October 2019

The 6th annual Holly Girls Quilt Retreat was a great success! Each week had talented quilters who created wonderful quilts in our theme of Memories, Medallions and Miniatures! We have had record sign ups for the 7th annual Holly Girls Quilt Retreat from our current attendees. All 4 weeks are full for 2020! If you would like to attend please email me (nickquilt@aol.com) and have us add you to the waiting list. We often have cancellations throughout the year and we will do our best to get you in for 2020! The 2020 fall retreat tab is up with information on the theme and dates. Thank you to all who have made our retreats a great success!

I am excited to announce that my daughter Ashley Nickels book "Free Motion Quilting 101" from The Taunton Press will be released on October 15th! This is a great book for beginners and all machine quilters.  Pre-orders are immensely helpful to authors and it also means you will have your book delivered on the release date. Pre-order Ashley's book using this link:


Thank you for visiting my website! I look forward to seeing many of you this year at the many quilting events I have scheduled. I will be updating my workshops and lecture pages later in 2019- so please take a look at my new offerings. A very popular class this past year has been rulerwork on the home sewing machine and I will be including 2 rulerwork classes with these updates! 

I am teaching on "The New Zealand Explorer" in January of 2020- this will be a trip of lifetime for me. Look for information soon on another amazing cruise- I will be teaching on the South America and Antartcia cruise in 2021! I hope you will join me on one these exciting cruises!!! Please go to www.quiltcruises.com to find out more information on these cruises.

 I am now booking for 2020! Please let me know if your group has scheduled me to teach and you don't see it entered on my updated schedule. Please note, I will be updating my schedule soon to add many dates.  


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Free Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting

I am pleased to announce my latest Creativebug class, Free Motion Quilting, has just come out. In this three part class I'll show you how to transfer a traditional Amish quilt top using free-motion quilting techniques. If you are new to Creativebug you can get a free 30-day trial when you sign up and use code: SUE.

Sign up for my class here.

Part 1: Create Your Own Quilting Design

In Part 1, you will learn how to design your own quilting patterns and create custom templates. Using an already-pieced quilt top, I'll demonstrate how to create a design concept and sketch patterns. All of the basics are covered here, including how to design patterns using rulers, how to cut out your own template plastic, and how to create a cable pattern using a paper folding technique. I'll also shows you how to draw my signature feather motif and turn it into a circular template. Once you have completed this class, you will be ready to move on to marking your quilt.

Part 2: Marking and Basting

Once you have designed your quilting motif, the next step is to mark your quilt top. I teach several methods for transferring your pattern to fabric, including tracing patterns using a lightbox, freehand drawing, tracing plastic templates and using rulers as guides to create geometric patterns. Finally, I'll cover basting your quilt sandwich to prepare it for machine quilting.

Part 3: Machine Quilting Like a Pro

Now for the fun part-machine quilting! In this part I teach you all about the quilting process. You'll learn how to work with a large quilt and use free-motion quilting techniques to create feathers, straight-line geometric shapes, scallops, and cables. You will be amazed at what you can do with a sewing machine and a darning foot.



Bernina Brand Ambassador










am pleased that my book, "Fabulous Feathers & Fillers",  is still available. Please go to my store to order.


Fabulous Feathers & Fillers




My sister, Pat Holly and I are thrilled to announce that our quilt "Two of Us" won Best Home Machine Workmanship at the 2014 American Quilters Society Show in Paducah.  The quilt was the 2013 Block of the Month on The Quilt Show.com with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson. The quilt will now be part of the permanent collection of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky.  




Sue NickelsMy blog is on a hiatus- I am hoping later this year to have time to revive it!

My workshops page will be updated soon and I hope to add a few new workshops and reitre a few old ones. Please check these out and if you have any questions let me know. My supply lists are also up to date. I have included information on the workshops page for students and groups to help make your workshop experience the best. Please read this helpful information section with my workshops! My biography and fees and requirements have minor updates. 

I continue to use a camera and projector in the classroom for demos and it is a fabulous teaching aid. Because of this I have a few extra requirements in the classroom, please be sure to read this under classroom requirements. I have achieved my goal of having my lectures in power point. So for all my lectures, I will bring my own projector and computer and present my images using power point!

My Store has a few of my books- AQS has stopped publishing and I have just a linited number of my machine quilting books avaialble. My patterns are still available. I also carry some of the quilting items I use and sell when I am on the road teaching. My thread line- King Tut “Tone on Tones” from Superior Threads is available from- www.SuperiorThreads.com. I am not currently selling these threads on my website.

I am still using a paper backed fusible web product called Soft Fuse from Shades Textiles for my technique of machine appliqué and I am selling this at my website store. I love this product- it is easy to use and never separates from the paper!!! My favorite marking pencil- Quilter Choice by Roxanne’s is for sale with the pencil sharpener that works best with it. I have also added to the store my favorite small scissors that I use for appliqué.

Please visit my Gallery of Quilts page which features a sampling of my quilts. I have the quilt my sister, Pat Holly and I collaborated on called “Tea at Tenby”. It won many awards - the most exciting was “Best of Show” at the 2009 Festival of Quilts in Birmingham England! I have included information about some of our other award winning quilts- “The Beatles Quilt” and “The Space Quilt” as I am often asked to explain the details of these collaborative quilts. My sister, Pat has been creating beautiful miniature quilts- look for her page in the “Gallery of Quilts” that showcases some of her work.

I am working on my next goal of creating new quilts in the next year, so look for these soon!   

I am enjoying being a Grandma! My granddaughter, Stella is 7 years old and our granddaughter Mabel is 4 years old! I will soon have new classroom and travel photos in my travel photos.

I hope to see you on the road this year, doing what I love to do- teaching machine quilting and machine appliqué. Thank you for visiting my website and please come back soon…


Sue Nickels