In 1998, Susan Else got bored making flat abstract quilts and decided to try making some cloth figures. Suddenly, fabric became a skin for three-dimensional objects and she was able to tell stories as never before. I, for one, am glad she did!
I’ve been a fan of Susan’s work ever since I saw her piece TIME BANDITS in a birthday-themed SAQA exhibit. Three goofy-yet-disturbing creatures pop out of a birthday cake. See TIME BANDITS, made in 2002, on SusanElse.com. I was thrilled to meet Susan around this time last year when she was in Boulder, Colorado, for a taping of The Quilt Show (her episode is #1309, and it’s a must-see). I mentioned having seen TIME BANDITS and she commented, “Yes, you might as well invite the time bandits to your birthday party, because they’ve already bought their party hats.” Isn’t that the truth! We also found out that when Susan travels to teaching gigs, she goes in style—accompanied by her husband and dog in a 19-foot travel trailer equipped with design walls, storage space, and a sewing machine.
We hope you have enjoyed the six pages of Susan’s art and humor in the August TQL as much as we enjoyed putting the article together for you. Below is a detail shot of another chess piece from Susan’s chess set sculpture, YOUR MOVE, along with photos of her sculpture HARD TIMES. …Jan Magee, The Quilt Life