Essie Lee Robinson


        Detroit, Michigan, United States    

Essie Lee Robinson is featured in the exhibit: Quilting Sisters: African-American Quiltmaking in Michigan.
"Quilting gives me a reason to get up in the morning. It works my brain creatively," says Essie Lee Robinson. Quilting has fueled this 72-year-old artist's life since the late 1940s. Her first attempts at quilting, however, were made while she was growing up in Augusta, Georgia. Both her mother and grandmother quilted using bleached sacks and whatever else was available. But because Robinson quilts for beauty in contrast to her relatives who quilted for warmth, she sees her skills as being self-taught rather than a continuation of the family tradition.

The mark of an Essie Lee Robinson quilt is that it is reversible so that there are always two quilts in one. A lover of fabric, Robinson has used materials as diverse as cotton, antique satin and denim. She works a pattern out in her head and then goes straight to the fabric using a plastic ruler and fabric cutter. She has been the recipient of numerous citations.

Was the maker a woman, man or a group?


When was the quiltmaker born?


Ethnic background/tribal affiliation:

African American

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