Do You Know Where You are Going?

Strength a From My Ancestors, 35x45 inch art quilt by O.V Brantley, 2016. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com

Strength From My Ancestors, 43×50 inch art quilt by O.V Brantley, 2016. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com

There is a saying in my community that you can’t know where you are going unless you know where you have been.

The National Museum of African American History opened this weekend in Washington, DC. after many years of hoping, planning and preparation. I haven’t visited the museum yet, but I can’t wait to get there.

Meanwhile, I am left to my own memories and reflections. Such reflections inspired my quilt Strength From My Ancestors.

Take a moment to honor your heritage and move it forward.

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2016 Atlanta Quilt Festival Was a Huge Success

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First Lady, 28×42 inch art quilt by O.V Brantley, 2016.

Each August my life is filled with joy and gratitude as my friends and I host  the Atlanta Quilt Festival. The 2016 edition of the Atlanta Quilt Festival ended yesterday. By all measures it was a huge success. Thank you for your support!

From the standing room only opening reception to sold out classes, trunk shows and workshops, participation exceeded all expectations. More people than ever visited the exhibit.

I had several quilts in the exhibit, but the new one you could not have seen before the Festival is First Lady. If you did not get to see it in person, enjoy!

Here are the other quilts I had in the exhibit at South Fulton Arts Center.

Give Yourself a Dream Flower, 38x40 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2016. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com.

Give Yourself a Dream Flower, 38×40 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2016. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com.

Disagreement, 36x48 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Disagreement, 36×48 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Give Yourself a Flower Garden, 60x60 inch applique quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Give Yourself a Flower Garden, 60×60 inch appliqué quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Star of Mu, 60x60 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Star of Mu, 60×60 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

 

 

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Always Give Yourself Flowers

Give Yourself a Wild Flower, 36x45 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016. For sake at ovbrantleyquilts.com

Give Yourself a Wild Flower, 36×45 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016. For sake at ovbrantleyquilts.com

My Give Yourself Flowers series of quilts is intended to remind me (and those who love my quilts) to always be good to myself. Too often we wait for others to make our lives magical. I say it is my responsibility to make my life magical.

Lest I forget that lesson, I have added two magical flower quilts to my collection. They are Give Yourself a Dream Flower and Give Yourself a Wild Flower. Both are listed for sale in my studio store.

Enjoy!

Give Yourself a Dream Flower, 38x40 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2016. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com.

Give Yourself a Dream Flower, 38×40 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2016. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com.

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Sunday Morning — Quiet, Calm, Deeply Thoughtful

Sunday Morning, 72x82 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Sunday Morning, 72×82 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Quiet time is so important. Each morning I try to set aside some time to center myself. I reflect on the things for which I am grateful. I try to dig deep to find my best self. I analyze pros and cons to try to make the best decisions.

My quilt Sunday Morning is intended to capture those moments in my life — quiet, calm, deeply thoughtful.

Do you make time for quietness in your life?

Back of Sunday Morning

Back of Sunday Morning

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Sunday Morning closeup

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Closeup of the back of Sunday Morning

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My Quilt “Grateful Journey” Becomes a Memory Quilt

Grateful Journey, 60 x 70 inch lap quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Grateful Journey, 60 x 70 inch lap quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

Sometimes staff members are just too special to let them leave for a new job without a quilt. Such is the case with Trumondia Williams. Tru was part of my staff in the DeKalb County Attorney’s Office for three years. Everyday she showed up with joy and gratitude.

We in the DeKalb County Attorney’s Office will never forget Tru. I wanted to make sure she did not forget us,  so I gave her my quilt Grateful Journey. We wish her great success in her new travel agency Travel Divas.

Trumondia Williams and O.V. Brantley with "Grateful Journey".

Trumondia Williams and O.V. Brantley with “Grateful Journey”.

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My Quilt “Blue Heart” Becomes a Memory Quilt

Blue Heart, 44 x 52 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2012. For sale at etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Blue Heart, 44 x 52 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2012.

Assistant DeKalb County Attorney Bennett Bryan argued a case on behalf of the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner before the Georgia Court of Appeals. This was no ordinary argument however. The Court was sitting at the University of Georgia where Bennett received his law degree. I am sure it is an experience that Bennett will never forget, but to make sure he never forgets, I gave him my quilt Blue Heart to mark the occasion.

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Bennett Bryan and O.V. Brantley with “Blue Heart”.

 

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My Quilt “Be Brilliant” Becomes a Memory Quilt

Be Brilliant, 48 x 48 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Be Brilliant, 48 x 48 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014.

Senior Assistant DeKalb County Attorney Terri Gordon argued her first case before the Georgia Supreme Court recently The case involved the death of a citizen who died after being arrested and transported to the hospital by law enforcement officials.

The Court streamed the argument live for all to see. Teri did a great job! Now we affectionately call her a rock star.

I am sure it is an experience that Terri will never forget, but to make sure she never forgets, I gave her my quilt Be Brilliant to mark the occasion.

Teri Gordon and O.V. Brantley with "Be Brilliant".

Teri Gordon and O.V. Brantley with “Be Brilliant”.

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Getting Stronger and Stronger

Getting Stronger and Stronger, 52x71 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com

Getting Stronger and Stronger, 52×71 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com

My quilt Getting Stronger and Stronger started out as a demonstration quilt so that I could demonstrate hand quilting at the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival. Now that I have finally finished it, I really like it.

The color combination is symbolic of a fight against breast cancer. It seems we all know someone who is battling this terrible disease.  The pink and brown colors represent vulnerability and strength. The finished beauty of the quilt (complete with big stitch quilting) represents glorious victory.

This quilt makes me happy. Enjoy!

Getting Stronger and Stronger in the quilting frame at 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival.

Getting Stronger and Stronger in the quilting frame at 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival.

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“African Star” Finds A New Home

African Star, 68x68 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

African Star, 68×68 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

My quilt African Star was with me for a very short time. After one of my friends got a new job, I decided African Star was the perfect gift for her. She says it matches her bedroom perfectly.

I love star quilts and the symbolism they represent. This quilt is one huge star as is my friend.

Elephants on the back of "African Star"

Elephants on the back of “African Star”

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“Be Bold” Finds a New Home

Be Bold, 75 x 90 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

Be Bold, 75 x 90 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

My quilt Be Bold was recently sold and shipped to a collector in Virginia. She says she loves it just as the visitors at the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival did when it greeted them as they entered the South Fulton Arts Center.

Be Bold is part of my “BE series. These quilts inspire us to take the next step to be better. Other quilts in the series include Be Amazing, Be Fearless, Be Calm, Be Bossy, Be Brilliant and Be You. 

I am happy Be Bold found a loving home.

Judges of the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival juried  quilt exhibit pose in front of "Be Bold"

Judges of the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival juried quilt exhibit pose in front of “Be Bold”

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My Red and White Quilts Part of Exhibit at Downtown Atlanta Library

Star of Mu, 60x60 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Star of Mu, 60×60 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

My collection of red and white quilts are part of an exhibit entitled Looking Forward and Backward: The View From My Grandmother’s Porch. The exhibit is at the Atlanta Fulton County Library, 126 Carnegie Way, Atlanta, GA 30303. It will be on display until April 29, 2016. 

In addition to my quilts,  Aisha Lumumba, Marquetta Bell Johnson and Elaine Parker also have quilts in the exhibit. Their talent will amaze you! Our styles are so different that I am sure you will find a lot to enjoy.

We had a large crowd at the Opening Reception Thursday. Guests enjoyed entertainment by Felton Eaddy and Pamela Diana and cupcakes by India’s Sassy Sweets. We also shared our stories with the audience.

Please visit ovbrantleyquilts.com for purchase information. Use coupon code “library” for an extra 10% off until May 1, 2016. Of course, some of my red and white quilts like Star of Mu shown above are precious heirlooms and are not for sale.

I hope you will be able to see the exhibit. Here is a small sampling of my collection I See the World in Red and White and Joy!

Ancestral Delta Star, 68x68 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Ancestral Delta Star, 68×68 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Dreaming of Being the Belle of the Ball, 50x58 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Dreaming of Being the Belle of the Ball, 50×58 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Give Yourself Flowers Today, 16x21 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Give Yourself Flowers Today, 16×21 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

 

O.V. Brantley with "Disagreement", 36x48 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com

O.V. Brantley with “Disagreement”, 36×48 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com

Red and white quilts waiting to be hung.

Red and white quilts waiting to be hung.

Audience enjoying entertainment at "Looking Forward and Backward: My View From My Grandmother's Porch" exhibit.

Audience enjoying entertainment at “Looking Forward and Backward: My View From My Grandmother’s Porch” exhibit.

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Give Yourself a Flower Garden and a Vacation and Anything Else on Your Bucket List!

Give Yourself a Flower Garden, 60x60 inch applique quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Give Yourself a Flower Garden, 60×60 inch appliqué  quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

I just returned from a fabulous vacation cruising on the Celebrity Equinox for 11 nights. My gratitude meter is sky high!  I enjoyed great food, interesting ports of call, fabulous fun with my travel mates and uninterrupted Mommy time with daughter India.

The highlight of the trip for me was visiting South America which had long been on my bucket list. We spent two glorious days in Cartagena, Colombia, but also visited Cozumel, Costa Rica, Panama and Grand Cayman.

Part of the joy of visiting that part of the world is the sheer beauty of it. One of my strongest memories of this trip is that flowers seemed to be everywhere. While I will hold those colorful memories close to my heart, if they begin to fade, I can always turn to my quilt Give Yourself a Flower Garden for a memory jolt of just how good life is.

When was the last time you checked something off your bucket list?

Give Yourself a Flower Garden detail

Give Yourself a Flower Garden detail

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Give Yourself a Flower a Garden detail

Give Yourself a Flower a Garden detail

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

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Spring Cleaning

My Southside Neighborhood, 63x81 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014.

My Southside Neighborhood, 63×81 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014.

Just before the official beginning of spring, we all get the urge to clean up something. We tackle the yard and haul away dead branches. We tackle our closets and donate clothes we have not worn in years. We reorganize our offices and resolve to be better organized.

But what about people? Are we brave enough to discard  the negative people in our lives? Are we committed to finding a new job or a new relationship?  Remember there is no room for the new until you throw out the old.

What are you throwing out to make room for something new? Are you making your life as green and vibrant as my quilt My Southside Neighborhood?

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Quilts Return Home From Lucy Laney African American Museum

Three Sisters.001.2015

Three Sisters, 38×58 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Four of my quilts were part of the Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild exhibit at the Lucy Laney African American Museum in Augusta, GA. The exhibit lasted from October, 2015 through December 31, 2015.

These quilts are now listed for sale in my studio store at Etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts.

Woman's Work is Never Done.0012012

Woman’s Work is Never Done, 36 x 62 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Joyful Journey.002.2013

Joyful Journey, 68 x 74 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Give Yourself Flowers Growing Free, 49 x 62 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbbrantleyquilts

Give Yourself Flowers Growing Free, 49 x 62 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbbrantleyquilts

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Be You in the New Year

 

Be You, 36x36 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Be You, 36×36 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

I have learned that I am happiest when I am me. (It sounds like a dumb statement, but many people spend a lot of time trying to be someone else). My resolution for 2016 is to continue to be me. That means I will continue to share my beautiful quilts. I will continue to enjoy the rough and tumble of my local government law practice. I will continue to try to be the voice of reason in the room as my mediation skills teach me to do. I will continue to try to be Super Mom and dote on my now grown-up daughter. I will continue to try to be the Best Boss, the Best Friend, the Best Aunt and the Best Grandmother to my dog Justin. All of that rolled up together is me.

Be happy in 2016 being you!

Serene at Sixty, 38 x 42 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2014.

Serene at Sixty, 38 x 42 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2014.

 

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Waiting To Exhale #3 Finds a New Home

Waiting to Exhale # 3, 33 x34 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2011

Waiting to Exhale # 3, 33 x34 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2011

My quilt Waiting to Exhale #3 was sold and shipped to Billings, Montana. The new owner loves it as did I.

I think I will create Waiting to Exhale #4. I always wonder at the beginning of a new year, “What’s next?’

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Scrappy Treasure

Scrappy Treasure.002.2015

Each year on the first Saturday in December, I host a brunch for 20 of my closest quilting friends. We call it the “Fabric is Better Than Food Brunch”, and this tradition has lasted for 15 years.

Each year one of the quilters issues a challenge for the next year and gives each quilter one or more challenge fabrics that must be used in the quilt. This year’s challenge was to make a scrap quilt that included two challenge fabrics. Scrappy Treasure was my answer to the challenge. Counting from left to right, the challenge fabrics are # 15 and #26.

Scrappy Treasure is listed for sale in my Studio Store at Etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts. Visit O.V. Brantley Quilt Studio on Facebook to see pictures of the amazing show and tell at the brunch.

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Some of My Holiday Quilts Stayed Home

 

Flowers Hoping to Be Free.003.2005

Flowers Hoping to be Free, 75 x 75 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2005. 

After the Christmas trees are decorated and the stockings are hung, out come the Christmas quilts to take center stage.

I try to add to my collection as often as possible. I love Christmas!

A Child's Christmas.007.2003

A Child’s Christmas, 45 x 45 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2003.

Santa's Secret Weapon 001.2007

Santa’s Secret Weapon, 39 x 54 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2007.

Christmas After You Left.001.2010

Christmas After You Left, 38 x 45 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2010. For sale at etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Stars Over My Christmas Garden.003.2008

Stars Over My Christmas Garden, 35 x 35 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2008. For sale at etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Ancestral Christmas.002.2012

Ancestral Christmas, 42×55 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2012. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Merry Chrismas004

Merry Christmas, 36 x 36 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2002.

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Some of My Holiday Quilts Visited the Office

African Christmas, 65 x 75 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2004.

African Christmas, 65 x 75 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2004.

Several of my holiday quilts added to the festive atmosphere in the DeKalb County Law Department this holiday season. Staff and guests at our annual Holiday Open House always enjoy the quilts.

Believe! art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014

Believe! art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014

 

Joyful Noise, 68 x 74 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Joyful Noise, 68 x 74 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Christmas Traditions, 73 x 83 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2007

Christmas Traditions, 73 x 83 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2007

Stars Over My Christmas Garden, 35 x 35 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2008. For sale at www.ovbrant.etsy.com

Stars Over My Christmas Garden, 35 x 35 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2008. For sale at etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Almost Christmas, 54 x 72 inches, by O. V. Brantley, 2011. For sale at www.etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts.

Almost Christmas, 54 x 72 inches, by O. V. Brantley, 2011. For sale at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts.

Happy Holidays, 61 x 43 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2010

Happy Holidays, 61 x 43 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2010. For sale at etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

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Quilts Find New Homes at Neighbors Jewelry and Quilt Open House

Joyful Butterflies, art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

Joyful Butterflies, art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

Each year on the second Saturday in November, my neighbor Connie Marshall and I open her home to friends who collect our creations. Connie makes jewelry. I make quilts.

This year was the best ever. Attendance and sales exceeded all expectations. Below are some of my quilts that went home with new owners.

Connie and I thank you for being so supportive. See you next year on November 12th!

Let's Pull Together, 31 x 32 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2009. For sale at ovbrant.etsy.com

Let’s Pull Together, 31 x 32 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2009. 

Heaven's Highway, 25 x 27 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2009. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Heaven’s Highway, 25 x 27 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2009. 

I Believe in Angels #20, 30 x 37 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2011. For sale at etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

I Believe in Angels #20, 30 x 37 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2011. 

A Woman of Sophisticated Substance #3, 26 x 24 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

A Woman of Sophisticated Substance #3, 26 x 24 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. 

 

Happy Alone, 11 x 18 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2010. For sale at www.ovbrant.etsy.com.

Happy Alone, 11 x 18 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2010. 

A Woman of Sophisticated Substance #8 art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

A Woman of Sophisticated Substance #8 art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Life is Good, 72 x 84 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2002.

Life is Good, 72 x 84 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2002.

Thank you for loving my quilts!

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Italian Inspirations

My Southside Neighborhood, 66x81 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014.

My Southside Neighborhood, 66×81 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014.

I am a big believer in vacations. Why?

First, because they are educational. I never fail to learn something new on vacation.

Second, because they free your mind to re-imagine things.

Third, because they increase my gratitude factor. I am never so grateful for all the things I have at home as when I return from vacation.

India and I just returned from an amazing 10-day vacation in Italy. We traveled from Milan to Florence to Venice with many stops in between.

We learned. We reimagined. We were grateful.

When is your next vacation?

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Visit the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History in Augusta

Woman's Work is Never Done, 36 x 62 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Woman’s Work is Never Done, 36 x 62 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History until 12/31/15. 

Four of my quilts will be part of the Brown Sugar Stitchers exhibit at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, located at 1116 Phillips Street in Augusta, GA. They are Woman’s Work is Never Done, Three Sisters, Give Yourself Flowers Growing Free, and Joyful Journey.

The exhibit opens October 4th and closes December 31st. If you are in the Augusta area, it’s worth a visit.

Three Sisters, 38x58 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Three Sisters, 38×58 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History until 12/31/15.

Give Yourself Flowers Growing Free, 49 x 62 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbbrantleyquilts

Give Yourself Flowers Growing Free, 49 x 62 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History until 12/31/15

Joyful Journey, 68 x 74 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Joyful Journey, 68 x 74 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. For sale at Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History until 12/31/15

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Grateful Journey

Grateful Journey, 60 x 70 inch lap quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Grateful Journey, 60 x 70 inch lap quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

The 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival, my personal labor of love, was the best ever! The exhibit showcased over 100 quilts. We had more classes than ever before, and they were led by nationally known teachers. We had large crowds, great PR from the Atlanta Journal and the exhibit was showcased a month rather than the two weeks it lasted in previous years.

I am so grateful to all my old friends (especially those who serve on the Clara Ford Foundation Advisory Board and the members of the Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild) and new friends who believe in my dream and come along for the joyful journey. I am grateful for the new things I learned from the amazing workshop leaders — Joy Peters, Latifah Shakir, Nina Moore, Cookie Patterson and Gyleen Fitzgerald. I am grateful that Holly Anderson, certified quilt appraiser, was able to tell me how much my quilt is worth and that Hammonds House Museum continues to be my partner.

The 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival has truly been a month long joyful journey. So today I am sharing my newest quilt called Grateful Journey. It is listed for sale in my ETSY Studio Store.

Do you have something in your life that you do purely for the joy of it? I hope so. If not, share my joy each August as I celebrate my love of quilts.

Joyful Journey, 68 x 74 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Joyful Journey, 68 x 74 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

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Swimming Upstream #1 Finds A New Home

Swimming Upstream #1, 16 x 31 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2010.

Swimming Upstream #1, 16 x 31 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2010.

Swimming Upstream #1 found a new home and has been shipped to her new owner. I know she is gone to a home where she will be loved.

You can view the other quilts available for purchase in my ETSY Studio Store found at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts.

My Swimming Upstream series reminds us to enjoy the beauty of the journey even during the tough times.

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Football Saturday

Football Saturday, 54 x 72 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Football Saturday, 54 x 72 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the leaves. I love the sparkle in the air. I love football!

This quilt entitled Football Saturday captures all my loves.

Are you ready for some football?

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Blue Moon Over Africa Finds a New Home

Blue Moon Over Africa, 50 x 52 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2010.

Blue Moon Over Africa, 50 x 52 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2010.

Blue Moon Over Africa found a new home and has been shipped to California. I know she is gone to a home where she will be loved.

You can view the other quilts available for purchase in my ETSY Studio Store found at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts.

Blue Moon Over Africa celebrates the unique and rare things that happen in our lives. I hope you are having a blue moon kind of day.

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A Beautiful Day in Rome

A Beautiful Day in Rome.001.2015

When India and I travel, I try to document the trip with a quilt. That way, we have our mental memories and a tangible memory that we can touch.

Last summer, India and I spent a magical weekend in Rome before joining a group of friends to board a cruise ship to sail around the Mediterranean. We felt so brave. Even though we did not speak the language, we rode the subway, visited all the major tour destinations, shopped in beautiful stores and ate delicious food. A year later, we often talk and laugh about our adventures. Now this quilt will add to the memories as it hangs in our home.

Vacations are important. Did you find time to make memories this summer? If not, it’s not too late.

Joyful travelers -- Mom and daughter

Joyful travelers — Mom and daughter

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I Believe in Angels #11 Finds a New Home

I Believe in Angels #11, 33 x 32 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2011.

I Believe in Angels #11, 33 x 32 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2011.

I Believe in Angels #11 found a new home at the Quilt Market during the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival. I know she is gone to a new home where she will be loved.

You can view the other quilts available for purchase in my ETSY Studio Store found at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts.

Do you believe in angels?

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Three Sisters is part of the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival Exhibit

Three Sisters, 38x58 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Three Sisters, 38×58 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

My quilt Three Sisters is part of the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival exhibit at South Fulton Arts Center through August 31, 2015. Visit the center located at 4645 Butner Road, College Park, GA Monday through Saturday from 10 – 4 p.m. to see this quilt in person. It is listed for sale in my ETSY Studio store.

The Atlanta Quilt Festival is sponsored by the Clara Ford Foundation and Hammonds House Museum.

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African Merlot is part of the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival Exhibit

African Merlot, 54 x 62 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

African Merlot, 54 x 62 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

My quilt African Merlot is part of the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival exhibit at South Fulton Arts Center through August 31, 2015. Visit the center located at 4645 Butner Road, College Park, GA Monday through Saturday from 10 – 4 p.m. to see this quilt in person. It is listed for sale in my ETSY Studio store.

The Atlanta Quilt Festival is sponsored by the Clara Ford Foundation and Hammonds House Museum.

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Give Yourself Flowers Growing Free is part of 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival Exhibit

Give Yourself Flowers Growing Free, 49 x 62 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbbrantleyquilts

Give Yourself Flowers Growing Free, 49 x 62 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbbrantleyquilts

My quilt Give Yourself Flowers Growing Free is part of the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival exhibit at South Fulton Arts Center through August 31, 2015. Visit the center located at 4645 Butner Road, College Park, GA Monday through Saturday from 10 – 4 p.m. to see this quilt in person. It is listed for sale in my ETSY Studio store.

The Atlanta Quilt Festival is sponsored by the Clara Ford Foundation and Hammonds House Museum.

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Christmas Shopping is part of 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival Exhibit

Christmas Shopping, 48x48 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Christmas Shopping, 48×48 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

My quilt Christmas Shopping is part of the 2015 Atlanta Quilt Festival exhibit at South Fulton Arts Center through August 31, 2015. Visit the center located at 4645 Butner Road, College Park, GA Monday through Saturday from 10 – 4 p.m. to see this quilt in person. It is listed for sale in my ETSY Studio store.

The Atlanta Quilt Festival is sponsored by the Clara Ford Foundation and Hammonds House Museum.

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“Be Amazing” Will Be Auctioned at GABWA Gala

Be Amazing, 45 x 63 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2012.

Be Amazing, 45 x 63 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2012.

My quilt Be Amazing has been donated to the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA) to aid fundraising efforts for their scholarship fund. It will be auctioned at their annual Glitter Gala July 25, 2015.

If you are attending, bid high and bid often!

To see other quilts in my “BE” series, visit my Etsy Studio Store. Here’s the link www.etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts.

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Be Bold

Be Bold, 75 x 90 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

Be Bold, 75 x 90 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

I named my newest quilt Be Bold because that is the name that popped into my head when I stood back and looked at the quilt. Be Bold is based on a pattern called “Amish With a Twist.” It features sampler blocks in strong bright solids on a black background in the Amish tradition of quiltmaking.

Be Bold is part of my “BE” series. Other quilts in this series are Be Amazing, Be Fearless, Be Stronger, Be Brilliant, Be Bossy, and Be You. You can see some of these quilts in my Etsy Studio Store.

This quilt reminds me to live life confidently, to trust my instincts and to take chances. Are you living your life boldly?

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Chilling in Charleston, SC

India and me outside the Straw Market in Charleston

India and I enjoy fresh squeezed lemonade outside the Straw Market in Charleston

India and I recently spent a delightful weekend in Charleston, South Carolina. The occasion was the Opening Reception of the 9th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibit. My quilt Strength and Grace was part of the exhibit.

India and I have traveled together a lot. She is always a good sport about her Mommy’s quilting activities where she is usually the youngest adult in the room. During our travels, she is designated chief chauffeur, fabulous photographer and food finder extraordinaire. Charleston was no different.

We had beautiful weather during our drive  to Charleston. Unfortunately, we were not blessed with good weather for the entire weekend, but our spirits were not dampened in the least. We got an early start so that we could make our ritualistic stop at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. We arrived at the exquisitely beautiful Mills House hotel with time to explore before the opening reception at North Charleston City Hall. Downtown Charleston has great shopping and cute little wine and cheese bistros.

Strength and Grace looked beautiful among the other quilts in the exhibit, and our hosts made us quilters feel like celebrities. Each quilter received a bracelet from the Straw Market. The exhibit was extra special to me because it was in North Charleston City Hall, and my professional life as a public servant has always intersected with my quilts.

After the official business of the quilt exhibit was taken care of, we spent the weekend exploring and eating all over Charleston. Charleston is definitely a “foodie” town, and there is a lot to see and do.  We checked out the Slave Market Museum, the straw market and had dinner on the water front. We checked out historical buildings, and we shopped and shopped. The most notable purchase was a Selfie Stick I am embarrassed to say.

Our weekend was much too short so we plan to return. Charleston is a great place to go with no set agenda and so that you can just go where the city leads you.

Did I mention it was Mother’s Day weekend? Yes, I am feeling blessed.

Hat shopping in Charleston

Hat shopping in Charleston

She just had to buy a Selfie Stick!

She just had to buy a Selfie Stick!

Me with Moon Pie. I loved Moon Pies when I was a girl.

Me with Moon Pie. I loved Moon Pies when I was a girl.

Strength and Grace, 36 x 36 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. For sale at etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Strength and Grace, 36 x 36 inch art quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2013. Currently being exhibited at the 9th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibit in North Charleston, SC

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Evora’s Earth — A Tribute to My Mama

Evora's Earth, 85 x 96 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2001

Evora’s Earth, 85 x 96 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2001

I grew up happy in a small town. My Mama had everything to do with that. Evora’s Earth is one of the first quilts I made when I began quilting. It honors my Mama and the values she taught my sisters and me.

I hope today is a day for happy memories for you as well.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Detail of angel in Evora's Earth

Detail of angel in Evora’s Earth

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Quilt Around the World

Quilt Around the World, 93x93 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015

Quilt Around the World, 93×93 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015

Have you planned a vacation yet? I try to take at least two vacations every year, but when I can’t, retreating to my quilt studio is just as good.

The quilt shown above may look like a scrap quilt, but it includes all the things that make me happy — Christmas, travel, my sewing machine, coffee, books, to name a few. I named it Quilt Around the World.  

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Dreaming of Euphoria

Dreaming of Euphoria, 58 x 70 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shp/ovbrantleyquilts

Dreaming of Euphoria, 58 x 70 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015. For sale at ETSY.com/shp/ovbrantleyquilts

What does the happiest moment of your life look like in fabric? Dreaming of Euphoria is what my happiest moment looks like.

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Welcome To the World Stella Monroe Hazel!

Welcome to the World Stella Monroe Hazel, baby quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

Welcome to the World Stella Monroe Hazel, baby quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

My newest baby quilt was commissioned for the parents of Stella Monroe Hazel. It was commissioned by Judge Patsy Porter.

I figured with a name like Stella, the quilt had to be purple!

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Happy Easter!

I Believe in Angels #15, 32 x 30 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2011.

I Believe in Angels #15, 32 x 30 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2011.

Hoping your day is filled with joy!

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Choose To Bloom Awarded Honorable Mention Ribbon at Quiltfest Savannah

Choose to Bloom and me with her ribbon

Choose to Bloom and me with her ribbon

My quilt Choose To Bloom was awarded an Honorable Mention Ribbon in the Traditional Category at Quiltfest Savannah. Thank you to the judges wherever you are!

One of the blocks from Choose to Bloom was featured on the program. I am so grateful and proud of the recognition Choose to Bloom has received, but I am especially excited to share her message. Life is about choices. I hope you are “choosing to bloom.”

I am happy to report that she arrived home safely and is now on loan to the DeKalb County Law Department.

Closeup of Choose to Bloom's ribbon

Closeup of Choose to Bloom’s ribbon

Quiltfest Savannah Program

Quiltfest Savannah Program

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After My Coffee

After My Coffee, 30x33 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014.  For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

After My Coffee, 30×33 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

I am one of those people who cannot start the day without coffee. This quilt is called After My Coffee.

This quilt may inspire a series because I have many thoughts about what I can do after my coffee. For now, I just want to wake up!

After My Coffee is listed for sale in my Etsy Studio Store.

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Be You

Be You, 36x36 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Be You, 36×36 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

I have seen some people who can do Michael Jackson better than Michael Jackson. While it is amusing to see how close a copycat can come to the real thing, being a copycat really doesn’t get you very far in life. People pay for the original.

Whatever you are doing today, add your own authentic touch to it. People will respect you for that.

 The latest quilt in my ‘Be” series is called simply Be You. It is hand quilted to capture the imperfection that is me.

Be You is listed for sale in my ETSY Studio Store. It is the seventh quilt in the series. Others are Be Amazing, Be Stronger, Be Fearless, Be BossyBe Calm and Be Brilliant.

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Summer’s End Dreams

Summer's End Dreams, 65 x 78 inch lap quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014.

Summer’s End Dreams, 65 x 78 inch lap quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014.

I finished piecing Summer’s End Dreams on Labor Day. I was feeling sad that summer was ending, but I knew I could capture the summer permanently with this beautiful quilt.

This week in Atlanta, we are experiencing really cold temperatures. It seemed like a good time to share this quilt.

I listed it for sale in my ETSY Studio Store, but it sold within hours. The new owner was kind enough to allow me to hold on to it until after I shared it with my quilting sisters in the Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild. Monday, Summer’s End Dreams will be shipped to its new owner in California.

Summer's End Dreams back view.

Summer’s End Dreams back view.

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My Quilt Hot Chocolate is Ready for Snow Day

Hot Chocolate,  35 x48 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2008.

Hot Chocolate, 35 x 48 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2008.

I was prepared for the snow that did not arrive in Atlanta. Like many of my neighbors in Publix Sunday, I bought firewood, milk and bread, batteries and bottled water.

Oh well, waiting for snow was a good excuse to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and be lazy.

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Atlanta Snow Day

Atlanta Snow Day, 72 x 54 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Atlanta Snow Day, 72 x 54 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

In Atlanta we don’t get snow often, but when we do, we treat it like a holiday. We close the schools. We stay home from work. The city shuts down and we play.

Since we always hope for a white Christmas, but seldom get it, the words “Merry Christmas” are quilted throughout the quilt.

This quilt is called Atlanta Snow Day.

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Christmas Shopping

Christmas Shopping, 48x48 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Christmas Shopping, 48×48 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at ETSY.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

There are many special aspects to Christmas, but shopping is the most fun. This little quilt called Christmas Shopping pays homage to the joy of Christmas shopping.

I try to make at least one Christmas quilt each year. Christmas Shopping was only finished in time for after Christmas Shopping. She will be ready for next year.

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Dream Like Crazy

Dream Like Crazy, 44 x 51 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2012. For sale at etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

Dream Like Crazy, 44 x 51 inch quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2012. For sale at etsy.com/shop/ovbrantleyquilts

The cure for despair is to dream. Make sure you Dream Like Crazy. 

Happy Martin Luther King Day! 

 

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Site Moved to ovbrantleyquiltstudio.com

 

Merry Chrismas004

Merry Christmas, 36 x 36 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2002

I hope you will continue to follow me at ovbrantleyquiltstudio.com. 

Meanwhile . . .

Happy Holidays!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Evora's Earth.2001.3

Evora’s Earth, 85 x 96 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2001

My life overflows with blessings. I am trying to acknowledge each one them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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