Sue Nickels

Sue Nickels' Workshop

Shades of Amish, March 16-18, 2017Shades of Amish
CLASS RESCHEDULED: Now March 16-18, 2017

Amish Quilts are wonderful inspiration for quilting ideas, both for the quilt top and the quilting designs. I have always been inspired by the early quilts and use them often for ideas. Amish quilts in particular have a clean and simple appeal. The early quilts were either hand or machine pieced and hand quilted. The large open spaces of the pieced tops lend themselves to wonderful quilting options. Feathers, crosshatching, cables and flower-leaf motifs are used frequently. Free motion machine quilting has made it possible to quilt all these designs easily and more quickly.

My new series called “Innovative Amish” explores this style of quilting, for a fresh and modern machine approach. “Shades of Amish- Lilac” uses Peppered Cottons (shot cottons from Pepper Cory) that give a beautiful richness to the solid fabrics. They are perfect choice for the innovative approach. Thinking outside of the box for colors and placement of the quilting motifs are my goal for this series.

We have been through an era of elaborately quilted quilts, which I have done and loved. I was looking for an opportunity to go back to more basic concepts and I am very excited for this series to take shape. In this workshop you will machine piece a small Amish style top, learn marking and basting concepts and Sue’s expert machine quilting techniques.

Day One: Piece a simple Amish inspired top. Choose from 3 different patterns that Sue will provide- Amish Bars, Simple Star and Center Diamond.

Day Two: Explore different options for quilting your top inspired by Amish motifs- feathers, cables, crosshatching and more. Instruction for marking and basting your quilt will be covered.

Day Three: Machine quilt your small quilt. Practice first to feel comfortable and then begin quilting on your own small quilt.

Many examples of this style quilt will be available, from books and from Sue’s own collection. This is a great opportunity to explore machine techniques with an innovative and fresh new approach- what is old is new again!

Questions? Please contact Sue at with the subject line “Innovative Amish Museum Workshop”.

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About Sue Nickels

Sue has been quilting for 36 years, starting by hand and gradually focusing on machine work. Sue has been teaching machine techniques for the past 26 years. Sue has taught and lectured nationally for shops, guilds and major conferences, including AQS, IQA and the Mancuso Quiltfests. She has also taught internationally in England, Norway, Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

Sue’s major awards include 1998 AQS Best of Show for “The Beatles Quilt” made by Sue and her sister, Pat Holly. Their quilt, “The Space Quilt” won the 2003 IQA Master of Machine Artistry Award and the 2004 AQS Machine Workmanship Award. Sue and Pat’s quilt “Tea at Tenby” won 2009 Best of Show at the Birmingham Festival of Quilts in England. Sue’s current books are “Machine Quilting: A Primer of Techniques”, “Stitched Raw Edge Appliqué” co-authored with Pat and "Faboulous Feathers and Fillers: Design and Machine Quilting Techniques".

Sue has also been a judge for many quilt shows. Sue enjoys teaching on cruises for "Quilt Seminars at Sea" once a year. Sue and Pat held their 1st Annual Holly Girls Quilt Retreats at White Birch Lodge in Elk Rapids Michigan in 2014 and plan to continue this yearly event for many years, following in the tradition of their good friend Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreats! Sue’s priority in the workshops she teaches is to provide a relaxed environment for students to learn machine techniques that are timesaving. Sue emphasizes the best quality workmanship, never compromising quality for speed.

For more information and registration information, contact Becky Glasby, Director of Education at 270-442-8856.


Tuition is $385 for for Non Friends and $345 for Friends of the Museum.

Registration Options

Become a Friend of the Museum for $40 and receive $40 off your tuition!

It's a great way to support quilting, receive a 20% discount in the gift shop, get insider information and be able to visit The National Quilt Museum for free as much as you like during the year. Nothing to lose and everything to gain! Click on the "Become A Friend" button to become a friend, then come back and register for your workshop!
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