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Preserving Memories of a Lifetime: Suzan Hirsch posted: 7/6/2003
by Carolyn Lee Vehslage Printable Page
Category: General Method: All Series: In the Studio
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Fort Washington resident Suzan Hirsch has used quilting as a means of relaxation from job as a social worker. She says, "My real passion is helping others preserve and document their family history in cloth. Memory quilts and pillows bring so much delight to those celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary, an important school graduation or a special birthday."

Suzan is able to create personalized wall hangings, quilts, and pillows for your special someone out of photographs, children's drawings, poems, inspirational messages, invitations, favorite ties or t-shirts, mementos, and other odds & ends.

Anything that can be photocopied can be photo-transferred on to fabric and stitched together. For instance, Suzan has done a number of 50th wedding anniversary quilts were friends and family of the happy couple have supplied her with original wedding invitations, army discharge papers, their children's drawings and report cards, sepia color photos of ancestors, birth certificates, immigration papers and of course the couple's own wedding photos.

One family contracted Suzan to make a quilt for their aging grandmother who was moving into an assisted living community. They wanted Mama to be surrounded by familiar things. Brightly colored, cheerful fabrics were selected to frame each family member's photo. As a helping touch for Mama's lapsing memory, Suzan embroidered their names under their photos.

When Suzan is between custom quilt and pillow projects, she works on her own art quilt designs. For "In the Treetops", Suzan's elaborately embroidered a Forked-Tailed Flycatcher perched on a blooming white magnolia branch. She says, "As an avid birdwatcher, you can usually find me looking out from my studio, peering into the treetops. It is not surprising then that birds often appear on my quilts, using multicolored thread and fabric to create a lush forest scene. And when I need new inspiration, all I do is pick up my binoculars and a quilt appears before me."

Her latest quilt, "In the Treetops II--Midnight Madness", was on display at the Sedgwick Cultural Center, 7137 Germantown Avenue in Philly from April 6-May 5, 2003. The idea for this quilt came, "One bright midnight, while looking out my second story window to view a hooting owl, I saw the moonlight capture the iridescent nature of the spider webs in the dark trees. It was a magical moment that inspired my quilt."

Visit Suzan's web site at www.SuzanHirsch.com to see "Memory Quilts" examples. Suzan can be reached at Aslj4444@aol.com.

2003 Carolyn Lee Vehslage
www.clvquilts.com

www.thequiltercommunity.com

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