Marilyn Macfadyen

Thirty-six years ago in a huge leap of faith my husband and I left behind family, friends and work near Glasgow in search of a more fulfilling way of life and on a damp June day we arrived with our two young children at our new home - a sub-standard house on a windswept croft in Skerray, ready to start our adventure. Before long the croft was stocked with sheep in variety – you can't call yourself a crofter unless you have sheep, they're everywhere! - which inspired me to learn spinning and felt making using their different coloured fleeces.

Now my twin passions are for gardening and working with fibre. Touching the petals and foliage of plants is as irresistible to me as sinking my fingers into a skein of yarn or a pile of fleece and I'm never happier then when I'm experimenting with colour, texture and form whether in the garden or in my workroom surrounded by woolly treasure. When I can I like to step out of my own little world to take part in workshops and group projects which are always great fun and very stimulating. The Map Project was the perfect antidote to the dark winter nights as we raked through piles of colourful fabric, laughed a lot and came up with more suggestions than we could possibly use.

Despite its remoteness and sparse population Skerray was once described in a north coast newspaper as “the cultural centre of the north”. For many years our very ordinary village hall has been the venue for opera, ballet, theatre companies and musicians from around the world as well as a host of local performers and is a focal point for all kinds of community celebrations. I wanted to include it on the map because it's such a vita part of village life where everyone can meet to enjoy good company and first class entertainment.