Stephanie Nordlin’s Quilted Couture

Linda Eisenhart and Kathryn Von Bargen

The SaddleBrooke Friday Quilt Club enjoys having a diverse group of members. Stephanie Nordlin is a member who has combined her prior professional work as a designer and creator of bridal gowns and children’s wear with her love of quilting to create unique, sophisticated quilted garments. We were fortunate to have some of her work on display recently at the 2020 SaddleBrooke Quilt Show.

Stephanie remembers being three-years-old sitting on her grandmother’s lap while she was sewing on her treadle machine. She remembers her grandma repurposing leftover 50-style circle skirts that were no longer in vogue. Stephanie also has fond memories of sleeping under hand-made quilts as a child. In 1970, a neighbor gave her some fabric scraps and she began her quilting journey. She still has the first quilt she made. In the ’90s she began “art quilting” doing one-of-a-kind quilts not using patterns and creating her own designs. Following the closure of her bridal and children’s wear businesses, she evolved into making garments from some of her unique quilt designs. For many years she submitted her work to the “garment divisions” of major national quilt shows. Stephanie’s award-winning garments have been juried into many international and national quilt, runway, and gallery shows. She has been a juried member for 15 years of the Studio Art Quilt Associates, a national organization that requires a portfolio to be accepted.

The main challenges that Stephanie faces in doing her garments is fit and assuring they show off a theme or message. She uses multiple techniques in her garments: hand coloring and dying fabrics, quilting, beading, and various other surface designs. She also does 60-90-minute lectures and trunk shows to interested groups. Both the SaddleBrooke Friday Quilters and the Tucson Quilt Guild have had her present to their groups. She also sells her garments. Interested parties may contact Stephanie at [email protected] for information on lectures or purchase of her garments or quilts.

Stephanie and her husband are in the process of selling their home in Illinois and will soon become full-time SaddleBrooke residents.