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Branching Out, A Year Later

I started this post a year ago, December 2019. Wow! That seems like a lifetime ago. So much has happened to all of us in this past year. Some good, some bad, some just downright crazy. It is heartwarming for me to look back at these photos and remember how blessed I am to have so many wonderful friends in the quilting world.

These photos were taken at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, CA, on a beautiful fall day in 2019. The venue – Quilting in the Garden – celebrates quilts in a beautiful nursery setting, filled with autumn splendor and showcasing quilts from local artists, whose artwork is hung from majestic, old oak trees. It’s a weekend I never miss. Keeping fingers crossed that it will be on for 2021.

Our quilt group, which we so affectionately call, Opinions are Us, but as Grateful Threads for more serious gatherings, was invited to hold a special exhibit at last year’s Quilting in the Garden. The exhibit focused on celebrating the work that we had created with the mentorship of the amazing Rosalie Dace.

Charlene Dakin and Freddy Moran are also in our group, but were not able to make the opening of the exhibit. Left to Right: Diana McClun, Pauline Pearsal, Laura Nownes, Jennifer Sampou, Sujata Shah, Alex Anderson, Dale Flemming, Denise Killingsworth, Karen McArdle, Tara Faughnan, Alethea Ballard and Pati Fried. Carol Van Zandt joins us in the next photo. I have linked to everyones websites in the caption under their work.

In a year’s time, Sujata’s hair has grown back into beautiful curls, Laura has welcomed a new grand baby and I took the trip of a lifetime to India (more on that later!). Other than that, we have been doing what most all of you have been doing – staying home, washing our hands, and quilting like maniacs! I get a bit sentimental looking back in time. Knowing that not long after this, our weekly group meetings would transform into zoom meetings, hugs would turn to heart emojis through text, and a rare meeting outside, would consist of two and not fifteen – masked and 6 feet apart.

So let’s go back in time, to read the post that almost never happened! The exhibit, featured two workshops we had taken over the past few years with Rosalie – Branch Out and Promises and Possibilities. I wanted to focus on the Branch Out exhibit today, and will post photos from Promises and Possibilities in the next blog post.


Branch Out with Rosalie Dace

Celebrating the beauty and diversity of trees, the largest life forms that ever existed.

by Jennifer Sampou

With NATURE at the forefront of my mind everyday, I no longer behold it’s beauty and grandeur alone, as I once did. It’s BROKEN on the large scale, because of human impact. Worldwide deforestation is just one thing happening at an alarming rate, worse than we realize, especially when you dig in and look at the facts. I donate, make, educate, change habits, worry and speak up to increase awareness. “HOPE”, without “DOING”, means nothing. I am committed to action…What about you?

This quilt is for sale for $400.00, with proceeds contributed to the Sierra Club. Contact Jennifer Sampou at





Images of my garden changing through the seasons symbolize shelter, home, family and the passage of time.


The assignment was to work with a color or colors you don’t typically utilize. Brown is not a color I am drawn to in quilts so I found a metallic brown I could live with and started playing.