May 10, 2017

Instructing since 1988, quilt artist Sue Rassmussen will be joining us for a three-day workshop at the end of the year on Machine Quilting In Depth. From November 29-December 3, spend an immersive long weekend learning to create designs while quilting – and yes, we do have machines available to rent while you’re here!

In advance of her workshop, Sue took a moment to fill us in on her approach to fiber art and a bit on her current projects.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
SR: I find inspiration for my quilting designs in textures all around me, from literally watching and drawing the movement of ants as they do their search for food to fissures in boulders to bark on trees. If we all take a minute to look around us, we will recognize that the world is filled with texture and designs. It’s only a snap shot away. A perfect example of this is several years ago we were visiting Yellowstone National Park. I asked my husband to pull over so I could take photos of the beautiful birch bark in the grove of trees. I must have been taking pictures for 10-15 minutes, and when I turned around there were five other campers parked, all crowding around my husband who was trying to explain that, no, there were no animals there but that I was taking pictures of the bark. None of them came to even look at the wonderful designs in the bark. Their loss!

Q: What are you most proud of in regards to your art?
SR: I love working with photos of animals (and flora) and transforming them into realistic (or not) quilts. I enjoy the machine quilting process because it adds a secondary layer to quilts which equals more interest and texture.

Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them?
SR: I think finding more time, not getting sidetracked by the computer or the television, and believing that this is an important and justified use of my time.

Q: What advice has influenced you?
SR: One of my first teachers and now friend, Margaret Miller, once said to me “Why use one fabric when you can use five?” and then two seconds later said to me “why use only five fabrics when you could use twenty?” and from that moment on I have been shopping for variety of fabrics. Using a wide variety of fabrics in my mind just make the quilt more interesting and challenges me to think outside the box.

Q: Is there something you are currently working on, or excited about starting that you can tell us about?
SR: I have been collecting silk fabrics for some time and because I don’t generally use solid type fabrics, this is a bit more challenging for me, but fun! I am beginning a ‘landscape’ with these wonderful fabrics. Lately I have been moving into more art quilts and I love to just play with all my scraps to create a collage background to to do something with.

Learn more about Sue’s workshop here.

Learn more about Sue on her website.