Susan Smith of Spokane, WA, is our guest artist for 2023. Susan grew up in northern BC, Canada, in a community reminiscent of the pioneer days with no electricity or indoor plumbing. In those cold winters, sleeping under a handmade quilt with wool batting from the family sheep was the ultimate luxury. Those hard-working close knit days shaped her faith and family, which remain the source of joy in her life today.
Susan grew up making garments and quilts alongside her mother. She used all the traditional quilting methods - tracing templates with a ballpoint pen, cutting with scissors, and quilting on a room-size frame. She branched out into a rotary cutter, but made very few quilts until her children were well into high school. By that point she had inherited all her mom's scraps, and found she loved using mixed fabrics for a scrappy feel, but increasingly was drawn to more contemporary settings that offer plenty of room for playing with shapes and designs.
In early 2015, a friend invited Susan to play on her longarm quilting machine for an afternoon. Just a few hours in, she absolutely knew this was the dream job for her. She purchased a used longarm, named her Lucy, and never looked back. She's quilted over 1100 projects to date, and freehand edge-to-edge work is her favorite. These days she teaches the art of freehand quilting through online courses and memberships, plus has a podcast (Measure Twice, Cut Once), all about crafters and their journeys.
Visit her website at StitchedBySusan for examples of her work and available classes. Edge to edge, or all-over quilting is her specialty. Susan works completely freehand.