300 Quilts · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Sawtooth Stars

Sawtoothmania • Reflections on Fertile Ground

Sawtoothmania, Quilt no. 239

All the signatures of the Gridsters, who contributed blocks to the quilt top.

the label

All photographs above by my husband or I, taken from a frontage road on the 680 freeway, to the west of Grizzly Bay and the Cordelia Slough, off Lopes Road near the Bay Area in Northern California. We just can’t resist those Northern California hills, as he and I have significant history there.

He went to UC Berkeley for his doctorate in Environmental Health Sciences (aka Toxicology), and when he wasn’t in the lab or studying his brains out, he was out in his vintage Dodge Dart exploring the Bay Area, Muir Woods and other areas. I, on the other hand, spent my teenage years in Portola Valley on the other side of the Bay, my father a professor at Stanford. We’d just come back from two years in Peru (and how we got there is another story about the life my charmed parents lived) and instead of returning to the mountain-west states, our family landed here. That was when houses were dear, but not astronomical, and somehow they pieced together a way to get a house on a professor’s salary. I grew up in the wooded hills, the large California Oaks standing alone in the the golden grasses in autumn, just like they were this day, when we went hunting for a place to photograph my quilts.

One of my children was born not too far from this place; however, my husband and I didn’t know each other then. As we drove down to my brother’s house from the Sacramento area (where this same Mr. Claus took this Mrs. Claus to get her Christmas present…more on that later), I narrated where I used to drive this child to the orthodontist, where he went to the surgeon to correct his cleft lip and palate, where I visited the attorney for my divorce. Then my husband took his turn in narration: the place where he used to go to school, his tale of arriving for grad school on a Friday, then heading to San Francisco on Saturday, to see what was there, all before beginning his studies on Monday. We drove by the Oakland Temple, of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints, where we first met on a hot July evening, and gradually fell in love, sitting on the low stone wall around the property on summer nights, just talking, and watching the shimmer of lights from across the bay as we figured out how a newly-divorced woman with four children could fall in love with a single, brilliant young man, and about how they could take the leap together into a new life, the fertile ground of the northern California hills under their feet.

And so we did leap: into a life of raising children, of tracking the academic life, of quilting, of learning. It’s been a good journey, with lots of love, a few intense discussions, a life of forgiveness and kindness, a happy and creative life together…all of this reminiscing while finding a place to photograph a few Sawtooth Stars.

Other Posts with Sawtoothmania:
Sawtoothmania! – the beginning of this quilt
Some Thoughts on Our Nation’s Milestone — where Sawtoothmania makes an appearance at the end
stars shining brightly — a sister to this quilt
The Ides of March — where a few blocks show up after we build a new design wall, and I write about possessions, and an old recipe held together with a straight pin
Tiny Envelope & More Blocks — where I wrote you a free tutorial to make those very cute signature blocks on the back of the quilt

The quilts above, are Criss-Cross Color and Sawtoothmania, both available in my pattern shop.

14 thoughts on “Sawtoothmania • Reflections on Fertile Ground

  1. I so enjoy learning more of your life, it makes me feel like you are truly a friend that I could call and say “Let’s grab a cup of coffee”. I think I feel a bit closer too as my daughter and husband live in San Francisco, although I don’t get down to see her as often as I would like.
    Sawtoothmania is wonderful!

  2. For some reason, Elizabeth, I am not being allowed to post my comment. Changes must have been made somewhere as I have three people now whom I cannot leave comments. I really do not have time for all this monkey business of changes in my life. So…..this was the comment I cannot post.

    That is such a pretty setting for both of those quilts. They both simply sparkle in those photos. I, too, enjoyed being a part of Sawtoothmania. Your wee envelopes on the back are perfect for it. It was great fun reading about your ties with the area, a picturesque area of our state.

    Happy Sunday! Mary

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Thank you for sharing part of your story, as well as your quilts, Elizabeth. All are very special. My husband and I honeymooned in the Bay Area, and have been back a number of times to visit family and friends. It holds a dear place in my heart.

  4. What a lovely story about your growing up years, and your husband’s and the way you met and became a couple. I’m glad you feel the same about him now as you did then. Your quilt is beautiful, and the location for pictures is gorgeous! How nice to get out and about to photograph quilts together. A husband who will do that with you is extra-special.

  5. Loved reading this story – so beautifully told and the amazing photos! . I was delighted to make a contribution to sawatooth mania!

  6. What beautiful quilts and landscape to illustrate your story. That’s what quilters do – pull together the pieces and make something beautiful! You are amazing.

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