Susan McBride Gilgen has worked with fabric all her life. She began by sewing as a child. In the 1970's she began teaching for the Fashion Academy of Costa Mesa, California. She continued her teaching in various locations, including California, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Utah. In 1983 she founded Persona Studio and focused on fashion consulting, couture dressmaking, and custom bridal gowns.
In 1997 she "discovered" Landscape Quilting after taking a class from artist Natalie Sewell, the first among several artists who contributed to Sue's quilting vision and technique. Sue's very first entry in a quilt show won her a Viewers Choice award. Within just a few months she had won several other awards, and 16 months after taking up the art won a prestigious first place award for "Autumn Splendor" (left) at the American Quilter's Society show in Paducah, Kentucky. Since then she has won awards and displayed her work all over the world, including two quilts that hang in the US Embassy in Moscow. In 2005 she was commissioned by the Wisconsin Arts Foundation to create the art prizes for the Wisconsin Governor's Awards in Support of the Arts.
For an online article about Sue and her art, see Meridian Magazine (June 2003).
Ten years after taking up landscape quilting, and having made a mark on the art community in Wisconsin, Sue relocated with her husband to St. George, Utah (the far southwest corner of the state) where she has continued her art in a new studio, and where she has connected and collaborated with other artists in Utah. She took two 18-month hiatuses to serve missions with her husband in Nashville, TN, and Madrid, Spain.
She continues to create beautiful and inspiring art, and is constantly experimenting with new techniques as her artistry grows.