Students with work in progress at my "Paint & Stitch" five-day class at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar, Pacific Grove, CA.

NOTE:  Due to COVID, I am only lecturing virtually right now. I am not currently considering in-person teaching or speaking engagements for the near future. Looking to book in-person events further out? Let’s talk!

For engagements requiring more than four hours of travel, I require a minimum booking of one lecture and two six-hour workshops.
Current rates
Lectures: $575
3-hour classes: $575
6-hour classes: $825
For details and information about additional fees (accommodations, mileage, travel, etc.), please contact me and I will send you my contract.
LECTURES
Point, Click, Quilt!  A one-hour digital slide show and trunk show based on my book, Point, Click, Quilt! This lecture focuses on tips for taking better photographs, and then turning them into art quilts. This is an inspirational and detailed look at my process: tracing the photo; enlarging the line drawing; using it to trace the fused appliqué pieces for the quilt; creating a positioning overlay; and then cutting, positioning and fusing the pieces before thread sketching and quilting. A trunk show of pieces from the slideshow and additional work follows, and questions are welcome.
The Artist in You  A one-hour digital slide show and trunk show. I describe my personal journey from that of a traditional quilter to an artist who makes both traditional quilts and art quilts. I start with a digital slideshow, which shows my work and some of the techniques I use. Then I do a trunk show and a question-and-answer session. The focus is on ways for traditional quilters to become more creative by embracing their own “inner artist.” It is my goal to inspire and encourage quilters to try making an art quilt for several reasons: to challenge themselves, to unleash their innate creativity, to learn new techniques, to discover things about themselves through art, and to share their view of the world with others.
Thread Sketch It!  A one-hour digital slide show and trunk show. I cover what thread sketching is (and isn’t!), preparing your piece for thread sketching, stabilizers, types of threads and thread weights, sewing machine considerations, great tools, and how to add wonderful detail to your piece with thread, including color, line, pattern, texture, dimension and movement. I’ll also address getting over your fear of trying free-motion stitching. This presentation covers much of what I wrote about in my series of six articles for Quilting Arts magazine in 2010, and in the two Quilting Arts Workshop DVDs on the subject I produced in 2009 and 2010.
Yes, You Can Do Needleturn Appliqué!  A one-hour digital slide show and trunk show. I walk you through my method of doing needleturn appliqué. I cover all the basics: fabric choice and preparation; several ways of making templates (or, better yet, working without templates at all!); creating positioning overlays; doing reverse appliqué; and stitching precise concave and convex points, curves, beautiful circles and bias vines. You’ll learn about the little details and tools that make all the difference: knots (starting and stopping), threads, needles, pins, sand boards, and marking devices. I finish with a trunk show and question-and-answer session. My love and enthusiasm for needleturn appliqué is infectious… Those in your group who admire needleturn appliqué but are terrified to try may just decide to jump in!
TESTIMONIALS
“Your workshop was sensational… Your artistic talent, as great as it is, is second only to your enthusiasm and your spirit. In your face, I can see the joy that is in your heart when you talk about what you do, and it is contagious. You are totally comfortable and pleased with what you do, and that makes you willing to share it with others … Today was a magnificent day; I feel like I found something that will be a part of me forever. I am smitten!” — Sandy Clark
“I was a high school teacher for almost 40 years and a college adjunct eight years. I've been an educator and student my whole life. I’ve been to Create, Art and Soul retreat, plus too many to list workshops and retreats over the years. I’ve had great teachers and perfectly awful ones. And I've taught numerous workshops as well. I think I have the experience to tell you that you rank as one of the truly truly BEST teachers I’ve ever had. Your easy style, simple approach to a well-defined and organized project, handouts, and your approachability all make your classes a truly memorable experience.”— Marlyn Foell, FL
“You are a fantastic teacher, well prepared and armed with loads of patience. I was very impressed by the fact that you didn’t leave anyone behind, but then didn’t impede the progress of those who were ahead.”— Annick Harris
You are the perfect teacher; you share your successes, strategy, tips, mistakes, wisdom, artistic insights and encouragement to just try and see what happens.” — Carroll Grant
“Just wanted to thank you for coming to our guild. I’ve had lots of comments about the presentation and how great they thought it was. I also know the class members enjoyed your instructions and tips. I’m sure some of them will have their quilts done by the August meeting for show and tell! I’ll be talking to people about bringing you back for the surface design class. It really sounds like fun!” — Sharon Clayton, Program Chair, The Village Quilters, Loudon, TN
“Thank you so much for the program you gave last night to the Forsyth Piecers & Quilters Guild. Even though I’m one of those who feels I don’t have ‘an artist within,’ I thoroughly enjoyed the program and yes — I’m inspired! Thanks for coming to Winston– Salem.” — Carolyn Bailey, NC
“It seems that after every workshop, there is always a comment that if everyone just knew what they were missing, more would sign up! I believe that is true and especially in this case. So many people will be pea green with envy after they hear about the workshop. Thanks again.” — Wynnell Shows, Program Chair, York County Quilters, Rock Hll, SC
“Last night I attended a terrific guild meeting. Susan Brubaker Knapp showed slides of her work and lectured about art quilts. It was really an amazing presentation, and if you’re looking for someone in NC to come and speak, she’s definitely worth having.… this is what I loved about Susan’s lecture and slides - she does both [traditional quilts and art quilts]! … Susan Brubaker Knapp gave me a lot to think about. Thanks Susan!” — Leah Day, Day Style Designs Quilting, Foothills Quilters Guild, Shelby, NC
“This year, I finally decided I’d give appliqué another shot (after years of saying I can’t do needleturn, my hands don’t work that way). Well… THANKS TO YOU, I now have another obsession! I have spent every evening sitting and stitching! And it’s all your fault! Seriously though, the overlay method and changing the needle size, as well as ‘grabbing’ the fabric and not swishing it have made all the difference!” — Judy Whitehead, NC
“The guild gave you wonderful reviews for both the lecture and the class. I heard comments like, ‘That was the best class we ever had’ and “Wow, we need to have Susan back again.’ It certainly was the best response to a class that I ever heard!” — Betsy Rutledge, Program Chair, Quilters of Kershaw County, SC
“I and the rest of the MCQG members thank you for your terrific program. It was entertaining, educational, inspirational and, in general, a real knockout. All comments have been positive plus. Your whole talk was interesting in how it covered your beginnings and progress, and you were especially generous in showing how you actually make the various components of your quilts. I can’t think of anything to change about your talk, and I think the whole group could have listened to and questioned you for a longer time. It is too bad we had all that quilt show business to spend time on, for I would love to have been able to pick your brain some more. Thank you again, and I will spread the word to other guild program chairmen about one of our very best programs.” — Amy Barnhardt, Program Chair, Mooresville Centerpiece Quilters Guild, NC
Classes
In my classes, I strive to provide professional instruction in a supportive, friendly atmosphere.
I encourage students to push themselves beyond their comfort zones to learn new things and improve their skills, and to have fun doing it.
Need to accommodate more than 20 students? Depending on the class and the size of venue, I am sometimes able to do this for an additional charge of $25 per student.
Detailed supply lists are provided in PDF format after arrangements are finalized. Kit fees (for some classes noted below) are usually in the $10-30 range; they vary depending on shipping costs to different locations.
paint & stitch (3-5 days)
Learn the basics of painting on fabric (2-3 days) and thread sketching (1-2 days) to make wholecloth painted quilts. Working from their own original photos, students use acrylic textile paints and thread sketching to bring them to life. Students begin one or two original projects, learning how to mix colors, shades and tints; transfer the design to fabric; paint and blend colors; create line, color and texture with thread; gain control and confidence when free-motion stitching; stabilize the fabric surface; and choose the right threads and needles for thread sketching.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All
REQUIREMENTS: Sewing machines. Access to outlets for sewing machines. Access to water for paint cleanup. Floors that can get messy (and clean up with water). Two ironing boards.
KIT FEE: includes PDF fabric, paintbrushes, paint
Wholecloth Painting from Original Photos
(2 or more Days)
Learn the basics of painting on fabric to make wholecloth painted quilts. Working from their own original photographs, students use acrylic textile paints to recreate them on fabric. Students begin one or two projects, learning how to select the right photos for great results; mix colors, shades and tints; choose paints and fabrics to use and why; transfer the design to fabric; and paint and blend colors. NOTE: No machine work.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All
REQUIREMENTS: Access to outlets for sewing machines. Access to water for paint cleanup. Floors that can get messy (and clean up with water).Two ironing boards.
KIT FEE: includes PDF fabric, paintbrushes, paint

WHOlecloth painting: botanicals (One day)
Students will learn the basics of creating wholecloth painted quilts based on photos. Students can choose from the four projects shown above, and will work from my line drawings and photos to recreate the image using acrylic textile paints. Afraid to try this technique? Don’t be! My students get great results. We will cover selecting the right photos for great results; which paints and fabrics to use and why; how to transfer your design to fabric; painting and blending techniques; and quilting considerations. NOTE: No machine work. 
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All
REQUIREMENTS: Access to water for paint cleanup. Table space for each student. Adequate lighting. Floors that can get messy, and can clean up with water.
KIT FEE: includes fabric, pattern, paint and brushes
WHOlecloth painting: bARNYARD (one Day)
Students will learn the basics of creating wholecloth painted quilts based on photos. Students can choose from the two projects shown above, and will work from line drawings and my photos to recreate the image using acrylic textile paints. Afraid to try this technique? Don’t be! My students get great results. We will cover selecting the right photos for great results; which paints and fabrics to use and why; how to transfer your design to fabric; painting and blending techniques; and quilting considerations. NOTE: No machine work. 
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All
REQUIREMENTS: Access to water for paint cleanup. Table space for each student. Adequate lighting. Floors that can get messy, and can clean up with water.

KIT FEE: includes fabric, pattern, paint and brushes
Thread Sketching: Dragonfly (one Day)
A workshop for those who already have basic machine quilting experience who want to expand their skills to create color and texture with thread. Using a line drawing of a dragonfly, students learn how to make templates for the dragonfly's body and create fusible pieces; stabilize the fabric surface; choose the right threads and needles for thread sketching; adjust tension for the correct stitch; and create beautiful details with thread on the surface of the piece.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Intermediate
REQUIREMENTS: Sewing machines. Table space for each student. Access to power outlets. Light boards/boxes. Two ironing boards and irons.

Thread Sketching: Snowflakes (one day)
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Whip up your very own flurry in this class, using thread, fabric and a tiny bit of paint. You’ll learn the basics of how to thread sketch, using my patterns for gorgeous, realistic looking snowflakes. I will cover tracing your design onto your background fabric; how to stabilize your piece to avoid draw-up; regulating your stitch for perfect tension; how to improve your control while stitching; and quilting considerations.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All
REQUIREMENTS: Sewing machines. Several ironing boards and irons, light boards/boxes, access to outlets for sewing machines, table space for each student.
Thread Sketching: Still Life with Three Fruits (One day)
Learn how to add highlights and shadows, and blend colors using thread sketching to create a realistic still life. Students learn how to cut pieces from fusible adhesive and fuse them to the background; stabilize the fabric surface; choose the right threads and needles for thread sketching; adjust tension for the correct stitch; add color, highlights and shadows using thread; and quilting considerations.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Intermediate
REQUIREMENTS: Sewing machines. Table space for each student. Access to power outlets for sewing machines. Two ironing boards and irons.
November leaves (one day)
This class teaches the technique of stitching through Tyvek pieces, then heating the Tyvek so that it disintegrates in places to show the background fabric. Topics covered include painting and stitching through Tyvek; creating a design using leaf shapes; heating stitched Tyvek; creating doodled, stitched designs for an interesting background; and quilting considerations. We usually have time to experiment with other ways of heating and melting Tyvek. 
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All
REQUIREMENTS: Sewing machines. Access to outside space and power outlets when heating Tyvek. Extension cords for outside access for irons. Access to water for paint cleanup. Floors that can get messy (and clean up with water).Two ironing boards. Two or more light boxes. Table space for each student. NOTE: Outside space is essential for melting Tyvek. 
KIT FEE: includes paint, Tyvek, foam brush
Needleturn Appliqué (one day)
Learn the fine art of needleturn appliqué step by step. If you’ve never done needleturn appliqué and are intimidated and afraid to try, this workshop is for you. Using my “Spring Valentine” pattern, which has all the shapes and techniques beginner appliquérs need to learn, we will cover marking and pinning; concave curves and points; convex curves and points; reverse appliqué; bias stems; small and medium circles; straight lines; making a positioning overlay; and making pattern templates.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Beginner to intermediate
REQUIREMENTS: Good lighting or individual lights brought by students. Light boxes. Iron and ironing board. Table space for each student. One sewing machine (for making bias stems).
Back to Top