|Ollie Jean with Whig Rose|
Ollie Jean Lane, quilter extraordinaire, and a faithful Pine Belt Quilter member, shared her quilt story at our April meeting. She began quilting seriously in 1986 after retiring from the Mississippi Extension Service. She related that she made a conscious decision that quilting would be her hobby and main activity and began to organize her schedule by making quilting a priority. She had many responsibilities caring for family members but planned her time so that she could use all waiting and sitting times to full advantage to further her quilting passion.
|Ollie Jean with "Simply Delicious" (Piece 'O Cake Design)|
Her first entry in a quilt show was in the 1987 PBQ show at Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center and was rewarded with a Viewers' Choice ribbon. She said her quilts never looked as good anywhere as they did displayed at our shows, and she became a regular entrant (and ribbon winner) even though she lived in Yazoo City. She served as president of Mississippi Quilt Association in 1993-1994. Since she relocated to Hattiesburg in 2001, she has been an active participant in our guild activities.
|Ollie Jean Lane and Susie Jackson|
Although her quilts are "show quality," she and her family use them constantly on their beds, couches, and as art for the walls. She decorates for holidays and changes them out regularly. She brought about 50 pieces to show, and her daughter, Bettie Norwood, who was present for her program, said that each time she sees the quilts she decides on a different "favorite."
Seeing Ollie Jean's work was an inspiration to all, and she encouraged us to give our passion a higher priority and let our other responsibilities fit around our quilting, rather than making quilting wait for that elusive "free time." She described how she keeps about four projects going at all times so that she has a (1) carry-around hand project, (2) a sewing machine project at home, (3) a quilt on the frame, and (4) idea/plan/materials for the next quilt. She not only uses her time wisely in making beautiful quilts, she is cultivating deep friendships that she and many others treasure.