Mrs. Gayle H. Holloman, Librarian Principal/Branch Manager at The Dr. Robert E. Fulton Regional Library at Ocee, Alpharetta, Georgia, requested Paulette Strain to show her quilts during Black History Month 2007. The 5 quilts are displayed in the main entrance of the library. They were made over the last 10 years (1996 through 2006). Paulette has been a member of Brown Sugar Stitches for the last 4 years; she can be contacted at the following email: MadameFeeQuilts@nottheads.com
Paulette E. Strain, Quilter
Madam Fee Fees Quilts
Ms. Strain has been sewing since she was eight years old in Long Island, New York. She started sewing on her mother’s 1945 Feather Light Singer Sewing machine. For many years she sewed doll clothes and graduated to making and fashioning her own clothes for high school and college. Ms. Strain over the years expanded her sewing talents to also include home décor, making her own curtains, draperies, bedspreads and upholstered and slip covered chairs and couches.
Ms. Strain continued to sew after moving to Atlanta in 1992. As a way to help her mother recuperate from an illness in 1997, Ms. Strain and her mother took a quilting class at the former Stone Mountain Quilt Shop, Stone Mountain, Georgia. The mother-daughter joint venture produced a lap size quit. It also took her mother down memory lane talking about how she helped and learned to quilt from her grandmother and other churchwomen in Raleigh, North Carolina. After that first joint venture, the quilt bug bit Ms. Strain. Over the past 15 years, Ms. Strain has machine quilted over 25 projects. Many were for babies, brothers, sisters, friends, birthday presents, sports enthusiasts, pastor’s appreciation, and memorabilia wall hangings.
Her quilts have gone international. Last September 2006, she was commissioned by Berean Christian Church Global Missionary Group to custom make two quilts for the trip to Johannesburg, South Africa. The two quilts were presented to the South African churches that hosted the missionaries’ visit. Ms. Strain is a member of the Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild of Stone Mountain, Georgia. Her quilts have been exhibited at the Fernbank, Black History Month, February 2006, Atlanta, Georgia; The Art Studio Museum, July 2006, Stone Mountain, Georgia; and presently at The Dr. Robert E. Fulton Regional Library at Ocee, Black History Month, February 2007, Alpharetta, Georgia. She annually donates her quilts to the Carrie Steel Pitts Home for Children, Atlanta, Georgia.
- Made in 1997 by Margaret and Paulette Strain – machine pieced and quilted by Margaret and Paulette Strain
- Made in December 2004; Poem by Charla Y. Jacobs for Berean Christian Church Women’s Group – machine pieced and quilted by Paulette Strain
- Made in May 2006 – machine pieced and short arm stippling quilting by Paulette Strain
- Made in August 2004 – machine pieced and tie knot by Paulette Strain
European immigrants brought quilting to America. Quilting was originally performed by women who had means to purchase fabrics. They also developed the styles of appliqué. Quilting was not performed by working women. Working women spent their days spinning, weaving and sewing just to keep their family in clothing. It wasn’t until the production of affordable textiles in the mid 19th century that working woman began quilting. The history of quilting is very Rich! It is steeped in the history of the African culture, Artform and textile arts; and how African-Egyptian culture migrated throughout history – through and into China, India, the Americas and finally into the United States.
Other Articles of interest:
- Full article “A Brief History of Quilts” by Belinda Pedroso – Aunt Be’ Quilts
- Brown Sugar Stitchers Photogallery