wednesday 19th June, 10am-3.30pm £55 (3 places available)

Wednesday 26th June, 10am-3.30pm  (full)

Friday 19th and Saturday 20th June on our Virtual Retreat – click here for details

Wednesday 12th February  2019 10am-3.30pm – £60


Darling Tote – Two Day Class 

This Gillymac Original bag was inspired by Japanese Patchwork Bags I had seen. It is a sturdy bag measuring 12″ tall (excluding handles) by 15″ wide by 4″ deep. It is made up of two log cabin exterior panels which are created using the creative grids 4″ log cabin ruler.  On the exterior, faux leather handles are used to add a professional finish. Inside the bag has a recessed zipper to keep all it’s contents safe and I have added magnetic snaps on the side of the bag, which pinches in the sides at the top. This gives the bag another look and aids security when you are out and about. There are also two pockets inside the tote, one zipped and one gathered. In the class, during the first day we will make up the front panels and on the second day, we will create the bag and sew on the handles. This is a one of a kind tote, I love mine and hope you will enjoy making it as much as I have done.

17th & 18th September 10am-3.30pm £135 (including foam, interfacing, handles, metal hardware and pattern)


2019 Autumn Bag Making Weekend – The Portside Travel Set by Grainline

This is a wonderful travel bag set comprising a large weekend bag with inner and outer pockets, a smaller bag, suitable for toiletries (or I use it for my device cables and chargers) and a document wallet, which is super useful when you are traveling.  This travel set features all you need to tote your handmade garments around proudly!   Each bag in the set is customisable if you have particular internal pocket requirements. The main bag features handles which can be carried or slung over the shoulder, as well as a removable adjustable,  should strap. If you have never made a bag before then this is a great place to start with an easy pattern to follow. This class will have a maximum of six places.

Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th October from 10am-4pm each day £135 (inc. original pattern, interfacing, stabilizer, foam, & bag hardware and lots of cake) – 4 places left


Quilt-As-You-Go – Day Class

Quilt-As-You-Go is an ideal way to quilt smaller pieces and join them AFTER the quilting is done. Many modern machines have a small ‘throat’ and so manipulating larger projects through this space can be troublesome. In this class, we will make up a number of fun wonky log cabin and geese blocks by preparing them with wadding and backing already incorporated and quilting them as they are built. We will investigate and practise three different methods of joining the quilted pieces together and will finish by looking at techniques for reducing bulk and adding borders and binding.

Wednesday 10th July – 10am-3.30pm £60 3 places left

Wednesday 13th November – 10am-3.30pm £60


Firebird Quilt – Day Class

This much-loved GillyMac original quilt in our house and stays happily in my daughter’s arms, even on sleepovers. The design simply uses 1/2 square triangles – a technique you will be taught on the day if you are not familiar with it. Unlike similar patterns on the market, this one is designed to get the maximum colour punch with a minimum amount of fabric and very little waste. This quilt can be resized, by making the base squares small or using only part of the design if a small quilt is desired. I’d be happy to help you with this adjustment. Don’t think you have to copy my colour choices. Look at how Janet interpreted this quilt pattern.

Wednesday 2nd October – 10am-3.30pm £60


GillyMac Christmas Makes -Series of Four Evening Classes

For the past 4 years, I have run this sell-out class each November. It is four evenings of guaranteed laughter and fun with a GillyMac Christmas goodie bag with some sewing thrown in. In the past, we have made table runners, tree skirts, gift bags, pouches and all things Christmasy – whilst eating mince pies and listening to Christmas music. New for 2019 will be the wreath wallhanging, the Aneela Hoey Open Wide Pouch and the Poinsettia Table Runner and Cushion added to the list of patterns available for you to make.

Wednesdays 6th, 13th 20th & 27th November 7pm-10pm £135 including all patterns. Six places only.  full 

If you are interested in this class then, if there is enough interest I will run another class on a different day of the week.  

Aura Quilt by Alison Glass – Day Class

This newly released quilt pattern is by Alison Glass and Nydia Kehnle. It is made using foundation piecing. There are two foundation blocks to be made and then colour is used to create the geometric 3d look. This is not a difficult quilt to make. and learning how to foundation piece is a great skill to know if you are a newbie.  That said, if you are a more experienced sewer, this pattern comes with it’s own colouring page for you to test out your colour choices ahead of buying the fabric 🙂 ….Endless fun The finished quilt can be made in Baby (32″x40″) , Lap (48″x60″) and Twin Quilt (72″x90″) Sizes

Day Class 15th January 2020 10am-3.30pm £70 (inc. original pattern with foundation piecing instruction and colouring chart) 5 places remaining 


Metro Rings Quilt by Sew Kind of Wonderful – Day Class

You can make this scrap or jelly-roll-friendly quilt as either a lap/baby quilt 33″x44″  or a single sized quilt 57″x76″. You will use either the Sew Kind of Wonderful Quick Curve Ruler or the Mini Quick Curve Ruler to create this smashing quilt. Cutting out is made very easy using the guide slot in the ruler to cut out the pieces. If you have never pieced curves – don’t be concerned, as this is easy and there is no need for excessive pinning, a few tips and you will have it nailed. I have no doubt you will love piecing this quilt – and for afterward, I will also give you my own quilting plans for you to use should you wish to. Rulers will be available to borrow after the class to complete the cutting out if needed.

Wednesday 26th February 10am-3.30pm – £68 (inc. Sew Kind of Wonderful Pattern worth £8)


Doodle Quilting – Day Class

Doodle Quilting is a two-stage process. First I’ll teach you how to feel confident doodling with pen and paper and then I will show you how to implement these doodles on your sewing machine. This may be your first time at Free Motion Quilting or it may have been something you have already tried, however, I guarantee by using this method we will break down some designs into easier component pieces and get you free motion doodling quickly. In the class, you will have access to 30 different doodles that you can take away with you and practice

Day Class – Wednesday 12th June – 10am-3.30pm – £60

Saturday 3rd August  – I will be teaching this class at NEC for the Festival of Quilts – bookings via the FOQ website – full

Day Class – Wednesday 20th November – 10am-3.30pm – £60


Introduction to Ruler Quilting  – Day Class

Ruler quilting on a domestic machine turns quilting on its head. Now you can divide up the space to be quilted using sewn ruled lines without the need to turn bulky quilts through the throat of your machine as you would with a walking foot.  In this class you make a cushion front while you learn;
  • how to set up your machine ready for ruler quilting and protect it from damage
  • how to hold the ruler and move the quilt and ruler together whilst sewing
  • learn simple designs using each ruler which you can implement on own quilts
  • how to apply these designs to real patchwork spaces and borders that aren’t going to fit a complete number of repeats of patterns.
  • how to manage corners with the linear design tips on the best rulers to buy
To facilitate this class, I have 4 domestic machines and one sit down long arm machine set up for ruler quilting, each with a complete set Angela Walters of rulers. Should you wish to use your own machine, I can help you ahead of time purchase a foot to use on the day. Recommendation: It is very useful to also take the Quilt-As-You-Go Class to learn how to combine your beautifully ruler quilted small pieces into a much larger quilt.

Day Class – Wednesday 1st July 10am-3.30pm – £60

Day Class – Wednesday 23rd October 10am-3.30pm – £60

Maximum of 5 pupils per classes

Progress Your Ruler Quilting  – Day Class

Continue your journey with ruler quilting by learning how to design and quilt your own mini wholecloth quilt.  This class will use both the Angela Walters rulers and a set of Handi Quilter rulers as well as marking stencils and chalk as tools to assist you in the next stage of ruler quilting education.  By the end of the day you will;
  • Understand the basics of creating designs within any space
  • Become comfortable using various marking tools to create a framework for your designs.
  • Learn how to divide ‘blank space’ on a quilt and apply ruler designs and free motion quilting to this space
  • applying these designs to difficult spaces and borders of any size
  • practising easy fillers for within your ruler work – if you have already completed my doodle quilting class, this is a perfect time for you to practise the doodles!
Any of the pieces you create on the day can be joined to make a small lap quilt or used individually as cushion covers. As with the ‘Introduction Class’,  I have 4 domestic machines and one sit down long arm machine set up for ruler quilting, each with a complete set Angela Walters of rulers. Should you wish to use your own machine, I can help you ahead of time purchase a ruler foot to use on the day. Recommendation: It is very useful to also take the Quilt-As-You-Go Class to learn how to combine your beautifully ruler quilted small pieces into a much larger quilt.

Wednesday 24th July  – 10am-3.30pm £60

Wednesday 27th November  – 10am-3.30pm £60

Maximum of 5 pupils per day

Make a Sewing Machine or Overlocker Cover – Day Class

Bring along your sewing machine or overlocker and I will teach you how to make a bespoke cover for it. Dust in your machine can disturb the easy running of the thread and mechanisms. The plastic cases or covers that are supplied by the manufacturer are not very attractive so why not come along and create something special for your own machine.

Day Class Wednesday 5th February – 10am -3.30pm – £60  


Zipped and Piped Cushions for Everyone – Evening Class

Good quality cushions can be really expensive to buy but are super easy to make. In this class, you will come with fabric and a cushion pad and walk out with a wonderful cushion – with a zip and piping. Creating your own piping makes for a really professional look and once you know how to make it, you will be able to make piping for any project and turn that item from having home-make look into having a professional finish. This class is suitable for beginners.

Monday 23rd September  – 7pm-10pm – £40 (inc. piping cord) – 5 places left

Monday 27th January  – 7pm-10pm – £40 (inc. piping cord)


Boxed Cushions for Everyone – Evening Class

Come and make a Boxed Cushion – maybe for the blanket box you have been meaning to sort out for ages, or the garden seats or maybe the boot of the car for the dog! Whatever the case, a small boxed cushion can be made in an evening and once you understand my method you will be able to go on and create a set or scale it up for the garden bench!

Wednesday 3rd July  7pm -10pm – £40 (inc. piping cord)


Dressmaking  – Series of  Four Evening Classes 

Join me for four weeks of dressmaking. Bring along a dressmaking pattern for yourself or someone else. If you have some experience but just want to sew in the company of others and have someone to help with the tricky bits, then this is perfect for you. Alternatively, if you are a complete novice, we will cover how to read the pattern sleeve and pattern itself, as well as learning about material weave and how it impacts the garment construction and fit. During the sessions we will cover cutting out the pattern, pinning, cutting and transferring markings. As you make up the garment we will learn about seam allowance, machine operation, and useful feet. Depending on the patterns you bring we can also talk through inserting zips, setting in sleeves, sewing dart etc. Finally, we will finish the garments with hems, and fastenings. This informative class will set you up for many hours of dressmaking! You will also receive my full teaching notes which will help you through many years of sewing.

Summer Dressmaking  – 7pm-10pm on Wednesdays 29th May, 5th, 12th & 19th June  £110 (inc. Swedish Tracing Paper as needed) full

Back to School Dressmaking  – 7pm-10pm on Wednesdays 18th, 25th Sept, 2nd & 9th October  £110 (inc. Swedish Tracing Paper as needed) full

Christmas Dressmaking  – 7pm-10pm on Tuesdays 24th, 31st November, 7th & 14th December  £110 (inc. Swedish Tracing Paper as needed) full

**NOTE: Dressmaking classes are limited to 5 people per course**