Sue Nickels’ Retrospective

From Handwork to Machine Quilting

View Sue’s quilts from the beginning of her career through her most recent work. Sue’s quilting career started with hand stitching and then transitioned to machine techniques. The quilt world changed significantly, and this retrospective chronicles the change. Sue’s journey in quilting is similar to that of many quilters who started quilting in the 1970s when handwork was the way to make quilts. This foundation was helpful for learning precision techniques. In the 1980s machine techniques were introduced, and Sue embraced the sewing machine and machine techniques! Enjoy this look back and forward through Sue’s quilts.

AQS QuiltWeek - Lancaster – Downtown 2020, Featured Teacher Quilt Exhibit: THE BEATLES QUILT by Sue Nickels

The Beatles Quilt

AQS QuiltWeek - Lancaster – Downtown 2020, Featured Teacher Quilt Exhibit: THE SPACE QUILT by Sue Nickels

The Space Quilt

AQS QuiltWeek - Lancaster – Downtown, Featured Teacher Quilt Exhibit: TWO OF US by Sue Nickels

Two of Us

Learn more about the Lancaster – Downtown AQS QuiltWeek Show
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ABC FRIPPERY by Janet Stone

AQS QuiltWeek – Lancaster 2019 Best of Show
ABC FRIPPERY by Janet Stone

The international quilt contest sponsored by AQS presents quilts showcasing a wide variety of techniques that quiltmakers around the world are using today. Quilters will vie for $54,000 in cash awards, with the Best of Show receiving $10,000. Quilts range from traditional designs that everyone knows, like Lone Star and Log Cabin, to Modern and Art quilts that reach outside the box with new designs and techniques.

Lancaster – Downtown Contest Quilts

Quilt Credit: Wheel Around by Nancy Lambert

Quilt Credit: Wheel Around by Nancy Lambert

New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Wheel of Fortune

Through its annual New Quilts from an Old Favorite contest, The National Quilt Museum challenges quiltmakers to create an innovative design based on a traditional quilt block. For 2019, the quilt block was Wheel of Fortune.


This exhibit features 27 quilts from the contest, ranging from pictorial, landscape, pieced, and modern-style quilts to quilts with miters and circular shapes, as well as quilts that use the color wheel for inspiration.

Quilt Credit: IT'S OK TO HAVE A TREE AS A FRIEND by Bonnie Barbera

Quilt Credit: It’s OK to Have a Tree as a Friend by Bonnie Barbera

The Bob Ross Cherrywood Challenge
Exhibit and Audio Tour

Audio Tour

Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabrics challenged quilters to make a wallhanging using the theme of Bob Ross, creator and host of the instructional PBS television show The Joy of Painting, which debuted in the mid-1980s. Using only a palette of eight colors of Cherrywood fabric, quilters used Bob’s recurring themes of landscapes, lakes, mountains, snow, log cabins, and happy little trees. Some even included the soft-spoken fellow with the big, bushy hair as they created a 20” square quilt for the challenge.


“Any way you want it to be, that’s just right.” – Bob Ross


Quilt Credit: Milkweed and Hummingbirds by Sara Sharp

SAQA: Aloft

Insects, birds, and even some mammals are able to fly or soar. Plant seeds are carried on breezes and by birds, while a soccer ball can fly down the field. Humankind has found ways to fly, from Icarus’s attempt to create his own wings to the advent of mechanized flight, satellites, space exploration, and cameras on drones that give us a new perspective on our world. The quilts in this exhibit are representational and abstract two-dimensional works depicting what it means to be aloft.