Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekend Retreat in Pacifica

I'm on my way to seaside Pacifica, CA for a three-day quilting retreat.  As usual, I'm going solo, staying in an ocean-front motel where I can see the ocean and hear the crashing waves as I sew.  This is the third such retreat for me. I love it.

I'm taking along my tiny Janome Sew-Mini sewing machine, which is the size of a toaster.  It sews straight and zigzag, very slowly, but it gets the job done.  I'm leaving my nice Bernina at home because it's too valuable to replace.  I'm not as concerned about my little machine walking away.  Of course, there are lots of tools and fabric to bring.  I'm driving this time, rather than taking BART and bus.  I'm hoping to fit my ironing board in the car.  Otherwise, I'll have to use the motel's small tabletop ironing board as I've done in the past.

During my retreat I'll be working on a couple of projects.  The first is another mystery quilt, details about which I won't share since the recipient reads my blog now and then.  The pattern is Road to California, with just 9 large blocks and a border in a theme print.  And that's about all I want to say about it at this time.

The second quilt is a Liberated Quiltmaking version of Shoo Fly.  The center of each block is a print in a dark yellow background with blue, red and brown stars--kind of a country palette.  I plan to alternate backgrounds of blue and dark yellow, with the Shoo Fly triangles in blue, red or brown.  I raided my stash for the quilt, and it will be fun to try to work with only what I brought with me.  The quilt will be donated to my church to be given to someone going through a difficult time.  I'm hoping it will have a masculine feel.

I'm looking forward to sewing by the sea.  I don't expect to finish either of the quilt projects before I go home, but I'll make some progress, and that's enough for me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Catching Up 10/19/10

It's been a little while since I posted.  I've been busy.  I finished the Mystery Quilt about a week ago, and delivered it.  It was a Superman-themed quilt for my son Robbie, who has been a Superman fan since he was small.  To my delight it was a surprise to him and to my daughter-in-law Laurie.  Both of them have keys to my place, and I thought Laurie might drop by some time to see what I was working on, since she reads my blog.  Luckily for me, she assumed the mystery quilt was a different project that I planned to work on this month--which is what I hoped she'd think.  Aren't I sneaky?  I'll post photos and details on the Superman quilt later.

Meanwhile, I've been working on a quilt I'm calling Baby Q.  It's a quilt for pay, for the new (less than a week old) daughter of co-worker Albert Q.  I'm doing modified Square in a Square, with four rounds and a fussy-cut center.  I'm nearly done with the 25 paper-pieced blocks.  I'd love to finish the quilt by tomorrow night and deliver (so to speak) on Thursday.  However, I'm not sure if Albert will be here this week.  If not I'll just hold onto the quilt until he comes back to work.

This weekend I'm going to seaside Pacifica, CA for my annual quilting retreat.  I'll be working on two quilts:  Mystery Quilt #2, as well as a charity quilt--a Shoo Fly pattern in a Liberated Quiltmaking style.  I don't expect to finish either one during the three-day weekend, but I'll enjoy working on them while I'm there.  I have reservations for an ocean-view room, as usual.  Although I've done a few staycations during the past few months, this will be my first, and probably only, vacation away from home this year.  I'm looking forward to it.

Oh, by the way, I'll be making a Little Bo Peep costume for Halloween for my 4-year-old granddaughter Reghan.  Her baby sister Piper will be a sheep.  Cute!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Mystery Quilt Progress 10/5/2010

I laid the first set of border pieces on the design wall tonight.  They look great.  The fabric is directional, and I decided to follow the orientation of the same fabric in the central block nearest each strip.

I'm auditioning two fabrics for the next border.  Fabric A is in the large central block, and it would be nice to repeat it.  But it seems kind of heavy.  I really prefer Fabric B, which is found in the smaller blocks, and I will probably go with it.  I don't know if I'll be able to use Fabric A again in the design.  At this point throwing it in somewhere seems a little forced.  But perhaps a nice opportunity to use it will present itself later.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Mystery Quilt Progress 10/4/2010

The mystery quilt blocks are finished!  I pieced together the last set of four corner blocks tonight.  The next step is to cut several border pieces, which I may do tomorrow night.  I have another quilt due soon, so I may set aside the mystery quilt to work on it.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow.