Penny Sisto was born in the Orkney Islands off the northern tip of Scotland. As a health worker for the British Ministry of Overseas Development, she worked as a midwife and aided in health clinics for the Maasai, LuBukusu and Kikuyu tribes of East Africa. During this time, Sisto combined the embroidery, appliqué and quilting techniques she learned from her grandmother with the beading and collage methods of her African friends. Sisto says, “I have little or no formal education. My Granny taught me to sew and read by the soft light of a kerosene lantern at the age of three. The nuns taught me to embroider, the Maasai taught me to crochet, and to revel in color. My quilts spring full-born into my mind. My task, if you will, is to allow my clumsy hands to make them manifest. My granny taught me quilting. Read More...


Penny Sisto And Her Magic Quilts

"Everything about the 73-year-old Penny Sisto seems a little unreal, maybe unbelievable, or how she described it “magical.” - News And Tribune

Faces Of Faith

As she speaks about the fabrics she uses to create her art, Penny Sisto becomes absorbed in memories of their origins: the relationships she treasures with friends who gave her bits of fabrics and the experiences she has had searching them out in shops and thrift stores. - Carnegie Center

Southern Indiana Artist Enchants The Public With Her Quilts

In the early 1960s, Sisto, then a well-practiced midwife, traveled to Africa to help Maasai women give birth. From there, she moved to California with her first husband and lived at a “commune” - the still-standing Ananda Village. - Washington Times

Inspiration From Penny Sisto

Penny has won numerous awards and has been the subject of two PBS documentaries. She is known for difficult subjects including AIDS, poverty and racism that she addresses in her works, as she advocates for social justice and peace. - Bloom Bake Create

Penny Sisto Work

The following is work from Penny. For more information please use the contact page.

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