Atlanta-based quilter uses craft to incorporate messages of abundance, joy and gratitude

O.V. Brantley is a quilter in Atlanta whose work embraces traditional techniques. Her patterns incorporate messages, shapes and textures into her quilts. (Photo courtesy of O.V. Brantley)

On the “City Lights” series “Speaking of Art,” local artists share insights into their influences, processes and experiences in town. O.V. Brantley is a quilter in Atlanta whose work embraces traditional techniques and vibrant, dancing shapes and textures. 

She took up quilting at the suggestion of a friend, learning from a guidebook for beginner crafters. “I was hooked because I found that quilting took me to a place of joy and totally relieved the stress of my high-profile job of being the Fulton County attorney at that time,” said Brantley. Both sewing by hand and employing a sewing machine, Brantley’s patterns do more than entice the eye — they share messages. “I try to incorporate clues for living an abundant life with joy and gratitude,” she said. “That’s the underlying thing that inspires me and motivates me to make quilts.” 

A proud and active member of her local community, Brantley praises Atlanta for its abundance of Black talent and culture. When she incorporates African patterns into her quilts, Brantley says, “I consider that part of the Atlanta influence as well — the whole vibe of being proud of who you are.” She’s a fan of the Southwest Arts Center as well as the High Museum’s special exhibitions. 

Brantley’s own first solo exhibition is currently on view at the Emma Darnell Aviation Museum and Conference Center, where her quilts emphasizing red and white colors are specially featured. “I am a charter member of the Lambda-Theta chapter of Delta-Sigma-Theta at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville,” said Brantley. “Since 1974, when I became a member of Delta-Sigma-Theta, I learned to love red and white.” 

More on O.V. Brantley’s quilts can be found at