About Barb Dickie

My sewing and quilting journey began when I was just 5 years old, on my maternal grandmother’s Singer treadle sewing machine. I soon progressed to creating quilts on a Singer Featherweight 222K from my paternal grandmother. My journey has been a constant part of my life until the present day, where I now have an in-home studio dedicated to professional quilting.

Both of my grandmothers were avid sewers and lifelong quilters; one even made a living as a young woman as a tailor in Montreal. I still have quilts that my grandmothers made when I was a child; they are worn, tattered, and very precious. I also have a box of quilt patterns my grandmother clipped out of the newspaper. Many fond memories and a box full of possibilities!

Some of my favourite projects are when a client brings by an unfinished top started decades ago. There is something special about being able to add the finishing touch to transform their quilt top into a useable quilt.

Like many quilters, in the early days, my quilting was done either by hand or by wrangling my quilts through a domestic sewing machine. In 2007, faced with two boxes of unfinished quilt tops, I purchased a Pfaff Grand Quilter on a 10-foot Inspira frame so that I could take the plunge into hand-guided pantograph quilting. I added a Tin Lizzie Eighteen long-arm quilting machine to my studio in 2016.

In 2021, I replaced both machines with a Gammill Optimum with a Statler Stitcher, to update my studio to provide state-of-the-art computerized quilting.

From left/top: my grandmother's Singer Featherweight 222K sewing machine, the Tin Lizzie Eighteen I added in 2016, and the Gammill Optimum with Statler Stitcher I added in 2021.

I am happy to support Quilts of Valour Canada; I have also donated quilts to Haven Society, a group that supports youths exiting foster care, Nanaimo NICU, and Nanaimo Hospice. Our local quilt group also donated two dozen quilts to families impacted by the Lytton forest fires.

For a number of years, I have been teaching a beginner/intermediate quilting course called FUNdamentals of Quilting at Serge and Sew in Nanaimo; classes are typically offered in the fall, winter and spring.