2013 Faculty Interview Series – Helen Gibb

Helen Gibb


Helen Gibb is the owner of Helen Gibb Ribbons.  She is a vendor at our 2013 Show.  She is also teaching two classes, 5035 Ribbon Collage Postcard and 6033 Ribbon Flower Bracelet.  Hurry to sign up for a class with Helen, space is limited!

Matt: Where were you born and what is your birth order?
Helen: I am an Aussie – yep, that’s right – I’m from Australia, but I now live in the USA. I’m the eldest of two.

Matt: Where did you grow up?
Helen: Being born and raised in Sydney Australia I had many opportunities to be creative.

Matt: What motivated you to begin quilting?
Helen: My sister and I used to make small fabric horses which we played stables and horse jumping with. Both of us were very creative – we even made teeny tiny leather saddles and bridles for the horses and dressed small dollies in breeches and riding jackets.
I never did quilt but all the little fiddly things I made as a child have helped me in my ribbonwork. I love to make ribbon flowers – large and small.

Matt: Describe your “quilting studio” — is there something in it that you just can’t live without?
Helen: I have two areas for ribbonwork – one is a design area in my computer room. In here I have all my books, inspiring little knick-knacks, photos, memorabilia etc. I love my chandelier with the zebra silk shades!
In my other space are all my ribbons. I have over 500 spools of ribbon and trim and I must say it can get overwhelming. Students and guests to my studio are amazed when they come to shop here.

Matt: Do you have any other hobbies besides quilting?
Helen: i love to read and will often have two or three books going at the same time. I use a Kindle for novels but all my resource books in my office library are “real” books.

Matt: Do you have children, grandchildren etc?
Helen: I have one daughter who is married with a dear little boy. His name is Liam – love him to bits!

Matt: Do you have any pets?
Helen: I used to have a horse, a Westie and a cat. All are now gone BUT I want to get another Westie as soon as I quit travelling so much.

Matt: Do you have a favorite food, what is it?
Helen: My favourite food is an Australian dessert called Pavlove. It is a hard shell of merangue filled with whipped cream and topped with strawberries, kiwi, banana and drizzled with passionfruit. Oh Yum!

Matt: What would be on your “Bucket List” if you could do anything and money was not an object?
Helen: Take my family and rent a house in Cortona, Italy for 3 months and then rent a house in England for three months. I teach in Italy once a year and just love it. England I have always loved. I was lucky enough to be in the UK for the week of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year. Saw lots of wonderful patriotic window displays showing red, white and blue bits and pieces to commemorate the Queen. Lovely.

Matt: What is the funniest or most embarassing moment you have had happen while you were teaching?
Helen: Can’t think of one. Must have been but . . . .

Matt: Where have you traveled in your quilting career? Any favorite locations?
Helen: All over the USA, and special workshops in Austraila, Canada, Italy.

Matt: What is the last book you have read, and who is your favorite author?
Helen: The Shoemakers Wife – Adriana Trigiani – Fab – get it.

Matt: What’s the best thing about teaching?
Helen: Empowering a student to make something lovely when they think they can’t. Nothing is too hard – you just have to set your mind to do it. I am an encourager!