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Workshop & Lectures


General information: 15 students max unless more by permission. 1/2 day = 2.5 to 3 hours; Full day = 4 to 5 hours with lunch break. Pattern and/or kit fees additional as noted. Teaching fees are available upon request. Susan will bring Japanese fabrics to offer for sale at your quilt guild meeting if you ask.

1. Eastern Folds #1 (Small)
Quilters Express to JapanLearn a bit of Japanese origami and then reproduce your folded origami kimono in fabric. No sewing! Even one of these appliquéd to a background makes a lovely small quilt. We’ll strive for 3 or 4. In a 1/2-day class we can talk about borders and finishing various settings. Pattern by Karen Goetzinger. This is a great (afternoon) 1/2-day companion class with a beginner’s (morning) sashiko 1/2-day class.
Time: 1/2 day for technique, 2-3 folded fabric kimonos and layout talk.
Levels: Beginner to Intermediate

2. Eastern Folds #2 (Large)
Quilters Express to JapanThis is a much larger version of Eastern Folds #1. Pattern also by Karen Goetzinger. Finished quilt has 3 separate full-length origami fabric kimonos, each about 14" tall. Requires a combination of folding, appliqué, and machine work. The finished quilt measures about 19"W x 67"H.
Time: *As 1/2-day class: learn technique and fold one kimono.
*As full-day class: learn technique, make 3 kimonos.
*As 2-day class: learn technique, make 3 kimonos and discuss layout and borders.
Level: Intermediate

3. Japanese Sashiko (A meditation)
Quilters Express to JapanLearn the basics of Japanese sashiko from an American quilter’s point of view. I’ll talk a little about the history of sashiko in Japan and about Japanese indigo. Learn the “how to” of the stitch technique until you find your own stitch. Choose from a selection of stencils (no grid drawing) to complete a 14" stitched square that can later be used as a wall hanging, a pillow top, or incorporated into a garment or small quilt. Susan will bring many pieces of her own sashiko stitching as demos/examples.
Time: 1/2 day
Level: All

4. Foundation Pieceing with Japanese Silks
Quilters Express to JapanSilks have their own character and color. Vintage Japanese kimono silks are lovely—but not so easy to work with. Choose from 5 different muslin foundation designs and make up to 3 blocks that be incorporated into a wall hanging or clothing. Be sure you bring new or silk head pins.
Time: *As 1/2-day class, learn the technique, complete at least one 8" block
*As full-day class: Complete 3 blocks. I will offer 5 designs to choose from. (See photo of small wall hanging)
*As 2-day Class: Complete 4 or more blocks or more & design borders.
Level: Intermediate

5. The Beckoning Cat
Quilters Express to JapanThe central image for this wall hanging is a very sweet 16” high Japanese Lucky Cat with one paw raised up. Finished size approx. 24”W x 40”H. An easy hand appliqué class—as all the curves are soft. Background and borders are sewn by machine. Optional sashiko or quilting in background.
Time: Best as two full days with a few weeks in-between, but as a full-day class, you can complete layout and cutting and begin sewing.
Level: Intermediate

6. Intuitive Collage Warm-ups
Quilters Express to JapanMany have asked how I make my fabric collages. Here is a class designed to help you “let go” and see what happens. Through a variety of hands-on short exercises with paper and fabric, you will create several small samples or “marquette’s” from which you can expand on later or enlarge to make into your own fabric collages. Put thinking and goals aside; this is a marathon for intuition! All materials supplied. Simply bring yourself (and perhaps a sewing machine). Best for small groups.
Level: All

Children's Workshops

Quilters Express to Japan Susan also offers two classes for children ages 8 and older:

1. Fun Fusible Applique

2. Japanese Sashiko Stitching
for Kids

Contact Susan for details.


(about 1 hr. each)

1. Japanese Traditional Textiles Trunk Show
Most people know what a kimono is, but here’s a chance to look closely at how a kimono is made and how is the material made? Is it printed or woven? What is kasuri or katazome? How do you tell the difference between real tie-dyed shibori and machine made? With “real” walk-around examples from 35 year’s of collecting—that you can touch and feel—you can hear how certain designs and images relate to Japanese culture, as well as the basics of Japanese textile identification.

2. A Work in Progress
I’ve been sewing since I was 8, and quilting since 1983—that’s over 25 years of growth and change. My artwork has been exhibited from New York to Tokyo. In an hour’s talk, I’ll walk you through my “adventures” (so far!) with fabric and thread via 60 slides. I’ll also bring several actual completed samples of my work, from the most traditional to the most abstract…and talk a little about my philosophy of making art.

3. Behind the Scenes
Between 1998–2002, I designed 5 fabric collections for the quilt world. In this talk, I’ll reveal how a design comes about (for me), about the journey a design takes from point of conception to when it lands at the fabric shop. And, I’ll bring examples from all 5 collections (about 80 pieces) as well as quilts made from these fabrics…and maybe give a few tips about what I’ve learned.

4. Quilting in Japan
In this bird’s-eye view digital slide show, I’ll share photos of quilts that I have seen in Japan recently—over the last few years. I’ll identify the work of some of the top sensei (teachers), and show what is most innovative and most traditionally Japanese.” I’ll explain how quilting “works” in Japan, and show how the situation is reversing—that is, how American quilters are now being affected by the Japanese quilt industry. (Mac/Powerpoint)

5. Quilters’ Express to Japan
Since 1989, I’ve created and escorted and translated for 18 quilting tours to Japan. In this digital slide lecture, I’ll take you on a mini-version of one of my 14 day Japan adventures, balancing textiles with cultural. Images include not only quilts and quilt shows and artist studios, but also temples, gardens, and architectural “details”— that is, images that portray (to me) the beauty and soul of Japan. (Mac/Powerpoint)

6. Japanese Rag Weaving & The Concept of No Waste
In this talk, Susan elaborates on the concept of "mottanai" within the Japanese culture and then shares examples from her own textile collection that manifest this art of no waste with unexpected beauty.

Susan is available to visit quilt guilds across the United States to give talks about Japanese textiles and her own artwork, as well as teach hands-on workshops in Japanese sashiko or patchwork with a Japanese edge. She also offers lectures and weekend retreats in Lewisburg. Please see our Events Calendar for currently scheduled events and their complete descriptions. Contact Susan directly if you are interested.

Keiko Goke Fabulous crayon-like texture
Quilters Express to Japan
Quilters Express to Japan
Quilters Express to Japan
Quilters Express to Japan
Quilters Express to Japan
Quilters Express to Japan