The eyes quilt, continued

I started thinking about this quilt last Monday. I started working on it on Wednesday, and I finished the binding this morning at 1 AM. I’m not quite done yet. I might sew on some beads. I need to ship the quilt Tuesday morning.



Here’s a detail of the beading I’m in the process of doing. The photo is rotated wrong, but I kept trying to fix it, and my computer wouldn’t let me because the file was supposedly open somewhere else.

I plan to ship this quilt to Virginia tomorrow, so any beading I do needs to be done by noon tomorrow.



eye detail

Ok. It’s after midnight and I’m going to bed now. Here’s a final photo:

The Wise One

And here’s a detail of one eye and the beading:

Wise one detail

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The eyes have it!

I’m working on a 23″ wide by 5″ tall eyes challenge. Since that doesn’t make much sense, here’s the info:

Sacred Threads Eye Contact Project

Sacred Threads 2019

“Eye Contact: creating a connection

We need your Participation!

Samples made by Barbara Hollinger, Karol Kusmaul and Laurie Ceesay

Hi, I am Barbara Hollinger, curator of Sacred Threads, our national quilt and fiber art exhibit.

We are planning the show for the summer of 2019 and have a project underway that will allow you to participate in creating a special installation for our visitors.

It’s called “Eye Contact: creating a connection“.

There is a famous quote by Cicero (106-43 B.C.). ‘Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi’ (The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter). ‘The eyes are the window of the soul‘ is a variant form of the proverb…”Reference

Here are the specifics:

– The dimensions are 23″ wide x 5″ high
– Any fiber/ mixed media technique and materials
– Finished using any method
– No sleeves are needed
– Please put your name on the back of your piece, either with a label or permanent pen
– Human Eyes – Looking at the Viewer

Make one, or make several, and mail them to us to share in a special display at the exhibit here in the Washington DC area next summer.

Deadline May 31, 2019.

Mail to:

ST Eye Contact Project

c/o Barbara Hollinger

10309 Dunn Meadow Road

Vienna VA 22182

Please fill out this return shipping form and include with your shipment.

Return Fees (There is no fee to enter but we do need to collect funds to help return your piece to you):

From within the US: Please include a $7.5 check, made out to Sacred Threads.

From outside the US: We will send you a PAYPAL invoice for $25.00.

We will return your artwork in a USPS Flat-Rate small box. It will be trackable and the default insurance will be applied.

We would love to have you join us at the exhibit and cannot wait to share your “Eye Contact: creating a connection” project.

I rarely make art with eyes in it. About 30 years ago I made a Purim mask of Queen Esther out of Fimo clay and wood. Here it is:

Queen Esther

It suddenly occurred to me that I could make this quilt topical by putting stars in the eyes of the quilt I’m making of eyes. but I’m not sure I really want to. If you have an opinion, please leave me a comment below.

Here’s what I have, so far:


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I’m teaching Circular Squares on June 9th!

Slightly Sober Path 2012

Slightly Sober Path 2012

Circular Squares and Rectangles Improv Quilt Class

At Hello Stitch Studio on June 9, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM,

1708 University Ave, Berkeley, CA

 Sign up at or (510) 982-6549

This class explores curved piecing in both square and rectangular blocks. Learn how to boldly cut curves with a rotary cutter, but without a ruler or a cutting line! Using a stack of fabrics, you will learn how to make a fun, improv quilt. This is a process class. Once you learn the process, the world of curved, pieced quilts is yours to explore.

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner-Intermediate

Below is some student work from the last time I taught this class.


And here’s one that I made during the class:



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Annual library quilt show!

image image

The 38th annual Berkeley Public Library quilt show is up from now until June 29. It’s on the 2nd floor in the cases in the lobby and hanging above the reference desk. I have 2 quilts in the show: a 3′ X 3′ star in a star, and a postcard sized basket.

Star in a StarHere’s a better photo of the star quilt. There’s a reception for the show on June 10, at 6:00 pm in the community meeting room on the 3rd floor. Everyone  is invited! I’ll be there, with a lot of the quilters from the show.


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Shibori, felting and fulling class



Last weekend I took an EBHQ workshop with Yoshiko Wada. Here is a photo of some of our experiments.

image image

Above is master shibori artist Yoshiko Wada showing us how to brew natural indigo and demonstrating shibori. Since shibori is a form of tie dye, I asked her where tie dye was invented, Japan or India? She said that historians believe that both countries developed it independently of each other.


Here is my output for the 2 days from the top left: wool shibori, fulled, stitched and dyed wool, shibori underwear, cotton shibori, and 2 cotton shibori dyed shirts.

I also learned the difference between felted and fulled. Felted refers to wool that hasn’t been woven. If you do the felting process on a woven wool fabric, it is fulled not felted.




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Free motion quilting


I took Mel Beach’s EBHQ workshop on free motion quilting a week ago. Here’s one of my 2 samples, above. I was very out of practice. It’s been at least two years since I did any free motion quilting. Since the workshop I’ve continued practicing by quilting two donation baby quilts that EBHQ always has on hand. I am improving, but it seems like a slow learning curve!

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I’m teaching how to make Cathedral Window quilts this Sunday!

old cathedral window

postcard cathedral window

Three Ways to Make a Cathedral Window Quilt

Sun, Mar 24

Mar 24, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Hello Stitch Studio, 1708 University Ave, Berkeley

[510] 982-6549 |


Cathedral Window is a beautifully intricate quilt block pattern. Traditionally it is done entirely by hand, however, I will demonstrate three ways to make these blocks: completely hand sewn, completely machine sewn, as well as a combination of both. The background fabric is folded in origami fashion and the contrasting center fabrics are sewn into each pocket like a small jewel. This is a dimensional, multi-layer quilt block that doesn’t require quilting and is perfect for using scraps of fabric.

This is a process class. Once you learn how to make the blocks you can turn them into a quilt, wall hanging or pillow, but those projects won’t be covered in class. These blocks look complicated, but once you learn the process, it isn’t that hard to do.

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Last quilt finished in 2018

Sujata inspiredThis quilt, titled Inspired By Sujata, was the last quilt I finished in 2018. I just realized I never posted a photo of it. I started it in Sujata Shah’s EBHQ class. I started laying it out on a design wall in Maria Shell’s EBHQ class. I think it was called kitchen sink quilting. The idea was to take a bunch of blocks and make a quilt out of them- kind of like what Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran do with their parts department quilts.

Here are two details of the quilting;

Sujata detail 1

Sujata detail 2.1



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Baby quilt finished at the last minute!

Buzz Baby Quilt

I stayed up until the early hours of the morning two nights in a row to finish this baby quilt. Then I took BART to San Francisco to hand it to the grandma who commissioned it for her new grandson in Israel. She was getting on a plane later that day and didn’t have time to come to Berkeley to pick it up. We stood there in the Powell St station, while I showed her the quilt, and sent it on its way. This is my first quilt finished in 2019!

The yellow bicycle fabric is left over from the quilt I made two years ago for her first grandchild. I hear that the grandkids’ parents are avid cyclists. Here is the back of the quilt:

back of buzz baby quiltI have had this fabric in my stash for a long time, and I don’t remember buying it. I think it probably came from my mother’s stash, which I inherited. Here’s a detail of the quilting. I used a zigzag on my machine that had 3 stitches for every zig, and a curvy line. I used my walking foot for all the quilting.

detail Buzz quilting

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When your quilt isn’t working…keep working on it.


This was the hot mess on my design wall, a few weeks ago. My artist friend Lila Wahrhaftig looked through the photos on my phone. She liked the one with negative space, which was just slices separated by an inch or two on the cutting board. That gave me the idea to add a strip of slashing between each slice.


Here it is with the sashing:


But there was too much light blue fabric for the composition. (It stuck out like a sore thumb). I cut it diagonally where the ruler is.


I added another blue sashing strip, but I didn’t like the X it made across the quilt. So I sewed a different slice above the sashing.



It’s late at night, so the color isn’t accurate, but this is what it looks like now.



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