This year’s Featured Quilter for the SMQA quilt show is Bev Gulley. Quilt show attendees are in for a beautiful exhibit. Bev is a masterful hand appliqué and quilting expert.
Bev has resided in Coarsegold with her husband, Jim, of 45 years. Bev has one daughter from her first marriage, 3 adult grandchildren, and 2 great-grandsons. Bev and Jim have been between cats for about 20 years and will certainly get another one if they ever settle down. She also has at least half a dozen grand cats that she loves to visit.
Bev was born in the rural northwestern part of New Jersey and attended a 3-room school through 6th grade. She graduated from Newton High School and attended Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia for 3 years. She graduated from University of Delaware (Go Blue Hens!) in 1975 with a degree in Chemistry.
Bev’s first job was as a waitress in an ice cream and sandwich place during the summer. In 1966, She went to work for DuPont as a laboratory technician. After finishing her bachelor’s degree, she transitioned first to DuPont’s in-house library and then trained as a computer programmer. In 1981, Jim and Bev moved to California and Bev went to work at McKesson Corporation as a programmer, system designer, and eventually a project manager. They voluntarily left the workforce in 1995 and now have enjoyed more than 25 years of unemployment.
Jim and Bev used to visit Jim’s mother and sister in our area, and Jim spent his childhood in Fresno. They would drive by the entrance to Yosemite Lakes Park, Coarsegold and wondered what it might be like. When they decided it was time to cash out of their Bay Area house, YLP was the first place they looked and where they ended up. They love it and would find it difficult to move back to town.
Bev started quilting in earnest right after she quit work. She had dabbled when she was much younger – She made her first completed and usable quilt in High School - and she always knew she wanted to do more of it. She especially enjoys hand appliqué and quilting, although she also does quite a bit of machine work as well. Her current emphasis is on smaller, more time-consuming projects that won’t take up so much space, or else charitable projects. Storage and display space is at a premium in their relatively small house. She also enjoys simple knitting projects and the occasional bit of thread crochet. She enjoyed teaching a few classes over the years and would like to continue.
When Bev is not quilting, she cooks and keeps house. In recent years, she been focusing on waste reduction, avoiding unnecessary plastics, and cooking as much as possible from scratch. She is also involved with several committees within their Homeowner’s Association and is secretary of the San Joaquin Fine Woodworker’s Association. Jim and Bev also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity for 10 years. Right now, Bev’s biggest interest is in international travel. She is looking forward to a couple of international trips each year. Since Jim and Bev don’t know how much longer they can continue, they are not procrastinating!
Bev has been a member of the Sierra Mountain Quilters Association (SMQA) for over 15 years. She currently co-chairs the president position. We are grateful, honored, and proud to have her as a member and this year’s featured quilter at the SMQA quilt show on May 20th and 21st.
Submitted by Maria Ciccarelli