Sujata inspired place-mat or very small quilt

Sujata placemat]

I’m hoping to finish another quilt that’s larger than 12″ x 12″ before 2017 ends. Meanwhile I finished this place-mat which I started in Sujata Shah’s EBHQ workshop. This is the block she calls crossroads. I’m also working on finishing a small disappearing hourglass quilt. More about that in my next post.

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A few Gee’s Bend quilts at the de Young Museum

I went to the de Young Museum, Sunday. It was great- no crowds of people, no traffic, and lots of parking spaces. There are some quilts there that the museum has purchased from Gee’s Bend quilters and from a local African American quilter. I had a great time at the museum with my husband and daughters, although I was the only one interested in the quilts. Here are some photos:

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Its hard to to pick a favorite, they each have lovely details.

The third quilt is by Rosie Lee Tompkins, a quilter whom Eli Leon wrote about.

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Magic squares

magic squaresHere is a block called magic squares, also from the Mac Attack workshop  at New Pieces. This is a tessellation.  All four of the pieces in each block are identical.

I must have rearranged the pieces as I was sewing them together. There was supposed to be a teal pinwheel in the center, between the red one and the orange one. I like it this way too. I was in a hurry when I sewed it together. I had missed almost two hours of the workshop when I went home to let in the furnace repair guy. I dashed back and tried to absorb everything I’d missed as fast as possible.

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Mac Attack class

I took an improvisational piecing class at New Pieces called Mac Attack with Mike MacNamara. Here are some photos:


This one started as two fabrics one on top of the other. I had a half yard of orange and a half yard of blue. You make two cuts through both fabrics. Then you swap the middle fabric and sew them back together.  This is the piece that had two blue strips and orange in the middle. Then I cut that into wedge shaped pieces, mixed them up and sewed them back together.

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Here is the other piece of fabric that was two orange strips with a blue one in the center. I added a red strip. If I had to do it again I think I would use yellow rather than red. I didn’t get a chance to sew this one together because I had to go home to let the furnace repair guy in. We didn’t have any heat, so it really needed to be fixed.

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Axis Mundi or Jacob’s Ladder

Here’s another quilt finished in 2017! I feel like most of my energy has gone to 12″ x 12″s this year, so it’s important to me to have finished a few larger quilts

Axis Mundi

I made a smaller version of this quilt for the 12 x 12 show. This one is 31″ x 21″. Here’s what I wrote about it: In a Joey Weisenberg workshop on singing wordless songs (nigunim) for hours as meditation, I learned that the Hebrew word for “ladder” also means “musical scale.” That inspired this quilt. My ladder is pieced from sheet music fabric. An axis mundi is a place on earth with a direct connection to God.

I couldn’t decide whether to call it Axis Mundi or Jacob’s Ladder. Maybe “Axis Mundi or Jacob’s Ladder” will be its title.

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12 x 12 show opening

Here I am at the opening of the 12 x 12 show last Sunday.

imageAll the quilts to my right are mine. This year everyone could have up to eight of their twelve pieces in the show. Thank you to all of you who came to the opening. There were so many people there that I didn’t get to talk to everyone.

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Quilt finished after many different versions



Here’s version one. I pieced the stars, and wanted to enlarge the quilt with out piecing any more stars. I love this Asian crane fabric, and the friend I’m making the quilt for loves to go bird watching. However, the two just didn’t go together in the same quilt, even though the colors worked together.

Blue2Next I tried this strip of four-patches on point, leftover from the quilt I made for Elisheva when she left for college, 6 years ago. Since there’s no other black fabric in this quilt, it didn’t go either. I liked the fabric on the bottom though.

Blue 3


Here’s another try using more extra blocks from Elisheva’s quilt. There’s too much black and grey, although I like the combination of small squares and large squares.

Blue 4

Then I tried the curved piecing on the bottom. I thought that by echoing the curves on top that I could make the cranes work. I loved the curved piecing, but not for this quilt. I might have to make another quilt based on this curved piece.

True Blue Stars

Finally! Here it is, finished and quilted.

True Blue back


It has some bird fabric on the back, but not the cranes. I got this bird fabric for free at EBHQ drop in. Since I was having so much trouble with the front, I had already pieced the back when I decided the cranes didn’t fit the front.


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Take a candlestick making class with me!

I’m teaching this class through Lehrhaus Judaica


CandlesticksCome make Shabbat candlesticks from metal foil, discuss how to make the celebration of Shabbat work for yourself or your family, and learn the “Secret of Shabbat!” While discussing Shabbat we will explore lots of options for decorating our candlesticks: emboss lines, attach beads, add color, and cut decorative holes for the light to shine through. No artistic talent or prior knowledge required to create incredible candlesticks. Appropriate for age 8 and up. Join Claire Sherman, artist and mensch for this fun filled workshop.

(I didn’t write that I was a mensch. They added that when I wasn’t looking).

Sunday, December 3

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

1316 University Ave
Berkeley, CA
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Blue star quilt in progress

Blue wonky stars

This is the quilt I’m working on. It will be a lap quilt for a friend in a nursing home. She said blue was her favorite color. When I pressed her for a second color, she said blue-green. Of course I added white to the mix. She used to love going bird watching. I have some bird fabric for the back. I’m done with stars and blocks for this quilt. I’m going to make it larger by adding rectangles to the top and bottom, with some wavy lines cut into them. Here are some of my ideas from my notebook.

blue wonkystar notes

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Class with Maria Shell

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Here are two quilts by Maria Shell, a quilter from Alaska. I took her class today at HelloStitch.  The class was called Riffing on Tradition-taking a traditional block and improvising on it. I decided to use a four-patch.  The blocks I made are below.



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