Art + Design

See Things Differently: Guest Instagrammer Susan Beal

After an ever-so-brief-but-glorious glimpse of that thing the rest of the world calls summer, temperatures have dropped once again in San Francisco. I find myself eagerly thumbing through our new crop of fall craft books looking for cozy patterns. One in particular that I have my eye on is a Pendleton Patchwork Throw, from Sewing for All Seasons by Susan Beal. I’ve long been a fan of Susan’s projects on her blog, West Coast Crafty, not to mention her previous book with Chronicle, World of Geekcraft (which inspired us to create this Pinterest board).

To celebrate the release of Sewing for All Seasons, we’ve invited Susan to take over the @ChronicleBooks Instagram feed this week as our Guest Instagrammer. Follow along for a week in the life of a Chronicle author, and perhaps get inspired to start a seasonal sewing project of your own!

Name: Susan Beal, Author of Sewing for All Seasons
Instagram Handle: @westcoastcrafty

Susan Beal

Favorite photo that you’ve Instagrammed: Gold Fork Hot Springs in Idaho – I think it’s the most beautiful place in the world. We went there in August and I’m already trying to figure out when we can get back for another visit.

Instagram hero: I love @heathceramics – their designs and photos are so beautiful. I got to tour the Heath Ceramics studio on my birthday in January with my friend Nancy, and we spent a couple of hours walking through all the production and glazing rooms with the friendliest guide, and even saw a bunch of their vintage pieces and prototypes. Actually, Nancy took the photo of me later that day – she took me out to lunch in Sausalito after the tour and when our food came out, everything was served on Heath plates and cups, it was really magical. I’m always happy when I have a cup of coffee in hand!

Favorite filter: I like Rise and Valencia for the lightness of color and nice details, and a little-bit-Polaroid-feeling white frame.

Favorite word: Division/Divisadero. I live near Division Street in Portland, and we stayed a few blocks off Divisadero on our last trip to San Francisco. I love the way it sounds in both languages.

Favorite Chronicle Book: Denyse Schmidt Quilts. It completely changed my life when I bought it in 2005. I had always wanted to make a quilt, but felt like traditional patterns were intimidating and complicated and I’d mess them up, or wouldn’t like what I made. Looking at her designs made me realize I could make something beautiful and modern with simple patchwork and piecing techniques. I’ve taken three classes with her when she’s visited Portland and she is a fantastic and truly inspiring teacher.

The last book you loved: I’m re-reading The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie for probably the tenth time. I love reading mysteries, and this one is pretty much perfect.

Your idea of happiness: A dream weekday for me would be a quiet morning to sew or write, taking a walk in my neighborhood for coffee, meeting a friend at Powell’s or going fabric shopping, cooking dinner and hanging out with my family, and planning a trip or an adventure. On the weekends, I love to go to Mt. Hood or the coast, or take a day trip somewhere else beautiful. Or go out for dim sum, which is a perfect date with a two-year-old and a five-year-old!

Susan Beal

Finish this sentence: I can’t stop taking photos of… Plants, gardens, and the outdoors. I pretty much had a gray thumb until we moved into our house five years ago – I could barely keep a jade plant alive, and we never lived in one place long enough to have a garden or anything bigger. Now we have a raised bed garden for vegetables, and I made a simple little patio in the backyard this summer – just arranged lots of plants in pots and bigger containers all around our Adirondack chairs. I moved the succulents and delicate plants inside for the winter last week, so it’s been nice to look around the living room and see them all.

Susan Beal

Head over to Instagram to see Susan’s photos, and stop by her blog for a preview of Sewing for All Seasons with a special giveaway of signed books—with finished projects! For those of you not on Instagram, never fear. You can browse all our photos online at Thanks, Susan!

Sewing For All Seasons

Purchase Sewing for All Seasons

Guinevere de la Mare
Senior Community Manager

Guinevere de la Mare

Guinevere de la Mare

Guinevere de la Mare is a writer, book lover, and the founder of Silent Book Club. She lives in San Francisco. She also was the senior community manager at Chronicle Books from 2009-2014.
Guinevere de la Mare

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