by Melanie McFarland
I made this quilt while taking my first Mary Lou Weidman Creative Memories class at Asilomar, California, with Empty Spools seminars, in 2005. Her classes evoke wonderful and sometimes hidden memories from the past. While growing up, three special older women were often seen at holiday gatherings. At first I was confused, thinking maybe we had three grandparents on my dad’s side? The three blue-haired ladies are my father’s older sisters, Juana Zaballos, Anita Hernandez, and Virginia Castillos. They immigrated to the United States as young girls, in 1919, with their mother, Anna Maria Bautista-Bueno. Their father, Antonio Bautista, was already settled into the San Francisco Bay Area. My father, Francisco Batista was born a U. S. citizen, the following year and his brother, Jesse, three years later. Every time I see this quilt it makes me smile. They are standing in front of my grandparent’s home, surrounded by geraniums. Nothing makes an aunt feel more grounded than offering food to her guests. Most of the time, their refrigerators had only a quart of milk, a ripe banana, and some Velveeta cheese!