Master Quilt specialist
Ethel White became consumed with quilting when she attended the Gee's Bend show at the Milwaukee Art Museum several years ago. Growing up, she'd seen her mother, grandmother, and aunts assemble quilts using the Montgomery Ward's Catalog for foundation piercing, but it wasn't until she saw the Gee's Bend quilts made of scrap denim that she became determined to become a quilter herself.
Ethel was already an experienced tailor and seamstress. She trained at MATC, and ran her own custom clothing shop, "Ethel Monday's Fashion Boutique," for a decade. Today Ethel is now taking the quilting world by storm with her unique collection of nearly 200 original quilts. Museum exhibitions, radio and television appearances, newspaper and magazine features, guest lectures, and corporate commissions are following the unique collection started in the year of 2003. As a professionally trained tailor, leather crafter, and fashion designer, Ethel didn't want to stray too far away from the techniques, methods, and machines that she had grown so fond of over the years.
Her first quilted masterpiece was an applique quilt honoring the Gee's Bend quilters that she called "The Village." She has made every type of quilt, but her favorite are "scrappy quilts" and those using African kente cloth.
A self taught quilter, she traveled to several branches of the Milwaukee Public Library, checking out every book about quilting that she could get her hands on. One day, a security guard at the Center Street Library tipped her off to a quilting group that met twice a month there, so she started attending their meetings. "Once I got into it, I really liked it," Ethel said.
Ethel says, "I look for a source of visual inspiration, interpret the images through meticulous applique, frame the images without overpowering them, and finally give the back of the quilt a distinctive look of its own whenever possible", end quote.
Behind every stitch from her wrist, there's a thought provoking message full of meaning, compassion, and purpose; which has compelled her to be commended and well respected by all those who've observed her quilts.
2003 was the year that Ethel White was introduced into the world of quilting. Due to her hard work, dedication, and assiduousness, Ethel has been regarded as one of the most prominent quilters in Southeastern Wisconsin. A native of Bruce, Mississippi, Ethel has captured the interest of many by producing exquisite quilts known for its various illustrations and charisma.