Artist, author, designer, teacher, speaker, television personality Sue Beevers of Trillium Ridge Quilt Designs is in the Designer Spotlight this week. We recently had the pleasure to speak with Sue. Sue is a designer for QuiltWoman.com. Additionally, she designs fabric for Northcott and plays the cello! Read along to find out more about Sue…
An Interview with Designer Sue Beevers
QW.com– You started out as a spinner, weaver and fiber dyer. What led you to designing quilt patterns?
SB– I love fiber work, but I found it to be a bit constricting: no matter how hard you try, you are still working around a vertical/horizontal plane. I love to draw, and wanted to do something that was less constricting. Quilting fit the bill.
QW.com– If you had to say that one workshop subject was your favorite to teach what would it be and why?
SB– Anything to do with design: color interactions, or 2 dimensional design. It’s fascinating, and I just love watching participants realize that they can be creative and implement what they’re envisioning.
QW.com– You have appeared on HGTV’s Simply Quilt Series as a guest designer. Tell us more about that.
SB– It was a great experience. I did two episodes: one was a designer challenge: they gave three designers a picture, and we had to design a quilt that spoke to the picture. It’s something that I love to do, so I had a great time developing the quilt. The other episode was highlighting one of my books – so it was a demonstration of one of the techniques. There are a lot of people that work on a show – and what you don’t see is that just out of camera range there are a lot of people. It was fascinating watching them work. I feel really lucky to have had the experience!!
QW.com– What inspires your quilt patterns?
SB– I love secondary patterns. I really enjoy designing patterns that have them. I also love geometric design. Combine the two, and I’m happy.
QW.com– QuiltWoman.com carries many of your patterns, ranging from quilts to placemats. What was your favorite to design and why?
SB– I don’t actually have a favorite. I love doing either. I use lap quilts, bed quilts, and table toppers in my house, and I suspect that many quilters do also. I think that the greatest compliment that someone can give a quilt is to wear it out (instead of putting it in a closet and saving it for posterity). So I try to design quilts that fit all different decorative styles, and a range of quilting experience.
QW.com– If had to pick a theme song for your patterns, what would it be and why?
SB– Great question. I’m a classically trained cellist, but if I had to pick a song, it would probably be the one that was currently running through my head. In other words, there are so many wonderful songs, I couldn’t pick just one – or just fifty.
QW.com– Your son Brien works with you at Trillum Ridge Patterns. Do you both have specific roles? What is it like to work with family?
SB– Actually Brien is the one that started the company. He knew a lot of quilters that were frustrated with patterns, and he really liked contemporary quilt designs. Since he loves to draw, and grew up seeing quilts, etc. making the jump to designing was natural for him. So, basically we combined our ideas, and I designed a quilt encompassing the ideas. He’s very talented and easy to work with, so working together was very easy. He now lives in Oregon (I live in central New York State), so currently he’s more like a silent partner.
QW.com– We love that you are also a trained cellist. Do you have a lot of time to devote to your music?
SB– I teach cello at Hamilton College, and I have a private cello studio. I’m a workaholic – so when I’m not teaching, I’m either designing fabrics for Northcott, or designing quilt patterns. (I’m a lousy housekeeper, and a crummy cook. Thank goodness for wonderful husbands!!!)
QW.com– What is your favorite quote?
SB– I don’t have one. Instead, I will tell you that I’m an avid reader, and my favorite thing to do is walk outside through our woods and around the field with my dog. Actually, given the choice between being outside or inside, I pick outside every time. I can walk and sit and draw for hours, and never get tired of it.
We hope you enjoyed our interview with designer Sue Beevers as much as we did. What designers would you like to see featured here in future posts? Leave us a comment and let us know.