Some of the other quilts I got to say hello to at the Birmingham Quilt Festival were the works of Susan Shie, a lifelong sewer who has been making unique and often whimsical painted quilts since 1980.
You need a lot of TIME to see Susan’s quilts--she describes her art as “personal diary work,” and she fills in everything she paints with detailed spontaneous handwritten diary entries that record whatever she is thinking and feeling at the time.
As you are reading the words, the imagery in the quilts become less the focus and you find yourself turning your head side-ways to see just what she has written.
Insightful and witty, her words struck a chord with me and it was wonderful to see the woman “behind the quilt” through the words she recorded “upon the quilt” using air brush techniques.
Susan’s work on the walls!
The way the Birmingham festival is set up, each featured artist gets their own “gallery” space, like a room itself within the big confines of the convention center. This was wonderful as it cut down the noise from wide open spaces, and allowed people to reflect a bit more upon the quilts, and even talk to the artist if she was available. The galleries were a respit from the chaos of the show.
I found the colors very soothing!
But you have to get up close to read the words!
Close up of detail. Get REALLY close…she has written and written and written in here…
I love the fish that says PEACE NOW!
Nelson Mandela, Pope Francis
Notice the Q is a rotary cutter! Sometimes you just have to put the rotary cutter down, “Get into that bedroom and snuggle up to your sweetie – do some serious spooning!” Words of wisdom to those of us who spend more time petting the fabric than we spend hugging our loved ones.
I wish I could have spent more time reading Susan’s quilts. I would have needed DAYS! I absolutely loved them.
I’ll go back to my triangles, squares, strips, strings and my traditional patchwork, but these quilts will stick with me as Quilt Art that SAYS SOMETHING. That MEANS SOMETHING about our times, our trials, our journey, and the life and and musings of the quilter who records it all --- Susan Shie.
You can find more on Susan’s amazing work on her website HERE.
I’m off to Quilt Villa this morning – just as soon as the post office opens and I can drop some stuff off on my way. I don’t have a time I NEED to be there, so as soon as everything is done here…I’ll go.
And I’ll sew! And I’ll get everything ready for a Girlfriend Retreat this coming Saturday!
Have an awesome Tuesday, Everyone!