Butler, from Orange, New Jersey, says (on the gallery website) that she was always fascinated by portraits. These pieces are an extension of that and even the types of fabric she includes in the work relates to the what and who of the piece.
There is a whiff of history in this work. It is the subject matter, of course, but it is also the combination of quilting and ancient tapestry. Quilts are, even without imagery, things people hand down. I recall family quilts that were over 100 years old. Butler's pieces are, obviously, on a different level from quilts made by most of our great grandmas.
You can find out more on Butler at the gallery link above. Or check out the Youtube video linked below (it will lead you to other video interviews with the artist).