Sunday, July 22, 2012


I have always wanted to see one of Hollis Chatelain's quilts.
Thanks to the Ebony Quilters of Atlanta, , I not only saw  Hollis' quilts , I went to her lecture and took her dye painting class. The Ebony quilters of Decatur , a small group of approximately 20 lovely ladies hosted Hollis this weekend.  I plan to stay in touch with this talented group , as I am not fond of traveling so the Houston Quilt Show and the Paducah Quilt Museum are probably never going to happen. 
I love to dye fabric , but have always wanted to learned how the thicken the dye and paint with it. I work better when I am working on something I want to keep , not just a practice piece or one of Hollis' lovely patterns . One of the selling point of this weekend was the class on Sat morning didn't start until 12 , giving me time to drive back over to Atlanta , and get a picture of my  dog,  Biscuit, enlarged to 18 x 20.

Hollis' lecture was very good. I knew a bit about her from magazine excerpts but I didn't know she was a Peace Corp volunteer in Mali . Hollis is someone who learned on her own to piece and quilt and that can be a very freeing experience , no one to censor her method. I can honestly say I had never heard of anyone layering a quilt using foam for batting . I love it  ! Hollis' lecture and love for the African people was very evident . A woman thanked her , said she had never heard anyone speak of her people so lovingly . Sadly in March  , an Al-Qaeda group has over run northern  Mali . At times like this I don't mind that George Bush didn't find any weapons of mass destruction .  Not that an 8 year was very effective.   Knowing about  struggling countries like Mali we can better appreciate our own country and the immigrants who come here seeking refuge.
The dye painting class was fun , Hollis teaches drawing classes and paints her own masterpieces . She is gifted with the ability to break down a process into words not just demonstrating but instructing how to paint a line, leaf , etc. I knew I was in a good place when one of the handout stated that to require perfection is to invite paralysis. I was the only one painting a dog , I have always wanted to turn a photograph into a quilt and I have a lot of dye ! The good news is I don't have to sign up and learn to draw , Hollis suggested I tape the blown up photo on the window and trace the outline on the back , then I was able to lay my fabric on top and trace the outline. Painting that first bit was hard , and of course I was heavy handed with the dye ( the 1st time I made soap I added so much blue soap color that my hand turn blue when I wash with it , this cracked my teacher up.)
thanks  Hollis,  for a new point of view on the art of quilting and on Africa .
Now I just need to rinse out Biscuit and consider how to quilt him. He was the best dog ever , no offense Belle and Lucy and they would say , none taken.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy July 5th

Happy July the 5th. I am going to see fireworks in Hoschton Ga. ( no that is not a typo or a sneeze) tomorrow night so it will be a
Happy July the 6th celebration.

I have been inspired to make a bag out of a couple of jelly rolls that were given to me. Sometimes when I can't sleep I sew strips , I knew it was time to go to sleep when I singed the strip sets. Good thing I didn't know what I was going to make . I have had an old bag of my daughters in my studio for years thinking to use it for a bag pattern. I had to reduce the size of the bag , and I learned a lot ripping it apart. I would rather do this than buy a pattern and have to read instructions.  Plus then I can add pockets and dividers to suit my whims. I cut the strip sets into 1.5" sections and made a sort of a bargello pattern.
Then because it was kinda plain , I cut out the birdie and fused it and a branch to each side of the bag. I hope to work on quilting it some more this afternoon . New Note to self , take all photos as I want them see, Blogger seems to like to flip the photos back to their original orientation.

Make something today !