Sue traveled to Las Vegas to speak and teach for the Desert Quilters of Nevada last month and she was inspiring! Her lecture was about her red-headed friend Elmer. I had heard of using Elmer's as a quilting tool but had never seen it done and was blown away by her skill, humor, and passion. I've also been eyeing her Circliner marking tool for quite some time so I was thrilled to get to chat with her about it and take one home with me.
Not only does she make gorgeous show quality quilts, she is the author of four free motion quilting books and has designed innovative marking tools and quilting rulers. In addition to teaching at guilds and national shows across the country, her designs, books and tools have been featured in online, TV, and national and international publications. She brings a Fine Arts and Education background and over twenty-five years of quilting experience to the classroom.
I am so excited to share our conversation with you!
What inspired you to make your first quilt?
My Mom was an avid seamstress throughout her life. Although she tried to teach me, I was never interested. All of those pieces! How would you ever know it'll fit, even after all that work? A friend invited me to a beginner quilting class. My Mom had passed shortly before. The thought of working with the medium she loved - fabric - was a way to feel close to her again, and I thought - quilts are flat, no armholes or zippers - I can do that. I've been hooked ever since!
Can you give us a quick rundown on why Elmer, your red-headed friend, is such an excellent tool for quilters? The word, perfect, describes my friend beautifully. Perfect intersections, perfect points, perfect pattern matching, no stretch. Inexpensive and so easy to use. What's there not to love?
What is your favorite quilting tool you've designed and why? It's my Circleliner! Born out of frustration with other available tools, the Circleliner creates accurate concentric circles - 90 in 1/8th inch increments - and performs beautifully for tabletop marking or on a longarm frame. Being able to divide circles into halves, quarters, eighths, or sixteenths, it's also a breeze to make squares, hexy's, octagons, triangles, and stars...the list goes on and on. Having a tool like that has taken my creativity to the next level!
I know you love to free-motion quilt but do you ever use digital designs for quilting? Yes! When I recently became a HandiQuilter Ambassador, I upgraded to the Forte with ProStitcher. Although I'm new to that world, I'm becoming a believer! It's opened up a different world that I've wanted to explore. Quiltable.com has also been digitizing some of my designs as well. Check them out! https://quiltable.com/product-category/digital-designer/sue-heinz/
What's next in your quilting adventure? In addition to constantly developing new free motion designs, I'm writing a pattern for a wholecloth I designed and quilted several years ago. The wholecloth is a sampler with 27 circular, edge-to-edge, and grid-based designs from my Fill Harmonics book. I'm also creating new free motion rulers that will make quilting this out a whole lot easier than the first time around. I will teach this pattern in May at Empty Spools in a week-long class. Pretty exciting!
Where can we find your quilting designs, books, and tools?
On my website, SueHeinz.com.
Where can we sign up to attend your classes?
I love to travel and teach! Many of my classes are held at Guilds, such as the one you recently met me at. In addition to Guilds, I also vend and teach at several shows this year, including IQF in Houston, The Great WI Quilt Show in Madison, WI, and the Kansas City Regional Quilt Show in KC. My website has a calendar page to track where I'll be next.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story with your readers!
Thank you so much Sue for taking the time to chat with me at the guild meeting, introducing me to your friend Elmer, and for being in the spotlight here on my blog!
It was such a pleasure to meet Sue and share her quilting enthusiasm with you! And I just love that her logo is a quilting design! So CUTE!