Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Get to know the QQQ's - Susan of Susan's Passion

Hi! I'm Susan Murata of Susan’s Passion,

How did you come up with your shop name? 
Stupidly, on a whim – I changed it from Maggie May and Me which didn’t sound correct, grammar wise. I didn’t quite think this one through –I am passionate about my work, but I realize now that my shop name sounds more like the name for a sexy lingerie shop. Maggie is my dog.

Where do you live? 
I live in San Tan Valley, AZ.

When did you start making quilts? Or, when did you become interested in quilt-related items (fabric, patterns, etc)?
I’ve been sewing since I was a teen, made some patchwork blankets throughout the years, but started quilting in 2007 after my husband and I retired.

Tell us about your first quilt or other important first in your sewing life. 
My first quilt was for my mother, a simple 9 patch block in pastel batiks. The blocks were huge so there was less piecing, and therefore less daunting for me as a first time quilter.

What inspires you? 
Looking at Pinterest or Google Images of quilts helps me get an idea of what kind of a project I would like to do next. Certain color combinations or designs will catch my eye and is great jumping off point.

Do you have any other hobbies? 
I have lots of hobbies, crochet, sketching, painting, card making, beading, jewelry making, but I mostly focus on sewing/quilting these days. 

Pets? A garden, kids, or volunteer activities? 
We have a Shepherd/Chow mix rescue, and a gray tabby cat (which was rescued from my daughter when she got married in 04). Thankfully they get along well together (the dog and cat. J )
I do enjoy gardening and lately have been growing birdhouse gourds with the intention of painting them…….. not enough hours in the day.  We have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren, one boy and 4 girls, 2 of which are twins.

Do you do any charity sewing? 
Our local quilt group makes baby blankets for hospitals and this year Christmas stockings for fostered children of one of the church gals.

Running an Etsy shop means you wear many hats in one day. How do Etsy activities impact your other life activities, such as work, family, other activities? 

I am retired so it never affects work, however I treat my Etsy shop just like a business. I put in lots of hours, but since it is my favorite hobby, it never feels like a job.

How do you plan your projects? 
Once I have a project in mind I look for fabrics either in my stash and shop for the rest. I sometimes will tweak a pattern I’ve seen or create one of my own. Applique is a favorite and most often is done via my imagination.

Business tips: 
Always try to keep on top of the latest. It’s easy to get into a habit of listing an item and forgetting about it. Don’t list newbies all in one day – spread them out so your shop is constantly “busy” in Etsy’s eyes.

Bins and baskets! All shapes and sizes. I’ve been told I have “binitis”. I keep all my fabrics sorted by size. Yardage is on shelves by color, fat quarters in baskets by color, and then squares in labeled bins according to size and strips the same way. Any left overs between 1/8 yard and fat quarter size get folded and put into the fat quarter bins.
Leftover fabric from projects get thrown into a shoebox size bin and then eventually cut into strips or squares, etc. I hate having to go through huge bins to find the size or color I need, so this has worked great for me. 




  1. Oh my gosh, Susan, you need to come to my house and organize for me! Love your sewing space and getting to know you better :)

  2. Susan, thanks for sharing your story! It's fun to get to know you better. Wonderful pics!
    Your quilts are so fun and appealing. Love your use of colors and selection of prints!

  3. Lovely family, fabulous pics, is that your house with the pool? Envy envy LOL. And your organisation and your studio are fabulous.

  4. Susan, I love your work and it is great to learn more about you!

  5. What a sewing studio! If you are ever in Kansas...
    You have a beautiful family! Happy sales!

  6. Great to hear your story and see all the pictures. I love you sewing room!