Meet Susan Guzman of SuzGuz Designs

We are so excited to introduce Susan Guzman, a National Quilters Circle contributor! Be sure to connect with Susan on her blog, Facebook, and Instagram. Check out our question and answer with Susan below!

How long have you been quilting, and who taught you how to quilt?

I’ve been quilting on a regular basis for about 14 years and am self-taught. I’ve always enjoyed figuring things out on my own and found much satisfaction in challenging myself to learn the various techniques and methods of quilting. When I began quilting, I joined an online quilt guild with members from the U.S. and Canada and almost immediately began joining their regular Round Robins to perfect my skills: from redwork blocks to hand applique and machine piecing, I enjoyed how imaginative and diverse the projects could be.

What was your first quilting project?

My first quilting project was a scrappy Flying Geese quilt I started about 26 years ago. I bought the simple pattern card and fabrics from a small JoAnn Fabrics shop not far from my home. I chose the prettiest calico prints that I could find and had such fun picking them out. The pattern called for templates to make the quilt and when I began piecing them together into the Flying Geese units, they didn’t quite look right to me, so I ended up never getting back to it. I still have the project and hope to get back to it one day. I believe the main reason I stopped making it was because the image of the Flying Geese block didn’t show the seam allowance along the top (at the center point) and when I finished my first few blocks, I thought I made them wrong because it didn’t look like the image.

What do you like to do when you’re not quilting?

I enjoy doing a variety of different things. Although I’ve knitted on and off for years, last fall I started knitting socks; it’s been a fun process. I also love to do a variety of things with my husband, such as visit antique shops, attend estate sales, take drives into the mountains, hikes in the forest, and travel. I enjoy gardening, visiting museums, writing, as well as researching my family tree.

What are you currently working on?

In addition to finishing up a few patterns I’ll be offering on my website, I’m excited about my newest pattern that was super-fun to design. The working title is called Kanarra Canyon and, although I feel you’ll be able to use a variety of styles of fabrics, the design has a southwestern feel to it. I’m making my sample using Kaffe Fassett’s collection from last fall but have also colored it using a current collection by Tula Pink and it looks awesome. I’m also working on a group project with other designers that I’ll be sharing through my blog this year.

What project have you been most proud of?

Although there are a handful of projects that stick out for me, I’m most proud of writing my first book; All About Strips: Colorful Quilts from Strips of Many Sizes (Martingale 2015), and receiving such wonderful support of it from my family, friends, and the quilting community.

What’s your sewing room like?

Although I love pretty spaces with everything perfectly in its place in coordinating storage bins and have admired some beautifully planned sewing rooms by many of my peers, it’s never been a priority for me and I’m okay with that. I feel it’s my work room and my private space to get lost in and to allow myself to be an artist. There are times where I can have one or perhaps many projects going at once. I like to allow myself to simply enjoy the process and to not concern myself about having to put things away at the end of each day.

What kind of sewing machine(s) do you have?

The sewing machine I use most is my Juki TL-2010Q. It is a workhorse and I love it. I did quite a bit of research on it before I bought it and it lives up to everything I read. I also have a vintage green Necchi that I treasure (you can see it on my Instagram page), and a PFAFF Quilt Expression 4.2.

If you could create your dream quilting space, what would it be like?

I’d love to either have a one-room bungalow on our property or a room above a separate garage with a balcony. I’d want the space to have a wall of paned windows on two sides bringing lots of natural light into the space. I’d want built-in lower cabinets with space to hang my artwork above on the remaining two walls, a huge island with shelving and beadboard for cutting and attached desk-like area for my sewing machine . . . and everything painted white. Oh yes, and a corner of the space to either write, draw, or paint in and a daybed with pretty quilts and lots of pillows. I hope that’s not too much to ask for.

What’s your favorite type of fabric to work with?

100% cotton prints.

What’s a new technique or trick you learned recently?

A few months ago, my friend, Helen Stubbings, sent me her Hugs ‘n Kisses applique paper to try and I enjoyed working with it. The paper is fibrous (and washable). It has glue on one side that you iron to the wrong side of your fabric and through YouTube videos, she shows you how to achieve a finished edge.

What quilting tip has changed your life?

The stitch-and-flip method of making Flying Geese or Square-in-a-Square blocks is so much better than working with triangles’ biased edges, which can easily distort and affect the outcome of your blocks (i.e., producing uneven edges or a waviness to your blocks). Some may argue that there is fabric waste in trimming corners, but I feel it’s worth the extra bit of yardage to avoid the aggravation of uneven blocks.

What would you say to someone who’s just getting started in quilting?

Read patterns thoroughly before starting and ask lots of questions. If you don’t have a trusted friend who quilts or a local quilt shop to visit to ask your questions, don’t be shy to contact the pattern designer; we’re here to help. Also, pin your pieces together (the more pins the better!) and check your piecing as you sew to be sure your fabric edges haven’t shifted; doing this adds to the stability of your piecing and accuracy as you sew. Take the quilting process at a slow pace; slowly stitch until you have your quarter-inch seams mastered, re-read instructions if you’re not fully understanding a step, and pay close attention while cutting your fabrics. Finally, be sure to keep your tools in working order; replace dull rotary cutting blades, replace sewing machine needles, and clean the lint from feed dogs and inside the bobbin case and space around the bobbin of your sewing machine between projects.

Discussion
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96 Responses to “Meet Susan Guzman of SuzGuz Designs”
    • Customer Service

      Hello Dee,

      The fabric used for this quilt, as well as fabric requirements and other initial information for this challenge quilt will be release on the 24th with the start of the challenge!

      Cheers,

      Ashley
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      https://go.nationalquilterscircle.com/C12303

      Reply
  1. Nann

    Are the fabrics available to purchase for this challenge? Are there other color ways to chose from? Looks like a two color quilt, is that correct, or are my old eyes seeing it wrong. Love the different pattern prints but same colors. Thanks

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Nann,

      The Fabric Requirements will be sent out at a later date before the challenge starts.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  2. Anna Maines

    I’m a novice & soaking up every bit of help & tips I can get 🌼🌸🌻

    Reply
  3. Teresa

    Looking forward to the challenge. I learn a lot from the last 2 challenge I have done with National Quilt Circle.

    Reply
  4. Cheryl

    Wow, this looks gorgeous, I’ve always wanted to do one like this, I can’t wait to get started.

    Reply
  5. Frances Kostad

    Do I buy the fabric from you and will I get a list so I can purchase the material I need? So looking forward to this project. I have many beautiful kits but I need motivation to start one and finish one. thank you

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Frances,

      The fabric requirements will be sent with the first week for the Block Challenge on 5/24. You will want to purchase the fabric from the store of your choosing once you get the Fabric requirements.

      Enjoy!

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  6. Penny Webb

    Hi everyone I just joined I hope I can make some beautiful quilts like you all

    Reply
  7. Emily

    This is the first challenge I have attempted , I look forward to getting started

    Reply
  8. MJ Boutelle

    I have done simple quilts. I have designed quilts. I want to learn to make them look great😂. Mine were not quilted properly

    Reply
  9. Cathy Oakes

    This will be my first quilt challenge. I’m excited to make this beautiful quilt.

    Reply
  10. Sharon Donoghue

    I would love to join the quilt challenge, so looking forward to a new project.

    Reply
  11. Cynthia Gottlieb

    Great article! I am teaching myself to quilt. I have found watching videos and reading blogs to help me advance with new skills. I have found that some quilters are not so helpful. I have found that sometimes a pattern block is not quite right mathematically, I make a test block out of random scraps so that I get the piecing correct. I”m working on one right now that I wanted to adjust the sizing of the design within the block. So not to waste expensive fabric, errors and corrections can be made without stress.
    I have discovered that rulers make a difference so I use the same rulers for the entire quilt in cutting and measuring. My biggest challenge right now is matching fabric patterns say within a flying geese, or going around within a block. I see very expert quilters that the patterns are so far off, visually this is confusing. I know there is fabric waste, but this a detail I would like to see in a video or class.

    Reply
  12. Joanne

    We decided in my little fabric shop to have a group of friends, myself included do the challenge in our sewing lounge so we can help each other in making this top. We’re all so excited and looking forward to it.

    Reply
  13. Georgia

    Looking forward to this challenge. Looking forward to knowing what material I will need or if it can be scrappy. This is my first on line monthly challenge. See you all soon!

    Reply
  14. Bonnie.ls smith

    How much is the cost and do you have the fabrics to do the quilt

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Bonnie,

      The challenge is free of charge. You would need to purchase your fabrics and materials at a local fabric store. The fabric requirements will be sent out tomorrow in our weekly E-newsletter.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  15. Diana Longhenry

    Read further and someone already asked my question about fabric requirements; got the answer already too!

    Reply
  16. Karen J Yee

    I have a current New Home sewing machine and a 1932 Singer treadle machine. Not sure which one I will use. That Singer is a workhorse. I haven’t tried it for quilting yet. I plan to use it for a flannel/jeans quilt soon.

    Reply
  17. Susan C. Davis

    I am delighted to start your Lexington Sampler and would love to use many of the fabrics in your quilt, blending in some of my own. Thank you for this lovely pattern and super directions!

    Reply
  18. Mary Rose

    What a beautiful quilt. Thanks so much for doing the 2 sizes. Also for sharing all your expertise.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Jeanne,

      Make sure you check your junk or spam folder to make sure the emails are not going in there. The E-Newsletter is sent out every Thursday.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  19. Vickie Ramsey

    Am I allowed to use the fabrics I already have in my sewing room.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Vickie,

      The fabric for your quilt is completely up to you.

      Enjoy the Challenge,

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  20. Vita Crowe

    I have never taken a quilt challenge I have been quilting for 16 years and I am looking forward to learning new techniques

    Reply
  21. Beth Purvis

    Hi, I just love the challenge quilt. I’ve been quilting for several years and love it. I learned to sew in seventh grade home ec class and have had the bug ever since making easy to sew projects. I’ve definately upt my game with quilting. I do have a question about the challenge quilt. I didn’t see what the price is to join. I do not have a lot of extra income, so I have to pick my projects carefully. If you could direct me to where that information is, I would be delighted. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  22. cheryl mcswain

    i am interested in doing this project.. am i too late? it there a cost to get patterns? I understand that we purchase the material ourselves for the project, is this correct? and you will be sending out information on amounts to get. I would like to make the larger bed size quilt… not sure where to go to sigh up?

    Reply
  23. Vickie Ramsey

    I been searching for block 1 . But not sure how I can retrieve it. Can you help me ?

    Reply
  24. Pat Garcia

    Are the fabrics available to purchase for this challenge? I am really bad at color matching. Thank you

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Pat, the fabrics are from La Vie en Rouge collection by French General for Moda. This collection will be available in shops this August/September.
      Thank you,
      Hallie
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  25. mary e. hulick

    love the quilt looking for the list of yards that is used in the quilt
    Mary Hulick

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Evely,

      Please make sure you are signed up for our e-newsletter to receive our Quilt Blocks. If you are signed up to receive our e-newsletter, please check your spam/junk folders.

      Sincerely,

      Taylar
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  26. Maureen

    I have downloaded the first three blocks but now I cant seem to get into the right website. Can you send me a link please.

    Reply
  27. Claudia Guest

    I just came across the challenge quilt, Lexington Sampler with classes beginning in May. Now it is 6/21,2018 and I am wondering if it is too late to join the class. I am in love with the fabrics used in this quilt and hope if I can join the class, I can find where to buy the red fabrics. Thank you.

    Reply
  28. mary e. hulick

    love the quilt looking for the 6 th block mary e hulick nhulick @hotmail.com

    Reply
  29. mary e. hulick

    looking for the block patterns for the Lexington sampler can’t find them

    Reply
  30. Charlene

    Where are the blocks and why is this site so hard to navigate? I AM signed up. This week I didn’t get the email. Now I can’t find the blocks. This is an on-going problem. You are great quilters but you run your business like you want people to hate you. I get daily emails begging me to become a member — I am a paid member — but still you bed daily for me to sign up, but won’t give me what I did sign up for.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Charlene,

      The blocks are emailed out weekly in our E-newsletter. If you are not receiving the E-Newsletter, make sure to check your junk/spam folder to make sure the emails are not going in there. Here is a link to block 1. https://www.nationalquilterscircle.com/article/lexington-sampler-challenge-block-1/ There are links to the other blocks that have been sent out at the bottom of this post.

      If you are a Premium Member you should not be receiving emails asking you to sign up for a Premium Membership. Most of the time this happens because you may have more than one email set up to get our E-Newsletter. Please contact our customer service team at 1-855-706-3538, and they can help sort out the email situation for you.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  31. Tami Drake

    Has the latest challenge started yet? (as of July 12, 2018) If so, where do I find the patterns? Thank you.

    Reply
  32. A Williams

    Hi,
    I received emails with the first blocks and then they stopped. I don’t do Facebook, and I can’t actually sew the quilt at the moment (moving house) but I would really look forward to continuing to receive the blocks so I have something ready to start when the machine is unpacked.
    Look forward to hearing from you, A Williams

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello,

      Make sure to check your junk/spam folder to see if the emails are going in there. If you are still not able to locate the E-Newsletter, please contact our customer service team at 1-855-706-3538 and they can help troubleshoot the problem with you over the phone.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  33. Sue

    I’m a new quilter so everything is a challenge to me but I’m excited to start the weekly block challenge. Right now I am working on a Kaffe Fasset applique cat quilt. I want to try everything at once so make myself practice free motioning my quilts. They don’t come out perfect but they’re all mine and hopefully I will only get better.

    Reply
  34. Dee

    I seemed to have missed block #5 of the Lexington Sampler. I have all of the other blocks and finishing. How can a get block 5?

    Reply
  35. Susan Finigan

    I went to access the Lexington pattern via the saved link on Facebook and I can’t find it. I was a bit late to the Lexington NCR Page party in Australia so how do I access it now.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Susan,

      We were only able to keep the patterns on our site until 8/8/18.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
      • Patricia

        This would have been great to know….now what the heck am I supposed to do 1-4 done…

        Reply
        • Customer Service

          Hello Patricia,

          We did send out communication letting everyone know that the blocks would only be available until 8/8/18. You can contact Susan at info@suzguzdesigns.com and she can help with letting you know how to get blocks 1-4.

          Thanks,

          Becky
          National Quilters Circle Video Membership

          Reply
  36. Mollie Steklenburg

    Hi Sue, I was part of the Lexington quilt challenge with NQC and I wasn’t able to ge the directions for weeks 8 and 9. So far I’ve put on the first border but I have no measurement for the second wide border. Can you send me those directions? I’d truly appreciate it.

    Reply
  37. Dana

    Can you tell if the pattern for the quilt shown in the pictures above is available for purchase and where might I find it?

    Reply
  38. Cheryl

    Susan, I have been trying to make the Lexington pattern that you had on the site. I seem to be missing week 7 and the two 8 and 9 if there are two 9. Not sure what happened but I have idea how to complete this quilt. I am making the bed size. Thank you for your help. Probably need week 7 thru the end of the instructions just to make sure. Thank you Cheryl

    Reply
  39. Cazemier Donna

    I tried to down load the pattern Lexington Sampler to try sew its what do I need to do?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Lou,

      The information for the challenge was only available through 8/8/18. If you would like to get more information please contact Susan, her email address is info@suzguzdesigns.com.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  40. Patricia Renner

    Is there a kit available for the Lexington Sampler using the La Vie En Rouge fabrics?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Patricia,

      The information for the challenge was only available through 8/8/18. If you would like to get more information please contact Susan, her email address is info@suzguzdesigns.com.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  41. Deborah

    Good afternoon, I was a part of this challenge and havae all the files through week 7, the bonus block. Is it possible to get the remaining files. I had to stop due to hand injury and would now like to complete this quilt but I can no longer find the files. My email is desposti@aol.com or if you can share the link. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Deborah,

      The information for the challenge was only available through 8/8/18. If you would like to get more information please contact Susan, her email address is info@suzguzdesigns.com.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  42. Martha Smith

    i am putting together my quilt top. in all of my directions I cannot find the finishing instructions. the emails I have saved do not have links to the info. I cannot find them anywhere I have looked. NQC has no links to this quilt at all. the last two emails say they have the instructions, but they must be invisible. HELP!!! please.

    Reply
  43. Sandra Coleman

    Hi Suz. Can you contact me regarding your confirmed visit with Parker Piece Keepers in January? I need to finalize things. Thank you. Sandra, programs coordinator 2019

    Reply
  44. Sandra Coleman

    Hi Suz. Can you contact me regarding your confirmed visit with Parker Piece Keepers in January? I need to finalize things. Thank you. Sandra, programs coordinator 2019 sandra13007@msn.com

    Reply