Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Falling Ginkgo Series

My “Falling Ginkgo” series will eventually have six pieces, all approximately the same size. Five are completed.

Falling Ginkgo #5

Falling Ginkgo #4

Falling Ginkgo #3

Falling Ginkgo #2
9.75 x 21.5"

Falling Ginkgo #1
9.5 x 21.5"

Tuesday, October 10, 2023



Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2023
6.75 x 18.75" 

An experiment in mark making. White fabric, acrylic textile paint, ink, cotton batting, interfacing. Painted, marked, free-motion machine quilted. 

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Lichen Study #2

Lichen Study #2
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2023

Another lichen! Lutradur, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread, perle cotton, hand-dyed cotton fabric, interfacing. Painted, heated, machine free-motion quilted.


Monday, September 11, 2023

Lichen Study #1


Lichen Study #1
(Copyright 2023 Susan Brubaker Knapp) 6x8”

I’ve been reading Merlin Sheldrake’s book Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures, and it is fascinating. I’ve always been interested in mushrooms and lichens, but this book helps me understand how important they are to our world.

Mycologists are only recently starting to understand that lichens are composite organisms – they can be an algae and fungus; or an algae, fungus and cyanobacteria; or contain multiple fungi species. They live together in a relationship that helps them all.

This small piece is not meant to represent any specific lichen. I just tried to represent lichen-ness when I made it. 

Lutradur, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread, perle cotton, cotton fabric, interfacing. Painted, heated, machine free-motion quilted and hand embroidered.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The Emperor and Cinnabar Moths

The Emperor (16 x 11")
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2023
Batik, hand-dyed  and commercial fabrics, glue, cotton thread, cotton fabric, cotton batting.

The Emperor (detail)

I’ve been moth obsessed (again) lately. Shown here are two smallish pieces, “The Emperor” and “Cinnabar,” that I made using a quick technique where I create a line drawing, then trace the pieces using a light box, and stick them down to the background (wonderful hand-dyed fabrics) using a little diluted school glue. The threadwork does the magic, adding the details and texture.

Cinnabar” (16x12")
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2023
Batik, hand-dyed and commercial fabrics, glue, cotton thread, cotton fabric, cotton batting. 






Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Tamarack Jacket from an old quilt


Yes – it’s kinda crazy! This is the jacket I made from an old, damaged quilt. Overall, I love it, even though it’s rather weird because of the large-scale design on the quilt. Here are the details:

I used the Tamarack Jacket pattern by Grainline Studio, and it was terrific. Very clear and well-written. (The designer also has a series of wonderfully instructive videos on YouTube that walk you through every step. Highly recommend.) This is a great pattern if you are someone who does not do much garment construction (or any). I have limited experience (my mom’s instruction; she was a home economics teacher before I was born), and making a bunch of Halloween costumes for my kids when they were little. I made this jacket in one (long) day in my studio.

I used my regular size (there's guidance for measuring yourself and using the sizing chart that is very helpful). The finished coat fits me very well. I love that it's not overly bulky through the arms, because that can make you look like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. It has small darts at the bust that also help it fit well.

I chose this pattern because it is pretty simple, with large uninterrupted areas for quilt pattern to show, and I made it simpler by leaving off the pockets (because of the green and red applique design running down the front panels). I also made it 6 inches longer. The original falls at the hips (usually not a flattering look on me), and I wanted to feature more of the quilt design. 


If you are working from regular fabric (not a quilt), the instructions have you cut out all the pattern pieces from all three layers of what quilters call “the quilt sandwich” – the top, the batting, and the backing – and then layer them and quilt them. I’d recommend cutting out all the pieces with about 1” extra, quilting it, and then cutting out the pattern pieces, because if you quilt heavily, it’s going to shrink in size, sometimes a LOT, in my experience.


There’s binding around all the outer edges, but next time, I may just roll the edges under, like I did on the sleeve cuffs. I also ended up folding under the front edges of the jacket (the placket) and stitching them down, because there was way too much overlap (I think I cut out the pattern designed for buttons and button holes). And I rather liked how it looked with the pattern going all the way to the edge, without being interrupted by a binding. If I do bind the edges, I’ll stitch the first side on by machine and finish on the back with hand stitching. I can do a much prettier job by hand.


You can order a paper pattern, but as usual, I wanted it NOW. So I downloaded the PDF pattern (it comes in tiles/sections and you print them out and tape them together.) I’m going to make this jacket again, probably with pockets. Maybe with a quilt of my own design. The main pattern comes with patterns and instructions for a welt pocket, and Grainline also makes a pattern for a hood, collar and patch pockets, if you want those.


The old quilt I used had extremely thin batting (before cutting it open, I wouldn’t have believed that it had any batting at all). I think it may have been hand-carded cotton. I love how lightweight and drapey it is. So when I do it again, I will probably use the thinnest cotton or wool I can find. I haven’t done any kind of closures yet, and I may not do any.

Tamarack Jacket ($20 for paper pattern, $18 for a PDF)

Tamarack Hood, Collar & Patch Pockets Variation Add-on ($12, PDF only) 



Thursday, July 6, 2023

“All In”

All In (Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2023)

There are times when I despair over the state of my country, and of the world. Climate change; economic, racial and gender inequality; poverty; gun violence; terrorism; war; immigration… We need to be “all in” and have everyone speaking out, volunteering, and participating in changing the world for the better.

I made this piece in the last few days to have another example of this technique, which I will be demonstrating on “Quilting Arts TV” Series 3000. (We shoot the series next week!) 

This piece measures 25.5" x 13.75". It is made from white cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton batting, cotton thread, and cotton backing; and is wholecloth painted, stenciled, and free-motion quilted.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

“Asian Persimmon”


“Asian Persimmon”
15.5 x 11.5"
Copyright 2023 Susan Brubaker Knapp
White fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton batting, cotton batting.
Wholecloth painted, free-motion machine quilted.

I took the photo on which this piece is based a long time ago, and have always wanted to make it into an art quilt. I believe I took the photo at a supermarket (the lighting in supermarkets is often quite good for photography, surprisingly!)

"Say Gay" Series

Donate for a chance to win one of my "Say Gay" mini quilts!

The Trevor Project is the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people.

I’m fundraising for them because I believe in their vision to build a world where every LGBTQ young person feels safe, loved, and celebrated. Trevor’s research has found that having at least one accepting adult can reduce an LGBTQ young person’s risk of suicide by 40%.

The Trevor Project provides free, accessible, 24/7 crisis counseling services via phone (TrevorLifeline), instant messenger (TrevorChat), and text (TrevorText) to young LGBTQ people in crisis.

Your generosity will help build a world where all LGBTQ young people see a brighter future for themselves.

Please support my fundraiser by making a donation today.

The mini art quilts in my "Say Gay" series were made in response to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' bills restricting LGBTQ rights, including his "Don't Say Gay Bill." Donate through my fundraiser, and you may win one of them!

On July 31, 2023, I'll draw six names at random from those who contribute through my fundraising page,
Within a week after that, I'll ship the six winners one of the quilts.
Size of each piece is approximately 8" x 7" and each piece will be ready to hang.
Questions? Contact me!

Donations of any amount are very welcome. Every bit helps!

Thank you!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023



19.5 x 20.25" Copyright 2023 Susan Brubaker Knapp.
White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, ink, cotton batting, cotton thread, cotton backing fabric.
Hand drawn, wholecloth painted, free-motion machine quilted.

During one of the last Covid outbreaks, I started doodling this funky looking virus on fabric using a pigment ink pen, and used acrylic textile paints to color it in. Then I set it aside.

This past week, while emerging from a horrible cold and hating viruses even more, I got it out and started quilting. The background on the virus is cross-hatched in ink, and I quilted it heavily to make the protrusions stand out more.

I used echo quilting to give a feeling of motion, that the virus was pulsating, spreading its infectious particles out into the universe.  

I am so sick of thinking about sickness.

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”
36.5 x 41.5" 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.