Sue Rasmussen


When I took  the trolley downtown this morning (San Diego) I was looking forward to a fun time walking through all of the quilts exhibited and shopping at the vendors' booths.  Little did I know this show would change my quilting life forever!

I started at the entrance turning towards the left perimeter wall and stopped at the first display---your booth. I was amazed at all your beautiful quilts and listened as you patiently explained some  of  your processes to another viewer.

Walking around the corner I saw the three beautiful "tree" quilts.  I was so taken with them, and after asking you some questions, they seemed to be "doable" for me.  As I continued through the show, your quilts were still on my mind.  I was very happy to see you were scheduled to give a talk later.  As I listened to your explanations, it all made so much sense and light bulbs started to go on in my head. Even better, you mentioned the book.  I hurried to the front and purchased a copy, afraid they would be sold out.

I continued through the show and enjoyed the other quilts  and the vendors but you were  the highlight.  Upon arriving home I started reading the book and at only page 9 I know that today I will become a better quilter because  of you.  Your book should be a  prerequisite for anyone who wants to learn how to quilt.  I have been quilting (just piecing) for over 15 years, struggling many times with some of  the basics which now are becoming clearer to me with your explanations.  Can't wait to finish the book and put your book into practice.  

--Karen  Booth, San Diego, California

I first met Sue Rasmussen in 2008 when I attended my first Empty Spools Seminar at Asilomar, California, enrolling in the machine quilting class. Is is not an exaggeration to say that this week of class changed my life. I was pretty much a new quilter; this class was perfect for me. I learned machine mechanics, including CLEANING techniques and why they are important, differences in needles and threads and what to choose for each particular project, and fabric and batting choices. Then we quilted! It really gave me the confidence to try new techniques and branch out. She worked very hard to individualize her instruction to each student and help with everyone’s goals and projects. I soaked it all up. I have since attended at least five more Empty Spools Seminars in subsequent years and have been fortunate enough to also take Sues’s Landscapes class in 2014. I recently finished that quilt and it is the first quilt I have made that I feel confident enough with to consider entering into a show. I am fortunate enough to have found Sue at a time when I was ready to learn from her and can now also call her a friend!

--Ann Goodman, The Dalles, Oregon

I had the privilege of taking a free-motion machine quilting class given by Sue Rasmussen. What a treat! Sue was very open in sharing her knowledge and experience, and was also very thorough on each topic discussed. She covered many topics like batting, thread and the importance of using correct needles, the different kinds marking tools available (not to mention some of the problems some of them cause), even how to cut your fabric so your quilt hangs straight! We worked through different types of free-motion stitching designs from the simplest stipple to the more difficult feathers. I think one of the things that impressed me the most was that she took the time to stop and work with each and every student, encouraging us to ask questions, which meant to me that she really wanted us to get it. I definitely got more from the class than I expected, and I can finally say I get it!

--Sara Kalinin, Temecula, California

"I recently participated in a machine quilting class that Sue taught at Quilting in the Tetons.  I want to thank her for such a well taught class.  I have taken quilt classes from Harriet Hargraves, Diane Gudinski, and Sue Nickels over the years, and I came into your instruction thinking, "What can I possibly gain from this class?"  Well, plenty is the answer!  Sue fed us information that I have never heard before about pinning a quilt, techniques to make the stopping and starting smoother, blocking and squaring a quilt, to name a few.  Most of all, I loved her enthusiasm as she worked around the room making sure she spent time with everyone equally.  There was limited chitchat and lots of learning!  I will look forward to your classes next year at Quilting In The Tetons."

--Judith Bailey, Casper, Wyoming

"I have been trying to master free motion quilting for months.  I have taken classes with Jill Schumacher, teachers at a number of local stores and Sue Rasmussen.  Only Sue was able to convey the essence of free motion to the group (and to me).  Sue stood behind each of us, requiring  us to stop in mid-action, analyze what we were doing, why we were doing it and then made suggestions to correct it.  So many teachers are loosey-goosey about things, can only say "that's not it," where as Sue really challenged us to think about our quilt, our quilting and what we were trying to accomplish.  Sue provided very specific achievable goals for each of us.  I am sure that the rest of us left, as I did, feeling confident that if we followed the directions that Sue gave us we would be far better quilters because of her instruction. In addition to all of that, Sue took the time to look at quilts that people brought in and make suggestions concerning batting, finishing touches etc.  She also talked to us at great length about what we were doing and the appropriate thread or needle to accomplish the quilting task.  

I know that I speak for everyone in the class when I say that we have never learned more or been more inspired than when we were in Sue's class.  We are all waiting for an encore performance and want to sign up for as many of Sue Rasmussen's classes as we can.  We checked the Empty Spools website hoping that she would be on the list for 2011, but she is not.  Will we see her name in 2012?  Those of us who thrive on her classes at the Quilt Emporium and Quilter's Studio certainly hope so.

All I can say is that Sue has been the most informative, best direction-giving instructor that I have ever had."

--Anne Davenport, Ventura County, California