Please welcome another member of the Island Batik Ambassador family! Susan Deshensky of Lady Blue Quilt Studio is an award winning quilter and designer with patterns, published in numerous magazines including Quiltmaker, Fons and Porter Love of Quilting, Quick & Easy Quilts and McCall’s Quilting. A Certified Instructor for Quiltworx Judy Niemeyer Quilting, Susan is also a life member of the American Needlepoint Guild and Embroiderers’ Guild of America. Susan loves to teach and is available for in person or Zoom classes/lectures. She resides in the metropolitan New York City area with her husband and dog.
Susan shared a brief glimpse of her creative background. Here’s what she told us!
Island Batik: What sparked your interest in sewing?
Susan: I started sewing baby quilts, then progressed to different techniques.
Who taught you to sew and what inspired you to pursue the craft?
I took many classes at Country Quilter, a shop that was in Somers, NY. I like making things with my hands. I was a big time needlepointer and I dabbled in scrapbooking too. A few years after 9-11, I made a three dimensional Patriotic needlework bear in Joan Tomlinson’s class at an American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) seminar. I was trying to heal from the events of September 11, 2001. It took me four years to stitch the bear and after it was finished, I felt like I had this big hole in my heart, and I just gravitated towards quilting more and more.
What were your beginner mistakes in quilting?
Not lining up my seams. Not maintaining a good 1/4” seam allowance.
Is there block or pattern you could you make over and over again?
I do like crazy patch blocks; they are time consuming, but they come out different each time.
What inspires your design process?
I am inspired by nature, architecture, colors, outdoors. I was at Yoga class lying on the floor, staring up at ceiling tiles and vents, so I went home and designed blocks that reminded me of the ceiling tile and vent. Electric Quilt 8 (EQ8) and Quiltster are two amazing programs that help me to be creative. I am also inspired by Judy Niemeyer and Quiltworx. Judy is a very hard worker and it is so amazing what she has created and she inspires me to be the best quilter and teacher that I can be.
What’s your most favorite part of quilting, and why? Least favorite?
COLOR. That is my favorite. My least favorite? really small pieces.
Is there a technique that you were hesitant about trying, only to discover that you ended up absolutely loving it?
What do you do that you hope the “quilt police” never find out about?
Haha, that’s funny, because I used to be a police officer, so I guess I am the quilt police in a way. I do expect a lot from myself in regards to workmanship. If I saw or see a mistake that I make while I am at training, I will fix it, because the boss will see it no matter what, but I will also know!
Do you have a sewing pet-peeve?
Quilters not being nice to one another or groups being cliquey.
Do you have any creative organization tips?
I used peg board from Home Depot to hang my rulers up, so that I can see them. I have a CD book shelf that holds fat quarters. I have a ton of Art Bin clear containers.
What are your other crafty (and non-crafty) hobbies?
I love needlework, playing with my dog, boating on Long Island Sound. Its not a hobby, but I like to volunteer at my community EMS agency.
If you could choose an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would choose Norway, Greenland and Iceland, to see the Northern Lights.
To see the whole 2023 Island Batik Ambassador team, please visit: https://islandbatik.com/2023-ambassadors/
If you want to join the fun Island Batik Ambassador family, fill out the application here.
Stay tuned as we introduce you to more talented Island Batik Ambassadors and let us know in the comments below what else you want to ask Susan!