Category Archives: What’s In My Hoop?

What I am working on or conceptualizing?

Winter is a Great Time for Travel Dreaming

Back to Bali top

Winter just makes you want to escape. In Atlanta we have had a rough winter by our standards, but the silver lining for winter is that it gives you time to travel dream and to travel remember.

Last weekend, cold rainy weather inspired me to create my Bali memory quilt. Daughter India and I spent 9 wonderful days in Bali with Craftours.

Being kissed by an elephant in Bali

The highlight of the trip to me was being kissed by an elephant. So the quilt began with an elephant. This elephant has his trunk down, so I imagine he misses me and can’t wait for my return. That is why I named the quilt Back to Bali.  

We love elephants!

Another big highlight of the trip was batik school and shopping at a batik factory. The quilt includes the pink batik fabric I actually dyed myself under the hot Bali sun and the red batik in the border that I purchased at the batik factory.

Stamping fabric at the Bali batik factory

We will never forget our wonderful accommodations in Ubud. The hotel gave us an original batik fabric square, so that is also included in the quilt.

Komaneka Rasa Hotel

We have many more memories that are not in this quilt yet, but perhaps when I embellish it, I can find a way to include, wooden masks, monkeys, cooking and lots of flowers.

Happy Me in Bali

Winter truly is a time for travel remembering — and for dreaming about the next trip. #ovsfulfilledfebruary #Bali

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

Bazaarly Big and Beautiful

Bazaarly Big and Beautiful #1, 52×70 inch lap quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2017. For sale at

In preparation for my 9-day Craftours of Bali, I saw many pictures of colorful batik markets. The batik markets of Bali inspired this series of quilts. I wanted to randomly mix different prints to get a bazaar effect. Since I was experimenting and many of the fabrics had a large scale, I decided to make the blocks big. That’s how this series of quilts got its name.

Bazaarly Big and Beautiful #1  and Bazaarly Big and Beautiful #2 are lap quilts that measure approximately 52×70 inches. Each is comprised of 12 random 18 inch blocks in a mix of African and domestic prints. They are pieced on my machine and quilted on a long arm.

Elephant herd on the back of Bazaarly Big and Beautiful #1 and #2

There is a herd of elephants on the back. (Remember we are going Big). If you prefer to hang the quilt rather than cuddle under it, there is a hanging sleeve on the back for easy display. A label documents the quilt.

This quilt is one-of-a-kind. #bali #ovsneversaynevernovember

Bazaarly Big and Beautiful#2, 53×69 inch lap quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2017. For sale at

A Simpler Time

A Simpler Time, 65×77 inch quilt , by O. V. Brantley, 2016.

O.V.’s October, Day 22.

I spent today with my closest quilting friends. We have been  working on the Passacaglia quilt since January, and today was our monthly gathering date. I decided to do mine in red and white rather than the colorful ones you may have seen in shows and online

Passacaglia progress

Since the quilt is pieced entirely by hand, there is plenty of time for conversation. It feels like the quilting bee of years gone by.

Closeup of “A Simpler Time”

It feels good to slow down. #ovsoctober #handquilting #passacagliaquilt #slowdown

Staycation Makes Labor Day Weekend Productive

Staycation, 11 x 8.5 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2010.

Happy Labor Day! If you are traveling, be safe. If not, do something you enjoy.

I am enjoying my labor today – so much so that I am calling it a staycation. I have spent many enjoyable hours getting myself back on track with my long term projects. Just to name a few, I am doing a block of the month of the “Affairs of the Heart”  pattern. I have managed to get 18  of the 36 blocks fused. I have named this quilt Everyday is Foreplay.

Everyday is Foreplay, Blocks 1-3

I started a new block of the month of the Kaleidoscope pattern by Quilt Addicts Anonymous. I named this quilt A Beautiful World. I managed to finish the blocks for the first 3 months. Only 9 more to go.

Blocks for “A Beautiful World”

Finally, I made a little progress on my red and white Passacaglia quilt. Finding enough different reds to make this quilt interesting is quite an adventure. Progress is slow because this quilt is done entirely by hand.

Rosette from the Passacaglia quilt

In between working on all these projects, I watched some great football. What a great staycation!

Where Do I Buy African Fabric?

African fabrics from Africa Imports

Often I am asked where do I buy the African fabrics that I incorporate into my quilts. The answer — wherever my search leads me. I am always looking.

Lately, I have been buying in bulk from Africa Imports. This is a wholesale vendor so they require a minimum $100 purchase, and you must purchase entire bolts.

Give Yourself a Wild Flower, 36×45 inch art quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2016. . Flower panel by Stephanie Brandenburg.  SOLD! At my Neighbors Jewelry and Quilt Holiday Open House, 2016.

When smaller amounts will suffice, I check out ETSY and Cultured Expressions. I like to buy precuts to save time.

African Merlot, 54×62 inch quilt by O.V. Brantley, 2014. For sale at

Locally, I buy from Intown Quilters located in Decatur, GA only 3 miles from where I work!. This shop carries a nice selection of African and Australian fabrics.

Give Yourself a Dream Flower, 38×40 inch quilted wallhanging by O.V. Brantley, 2016. Flower panel by Stephanie Brandenburg.  For sale at

Finally, sometimes we have fabric swaps at my quilt guild Brown Sugar Stitchers. Swaps help to increase the variety in my stash which makes me happy.

Where do you buy your African fabric?

Be Joyful, 40×60 inch art quilt by O. V. Brantley, 2017. Flower panel by Stephanie Brandenburg. For sale at

A Place For Sitting

A veranda at the Jekyll Island Club Resort

The most memorable thing to me about my recent stay at the Jekyll Island Club Resort on Jekyll Island, Georgia is that there were so many sitting places. I don’t mean they have a lot of chairs. They have porches. Well, technically verandas.

The balcony outside my room at the Jekyll Island Club Resort

Verandas are fancy porches. The dictionary defines a veranda  as “a large, open porch, usually roofed and partly enclosed, as by a railing, often extending across the front and sides of a house.” Yes, the Jekyll Island Club definitely had verandas.


A courtyard at Jekyll Island Club Resort

The entire resort encouraged a slower pace — like it was whispering “sit down and stay a while. What’s the rush?”

Rocking chairs on the veranda.

Rocking stairs encouraged you to linger. Little conversation nooks were tucked away,  encouraging conversation. Or,  if you are traveling alone — hand quilting.

Hand quilting at the Jekyll Island Club Resort