Betty Ekern Suiter
Betty is an award-winning quilt artist from Racine, WI. Her quilts have been exhibited across the U.S. and Japan.
From the Very First Stitch
Betty started quilting in 1979 and entered her first quilt show in 1982. By making the judge's suggested improvements on her quilts, she started winning. Of the critique process, Betty says, "I never took the judge's comments as a criticism but as a personal evaluation of my work and what I needed to do to improve." She makes quilts specifically for competition and always strives for perfection.
To-date, Betty has won 42 Best of Show Awards and 22 Best Workmanship Awards. Her ribbons now number well over 300. Her quilts have been featured in 16 books and 36 magazines.
Inspiration and Design
Betty is always looking for inspiration. It may be in a flower, architecture, furniture, rugs or perhaps the color in the sunrise or sunset.
Her interest is in traditional design using her own ideas. Betty considers her several years of work experience as a draftsman an added advantage when it comes to designing quilts.
She also uses her own hand dyed fabrics to get the special glow in her quilts. She likes subtle changes in hues and uses about distinct 40 colors in a quilt.
What's in a Quilt Name?
Betty has an interesting story to tell about how each of her quilts finds its name. Betty's brother-in-law, Jim Galbraith, takes great pride in naming her quilts. He is fascinated with her quilts from the original design stage, to picking out the fabrics, and watching them take form. Betty tells:
"After finishing the appliqué, I sent a picture of my latest quilt along with Jim's birthday card. He excitedly called me and said he held the picture in his hand for three hours, even got out the magnifying glass to see the detail. He named it Creation Springs Forth. He usually goes to the library and gets out the largest dictionary to use as a resource, searching for the best words."
30 Years of Accomplishments
- Betty started quilting.
- She entered her first quilt show.
- Betty became the ninth person certified as Master Quilter by the National Quilting Association.
- Won Best of Show at AQS in Paducah, KY with her quilt Aubosson Jarden Partiere.
- Her quilt, Floral Symphony, was selected one of the 100 Best American Quilts of the 20th Century.
- Betty was named one of 30 Distinguished Quilt Artists of the World and was invited to exhibit three quilts at the International Great Quilt Festival in Tokyo, Japan.
- She was one of seven NQA quilters invited to exhibit a quilt at the World Quilt Carnival in Nagoya, Japan.
- Won Best of Show for the 2nd time at the AQS Show in Paducah, KY, with her quilt Welcome to My Dreams. Betty is the only quilter so far to have won Best of Show at AQS more multiple times with quilts made by hand.
An Inspiration to Others
Betty loves every step in the process of making a quilt. Her goal is to inspire others to enjoy the handwork in needle-turn appliqué and quilting. You can do this while in the company of your family instead of being off by yourself in your studio.