Susan S.


I have looked forward to each new lesson offered on the course and will miss them, even though there were some I could not complete due to travel/time constraints, or personal reaction to them (which means those are the ones I need to go back to.)  I enjoyed reading other people’s work and thoughts too.

Strategies to work on from this class

Practical areas

  • Practice domestic machine quilting regularly to develop skills which have gone rusty.  Have machine set up ready and practice sandwiches or small projects at the ready to spend 10-15 minutes on at least three times a week
  • Get comfortable with my Handiquilter Avante.  Load expendable (non-precious) fabric to get regular practice and confidence in using the machine for larger projects.
  • Start working on tidying up sewing room and closet.  Try to get rid of one or two waste paper baskets or bags per week, whether donating, throwing out or giving to students.
  • Get comfortable going back to City and Guilds strategies of sampling and keeping sketches and work in notebook as long as it does not hold me back.  (Sometimes I do better working from full size collages.)
  • Set aside afternoon time for sewing/designing and make it non-negotiable at least 3 afternoons per week (I tend to exercise in the mornings and I often work in the evening).  Be assertive about needing some uninterrupted time when I do not have to jump to obey “summonses”.  
  • Get comfortable using Dragon Dictate to save my wrist and hands for sewing, teachingand workouts.
  • Try creating one larger piece in the next year, of a size which can be entered into US shows
  • Go through lesson 4 assignments again.
  • Practice one in and one out rule for studio and wardrobe.  It seems workable and comfortable whereas decluttering still is not.

Psychological areas

  • Get rid of inner committees—they are hampering me a lot
  • Learn to assert my right to have time to create at least three times per week.  Do not feel guilty about delaying some of my Mother’s paperwork/needs in order to create.  Guard my creative time.
  • Ignore negativity that whatever I do is unimportant.  
  • Continue to write in journal as appropriate

Work made during class

Two of my challenge quilts for the fifteen by fifteen group ( were created during this class.  The cactus piece was started in a batik class that I took in Colorado. Hoiwever I had to figure out how to create the prickles and the quilting.  I enjoyed beading and embellishing the piece.  I had already taken my photos and made preliminary sketches before the class.  I admit that I thoroughly enjoyed having a few uninterrupted days to work. It. I was very happy with the way the cactuses turned out, and have thought of building on the idea with a painted piece, or a mix of photo printed fabric and paint.  Although my sense of perspective in the piece is a bit unorthodox, I was satisfied with it.

The second piece, Motion is less satisfactory.  Firstly I tried domestic machine ruler work quilting which I am not yet adept at, and thought that I could get away with only quilting it horizontally------it really needs more quilting as I do not feel that it lies correctly.  I also did not have a cotton variegated thread in the right color and I used a 50wt thread which was too lightweight for this type of quilting. Secondly I am not sure that the design works well. It seems to lack balance.  The things which work in it are quilting before embroidering the text which allows the text to be seen without interruption. The couching was relatively smooth and I dealt with the problem of finishing off ends by couching before appliqueing the circles.