ABOUT SUSAN LIIMATTA

For over 20 years, I have been chasing my love affair with color, fabric, and thread. I began as a traditional quilter, hand quilting each piece, and today I create my quilts only by machine. I'm now using a computerized longarm quilting machine.

Photo by Riutta Images

Over the years, I've built a career as an award-winning show quilter; and still, there's nothing more gratifying than the sense of accomplishment I get from bringing a design to life.

When I'm not quilting, I'm thinking about quilting.

Quilting presents an opportunity to satisfy the senses – it's the comforting touch of the fabric, the beautiful display of colorful patterns and textures.

When I discovered machine quilting, I knew this was what I was meant to do. Perhaps it's the perfectionist in me. I was immediately fascinated by the dimensional quality you get from machine quilting; it's like sculpting with fabric.

I've always been a maker.

I started embroidering when I was nine. At age 10, I picked up the accordion. I made my own clothes in Junior High. When I was 11, I started gardening with my dad. Gardening is like working with a pallet in three dimensions. Similar to quilting, it's all about adding color and texture to create something unique. To this day, if I'm not quilting, taking photos, or traveling, you'll find me in my garden.

My passion for quilting began when I was a young mom of two little boys. I saw an advertisement for a quilting kit in the back of Country Living magazine. I couldn't afford to buy a quilt professionally made, so I decided to create one myself. I went to the library and took out a book called Quilts, Quilts, Quilts and I figured it out as I went.

One month later, I draped the quilt I created over my son's bed.

I was hooked.

My first quilt (with store bought binding).

A career in quilting is a career of constant learning. After making about a dozen quilts on my own, I started taking as many classes as I could, from the best quilting teachers I could find. Now, I present my own lectures and trunk shows, taking the opportunity to give back to the quilting world we all share.

I love how quilting connects us to a tradition of using needle, thread, and fabric to bring warmth and beauty to others, over the centuries and across all continents.

In addition to quilting, I'm also an avid traveler and photographer. In the year of 2015 alone, I flew over 60,000 miles, visiting Tibet, China, and France. I made many trips to NYC. Everywhere I go, it seems everyone has a mother, daughter, a cousin or an aunt who quilts. This is a community I feel I was meant to be a part of.

Mount Everest, North Face. Photo taken from Base Camp One, Tibet. Altitude: 17,060 feet!

And as I continue to experience these diverse destinations and cultures, I apply the inspiration from my travels to my work. There's no shortage of ideas and there's always time to make something new.

As long as I am quilting, I'm learning, I'm connecting, I'm creating. I'm becoming the artist I was meant to be.

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