About Sue Stephenson


Sue Stephenson was born and raised in Lansing, MI, the second daughter of four. Upon graduating from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) with a BA in Journalism and Political Science, she followed in her Great Grandmother’s steps and headed west, ending up on the San Francisco Bay Area. Sue earned a Masters in Communication from the University of California Berkeley and has worked as a public relations professional since 1980.

Sue grew up hearing stories of her great grandparents homesteading in the west, one of the last wagon trains to traverse the country from Indiana to Washington Territory. Their journey should have taken three months but instead took them five years. Inspired by her great grandmother’s strength to endure such a journey with two toddlers, Sue decided to tell a fictionalized version of her great grandmother’s life story, and that’s the novel she’s working on at the moment.

Sue learned to sew when she was in elementary school. Mom taught the three oldest daughters how to sew by having them make our own flannel nightgowns. In the process, the girls learned how to use a traditional pattern, gather fabric in order to inset sleeves and a yoke, make flat-fell seams, sew button holes, trim cuffs and necklines with lace, and use Mom’s cast iron White sewing machine. It was a perfect project for novice sewers because it didn’t matter how the finished nightgowns looked, as they were only worn to bed. At about the same time, Sue’s Grandma Churchill (daughter of the great grandmother who migrated west in the late 1880’s) taught her how to embroider and smock a pillowcase and that was the beginning of her love of hand sewing: applique, beading, and quilting. In the late 1980’s, Sue’s baby sister, Kathy, took up quilting and got Mom interested and eventually all four sisters were all hooked. Under the Author tab is the article, “Quilting a Family Affair,” which Sue wrote and was published in McCall’s Quilting magazine.

Even though Sue’s afraid of heights, when challenged by a police officer, who was part of an underwater diving team, she jumped off a 30-foot high bridge, on a dare. She was working on a radio actuality with two guys, but the police only challenged “the girl” (Sue was 19 years old at the time).

She comes from a long line of strong women and loves telling their stories.