Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hollis

I have always wanted to see one of Hollis Chatelain's quilts. http://hollisart.com/
Thanks to the Ebony Quilters of Atlanta, http://www.ebonystitchersquiltguild.org/page1.aspx , 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.  http://www.aljazeera.com/video/africa/2012/07/20127384948865812.html
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.