A brief biography


Sheena was born on

the Orkney Islands

and did a B.Ed degree

in Aberdeen. This included 2 dimensional design in textiles and since then she has been interested in exploring the artistic potential of threads and fabrics although she has been sewing since childhood.
Having been a Primary School teacher in Inverness for 30 years, Sheena is now a freelance quilting teacher and teach workshops locally, all over the UK and sometimes abroad. She also writes articles for magazines and her quilts have been featured in several books. Sheena's work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally since 1981 and she has won many awards in competitive quilt shows. She also sells her work and accepts commissions.

Sheena is inspired by many things. Some of her work is pictorial and is inspired mainly by Orkney seascapes, birds and Norse myths. These pieces often incorporate symbols and hidden images and require a lot of research.
Sheena is also interested in using quilted lines to create graceful movement, sculptural shapes and decorative patterns. Inspiration comes from relief sculpture, circles, patterns in nature, man made patterns and decoration on other textiles. Most of the lines are free machine quilted, a technique which is her specialty. It is fascinating how the surface of the quilt comes alive with the quilting. Some of these pieces are symmetrical and some are asymmetrical, some are wholecloth and some combine printing and stencilling or piecing and applique with free machine quilting.


Take Three Free Motion Quilting with Sheena Norquay 


May 10th to May 17th 2019 - FULL

May 24th to May 31st 2019 - 2 Cancellation Places Available



During this week’s course you are going to learn everything you want to know about free motion quilting and practice all the tips and techniques taught by Sheena. By the end of the week you will have composed a sample selection worthy of kings as well as produced some wonderful pieces of work.



Meet and greet supper with wine to get your creative juices flowing! After dinner Sheena will outline the course and show samples of the techniques that will be included. She will include information about threads, waddings and equipment.

The morning will be spent printing and stencilling circles and rings within 6 inch blocks. Techniques will be demonstrated and lots of samples will be shown which will give ideas for layouts and the use of the objects for printing and stencilling.

In the afternoon you will begin to free motion quilt the large circle designs after looking at various stitched samples and being shown various quilting possibilities. Free motion quilted trapunto will also be taught. In the evening students will be given ideas for quilting edges of circles and backgrounds.



Using a piece of vintage lace as inspiration for a design we will enlarge one of the motifs to make a focal point. The motif can be hand appliqued, embroidered or both on to a plain or pieced background of linen or linen/cotton. Lace, stitching and buttons (optional) will be used to complete the design – vintage meets modern! You will be able to choose the size of your piece and decide whether it will be a small wall hanging, cushion cover or a pocket for a bag. Techniques covered will include hand or machine piecing, hand applique using running stitch, needle turn applique, hand embroidered trapunto including colour blending using stranded cotton, couching and hand quilting.



Today is an outing day to a local flea market in Limoges.

Whilst at the flea market photograph objects that can inspire free motion patterns or make drawings. Look at vintage objects, colour, shapes and lines and find interesting old textiles, linen, lace and other haberdashery items.

In the afternoon we will do some relaxing hand stitching on our linen and lace piece or you can finish quilting your printed circles.



This morning, you will be given the choice of making a Seasonal Colour Line in a square format or a wide, skinny format. The square format can have 4 types of writing for the four seasons, the wide, skinny format can have one type of writing for the months of the year. Handouts for the lettering will be provided. Seasonal fabrics will be machine pieced together in a blended colour line and then pieced to two bits of calico before marking on the lettering. Sheena will show 4 methods of free motion quilting the letters and explain how fabrics can be used as inspiration for free motion quilting ideas for the other calico section.



Today there will be options of a half day or a whole day trip to a location of your choice.

When we return will finish quilting our colour lines.


Today Sheena will demonstrate her binding and finishing techniques. We will continue to bind and finish our 3 pieces and have a show and tell about what we have made.

Day 8 Today we will say our goodbyes and 'tie up any loose ends'. Most flights are later in the afternoon so the studio will be open for you to use all morning followed by lunch before you leave.




Fill in this form and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible:

  • Pinterest Classic
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic


+ 44 (0)1566 248673

Pendinnis House

Pendinnis Gardens


Cornwall PL15 8GZ

Grace Logo

©2020 by Crafty Retreats & Workshops Ltd • Company No: 09422316 •  Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy