Thursday, May 25, 2023



(Copyright 2023 by Susan Brubaker Knapp) 14 x 22"
White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton batting, cotton backing.
Wholecloth painted, stenciled, free-motion quilted.

Falling Ginkgo #1

Falling Ginkgo #1
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2023
10x22" White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, ink, cotton thread, cotton batting, cotton backing fabric. Wholecloth painted, stenciled, free-motion quilted.

Chinese Lanterns


“Chinese Lanterns”
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2023
White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton batting, cotton backing.
Wholecloth painted, stenciled, free-motion quilted.

I completed this piece a while ago, but haven’t faced and finished it yet, because I was mulling over whether to crop it, vertically or horizontally, or not at all. I even asked advice on social media, something I almost never do, because I was so conflicted (unusual for me!). In the end, I think I will keep it as it is, like this. 

I think the problem arose because I usually work from my photos, and decide on the composition and cropping as I am taking the photo. In this case I worked from my drawings of individual lanterns, and set up the composition so that I could crop in later. Then once I was done, I was uncertain, and perhaps a bit hesitant to hack off the lovely bits at the top and bottom, and wasting all that time painting and quilting. 

The results of the polling on social media were mixed, but if I did crop it, I think I would have gone with cropping in on the sides. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2023



Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2023. 19" x 30.5"
Commercial cotton and batik fabric, silk, sherpa, cotton batting, cotton thread, cotton backing fabric.

Raw-edge appliqué, free-motion machine quilted.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Marbled Salamanders


“Marbled Salamanders”
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2023. 30" x 30"
Wholecloth painted, free-motion machine quilted. White cotton fabric,
acrylic textile paint, cotton batting, cotton thread, cotton backing fabric.

“Marbled Salamanders” is a tribute to North Carolina’s state salamander. Ambystoma opacumis one of the smaller mole salamander species; adults grow to about 3-1/2 to 4-1/2". The light bands on the males, normally gray, are brighter white during breeding season, and juveniles have speckles. 

Habitat loss due to development, destruction, timber harvest and fragmentation is a threat to this species. It relies on “ephemeral pools” – a type of wetland devoid of fish, usually surrounded by deciduous forest or grassland, that is dry for part of the year, then fill up in the winter. 

These salamanders create burrows in floodplain pools and ponds, and in the fall, females lay their eggs under leaf litter or logs in dry areas that have not yet filled with winter rains. They remain with the eggs to keep them moist until they are covered with water. Larvae metamorphosize in about 3-6 months. 

They eat slugs, snails, worms and insects, and are a food source for other animals, including owls, snakes, raccoons and weasels. They may live to be 8 to 10 years old. 

Salamanders are known as an “indicator species” – they are very sensitive to any changes in the environment because of their permeable skins, and can warn us when pollutants or climate change are threatening an ecosystem. The population of amphibians around the world has severely declined in recent decades.

Monday, January 2, 2023



Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2022

My last finish of 2022 was “Mistletoe,” based on an old drawing. White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, ink, cotton thread, cotton batting, cotton backing fabric. Wholecloth painted, stenciled, free-motion machine quilted.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Red Maple Leaves



This piece is “Red Maple Leaves” 22 x 41.5" (Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp, 2022). 
White fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton batting, cotton thread, cotton backing fabric. Wholecloth painted, free-motion machine quilted. 
For more information on my wholecloth painting technique and materials, please see my blog post here:

Thursday, November 3, 2022



Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2022 – 41" x 51.5"

New work! This is “Glow,” one of two pieces I entered in Quilt National (the other entry, “Sproing,” was accepted). It’s based on a photo I took from the deck of our house last fall, when sunlight was pouring through the trees at the peak of autumn color.

White cotton fabric, acryclic textile paint, cotton batting, cotton thread, commercial cotton print backing fabric. Wholecloth painted, free-motion machine quilted.


Monday, October 10, 2022

Family Sampler


Just finished Fox and Rabbit Designs’ “Friends and Family” sampler! I stitched it on 36-count Tango Edinburgh linen by Picture This Plus, and it’s about 13-1/4" square.

After stitching the design, I added four generations of our family initials (back to the mid-1800s) in some of the spaces in between the motifs. I tried to include three initials for the all the married women so that I could preserve their maiden names.

This was Fox and Rabbit Designs’ 2020 Linen and Threads Mystery Stitch-A-Long, inspired by antique Quaker and Vierlande samplers. You can find the pattern here:

SBK – Susan Brubaker Knapp
RK – Robert Knapp
EK – Eleanor Knapp
JK – Julia Knapp

Susan’s family:

ECB – Eleanor Carter Brubaker 1936-2011
JRB – John Robert Brubaker 1935-2019

DPC – Dorothy Paulson Carter 1901-1981
LC – Lynn Carter 1901-1938

HMB  – Helen McDanel Brubaker 1897-1958
JB – Joseph Brubaker 1897-1987

GFP – Gertrude Funkhouser Paulson 1867-1936
JP – Joseph Paulson 1867-1957

AWC – Agnes Warren Carter 1877-1951
TLC – Thomas Lynn Carter 1870-1913

CDB – Caroline DeVenny Brubaker 1871-1925
EB – Edwin Brubaker 1864-1939

FBMD – Frances Braden McDanel 1869-1939
FMD – Fred McDanel

Rob’s family:

JAK – Janet Armstrong Knapp 1925-2012
DK – Dale Knapp 1914

GWA – Hazel Wade Armstrong 1897-1988
PA – Paul Armstrong 1893-1973

LCK – Leota Carter Knapp 1895-1977
SK – Shirl Knapp1893-1961

SW –Samuel Wade 1858-1931
EBW – Emma Burns Wade 1868-1932

SDA – Sophia Dutton Armstrong 1853-1922
JA – James Armstrong 1840-1924

SRC – Sarah Richards Carter 1852-1951
SC – Stephen Carter 1853-1927

SKK – Sarah Kreag Knapp 1845-1919
FK – Frederick Knapp 1841-1920


Thursday, October 6, 2022


Copyright 2022 by Susan Brubaker Knapp

“Retrograde” is a large piece (39.5" x 69.25") made from screen printed hand-dyed cotton fabrics, cotton thread, cotton batting, commercial cotton backing. Free-motion machine quilted. 

My latest piece is made with the fabrics I created this summer in a workshop with Pat Pauly at Pro Chemical & Dye in Fall River, Mass. In the class, we worked with thickened dyes and screens, using stencils and screens we created with our own motifs. It was wonderfully fun to work with materials and techniques that I don’t normally use, partly because I’ve never had a studio space that works for “wet work” – the messy stuff. And Pat is an excellent teacher, highly entertaining and full of information. Check out her website at – she teaches in person and online. Her work is spectacular.

I don’t think I’ve ever designed a piece with such large chunks of fabric that had such big motifs, so it was a challenge. I really didn’t want to cut up my yardage too much (I dyed 20 yards, in one-yard and half-yard cuts, at the workshop.) It was super fun to quilt this piece, and I really like the bold color, movement and energy in it. 

It’s going to go in our entryway, if I can figure out how to get up on our stairs to hang it!

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Quilting Arts TV Series 2900 is here!


Series 2900 of Quilting Arts TV is out! It will soon start airing on many PBS stations across the country, and is now available for purchase (as individual shows, series, or the entire QATV library). (See more information below.)

This new series will features guests Lea McComas, Denise Labadie, Helen Parsons, Valerie Goodwin, Carolina Asmussen, Luana Rubin, Margaret Abramshe, Heidi Zielinski, Valerie White, and Barbara Yates Beasley.

On TV: Visit your local Public Television station’s website to see if the show is available in your area!

Get access to all 29 seasons: Video Downloads or Stream All Episodes on Quilting Daily

EPISODE 2901: Layers
Today’s guests add depth and dimension to their artwork by building their quilted compositions one layer at a time. Lea McComas creates her complex quilts by adding elements from background to foreground, stitching each layer before adding the next. Heidi Zielinski creates pieced strata from short strips, paying attention to basic design principles as she makes her work.

EPISODE 2902: Slicing and Dicing
Technology plays a role in this episode as Valerie Goodwin works with a laser cutter to precisely cut fabric for her intricate map quilts. Next, Margaret Abramshe reinvents her less-than-favorite quilts by isolating focal images, cutting them apart, and assembling the pieces into entirely new works.

EPISODE 2903: Creating Transparency
Artistry is enhanced by the depth and complexity achieved through transparency. Helen Parsons mixes translucent layers of fabric paint using acrylic craft paint and textile medium for her work. Valerie Goodwin creates collages by layering sheer and opaque fabrics and adding hand stitching.

EPISODE 2904: Exploring the Quilted Stitch
Artistry abounds when art quilters stitch and sew by machine! Margaret Abramshe uses her knowledge of the human facial structure to guide her quilting and create contour lines. Next, using a longarm machine, Carolina Asmussen introduces couching work into free-motion quilting.

EPISODE 2905: Back to Art School
It’s back to school—art school, that is!—for refreshers in creativity that every artist can use. Lea McComas demonstrates how using a single point of perspective creates depth in her compositions. Next, Barbara Yates Beasley focuses on creating realistic eyes.

EPISODE 2906: The Art of Being an Artist
Meaningful artwork comes from thoughtful expression. Launa Rubin discusses the importance of creating quilts with powerful messages. Next, host Susan Brubaker Knapp demonstrates how she creates quick, custom artwork that enables her to reach a wider audience.

EPISODE 2907: Picture This!
Taking great photos is the first step for these quilters. Barbara Yates Beasley shows how she creates patterns from photographs for pet portrait quilts. Helen Parsons explains how she photographs her subjects for her art quilts, with tips on layout, lighting, and composition.

EPISODE 2908: Let’s Go!
Travel can have an enormous influence on the work of any artist. Luana Rubin shares some of the great quilts she saw at Quilt Canada 2022. Valerie Goodwin uses the map as a jumping off place for her art and explains how she creates map-themed art with a sense of place.

EPISODE 2909: Contemporary Appliqué
Mastering new techniques takes time and practice. This episode features Carolina Asmussen’s machine quilting, which pairs raw-edge appliqué with floral free-motion for a contemporary look. In addition, learn from Denise Labadie how mixing appliqué styles can create realistic stone textures.

EPISODE 2910: Paint and Dye
Art quilters explore many ways of applying color to fabric. Helen Parson’s “paints” are actually finely cut strips of fabric that she stitches with thread. Artist Valerie White showcases basic techniques for transferring images using disperse dyes.

EPISODE 2911: Surface Design Sampler
Pattern your own cloth with surface design! Valerie White creates texture with oil paints in a solid stick form to create texture and visual interest. Denise Labadie makes the stone fabrics in her work using paints and resists.

EPISODE 2912: Artful Imagery
There are many ways to apply imagery to a piece of quilted art. Lea McComas teaches her method for re-sizing human figures within a composition, so each appears in correct proportion. Heidi Zielinski uses paint to stamp imagery onto fabric or directly onto quilt tops to incorporate motifs without drawing.

EPISODE 2913 Exploring Color
Color is a big part of every artist’s work. Denise Labadie’s landscapes and skies are made with free-form strip piecing that create what she calls “color complexity.” Heidi Zielinski makes small collages that revolve around one color on the color wheel, and adds blending or contrasting stitching and beadwork.

Valerie Goodwin

Valerie White

Barbara Yates Beasley

Carolina Asmussen

Denise Labadie

Heidi Zielinski

Helen Parsons

Lea McComas

Luana Rubin

Margaret Abramshe


with Jeanne Cook Delpit