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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Cleveland’

Spring Quilt Market

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

I’m back from Market. It was exhilarating and exhausting. It was great to catch up with other professionals, and I met lots of new people in the industry. I enjoy seeing the new fabrics. I love the beachy colors – blues, greens, yellows, oranges – clear, crisp, almost sherbetty colors. After all, the oranges did make me think of mango! OK, most colors make me think of food!

Just a bit of what I liked: The Authentic line by Sweetwater Design from Moda. It’s filled with typography and newsprint fabric; must reflect my journalism background!


Also showcasing Moda‘s line is Joanna Figueroa with Fig Tree & Co.


Avlyn fabrics also has several nice new lines, including Belle Fleur, a white, green and black graphic collection from Karen Combs. Karen also introduced here Batik Cascade line.

And always a favorite for me is the Michael Miller booth, with bright happy colors.


And, while I didn’t get a photo, Kona Bay always has a wonderful fabric selection.

And I liked what Valori Wells did to decorate her booth. She took swatches of her lines and sewed them onto a canvas cloth and hung that. It was simple and effective.


One of my favorite designers is Robyn Pandolph, who designs fabric for RJR. Here she is with Barbara Bradley. They’ll work together from a new design studio soon.


I caught up with a couple of my favorite bag makers. Joan Hawley from Lazy Girl Designs was delivering her newest girl Claire for display in several booths. And Terry Atkinson has two new books, including Big Bags, little bags, which includes ideas for using yo-yos for a little zing and for using oilcloth for your bag. Both Joan and Terry have great tutorials on their blogs.

Here are a few shots from my row at the show. Susan Cleveland with Pieces Be With You was on one side of me and Karen Montgomery from The Quilt Company was on the other. Karen’s got some great shots of the floor on her blog.


Across the aisle were Janine Burke and Amy Walsh from Blue Underground Studios.


And here’s one last shot with quilt artist and author ReNae Merrill and Leslie O’Brien, PQ advertising rep.


I did pick up some new notions, so look for some reviews in the future. The big item I think was the bias binding maker from Simplicity/Wrights/Ez.

And, what coverage of Quilt Market would be complete without a mention of Sample Spree? This is the most hectic event, everyone’s first peek at what’s new. People line up early to get first chance to buy fabric in particular. Here’s a shot of the line waiting to get in. The doors open at 8 pm; the first person was in line at 2:30!


And, as for our location, we were at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. It’s a fabulous facility with lots of natural light; everything looks good in that lighting. Pittsburgh is a great city, too, with friendly people and terrific food – any city that puts French fries on a sandwich or salad ranks high with me! I hope we’ll be back next time we go to the East Coast.

Meet Susan Shie, our 2008 Teacher of the Year

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

For 22 years The Professional Quilter has recognized outstanding quilt teachers with our Teacher of the Year award. This year’s recipient is Susan Shie, a self-described outsider artist from Wooster, Ohio. Susan suspends the rules, while encouraging her students to find the joy of self-awareness and self-expression. Much of Susan’s work is personal diary work with themes focusing around the kitchen and family, St. Quilta the Comforter (a character based on her mother), astrology, tarot, peace and the environment, with a whole lot of emphasis on peace and compassion-centered politics. Here is a portion of our interview with Susan about her teaching:

How do you encourage creativity in your students?
I mainly work as an example of being creative, in front of them. I don’t pre-plan my narrative themes any more than they can pre-plan for the class projects. I work as an example of being creative by doing each process as a demo. I also bring lots of examples of my work or if the class is in my home and studio, I show them plenty of examples. The students get to know each other by name and I learn their names as fast as I can so that we can become a very close group in the time we have. We have a lot of show-and-tell, of their work and mine, so we all excite each other with our ideas and solutions to the group-invented theme. I also go around the room and have each student tell me about her work (as long as she’s willing to talk about it), and I give her one-on-one feedback. Most important, I ask them to come get me if they get stuck. When their creativity gets blocked, it’s important to get it flowing again as soon as we can.

How do you encourage students’ further growth in quilting, beyond the formal class?
As I mentioned, I explain that their best bet is to take what they learn from me and add it to the mix of where they already were with their artmaking. Copying a teacher’s style is, of course, acceptable and fine, if all you want to do is to make stuff. But if you want to get a career going in our field, or in any art field, you need to be unique. So copying a teacher’s style is like shooting yourself in the foot, unless you want to be called a clone. No one wants that! So you work the new style and ideas into the big ball of dough, of artness, that you already were cooking up in your studio. Yours is a totally different mixture of influences from any other given student’s mix. So you go along till you realize that you don’t need classes anymore, that what you need is time to work in your studio. So you conceptually graduate from that school of searching, and you become a mature artist. Voila!

What makes you a good teacher?
I treat my students like they’re just like me (because they are). We’ve all got the hunger to create, and to the degree in which you’ve been working toward your career, that’s how much evolved you are. I believe we can all be brilliant artists — but we must feel inspired. So my job is to inspire, by example, so that every one of us can be constantly tapping into our intuitive nature, our souls. I teach in order to free souls to the joy of their self-awareness and expression. I help my students find their way back to their innocent, primal selves, and I give them some tools for being able to find that space on their own, when they’re back home.

What has quilting contributed to the quality of your life and to women and men in general?
The act of quilting, when practiced without worry or judgment, is one of those wonderful processes that cause us to center our energy in our bodies. We relax, we enjoy, we are happy. Therefore we let go of stress, and therefore we heal. Few activities in our lives allow us to be happy. When we find the time to sit down and do these purely creative things, we give our bodies and our souls great gifts toward being whole and healthy, and quilting is legal.

Congratulations to Susan and the other teachers who were nominated for this award, including Pamela Allen, Laura Blanchard, Susan Cleveland, Rosalie Dace, Ellen Anne Eddy, Beth Ferrier, Cathy Franks, Linda Hahn, Carol Lewis, Merry May, Pam Mostek, Sue Nickels, Linda Poole, Jane Sassaman, Anne Smith, Cyndi Souder and Deb Tucker.

To read more of this interview in the Spring issue of The Professional Quilter, you can purchase Issue 103 or can start a subscription here.

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