Trustees of The Guild

The Quilters’ Guild has a Council (Board of Trustees) of up to 12 people, most of whom are drawn from the membership of The Guild

  • President - Sheila Evans
  • Treasurer - Jane Blackburn
  • Lead Trustee Communications - Elizabeth Ingle
  • Lead Trustee Membership - Helen Pringle
  • Lead Trustee Collections and Heritage - Melanie Williams
  • Lead Trustee Education - Jenny Hall

Non-Executive Trustees

  • Merrill Tanton - YQ
  • Claire Powell
  • Shona Kelly
  • Sheena Roberts
  • Claire Yeodal
  • Angela Daymond

President: Sheila Evans


Sheila has been sewing since she was a small child but took up quilting seriously in 1994 after a visit to Canada. Her last employment was with the Civil Service supervising a team. She enjoys working with people and is hoping this experience should be an advantage in her work as a trustee. After retirement she joined a local group and then QGBI. She has had several roles within the Guild, lastly as a coordinator. Her main interest is traditional quilting with a slant towards modern. C&G Level 3 was her last challenge. Hard work but worth it.

Treasurer: Jane Blackburn


Jane’s working life has been interesting and varied, moving from retail, working in the construction industry as a Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager and finishing as a Bursar and Business Manager of a large secondary Academy in Calderdale for 20+ years managing a budget of £8,000,000.  Working towards full retirement (does that actually exist anymore?!) she is now self-employed as an Independent Clerk to Governors for schools and Multi-Academy Trusts. In addition, Jane is a volunteer bid writer for the Community Foundation for Calderdale, currently working with the Halifax Minster to raise funds for the infrastructure. 

Jane has experience of audit functions, risk management and HR as well as the management of charitable / not-for-profit organisations and the legislation surrounding this kind of operation.   

She also understands the challenges faced by organisations that depend heavily on volunteers for their management and operation.   

Fabric and threads occupy Jane’s other waking moments (along with a husband, two daughters and 4 grandchildren who occasionally get a look in!).  She has been working with textiles (machine and hand work) for at least 30 years, creating pieces – in the main as gifts for others.  In April 2019, Jane embarked on a Dear Jane quilt (using the English paper piecing method) – and she intends to keep this one!   

Jane volunteered to join the Council after the AGM in May 2019.  She would like to help us to build the membership towards becoming a truly diverse community so that we can all celebrate the huge variety of ways in which textiles can be layered together, used and admired.   

Lead Trustee - Communications: Elizabeth Ingle


I joined the Guild as a way to meet like-minded people and to learn from others.  I volunteered as newsletter and website editor for region 9 as I believe in getting involved.  I am now the national website officer. 

I am committed to the Guild and its success.  I believe the Guild thrives when members are engaged and see the benefits for themselves.  It is important that we communicate effectively with members and the wider quilting world to ensure that the Guild continues to go from strength to strength. 

I am an active member of my local quilting group and, with many quilts in progress I am still learning!

Much of my working life has been spent as a marketing manager in a multinational company and in 2000 I set up my own marketing business working largely in the agricultural sector.

My career in strategic and tactical marketing communication has given me a wide range of experience developing campaigns targeted at organisations, influencers and individuals.  I have been responsible for extracting the greatest value and impact from budgets large and small.  I have broad experience across the marketing mix from advertising/PR to social media. I have an MBA.

Lead Trustee Membership: Helen Pringle


I live in Cramlington in Northumberland and am a retired secondary school teacher. I have always loved sewing, embroidering tablecloths as a youngster, making my own clothes as a teenager and even doing Textiles to A Level. I took up patchwork and quilting about 12 years ago and was immediately addicted. Serving on the Region 15E Committee for 6 years and being Coordinator for the last 4 was a great pleasure and I thoroughly enjoyed guiding the region through many events and in particular the AGM in 2018. I continue to enjoy attending workshops to learn new techniques and believe it is important to encourage others to discover the benefits of our wonderful craft.

Lead Trustee - Education: Jenny Hall


Jenny lives in Malvern, Region 11. She serves on the Regional Committee and loves helping with events, attending workshops and meeting other quilters to discuss projects and learning new techniques.

Jenny was a traditional quilter and is now a member of the Contemporary and Modern Specialist groups. She has successfully completed City and Guilds and The Guild Quilt Judging Course. Meeting other craftspeople, visiting art galleries and attending as many quilting shows as possible have all contributed to her ability to design and evaluate her own work as well as the work of others.

Jenny is now retired. She was a Specialist Teacher and Assessor and ran a large department in a Further Education College. Jenny has traveled extensively with her husband and her stash includes fabric from their travels all over the world.

Lead Trustee - Collections & Heritage: Melanie Williams


As a retired headteacher of a school with 1,200 children and 170 staff, Melanie has extensive strategic human resources and educational expertise. She is also an experienced trustee for a textile heritage museum.  

Melanie attended workshops and visited the Guild from its beginnings in Dean Clough to its current York headquarters. The Festival of Quilts is an annual treat for her! 

Retirement now allows her time to improve her quilting skills. She loves texture in quilts, especially modern and contemporary. Melanie believes developing creative expression is vital, along with promoting and treasuring the skills of quilting for the future. She is delighted to support The Guild as a trustee.

Non-Executive Trustee and YQ: Merrill Tanton


I have been sewing for as long as I can remember and found my passion for patchwork and quilting in 2010 when I joined two local quilt groups affiliated to the Quilters’ Guild. I have served on the Region 13 committee for seven years, and four of those as the coordinator. I enjoy helping members to keep in touch with each other by organising both live and virtual events. I led the team who ran the Guild conference weekend in picturesque Llandudno in 2016, and I have been a member of the Guild education working party and judging committee since 2017 

I previously had a career in education, teaching secondary school mathematics and technology with extensive experience of examination writing and assessment in both academic and vocational qualifications. I continue to teach textile arts in a self-employed capacity and am proud to be a tutor for the Quilters’ Guild Quilt Judging course, having qualified as a judge myself.

I have made many great friends in the quilting community, learning so much from others’ skills and experience and being inspired by their creativity. As an enthusiastic volunteer I feel I am part of a fantastic team that provides events for members of all ages. I especially want to encourage young people to develop their skills and enjoy the exciting world of textiles.

Non-Executive Trustee: Claire Powell


Claire lives in Suffolk which is part of Region 8.  She first encountered patchwork in her early 20s when she visited the American Museum in Bath and saw quilts for the first time. She was stunned by their beauty, the workmanship involved and longed to become a quilter. But, about to embark on a legal career, she assumed that patchwork was too time consuming to do alongside a full time job.  Twenty years later when she  took a job that was only part time, she felt she had time to start doing patchwork at last. Since then it has been a constant in her life, keeping her grounded, sane and creative!

In 2007 Claire started designing cushions, bags, cot quilts etc, and making them up into kits which she sold online. Her aim was to help anyone to be able to start patchwork easily – no need for rotary cutters and cutting mats as she provided everything cut ready to sew.  After 7 years Claire had to wind it up when her day job became too demanding but it left her with a desire to one day go back to the more creative life.  Following a move to very rural Suffolk to deliberately step away from the rat race, Claire set up a long arm quilting business as she loves long arm quilting. For her, quilting makes the quilt, what ever way it’s done and “quilt as desired” are her favourite 3 words!!  She also remains a prolific quilt maker, loving bright colours, batiks and the Modern Quilt movement.

Claire’s 25 year career in financial services at a senior level means she has significant experience of working in a regulatory environment, at board level, developing business strategies, risk management frameworks and working through change initiatives.  Many of these experiences can be adapted to supporting the Quilters' Guild along with her experience of running two creative businesses. Claire strongly believes in the value of the Guild for bringing quilters together, to help those setting out in this wonderful craft through workshops and other forms of training and to continue to grow the Guild's quilt collection.

Non-Executive Trustee: Shona Kelly


I have been quilting since just before my now 32-year old son was born when my mother decided I needed an evening out and a break from my 3 year old. Since then, I have been a member of quilters groups in Canada, the UK, and Australia. I am not wedded to any one particular type of quilting and take great delight in learning new techniques and teaching others. 

Beyond my quilting, I bring skills from my 35 years in academia and my consultancy work in the health and social care sectors. I am a non-techie expert in data security, have designed teaching curriculums, and am expert at translating complex issues/problems for a general audience. I prefer to work in a consensus/collaborative style and enjoy understanding where people come from so that we can have real conversations about how things work and ease misunderstandings. 

Non-Executive Trustee: Claire Yeodal


I am recently retired and live in Bath (Region 5) where I grew up. I joined The Quilters’ Guild in 1982 and moved frequently, living in Regions 17, 15E, 3, 9, 16, also with periods abroad when my surname was Pickard. 

I started sewing as a child and was introduced to patchwork and quilting by my sister Jane Syers. I prefer hand sewing, especially quilting. 

I worked as a qualified librarian including at a F.E. College and then at two medium-sized law firms. I have experience of evaluating online resources, 2 digital platforms, procuring computer software and general business administration. I have provided information for students or lawyers to use and helped them to do this easily and efficiently, working as part of teams and collaborating with colleagues in different locations. Latterly, I worked with the specialist Charities lawyers and have a good understanding of the duties etc of a trustee.

Non-Executive Trustee: Sheena Roberts


I have been sewing since I was tiny and creating patchwork quilts for almost as long. I hold the C&G Certificate and the Diploma in Patchwork and Quilting. My interest is in Modern quilts with their bold lines. I love working with simple techniques to create stunning designs. 

I have had what can most politely be described as a "Portfolio Career" - as an Administrator, Secretary, Primary School teacher, Local Authority appointed Clerk to school Governing Bodies and mentor to new Clerks and quite a few other things along the way! Almost a decade ago I made the move to self-employment and started my own business teaching patchwork and quilting. I teach locally in Hertfordshire as well as nationally, and this past 12 months has brought the added challenge of building online courses - never a dull moment! 

I live in Watford with my two cats, and various combinations of my three adult children. Thankfully they never all need to live at home at the same time! 

I have served The Quilters’ Guild as Festival of Quilts Officer since 2016 and am looking forward to using whatever skills are required to continue to serve this fabulous community.

Non-Executive Trustee: Angela Daymond


I have a background in education and have taught nursery through to adults in my career. A spinal cord injury made me realise that I am only as disabled as people or society make me and that everything is possible, even free motion quilting.

I joined The Quilters’ Guild around 20 years ago and have made life long friends. I have attended events at local and national level and served as the National Young Quilter Officer.

I find hand stitching very cathartic and am always in wonder at how the simple running stitch can be used in so many ways. I love modern quilting and my recent bed quilts have all been in this style. I am currently the Modern Special Interest Group newsletter editor.

I feel I would bring to the role my ability to communicate at all levels and since my sci I have become acutely aware of the need for making opportunities the same for all.