"For Love of Libby."

by Susan Shie Contact me

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Libby. full view. ©Susan Shie 2014.

"For Love of Libby."

©Susan Shie 2014. 30"h x 30"w. inventory #471. Peace Cozy #61.

Began 4-7-14. Finished 4-15-14.

Materials: White kona cotton, fabric paint, small amount of colored fabric marker. Aurifil cotton machine thread, Artfabrik variegated hand dyed perle cotton embroidery thread, one Green Temple Buddha Boy bead. Nature-fil bamboo and organic cotton batting. Backing fabric a special Lunn Fabrics hand tie-dyed piece by Debra and Michael themselves.

Techniques: Whole cloth painting. Hand brush painted with fabric paint. Small, black writing and drawing lines made with Silkpaint.com’s Airpen and black fabric paint. Some colored writing made with fabric markers. Crazy grid machine quilting and one row of hand stitching with perle cotton thread (on the border edge.)

I made this piece for the "Inspired by Libby" project, organized and curated by Clara Lawrence, whose impetus was to have a way to honor Libby Lehman and raise money to aid her medical expense fund.

Libby Lehman is a very well known and respected art quilter, who has exhibited and taught around the world for decades. Everyone absolutely loves her, because she is so kind, sincere, hard working, brilliant, helpful, etc, etc. Libby is truly one of those larger than life people we only wish there would be more of in this world.

Libby had an aneurysm burst last April 30 in her doctor's office, where she'd gone after days of an extremely terrible headache. Then she had a massive stroke. Almost a year later, she courageously works as hard as anyone could, to recover her abilities. Her whole family has rallied around her from the start of this episode in her life, as she surely would for any of them.

It is with honor that I made this piece for the Inspired by Libby project, as my donation for the cause. There will be an exhibition and an auction, and I'll post more about that, when there are details. Meanwhile, we artists are getting our pieces finished. They all have to be 30"h x 30"w, or mine probably would be larger!

Now for the actual story of my piece, "For Love of Libby."

This is about three Libbys: Libby Bruch, who was an amazing woman herself, and who started and ran Quailcrest Farm in Wooster, Ohio, until she passed away in February, 2010. Her character was much like that of Libby Lehman.

When we got our dog in October, 2010, I decided to name her after Libby Bruch, so that our dog would have some of Libby's good vibrations. We added the surname Spooler to our dog's name, as our last dog was Hattie Spooler, named after my Grandma Shie's first cousin, Hattie Spooler. So now we had Libby Spooler.

I would see Libby Lehman when we both taught here and there, and especially at Art Quilt Tahoe, where she taught every November, and I taught every second November. The last time I was with her was November, 2012, and we spent more time together at that gig than we ever had before. Walking along Lake Tahoe, I told her that hereby I officially went back in time and named my dog Libby Spooler also after HER (Libby Lehman), not just after Libby Bruch.

So this piece's writing is mostly about Libby Lehman, and then some about the other two Libbys.

The pies are my usual pies: blessings and gifts, here for Libby Lehman's healing. And the aloe vera plant is here, because I bought an aloe vera plant last Summer at Quailcrest Farm, where Libby Bruch's family continues to run the business in the same way Libby ran it. It's a beautiful place to go, with tons of plants, especially herbs, and lots of beautiful crafts, too. i keep this aloe in my kitchen, and of course, aloe's main use is for healing. It's a very strong remedy plant. And it's in this painting for Libby Lehman's healing.

The spools are on Libby Lehman's head, because for the Inspired by Libby project, each of us had to pick out one of LL's art quilts to inspire what we were making. I found an image of her little self portrait, in which she made spools of thread popping up out of her head. And this is the only art piece I'd ever seen of hers, that has narrative imagery in it. I loved it, and I knew right away that this was what I would use from her work, to inspire my work.

And isn't it interesting that Libby has those spools, and my dog's name is Libby Spooler! I think now that there are two Libby Spoolers! :)

Libby Lehman's family keeps a journal going on Caringbridge, giving faithful updates on Libby's progress in her healing. She has ups and downs, many poople helping her in many ways, and she has her own incredible will to make it back to her old self. She has her feisty sense of humor and her unbelieveable determination. She is her own hardest task master, and everyone who works with her in her therapies and caregiving worships the ground she walks on!

It probably sounds like I'm weaving a fairytale story, but I'm sure that to Libby, this has been so, so hard, so tiring and challenging, but I know that if anyone can come back from this cliff, it's Libby Lehman.

And many other people have had projects to help with the huge medical bills for Libby. I hope that our project Inspired by Libby can help significantly, too.

Note 5-29-14: I've made a little video about my piece "For Love of Libby," made for the Inspired by Libby project, curated by Clara Lawrence. My friend Pat Cornelius came over last night and shot the video for me, after my many failed attempts to do it as a selfie video! You can see it on Vimeo.

I have an album on my Susan Shie Turtle Moon Studios facebook page, showing the making of this piece, which I hope you can access. But I also have some large image details of the piece below here.

If you are interested in studying with me, please check out my Turtle Art Camps and classes that I'm teaching "out," listed on the main page of this site.

Read all about my Turtle Art Camp - how it works for your weeklong artmaking experience here in Wooster, Ohio, and see the changes I've made to the agenda. I have many large photos on the page, to show what's going on at this biosphere-like art experience. The emphasis in this adult students' art camp is on painting, so you can draw and paint all week on paper or canvas, instead of drawing and painting on cloth, if you like, and you don't even have to try my airpen and airbrush, or my sewing techniques, if you don't want to. I want my art camp to help you become more open to letting your art flow out, in whatever medium you want it to be in. I have even had students over the years who are mainly writers, not visual artists. Turtle Art Camp started in 1994 and is going strong.

Many thanks, Susan, Lucky

Susan Shie, Wooster, Ohio Feb 16, 2014 Note: This piece raised $5,000 in the Inspired by Libby online auction on Nov 5, 2014, with all funds going to Libby Lehman's medical expenses fund. You can still donate to that fund, giving any amount, on the auction site. Look for the "Donate" button, partway down the left side of the page.

Libby. detail view. ©Susan Shie 2014.


Libby. detail view. ©Susan Shie 2014.


Libby. detail ©Susan Shie 2014.


Libby. detail view.©Susan Shie 2014.


Libby. detail view.©Susan Shie 2014.


Libby. detail view.©Susan Shie 2014.


Turtle Moon Studios: Outsider Art Quilts and Paintings
Susan Shie

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