Monday, December 26, 2011

Habari Gani?

Today is the first day of Kwanzaa, so I greet you with Habari Gani. It means what is happening. The answer today is "Umoja". Umoja is unity. Kwanzaa consists of seven principles, one practiced each day of the seven days. The principles are Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani. Have a Happy Kwanzaa!
Today's quilt is called Blue Line. I came up with the name because it reminded me of the book proofs that used to be called blue line. They were called that because they were done in blue ink. Why? I don't know. It is 59"x72", just right for a nap.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


You never know when that little thing you say or do will mean so much to someone. Thank you so much Carol, you have inspired me. So glad my little posts have inspired you.

I have so much to be grateful for and so many people who have come into my life and encouraged/influenced me. Today I am just feeling all of that gratitude. The quilt I choice for the day is called "No Nonsense." I named it that because the fabric came from a dear friend, Amoyewa, who took no prisoners. I loved her for her no nonsense attitude towards life. When I look at this quilt, I think of her. She had a great idea about what I liked. She knew me well. I miss her.

It is a simple traditional block pattern. This is one of those that I made by stacking up all 20 blocks, then adding the sashing that I pieced with squares and triangles. It is bed sized -77"x100" and my favorite color of orange. I'm sure you hadn't missed the orangeness of it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Count Down

When I undertook this challenge that I gave myself, I had no idea how demanding it would be to write everyday. Some input from you would have been nice but we all survived this sale. Hey, I just appreciate that you stopping by and reading my blog.
Okay, so I missed yesterday, but I am back on track.
Today it is another small quilt from the scrap bag. I can't wait to make another one of these. It was a quilt as you go pattern, so when you finish you are finished! How wonderful.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Is Here

The days are ticking away really really fast. Soon Christmas Day will be here. I have this great quilt made from a Christmas print fabric covered with holly and sashed by red & green squares and triangles. It is a nap quilt size -65"x76". This quilt is special for the holiday. Lovely lovely.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sale Continues

Bed quilts always remind me of my childhood. We slept under quilts at my house, at Mama Josie's house, at my friend Leen's house, and my Aunt Marie's house. I also saw quilts on the beds of all the neighbors and all my friends. Quilts were the standard and necessarily so. They were made for warmth over beauty. Sometimes we lucked up and got a pretty one but not often.

Today I have chosen one of my favorite bed quilts. It has my signature favorite color-orange. I called it "Zimbabwe Basket" because the design reminded me of the designs woven into African baskets. It is a combination of two blocks. I thought the combination was a stroke of genius, not mine though. This quilt is 77"x88".

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gift of Art

A gift of art will last a very long time. Art is often cherished and passed through the generations. Fiber art makes a great heirloom that can be shared with generation after generation. Oftentimes, we don't think of fiber art as lasting very long. I was astonished to see some quilts made over 100 years ago. This will be a good place to start your heirloom collection.
This quilt is hand dyed and hand painted. It is quilted with beads. 41"x36"

Monday, December 19, 2011

Love of Stars

The traditional star pattern was my first quilt love and I still love it. When I made this one I searched out really great star patterns to put in a sampler. A sampler is a quilt that was originally used as a catalog of sorts. The sampler was true to it's name. It sampled a number of designs on one quilt. I haven't quite figured out why I chose that sea shell fabric as a background. I think it was because it gave a nice contrast. All taken in, it turned out to be a really calming quilt. It is nap size- 62"x61". Snuggle snuggle.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to everyone. This quilt is special to me because I was pretty much raised by my father. Our mother passed when we were little and my dad kept it going. There is nothing like a father's love. When I first saw this fabric with pictures of a father and child, I knew immediately what could happen with it. Mother and child is fairly easy to find but father and child pictures are kind of rare. There are some great fathers out there struggling alone to make like happen for their children. It is 9.5"x10" and looks really great in a frame.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Black and White Sleeper

This quilt is called "Afternoon on the Serengeti". I named it that because of the animals on the fabric and the Zebra print fabric. It is 74"x82". Great sleeping quilt and it's a great gift for someone really special. Today the price is just right.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Left-overs Pay Off

I originally started quilting to save and recycle the left over fabrics after I finished making a great outfit or dress. I was obsessed with the idea of not wasting one drop of the fabric scraps. I saved and saved scraps until they were taking over. When I was forced to do something with the bags and bags of scraps, I got serious about quilting. The quilts I made, the more fabric I had. It was growing instead of shrinking. One day I just surrendered, quilters just have a lot of fabric; especially scraps.

This quilt was made from one of those scrap bags. Love love love reaching in that scrap bag and coming out with something useful. It is 16.5"x16.5" and hand quilted. It is called Scandalous #1.
The quilt to the right was also made from the scrap bag and a lot of creativity. I entered it in the Holidays Aglow Art Exhibit for 2012. It happened to be the 13th year of the affair. Much to my surprise and delight, it won Best In Show this year. How wonderful!! Like I always say, these little quilts frame beautifully.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The 15th Already

I can't believe the 15th is here already. It was just January 1 a minute ago and I was trying to get used to writing 2011. This has been the fastest year I've seen in all my years on earth. I thought I would take it slower this year and enjoy the little things, pay attention to the minutes and it only made it go faster.

So let's celebrate the fact that December 15th is here. Today I chose a wallhanging quilt called "Choice". This quilt was one in a series of abstracts that I thought I would do. When I finished it most people saw a landscape but a few people turned it upside down and yet a few others turned it sideways. As I struggled with a name for it, I decided on "Choice" leaving it open for turning it either way. It is 15.5"x15.5" and machine quilted.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stardust Bed Quilt

Stardust is a traditional bed quilt made from satin and cotton fabrics. The star pattern is my favorite traditional pattern, next is the log cabin for its ease and versatility. When I first started quilting, I made a lot of star quilts. I also made mostly bed quilts because my experience with quilts were solely for the bed. We grew up with quilts everywhere. We needed them to keep warm. Now I just cling to them to keep wonderful childhood memories alive.

Quilts are quite different now. The quilts my aunt used to make for our family weren't so much pretty as they were warm. The emphasis of her quilts was on function not beauty. Today's quilters have the luxury of time and an abundance of fabrics. Now I find myself making quilts for the love of quilts versus the function of quilts.

I put a lot of love into this one and hopefully it will find a home fitting its' beauty.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blue Moon

The idea for Once in a Blue Moon started when one of the ladies in the Brown Sugar Stitchers Guild brought in her scrap bag to share with us. She thought she would offer them to us before she threw it out. So happy she did. I got some really really great pieces from the bag, especially that wonderful blue stripe on the sleeves. I thought this would be a great way to use up a lot of my scraps as well. It was like putting together a puzzle. I had just learned to make the gentle curve that I added through the middle. I gave her a big afro that kind of flopped in the top like mine used to do. I added the moon and some adinkra symbols to the black side and embellished her dress with a lot of beads. It is 31"x39". I also hand quilted it.

Today she is the new Super Savings Sale item. Check it out!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Art Magnets

All magnets are half price. The magnets at are made from my art, my work. I feel a little embarrassed some times when people call it work. When I am in it and communing with the spirit, it doesn't feel like work at all. It is simply my pleasure that happens to consume all my waking hours and some times invades my sleep.
Often times people look at me, as if I have a horn growing out of my eye or something. Then they say, this must be your passion. Now that better describes what I do. I could truly say it is my passion. I think they might be really thinking that I am a tid bit crazy. Who in their right mind would spend countless hours, days, and months making a piece of art that is impossible to get a return in equal monetary compensation.
Lately, I have heard people call it my ministry, a quiet ministry. I have to reflect on that. It is a good thought though, that the art is affecting people somewhere at the core that will make a profound effect on their lives.
So today, I humbly offer the art on magnets at 1/2 price for the next four days of this December Sale.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Savings Savings

This quilt is called Solitude. This quilt features the adinkra symbol- Gye Nyame. This unique and beautiful symbol is ubiquitous in Ghana. It is by far the most popular for use in decoration, which is a testament to the deeply religious character of the Ghanaian people. The meaning is "except for God", symbol of the supremacy of God. I've heard it explained as "only God" meaning that when all things are stripped away, only God is left.

It is a wonderful patchwork quilt that is hand quilted. It is 37"x37". Great wall hanging quilt.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Super Savings Continues

It's on now. Putting up one of my masterpieces today. I have been asked, "how long did it take you to make this quilt?" An understandable question, when you stand back and look at all the tomatoes sewn in one at a time or any other vegetables for that matter. It took me some months. Hand appliqued, hand embellished and hand quilted. I loved every minute of it though. Loved it. Every prick of my fingers as well as the search for just the right fabrics. I love their togetherness. I want to stand back out of site and listen in on their conversation. Then at the end I want to taste that great pot of gumbo they make. Humbly I want to ask them to teach me to wrap my head like they do.

I call this quilt "Gumbo Ladies #2: Lagniappe Sil Vous Plait." It is 45"x64" and great for hanging in a narrow hall, beside the bed, in the dining room or where ever. Fall in love with them too!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Red & White Day

Today I feel all cheery and stuff. I figured red and white would express that good feeling best. As many of you know I love the color red. This wonderful traditional quilt pattern called a square in a square gives a great clean modern effect. Best gift of all and great price.

And don't forget to get your 2012 Calendar. Buy one and get one free for month of December. Go to today and check it all out.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Super Savings Sale Day 8

Another day and another sale. Today we have this fantastic little beauty. My friend Marquetta calls these little quilts babies. She says, You'd better buy it before it grows up," and smiles. It features hand dyed fabrics and hand quilting. It is bead embellished and fits nicely into a frame. 14"x15.5" Beautify your walls with this one. Great gift for that special person.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Out there

Baby, it's cold out there. That is exactly why I say wrap yourself in this wonderful king-sized bed quilt. It is a traditional log cabin quilt pattern. I simply love all the things you can do with that simple quilt block. It measures 106"x96" in black and white cotton fabrics.
Day 7 of the Super Savings Sale and the month seems to be flying by. Hurry to get one of these treasures for your special family member or friend.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Super Savings Day 6

Last year Elaine, Janice and I presented "Vistas" as our 4th annual art exhibit. We created several different landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes and more. This is one of my favorites. I used quite a few hand dyed fabrics, a little hand painting and a lot of applique. It is 38"x32". On sale for the next four days or until sold.

Still waiting on you to tell me what you want me to put on sale. We 24 days of the sale to go.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 5 Super Savings Sale

I decided to go with something small that fits just right in a frame for beautifying your walls. This quilt is called Hugs and it is number one in the series. It is an applique of a printed fabric on the courthouse steps quilt pattern. It is 14"x16". I thought the purple made such a regal statement. On sale at a great price for the next 4 days or until sold.
Check it out at

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Half Price Bed Quilt

Today, I have chosen a bed quilt. The bed quilts are my favorites because of childhood memories. I had many good nights sleep buried under a warm quilt. This quilt is for the black and gold lovers. You know who you are. I call it Stellar Experience. Stars are my favorite of all quilt patterns and this one is covered with stars. It is 84"x96". It is a great gift at 1/2 price. This is the first quilt I have slashed to half. Check it out.

Come on now and help me chose!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 3 Dec. Sale

Precious Precious is one of my most creative endeavors. It started when I was learning to marble fabric in a class with Marquetta Johnson. I fell in love with marbling. The random beauty of the flow of the dye in the water excited me. I started out with the idea of a mother and a baby. Then it developed into the Madonna and child.

The quilt is 41"x36". It is hand quilted, bead embellished, hand dyed, and hand painted.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Second Day Dec. Sale

Ninety Degrees is my choice for today. You can help me make the choice for tomorrow. Go to the website (, choose one you'd like to get and email me, facebook me, or write a comment on this blog.
This quilt is the size I call a Nap Quilt. It is 54"x66". This quilt is made for curling up under. Some are wall hangings art pieces. This one is an art piece designed to be used. I used ninety degree angles to make it, thus the name. It is just the right price for a special gift. Check it out.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Encore: Reception

We had a wonderful time. The weather cooperated and the staff of the Atrium on Auburn was so gracious. I wish everyone could visit this exhibit. We have some great works of art from the past four years and some outstanding new pieces. I'll post some of the new pieces here.

If you are in Atlanta, come on by. 236 Auburn Avenue 9am-4pm Monday through Friday

Super Savings Sale December

I have this wild idea that I will put one different item on sale everyday of December. I thought I would kick the month off with a quilt that so many people have wanted and loved. One lucky person will end up with her.
This quilt is so special. You have got to love the colors, her big jewelry, her flowing dress with beads dripping from the tail, her big hat, her ankle bangles, and lovely tiny little earring. The quilting design across the quilt makes it all the more delightful. She is 24.5"x33". This quilt is number 3 of a 20 quilt series. It is easy to frame and lovely hanging on the wall with or without a frame. The ultimate gift. Get it now at

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Encore! Art Exhibit

Encore is the 5th Annual Fiber, Bead, and Mixed Media Art Exhibit by Aisha Lumumba and Elaine Parker. Happening at the Atrium on Sweet Auburn (The Odd Fellows Building) 236 Auburn Ave. Atlanta, GA 30303Opening Reception Friday, November 18, 2011

This year we are exhibiting the best of the previous four years along side some great new work. The reception features S. Chezon Jackson as the Mistress of Ceremony, F.L. Stanton Elementary School's Dancing Dolls performing a wonderful dance, Sisters of Tomorrow are hotesses and highlighting the affair with her beautiful voice and uplifting songs is Nytavia Jackson. The Sisters of Tomorrow are our hostesses. Meet and greet the authors and enjoy the refreshments. FREE and open to the public. Bring the entire family-children are welcome. This is good way to enhance the children's interest in art early.

We are so excited about the exhibit this year. It opens on the 10th just in time for the 11-11-11 Soiree at the Atrium on Sweet Auburn. FREE Event Call to RSVP with new unwrapped child's toy or canned food- 404-524-7921

For more info: 404-418-5413

Logos Festival in West End

Saturday and Sunday at the West End Mall was wonderful. The Logos Festival is an exciting FREE event featuring great food, top authors and international entertainers. This is a 3-day event is a "Celebration of Life Through Reading and Knowledge" and is one of the few major book festivals in the city of Atlanta that will feature diverse writers and artists from all genres. National and local authors, spoken word artists and world-acclaimed poets will give lectures and sign their work. For more info:

The festival continues this Saturday, November 12, 2011. Opening at 10am

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Art Quilt Calendar

I feel like I have been negligent in writing on this blog. I console myself with the idea that everyone is busy too and will still be here when I write something. So for that I say thank you for still being here.

I really haven't been negligent though. It takes a lot to produce this calendar. As soon as I finish one year I start on the next year. So all this year I have been making quilts and planning photo shoots. As soon as one photo shoot is done, we are off to the next one. It sounds so easy now, but trying to schedule my time, the photographers time and the venue's time was very challenging.

This year I added a framer into the mix. Since the glass on the frame reflects back with a glaring flash from the camera, I had some of the work framed without the glass. Rushed to take the pictures and then back to the framer to have the glass put in. Did I mention that when the quilt is big, there is at least a two week wait for ordering glass and mats to fit? I wasn't expecting this to be so time consuming.

When I started on this journey last September I was sure that I would make my deadline. I didn't. I pledged to the photographer that we will do better this time. He reminded me that we did better this year than we did last year. That should give me some consolation.

I spent countless hours on the computer. I set up all the number date pages and watched my son organize the photo pages. I learned to make a PDF document. Then the moment came when I thought I would just upload the file to the printer. At first it looked like my computer security was attacking the file, that was when I called the security company and chatted online; to no avail. Then I called the printer and got someone who obviously didn't know anything about technology. At least he was honest when he said, "I don't know what to tell you." So I called my daughter, my son, my brother. They all made some good suggestions.

Then I called the printer again. I got someone different. He said did you flatten all the documents first. I remembered that my son did that for me last year. He also added that I should load it in Acrobat 4. Wow, he had some solid answers. Tried all of that. Stayed up until midnight trying to send it. I called the printer again. Got the same person. He suggested that I reduce the size of everything. Still didn't work. They were telling me the file was just too big. Too big? It's a big calendar, 12"x12" and I want the highest quality photos that I can get. I was thinking, if you are a printer, how could you not have the capabilities to handle large files.

Frustrated to death, I called again. I got someone else. I asked for the previous helpers. I think the other helpers I had been calling were waving their hands saying, "no no, I don't want to talk to her again." The new person asked me the million dollar question. "Are you on a computer that is using wifi or is it a hard line?" He explained that the wifi connection was not strong enough to carry such a big file. I plugged in and it loaded.

I texted my son, "And the heavens opened wide. The sun peeked through and painted a rainbow across the sky." He knew that the storm had finally passed and I had Finally uploaded that monster of a file.

Now you can own one of these lovely calendars. They make great gifts. Own some today. Go to

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sankofa: Photography by Sue Ross

Sankofa: Looking Back to Move Forward. July 15-August 26, 2011. This beautiful exhibit by Sue Ross is a most see. Sue has documented the National Black Arts Festival from 1988 at the inception to present. I missed the Opening Reception but was there for the First Thursdays Downtown ArtsWalk. I was so happy that I went.

The pictures are phenomenal. "I wait on that moment to catch the picture that shows a little of their personality," Ms. Ross says. I spent time with each photo and felt transported to the moment. She has pictures of Cicely Tyson, Gladys Knight, Max Roach, Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, Aaron Neville, Toni Cade Bambara, Dr. Richard Long, Cassandra Wilson, Rachelle Farrell, Philadanco Dance Company!, Elizabeth Catlett and many many more. Be sure to go by and see it before it leaves at the end of the month.

The exhibit is at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta. In the fall 1916, a 926 seat theater opened in Atlanta. It was named the Rialto. which is defined as an exchange or marketplace. The Rialto operated through the Depression and at one time boasted the largest electric sign above the marquee in the south. The original building was torn down in 1962, and a new 1200 seat theater was erected on the same site. It was the first movie theater to be constructed in downtown Atlanta in 35 years and stayed open until 1989 before falling victim to the declining economy. Georgia State University bought it in 1996 and re-opened a 833 seat performing arts center.

It is fitting to that Sankofa is exhibited at the Rialto. We can "look back" to a time when African Americans had to sit in the balcony (segregated) to view the movies at the Rialto. Now as we "move forward", the Rialto is hosting an African American Art Photography Exhibit. Sankofa!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Praise the Postal Service

I mailed two bed sized quilts about a month ago. One was queen sized and the other was king sized. I mailed them on Saturday just before the post office closed by Priority mail. On Monday the black and white one called Soul Sisters had arrived in Washington, DC. I was so surprised and happy that it got there so fast.

Both quilts were meant to be surprises for the new owners. The quilt arrived in DC so fast and I just knew the other one had made it home to New Orleans just as fast. Since I mailed the New Orleans quilt called Sharing the Love to a Post Office box, I figured it may take the recipient a couple of days to check the post box. I waited and waited and still no wonderful surprised call.

After two weeks I sent a text that said "check your post office box for a surprise." Which totally ruined the surprise but by then I was just concerned that the quilt might be lost in the mail. The responding text said, "did you send it to this address?" I was downstairs working and that address did not look the same. I ran up the stairs and searched for the address. I quickly texted back, "no I sent it to P.O. Box XXXX, New Orleans, LA with a totally different zip code." By then I was breathing pretty heavily and trying hard not to panic. I was slowly thinking how dumb it was to try to surprise her and how dumb it was that I didn't put a confirmation on it. The next text said, "This is my new address. I changed my post office box." My heart sunk. Oh no, I mailed it to the wrong address.

Panic was breathing down my neck. I remembered that Aunt Annie said, "If you pray don't worry, but if you worry don't bother to pray." So I switched to prayer mode. I found my receipt and considered going to the post office to find out what ever little they could tell me. When my mail man came by, I asked him what he thought the chances were of getting the box back. He said, "two weeks, I don't know. You might have something to worry about. Somebody might be excited about a nice gift in the mail." Not the right answer but he is still my favorite mail person.

The post office has gotten a lot of bad press of late, but I want to go on record to say that there are some wonderful people who work for the postal service. They always take good care of me. So I settled into a vision of the postman bringing the box back to me. Every time worry tried to slip into my mind, I visualized the postman and my box.

Long story short. I thought I would sleep late Saturday morning. Everybody knows that I get up early. So my friend called at 7:30am on Saturday with the wonderful surprise in her voice. Thank you for the quilt, she said. God is good and so is the postal service!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I used to be Superwoman. I searched in every drawer and throughout the closet. I know it is here somewhere. I had it. I had a blouse with a "S" on it and a cape. Yes, I had a cape.

I used to wake up in the morning and bound out of bed. I could throw a baby on my back and work all day. I could juggle three children, work a job, come home cook dinner, help with homework and still have energy to spare. Now I have to coax myself out of bed. I tell myself that I need to exercise. Gone are the days when I could take my shape for granted. I have to work hard to look this good.

I could jump from one building to another in a single bound. All I had to do was bend down a little and leap. Now if I bend down someone has to help me up. I could have been gardening in my younger days. I could have grown food for us to eat. But NO, I was too busy out saving the world and making it free of villains and rascality. I had my ideas about how to help people, but I found out much later that they had different ideas.

Yep, I used to be Superwoman but I am passing that job on. I'm taking it easier and slower. I'm making quilts and loving it. No hurry. I love the idea of taking a few months to finish a project. I know that suit is here somewhere.

I found it. I think I'll make a quilt with a picture of me wearing it to commemorate the old days. What will I do with this outfit? Maybe I will give it to some unsuspecting young person [like I used to be], who doesn't have a clue. Not a clue.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I attended a book signing party on Saturday night. I was pleasantly surprised to know that the physical book has not died the final death. People who actually want the feel and comfort of a real book in their hands still exist.
The Apex Museum on Auburn Ave. was packed with fans of M. Ayodele Heath. In case you haven't heard of it, the Apex museum is entirely devoted to African American history in order to promote cultural awareness and societal contributions by African Americans in Georgia.

I was impressed with the crowd and Ayodele himself. Good company, good performances and good food always make for a pleasant experience. Let me first say that Ayodele's entire family was there to support him. That alone was impressive and I know how much it means to an artist to have that support. Then a multitude of friends and one of his professors. I found some friends of mine in the crowd.

The MC Chezon Jackson was just what you would want: funny, informative, articulate and gracious. I walked in just as Gypsee Yo, a native of Albania, was opening up with some of her great poems. She has received standing ovations on multiple continents, having competed in slams worldwide, including National Poetry Slam 2006 and 2007, Individual World Poetry Slam 2006, and the first ever Women of the World Poetry Slam 2008. She fired the whole crowd up and brought us to our feet.
Gypsee Yo was followed by Emmy Nominee Jon Goode. Jon represents a refreshing change-up to traditional performance poetry, and has established himself as one of the most influential and positive voices in the African American community. Jon's laid back blend of humor and levity have propelled his career and made him one of the most sought after talents of our generation. I wasn't ready. I had not been forewarned. Not only did he have a satirical humor but also slipped up behind you to surprise you with a double meaning in every word. Gypsee Yo and Jon Goode stirred up the crowd for Ayodele.

Then Ayodele burst onto center stage. He performed many poems from his book. He was awesome. I think my favorite was the poem about the Bird family name. If you have the opportunity to see him perform, don't miss it. I was so happy that I made the effort to make it.

M. Ayodele Heath, an Atlanta native, is the recipient of an Emerging Artist grant from the Atlanta Bureau for Cultural Affairs. A performance poet who holds an MFA from New England College, Ayodele has been awarded fellowships from Cave Canem and the Caversham Centre for Artists in South Africa. His first book, Otherness, is available on Brick Road Poetry Press.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Visual Tribute to Oprah Winfrey

The other day I received an email with a title called, "The Book Is Ready!" It seemed to have happened so fast. It was just last fall when the call went out to artists. I set out to make my quilt in a two month window. Finding just the right look on Oprah's face and then on Gayle's face was a challenge. The image I had in my mind didn't exist, at least not in public pictures. I wanted my piece to tell the story of close friends sharing a secret, a story, a laugh together. Of course I couldn't find that picture because it would have to be a private moment and I wanted to capture a private moment between friends. I happen to know what that is like. I have been blessed with some really good friends in my life and have shared some really good laughter, secrets, stories and just plain fun.

I have to admit that I had some help finding just the right look. But when I did, I knew it was right. The hair for both ladies turned out to be much more involved than I thought it would be. At first I layered the colors of fabrics in. Although it is difficult to see on the picture, I did a lot of thread painting on the hair. Then building the faces was next. I achieved a really good reproduction of Oprah's mouth but had a lot of trouble with Gayle's. I just have to keep working at it.

After I finished the faces and hair, I decided on the color of their dresses. Then I worked on the background. I asked my son and daughter for help. I love asking them because they give me such honest opinions. Finally I hand dyed some fabric in order to keep the background from being so stark.

Making this piece gave me a chance to express my idea about Gayle and Oprah's friendship, but it also gave me a chance to pay homage to some of the great best friends I have had through several stages of my life. People come into your life just as you need them and stay as long as you need them and they need you.

Which brings me to my second piece, where my first real friendship started with my sister. This quilt is about friendship, Easter Sunday, and bangs. We all remember the bangs. So many people have told me how closely they can relate to this quilt. The baby doll socks and patent leather shoes, the frilly dresses and the hair experience. I made the hair on this quilt with braided yarn. It took me a good amount of time to braid it and an even longer time to sew each braid to the quilt. The dresses were fun. It took me back to making doll clothes as a little girl with all the skill I have as an accomplished seamstress. Many people have asked me where did I have the little dresses.
I sent the pictures in and waited. It seemed like time really flew after that. The next thing I knew I was accepted into the book. That alone was a tremendous honor. I feel so blessed to have been one of the few artist accepted into this book.

Now the book is ready. I am proud and honored to have three pieces in the book. Click here and peruse the book You can order your own copy today.

Public Library

The Atlanta Central Library Downtown Branch with African Americans for the Arts presented it's annual Black History program called "Out of Many One". It runs from January 30-February 25, 2011. We were at the opening reception on February 3, 2010. Pamela Diana and Charles Coad performed among the beautifully displayed art. I was so proud to be a part of this exhibit.

Something really wonderful happened for me. I saw these tile pieces that I thought were so beautiful and well done. I kept telling Elaine how great this artist was, since I play around at tiling now and then. About a half hour later the artist came in and I said, "you look familiar." She said you taught a tile workshop last year at the Arts Exchange. I said yes, that is where I know you from. She said yes you taught me to tile. Wow! This is really a time when the student took it and ran way past the teacher. I was just so amazed that she got it. She really understood the intricacies of making it art.
I try to live by a story I heard about Miriam Makeba. I am not sure it is true or where I heard it from now. Very young Miriam was walking to the Laundromat one day when she heard this beautiful music coming from a basement of a house she was passing. She went to the window and peeked in. She saw a lady with her back to the window playing a piano. Miriam decided that day that she would become a musician. The lady never knew the influence she had on Miriam. We may never know the effects of our actions on others.
Be sure to get by and see this exhibit.