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A little bit about Helen Deighan

I live in Grayshott with my husband, a professional jazz musician.

I have two children, Emma, my daughter, also lives in Grayshott with her little Jack Russel called Jack and my son Ben who lives in Australia with his family – hence the regular visits down under. Other than sewing, knitting and now spinning I also enjoy gardening. 

Having always been interested in sewing and fabric I took textiles as my main subject while studying at a College of Education in Derbyshire
I started making quilts in the mid 80s.
Initially working from existing patterns, I soon started developing my own designs. And, when I couldn’t find the right colour or shade to fit – I dyed my own.

Over the years I have created many exciting dyeing effects using everyday household objects – from cat litter trays and drain pipes to my now famous plastic freezer bags!

I have written two books on dyeing cotton
Dyeing in Plastic Bags
Magic Dyeing Made Easy

Click to enlarge

To see more of my quilts –

Click Here

The pots came along around 2003. I first saw a little pot being made by hand and was hooked.

Again, I soon started developing my own ideas – in particular developing a technique to make fabric coil pots on the sewing machine.

Textile Coil Pots and Baskets
was written on this subject in 2004

To see more pots

Click Here

I Have written two more books

Beautiful Braiding Made Easy
a great book for learning how to make Japanese braids using simple tools,

Dye One Knit One
This was written with my dear friend Linda de Ruiter. An exceptional
knit-wear designer with a remarkable talent for finding interesting
and quality yarns to sell on her web site.
Check it out –

Awards and Publications

I’ve been fortunate to receive some recognition from
my peers in the patchwork and quilting community in the UK.

  • 1st Prize Advanced Section – National Patchwork Championships, 2000.
  • Trophy for Geometric Design – National Patchwork Championships, 2000.
  • Quilt Art Trophy – Great British Quilt Festival, Harrogate, 1991.
  • Championship Quilt. – Quilts UK, Malvern, 1989.
My textile art and articles have appeared in international publications, including:

  • Euro Quilt.
  • Patchwork and Quilting.
  • The Quilter.
  • Popular Patchwork.

A blast from the past!

Helen receiving a trophy from the wonderful Amy Emms in 1989


Having been a teacher for over 40 years  I enjoy organising
workshops where people can learn new techniques in a
friendly and non-threatening environment.
In 2002 I opened my studio which is  purpose built and is ideal
for both dyeing and sewing workshops.

For more details Click here