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

image image

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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12 x 12 show opening party on 12/3 from 1-4

2017 12x12 Bay Quilts emailCome join me and 25 other artists for this year’s 12 x 12 show. We have been meeting once a month for a year. Each month I make a 12″ x 12″ quilt. Not everyone is doing quilts. There are mosaics, and other media as well. I hope to see you there!

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More wonky log cabins


log 2

log 3

Here are three wonky log cabin blocks in some of my favorite fabrics. I made them in an EBHQ workshop. They are quite free form, and also not square. I also didn’t keep track of the usual order of adding each in a continuous spiral. I did put an orange-red block in the center. This pays homage to the tradition of putting a red square in the center of log cabin blocks to symbolize the hearth of the actual log cabins. I’m very happy with how these turned out. As my daughters would say, they are “me-ish.”

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Mini Maker Faire in Oakland

I had so much fun on Sunday! I was at the Mini Maker Faire with EBHQ , teaching kids and adults how to make “nine-patches”. All of the nine-patches will be made into quilts that will be donated to people who lost their homes in the fires up in Santa Rosa. Most of the young folks I taught not only had never used a sewing machine before, they had never used an iron either.

I don’t have any photos of our quilts but I do have photos of other parts of the fair. Here are some creatures made from gloves, called Glovetopus.


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Looking at two wonky log cabin blocks

wonky log cabinHere we have two wonky log cabin blocks, one which I like, and the other I really don’t. The upper one is the one that disturbs me. I made it a couple years ago.  I look at it and think I was trying too hard to be wonky when I made it. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t like the way the last border of magenta frames it? The lower log cabin feels more successful to me, but I’m having trouble articulating why.

log cabin

Leave me a comment if you can figure out what’s off about the upper one.

This second one is the one I made following Cindy Griselda’s instructions, from the video promoting her book, Artful Improv. See my post from September 19th for the link.

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