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Sue Swinyard

Sue was born in Northern California with a sewing needle clenched between her gums.

At her mother’s side she learned fashion design, sewing, dressmaking, alterations, appreciation of fabrics, the fine art of sewing well, and all things textile. Even store-bought dresses were altered for a perfect fit.

From this early beginning she became an adult clothing designer and dressmaker, creating gowns for the politically elite women of California … and progressing naturally to textile and jewelry arts.



A bit about me …

I grew up in Northern California and was fortunate to have a mother that encouraged me to pick up a needle and thread at a very early age. I really cannot remember when I didn't attempt doll and teddy bear clothes. My Mom nurtured in me a love of fabrics and fiber. She always wanted me to get a degree in fashion design, but as is often the case, I had other ideas. I attended University of the Pacific and got a degree in Speech and Hearing.

Having this degree was helpful in my new marriage when my husband and I moved to the San Francisco Bay area. However, after a couple of years there, we moved to a small town where there were no jobs available in this field.

All this time, I still sewed and designed all of my clothes and thought what better way to stay home with my two small children and continue to make some money. So I set up a business designing and sewing fashions for many upscale and well known women in the community.

After moving to Utah, I was fortunate to gain employment at Brigham Young University where I taught some classes and managed Cougar Custom Sewing in the Clothing and Textiles Department. I remained there for 9 years gaining knowledge and learning so much from the students! I retired in 1998 and my new husband and I spent considerable time in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. I gathered many interesting fabrics and even learned a few fabulous embroidery techniques from the hill tribe people.

After returning to the states, I decided to try my hand at quilting. I felt better able to express myself in quilting. Learning all the basics was so enjoyable and I made many new friends along the way. In fact, quilting must be good for the soul because I have never met a quilter I didn't like! It is therapeutic and calming in almost a Zen sort of way. I can zone out and be in my own world when I am creating a quilt. Besides who can resist all the beautiful colors in fabrics these days! "He who dies with the most fabric wins!" Don't know who said that but I am in the running!

I am currently concentrating on smaller art quilts. I find they go faster and I can try out new ideas and techniques without worrying if I am wasting fabric. I am even trying some painting techniques on my quilts that I learned when I took oil painting classes.

I hope you enjoy the quilt process as much as I do.