Salt Lake Speaks

A Navajo Quilter’s Art and a Bernina Sewing Celeb

October 19, 2017

Navajo artist Susan Hudson is a member of the Towering House Clan of the Navajo Nation and an award-winning quilter. Most of us think of native American art forms as pottery and weaving. Hudson’s chosen medium, quiltmaking, is an art form spread by Christian missionaries and taught in the Indian schools where the goal was to assimilate Indians into white culture. The federal government began sending American Indians to off-reservation boarding schools in the 1870s, when the United States was still at war with Indians. Hudson has turned an art form of the oppressor into a commentary on being oppressed. 

As a fellow seamstress, I had to ask Hudson what kind of sewing machine she used. Of course, a Bernina, she told me.

For anyone who sews, this is a Big Deal. Bernina is the premier manufacturer of precision, sewing, embroidery and quilting machines, ne plus ultra of sewing machines since 1893. Because of Utah’s strong pioneer heritage, quilting and home sewing is alive and well here and Dave’s Bernina (locations in Salt Lake and St. George) is the number one dealer in the country.

On this week's podcast, Hudson discuss her quilt art, how she came to it and the meaning behind her work.

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