Barbara Pietila

Artist’s Statement:

Barbara Pietila is a pictorial quilter who creates contemporary artworks that depict scenes from African American history, African American everyday life and, most recently, actual scenes from nearly 200 years of her family history based on tales passed down by older family members and her own growing body of genealogy research.

In these quilts, Barbara drafts her patterns and uses a variety of quilting techniques and embellishments. Most of her pictorial quilts are created using traditional hand appliqué, piecing and quilting along with a variety of machine and fusible techniques. Barbara is frequently asked to teach workshops on creating a family history storyquilt.

Her work has been invited into national and international artquilt shows. Her work is in many private collections. She was invited to exhibit her quilts at the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City, the Toronto Textile Museum, the African American Museum in Baltimore and many other venues in the United States, Canada, China and including an international show in Havana, Cuba. Barbara was an invited guest speaker at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art Museum at a national Symposium “Comfort and Joy: Quilting Community, Memory and Spirit” conducted in conjunction with the exhibit, “Spirits of the Cloth: Contemporary Quilts by African American Artists.” The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture has acquired one of Barbara’s artquilts for their permanent collection.

Also, her work appears in several publications including Spirit of the Cloth by Carolyn L. Mazloomi, Ph.D. Publisher: Clarkson N. Potter/Random House, 1998.
To reach Barbara Pietila, please call her at 410.358.3206 or email her care of Carole Shaw at