Adult Classes

Sewing, Patchwork and Quilting are not only creative, fun ways to spend time, they are also brilliant activities that offer a chance for relaxation and an escape from the day to day strains whatever age you are. Here you will sew in a generous, professional and friendly environment alongside other like-minded people.

Classes included endless teas, coffee, and juices and more often than not, freshly baked cakes. I have a range of the latest sewing machines, overlockers and a sit down long arm sewing machine for quilting. All of my machines are available for you to use if you don’t have your own or if you don’t want to bring your machine to the class. Just let me know at the time of booking

The GillyMac Classes are always relaxed and informative. Support is available after the class, by phone or email, or even just drop back to get some help.

For more information, to book classes or for extra dates contact Gill Towell on 07818 551232 or via email at

Class Terms and Conditions can be found here. 

I teach at home in Maidenhead, at the Liberty Sewing School in London and at the NEC for the Festival of Quilts.


Weekly/Regular Group Lessons

Each week (during the school term) there are a number of regular classes for adult running. They are on

  • 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, clothin, 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 availability for these clases  please drop me an email on


Single Classes or Short Series Classes

Sewing Machine Basics – Evening Class

Bring along your machine for a relaxed evening getting to know your own machine and learning some of the things you can do with it.  This packed evening will cover The Parts of Your Machine, Sewing Machine Needles – Getting Started, Threading Your Machine (top & bobbin threads), Your own machine stitches explained, Stitch Length and Width and why and when to change them ?, Sewing Basic Seams inc. blind hemming (we’ll even have a practice !), Essential Sewing Machine Feet, Why is ‘Needle Position’ as important as machine feet ? & Sewing Machine Care Essentials.. and we will finish off putting a zip into a small purse !! (Full notes are provided !)

….And if there is time, we will talk about some useful websites and shops (for the best deals around)

Evening Class – Wednesday 16th January 7pm-10pm – Price £40 (inc. all materials)

Evening Class –  13th May  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 4th & 11th February 7pm-10pm £65

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

Free Motion Applique – Evening Class

Taking simple designs and scraps of fabric this class will teach you how to create wonderful decorative pieces in a very free and simple way. 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 all my oodles of scraps a well as wadding and other stabilisers for you to try out.

Tuesday 20th November    – 7pm-10pm – Price £45 (inc. all materials to create three applique panels) ** Inc. 8 new Christmas designs **  (3 spaces left)

Tuesday 4th December    – 7pm-10pm – Price £45 (inc. all materials to create three applique panels) ** Inc. 8 new Christmas designs ** (full) 

Monday 1st April   – 7pm-10pm – Price £45 (inc. all materials to create three applique panels) ** Inc. 8 new Easter designs **

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 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 learnt the basics you won’t look back. If this is your first atchwork class then you will be given a fabulous 150+page book to support your continued learning.

Wednesdays 23rd,30th  January & 6th, 13th February –  7pm-10pm £125 (inc. applique interfacing, pattern and 12 hours of tuition)

Metro Rings Quilt by Sew Kind of Wonderful

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 Rule 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 afterwards, I will also give you my own quilting plans for you to use should you wish to.

Drop in classes will be available for finishing off support if you need it. Rulers will be available to borrow after the class to complete the cutting out if needed.

Tuesday 6th November 10am-3,30pm – £68 (inc. Sew Kind of Wonderful Pattern worth £8)

Wednesday 1st May 10am-3,30pm – £68 (inc. Sew Kind of Wonderful Pattern worth £8)



Cathedral Cushion Evening Class – Evening Class

This fabulous cushion is made over two evenings. It looks much more complicated than it is and with some clear tuition, you will love how quickly this cushion from comes together. In the picture, I have multicoloured windows, and a white background and window edges, but you could easily have a dark background and even multicoloured window edges !!

During this class, you will also get the full cushion making instruction and have the opportunity to make piping and prepare your cushion back with a zip.

Evening Class – Mondays 4th & 11th March  – £65



Doodle Quilting – Day Class

Doodle Quilting is a two-stage process. First I’ll teach you how to doodle with pen and paper and feel confident in the doodles and provide you with exercises to do covering 30 different doodles that you can take away with you and practise, 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.

Day Class – Wednesday 13th February – 10am-3.30pm – £60

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

Day Class – Wednesday 18th September – 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 space to be quilted using sewn ruled lines without the need to turn bulky quilts through the throat of your machine.  In this class you make a quilters tote bag front and back whilst 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
  • practise 8 simple designs using rulers on key cards for you to take away
  • 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

The tote back pattern will be supplied to complete the bag after the class.

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.

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 30th January 10am-3.30pm -£60 (1 place left)

Day Class – Wednesday 8th May 10am-3.30pm – £60

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

Maximum of 5 pupils per classes

Progress Your Ruler Quilting  – Day Classes

Continue with your journey with ruler quilting on this next class. This class will use both the Angela Walters rulers and a set of Hand Quilter rulers, tested for used with domestic machines. In this class, you will learn how to create a wholecloth design – where the quilting can be the standalone feature of the piece. In this class 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.

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 27th February – 10am-3.30pm £60

Wednesday 20th March – 10am-3.30pm £60

Wednesday 17th July  – 10am-3.30pm £60

Maximum of 5 pupils per day or set of evening classes

Quilt-As-You-Go – Day Class

Quilt-As-You-Go is an ideal way to quilt smaller pieces of a quilt and then 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 blocks by preparing them with the wadding and backing already incorporated. In this way,  once we have pieced them, they are already quilted and ready to join together. I will then demonstrate three different methods of joining the pieces together and after lunch, you will go on to practise all or some of the methods by joining your own blocks.  We will finish by looking at techniques for reducing bulk and adding borders and binding.

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

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


Create Applique T-Shirts for Everyday – Evening Class

I love teaching this class as the possibilities are endless when students are shown how to create bespoke items from basic garments. Adding applique to T-shirts is a versatile and cost-effective waWedby to make bespoke clothes for children (or adults) or to make personalised gifts.

This class comes with full teaching notes along with an alphabet to use and access to many different template drawings.

Wednesday 24th April 7pm-10pm £40

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 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.

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

Aneela Hoey – 3-in-1 Pouch – Day Class

This is a fabulous make that is very achievable in a single day by all skill levels. I love Aneela’s patterns as they are ALWAYS successful and make me look much cleverer than I really am 🙂

For this class I will supply the interfacing and cakes, you supply the fabric and good cheer and together will make an AWESOME 3-in-1 Pouch.

Day Class –  Wednesday 23rd January – 10am-1.30pm (inc.pattern & intefacing) – £50

Evening  Class (note earlier star) –  Wednesday 29th May – 6pm-10pm (inc. pattern & intefacing) – £50

Aneela Hoey Booklet Pouch – Day Class

We have now made a number of these pouches in class and they are excellent. There are two sizes, each of which has 4 pockets inside which are create with vinyl so that the contents are visible. These are really handy pouches to use yourself, for sewing supplies, make up or maybe first aid (:-0) and they make perfect gifts.

The size of the small version is 6″ x 8″ x 3″and the large version is  9″ x 11″ x 3″

Day Class – Tuesday 18th December – £60 (inc pattern, interfacing & lining)

Day Class  – Wednesday 6th March – £60 (inc. pattern, interfacing & lining)



Aneela Hoey – Outside Inside Pouch – Day Class

I make these pouches as gifts because I can pop some treats in the outside vinyl pockets and special gift in the inside – which is a lovely surprise when the pouch is opened up completely.

This pouch as one main internal pocket and two outer vinyl sided pockets that you can see into. It is another fabulous and versatile pouch by Aneela

Day Class –  Tuesday 27th November – 10am-3.30pm (inc.pattern & interfacing) – £60

Day Class –  Wednesday 3rd April – 10am-3.30pm (inc. pattern & interfacing) – £60

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 your machine which you will be proud of an enjoy looking at.

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 15th May – 10am -3.30pm – £60


 GillyMac Magic Squares – Day Class

This original GillyMac pattern will look amazing with whichever pallet you choose. Why not change out some of the plain fabric for patterned fabric to create a very different look. I really enjoyed making this quilt. It comes together quickly and each pattern comes with a bonus quilting plan suggestion for the quilt. There are no scary Y seams and you will have people guess 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.

Tuesday 11th December, 10am-3.30pm £55 (full)

Wednesday 26th June, 10am-3.30pm £55 

Zipped and Piped Cushions for Everyone – Evening Class

Good quality cushions can be really expensive 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 – I promise! 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 25th  February  – 7pm-10pm – £40 (inc. piping cord)

Wednesday 11th September  – 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 one you understand my method you will be able to go on and create a set or scale it up for the garden bench!


Wednesday 17th April  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 sewing before but just want to sew with company and someone to help with the tricky bits, then this is perfect for you. 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. It will be a packed class, setting you up for many hours of dressmaking! You will receive my full teaching notes which will help you through many years of sewing.

“Escape Christmas” Dressmaking  Mondays 26th November, 3rd, 10th & 17th December £105 (2 places left)

Spring Dressmaking  – 7pm-10pm on Wednesdays 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th March  £105 (inc. Swedish Tracing Paper as needed) (four places remaining)

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