Born in 1960 in Hoxton, London, an uninspiring childhood was made a bit more interesting by a stutter and borderline dyslexia. Chris “unofficially” left school in 1975 and began working at an inner-city zoo, which caused her to become fascinated with sheep and also converted her to vegetarianism, which in 1977 was considered border line loony. An obsession with wool led her to start her own business on turning 20, teaching people to spin and later weave. The weaving took her to selling her own rugs and, after marrying, she became involved with the Rare Breeds Survival trust and the National Sheep Association where, along with her husband, she demonstrated weaving. She also judged sheep and wool.
Continuing to teach, Chris gradually extended her textile subjects to include embroidery and patchwork, eventually teaching these via distance learning from her own City & Guilds centre. She has also taught in Adult Education’s centres in Wales, Dorset and Sussex as well as running workshops for the Embroiderers’ Guild. Running textile workshops across Europe with master classes in stumpwork, a 17th century form of embroidery in which she specialises.
Writing and designing projects for magazines has always run alongside the teaching, and she had a monthly column for British Patchwork and Quilting for 8 years, only stopping at the end of 2017. She also had a bimonthly column for an online American quilting magazine, and felt honoured when her article on the Gee’s Bend quilters from Alabama, was requested by the archive of the Smithsonian.
Now living on a small croft in the Outer Hebrides, Chris and her husband are slowly setting up a weaving business, working with their own sheep, most of which are rescues and many are the indigenous breed from the Hebrides. The plan is to produce a no kill, organic tweed.
Their family extends to 9 dogs, 3 cats, 1 canary, hens, ducks, geese, quail, 27 sheep including rams Bob and Archie and a pig called Bonny.