Susan Hoekstra is a certified Senior Master Teacher of Needlework through the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG). An amazing accomplishment! She specializes in animals and quilt geometrics as well as color theory. Susan’s needlework designs feature an amazing variety of exquisite stitches. She is in great demand as a teacher nationwide and her designs have been featured as the 2016 Stitch of the Month project through the ANG. Fiber College is so excited to have Susan Hoekstra join our 2017 teaching faculty! She will teach her Dove in the Window Needlepoint design on Sunday, September 10 from 9 AM to 4 PM. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to learn from the BEST of the best! You can register for Susan’s class here.
Fiber College chooses a new theme each year. For 2017, it’s Re-Use, Re-Design, Re-Create. How do you incorporate any part of this theme into an important part of your life?
I am a huge believer in taking what we have and re-purposing it into something else to be useful. I have found this an easy task within my designing and stitching of all things needlepoint. I find it most gratifying to create a piece which will be used within my home somewhere, i.e., foot stool, pillow, picture, standing figure. You get the idea!
Tell us how you entered into the world of fiber and the fiber arts.
A long-time family friend introduced me to needlepoint when I was 25. She decided I needed to be working on something of use while my husband traveled. She marched me to the closest needlework shop and away we went! It has been a wonderful journey full of rewarding work and creation ever since!
What’s the best piece of advice a mentor has ever given to you?
When teaching a new and upcoming teacher, remember that you are not only their mentor, but also the person who can make or break their spirit. Make sure you handle their spirit well!
Tell us about a time that you developed an exciting idea for your fiber art; where did the idea come from? What inspired you?
Ideas for designs come to me at nearly every turn within a day. Walking, sitting, looking at a view, they all inspire me at different times. One time I was checking out holiday decorations in a window and thought “I need an angel.” So, I went home and designed and then stitched “Hark, The Herald Angel”–an angel who flies through the year heralding her trumpet!
If you could re-design your life as a fiber artist, what would that look like?
I would have embraced other types of needlework earlier. I have done traditional needlework for 25 years and only over the last few years have I begun to expand my horizons into Stumpwork, Goldwork and the like. There are so many diverse and creative types of needlework out there. I just hope I have the time to investigate many of them!
What or who has had the greatest impact on your work as an artist?
My long-term family friend, Carol, had had the most impact on my creative juices. She is constantly inspiring me and checking on what I am working on. She has impeccable needlework taste and continually inspires me to reach further!
If you could go back in time, what might you change about your fiber journey?
I would have started it years earlier!
What’s the most important thing that you want potential students to know about you?
I like my students to take the project they are working on and to make it their own. A teacher supplies instruction which can be changed and worked to fit the likes and ideas of the stitcher. Shake it up and be creative within the stitching process!
You can learn more about Susan at her website www.foxview.com and also at www.needlefest.com. You can check out the information about Susan’s class at Fiber College and register here for her Dove in the Window class.