There’s nothing like a deadline to help one focus. Since my last post I adopted an aggressive “squirrel abatement plan,” finishing my my multiple projects in time for a show with my friend, Linda Race, a collage artist, that went up on July 1, at Sweet Adeline Bakeshop in Berkeley.

The first finish was my Hour Glass quilt.




Although I consider myself a “process” quilter – one who makes design decisions as they show up – I still feel intimidated and anxious about what the next step will be…. should be…. This was definitely one of those intimidating quilts. However, now that it’s finished, or because it is finished, I am so pleased and happy – It came out just the way I (didn’t) plan it! My favorite part is the handquilting and machine quilting combination.

The next finish was my “Forecast- Grey With a Scattering of Squares.”

Another long-time design wall resident. I machine quilted it with vertical straight line stitching, avoiding the grouping of squares so they pop up and take center stage. I can’t look at those tiny 1″ish (and one 3/4″ 9 patch)  squares swimming in that grey-green background and not marvel at the crazy person who decided to make an entire quilt (albeit a small one) with all those individually pieced little squares….. (My apologies for the blurry picture)

“That Red” is also done -another satisfying finish as it took a bit of time and a few false starts to bring my “vision” to life. It is all handquilted.



However, in the midst of all my show finishes another quilt moved to the front of the que.

June 25 was my Aunt Eva’s 86th birthday and I decided I needed to bring her a “fidget” quilt when I visited. This may not be the most beautiful quilt I’ve ever made but it is definitely the most meaningful.

It is made with cordoroy, velvet, 3 orphan quilt blocks, 2 pockets, 2 rows of buttons, 2 zippers, a velvet and satin ribbon and a row of ric rac.

My aunt has Alzheimer’s. On my last visit I noticed how her hands were constantly moving, “worrying” something. I hoped that all the textures and extras on this quilt would have a calming effect and keep her hands busy. At the suggestion of my cousin I inserted 2 pieces of bubble wrap into the pockets. She loved the quilt, especially the bubble wrap. She chatted happily with us while her hands were busy popping the bubble wrap. When I mentioned to her that everyone I showed the quilt to wanted it, she sassily responded, “Well, they can’t have it. It’s mine.”I still have a “squirrel” or two left, but I’m relieved that I don’t have the colony that took over my studio last month.

For those of you in the Bay Area, stop by Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, try one of their yummy baked treats and check out Linda’s and my exhibit, titled Echoes. The exhibit will be up through Sunday, July 30. Join us for a “closing celebration” from 3pm-5pm on the 30th.





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I absolutely love the term “squirrel abatement plan” – I need to address a few of those squirrels lurking my studio as well. Your finishes are beautiful!


Hi Julie,
Thanks! I think most of us quilters have our share of squirrels and boy, does it feel good to finish a few!!


Congratulations! Thanks for the yummy taste of the show! Your quilts are beautiful and they look even more artful next to the collage pieces. I love the “fidget quilt” too, made with so much thoughtfulness and love. Enjoy your closing celebration!


Thanks LeeAnn – Linda and I really didn’t have a clue how or if our pieces would work together – so happy that they did. Wish you lived closer so you could drop by.


Love this post! Just found you through Quiltdaivajulie’s link. Thanks for sharing.


Thank you for visiting!!


Certainly you have been influenced by some of the Gee’s Bend Quilters. Whose work from that collective has influenced you the most?


Hi Brian,

The Gee’s Bend quilters were definitely one source of inspiration for me but I was also influenced by Amish quilts, other African American quilters here in the San Francisco Bay Area, historical quilts and the quilters that I saw growing up – who used what they had and made their own unique quilts without patterns or worrying about what other people were doing.


I’ve just popped over to visit after reading the latest post from Quiltdivajulie, so pleased she gave a link to your wonderful blog. I’m going to read through your older posts now and follow your new ones.


I love seeing your process, thanks for posting! I am finishing up some UFOs with encouragement from the American Patchwork and Quilting UFO challenge on Facebook. Very inspiring!
A question for you – I went to Gwen Marston’s website to see if she had any info about a Mary Schafer exhibit I plan on visiting this weekend. The website looks totally different and seems to be written by someone other than Gwen. Do you know if Gwen still has an online presence? Or has her site been hijacked?


Hi Caroline,

Thank you. Yes, unfortunately Gwen’s website has been hijacked. She doesn’t have an online presence anymore. She really did retire as she kept threatening to do. I hope you enjoy the Mary Schafter exhibit – I wish I lived closer and could go too!


This was one of my favorite blogs and I got busy (Squirrels) and didn’t get my comment done…The fidget quilt was AWESOME and so glad you made it. All of the quilts were wonderful and wish I could have made it to your show.

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