Starts with an “S”…

One of the things I always find so interesting at a quilt show is the response that people have to what they see.  Spend thirty minutes in front of a single quilt and you’ll see people glance at the quilt, smile briefly and continue walking while others will stand there for a very long time examining every possible detail with a look of awe.  Much of the difference is surely about personal taste, and perhaps some of it is about preference or bias – hand-quilted vs. machine-quilted.

It always makes me think of the nature of inspiration.  More specifically, to the meaning of “inspire” as being “to animate” – to bring life to, to make alive.  Just as it is with any kind of art, something in the work shows a vision… of color, of possibility, of an emotion.


Fabric.  Wool.  Thread.


Stitching.  Sumptuous stitching.  Stunning stitches.  (You knew I was going to get to the “s” thing at some point, right?)

Stitches to Savor.  Sue Spargo.


You had probably already guessed that… you’re sychic.  (Spell-check didn’t like that one either.)

When it comes to Sue Spargo… I might also need to add “stalker”.  Super-fan.  Slavish devotee.


While some of this might be a bit silly, one thing is true – I love Sue Spargo’s work.  LOVE.  (I might have mentioned it before but a workshop with Sue Spargo is on my “stitch-y bucket list.”)

I first heard her name at Quilt Market in 2002.  She was one of the “Missouri girls” doing amazing work with wool, stitching and quilting in the Primitive and Folk Art style – a group that included Jan Patek, Alma Allen, Renee Nanneman, Lyn Hosford and others.  You might even have some of their collaborative books, Fat Quarter Foursome, Simple Stitches and the early Threads titles from Need’Love.  (While she currently resides in Ohio, Sue isn’t originally from Missouri – and no, she’s not Australian.)

I don’t know if it was simply an evolution of style or access to more variety with materials but Sue’s work became so much more vibrantly colorful, mixing a wide variety of fabrics, threads, stitches and motifs.  It seemed like every time I’d see her work at Quilt Market, on blogs – they were the new thing back then, or in magazines, she’d invented some new stitch or thread.


And where did she find that rick-rack?

(Just so you know, almost all of these pictures were found on Pinterest or Sue Spargo’s Instagram.)

So when I learned earlier this year that Martingale would be publishing a purely-eye-candy book of Sue Spargo’s work, I made sure that “folks I know” were aware of my extreme interest in obtaining a copy of the book.

This is it.  Stitches to Savor.


There is also a calendar – Stitches to Savor.  It’s gorgeous.  (It’s in the back in my “Sue Stash” picture.)

This isn’t a project book or a stitch book – there aren’t any diagrams.  What you’ll find are beautiful pictures of stunning stitches – eye-candy for your stitch-y soul.  Inspirational – aspirational.


Some of the quilts are travel journals for the places stitching has taken Sue…


Other pieces are studies in color and texture.


Some might just be showing off… can you believe those knots?


Me?  I’d just have a knotted mess of thread to untangle.

Every time I get a new book, a sweet friend asks “do I need this book?”  While I like to think that everyone is going to want the same books I do, I know that isn’t really true.

Except with this one.

It’s for people like us – people who like playing with needle and thread, who love color, who love variety and texture and whimsy.

People who just like looking at pretty pictures of truly spectacular work.

I know that doesn’t describe just me.

Jump to Leave us a Comment

12 thoughts on “Starts with an “S”…

  1. I’m laughing…at myself. I always thought of Sue Spargo as an Australian quilter…because of her use of colour, stitching, style, whimsical notes in her work. I still think she should be an Australian quilter…because she fits in to the stunning Australian style so naturally.

    After I stopped giggling, I added Stitches to Savor to my letter to Santa. It’s a short list – the book, and some Dutch licorice to enjoy while perusing (drooling over) the book.

    Let’s see if I’ve been good enough this year for Santa to fulfil my wishes…

  2. You have made me a Sue Spargo devotee just with this Blog Post… Ahhhhhmazing Creations! That first Image hooked me and that little Bohemian Pillow took my breath away! The use of bold color really Appeals to me. Thanks for Sharing the Imagery! Blessings from the Arizona Desert… Dawn… The Bohemian

  3. I thought she was from Australia too 🙂 I just signed up for a Craftsy class of hers but haven’t had time to look at it yet – otherwise I’m sure I would have known by her accent that she was from US

  4. Sue Spargo is definitely awesome…. I had a giggle at the first comment about her being an Australian quilter. There is an Australian quilter who does beautiful wool work – Wendy Williams… Look her up.. You won’t be disappointed.

    1. Hi Teresa – I would ask first at your favorite quilt shop. If they don’t have it, they might be willing to order it for you. If that doesn’t work, it can be ordered directly from Martingale’s website. (Tell Santa to ask for Jennifer or Karen. 🙂 )

  5. I love Sue Spargo…….so much that I purchased a Craftsy class from her last February for my birthday gift to myself but have not had time to start it. Now, I think a retreat with her would be in order!

  6. I have the calendar! It’s definitely eye candy! My Stitches to Savour was preordered through Amazon. I can’t wait to receive it.

Comments are closed.