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Who Are We?

Suzanne Kelly:  I opened Hip Stitch in 2008.  I grew up outside of Washington, DC, and it was during a summer visit to my aunt and uncle in Oklahoma that the sewing bug hit -- my Aunt Debbie and I made a cute shorts and top outfit.  I've been sewing for about 25 years. Wanderlust brought me to New Mexico at the age of 21, and I haven't left since . . . or stopped sewing.  My life has included teaching Special Education,  owning an interior painting business, marrying a middle school math teacher, and becoming a mother to two girls, ages 16 and 17. Hip Stitch is my muse, and there's nothing more wonderful than loving coming to work each day!

Bralia Mease: Her roots are in Bayfield, Colorado, where she learned to sew in junior high.  Her 1st ever project was a Scotty Dog quilt, made from cardboard templates. She confesses that her mom finished it for her! She moved to Albuquerque in 1989, with her husband for his job with  the FAA, and 2 young sons. She taught elementary school for 26 years.  Favorite thing to sew?  Bags & purses, craft items. Something you may not know about her:  as a child, she and a friend snuck onto the movie set of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, outside Durango, CO. They saw 2 riders on horses approaching and hid in the ditch.  Who were they?  Why, Paul Newman & Robert Redford!

Lisa Pries-Linn
: Lisa grew up in Wisconsin, but came to Albuquerque, New Mexico to escape the mosquitoes. Hello, scorpions. Her first quilting project was a Triple Rail Fence that she made for her mom 30 years ago. Her mom still has it. Lisa teaches at Hip Stitch and is the color diva behind the Hip Stitch custom-curated fat quarter bundles. Her favorite sewing projects are "small ones" because she has a mega-stash to burn through and her husband has U-Haul on speed dial. Here's something you may not know about Lisa:  she has a firepole from her upstairs sewing room to the kitchen below, and she uses it! 
Catherine Silling: Although Catherine spent her childhood in Colorado, she has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for 37 years.  Her "wandering spirit" brought her to the Land of Enchantment.  Catherine has worked as a pre-school teacher and a cardiac technician.
She's been sewing for 54 years and quilting for 15. Her earliest sewing memories are of making Barbie clothes. She loves piecing quilts, making small bags, pillows and wool applique, and teaching classes at Hip Stitch. Something you may not know about her:  Catherine is the sixth of eight children, and her childhood nickname was "Duckie".


Melissa Thompson-Maher: Melissa has been sewing and quilting for 50 years. She learned to sew as a girl in 4-H. She's done mostly garment and home dec sewing, but about 7 years ago, began seriously learning quilting. Her first project? An apron. She's lived in Abq for 15 years, after childhood was in Kansas, and 20 years in Denver. Her husband's job brought them to New Mexico. When asked what her favorite sewing project is, she says "improvisational work", as well as little projects to have on hand for gifts. Melissa's carrer has been in magazine journalism, with a detour of about 5 years where she was a personal chef/caterer. She's written for/edited magazines in oil and gas finance, restaurant management, wildlife management, screen-printed apparel, commercial embroidery, and quilting. By far, the quilting mags have been the most fun! (Melissa is the editor of Generation Q Magazine) Something you may not know about Melissa: She took belly dancing lessons in high school.