For fifty years I have made quilts about real people and their struggles and celebrations. Sometimes they are about me, and sometimes about people who touch me in some way. I try to create art that is honest, hopeful and beautiful.

In this section you’ll find a selection of my Jewish stories, which form a substantial part of my work. You’ll also find the Elisabetta stories, as Italy is an important part of my history, though not my heritage. And I’ve included some of the art I do around themes of peace and justice. The most substantial project I’ve ever done was the Middle East Peace Quilt. Please take a look at it here.

There are two reasons I love being an artist. For me it is like magic to start with nothing and build something that has real meaning. I’ve often said my fingers know what I’m doing before my mind does. The other reason I create art is because it is my strongest voice in my commitment to make the world a better place in whatever small ways I can.

Fabric Art by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin

Jewish Stories

Jewish Stories

Jewish StoriesI come from a family of stitchers and quilters and tailors and dressmakers. My mother made all our clothes and the drapes and slipcovers in our home. I see fabric as a traditional women’s art form, and in many cases, a tool for social change. In my work...

Stitching for Peace and Justice

Stitching for Peace and Justice

Stitching for Peace and Social JusticeTikkun Olam is a Hebrew word meaning "world repair". We are not required to complete the job of healing the world, but we are mandated to try. Building a better world is serious work, but it doesn't have to be onerous. We travel...

The Elisabetta Story

The Elisabetta Story

The Elisabetta StoryBocca della Verita.Text reads: What is truth? What is memory?In 1951 when I was two years old, my father accepted a job with the newly formed Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which was located in Rome. (In Italian F.A.O. is...