Sunday, June 23, 2024

“Join the Chorus”

"Join the Chorus"
(Copyright 2024 by Susan Brubaker Knapp) 18x16

"Join the Chorus" (Copyright 2024 by Susan Brubaker Knapp) 18x16" Cotton fabric, ink, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread, cotton batting. Raw-edge applique, free-motion machine quilting. 

My periodical cicada obsession continues. I had already finished this piece, and sewn on the facing, when I decided it wasn't done yet. It just looked too simple, and the oak leaf design I'd quilted in the background was confusing, and not reading as leaves. So I pulled out my trusty paint and painted the background with a darker blue and some metallic gold/green.



Monday, June 17, 2024

Cicada Dance 1


“Cicada Dance 1”
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp (2024) 17.5" square.

My latest in a series of pieces I planning that celebrate the periodical cicadas in Brood XIX that emerged in our area this spring.

Cotton fabric, cotton batting, cotton thread, acrylic textile paint, interfacing. Wholecloth painted and free-motion quilted.

For information on my wholecloth painting technique and materials, please read my blog post here:


Thursday, June 13, 2024



9.5" x 11.75"
(Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2024)

Cotton, dupioni silk, linen, paint, cotton batting, cotton backing, interfacing. Improvisationally pieced, free-motion quilted.  

Saturday, June 8, 2024



25.5 x 35" Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp

Commercial cotton fabrics, surface-designed fabrics, acrylic textile paint, dupioni silk, cotton thread, cotton batting. Improvisationally pieced, hand painted, free-motion quilted.


Brood XIX

“Brood XIX”
Copyright 2024 Susan Brubaker Knapp

The hatching of Brood XIX (the Great Southern Brood) cicadas was an extraordinary event for us here in Orange County, North Carolina, this year. These are periodical cicadas that only emerge every 13 years.

I was thrilled to watch these insects  – that look so different from our annual cicadas (smaller, with orange veining on their wings, and red eyes!) emerge from their exoskeletons, dry and unfold their wings. For the first time since 1803, when Thomas Jefferson was president, both Brood XIX and Brood XIII (the Northern Illinois Brood) emerged together, with overlapping areas in northern Illinois. “Nobody alive today will see it happen again,” said Floyd W. Shockley, an entomologist and collections manager at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. (New York Times)

18 x 10.5" White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton batting, cotton thread. Wholecloth painted and free-motion quilted.



"Barbara's Buttons"


Barbara’s Buttons
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2024

11.5" square. Cotton fabrics, cotton batting, cotton backing, vintage buttons. Raw-edge applique. free-motion quilted.

"Stepping Stones"


Stepping Stones
Copyright 2024 by Susan Brubaker Knapp

A small piece made from scraps; an experiment in pattern and color and stitch. 

12.5" x 19.25" Cotton, silk and surface designed painted fabrics, cotton batting, cotton thread, cotton backing. Pieced and free-motion quilted.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

"Garden at Dawn"

"Garden at Dawn"
(Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2024)

15.5" square

I started this piece years ago, for a demonstration on Quilting Arts TV on how to use acrylic textile paints to achieve a watercolor effect. I’ve been going through some pieces that were set aside over the years, as I was busy helping my dad and my children, and then moving and re-settling in Chapel Hill, and decided to finish this one. 

Cotton duck, acrylic textile paint, perle cotton, cotton batting, cotton batting. Painted, free-motion machine quilted, hand embroidered.


Monday, April 22, 2024

Dragonfly Meetup


“Dragonfly Meetup”
(Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2024) 15.5” square


I’m teaching a class later this week where students create a thread-sketched dragonfly, and decided to finish up a piece I started while demonstrating in previous classes. Cotton fabric, cotton thread, cotton batting, interfacing. Fusible appliqué, free-motion thread sketching, free-motion quilting.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Festa Della Terra 2024

For the past four years, our friend (and the wonderful realtor who helped us find our current home), Natalie Marrone, has been holding Festa Della Terra. It’s an “artful food drive” held around Earth Day that benefits PORCH, a local organization with programs that distribute fresh and non-perishable food to families, pantries and schools. This year we set our goal to feed over 600 families in our community for a full month! It was held this past Saturday in Natalie’s backyard, featured artists, musicians and refreshments. People were invited to come and to bring bags of food or a cash contribution. 

It was lovely to see all the art hanging and displayed amidst the trees in their fresh green spring leaves. 

Looking to buy or sell a home in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Hillsborough/Durham NC area? I highly recommend Natalie as a realtor! You can find her here:


Anatolii Tarasiuk

Deenie & Flip

David Hinkle

R. Scott Horner

Natalie Marrone

Will Ridenour

My display

Talking to visitors

My work hanging amid the trees

My work on the treehouse

Friday, April 12, 2024

The Consortium


“The Consortium”
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2024

Cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread, cotton batting, glass beads. Stamped, splattered, free-motion quilted.

Collectively, crabs can be known as a cast or a consortium.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024


Copyright 2024 Susan Brubaker Knapp
10.75 x 14.25"

Indigo-dyed cotton, surface-designed cotton fabric, silk, cotton thread, cotton batting. Machine pieced, hand appliquéd, free-motion quilted. 



Copyright 2024 Susan Brubaker Knapp
12-13" x18.5"

“Scintillating” is another piece in a series of experimental small works that I’m creating to try out some new ideas, and just play. I find that this often leads me in different directions in my work, and is a healthy way to work – without expectations or confines – between larger pieces. 

Note that the piece is purposely not square. The top edge is about an inch shorter than the bottom edge. 

Hand-dyed, surface-designed, and batik cotton fabrics, cotton thread, cotton batting, holographic sequins. Raw-edge applique, free-motion machine quilted. 




Thursday, April 4, 2024


Copyright 2024 Susan Brubaker Knapp
12 x 12"


I created this small piece using some special fabrics I made by painting, drawing and stenciling. 

Cotton, dupioni silk, linen, paint, ink, cotton batting, cotton backing, interfacing. Free-motion quilted.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Lichens and Moss
(Copyright 2024 Susan Brubaker Knapp)
11 x 13"

On my morning walks, I pass a neighbor’s mailbox that was encased, years ago, with wooden strips. Now, it is covered with fabulous lichens and moss in beautiful aqua and green colors. I based this piece on a photo I took a few weeks ago, after a good rain. 

I started with a base of fabric, and added several extra layers of batting under the wood fabric strips, to make them more dimensional. I constructed the lichens from painted and heat distressed Tyvek and Lutradur. I free-motion machine stitched the moss with cotton thread, on water soluble stabilizer. (This is a technique I’ll demonstrate on Quilting Arts TV 3100, which we shoot this summer.) The piece also has some hand embroidery.

Lichens have always fascinated me. They consist of fungal filaments (hyphae) that surround green algae cells and/or blue-green cyanobacteria. (The understanding that bacteria may also be part of lichens is relatively recent.)

Lichens provide food, shelter and nesting material, and are an important indicator of air quality.

And in case you were wondering: The dark spots are the fruiting bodies of the lichen. Most lichenised fungi are ascomycetes, and these produce their spores in sac-like asci held vertically in a ‘fruiting body’. These fruiting bodes may be disc-shaped (apothecia) with a margin of the same or a different colour.” – The British Lichen Society.



Monday, March 25, 2024

Falling Ginkgo #7


“Falling Ginkgo #7”
Copyright 2024 Susan Brubaker Knapp
14" x 22”
White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread, interfacing, cotton batting.
Painted, stenciled, free-motion quilted.

I made this piece as a sample for my “Stencil Magic” class, after selling six smaller versions. I’ll be teaching this class for the first time Aug. 3 at the Old Murphey School in Durham, NC. (This is the home of the Triangle Weavers Guild.) The process involves painting/smearing/scraping paint onto plain white fabric, then stenciling designs on top, and then masking out around imagery (leaves, in this case) and painting again. The class involves no quilting (although we will talk about how to quilt your piece when you get home.

You can get details, see supply lists, and register at

Here are the three classes I have scheduled later this year in Durham:


Pink Angelfish


“Pink Angelfish”
Copyright 2024 Susan Brubaker Knapp
7.5 x 16”
Cotton fabric, cotton thread, cotton batting, interfacing.
Machine embroidered, thread sketched and free-motion quilted.

I’m working on three segments for Quilting Arts TV Series 3100, which we will shoot this summer (the shows will be probably be available and airing on many PBS stations in November). This will be a sample for a segment on using water soluble stabilizers to create embroidered elements for art quilts. I machine embroidered the sea fan at the bottom on water soluble stabilizer – Sulky Ultra Solvy. 



Tuesday, March 5, 2024

East Fork Soup Bowls


East Fork Soup Bowls
21" x 34.5"
Copyright 2024 Susan Brubaker Knapp

I'm a big fan of East Fork Pottery. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, East Fork's stated values are “Accountability, Compassion, Equity, Sincerity, and Adaptive Tenacity.” Gotta love that. They also pay living wages to about 100 employees, and give a lot back to their community, with partnerships that help educate people about projects and services in the area. And their pottery is just plain fabulous. And addictive, so consider yourself warned. 

You can read more about them here:

Commercial fabrics, fusible web, interfacing, cotton batting, cotton thread. Fusible appliqué, threadsketched and free-motion quilted.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Falling Ginkgo #6


 Falling Ginkgo #6
9.75" x 21.75"

This is the sixth and final piece in my "Falling Ginkgo" series. All six pieces have sold. 

Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2024. White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread, batting. Painted, stenciled, free-motion quilted.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Snow Drops


“Snowdrops” (Copyright 2024 by Susan Brubaker Knapp) 15x20” Cotton fabric, interfacing, glue, cotton batting. Raw-edge appliquéd, free-motion quilted.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

“Nothing Gold”

"Nothing Gold" (copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2024) 41x 40" White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton batting, cotton thread, cotton backing. Wholecloth painted, free-motion quilted. This is a commission, and it will go off to its new owners as soon as I can get the hanging sleeves and slats on. The name is from one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost, which speaks to the ephemeral beauty of nature: Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. For information about my wholecloth painting process and materials, please see my detailed blog post: