NAME: Suzanna McKeon INTRODUCTION: I think working with my hands is something I was born to do. I grew up in a very creative environment. During my childhood, my engineer father built his own airplane in the basement of our house. And, then, when it got too big, he built a hangar in the backyard to house it. My artist mom spent her spare time writing poetry, painting, sketching my five siblings and me, and sewing. While I learned to sew clothing as a seventh grader in Home Economics class, I am sure I would have given up had my mom not encouraged me. She helped me when I was completely frustrated with a sewing project, and taught me many tricks and tips, especially in fabric layout. (She is meticulous in matching prints; all her plaids chevron perfectly!) I felt thrilled to wear clothes I sewed, and my mom generously shared her sewing machine, her knowledge and mostly, her patience, with me. Years later, as a new teacher in Northern Virginia, hearing about a winter storm that could (and did!) close school for a week, I hurriedly bought a sewing machine to cope with the prospect of being home bound. Drinking far too much coffee, I sewed into the wee hours while the snow piled up outside. Stores sold out of shovels; skirts accumulated in my apartment. Several years ago, I signed up for a reupholstery class at a local community college. Sitting behind an old, black tailoring machine, learning to sew welting, I remembered how much I LOVE this craft. I pulled my own sewing machine out of my closet and began sewing again. I started making purses, pillows and diaper bags as gifts. Soon, I began selling my creations, working out of a large plastic box I pulled out in my dining room between meals. Later, with a burgeoning sketchbook of ideas and heaps of beautiful fabric, I began designing electronic sewing patterns and staked claim to sewing studio in the corner of my basement. Most afternoons find me there! When I am not sewing, I love going on outings with my husband, three children and our dog, Barnes. I also love to cook, journal and read. LOCATION: St. Louis, Missouri GREETINGS: This is an amazing time to sew! With myriad online tutorials and near-infinite access to textiles, determination is all that’s needed (…plus a bit of free time and a tuned-up sewing machine!) Technology enhances an age-old art, for both experienced and novice seamstresses. Heirlooms are taking shape from something as ephemeral as the Internet. Textures and originality grace homes, clothing and accessories in new beautiful ways. I am thrilled to have this forum share my love of sewing and design with others around the globe.