The Fabric of Her Life; Cheryl Olson

The Fabric of Her Life; Cheryl Olson

Cheryl Olson

Cheryl Olson transforms fabric into an art form.

Creating has always been a part of Cheryl Olson’s life. An energetic mother of five and grandmother of three, Cheryl had expressed her creativity in practical ways, such as baking and sewing her children’s clothing. Then, when her children were older, Cheryl decided to enroll at NSU. While taking a design class, she suddenly realized creating was more than just a practical skill. It was her true passion. After completing a fine arts degree, Cheryl attended the Art Quilt Tahoe retreat on Lake Tahoe. Here she was introduced to a kind of art called “Fiber Art”, which brought her passion and her practical skills together. Fiber Art, or art quilt, is an art form that uses fabric instead of paint or clay. “The world of Fiber Art opened up new doors with limitless creative possibilities,” said Cheryl.

Cheryl has immersed herself in the world of Fiber Art, creating hand-dyed cotton, commercial, and silk fabrics, screen-printing, painting, and using batiks and discharge dyeing methods. Regionally, she serves as the Studio Art Quilt Association representative for North and South Dakota. Locally, she is an active member of the Aberdeen Area Quilt Guild (AAQG).

Cheryl has also entered and placed in numerous competitions, winning third at an International Machine Quilting Showcase in Kansas City, KS. She also won “Best of Show” at the Brown County Fair and first place at Fargo’s Indian Summer Quilt Show and Conference. She wants to share the joy of art quilts with others and has done so by teaching classes at the ARRC, Woman’s Song, the Huron State Quilt Guild, and the AAQG. Cheryl not only enjoys making these quilts, but also teaches others how to make them. She has taught at the AARC for several years and will teach a class called “Painting the Fabric” this fall. Cheryl will also teach a class called “Color Theory Quilts” in Pierre. In the spring, she will be teaching a dye workshop at her home. Her work is currently for sale at the Artworks Coop Gallery. You can also check out her blog at for information about classes she’s going to teach and pictures of her quilts. //