I was brought up with crafts – my mother sewed and knitted, and did crochet and embroidery. My sister and I did too. I continued my craftwork as an adult, knitting, doing cross-stitch and embroidery, in what spare time I had with full time teaching and then as a stay-at-home mum to my twin daughters.

Then I re-discovered my sewing machine! I discovered a whole new world – I began quilting and dollmaking.

After my daughters were born, I made dolls, bears, bunnies and small quilts (which are now their ‘treasures’). I gave some away and even sold one or two.

Finally I took a dollmaking class and fell in love with the infinite possibilities that dollmaking presented. I tried patterns, read magazines and developed my skills, learning and experimenting as I went.

Red Hen Designs began as a small local craft business, which I started with a dear friend, in the late 1990s, after my girls had started school. We were ‘The Little Red Hen’ and sold dolls at local craft shops . I took over the business a couple of years later and started selling more widely, running workshops, holiday classes and increasing my skills.

It was a natural progression to start writing my own patterns from my own designs. I now have over 60 doll, bear, critter and quilt patterns, and more still in my head, just waiting to be ‘born’. I sell dolls, patterns and supplies throughout New Zealand at craft shops, craft shows and on-line.

I love fabric, ribbons, trims and laces. A new doll or quilt will come from a piece of fabric, a new trim, or a daydream. I’m never happier than when I’m deciding on fabrics and trims for a new project.

Fifteen years ago, I would never have dreamed my hobby would take me around the country meeting so many wonderful talented creative people, and doing what I love.

Who knows what the next 15 years will bring!!!