What’s in Your Sewing Bag? Special Guest: Suzy Quilts

What's in Your Sewing Bag Suzy Quilts? | Hand quilting essentials | Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #sewingkit

It’s been quite the year and I couldn’t think of a better way to close it out than sharing one last What’s in Your Sewing Bag post with you!!

2020 has seen us all stuck at home more than we’re used to and it’s been an adjustment to say the least!

When I started this series earlier this year, I had no idea COVID was just around the corner and we’d end up self-isolating for months. I found myself without my sewing machine for several months. As someone who seeks comfort and joy through quilting, finding myself without my machine was tough, tougher than I expected.

But here’s the great news! Sewing is portable!

Whether working on a larger quilt or whipping up some EPP (English Paper Piecing) blocks, you can easily take it on the road with you!

The key is to ensure you have a well curated sewing kit that fits your stitching needs!

Enter the What’s in Your Sewing Bag series, which has been about giving you a chance to see what notions and tools fellow makers are using on the regular. There’s a plethora of notions out there to choose from – some better than others – and we can’t buy them all (I mean, we could, but we might find ourselves on an episode of hoarders - ha!)!

We have such an amazing community and it’s been fun giving you a chance to meet some of my favourite creatives.

Which brings me today’s lovely guest, Suzy Williams. I feel weird typing out her full name as I think most of us fondly know her as Suzy Quilts 😊 

I was lucky to meet Suzy early in my quilting journey when she reached out to invite me to test her Over the Hills quilt pattern (which you can see here). This was back in 2016 and Suzy was already a quilty Rockstar! I had only been quilting for a year and hadn’t tackled sewing curves at that point – talk about diving in with both feet!

So, I’m super excited for you to get to know Suzy a little better and see what notions she can’t live without!

Let’s dive in!

Suzy of Suzy Quilts holding a handmade wooden hera marker by Modern American Vintage | What's in Your Sewing Bag Suzy Quilts? | series by Shannon Fraser Designs #heramarker

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.


Tell us a little about yourself! How did you get started on your quilting journey?

At 15, I would wander into my friend’s basement to peek into her mom’s sewing room. To me, it seemed like such a magical place with its miniature towers of jelly rolls, stacks and stacks of yardage, a shiny BERNINA regally perched in the corner, and quilt blocks lined up on a design wall. After timidly asking if I could “maybe sew a little”, my quilt mother and mentor, Brenda Winkelmeyer, taught me the basics of piecing a quilt. Twenty years later, I am still completely addicted, smitten and obsessed (some may say) with making quilts.

In 2015 I started Suzy Quilts, which is rooted in a deep love for the heritage and tradition of quilting and a desire to craft unique, contemporary textiles. With a BFA in visual communications, I use my graphic design background to transform conventional sewing into a fresh, personal interpretation of minimal, modern design.

Currently I live in Oak Park, IL with my husband, John, son, Desi and pup, Scrappy. In April we are welcoming our second child, a little girl!

I didn’t realize you started Suzy Quilts in 2015 but look at how much it’s grown since then! So cool to think a peek inside a sewing room would lead to where you are today!

Suzy holding her Liberty of London DIY sewing kit | What's in Your Sewing Bag Suzy Quilts? | series by Shannon Fraser Designs #sewingpouch


What kind of sewing bag do you have?

I have a confession, before this afternoon my sewing bag was an old Ziploc baggie. When on the go I don’t need much because I’m typically just hand quilting. So, when Shannon asked me to feature my sewing bag, I knew I needed to step up my game! I whipped up this pretty linen and Liberty of London bag to be the exact size I need to fit all of my favorite hand quilting tools. I even thought, “Well, if I’m making a bag, might as well make a tutorial about it too! ha! So, you can visit https://suzyquilts.com/zipper-pouch-tutorial/ for a full tutorial on how I made this exact bag. (Plus, some links to this pretty fabric!)

Ha! Why am I not surprised a tutorial emerged from all this! And the cutest one featuring Liberty of London no less 😉

Suzy holding her DIY zipper pouch open revealing Liberty of London lining | What's in your sewing bag Suzy Quilts? | series by Shannon Fraser Designs #zippouch


What are your all-star essentials? Your tried-and-true must haves that you can never run out of?

If I’m traveling, I don’t need much. These are my must-have hand quilting tools and can also be found in my hand quilting tutorial (https://suzyquilts.com/how-to-hand-quilt/):


Love all of these, Suze! You’re the one who introduced me to the leather thimble, and it’s been a staple in my kit ever since! Also, I think I may need a tutorial from you on how to use a needle threader - mine broke the second time I used it ☹


What is your favourite item in your kit? Why?

My latest fave item is a recent tool gifted to me by a very talented craftsman. Chris, of  Modern American Vintage, made me the most beautiful hera marker! Also, in the set came a seam ripper and point turner. They are smooth to the touch and even if I don’t need to use these tools, I have a feeling I won’t want to leave home without them.

Gosh, those are pretty! I love that they’re handmade tools made for makers!

Sewing notions spilling out of Suzy Quilts' DIY zippered pouch: wooden hera marker, pearl cotton thread, snips and clover leather thimble | What's in Your Sewing Bag Suzy Quilts? | series by Shannon Fraser Designs #zippouch


What’s one thing we’d be surprised to find in your bag?

I think some people may be surprised to not find thread conditioner in my bag. I have found that stuff does more harm than good when using the thick 8 wt. thread I like to use when hand quilting.

We twin, my friend! I don’t use thread conditioner either when I’m hand quilting. I only bust it out when I’m hand stitching my binding down with 50wt or 40wt thread 😊


When do you find yourself using your kit the most? (Travelling, on the sofa, attending sew-ins?)

Since my favorite way to hand quilt is on my dining room table, I just putz around my house with my little bag mostly.

Ha! Putzing with the prettiest of Liberty of London bag 😉

Suzy holding her newly made zip pouch holding all her hand quilting essentials | What's in Your Sewing Bag Suzy Quilts? | Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #modernquilter


What’s your favourite travel memory with your sewing bag?

Well, since this bag is only hours old, all I can say is, I’m excited for the adventures we’ll take in the future!


Tell people where we can find you?

Web: suzyquilts.com https://suzyquilts.com/
Facebook Group: It’s private but really easy to get in and A LOT of fun! https://www.facebook.com/groups/suzyquiltspatterns


I can attest to loving all of the above links! If you’re on the hunt for fun, fresh, modern quilts then you’re in for a treat by following Suzy!

Anything else you’d like to share?

Shannon is the sweetest most thoughtful person I’ve ever met on the internet!

MUAH! You’re just the sweetest, my friend!

Thank you for participating in the WIYSB series and sharing more about your quilting journey, the notions you can’t hand quilt without and those awesome tutorial links. Keep working your creative magic and I can’t wait to see where your explorations take you next!

A peek inside at the contents of Suzy Quilts' sewing kit | What's in your sewing bag Suzy Quilts? | Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #sewingkit


For more What’s in Your Sewing Bag fun, check out these guests:

Happy stitching!




Never miss a post - sign up for the weekly newsletter.

This post uses affiliate links. For more info, visit the FAQ page.

1 comment

  • I just love these posts! PS: I agree that Shannon is the sweetest 💕

    Lori Cichacki

Leave a comment

Name .
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published