More About Me
Southern Africa had a considerable influence on my life and creativity. I was born in Zambia
and then educated in South Africa where I also trained to be a nurse. I soon moved to England; this shift between two very different environments and cultures inspired many of my designs. The stark contrasts between the arid beige and browns of the African bushveld and the lush greens of the rolling hills of Southern England have continued to be a rich source of ideas. I am influenced especially by the energy and color of traditional African designs. All these early experiences combined to stir my love of “primitive” arts and crafts and grew into my focus on contemporary folk-art.
Throughout my life the United States beckoned and in 1989 that dream was fulfilled and I moved to Connecticut and subsequently to Tennessee, Utah and Ohio. Each new State presented sharp
contrasts and stirred new ideas. With each move I met many new and wonderful quilt enthusiasts and through them added abundantly to my knowledge and creativity. Quilt makers are special people and I thank them for their warmth and companionship.
I now focus on three related areas:
Most of my designs are developed interactively with three circles of local quilt enthusiasts. I create the initial design and then challenge the people in my groups to choose their own fabrics and to change and develop the design. The resulting quilts are truly their own. I work with my sister Wendy to create ranges of hand-dyed wool, wool-plaids, velvets and silks. These fabrics are designed specifically for quilters and offer new and different choices. Wendy and I also collaborate to create fine silver jewelry.
WORKSHOPS, RETREATS AND LECTURES
My greatest satisfaction comes from running workshops and retreats based on my designs. I have been asked to lead workshops across the length and breadth of the USA and in Australia, Vietnam, France and Italy. My retreats and workshops are run at quilt stores, state guilds, festivals and quilt retreats. I either teach a specific design or a workshop I call Travel Journals including a “whole quilt concept”. This latter workshop includes principles of color and design as well as creative backs and labels. I also deliver illustrated presentations about the process I use to develop my designs.
BOOKS AND PATTERNS
I make all my current designs available as books or patterns. I have been at great pains to ensure that all the instructions are clearly stated and easy to follow. These books and patterns can be ordered from my website - www.suespargo.com.
My other absorbing passions include being with the four unique, strong and fulfilling personalities
that are my children, tending my flowers and traveling to new and exciting destinations.