Category Archives: Favorite Things

Happy Founders Day to My Sorors of Delta Sigma Theta

A Bouquet in Red and White, 24 x 24 inch red and white quilt, by O.V. Brantley, 2010.

What makes every artist different are their life experiences that influence their work. Most art bubbles up from the soul. One of the things in my life that has left an indelible mark on my soul and influenced my quilt choices is my sorority Delta Sigma Theta.

Circles of Sisterhood, 30 x 36 inch embellished red and white quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Once you become a Delta, you love all things red and white. So while some quilters have made red and white quilts throughout history because they are beautiful, I have an added reason. Red and white are the colors of my sorority.

A Legacy to Love, 66×82 inch red and white quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2015.

I am working on a book of red and white quilts which I hope to finish this year. (Wish me luck!) I hope the book will be a lasting legacy to my Delta Sigma Theta legacy daughter India who is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta.

Star of Mu, 60×60 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016. Commemorates India Brantley’s initiation into Delta SIgma Theta sorority,

Meanwhile, thank you Delta Sigma Theta for the added inspiration to my dreams, and Happy 105th Founders Day to my sorors!

Flight Dreams, 59×70 inch red and white appliqué quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2012.

#dst #dstfoundersday #ovsjoyousjanuary #redandwhitequilts

Fusible Batting is a Game Changer

Fusi-boo fusible batting

Now that I make many more small quilts than big quilts, I have fallen in love with fusible batting.

505 Basting Spray

I have never been a fan of pinning, but I do use 505 basting spray from time to time.

“Grateful for Another Happy Day #7” sandwiched with fusible batting

Fusible batting is so much more convenient — no fumes, no mess — just sandwich it between your quilt top and back and iron. Voila!

How do you baste your quilts? #ovsjoyousjanuary

Organize Your Quilts

Dreaming of My Ancestral Home, 60×75 inch quilt by O. V. Brantley, 2017. For sale at ovbrantleyquilts.com

Like most people, I am spending some time getting myself organized for the new year. The product I cannot live without is Artwork Archive software.

I make a lot of quilts. I sell some. I give away some. I keep some, and I exhibit some. It can be hard to remember which quilt is where. Artwork Archive solves that problem.

This cloud based software, which makes the information available on all my devices, has a place for everything. At it simplest, I have a place to record all the information about my quilts — name, pictures, creation date, dimensions, price, and description.  But the software goes far beyond that.

Give Yourself a Flower Garden, 58×58 inch applique quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

For instance, there is a place to record exhibits and most importantly to me, locations. (You never want to lose a quilt). The software reminded me that the exhibit at the Lucy Laney Museum was ending December 31, 2017, and that Dreaming of My Ancestral Home and Give Yourself a Flower Garden would be returned to me.

Another neat feature of this software is that it allows me to create and print a certificate of authenticity for each quilt. This is very important to the people who buy my quilts.  I can also record sales, and that is very important to me.

There are many other great features of the software like a public page and a scheduler, but suffice it to say for $14.00 per month, this software gives me peace of mind and keeps me organized.

Artwork Archive is one of my favorite things. I recommend it. #joyousjanuary

My Happy Place Just Got Happier

 

New kitchen in my studio

I renovated my attic in 2011 and turned it into my quilt studio. But like many of us when we take on big projects, we never quite finish. That’s what happened to me. Although my plans called for a small kitchenette, I never finished it. Now I have and I love it!

The beginning of a kitchen

The all important sink

Working from the original plans, I was able to go to IKEA and order all the necessary parts with a few substitutions. Their kitchen installers installed it the day after Christmas. All that was left for me to do was to hire a plumber to connect the water.

Then like every crafter in the universe, with new storage space, I spent days organizing my studio. It was a labor of love.

Studio Organization
Canisters of thread

Over the years I have spent many joyful hours quilting in my happy place. Now my happy place just got happier.

Wine and coffee always present

Happy Birthday to me! Happy New Year to you! #ovsjoyousjanuary

Quilt Gifts

Quilt gifts

Each year I surprise someone with a quilt for Christmas. This year my entire DeKalb County Law Department management team will find a quilt under their Christmas tree. It seemed a fitting way to say good-bye since I am resuming my retired life next year.

Gift tissue from the Dollar Tree

Now’s a good time to give a shoutout to the Dollar Tree. I wrap a lot of quilts for gifts or mailing. I always use tissue paper when I fold them to minimize the creases. The Dollar Tree has the best price on tissue paper — only $1.00 per pack! It probably is not archival, but I am not storing these quilts for years. I am giving them as gifts. So Dollar Tree tissue paper makes my “favorite thing” list.

Quilt are the best Christmas gifts. They are made with love, and they last forever, and when folded in tissue paper, they arrive in pristine shape. #december

Justin

 

Justin on a quilt.

O.V.’s October, Day 21.

We lost our beloved Justin last year. We buried him wrapped in his quilt in the backyard within view of my kitchen window. Justin loved quilts, and he always had one that he dragged everywhere he went. Sometimes he would leave his quilt in the yard and forget where he left it. India or I would, of course, have to mount a search for Justin’s quilt.

Justin in a pile of scraps

Justin was my constant companion while I quilted, but he preferred finished quilts — and tummy rubs.

Garden Art For the Soul

When I saw Garden Art For the Soul online, I knew it was the perfect marker for Justin’s grave. I don’t really have a garden anyway. I fell in love with this piece for obvious reasons, but they have several beautiful pieces.

Justin Brantley

So today, I took a quiet moment to remember my fur grandson, and I placed this beautiful piece of art at his gravesite. I know he loves it. #ovsoctober #justinbrantley #alifeofsimpleabundance #gardenartforthesoul

 

Favorite Thing: My Light Box

LightPad

I don’t know why it took me so long to buy a light box, but it did. Now I don’t know how I got along without it.

My LightPad940 makes marking appliqué lines on dark fabric so easy! I wish I had had this light box when I made my quilt Give Yourself a Flower Garden. I used Saral tracing paper on this quilt, but the light box would have made marking the blocks a breeze.

Give Yourself a Flower Garden, 58×58 inch applique quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016.

Even though I bought my LightPad 940 several months ago at a quilt show, I never took it out of the box until now.  I took an African Mask class during the Atlanta Quilt Festival, and teacher Renee Fleuranges-Valdes listed a light box on the supply list. I took my LightPad 940 to class, made great progress on my African mask, and now I am in love.

Mask on my LightPad
Marked African mask

Sometimes love comes  late in life. Have you fallen in love recently?

African mask with appliqué

Warm Quilt Wednesday – A Life of Simple Abundance

A Life of Simple Abundance, 70×86 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2011.

WARM QUILT WEDNESDAY! Quilts featured on Wednesday are large enough to cuddle up under. No wallhangings on Wednesday.

Today’s warm quilt is A Life of Simple Abundance. This quilt informs my philosophy of life — calm, strong, grateful. It lives in my den to serve as a constant reminder to let these principles guide my life.

IMG_8329

The fabric line is called “Serenity”. (I love taupe fabrics).  It features words such as “count your blessings”, “listen to the whispers of angel wings”,  and “life lived in moments”.

IMG_8326
Back of “A Life of Simple Abundance”

The pattern is the very simple “Turning Twenty” pattern. Both the fabric and the pattern contribute to the theme of simple abundance.

Do you practice gratitude? Life is much more abundant when you do.

A Scarlet Thread Quilt Shop

My shopping cart at A Scarlett Thread

Quilters in Atlanta are fortunate to have several very nice quilt shops in the Atlanta metro area.  A Scarlet Thread  is one of them. It is a full service shop with a good selection of batiks as well as traditional fabrics.

They also stock the Sweet Sixteen Quilting machine  that I have my eye on, as well as the Accuquilt fabric cutter machines.

I can always find something to buy when I visit A Scarlet Thread.

Sitting on My Patio With a Glass of Merlot

My patio

Sitting outside as the sun sets is a southern tradition. Swatting mosquitoes is just part of the experience, but good conversation and a  glass of Merlot makes us forget about the bugs.

A glass of Merlot

I recently spruced up my patio with new cushions and new plants. Mother Nature does the rest.

Sitting on My Patio With a Glass of Merlot, 48×48 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley SOLD! at My 2016 Neighbors Jewelry and Quilt Holiday Open House.

I had such a summer experience in mind when I created my quilt  Sitting on My Patio With a Glass of Merlot. Many of us who grew up southern have given up the sweet ice tea for a fine bottle of wine.

Patio with a glass of Merlot

Drink up. The lightening bugs will be here soon. Life is good

A summertime backyard