About Me

Holly & Mom, January 2003, in Martinez, CA.
Piecing Hawaii-themed wallhanging.
Holly assembling Hawaii-themed wallhanging.

One of my earliest childhood memories is a quilt show! So, my love for quilting began with my Mom, Anita, who has been a lifelong and avid sewer. I began quilting with her in 2002 or so, with a wallhanging that celebrates my other passion -- Hawai'i. It was made using a pattern from Alex Anderson's book, Kids Start Quilting, which appealed to my whimsical side.

This particular Hawaii-themed wall-hanging has faithfully followed me from Boston, MA (where I was an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), to three different homes in Hilo, HI (where I was a graduate student in tropical conservation biology), to two different homes in Honolulu, HI (where I was a graduate student in zoology & epidemiology), and finally back to my hometown of Benicia, CA. More details about my professional and academic life are available on my LinkedIn page.

My other early quilts were gifts for friends' new arrivals, using the Rail Fence pattern from Alex Anderson's book, Start Quilting 2nd Edition - Six Projects for First-Time Quilters. These are the patterns and books that I now always recommend to new quilters who are just getting started.

Holly working on a baby quilt using Mom's Elna, 2003, in Benicia, CA.

I've since made many quilts (see my finished quilts page) -- a majority as gifts. My style is best described as eclectic -- although a possible common theme is that I tend toward nature-inspired quilts. The 2011 Hawaii Quilt Guild Show in Honolulu, HI was the first quilt show that I've participated in:
"WhOO's Watching You?"
Pattern from Quilt A Koala by Margaret Rolfe
Quilted by Anna MacAllen.
Exhibited at 2011 Hawaii Quilt Guild Show.
"So Molly"

Inspired by pattern "Walk About" of Grizzly Gulch Gallery:
Fabrics by Julie Paschkis; Quilted by Susan Haushalter.
Exhibited at 2011 Hawaii Quilt Guild Show

I've now fully got the quilting bug, complete with a fabric addiction, and I quilt daily with my simple Kenmore sewing machine -- although occasionally I borrow my Mom's best friend, her Janome 6500. I'm interested in exploring through textile art both the beauty and wonder of science, as well as nature conservation issues -- and recently began that journey with my first challenge quilt, made for the 2011 Hawaii Quilt Guild show:

Holly with "Hawaiian Dichotomy",
challenge quilt for Hawaii Quilt Guild 2011 show.
Second-Place Ribbon.

Narrative: The contrast of the assigned challenge fabrics – black with white smoke tendrils, versus a luscious sunlight dappled forest green – reminded me of the contrast between the reality of Honolulu urbanization versus the once verdant & uniquely biodiverse Hawai‘i. As a conservation biologist, this ever-expanding dichotomy and the associated loss of species, is an ironic heartbreak that comes with “building one’s cabin” and living in Hawai‘i.

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