Piece and comfort for the eyes, heart, and soul.

2020

Threads That Bind

74″ x 51″
Designed, pieced, and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 9/2020
The block is a simple traditional “spool” block made with binding scraps. It was the first quilt inspired by my adventure in binding scraps (see below). When I had a spare block, I decided to cut two on the diagonal and combine them. While looking through my “stash” for the right shade of brown for the spools’ fabric, I also found just enough of the fun gradient fabric (its pattern varies in intensity, color, and design from salvage to salvage) that became the borders.

While the Weather Outside is Frightful, Stitching by the Fire is So Delightful!

I began these “Winter’s Frosty Friends” table runners last year. I had finished the piecing and applique on all four, but set 3 of them aside before finishing the embellishment and hand embroidery. With the arrival of fall, I decided it was time to finally finish them all. (To read more of their story, click on the 2019 tab on the side.) 9/2020

A Quilt of Many Colors

48.5″ Sq.
Designed, pieced, and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 8/2020
This second quilt envisioned from my “Adventure in Bindings” was the first completed. It has become one of my all time favorite quilts. In the 9 center squares, I free-motion quilted big square flowers. In the four corners of the inner border I repeated that design quilting smaller square flowers with lines imitating the scrappy middle border’s strips of fabric. On the middle border I quilted small flowers and leaves. Lastly, I filled the outer border with quilted scallop shells. I had such fun making this quilt!!!

Close-up

An adventure in bindings…

In August, I was tossing the binding strip left over from a completed quilt into my binding “tub”, and it struck me that there were a lot of fabrics in there. I honestly don’t know when I started collecting these, but I dumped them out and started sorting them by color. Soon I had piles of blues and greens, reds and oranges, pinks, browns, blacks, and many colors in between.
My bindings are 2″ wide, and there were over 100 different strips of varying lengths in the tub. First, I cut 10″ lengths of my favorites and arranged them into groups of 6. I sewed these groups together on the long side, trimmed them to 8.5″ squares, and then created spool blocks to showcase them. (These became my Threads that Bind quilt.)
When I had finished that quilt top, I put what was left back into the bin and thought, “what else should I, could I do with these???
I began to cut them into 18″ long strips. When there wasn’t an 18″ long strip of a binding, I sewed it together with other strips from the same color family to create an 18″ long strip. Then I sewed all these 18″ long strips together on the long side to create a new strip of fabric over 100″ long containing over 80 different binding scraps. Next, I took my 6″ square ruler and cut out squares, with strips running on the diagonal. I, then, arranged these on my design wall until I had a pleasing design, and finally I sewed these scrappy squares together. (These became the center of my Quilt of Many Colors quilt.)
This is what remained of the long strip after I’d cut out the 6″ squares. From these, I cut 2.5″ pieces and then tossed the last remaining bits. I had in mind to create a scrappy border for my Quilt of Many Colors, so I sewed these pieces together. There wasn’t enough for the border I wanted to make, so I took more of the 2″ binding scraps from the tub and cut them into 2.5″ lengths until I had enough for a scrappy border. For those that wonder if I used up all my scraps of bindings in the making of these two quilts, the answer is no. The tub is still about half full.

In summary… Often, quilters buy fabric. Sometimes, quilters make their own fabric by dying, stamping, painting, and, as seen in this fun adventure with scrap bindings, sometimes they even pieces scraps together to create their own fabric. However I make it, I always have great fun playing with fabric!!!

Dream Big

54.5″ x 43″
Pieced and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 8/2020
While vacationing in Hilton Head in July, I, of course, checked out their local quilt shop and fell in love with these sweet fabrics and free pattern (by Ann Rowan for Wilmington Prints). It made a very generously sized crib / nap quilt with a wonderful message, Make a splash, dream BIG!

More Christmas Cheer…

Folksy – 12 Days of Christmas, 4 similar wall/door hangings 22″ x 37″
Xmas Table Topper – 18″ Square

Honoring the Brave

59″ x 42.5″
Designed, pieced, appliqued, and quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 7/2020
I am so proud of my nephew, Abe, who is serving with the brave Great Basin “hotshots” in Idaho! This line of work is truly for only the brave!
This summer, when he asked me to make a lap quilt for the benefit of those in his unit, I was honored!
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent “stay-at-home” orders had left me with lots of time in my studio. With stores also closed, I was limited to what fabrics I had in my (thankfully vast) stash. (I’m not a fan of ordering fabrics online. I prefer to touch and see fabrics’ true colors.)
The unit’s patches and insight about the area (conifer forests and shrub areas covered with pine, fir, spruce, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers) inspired my fabric choices. The patches are printed and appliqued (fused and raw-edge stitched).
The center block, also appliqued, fused and stitched along the raw edge, was inspired by a quilt I’ve long admired called “Splash/Snowdance”, by Australian quilter Emma How of Sampaquita Quilts. It always reminded me of dancing flames, which these heroes so bravely fight.
I’ve quilted for decades, and have long avoided piecing circle blocks. There are other ways to achieve a similar result, but this one longed to be authentically pieced and I was surprised how easy it really was. The “curve master presser foot” I’d picked up at a quilt show years ago definitely helped.
Made with a heart of gratitude, I hope it will long bring the recipient warmth, peace, and comfort!

Boise Hotshot Crew, Great Basin Area of Idaho

Christmas in July

On the hottest of summer days, there is nothing like turning one’s focus to creating a little Christmas cheer.

Traditional – 12 Days of Christmas – one of a kind wall/door hanging. 17″ x 30″
Merry Christmas – Jingle All the Way and Winter Wishes
12.5″ x 45.5″ wall/door hangings (2 of each)
10 Old Fashioned Christmas ornaments 3″ x 4″ – hand embroidered / appliqued
Using Bonnie Sullivan “All Through the Night” fabrics.
Christmas Bookmarks to mark the spot…
May the love of flipping actual pages while reading never become passe!

Venus – The Evening Star

71″ Sq
Pieced and quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 7/2020
If you look up in the western sky at night, the brilliant white planet you see is Venus. Also known as the Evening Star, it is the third brightest natural object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon.
While “staying at home” during this Covid-19 pandemic, I found purpose and peace in my studio, grateful for the plethora of fabrics in my “stash”. Like eating “comfort food”, I found working with this traditional pattern and incorporating these traditional fabrics soothing. Free motion quilting in the blocks (placed on point), corners and side triangles is complemented with a playful ribbon running through the sashing.

Up close – free motion quilting detail

All About Peter…

39″ x 33″
Simply, free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 6/2020

For Miss Anika Leigh Gauldin

Picnic to Tumble the Blues Away

65″ x 52″
Pieced and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 6/2020
I’d had these fabrics in my stash for years and now (Covid-19 pandemic “stay-at-home” orders) seemed the perfect time to finally piece them together. I find blues calming and piecing therapeutic. As the quilt top came together I thought it would be a wonderful picnic quilt. I used a mid-weight denim for the backing to give it weight and sturdiness.
Just hours after I’d finished sewing on its binding, I put it to use in its inaugural picnic with a dear quilting friend. Yes, we “distanced” outside, of course.

Border Beauty

42″ x 36″
Pieced and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 6/2020
Using scraps of the Baltimore Home border fabric left ofer from my previous quilt, I stacked six layers of matching designs and kaleidoscoped them. I added two small simple borders to complete this quilt. I think it is a thing of beauty!

Baltimore Baskets and Evening Stars

79″ x 77.5″
Pieced and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 6/2020
The border fabric and beautiful baskets on the center fabric panel provided inspiration for this quilt. My stash provided the perfect fabrics for the evening star blocks.

Patriotic Party

15″ x 49.5″
Pieced and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 6/2020
In preparation for teaching this Quilting with Sue T.O.M. (Technique of the Month) block, I decided to make a new, scrappy sample. I couldn’t be happier with the resulting tablerunner!

Step Into My Garden

56.5″ x 48″
Pieced and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 5/2020
I had fallen in love with this bundle of fabrics years before, but the COVID-19 “stay at home” orders gave me the perfect excuse to delve into projects from my stash. Voila!
A dear friend suggested its name, which reminded me of this poem by the same name (Author Unknown):

Step into my garden
Step in and you’ll see
A measure of peace
And tranquility.

It’s the scent of the blossoms
The buzz of the bees
The sweet song of birds
As they sing in the trees.

The sweet scent of roses
Their petals so new
As they glisten and sparkle
With the fresh morning dew.

Run your toes through the grass
Beneath a canopy of trees
Hear the rustle of leaves
As they blow in the breeze.

Let the beauty of springtime
Fill your soul with great peace
Take it with you and share it
With each one you meet.

Sew Many Sues

67.25″ x 52.75″
Appliqued, pieced, and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman.
Berryville, VA 5/2020
These “orphaned” Sues, passed to me by a friend who discovered them in Mary Price’s “stash”, called to me to finish fusing and embroidering them , incorporate them into a quilt top, and free motion quilt them.
The oldest “Sunbonnet Sue”, typically shown in profile, wearing a large bonnet and an over-sized pinafore dress and is also known as Dutch Doll and Bonnie Bonnet, existed in the 1800’s but gained popularity in the early 1900’s.
Some Sues are too “cutsy” for my taste and others have depicted Sue working, playing, and sometimes getting into trouble, but these beautifully color coordinated scrappy Sues are just sweet.
It was both a joy and pleasure to bring them to life.

Sue’s “Grands”

12″ Square
“Sunbonnet Sue and Sam” appliqued and embroidered by Mary Price, to which I, Sue Hickman, embroidered my grandchildren’s names, quilted, and finished as a pillow.     Berryville, VA     4/2020
I have long loved the Sunbonnet Sue pattern! When gifted (thank you, Irene Sullivan!) with a box of exquisitely appliqued and embroidered Sue and Sam blocks made by Mary Price, there was one unique one that grabbed my attention first. While all the others had black “shoes” and blanket stitch embroidery, this one block was made in the colors of my living room. During the “social distancing” of this Covid-19 “season” of life when separated from my children and grandchildren, and after making protective masks galore, I couldn’t wait to complete this pillow, bringing my “Grands” closer to my heart until I can hug on them in person again.

Bloom Wherever You Are Planted

24″ x 24″
Designed, pieced, hand and machine embroidered, and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 3/2020
Inspired by a local guild’s challenge, I began designing this quilt six months ago. I’ve long loved the saying! This is what it means to me:
Bloom – God calls us to use what He gives and be fruitful. Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622), when Bishop of Geneva, said, “Truly charity has no limit; for the love of God has been poured into our hearts by His Spirit dwelling in each one of us, calling us to a life of devotion and inviting us to bloom in the garden where He has planted and directing us to radiate the beauty and spread the fragrance of His Providence.”
Wherever – Life is, perhaps, easier when we are where we ‘want’ to be, but every life experiences challenging times. Even when life doesn’t go according to plan, we have control over how we respond. We can choose to be positive and resilient! Wherever we find ourselves, we can make the best of things.
Planted – Some seeds are planted in good rich, soil; other seeds are planted in rocky soil. And, some seeds find themselves between a rock and a hard place on the pavement of life. That’s when life gets really challenging. But we are not without hope. Even there, God provides sun, rain, and enough nourishment in the meager soil, and if we are willing we can bloom while we wait on Him to transplant us.
In the last weeks of working on this quilt, our Nation unexpectedly faced very difficult, hard times. CV-19, a nasty virus, caused all Americans to social distance themselves. Working alone in my studio, I was anew encouragement by the message of this quilt.

Don’t Be Blue

18″ x 26.75″
Pieced and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 3/2020

Owned by Nancee Groh of Carlisle, PA

My Mystery Quilts Revealed

In July 2018, I began working on a collection of five quilts for a Memorial Day Challenge. As each one was completed, I posted a ‘space holder’ in the timeline of my completed quilts. Having just completed the last one, I’m pleased to finally be able to share them all with you!
This is your link to read more about these Memorial Day Challenge quilts.
Here is picture of them grouped together.

Freedom to Fly – Clear Skies and Tailwinds

104″ x 74″
Pieced and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 2/2020
Adapted from The Quilt Peddler pattern QP132A, with a nod to Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (A.O.P.A.) that brought out the ‘student pilot’ (and a love for flying) in my husband.

Through the Looking Glass

(51″ x 50″)
Pieced and free motion quilted by Sue Hickman Berryville, VA 1/2020
Since discovering Ricky Tims Convergence Quilt concept quite a few years back, I’d been searching for 4 fabrics calling me to converge them. When I found 4, I actually found 8, with one fabric repeated in both sets. What fun it was to realize Ricky Tims Convergence Quilts were just another way to ‘fracture’ fabric. While my fractured quilts begin with 4 of the same fabric, convergence quilts begin with 4 different pieces of fabric. Once I’d made the first two convergence quilts, I realized I had enough fabric to make two more of each of them and thought the four would make an even bigger impact pieced together.
Before I’d even finished piecing the four seperate converged squares, I found Hoffman’s Dream Big digitally printed floral fabric in colors that would coordinate with them. This large panel with a simple border proved to be the perfect backing for the finished quilt top and provided a fun template on which to doodle free motion quilting.`
Can you see the unique petals of this big flower quilted into this quad convergence quilt? Click on each image below for a close-up look.

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