Karin Hellaby was born in the north-east of England of Norwegian parents. She studied for a Home Economics degree in Education from the University of Wales. She now lives in Suffolk, UK and is the owner of one of the UK’s leading quilt shops en – dash Quilters Haven. In 1998 Karin won the Michael Kile Award, International Retailer of the year, awarded by the Houston Quilt Market/Festival organisers.
Karin loves travelling, and has enjoyed teaching at the International quilt markets and festivals in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, and the United Arab Emirates. She has taught many times at the largest outdoor quilt show in the world, an annual event in Sisters, Oregon. Where, one year, she had a solo display of her quilts. In 2011 Karin was delighted to be asked to open the Dubai International Quilt Show.
In 2005, Karin was approached by a specialist holiday company, Arena Travel, to advise on quilting holidays. This teaching venture has taken her on river cruises down the Rhine and Seine as well as beautiful venues in France, Italy, Spain, Canada Japan and Norway. UK quilting weekends have been held in Durham, York, Bath, Harrogate and Wales.
She has also taught on a Stitchin Heaven Quilting Cruise.
Karin’s first four wonderful resource books bring quilt making into the 21st century offering students multi- techniques within new designs. Karin’s workshops illustrate her philosophy well – several types of patchwork taught and sewn in one class and then stitched into an original pattern design, very achievable and lots of fun!
Recently, Karin has been working on a Sew Simple series of books which concentrate on one topic but include several technique options. So far the series has covered: Logs, Pineapple, Pineapple Plus, Attic Windows and Pinwheels. Her unique Pineapple technique has astounded both shop owners and students alike! Sew Simple Pineapple has been voted a one of the top five quilting books for two consecutive years by the Fabshop network.
Karin feels her greatest achievement is to bring up three sons on her own. She started writing books to help support them through University. Ross, Jason and Alexander are all in London enjoying the world of work!
Her 10th book ‘Sew Simple Hexi-Flowers’ will be published in July 2014.