I’ve gotten to know Sue Cook over the last couple of years as we’ve published three of her designs in Quiltmaker. I met her in person when she had a booth at Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, May ’09 and found her to be a delightful person. Her foundation-pieced designs are fun and have been popular with our readers. Check out her latest design, Sparklers, in our May/June ’10 issue.
I got into quilting by accident! I bought what I thought was a quilt at J.C. Penneys. A few years later, I found out it was actually a patchwork comforter, which didn’t make me love it any less, but lit a fire in me to acquire the genuine article.
I decided I wanted a quilt for my bed when my husband and I bought our house. We started pricing them and I realized, after seeing the look on my husband’s face, that I was NEVER going to own a handmade quilt unless it was my hands that made it! I found a great quilt shop not too far from me, Quilter’s Corner in Finleyville, PA. The first class I took was a hand quilting class. I liked hand quilting but knew I would probably not finish too many quilts if that was my only option. Fortunately, the quilt shop had so many beautiful samples that were quilted by machine and I realized there was more than one way to skin a cat.
My next class was a beginning quilting class, for which I needed a sewing machine. I walked into the store, where I now teach, and walked out about an hour and a half later with a brand new sewing machine.
I fell in love with piecing, but since I am math challenged, I didn’t enjoy having to measure everything and having to be accurate so my stars have points. So my next class was a paper piecing class. If you have never tried this technique, Piecing By Number, is the best way to describe it.
Soon after this class, I started thinking that I could design my own patterns using this technique, so I bought a tablet of graph paper and went to work. My first design was AND IN THE MEADOW and featured a snowman, tree, and star with a rail fence border as well as a polymer clay carrot nose and 3d scarf. When I took the quilt with me to the quilt shop to find a fabric for the binding, the employees told me I should publish a pattern for the quilt. So I did!
Larkspur Lane Designs began in 2003 when I started the company with a friend. She and I have known each other since we were children and since our birthdays are one day apart in July, we named the company for the flower for July. Although we are still friends, Colleen left the business in 2005, but because of all her help in the beginning, I was able to keep it going on my own.
I have about a dozen patterns on my website, and have been published in magazines ten times, (including 3 times in Quiltmaker!).
I have probably a hundred designs in my computer waiting to be sewn out and just need to invent a time machine, so I can keep resetting time to get them all done!