Penny was born in Farnborough in 1950 and from an early age loved sewing and making things. After grammar school in Swindon and Farnham she went to Guildford School of Art for a diploma course in printed textiles and wallpaper.
With her then partner she set up Godalming-based screen printing company Publicity and Display, designing and hand-cutting stencils for rock music posters.
Penny bought her first house in 1984 and furnished it with items donated or found in skips. She made curtains and cushions and re-covered chairs, then made her first large quilt with left over furnishing fabric and calico.
She had a Singer sewing machine when she married in 1985, then worked in mental health before managing Fareham’s Citizens Advice Bureau. In a Fareham sewing shop she bought a second-hand Bernina sewing machine – “the quilter’s choice” – which she still uses today. On retiring from her job as equality and diversity officer at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham she joined Guildford Quilters.
Penny remarried in 2010 but her husband died after developing Parkinson’s disease and dementia. As a tribute to him, at the Natural Burial Ground in Clandon, she put up her ‘Trip Around The World’ quilt, as they met in New Zealand.
She met a new partner, Robert, shortly before lockdown, when she made fabric postcards and quilts for the Linus charity for children in care and in hospital, plus a penguin bed quilt for her grandson. Last October the couple moved from Guildford to Bentworth, where Penny has a sewing room.
Penny is running two sewing workshops at Alton Community Centre – on fabric covered postcards (September 26) and fabric covered books (October 31). For details visit www.altoncomcen.org.uk/community/alton-community-centre-6213/special-interests-courses/
She said: “My exhibition at the Allen Gallery gives me the chance to show just a few of my many quilts – of which I have more than 100, large and small. Truly a life in quilts!”