Sunapee artisan stitches whimsical accessories from decorative discards

For Susan, a day just doesn’t seem complete without some hand-stitching.

Three years ago this December, Susan Farland, Sunapee, with a box of handcrafted pins in hand, went over to the Fiber Studio in Henniker. “I was thrilled,” said Susan. “I made my first sale. They bought a batch of  pins.”

Susan combines layers of felted wool with thread and decorative “discards” to create whimsical and colorful accessories: small purses, ornaments and pins (shown here).

So it began, her handcrafted business: Fiber Art by Susan. It stitches together her love of hand sewing and working with wool.

Susan combines layers of felted wool with thread and decorative “discards” to create whimsical and colorful accessories: pins, ornaments and small purses. She also creates wine totes, potted pin plants and small wall hangings.

“I love creating something new from something else.” Cast off clothing—sweaters to socks—and beads, pieces of jewelry, such as a stranded earring, all make their way into designs.

In 2007, Susan found herself flat on her back from an injury. “I was spending my time lying down, reading and watching the bird feeder. A friend came over and suggested that I might want to be more productive…how about a sewing project.”

Her friend then returned with a penny rug kit from the Dorr Mill Store. “I completed it within a few days. I loved it.”

“Wool has taken over my life”

“Through the years, I’ve explored many different crafts…” Mosaics. Block printing. Quilting. “I have a fascination with quilting.”

Susan was a primary school teacher for 20 years in the Kearsarge District, and before taught grades two and three in Unity. “Working with kids and exploring materials and what one can make” influence her work. “I always appreciated children’s art…It would have been fun to be an art teacher, if I was to do it all over again.”

For now, however, one could say, “wool has taken over [my] life.”  And that’s a good thing. She’s also looking forward to having an “official home studio.” Her husband Gerry is building that aspect of the business.

As for selling her handcrafted designs, Susan attends fairs and sells to shops including Allioops! in New London, NH; the antique store Stephen Score Inc in Boston; and the Textile Museum Shop in Washington, DC. And she goes to fairs and festivals. They take her on the road from Bow, New London and Warner to Norwich, VT. She admits, however, “I’d rather be home creating.”

For more information

To contact Fiber Art by Susan, email: Phone 603-763-4887. Prices range from $18 to $28. Small tapestries start at $150.

Susan’s work is also on display at the Newport Library Arts Center in the Gallery of Gifts. The holiday show ends this Saturday, December 18.

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