Stories My Father Told Me, WCQN

International Exposure for The Lesson and The Equation

While attending a quilt retreat this weekend, I got the most fabulous news from Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, the curator of Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience – My piece, The Lesson and The Equation is featured on the website of the Brussels, Belgium based organization Human Rights 70.

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Image credit: humanright70.eu

(If you are just joining us on my blog, you can read background on my piece and the exhibit in these series of posts: WCQN )

This organization’s mission, according to their website:

is to contribute to promote the knowledge and application from individual up to supranational level, of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and in doing so contribute to the better living of all beings in the world

This Brussels based organization also has offices in Madrid, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Bogota, and Mexico DF.

Here is a screen shot of the overview of the exhibit on the Human Rights 70 website:

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To say I am excited and overwhelmed is an understatement (smile)!

Perhaps The Lesson and The Equation, inspired by Article 1 of United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, will get to tour internationally someday…

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The Lesson and The Equation at the show opening at Fitton Center for Creative Arts 08/17/18

For a high resolution image of the piece and to read the Artist Statement, see my page Art Quilt Stories.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. – Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Feature Photo by Calvin Hanson on Unsplash

Special Events, WCQN

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part IV

This is the final post in the series of four posts on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and Friends Show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience, curated By Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, and inspired by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As I mentioned in the first post, Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I show opening at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, OH, was only the “soft opening”, featuring half of the quilts. At a future date the full show will debut and in Spring 2019 the book will be published featuring all the quilts in the exhibit as well as the story behind the exhibit.

This post features one more installment of a sample selection of powerful quilts from the show. (If you are just joining us you can click on this link – WCQN – to view the three previous posts – Part I, Part II, and Part III.)


Carolyn Crump – Waiting to Have My Say

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Gloria Kellon – Freedom of Expression over the Water

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Gwendolyn Brooks – On This Special Day

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Julius Bremer – Let’s Gather Peacefully

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Deanna Tyson – Black Lives Matter

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Ifa Felix – The Green Book

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James Mardis – Cruelty Comes for Us All

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The photo does not capture how amazing and powerful this quilt is! The artist is one of the long-time male quilters in the WCQN. I had a chance to chat with him during the show and listen to him talk about this multi-textured piece made from a multitude of materials besides cotton fabric.

I wish I had taken some close up photos of the piece. I think I was so overwhelmed by the whole show and trying to meet and chat with the amazing artists that I got distracted from my photography!  When Dr. Mazloomi’s book on the show comes out in Spring 2019 it will have professionally photographed detailed images of these quilts.


L’Merchie Frazier – Going Beyond the Self: Lale and the Omo Children

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Helen Murrell – Capital Punishment

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Lauren Austin – Parole Denied

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Ed Johnetta Miller – So What Skeltons Are in Your Closet?

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Sandra Noble – Detainment

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It was an honor to be part of this show and an honor to be able to share some of the amazing quilts from this show with you all.

I have to say of course, the most exciting moment of attending the show was walking into the exhibit area and seeing my quilt on the wall:

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The second most exciting moment, was seeing an image of my quilt projected up on the screen in the auditorium before the panel discussion began:

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Before the panel discussion, Dr. Mazloomi gave a powerful talk on the power of art. Here is a quote from her talk (which I have on video but could not figure out how to upload onto YouTube to share, perhaps at a later time):

For me as an artist I strongly believe that art has the capacity to touch the spirit, engage people, educate and heal in ways that words cannot.

Dr. Mazloomi stated that the show was inspired by the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and that she is long-time admirer of Eleanor Roosevelt who was instrumental in getting this declaration done.


Postscript

I had a bit of adventure getting to Hamilton, OH for the show. Central Oregon is a long way from Hamilton, OH! 

Since I was going to be in the Eastern part of the country (well Ohio could be considered Midwest) I thought I should also visit with my family and I met up with my family in Washington, DC for a couple of days before flying onto Cincinnati, OH.

While in DC I went with my brother, sister, sister-in-law and 5 and 14 year old nephews to the National Geographic Museum and saw two amazing exhibits on the Tomb of Christ and the Titanic. 

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I may share additional photos from those exhibits in a future post.

From Cincinnati I rented a car and drove 45 minutes or so to Hamilton (which is not within a reasonable distance to a major airport).

While in Hamilton I stayed in sweet Victorian Airbnb rental (only $56 for the night) 6 blocks from the Fitton Center where the opening show was held. Here are some photos of where I stayed which was built in the late 1800s and had cool architecture and period related decor (and handmade antique quilts on the bed!):

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I will not share my airline travel saga but it did involve spending two nights sleeping in an airport (on the way there and on the way back) because of severe thunderstorms that grounded planes. But I did make the most of my time stuck in airports and will have a future posts on the cool exhibits and sights at the various airports along my journey!

Special Events, WCQN

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part III

Yesterday’s post with quilts from the Women of Color Quilting Network and Friends Show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience (Curated By Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi) were just to whet your appetite.

This post features more powerful quilts from the show. If you are just joining us you can click on this link – WCQN – to view the two previous posts (Part I and Part II).

As I mentioned in the previous post, some of these quilts made me want to just step away from my sewing machine and find a new hobby.

I’ve seen many beautiful art quilts over the years – at shows and online – but I’ve never seen in person such a collection of powerful inspirational quilt all in one venue.


Sandra Scott – Bloodties

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The photos do not do this quilt justice. This is definitely one of the quilts in the show that made me want to just give away my sew machine because now I see how art quilts “are done”. It is an absolute masterpiece and reading the Artist Statement and viewing this quilt in person can bring you to tears.


Speaking of quilts that can bring you to tears, this one had me quietly sobbing…

Dorothy Burge – Stop Killing Us

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And now the piece that attempted to completely blow out my tear ducts – a piece inspired by news story of a young Syrian refugee child discovered washed up on the shore.

April Shipp – The Waters Returned Him: In Honor of Aylan Kurdi, Age 3

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This quilt was a 3D quilt with a large set of hands coming forward holding a handmade doll representing the drowned Syrian refugee child. If seeing this quilt in person did not stir someone, then they were emotionally dead inside.

I got to chat with the amazing artist who passionately shared the story behind her inspiration. While listening to her I was desperately trying to keep it together (the tear ducts were starting to crumple) as she shared her beautiful compassion and intense feelings of heartbreak over hearing the news story (okay so I am getting weepy just trying to write this…).

Yes I kept having that “imposter syndrome” feeling being at this show with these significant pieces of work and these amazing artists (some of who are professional artists).

Here are a couple more quilts in the show to close out this post with a little less intense topics.


Carolyn Crump – Deeds, Not Words

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Sharon Ray – Hamtramck, My Home

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I hope you found these pieces as stirring and amazing as I did. In the next post I will share the rest of the sampling of pieces from the show.

Special Events, WCQN

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part II

If you are an artist/crafter have you ever attended an exhibit that made you want to just put away your art/craft supplies and find a new hobby?

This is what happened to me (no worries, it was only for a moment), when I saw the art quilts in the opening night of Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio on Friday August 17, 2018.

This post is a continuation of the post Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I  and rather than ramble on about how many of these inspirational, provocative, powerful, creative, masterpieces made me want to shut down my sewing machine and walk away, I will just share a sample of images of the amazing quilts in the show.

I’ve included the Artist Statements that explain these amazing art quilts inspired by United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Note I am going to share images of quilts from the show over several posts.


Earamicha Brown – A Woman’s Worth

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Behrooz Assani – The Dawn of Human Rights

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This quilt was not by a “Woman of Color” but by a Persian man, originally from Iran who wanted to show that although this part of the world has a reputation for the violation of human rights, Persia was in ancient times a forerunner on the concept of human rights.


Barbara McCraw – Every Man, Woman, and Child

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Cynthia Lockhart – Created to Be Me

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Beverly Smith – Plant a Seed

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Glenda Richardson – Article 25

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I will leave you with these 6 quilts to think about and next post I will continue with more quilts from the show.

Special Events, Stories My Father Told Me, WCQN

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I

Over a week ago I attended the opening of the show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio.

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This show is curated by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, founder of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN). It is inspired by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to the United Nations’ website (un.org):

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

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Dr. Mazloomi invited members of WCQN and friends to design a quilt inspired by one of the 30 Articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while know, I designed a 50″ x 50″ quilt inspired by Article 1 and Stories My Father Told Me (this is a new category on my blog which contains all related posts about the first quilt in a series of quilts I plan to make inspired by stories/lessons my father told me as a child), titled The Lesson and The Equation. 

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The Lesson and the Equation (2016) by Tierney Davis Hogan. Photo by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi.

The Lesson and The Equation debuted at this show along with many mind-blowing and inspirational quilts.

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Friday August 17, 2018 was the “soft opening” of the show and contained about 25 – 30 quilts, half the entire show. The entire show will be opening in the future at a larger venue and there will be a book that accompanies the show.

Here are some examples of books from other WCQN shows that can be found on amazon.com (just search “Carolyn Mazloomi”):

In addition the soft opening of the show, Friday 17, 2018 was also the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

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Around the exhibited quilts, there were placards with the Preamble and the corresponding Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, below are a couple examples:

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I was very overwhelmed to be part of the this amazing show and here I am absolutely amazed that I got to be an “Exhibiting Artist”:
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I was also overwhelmed and very honored that two of my long-time blogging buddies Sandy and Cindy of graybarndesigns.com came from Ohio and Western NY to meet me and see the show!

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Tierney and the GrayBarns Sisters!

Next post I will share images from the amazing and inspirational pieces in the show!

“Our hopes for a more just, safe, and peaceful world can only be achieved when there is universal respect for the inherent dignity and equal rights of all members of the human family.” – UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

 

 

Special Events, Stories My Father Told Me, WCQN

Human Rights in the New Millennium

The show postcard for the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) show Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience has been published and the show’s curator, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi shared it on her facebook page, so I am sharing it on my blog:

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The show opens August 17, 2018 at the Filton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio. The show is based on the United Nations (U.N.) Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Show participants had to select one of the thirty (30) Articles in this declaration and make a 50″ x 50″ quilt inspired by the Article.

I will be attending the opening and I am excited and honored that my piece The Lesson & The Equation (2016) will be in the show.

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The Lesson and the Equation (2016) by Tierney Davis Hogan. Image courtesy of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi.

If you’d like to read the stories behind this piece and its Artist Statement please see my blog posts Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me and The Lesson & The Equation.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. – Article I, U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A Crafter's Life, Quilters Take Manhattan, Special Events, WCQN

Speaking Engagement

Last Thursday (April 19, 2018) I was the featured speaker at our monthly Central Oregon SAQA (art quilting) group meeting.

What I Presented

I did a presentation (complete with “death by PowerPoint”…I did try to keep the PowerPoint slides as engaging as possible with primarily photos) on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and the 2017 Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event I attended in NYC in September 2017.

I used these previous tierneycreates and Improvisational Textiles blog posts as the basis for my presentation:

I used some of the key text from these posts but also included more photos than were in the posts (I have a crazy amount of photos from QTM 2017!). For fun I also snuck in some family photos (I met up with my sister, brother and two awesome nephews) from the trip, especially some of my highly adorable 5 year old and now 14 year old nephews!

I also brought a copy of all the WCQN Exhibit books by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in my personal collection for the attendees to look through while I spoke (so they would not fall asleep during my presentation):

  • And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversation
  • Threads of Faith: Recent Works from the Women of Color Quilters Network
  • Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama
  • Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition
  • Quilting African American Women’s History

I also brought a copy of Sherri Lynn Woods’ book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously just in case there was any art quilter in our group that had not heard of this book.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) attended the presentation also and helped me haul all those books to the speaking engagement.

No one appeared to fall asleep during my presentation and they actually appeared quite engaged (or faked it very well!)

The Venue

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know my obsession with my public library. What was cool (at least to me) was that my presentation was done in the Conference room of the Sisters Branch of the Deschutes Public Library. So I got to speak at the library (huge smile)!

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Key to Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking: Be Delusional & Improvisational

One of my Central Oregon SAQA friends asked me before the presentation if I was nervous and I said “no”.

I am not sure if I should be nervous but I am never really nervous before a speaking engagement. I have this likely delusional belief, especially if I am speaking in front of a group that knows me, that they want me to succeed and are cheering me on (hopefully no one breaks my delusion!).

I used to do a lot of public speaking professionally when I was a trainer (before the days of telecommuting) at work and at professional conferences. If you’ve done corporate training, especially mandatory corporate training, you know about speaking to an audience that may not want to be there!

What broke me of any fear of public speaking (possibly creating my delusion that everyone is cheering for me) was an experience many, many years ago when I spoke at a conference that my employer put on for one our retail clients when I worked for a Workers’ Compensation Carrier.

It was a large group of managers for one of our retail clients (a national group) that looked like their souls had been sucked out of their bodies (please know I have nothing against who works in retail, this group of conference attendees were just very lifeless, they could have been in any industry). Also as you could imagine, managing work related injuries is not the most exciting all day conference topic!

During the conference, I watched one presenter after the other painfully struggle through their presentation with a highly “unengaged” and bored audience.

When it was my turn, I figured the crowd/audience could not dislike me anymore than they obviously already disliked the previous presenters, so what the heck – I was going to have fun.

So when I got up to the podium, I had an improvisational moment and I took the microphone off the podium stand and started walking through the crowd with it. I did my presentation as if I was performing a nite-club act: Walking through the crowd, speaking directly to audience members and being very animated.

Shockingly I got the first round of audible strong applause for the day! I even saw some actual smiles in the crowd (like their souls had briefly returned to their bodies!)

After that I had no fear of public speaking. Ultimately if the audience hates me, they hate me (but I always secretly know they are cheering for me – my insanity is so delicious!)


Postscript

A follow up to the post Additional Conversations – Completed , one of my blogging buddies asked me what was behind the nameAdditional Conversations”. This made me realize I better go write the Artist Statement.

I’ve posted about this piece on the Improvisational Textiles blog and if you are curious on the story behind the piece, here is the link: Additional Conversations.

(Note I do need to take the piece outside in the right light and take an even better photo – I am just being lazy as I already hung it up in the Living Room!)

Stories My Father Told Me, Studio, WCQN

The Lesson and The Equation

I’ve been waiting to share this with you for quite a while. First, I needed to wait until the show’s curator gave me permission to share, and then I needed to be ready to share.

I am ready to share!

This post is an overdue follow up to my post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me, originally posted in April 2016. You are welcome to read the original post but here is a synopsis of some of this post and a little bit of additional information:

While browsing the magazine section at our local Barnes & Noble bookstore in March 2016, I came across this magazine that I’ve never seen before: American Craft Magazine:

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Image credit: craftcouncil.org

In the April 2016 issue of American Craft they had an article about an exhibit, And Still We Rise by the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN).  I never heard of WCQN and immediately knew I wanted to join! 

I reached out to Dr.Carolyn Mazloomi, founder of WCQN, shared my blog links with images of my work and asked if I could join and she said yes.

I then spent a lot of time looking through the WCQN website and was inspired to create a series based on the incredible stories my father, Raoul Davis, Sr., told me while growing up – Stories My Father Told Me. 

I shared this with Dr. Mazloomi and she invited me to participate in the next WCQN show. (I was terrified and wanted to say “No” but I made myself say “Yes”)

The Lesson & The Equation

The WCQN show that I was incredibly lucky enough to be invited to participate, was based on the United Nations (U.N.) Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Participants had to select one of the thirty (30) Articles in this declaration and make a quilt inspired by the Article.

I selected Article 1 as it aligned with the lessons and values my father taught us as children:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

I’ve shared partial images from the quilt I created, which is the first quilt in my series Stories My Father Told Me. Here is a full image of the quilt, courtesy of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, and below the image is my Artist Statement.

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Image courtesy of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi

ARTIST STATEMENT

The Lesson & The Equation (2016) 50 x 50 inches
Applique, cotton, batiks, quilted

“Article I: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” – U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article I of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights resonates the values that my father instilled in my siblings and me, as young children. My father grew up in the segregated South in the 1940s and embraced at an early age that change comes from respectful dialogue, not violence.

He taught us that regardless of what adversity we faced in life, we must face it with grace; and treat others with respect, dignity, and brotherhood. The foundation for a life lived embracing the values illustrated in Article I, begins at home, modeled and mentored by the adults in a child’s life. (THE LESSON)

In this quilt, a father (modeled after my own father in the 1970s) is teaching his children, on the main blackboard, THE EQUATION to achieving a world in which people are Free and Equal: Reason + Conscience = Spirit of Brotherhood

The two individual blackboards, “Dignity” and “Respect”, are the building blocks of the Free & Equal equation. I am from a family of educators, beginning with my great-grandfather. The blackboards in the quilt honor that legacy.

My father also taught us another key lesson, which is best expressed in the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”.

WCQN Show

This quilt will debut in the WCQN show, Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience, on August 17, 2018 at the FiltonCenter for Creative Arts in Hamilton, OH.

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Image credit: ohio.org

Yes I will be attending the opening in August and there are no words I could type that would convey my excitement to be participating in this important exhibit. I am feeling very blessed to have been given this opportunity.

There will also be a book that accompanies the exhibit and Dr. Mazloomi’s books are incredible. Search “Carolyn Mazloomi” on Amazon to see a sample of books related to past exhibits. I own several of these books and to call them “inspirational” would be an understatement.

Below is an example of one of the books from a WCQN exhibit (which is currently touring):

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Image credit: schifferbooks.com

And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations is on exhibit at the Freedom Center until September 1, 2018 – here is thelink if you would like to check out more information on this exhibit.

I had the opportunity to finally meet Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in person this past September when I attended Quilters Take Manhattan (see post The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017). I tried not to behave like too much of a “fan girl” but I was completely in awe of this amazing and accomplished woman.

What is Next?

I mentioned in my post Art& Fear, etc., I was struggling with two looming art quilt deadlines.

One of those quilts is for my local SAQA group annual show which I have started (will share in upcoming post); and the other one is a new art quilt for the next WCQN show I have been invited to participate in. I cannot share the details at the time, I need to wait until the curator is ready to officially announce the show – but it is another really exciting opportunity!

With the first quilt done in the Stories My Father Told Me series, I have mapped out the next 6 – 8 quilts in the series based on stories from my father’s life and lessons he taught me.

I just need to start making them (and if I win the lottery I plan to work full-time on completing this series)…


Postscript

I think my whole experience demonstrates that you have to take risks in life and when an opportunity comes to your door – take it!

“Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” — Jimmy Carter

Imagine if I never contacted Dr. Mazloomi? (Of course imagine if I never randomly opened that magazine at my local Barnes & Noble…thank you Universe!)

A Crafter's Life, Quilters Take Manhattan, Special Events, WCQN

Wrap Up of QTM 2017 Weekend

This is my fourth and final installment on my 4-day weekend in NYC to visit my family and to attend the Quilt Alliance’s Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event.

Here are the links to the first three previous posts on my weekend:

To close out this series of posts I have a bunch of random photos and stories.

Small World!

I remembered that my blogging buddy, Mary of Zippy Quilts announced in one of her post \s that she won the Judge’s Choice Award in the Quilt Alliance’s small quilt challenge. for the QTM 2017 event. Here is a link to her post: Judge’s Choice! Woo!

So on Saturday at the main QTM 2017 event, I went searching for the exhibit. When I found the exhibit with Mary’s piece, I noted another attendee was taking photos of the piece.

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Turns out that attendee was Becca of Pretty Piney, another blogging buddy of Mary’s! It was great to chat with Becca and together we admired Mary’s piece in person:

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Congratulations Mary! Oh and here is Becca’s post from her blog on her experiences at QTM 2017: Quilters Take Manhattan 2017.

Go Ahead and Look Out the Window

Flying makes me slightly nervous. When I moved from Seattle to Central Oregon I had to acclimate to taking smaller planes. Our airport is small and cannot handle standard size planes/jets, just the Turboprop size planes, like the one in the image below:

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Photo credit: Alaska Airlines
These planes only climb to about 10,000 feet unlike jets which having cursing altitudes of 30,000 – 40,000 feet. So you have at many times a view of the ground when you are at cruising altitude in these planes as opposed to in the larger planes where all you see are clouds below you at cruising altitude.

In order to fly to the East Coast of the US, I had to first fly to Seattle (usually you have to fly to Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, LA or Salt Lake City to get anywhere beyond the West Coast from Central Oregon). Normally I do not look out of the window as a rule. I had a window seat during my flight from Central Oregon to Seattle. I felt peaceful and excited about my upcoming adventure and was brave and starred the window the entire flight! This was a very big thing for me to do and here are a couple photos of what I saw:

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I had incredible views of some of the Cascade Mountain range. We were sandwiched between layers of clouds and it was very beautiful (note the window was tinted and sort of cloudy so the photos are limited in their clarity).

Meeting a Quilting Hero

As I mentioned in the previous posts, I got to meet in person someone I greatly respect and admire, Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, founder of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN). 

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I joined WCQN in 2016 and my piece The Lesson & The Equation will be in an upcoming WCQN show. I will share details about that show once Dr. Mazloomi formally announced the show. I am very excited to have my piece in the upcoming book that will be published about this show. Check out Dr. Mazloomi’s amazon.com page for examples of books from other exhibits she has curated.

At QTM 2017 I had the opportunity to view one of her amazing B&W quilts in person. She draws/paints these images and turns them into quilts. The piece below is of her grandson looking through some of her exhibit books:

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Coming ‘Home’ to New York

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA but I grew up in Long Island and Update New Yorker. I consider myself a “native New York” and part of my heart will always live in New York. I have been in NYC many times. I remember when I was a teenager I would take the train from Long Island to Manhattan and wander around the City for the day and return home in the evening.

If you have never visited NYC, it is something you must put on your “bucket list”. I guess it is like however everyone should try and visit Paris or London if possible. New York is one of those cities you just have to experience in person.

While living in Seattle and a couple times since I have moved to Central Oregon, I meet up with my family in NYC (they live in other areas of the East Coast but they are only a train or bus ride away). We learned over the years where the best least expensive places are to stay, and for this trip my sister found us an AirBNB place in a Brooklyn neighborhood:

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Here are a couple photos from the neighborhood to include a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library which was near where we stayed and the iconic FDNY:

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And then there was the Mister Softie truck which my 13 year nephew and I got slightly addicted to (NY soft serve ice cream!!!)

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The funny thing is as many times as I have visited NYC as an adult, I have only attended a Broadway show a couple times. I think I saw a couple Broadway shows as a kid and as a teens but I have primarily only seen the less expensive off-Broadway shows. Still as I was wandering around Manhattan between events one day of my trip, I daydreamed of going to this show (I am not sure if you can even get tickets):

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More from the Met

In my previous post I shared some photos of my brief wander around the overwhelming Metropolitan Museum of Art . In addition to the Asian wing, I also wandered around the European paintings. Like the museum in Europe I have visited (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Uffizi, Florence, etc.) it is so amazing to see paintings from say the 12th century!

I spent a little time in the Medieval painting section of the Met:

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I also stumbled upon displays of amazing ancient and modern ceramics, which included this piece/pieces which I thought would be a great inspiration art quilt design inspiration:

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Trimmings Galore

If you are a crafter visiting NYC, I recommend a visit to the Fashion District. It is a magical place with shops with rare fabrics and trimmings.

While wandering around Manhattan with my sister and nephew, I dragged them into an amazing shop – M&J Trimmings. Any embellishment you could think of for a textile could be found in this shop. Whether you needed feathers, buttons, tassels, cord, or any other type of trim you could imagine, they had it.

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And this was the room that blew my mind (I only captured one wall in my photos) – a huge room of BUTTONS! Buttons everywhere! I wanted to buy them all, but I only admired them as I could not justify buying anymore buttons! (See my 2016 post Buttons for more on my button-obsession).

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Of course I have so many more photos and of course a lot of family photos (you will just have to take my word for it on how handsome my nephews) but hopefully over the past four posts I gave you a general feeling of what it was like to attend the QTM 2017!


Postscript

So you might be thinking: “Tierney if you love NY so much, why don’t you still live there?”

I love NY and it has a special place in my heart but it is not where my heart wants to live. My heart wants to live in the Pacific NW. Washington and Oregon are amazing and beautiful states. The cultures are quite different than the East Coast. I love the laid back vibe and spirit of the Pacific NW. I love all the trees, the mountains, the “hipster” and “hippy” people that live here. The green eco-conscious vibe. The focus on human rights and causes. Not to say this type of culture does not exist in other parts of our country, but it seems really concentrated in the Pacific NW.

Now I have a friend from my college days who lives in NYC and loves to tease me: “Can you braid your arm pit hair now from living in the Pacific NW so long?” She thinks I spend most my days tree-hugging lol between sips of coffee.

People in the Pacific NW sometimes go overboard being nice and thoughtful but I like it! Sometimes crosswalks are an issue as cars will stop in anticipation that you are approaching the crosswalk to cross the street, so you can back up traffic when you are just looking like you might eventually cross a street! In Central Oregon we do not in general honk our horns at people who do not start up right away from a light changing to green. We just patiently wait for them to see the light and go (this is VERY different than NY!) If you need to learn patience and become more peaceful, move to the Pacific NW.

But people smile a lot here, and their smiles seem genuine.

During my layover in Seattle before my flight (on a big plane!) across the country to JFK airport/NYC, I found this in the Seattle airport bathroom – in a bathroom stall where the purse hook is mounted. Maybe it was done by a traveler from somewhere else, but it feels so Pacific NW:

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Feature image credit: quiltalliance.com

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Quilters Take Manhattan, Special Events, WCQN

The “Dance Partner” – Michael Cummings at QTM 2017

Sitting in an airport waiting for a flight seems like the perfect time to write a blog post.

I am flying back home to Central Oregon, to the other side of the country from where I have spent the past four days – New York, New York (aka NYC). I spent time with my family who lives on the East Coast and joined me in NewYork; I attended the Quilt Alliance’s 2017 Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event, which featured speakers Sherri Lynn Wood, Merikay Waldvogel, and Michael A. Cummings, interviewed by Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi; and I went on a behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

It was quite the four-day weekend (I am planning a series of blog posts to share various snippets from this inspirational weekend) and what is currently resonating in my mind (and my heart) is the inspirational interview Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi held with the NYC based art quilter, Michael A. Cummings.

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Mr. Cummings and Dr. Mazloomi in front of one his incredible pieces from his African Jazz series – African Jazz #10

The Dance Partner

During the interview, Mr. Cummings referred to his sewing machine as his “dance partner”.

The first time he mentioned this my heart smiled (I felt it in my chest!). What an exquisite and beautiful way to refer to one of the primary tools an art or traditional quilter’s uses to express their creativity.

Mr. Cummings stated he has been using the same sewing machine for 40+ years and if I remember correctly, it is just a standard department store sewing machine. Colleagues have suggested he upgrade to an industrial or more modern sewing machine, but he stays faithful to his “dance partner”.

Mr. Cummings and his “dance partner” tell stories through his art. He shared during the interview that he has been influenced by cinema and music to include musical storytellers such as Bob Dylan.

Here are some examples, on display during the Quilters Take Manhattan Event of the incredible dances that Mr. Cummings and his dance partner have performed (please check out his website michaelcummings.com for his official portfolio – he has exhibited his art quilts and sold works to public institutions and private collectors around the world and has work in the permanent Smithsonian Folk Art collection):

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These are very large quilts and Dr. Mazloomi (a longtime friend and colleague of Mr. Cummings) states that most of his pieces are around 8 x 9 feet. All of this huge quilts are pieced, appliquéd, and machine quilted on his 40+ year old “dance parter”.

Lesson: You do not need a fancy new sewing machine to create incredible art. You just need to have story to tell and a creative mind to translate that story in fabric!

Mr. Cummings had a bounty of inspirational answers to Dr. Mazloomi’s questions. Some other inspirational answers he provided included:

  • When asked when does he know a quilt is done, Mr.Cummings responded “I let the quilt tell me when it is done” (paraphrased).
  • Mr. Cummings shared that for years he worked full-time for the Department of Cultural Affairs for New York City and made himself find time every evening after work to work on his art quilts. At times he wanted to do something else in the evenings (relax after work, attend social events, etc.) but he knew that if he truly wanted to be an art quilter he would have to sacrifice and “do the work”.

Postscript

To say I was creatively inspired after the interview, would be an understatement.

I feel like I am ready to go home and continue working on my Stories My Father Told Me Series (see post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me).

Sorry little wallets (Little Wallet Madness) it’s time to return to art quilting and tell some stories – I am ready to dance with my partner!

Well it is time to go get on my plane and return to quiet Central Oregon (quite different from NYC in so many ways) but I have much more to share in future posts from my trip and this incredible weekend!


Feature image (cropped) credit: Yan Moura, freeimages.com

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Creative Inspiration, Stories My Father Told Me, WCQN

Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me (re-post)

I am re-posting a blog post from April 2016 from my ongoing series on on my sources of Creative Inspiration. I am dealing with the “strife” that fills the television news and social media by  remembering the inspirational stories my father told me as a child.

His stories, words and lessons keep me centered and focused. 


Friday Night at Barnes & Noble Bookstore: A Discovery (April 2016)

Life is filled with serendipitous events. Several Fridays ago such an event occurred.

wild Friday night in Central Oregon involves hanging out at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. I love browsing in bookstores. I love bookstores, period. They are nearly as magical as libraries (except the discoveries at bookstores are not free to take home!)

While browsing the magazine section of Barnes & Noble, I came across a magazine I had not seen before – American Craft Magazine (and I thought I knew all the magazines in the “crafting” magazine section). This magazine is published by the American Craft Council.

Flipping through this magazine I found an article on an exhibit by the WCQN (Women of Color Quilting Network). I did not know, as a woman of color, that there was a Women of Color Quilting Network! I made a mental note of the acronym and immediately upon returning home I googled the WCQN.

The WCQN , according to their website “is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 by Carolyn L. Mazloomi, a nationally-acclaimed quilt artist and lecturer, to foster and preserve the art of quilt making among women of color.”

Wow. What a discovery for me!

I contacted the Director of WCQN, Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, to find out how I could join.


WCQN Inspiration

After several wonderful exchanges with Dr. Mazloomi, I am now a member of the WCQN. I had the opportunity to view her website, www.carolynlmazloomi.com and view her amazing art. I also spent a considerable amount of time looking at the the WCQN website, www.wcqn.org, and viewing their past exhibitions (www.wcqn.org/exhibit.html).

I was overwhelmed with inspiration to explore an additional direction in my art quilting – telling stories with my art quilt.

The WCQN art quilts poignantly share stories from a people of color’s perspective and shared experience.

Wanting to explore this theme in the future, I am inspired to create a future series of art quilts called Stories My Father Told Me.


Stories My Father Told Me

My father, Raoul A. Davis, Sr. was an amazing man. He passed in 2008, and left behind a legacy of stories and inspiration.

Born of the 4th of July, he was the son of two teachers and grew up the segregated South (Charleston, West Virginia) in the 1930s. He faced many hardships and challenges but always forged ahead to achieve his goals and dreams. He was the first black to attend Kiski School in Pennsylvania, received a bachelor’s degree from Central State University, and obtained his master’s degree from Columbia University. He also served his country in the US Army.

He served as a leader in the nonprofit sector for over 40 years. His service included working with gangs and underprivileged youth as a Social Worker in NYC; founding the Urban League of Long Island, NY; and creating the first Empire State Black Arts and Cultural Festival (today known as the African American Family Day Art Festival).

He retired as the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of General Services for the State of NY. In his retirement he volunteered and consulted for local nonprofits and community agencies.

His resume was impressive, but what I remember most about him is his stories.

Starting from my earliest memories as a child, I remember him telling me stories of his challenges growing up in the segregated South, stories of his athletic pursuits (he was an accomplished multi-sport athlete), stories about the intense hazing he received as the first black to attend Kiski Prep School, stories of overcoming shocking physical and psychological abuse in the US Army in the 1950 by his drill sergeant, and many other inspirational stories from his life.

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A couple of years before he passed he decided to write his autobiography and I offered to help him by transcribing his handwritten notes and pulling them into a rough draft. It was so wonderful to read the stories I knew well from hearing in my youth; and I was honored to help him with this project.

Unfortunately my father passed before finishing his autobiography. I did take what I had and make it into a book for my sister and brother (two incredible individuals who continue my father’s legacy and inspire me daily); and for his grandchildren (one of which he did not get to meet before he passed).

I am still left with all his stories in my head and in my heart, and I think I want to share them in another medium beyond the verbal and written word: in my art quilts.


His Stories into My Quilts

I am in the early stages of thinking of how I want to translate some of my favorite stories into a textile story – will I do something abstract, or will I do a pictorial quilt (time to brush up my appliqué skills!).

An ongoing theme in all his stories is: Here is a challenge, it may seem impossible, but you can overcome it!

One of my favorite stories that my father told me, is a story from his growing up in the segregated South and a bus ride experience that embodied his outlook on dealing with racial prejudices:

As a teenage in the 1940s, I was riding on the bus and a white guy was forced to sit next to me because no other seats were available. He turned to me and growled – “I hate you, you  #%%$%%!”  

I calmly replied to him “Well, you would like me if you got to know me”. 

We ended up having a great conversation and when we got to his bus stop, he exclaimed as he exited the bus: “Raoul, you are alright”.

My father likely did not change this man’s racist outlook on people of color, but he may have left an imprint in this man’s mind and heart to evaluate people based on their character not their color.

My father, who was also active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and fortunate to have met Martin Luther King, Jr., believed in focusing on getting to know each other as individuals and not judging an entire group or population.

He believed change came through dialogue not violence. He taught his three children to be brave, no matter what adversity life threw at them; and to as Mahatma Gandhi said “…be the change you wish to see in the world”.

He also taught us to be proud of who we are as individuals, as a people and of our heritage, and not to listen to those who tell you otherwise.

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Gandhi

I would be honored to share his stories through my quilts.


Postscript (11/16/16)

In Spring 2016, I  begin the Stories My Father Told Me series with quilt #1 – The Lesson & The Equation, discussed in the post Stories My Father Told Me: Quilt #1 

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The Lesson & The Equation (2016) by Tierney Davis Hogan

This quilt is now with the curator for a future exhibit (not yet announced, so more later…and in the future I will include a photo of the entire quilt, this is a partial photo)

Right now I am sketching out the next quilt in the series.

Creative Inspiration, Stories My Father Told Me, WCQN

Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me

This post continues my series on my sources of Creative Inspiration.


Friday Night at Barnes & Noble Bookstore: A Discovery

Life is filled with serendipitous events. Several Fridays ago such an event occurred.

A wild Friday night in Central Oregon involves hanging out at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. I love browsing in bookstores. I love bookstores, period. They are nearly as magical as libraries (except the discoveries at bookstores are not free to take home!)

While browsing the magazine section of Barnes & Noble, I came across a magazine I had not seen before – American Craft Magazine (and I thought I knew all the magazines in the “crafting” magazine section). This magazine is published by the American Craft Council.

Flipping through this magazine I found an article on an exhibit by the WCQN (Women of Color Quilting Network). I did not know, as a woman of color, that there was a Women of Color Quilting Network! I made a mental note of the acronym and immediately upon returning home I googled the WCQN.

The WCQN , according to their website “is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 by Carolyn L. Mazloomi, a nationally-acclaimed quilt artist and lecturer, to foster and preserve the art of quilt making among women of color.”

Wow. What a discovery for me!

I contacted the Director of WCQN, Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, to find out how I could join.


WCQN Inspiration

After several wonderful exchanges with Dr. Mazloomi, I am now a member of the WCQN. I had the opportunity to view her website, www.carolynlmazloomi.com and view her amazing art. I also spent a considerable amount of time looking at the the WCQN website, www.wcqn.org, and viewing their past exhibitions (www.wcqn.org/exhibit.html).

I was overwhelmed with inspiration to explore an additional direction in my art quilting – telling stories with my art quilt.

The WCQN art quilts poignantly share stories from a people of color’s perspective and shared experience.

Wanting to explore this theme in the future, I am inspired to create a future series of art quilts called Stories My Father Told Me.


Stories My Father Told Me

My father, Raoul A. Davis, Sr. was an amazing man. He passed in 2008, and left behind a legacy of stories and inspiration.

Born of the 4th of July, he was the son of two teachers and grew up the segregated South (Charleston, West Virginia) in the 1930s. He faced many hardships and challenges but always forged ahead to achieve his goals and dreams. He was the first black to attend Kiski School in Pennsylvania, received a bachelor’s degree from Central State University, and obtained his master’s degree from Columbia University. He also served his country in the US Army.

He served as a leader in the nonprofit sector for over 40 years. His service included working with gangs and underprivileged youth as a Social Worker in NYC; founding the Urban League of Long Island, NY; and creating the first Empire State Black Arts and Cultural Festival (today known as the African American Family Day Art Festival).

He retired as the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of General Services for the State of NY. In his retirement he volunteered and consulted for local nonprofits and community agencies.

His resume was impressive, but what I remember most about him is his stories.

Starting from my earliest memories as a child, I remember him telling me stories of his challenges growing up in the segregated South, stories of his athletic pursuits (he was an accomplished multi-sport athlete), stories about the intense hazing he received as the first black to attend Kiski Prep School, stories of overcoming shocking physical and psychological abuse in the US Army in the 1950 by his drill sergeant, and many other inspirational stories from his life.

A couple of years before he passed he decided to write his autobiography and I offered to help him by transcribing his handwritten notes and pulling them into a rough draft. It was so wonderful to read the stories I knew well from hearing in my youth; and I was honored to help him with this project.

Unfortunately my father passed before finishing his autobiography. I did take what I had and make it into a book for my sister and brother (two incredible individuals who continue my father’s legacy and inspire me daily); and for his grandchildren (one of which he did not get to meet before he passed).

I am still left with all his stories in my head and in my heart, and I think I want to share them in another medium beyond the verbal and written word: in my art quilts.


His Stories into My Quilts

I am in the early stages of thinking of how I want to translate some of my favorite stories into a textile story – will I do something abstract, or will I do a pictorial quilt (time to brush up my appliqué skills!).

An ongoing theme in all his stories is: Here is a challenge, it may seem impossible, but you can overcome it!

One of my favorite stories that my father told me, is a story from his growing up in the segregated South and a bus ride experience that embodied his outlook on dealing with racial prejudices:

As a teenage in the 1940s, I was riding on the bus and a white guy was forced to sit next to me because no other seats were available. He turned to me and growled – “I hate you, you  #%%$%%!”  

I calmly replied to him “Well, you would like me if you got to know me”.

We ended up having a great conversation and when we got to his bus stop, he exclaimed as he exited the bus: “Raoul, you are alright”.

My father likely did not change this man’s racist outlook on people of color, but he may have left an imprint in this man’s mind and heart to evaluate people based on their character not their color.

My father, who was also active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and fortunate to have met Martin Luther King, Jr., believed in focusing on getting to know each other as individuals and not judging an entire group or population.

He believed change came through dialogue not violence. He taught his three children to be brave, no matter what adversity life threw at them; and to as Mahatma Gandhi said “…be the change you wish to see in the world”.

He also taught us to be proud of who we are as individuals, as a people and of our heritage, and not to listen to those who tell you otherwise.

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Gandhi

I would be honored to share his stories through my quilts.