When we heard that SusanClaire – the fantabulous designer and maker of the Lock Gate quilt – had forsaken her idyll in New Zealand for a few months exploring English waterways and visiting the Quilter’s Haven we grabbed the chance of a chat.
To begin at the beginning:
- she’s been sewing since she was five years old, but the teddy she embroidered and the doll’s clothes she made have long gone;
- as part of a travelling family she covered the globe (on holiday from boarding school, which she went to aged eight); but got off the family train in Australia, where she met her husband with whom she emigrated to New Zealand aged 20;
- she’s been teaching sewing and quilting for 30 years and lives over the shop/studio/classroom south of Wellington, where she still runs classes on demand;
- her small shop offers fabrics and patterns (and has been online for patterns some years now, so don’t despair that she’s not actually there).
- have machine will travel; SusanClaire uses a Bernina 550QE on a SewEzi sewing table (see picture, looks like a giant quilt hung up behind her), and she obviously wouldn’t be without it [anybody out there travelled further with their machine?];
- she loves to use a whole variety of new fabrics, no old bits in her stash then; and isn’t it great when passion and business come together?
- a notebook with square paper accompanies her everywhere and she is forever scribbling and doodling – especially when she wakes up at midnight and wants to do something;
- she’s also a great fan of Electric Quilt software when it comes to designing.
Why is SusanClaire the Gourmet Quilter? Because her chosen craft is:
Fat free, sugar free, cholesterol free and full of fibre.