Sue Gilgen

For as long as I can remember, I have played with, manipulated, and loved fabric.  I made doll clothes, small quilts, and eventually created my own garments.   While raising five children, I established a clientele for fine dressmaking.  Then with sewing skills developed over a lifetime, I began to use fabrics to create art quilt landscapes.  While living in Wisconsin the seasonal pallets were wide and varied, inviting interpretation and inspiration.

Today, living in Southern Utah, I find great fulfillment working with soft, pliable, fabrics that are hand dyed and hand painted to replicate various elements of nature.   It’s exciting to  create a forest setting, the red rocks of Zion, or a sky at sundown by artistically cutting and arranging fabric.  I could paint on canvas, but for me working with fabric in the appliqué process is more exciting and challenging.  The final product hangs like two dimensional art but is three dimensional, thus inviting the viewer to examine it from different angles and perspectives.

I hardly ever use a pattern, although I often use a photo or collection of photos from which to sketch a  composition.  I love working spontaneously, letting the fabric have a voice in creating natural elements.  I begin with a plain piece of fabric placed on a design wall.  Once the colorful fabrics have been selected, I begin cutting and layering the composition.   When the artistic top layer is completed, it is sandwiched with batting and backing fabric and prepared for quilting.   Organically inspired free motion stitching with beautiful threads is the last element of design.

Since beginning this journey in 1997,  I have garnered many awards from prestigious quilt shows and art museums all around the world.  I have received commissions from individuals, corporations, the governor’s office of Wisconsin and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow where two landscapes hang in a permanent exhibit of American Landscapes.   I have been the featured artist in shows including at the Olbrich Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin, and more recently at the St. George Art Museum.  Most of my work has been purchased, but there are always new pieces on the horizon.   I invite you to visit my web site to enjoy many of my works to date.