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The Bonny Morley Quilt Exhibition

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The Bonny Morley Quilt Exhibition - Page Text Content

S: The Bonny Morley Quilt Exhibition

1: The Bonny Morley Quilt Exhibition March 2-3, 2013

2: An Introduction by Bonny | I started quilting at the age of sixteen when a youth group counselor from St. John’s Presbyterian Church in San Francisco started the “Young Ladies Quilting and Cookie Society”. It was the summer of 1956 when Arnold (Pat) and Alice Zwanck opened their home on Wednesday evenings to ten teen-aged girls for quilting lessons. While Pat tried to watch the Wednesday night fights on TV (sponsored by Gillette Shaving Company) the girls would quilt, eat cookies, and exercise. Since progress on the quilts was minimal, Pat decided to offer an incentive – a nice dinner out to the first girl who completed her quilt. I completed my “Dahlia” quilt in 1958 and won the dinner. My quilt was shown at the California State Fair in the fall of 1958, quite an accomplishment for a city girl! My friendship with Pat and Alice continued to blossom. I recall spending many hours with them talking and stitching. They were truly beautiful people blessed by God, willing to share them with me. As I matured, married, and had a family, my husband David and our two sons, Scott and Bruce also were included in their friendship. Alice Suter Zwanck died in June of 1976, just three months after her husband Pat died. I inherited the personal belongings among which were twenty-seven quilts in varying stages of completion. The goal of my lifetime is to finish Alice's beginnings and turn them into completions. There are wonderful memories and friendships stitched into these quilts. They are wonderful, comforting things! They are a diary of my life. Bonny Brodd Morley 1990

3: An Introduction by Dave | Bonny has created a legacy of quilting. She has mentored so many people that her love of quilting now lives on in so many others. She taught quilting to people in the Dorcas Quilting group as well as other friends and family members. Her quilts now live in homes all across the world; from England to Connecticut to Southern California to Northern California. During our marriage, she was always carrying a quilt with her; in the car, on an airplane, in Bear Valley, etc. In fact, we had to purchase a car that had a big enough front seat so she could hold her quilt hoop in front of her! No matter where we were, she loved to quilt and talk. She still goes to San Francisco every Wednesday to quilt with the Dorcas Quilters. She can't sew on her own quilts anymore, but her ability to sew on the big frame lives on! Dave Morley April 2013

4: The Exhibition

9: A Barbershop Serenade

10: Some of the Friday Quilting Group | The Dorcas Quilting Group

11: The Quilts | "The best kind of sleep beneath Heaven above is under a quilt handmade with love." Wendy Neff

12: Dahlia 1956-1958 | The dahlia flowers were pieced and then appliqued to the whole cloth background. Each flower was featherstitched and has a stuffed center. The inspiration for the pattern came from a quilt top pieced by an aunt of Betty Knight, one of the members of the Dorcas Quilters at St. John's Church. The quilt is a king-size yellow background with a black scalloped border. The quilting design is cross hatching with circlets of leaves. It is all cotton with a cotton batting. This was my first quilt and it was entered in the California State Fair. To this day, the quilt is on our bed and used as a blanket.. BJM '90

13: Apple Blossom 1958-1960 | Mountain Mist battings printed this pattern on the inside cover of the roll. I modified the pattern to suit myself. It is an applique of two-tone pink blossoms with buds on a blue background. It has a central motif with a coordinated pillow sham. The quilting around the central motif is a baroque pattern resembling a picture frame. The quilt is a queen-size coverlet. It is all cotton with a cotton batt. I started this quilt when I was going to San Francisco City College. After a year, I transferred to San Francisco State. I did the majority of the quilting while babysitting for people who had no TV! BJM '90

14: Dawn's Flower Garden 1966-1967 | This quilt was made to celebrate the arrival of Dawn Susanne Morley, my niece. She is the daughter of Ken and Faye Morley. The pattern for this quilt came from Family Circle Magazine. It was originally a crib size, but I enlarged it to fit a twin-size bed. It is all cotton, batt and applique. The quilting pattern consists of flower wreaths surrounded by leaves. It has been well-loved and used all these years. Dawn Susanne is now twenty-five years old. BKM ‘90

15: Tom's Circus 1967-1968 | The pattern for this quilt came from the Family Circle magazine. I made it to celebrate the arrival of Thomas Albert Morley, son of Ken and Faye Morley. The quilt is a crib size enlarged by the application of borders to make it fit a twin-size bed. The applique figures include the ringmaster, lion, fat lady, clown, and prancing horse. The pennant above proudly proclaims – TOM’S CIRCUS 2003 PS: This quilt now has a second new banner added to the tent – reads TEMOC’s CIRCUS! Tom has given this quilt to his nephew Cuahetemoc Chavero. BJM ‘90

16: Scott's Cat 1968 | This crib quilt was made to celebrate the birth of Scott David Morley, son of David and Bonny Morley. The cat pattern is an adaptation of an illustration in "Brian Wildsmith's 1, 2, 3's". It was pieced separately and then appliqued to the blue background. The reverse side has large rectangular blocks of various colors. The quilt pattern is simple cross-hatching. The quilting was done by the Dorcas quilters since Bonny became a mother sooner than the quilt could be finished! BJM '90

17: Bruce's Ducks 1969 | This crib quilt was made by Alice Zwanck for Bruce Alan Morley to commemorate his birth in 1969. The pattern is an adaptation of one of Brian Wildsmith's illustrations. Alice was enchanted with Brian's illustrations. She adapted many of them into quilts. A fast friendship was formed between Brian and Alice. This quilt for Bruce was one of her first Wildsmith endeavors. It was called "Gaggle of Geese". BJM '90

18: Star of the Golden Gate #1 1976 | St. John's had planned a quilt show to celebrate the twin Bicentennial. The City of San Francisco as well as the nation would be celebrating the 200th birthday on July 4, 1976. Alice Zwanck designed a new block particularly for this event. She named the quilt “Star of the Golden Gate”. Unfortunately, Alice died on June 20, 1976 so she never saw her quilt exhibited at that show. The Dorcas Quilters completed the quilt. The 1976 Quilt Show was dedicated to Alice Zwanck's memory. It was a wonderful tribute to a master quilter and designer, teacher and friend. I purchased the quilt from St. John's and our son Scott particularly loved the colors and pattern. He used it on his bed for twelve years. As happens, the quilt's backing became worn. The front was so vibrant as ever. I chose to take the quilt apart, repair the blocks and sew it back together. This time, I chose a vivid print of white stars on a red field for the backing – particularly patriotic! The Dorcas Quilters once again lovingly quilted this top. Alice's designs and my memories of her continue to surround me. BJM 1993 PS. This quilt started its new life 4/9/97.

19: Victorian Crazy Quilt 1979 | Crazy quilts were showcases for a woman's elaborate stitchery. Alice embroidered some wonderful motifs in this quilt. There are animals, flowers, and bugs embroidered on top of the silks, taffetas, and velvets. All of the fancy pieces are embroidered onto a cotton backing. Maroon taffeta stripes separate the triangular patches and are feather stitched around the edges. This quilt was designed by Alice for her husband Pat. An inscription in short-hand reads "To my darling Pat - All my love AL." I finished setting the blocks and bound and backed it in a maroon velvet pile. BJM '90

20: In 1976 we moved into our second home on Portos Drive in Saratoga. The boys were seven and eight years old. Scott chose one of Alice's quilt tops for himself. It was a blazing star set with large white octagons. It was only partially finished. I completed the top within the year and decided to have it machine quilted. I learned a lesson; Young boys should not have hand pieced quilts. They don't last with all that rough housing. In 1986, Scott David Morley graduated from Saratoga High School and was accepted as a biology major at the UC Irvine campus. His beginning at Irvine was rocky – he had no place to live since all the housing on and around campus was filled. Scott persisted. He lived with church friends in a geriatric trailer park and finally in an apartment with two of his future roommates. Finally he moved into his apartment at the end of November. I had duplicated his boyhood quilt and surprised him with it as soon as he had a bed to call his own! This is his “going away to college quilt”. BJM ‘90 | Scott's Blazing Star 1986 - recreation of 1977 quilt

21: Triple Irish Chain 1986 | This quilt was partially pieced by Alice. It's a true scrap quilt. There are many prints from the 30’s and 40’s which are pieced among the spruce green squares. The quilting pattern in the yellow squares is acorns and oak leaves. The rest of the quilting is diagonally lined through the centers of the green squares. This quilting pattern was originally used in another Triple Irish Chain which Alice had pieced in the early sixties. I completed six patches, added the borders, and completed the quilting during numerous trips to Irvine to visit Scott. BJM ‘90

22: Nanny's Blazing Star 1961-1986 | My mother and father bought their first house in San Bruno in 1960. I planned to give them a quilt for their new bedroom. By 1961 I had the top pieced. I had accepted a job as an intern teacher in the Los Lomitas School District and had the use of Lorraine Baake's sewing machine to put the blocks together. I proceeded to the next step which was “the quilting”. Since I lived away during the week, I would return to San Bruno on weekends, dragging my partially finished quilt with me. Alas, I left it in their garage only to have my brother Ted spray paint it inadvertently with grey primer! I was so disgusted I put it away for twenty-five years. Finally I realized I could take out two patches, turn them inside out, and have the paint disappear! Voila – Nanny finally received her quilt for Christmas 1986. She was now living in Sunnyvale and once again her bedroom was rose and green!! BJM ‘90

23: Mrs. Cleveland's Choice 1987 | In 1987 Bruce Alan Morley graduated from Saratoga High School. He applied to UCLA and was accepted into the School of Engineering. For his “going away to college”, he choose a quilt pattern called “Mrs. Cleveland's Choice”. Bruce pondered many patterns before he settled on “Mrs. C”. He also decided on the colors of garnet red, charcoal, and grey. Bruce's first home at UCLA was in Dykstra Hall. His quilt added to the colorful décor of his room. This quilt was machine pieced and quilted to withstand the rigors of dorm life! BJM ‘90

24: Bear Valley Sampler 1987-1988 | The Friday morning quilt group set aside two years to make friendship quilts for each other. I practiced on a patch in my own colors before I made their patch for them. This quilt is queen-sized. The names of the patches are as follows: True Lovers Knot – Betty Truce Lone Pine Tree – Diane Lindow Mrs. Cleveland’s Choice – Me Star of the Golden Gate – Donna Grice Basket – Bonny Morley Star of the Golden Gate – Blazing Star – Priscilla Schneider Grandmother's Fan – Chris Day Bleeding Heart – Carol Cantlen Bear Paw – Laurie Pakula Flower Basket – Me True Lover's Knot – Phyllis Dunstan BJM ‘90

25: Friendship Basket 1988 | The Friday Friends each contributed a basket to my friendship quilt. I chose the colors and provided everyone with the fabric to make their basket. The backing is a pale peach. The quilt is a queen size set together with a nine-patch trellis. The following patches were made by these friends: Kitty Basket – Diane Lindow Lattice Handle – Carol Cantlen Camellia and Ribbons – Chris Day Apple Basket – Annette Woolsey Bow Handled – Laurie Pakula Tied Bow – Donna Grice Fruit Basket – Priscilla Schneider Bear and Balloons – Donna Grice Nesting Chicken – Phyllis Dunstan I designed and pieced the remaining blocks. BJM ‘90

26: Princess Feather and Rising Star 1989 | Originally the pattern for this quilt was made by Mrs. J. Fitzgerald in New Jersey in 1850. The original quilt won numerous blue ribbons at state fairs. Alice found this pattern in an article on historical quilts and sent for it. She cut all the pieces and patched one four-square. I proceeded to finish up the setting and patching. I altered the border design by using bias stripes swags. The feathers are appliqued and the star is pieced. The quilting design is cross-hatched with a feather design in the swags. BJM ‘90

27: Radiant Star 1990 | An old custom inherited from the "quilting old days" is the Freedom Quilt. This quilt would be made for the sons in the family after their twenty-first birthday. It would be pieced by the mother, sisters or aunts and then quilted during a "bee" when unmarried girl friends and relatives would gather for a party of stitching and gossiping. Our oldest son Scott chose the pattern and the colors of his Freedom Quilt. It is titled "Radiant Star" and has a "secret" inscription on the back. Scott received his quilt for his graduation from UC Irvine. "Incorporate knowledge from the past with vision for the future for wisdom today." BJM '90

28: Unfolding Star 1991 | Two Freedom quilts in two years is a major undertaking! Bruce, our youngest son, wanted to be sure that he would get his freedom quilt on time, so he made his color and pattern selection in August of 1990. After his initial selection, Bruce would not see his quilt until it was unveiled on his graduation day June 15, 1991 from UCLA. With a BS in engineering, Bruce got his first job with Watkins Johnson in Palo Alto and he intended for his quilt to be the showpiece in his first apartment. Bruce's choice was an unfolding star set in a star and cube pattern. The green color of the star matches his eyes and the bursting star his creative energies. “Go forth into the world Encourage those you meet Cherish those you love Nurture your dreams” BJM ‘91

29: The Maze or Road to Bergen Alice Zwanck designed it in 1971 Bonny Morley completed it 1986-1991 | In 1986, the California Youth Symphony went on tour to Scandinavia. Dave and I went along as chaperones, much to the dismay of a bassoon player – our 17 year old son, Bruce. We traveled extensively on buses from Stockholm to Oslo and points in between. As we journeyed from town to town, I completed the piecing of three fourths of the red and green quilt known by Alice as “The Maze”. Alice had designed this quilt with one secret path to the center. Only white stepping stones in the right order would gain access to the center red garden. I have renamed the quilt “Road to Bergen” since so much of the piecing was done on the narrow twisty road between Laerdal and Bergen, Norway. The quilting was done by the Dorcas Quilters of St. John's Presbyterian Church. BJM ‘91

30: Star of the Golden Gate #2 1992 | After Alice died in June, 1976, all of her personal effects were inherited by me. A second “Star of the Golden Gate” had been started by Alice. Most of the pieces were cut and several blocks had been pieced. I realized that in order to finish this, I needed more red and white striped fabric. Between 1978 and 1991, I haunted fabric stores, resale shops, etc. looking for the right sized stripe. Finally in desperation, I complained to my Friday quilt group. Lo and behold, Chris Day came to my rescue. She had a stash of red and white stripes left over from the ‘70’s. One of the stripes was a perfect match scale wise with the existing fabric. Chris delivered enough fabric for me to complete the second “Star of the golden Gate” top. The Dorcas Quilters will complete the quilting in the near future. BJM ‘93

31: Pika Pua o Hawaii or The Flower Vase of Hawaii 1992-1993 | In the spring of 1992, I was pursuing a favorite hobby – junking. To my surprise, I discovered a Hawaiian quilt top, blue and white, 76x76 inches in a San Carlos store. Apparently the top had been appliqued by two people. The stitches were small and even. I purchased it and happily took it home. At home, I elected to enlarge this quilt by adding a scalloped 15” border on all four sides in blue. After considering the entire design motif, I decided to applique a white “lei” in the new blue border to tie the “old” and the “new” together. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this project. I learned a lot about the historical aspects of Hawaiian quilting. My friend P. Kitchen contacted a Hawaiian friend who named this quilt after seeing a photo of it. The Dorcas Quilters chose not to follow the traditional Hawaiian way of quilting. My friend Peggy K. marked the top as we quilted. It was truly fun to quilt – no seams!! The quilting lines mimic the motion of waves and water creating islands of calm. BJM ‘93

32: 30th Anniversary Star - A Keeping Quilt 1991-1994 | Finally after thirty years of marriage, David received his own “quilt – blankie”! He had loved the Freedom Quilts I had made for Scott and Bruce. He pined for his own star quilt in blue. Two and a half years before our thirtieth anniversary, I planned his “Keeping Quilt”. It was not easy to quilt clandestinely, but somehow or other, David never realized that “big lump” I carried with me everywhere was for him. We spent our anniversary, March 21, 1994 in Oxnard at a barbershop contest. Scott, Grace, Bruce, Tracey and Amanda all surprised him at our anniversary dinner. The boys insisted that David read the dedication aloud – our wedding vows which encircled the outer border of the quilt. We all became a little teary when Bruce offered a toast for the positive and loving example Dave and I had set. This quilt was a celebration of our life together as a family – Hurrah!! BJM ‘94

33: The M Family Quilt 1993-1994 | At the spring Hillsborough Antiques Show, I purchased this turkey-work quilt top. The embroidered squares were executed by four women all who shared the last initial of “M”. The squares dated from the early quarter of the 20th century judging by the subject matter. I elected to work on this top myself. The top needed to be taken apart so the individual blocks could be resized. I embroidered and repaired the top as necessary with “Danish Flower Thread”. I decided to keep the top as a 70” square and to make a pillow sham with the leftover six blocks. The border was quilted with a heart garland and the blocks cross-hatched. The backing is a deep red cotton. The subject matter of the squares has prompted me to embroider the names of pets, people and places pertinent to our Morley Family Tree. The “M” family quilt will be an ongoing saga of our family's growth, begun by four anonymous women in the early 1900’s. BJM ‘94

34: Starlight Over Dedham 1900-1994 | On a weekend in October 1993, my son Bruce went on a business trip to Massachusetts. He stayed overnight in Dedham. On Sunday morning the Historical Society of Dedham was conducting an antiques sale at a nearby mansion. Bruce purchased two quilt tops – a red/white “Rob Peter to Pay Paul” and a multi-colored “Log Cabin”. He gave me the “Log Cabin” for Christmas in 1993. The Log Cabin is set as a Barn Raising pattern. Each “log” is comprised of 1” triangles pieced with scant 1/8” seams. The fabrics dated from the 1890’s to 1920’s. A lot of repair work was needed. Certain brown fabrics had deteriorated. I resized the top, removing two rows from each end. These patches were used to repair worn pieces in the top. This also allowed me to recycle enough blue triangles to form stars for the corners of the border. The border fabric and binding are new, but designed as reproductions from the 1890’s to 1900’s. “Starlight over Dedham” is a joy to behold. It has a richness and graphics quality that belies its age. Because the fabrics are fragile, the quilting is minimal. The quilting lines follow the shape of hanging diamonds, parallelograms and stars. It will hang on a wall to be enjoyed as a piece of art and serve as a reminder of a wonderful gift! BJM ‘94

35: Burgoyne Surrounded 1990-1994 | On Oct 17, 1777, English General John Burgoyne surrendered to General George Washington at the “Battle of Saratoga” near Albany, New York. Often historical events would be honored by a new quilt design. This block has historical significance because it honors the defeat rather than the victory. Alice Zwank had planned the Bicentennial Quilt Show at St. John's Church. Many of the quilts on display honored our country's heritage. Prior to her death, she and the quilters executed one completed “Burgoyne Surrounded” in time for the show. It was traditionally “set”. This second one which I pieced and completed with the help of the Dorcas Quilters has a non-traditional set. I chose to depict Burgoyne's defeat pictorially. Every bit of red and white fabric is always totally surrounded by blue fabric – the British surrounded by the Patriots. The quilting pattern incorporates eagle, star, and cable motifs. It's a patriotic red, white, and blue statement!! BJM ‘94

36: St. John's 125th Anniversary Banner 1870-1995 | St. John's Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Lake and Arguello, celebrated the anniversary of its founding on October 29, 1995. The church is a San Francisco historic landmark – noted for its stained glass windows and gothic wood architecture. To honor this celebration, I reworked one of Alice's unfinished quilt tops into a banner which could be permanently hung in the sanctuary. Alice had stitched the design of flowers and vines on a bright yellow-gold field of fleur-de-les and hearts. I added the curved bottom section which contained cross stitched flowers and leaves with script lettering commemorating the anniversary event. The Dorcas Quilters completed the quilting and signed their names on the reverse side. Each time I re-work one of Alice's projects I learn new skills. Hurrah for cross-stitching and script lettering!! BJM ‘95 The inscription reads: “Designed by Alice Zwanck, member of St. John's Presbyterian Church 1952-1976 Completed by the Dorcas Quilters of St. John's Presbyterian Church 1938-1995”

37: The Ringstrasser 1970-1988-1995 | This double wedding ring pattern has an updated look attributed to Alice's use of black and white squares stitched into the corners of the “melon” shapes. Alice carried the design one step further. She elected to utilize “rings” of interlocking colors ranging from yellows, pinks, oranges, reds, blues, greens, greys and blacks in the overall design. She carefully made a color sketch of the “rings” and their placement on the quilt top. As with all of Alice's unfinished projects this one was boxed with all the pieces cut and a sample of the pieced design. She had completed six rings and so I began my hand piecing to complete this project of 56 interlocking rings. This quilt earned its name when the California Youth Symphony went on tour to Austria and Germany in 1988. Dave and I were the tour leaders. I did the majority of the piecing on the long bus rides – hence the name “Ringstrasser”. BJM ‘95

38: Orchard Star Easter 1996 | Twenty years ago in 1976, the Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church sponsored a senior retirement community called Life's Gardens in Sunnyvale. Dave's mom Lela V. Morley was on the Board of Directors which spearheaded the building of the 200 apartment complex. The complex provides independent living apartments and five meals a week to the residents. Twenty years later, in 1995-1996, the Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church saw the need to sponsor an assisted living home for seniors who required assistance in their daily living. A residential home was donated to the Church to be outfitted as a handicapped accessible residence for six seniors. It was named “Orchard House”. The clients live at the home in a wonderful atmosphere of love and concern. I was able to coordinate the colors, wall coverings and furnishings for the five bedroom home. The living room needed a wall hanging for the fireplace wall. I designed and executed “Orchard Star” as an Easter Gift to the residents. The wall hanging was meticulously framed by my friend Ben Gonsales and it now hangs on the fireplace wall in the living room. BJM ‘96

39: Sunburst Quilt 1961-1996 | After I completed "Princess Feather and Rising Star", I had a few blocks left over. The decision was made to make a small quilt with four of the squares. Using a full-size historical pattern called “sunburst” reprinted in Woman's Day Magazine 1961, I utilized the existing Rising Star blocks and added the prescribed ribbon bow and swag border. The original fabrics were still in Alice's fabric stash so I was able to complete the top with all the original fabrics from the 1960’s. The quilting pattern of feather wreaths and swags was duplicated from the Woman's Day Magazine of 1961. This “Sunburst Quilt” has an extravagance of quilting. I have nicknamed it my "Brag Quilt". BJM ‘96

40: Diagonal Christmas Basket circa 1870-1996 | In 1992 while antiquing in San Mateo, CA, I spied a window display with a quilt top nailed to the wall. The top had a diagonal set of green and white pieced baskets separated by reddish sashing and surrounded by an appliqued swag and tassel border. Judging by the fabrics and fine hand stitching I estimated that the top had been made c 1865 to 1880. The seller had purchased it in Illinois. The original top (106 x 100) consisted of 64 blocks and a three sided swag and tassel border. Since the red fabric was brittle and wearing thin, I decided to re-size the top by using 16 of the original blocks and as much of the sashing which would “hold together”. The original border was used to surround the newly sized quilt top. A pale yellow green cotton was chosen for the backing. The quilting pattern consists of 3/8” continuous diagonal lines ending with curves echoing the swag and tassel border. I love being able to give an old top a new life. It has been a most satisfying endeavor. All the reddish fabric was reinforced with a light-weight fusible webbing to stabilize the fabric. BJM ‘96

41: The Promise of Spring circa 1870-1998 | After I finished the red/green basket, I had a surplus of 42 green/white basket blocks. The condition of this fabric was good. I chose to combine these circa 1870 blocks with - a green/white trellis print circa 1980 - a “caution yellow” polka dot circa 1960 - a green seaweed reproduction print circa 1990 with an edge of prairie points circa 1930 All told this quilt reflects my joy in the arrival of spring. David and I were married on the first day of spring, March 21, 1964. In our part of California, the colors of yellow and green always herald spring. The hills behind Stanford University would turn bright green interspersed with the yellow blossoms of the acacia, mustard, and scotch-broom plants. The colors chosen for our wedding were yellow and green copied from the surrounding hills. This quilt reminds me of the annual promise of spring – the renewal of the earth as well as of me. The quilting design in the basket blocks show emerging leaves and flowers. The trellis blocks are cross-hatched. All quilting is in yellow thread. BJM ‘98

42: Amish Nine-Patch and Diamond 1998 | This wall hanging emerged in the late 1980's as a result of "finally doing something with the scraps". The original piece of fabric was screen-printed as an Amish Nine-Patch and had been made into a table drape in 1982. The resulting scraps were too good to throw away so they were saved. During the Bear Valley summer of 1998, I was overseeing remodeling work (windows, cabinets, utility room) and needed some handwork to keep me sane. Lo and behold the fabric appeared from a bureau drawer and my "sane hand project" emerged. Since this wall hanging is made of "cheater cloth" (fabric printed in a bona fide quilt pattern) it was easy to quilt. The center nine-patch medallion is surrounded by pieced borders and corner blocks. The quilting pattern of mustard seeds and cables is borrowed from Amish designs. BJM '98

43: Log Cabin - Light and Dark Variations circa 1890-1998 | This unfinished quilt top was made in the 1890’s from many kinds of wool scraps. The 48 squares are all pieced on a foundation and entirely sewn by hand. The individual “logs” are cut on the bias and give the entire top a marvelous texture. My friend Harriet Handler purchased it in Buffalo, New York in the 1950’s and passed it on to me in the 1980’s. Black wool borders and small hanging diamond blocks were added to the outer edge of the top. A cotton woven plaid was chosen for the backing. Ordinarily a “Log Cabin” would not be stuffed, it would be tied. This top was basted to the backing to help distribute the weight when the quilt was hung. As a wall hanging this quilt sparkles with all of its jewel-like tones – it's splendid!! Currently it hangs in the stairwell at Bear Valley. BJM ‘99

44: Rays Into Eternity 1997-1998 | To celebrate their 60th anniversary at St. John's Presbyterian Church, the Dorcas Quilters chose to make a quilted banner to hang in the Fireside Room. Marie Bernegger spearheaded the project by choosing a committee of five to come up with a workable plan. After ten months of deliberations, the committee settled on the banner design – a square color wheel with a centered white dove. Marie and I purchased the fabric and pieced the top. Eve Turcina made and quilted the dove which would be attached to the completed banner. The quilting design of radiating lines interrupted by a circular laurel wreath with cross-hatching around the centered dove was quilted by all the members of the group. The banner was dedicated to St. John's Sunday, November 22, 1998. BJM ‘98

45: Animal Flower Garden 1976-1998 | This quilt top had been pieced in the early 1970’s by Alice. Each rosette was composed of small animal prints surrounding a yellow center with an outer ring of various solid colors. I reset the rosettes on a white background and added a multi-colored diagonal border. The background of the backing was white with mini polka dots. On March 19, 1998 Dawn Morley Chavero and her husband Jorge became the proud parents of Cuauhtemoc Santiago Chavero. (9 lbs 8 oz, 22 inches long) The animal flower garden quilt was given to Dawn at a shower on February 7, 1998 to welcome her first child. BJM ‘98

46: Mary, Mary – How does Your Garden Grow? Grandmothers Flower Garden 1935-1999 | In May 1997, Barb Kelley and I took a trip to visit her sister Helen in Portland. During an antiquing adventure, I found this flower garden twin size top from the 1930’s. It was unfinished and had additional hexagons to complete for more flowers. The top itself needed repair, but the fabric was sound. I bought it for $35 and took it home to California. At home while working on the top, I heard my mother exclaim that it was the prettiest quilt she had ever seen. I resolved at that moment to finish it for her double bed at Life's Gardens. To enlarge the top, extra rows of white hexagons were added. (Tracey provided this fabric from one of her projects.) A rose and blue border completed the top (from my fabric stash.) Mom received the top as a 1997 Christmas gift from me. The Dorcas Quilters completed the quilting in February 1999. I gave it to Mom as a belated gift for her 83rd birthday. BJM ‘99

47: Secret Rose Garden Arkansas Star circa 1930-1999 | Whenever I go on trips I always like to go antiquing for an interesting quilt top to bring home. Since no old top could be found during my Lancaster trip, the day after my return I went shopping in San Jose. My first stop yielded the green and white top – alternate stars with checkered blocks in between. I took the top to the Dorcas meeting the following week for their comments and suggestions. It was agreed that I would change the centers of the stars to make the whole more harmonious. Winona Pepin volunteered to carefully take all the stars apart so they could be repaired and re-sized. After she completed her task, I set about re-making all the stars with new rose centers. The new blocks finished 1 inch smaller than the original. Fortunately the checkered blocks could easily be decreased by the same amount. By now the entire top had been changed from the original, so I went ahead and designed a new set for the blocks. The checkered blocks became the outer garden wall which surrounded the “rose stars” in the center. The quilting pattern of vines and leaves meanders along the wall. I think of this quilt as a secret garden! It now lives at Barb Kelley's in Grass Valley. BJM ‘99

48: Whig Rose 1997-2001 | After Tracey and Bruce were married, she showed an interest in making quilts for her niece Vanessa and nephew Adam. She pieced the tops and then she and Bruce tied them using a four stick, C clamp frame. The children loved them. I wanted to make a quilt for Tracey, but I wanted her to choose the pattern and colors. Tracey very methodically looked through all my quilting books and finally selected an 1860 pattern called “Whig Rose” in the traditional colors of red and green on white. We modified the pattern to include rosebuds among the leaves, stems, and full-blown flowers. Tracey especially liked a secondary pattern of interlocking circles which occurred after the nine blocks were sewn together. It took me one year to applique the squares and garland borders. I marked the top using 1/2 inch diagonal lines behind the squares and 1/2 inch cross hatching in the borders. It took the Dorcas Quilters (me included) two years to complete the quilt. Tracey's biography and “secret message” are embroidered on the back of the quilt. BJM ‘01 Tracey – continue your journey – Reflect on – Gifts given and Talents Nurtured Intellect Stimulated and Knowledge Acquired Rejoice in – Hearts United and Love Committed Vows Covenanted and Blessings Bestowed All in the Fullness of God's Time

49: Friendship Quilt - 2000-2001 | In 2000, Bonny invited me to go the AQSG conference in Lincoln, Nebraska. We had a great time. We did some bidding at the silent auction and Bonny ended up with some pretty blue squares. (She might have paid too much, since we both, unbeknownst to each other, bid on the same squares). About a year later she gave me this quilt top using the material from the auction. She had written the names of all the friends we had in common, both in the Dorcas quilt group and in the Spinnaker Mariner group. Since then, it has hung over our bed. Ann-Sofie Dean '13

50: Matthew's Birdie 2002 | Our first grandchild, Matthew Carter Morley, son of Tracey and Bruce, was born on March 20, 2002 at El Camino Hospital in Mt. View, CA. He weighed 6 lbs 4 oz and measured 18 inches long. I began his baby quilt in mid February 2002. The quilt top had been started by Aunt Alice Zwanck in the 1970’s. The design showed the outline of a sash window with a colorful bird perched on the window sill. Alice had partially finished cross-stitching the poem of a “Birdie with a Yellow Bill" on the top of the quilt. I completed the cross-stitching and added colorful hearts and squares in the border. Matthew's name appears in bold letters on the bottom edge. The quilting design, meandering ivy leaves, surrounds the entire window frame. He loves the bright colors!! BJM ‘02

51: Dutch Rose 1890-1910-2000-2003 | In October, 2000 Ann-Sofie Dean and I attended the AQSG Convention in Lincoln Nebraska. It was the first time I took the opportunity to attend this out of state conference. AQSG had been founded in San Francisco during the early 1980’s. My Dorcas quilting friend Peggy Kitchen and I went to an early conference in San Rafael, CA. My interest in the historical aspects of quilting was born! Through her use of needle and thread, a woman's response to political and geographic events could be transformed into unique block designs. In Lincoln I purchased the tattered top at the Silent Auction. The fabric blocks dated from the 1890’s – 1910’s. I was excited about my “prize” and pleased by its future reclamation. It took three years to repair, reset, and quilt the top. All the original block fabrics were retained. The sashing between the blocks (a cream/black shirting stripe) was added to act as a spacer. The border (a woven brown check) completed the whole. This was an enjoyable purposeful journey! BJM ‘03

52: Zachary's Jumping Cow Quilt November 2003-May 2004 | Our second grandson, Zachary Grant Morley, was born on June 24, 2003 at El Camino Hospital in Mt. View, CA. Zachary weighed 6 lbs 9 oz and measured 19 inches long. David and I took Matthew to see his brother two hours after the birth. Both Tracey and Bruce wanted Matthew to see his brother as soon as possible. It was a lovely family sight to see all four of them on the bed together! Now I needed to start a “boy quilt for Zachary”. I chose the same format I used on Matthew;s quilt – a sash-window looking out over a starry night sky. Familiar words from a nursery rhyme are cross-stitched on the sashing. The outer borders contain stars and spirals in the multi-colored squares. Zachary's name (in bold letters) is appliqued on the back of the quilt. The quilting patterns consist of cross-hatching and free-form moon and star motifs. It was fun to design and make! BJM ‘04

53: Nine-Patch Diagonal Odyssey #1 1881-2004 | Winona Pepin, my Dorcas friend, handed me a bag with two tops in it. She said I should stitch them at home and do something with them! Opening the bag I found a Nine Patch with blue/white/peach squares circa 1881 and a Drunkard's Path in red/white circa (?). Winona had completed the piecing for the red and white one, but she was not interested in finishing them. When she gave them to me, they became my challenge! I worked on the Nine Patch first. It had been made by Mother Kennedy in 1881 at the age of 23 years after her marriage to Rev. Newsom, a Methodist minister. They raised eight children and eventually lived in the San Francisco/Oakland area. The 4 inch nine patch squares are carefully pieced with 1/8 inch seams and back stitched at each corner. I chose to reset the original nine patch with squared triangular blocks in copper and blue mini prints. Upon completion the blue/copper squares added to the graphic design of the quilt top. The copper/blue/copper border was mitered to complete the framing. BJM ‘04

54: Sunbonnet Friendship Quilters 1938-2001-2004 | In March of 2001, I bought a Sunbonnet Sue top at the SFQG Show. The Dorcas Quilters had been asked to demonstrate hand quilting at this event. We had already set up the quilting frame with a top named “Orange Peel”. Eight ladies sat around it, quilting and interacting with visitors. I went shopping in the vendor area and returned with this hopeless top in need of completion and repair! It had been washed and the bubble gum pink sashing had run into the muslin blocks, dying them a delicate pink. I chose to take the top apart by removing the 30 blocks. Twenty of these blocks were re-framed and sashed with pink and blue prints. Since some of those blocks had been embroidered by a variety of “friends”, I decided to finish the embroidery on the blocks. The original owner probably had designed this top to be a friendship quilt for “Elsie”, since her name and the date appear on the upper right-hand corner block. The Dorcas Quilters stitched “Cables and Diagonals” in the sashing and borders. The binding is a “Prairie Point Edge”. Eighteen Dorcas members participated in this project. Each of their names is stitched on a block and “Elsie-1938” is at the top right hand corner. BJM ‘04

55: “Pink Chocolate” Rolling Lemoyne Stars 2006 | In October of 2005, the AQSG conference was held in Denver, Colorado. This time I took some items to donate to the silent as well as live auctions. I brought a “Star Stripe” King-size quilt top and a 1930’s flower basket “depression” quilt to auction off to the highest bidder. I came away from the silent auction with a collection of hand-pieced Lemoyne Stars (12) and 12 Barbara Titchie Stars - new projects in waiting. The Lemoyne Stars (circa 1900-1915) were pieced by hand and stitched on a white 11 inch background. The prints were various shades of dark browns and blacks mixed with small geometrics of dots, flowers, stripes, and paisleys. The prints were various shades of dark browns and blacks, mixed with small geometrics of dots, flowers, stripes, etc. I decided to set the blocks by incorporating double-pinks (from my old stash), black/red dots, ticking and woven stripes along with reproduction fabrics patterns in the last quarter of the 20th century. To establish the pattern for the set, I referred to a book by Sara Rhodes Dillow, "Re-piecing the Past", 1995 page #54. I chose to modify the original single sashing and insert a 3 inch strip pieced one instead. BJM ‘06

56: Pyrotechnics 1989-2001-2006 | The 2001 AQSG Conference in Williamsburg VA gave me the opportunity to bid during the Live Auction. As my friend Amy Hendersen observed, the tattered, garish top was rather ugly. I noticed that the red, chrome yellow, and pale green on the faded khaki background really made my eyes “pop”. Obviously I was enthralled with my $80 purchase and could hardly wait to get it home and re-invent it!!! After I returned to Saratoga, I realized that the circular 17 inch blocks needed to be downsized to a 13 inch block. I designed a new pattern set using four three quarter pie shapes, four whole circles with a dot in the center, and four one-quarter pie shapes. The straight inner border echoed the three main colors – red, chrome, yellow, and green on a starry khaki night sky. The quilting stitches are yellow and black echoing the shapes of the patterns – Hawaiian Style. I love this exuberant, joyful, bursting cosmos! BJM ‘06 Once again, quilts; Re-claimed from fragments, Re-stitched with patience, Re-newed as Pyrotechnics

57: Rosy Diadem 1895-1915-2006 | This top was purchased in Salinas, CA in April 2000 during a barbershop convention. During a lull in the competition, I decided to shop for old quilt tops with interesting fabrics and designs. I hit pay dirt! The first antique store on Main St had the right kind of quilt for me. The quilt blocks were centered with an 8 pointed star (4 dark and 4 light diamond shapes). The colors were dark brown and lighter somber hued mini-prints. The outermost ring consisted of diamond and triangular shapes in old double pinks, red, plains, and plaids, which resembled “a crown or diadem”. The original sashing had disintegrated leaving behind remnants of a “lattice and post” set. I was thrilled with my $20 purchase. To complete the top I purchased re-production fabric made by “Moda” – Twigs and Backman “Seaplume”. The backing was 108 inch cotton marbled maroon/garnet. BJM ‘06

58: Hearts and Flowers 1960-1976-2007 | In the early 1960’s Alice S. Zwanck made drawings of the 1870’s stained glass windows at St. John's Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. She was particularly fond of the Heart and Flower window and chose to duplicate the pattern by using 3 different stitching techniques: needlepoint, cross-stitch, and applique. She completed the needlepoint wedding kneeler in 1962. She cross-stitched 2/3rds of the whole cloth banner before her death in 1976. The Dorcas Quilters of St. John's completed the hand quilting in 1995. The banner now hangs in the sanctuary. I started to work on the appliqued "Hearts and Flowers" top in 2006 and will quilt it myself in the near future. I cherish my memories of Alice every time I work on “one more of her pieces a waiting”. BJM 10/7/06 A stained glass technique rendered in fabric enhanced with embroidery completed as a hand quilted wall hanging. BJM ‘07

59: Cross-Stitched Colonial Sampler 1960-2007 | Irene Slattery and my mother Mary Brodd live at Life's Gardens in Sunnyvale CA. One day Irene commented to Mom that she had a quilt top she had cross-stitched in the 1960’s – 1970’s. She had ordered a kit from a catalogue and really enjoyed having the preprinted fabric to cross-stitch with embroidery floss. Irene completed the cross-stitching herself but was not up to quilting it. Since I was a quilter, she wanted me to become the new owner. Irene had assembled the three panels to form the top (approx. 102 x 102 inch). Since all the cross-stitching lined up panel to panel the effect was beautiful. The Dorcas Quilters and I set it into a 4 stick frame for basting. (The backing, fill and top is called a “sandwich”.) At the SFQG show in 2005, the Dorcas members demonstrated hand quilting around the frame. It was admired by many of the attendees. After the SFQG show in 2005, I took the basted quilted top back to my home and hand quilted it on a parallel frame. I finished the quilting in January 2007. The completed top was hung at the 2007 SFQG show at the Concourse. BJM

60: Kyle's Swimming Fish Quilt April-June 2007 | Our third grandson Kyle Scott Morley, son of Scott and Grace Morley, was born April 5, 2007 at El Camino Hospital, Mt. View, CA. 6 lbs, 19 in long. What a blessing it is to have both sons and families living in the same area. Scott and Grace are Aunt and Uncle to Matthew (age 5) and Zachary (age 4), Bruce and Tracey's children. Since their marriage in 1995, Scott and Grace have always maintained a salt water aquarium. As I planned Kyle's quilt, I knew that a tropical fish motif would be perfect! The fabric patterns and colors were shades of blue, green, indigo and red and yellow accents. The hand quilting designs in the borders included cross hatching, outline stitching free form curves creating “waves”. Kyle's name (in bold letters) is appliqued on the back. It is a bright, colorful, and “swimmingly perfect quilt”! BJM 8/2007

61: Cockscombs and Currants “Tulip Variation” 1860-1915-2008 | In September of 2007, I decided to accept a new challenge! The AQSG conference would be held in Columbus, Ohio. I had not been able to attend the previous conference in Lowell, Mass, so I wanted to take part in the Columbus, Ohio seminar. The conference guidelines were easy to follow. I needed to create an adaption of an antique quilt made between the 1860’s and 1915’s using the traditional “Red, Green, and Yellow” color palette. The maximum outside dimensions for the quilt had to be 50 x 50 inches. I wanted to document my progress by creating a “How to Do List” between September 2007 and May 2008. I was able to complete my 48 x 48 inch project on May 20, 2008. BJMorley

62: Tiffany's Quilts 2011 | These quilts were given to me by Bonny Morley in Spring 2011. She made the small one first....then the larger one with scraps from the small one. Bonny created the beautiful patterns and skillfully made each stitch by hand. She needed help with the finishing details so Betty MacDonald helped in the final stages. The small one was made to hang on the wall in my office. I sit at my desk, talk by phone with clients and create plans of care for others with dementia...all while I admire Bonny's beautiful quilted art. The quilt is special in so many ways...It is so pretty and each piece is sewn so precisely. It was made by a person with Alzheimer's disease who was assisted by a person caring for another with Alzheimer's disease. The quilt was Bonny's last quilt that she made. And most of all, the quilt is made by Bonny, fabulous Bonny. - Tiffany Mikles '13

64: Unidentified Quilt #1

65: Unidentified Quilt #2

66: Unidentified Quilt #3

67: Unidentified Quilt #4

68: Unidentified Quilt #5

69: Unidentified Quilt #6

70: Unidentified Quilt #7

71: Unidentified Quilt #8

72: Unidentified Quilt #9

73: Unidentified Quilt #10

74: Unidentified Quilt #11

75: Unidentified Quilt #12

76: Unidentified Quilt #13

77: Unidentified Quilt #14

78: Unidentified Quilt #15

79: Unidentified Quilt #16

80: Comments from Exhibition Visitors | “Beautiful, artful, joyful!” – Andrea Thurber “What an artist! Just amazing details!” – Katherine Slerig “You can see her love and dedication, and feel it!” – Lucy Morton “Fabulous! What a joy! Thank you for sharing with us.” – Beverly Gibbs “What a wonderful exhibition!! Such talent!” – Caroline Hui “A feast for the eyes! Thank you for giving us an opportunity to see your beautiful quilts.” – Lois Sanguinity “Oh my! My mother hand quilted so I get it. What a wonderful gift you have given us sharing your beautiful handwork – Thank you.” – Sara Johnson “Beautiful! Amazing work. Love shines through all these quilts!” – Richard Collins “Beautiful color combinations – Creative – craftsmanship – exeellent. A++” – Virginia Kolence “We were so happy to see Bonny’s life work. What an artist!!” – Steve and Patti Shoemaker “We treasure your friendship and are amazed at your talent to create so many gorgeous quilts – works of art and love!” Judy and Charles Munnerlyn “What an amazing journey in color and design. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talent.” – Mary Sullivan “So beautiful and reflective of such a creative and living soul.” – Matt Gough “What an amazing show of creativity and dedication and love. Thank you for sharing it with us!” – Karin Hejmanowski

81: "Thank you so much for sharing so many of your life stories through your amazing quilts. I am so glad for you - for all the hours you have spent with friends quilting the tops." - Cheryl Thomas "So beautiful! Thank you for sharing them with us. I loved the sense of community evident in all these quilts." - Nancy Ewing "What an amazing story of your life - and all the people and memories in it. Thank you for sharing your special gifts and personality with us." - Judy Black "God's hand is shown through the beautiful and wonderful work of Bonnie. Thank you so much for sharing with us!" - David Bently "What a fantastic exhibition, full of the warmth and love that is Bonnie, shining through the quilts for all to see, and gain inspiration from!" - Leo Eylar & Carmina Chua "Gifted quilter - What joy Bonny's quilts have brought others." - Bob & Debbie Stoddard "Thank you for sharing the beauty and love of these quilts." - Kim Schauer "I am so glad I got to see some of your work. You are such a wonderful artist." - JoAnn McGowan "Beautiful, creative artwork!" - Faye & Ken Morley, Al & Liz Ward All of your wonderful work for all of us to see. Thank you to your dear David for setting this all on display for us to see & share in all your memories. With love to you both." - Glenda & Ron Rossie "Wow! This is an incredible show! Thanks for sharing." - Debbie Ryan "Such creativity love and life!" - Steve Harrington "Beauty. Thank you for sharing your God given talents and sharing the fabrics of your life." - Karen McCoy

82: "Gorgeous, intricate, lovely! Thank you for sharing!" - Alison Traina "Beautiful!" - Marilyn J. Cooper "Fabulous. Wow!!" - Rick & Jacqueline Cooper "What a wonderful exhibition!" - Sue Slavek "What a treat! Bonnie is beautiful and amazing. Thank you for sharing with us." - Alexandra Morris "Thank you! These are the most beautiful quilts I have ever seen. What a treat!" - Marianne Barlow "So enjoyed the quilts!" - Elaine Mansfield "Thank you for sharing your gift and God's love with us." - Lynetta and Rasheda Thomas "Bonny & Dave - Magnificent." - Sue Cohen "Fantastic & Amazing!!" - Jay Sleizer "Beautiful - so glad I had the chance to see these." - Jim Hogan "Thank you for sharing these beautiful quilts - (works of art and love). I will never forget all the beauty here today - Love fills the room and any room these are displayed." - Sherry Durkie "Beautiful!" - Steve & Terri Sammonds "Stunning work." - Claudette Mayes "So impressed that we went home to fetch a camera; and so we will be able to enjoy the quilts for a long, long time." - Bob & Connie Adler

83: "Unbelievably gorgeous" - Marian Bush "Beautiful, so many memories! Love you!" - Leanne & Ed Popa "These are awesome!" - Spencer Popa "Gorgeous" - Frey Cheng "Knew she was great but this is amazing." - Kitty Horowitz "Perfect!" - Laurie Pakula "Absolutely wonderful!!" - Susan McChesney "Beautiful! What a tribute to your work." - Betty MacDonald "Thank you, thank you for sharing your unbelievably gorgeous quilting with us all. I am going to go home and pick up some unfinished stitchery projects this very afternoon!" - Sally Ricci "Amazing! All these loving hand stitches. Thank you for letting us see all this." - Gerry Harting "Congratulations Dave & Bonnie on this beautiful display. What an incredible artistic eye you have and what patience & dedication to complete all these!" - Valerie Sterk "Absolutely amazing! An amazing show of exquisite work of a wonderful lady!" - Beth Treital "Fabulous art!" - John Hinkle "How intricate and exquisite. Is there any way to count the millions of stitches that make up these quilts!" - Cathy Hondzel

84: "I am blown away by your talent, Bonnie!" - Joanne Papoulias "Thank you for sharing your beautiful gift of quilting. See these quilts that are a part of you brings joy to my heart." - Vicki Anderson "Stupendous exhibit!" - Dave & Dee Gustavson "With deep gratitude - beautiful" - Elsa Amboy "Thank you for sharing this amazing gift with us!" - Pam Marino "Overwhelming body of art; it should go on tour. I really enjoyed it!" - Frank Schneider "Your quilts are fantastic! You are so blessed to have such a wonderful talent." - Grace Ann Weiler

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  • Title: The Bonny Morley Quilt Exhibition
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  • Published: over 5 years ago