Featured Artist Stephanie "Haiba" Collier


Artist Statement


Quilting is a life affirming balm that calms my soul. A friend once said, “Our creative expressions are a reflection of our inner beauty”. I hope that my work reflects that sentiment. When I conceptualize a Quilt and am able to bring it into existence, it gives me a joy and gratitude that  cannot be adequately expressed in words. Knowing that each quilt is uniquely made for a special someone is an honor, I hope will remain a family treasure and legacy for years to come. Quilting is a much honored and revered tradition in the US and internationally and I want to be a part of this rich history. My quilting style can be characterized as Afrocentric-Modern. I love the use of vibrant colors and taking the traditional and putting an afrocentric spin on it. Red Elephant Quilts is my signature logo in honoring my sorority Delta Sigma Theta. 

Stephanie Haiba Collier inspired by michelle obama portrait

Michelle Obama’s , “Black Elegance” Quilt Art is an interpretation of the Smithsonian portrait by Artist Amy Sherald, designed by Stephanie "Haiba" Collier. The impetus and motivation behind “Black Elegance” came to her in December 2018 after reading her biographical works "Becoming:..... Stephanie was reflecting on which direction she should take her quilting in the new year and wanted to create works that had lasting and historical significance. "I saw Michelle Obama as a beacon of hope, truth, compassion and dignity. I recalled the little girl captured,staring up at her portrait mesmerized by her image and thought to myself, “How many others are inspired and motivated by our first lady?”. The answer was evident, she was a force throughout the country and world. I felt compelled to capture it in quilt form. In the process of creating this amazing piece I experienced the swelling support of my local and national community. The completion of this work was not just for me as I’d once thought, rather it was for all of us. I completed and forwarded the finished work to the Obama’s residence in Washington, DC. I have not yet received acknowledgement of its receipt but know that I will so eventually. I was happy to create it and can only hope that it will live on a a legacy for future generations." – Habia 

Habia created the second quilt of the Michelle Obama portrait at the request of an art curator who asked if I would display a“Black Elegance” Quilt of the Smithsonian portrait at a Women’s Art exhibit featuring 9 female fiber artists in Nashville Tennessee. She had already decided to “gift to FLOTUS” the original Quilt so she decided to create a second slightly different version expressly for the exhibit. The exhibit ran through the month of June 2019 and was frequented by many community members of Nashville. "She was well received and I am extremely proud of this and the original creation", stated Haiba.