Lee Suet Fern Won Award At International Competition, Bag Also Featured On Quilting Website
You may know Mrs Lee Suet Fern as the sister-in-law of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as she’s married to his brother Lee Hsien Yang.
The 61-year-old lawyer has been happily married to Mr Lee Hsien Yang for 39 years, and they have 3 sons.
But did you also know that she’s a master quilter who has quilted whole carpets, bags and face masks, and she’s even taken part in international competitions?
Mrs Lee quilted an entire bag using mesh fabric
On Wednesday, Mr Lee Hsien Yang posted that a bag his wife had quilted was featured on 2Quilters, a local quilting website and online fabric and notions supply shop.
According to the description, the taupe-and-green bag was made using Soft and Stable foam stabiliser and lightweight mesh fabric from ByAnnie, a company that designs quilting patterns and produces quilting products.
Mrs Lee told 2Quilters that although it was her first time trying out a ByAnnie pattern, she found the patterns “easier than they look” and those who are not absolute beginners can follow them.
Praising her speed of quilting, 2Quilters also said Mrs Lee’s quilting of the bag’s panels gives the bag “a special touch”.
Mrs Lee’s been productive during lockdown
Besides bags, Mrs Lee has also produced numerous beautiful quilts, some of which have been shared by her husband on Facebook.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, she hasn’t been wasting her time either, producing delightful works of art.
For example, take a look at the vibrant orange colour of this gorgeous piece, which her husband said was created while on lockdown.
Mrs Lee can make face masks to ward off Covid-19
Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his family are also very lucky to have a quilter in the family during the Covid-19 period.
While people around the world were queuing up for now-essential items like face masks due to the virus outbreak, his family need not worry at all about running out of them.
That’s because Mrs Lee can make them from scratch with the existing materials she has.
And the face masks she makes are not only reusable, but fashionable too.
Check out this one that Mr Lee Hsien Yang said was made just for him. No prizes for guessing who made it for him.
He also shared a photo of a rainbow mask too, perhaps in support of 2nd son Huanwu.
As Mr Lee urged us to wear masks all the time, he shared a photo of 4 exquisitely quilted masks with beautiful patterns.
If we had masks like these, we certainly would wear them all the time.
Mrs Lee shared passion for knitting with her mother-in-law
So, how did Mrs Lee get into this useful hobby?
Mrs Lee actually started knitting thanks partly to her mother-in-law Kwa Geok Choo, wife of our late founding father Lee Kuan Yew.
While studying at the University of Cambridge with Mr Lee Hsien Yang in the 1970s, Mrs Lee noticed that he wore a lot of jumpers knitted by his mother, she told AsiaOne in an interview.
She thus taught herself how to knit and sew. Later, she also became closer to Mdm Kwa due to their shared hobby, as they shared patterns with each other.
She moved on to embroidery and then quilting after she saw elaborate quilts at an exhibition.
As of the AsiaOne interview in 2014, she had a workspace with 2 sewing machines and had created 90 quilts.
Took part in international competitions
In 2014, 2 of her quilts were chosen for the International Quilt Festival Houston, apparently the world’s largest and most competitive quilt show.
According to her, it was the first time a quilt made by a Singaporean made it to the finals in that competition.
From there, one of her quilts made it to the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in 2015.
Mrs Lee eventually won an award at the 2019 Yokohama Quilt Festival with her quilt named Castel del Monte. Its distinctive design featuring octagons must have wowed the judges.
Her proud husband also posted about the win on Facebook, along with a photo of the award.
Wish we could buy some of them
With such a talented quilter in the household, it looks like Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s family will never need to buy another face mask, bag or blanket again.
These masterpieces are so beautiful that we wonder if there’s any chance of Mrs Lee setting up an online shop to sell them?
If she does, we think many will want to get her stunning creations for themselves.