Our Story so far

Quilters Haven (QH) started off as a teaching centre with a small shop to provide supplies, but developed into a large shop and online business which still stresses the importance of teaching and great education. The experienced staff delight in helping and informing customers on latest techniques and gadgets.

Quilters Haven first opened in an industrial unit alongside USAF Bentwaters in September 1993. Unfortunately, the base that housed many American quilters had closed down two months previously. This was not part of the plan. Nevertheless, Karin had a dedicated number of quilting followers who had attended her classes for three years beforehand. Despite there being no Sat Nav in the early nineties and few rural signposts, most quilters were determined to find the first quilting centre in Suffolk.

Three years later, Karin took pity on her followers and moved Quilters Haven to a village location which some people knew, Wickham Market. She found a 700 hundred year old building which she knew would impress New World quilters and even had a Postcard designed by a local minature artist so that she could be found. This was used as a business card the first time Karin attended a Quilt Market in Houston and the Texans were most impressed with the biggest business card they had encountered.

Quilters Haven Publications was launched in 2001when Karin wrote her first book, Sew a Row Quilts, to help her eldest son, Ross, enter University. She then had to write books for her other two sons who also needed support. The writing became addictive and the creative juices kept on flowing so that now there are eight published books. We have them ready for you to buy in the shop and usually they are signed by the author although many of the staff enjoy signing books too! Just ask them to autograph the quilts they have made for the books.

As Karin is fast approaching retirement age she has now SOLD Quilters Haven. It has moved to The Stockwell, 18 West Stockwell Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1HN. Tel 01206 578860.

Maggie Morgan has taken on the challenge, and  Quilter's Haven at the Beehive opened on 10th September 2016



Regular teachers at Quilters Haven

Pippa Moss has taught at Quilters Haven since we started in 1993! She has won numerous awards for her hand and machine quilting. Her quilts are fantastic! Pippa also collects old wholecloth quilts and writes a blog.

Helen Howes A bit eccentric but a great teacher is a description students have given about Helen. She has her own studio in north Suffolk and teaches classes for us each term.

Julie Hodges has taught locally for many years and is a regular contributor to the UK Patchwork and Quilting magazine.


Karin Hellaby

Karin founded  Quilters Haven in the 1990s - she is also the author of eight books and an international quilt teacher. She loves travelling and teaching and advises an established holiday company, Arena Travel, on quilting holidays.
Karin started the Quilters Haven newsletter and worked on both making the website and online shop so useful.   She has now moved into semi-retirement, but will still be teaching courses and leading Arena quilting holidays.

The following links will take you to programmes Karin has done from a series called A Lifetime of Experience with a local radio station, talking about her journeys in the quilting world.

A Lifetime of Quilting - Karin Hellaby

A Lifetime of Quilting - Travelling the World

A Lifetime of Quilting - Author, Karin Hellaby





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