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