Friday, November 11, 2011

Pacifica Quilting Retreat 2011, Day 2

Beautiful day - hardly a cloud in the sky
I woke up on Friday, Day 2 of my retreat, to a gorgeous day. The sun was brilliantly shining and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. What a wonderful surprise after yesterday's cloudy, rainy day.
I got dressed and walked to the coffee place a couple of blocks away, where I bought a slice of lemon cake, a slice of red velvet cake for later, and a cafe mocha. I walked to the beach to enjoy my breakfast. The benches where I usually sit were still wet, but I found a fairly dry place on the ledge of a sculpture not far from my favorite sitting spot.
Little black bird, hoping to get some crumbs from my breakfast.

These two brave birds came very close.

After I had enjoyed my lemon cake, some little birds gathered, probably looking for crumbs from my breakfast. I couldn't believe my luck. On one of my early quilting retreats I had seen a black bird sitting on a post in the morning sun, with the most beautiful sheen on his chest. I had scrambled for my camera, but the bird flew away before I could take a photo. Since then I have been trying to get a picture of one of these birds but have never gotten a close-up.

I believed that the sheen was red, and after that first sighting I asked my birding sister Cass what kind of bird it might be, based on my description. She said she didn't know of any bird with a red sheen, but suggested it might be a red-winged blackbird. I didn't remember a red shoulder like I saw in internet images, but I took Cass' word for it. I have even planned to do a quilt called Red-Winged Blackbird with black background and little squares in bright red. This little bird has been an obsession, so I was extremely happy to finally get close to these birds and take some good photos.

The next few photos were taken while I killed some time waiting for my room to be cleaned.

This is the "cove" view offered by the motel - still beautiful.

Far side of the parking lot. Notice the rocks behind the fence.
Looking over the rocks, maybe 10 feet down. At high tide the water can crash over the top of the rocks and onto the parking lot. It's quite a show.
Back in my room, I picked up where I left off in the book Quilters Playtime by Dianne S. Hire. The exercise I worked on for the morning was called Piano Keys.
View from my sewing machine
Accessory bag from my luggage set. I put little sewing tools in here for traveling.

Fabrics for Piano Keys exercise. The off-white fabric actually has tiny notes. Great for me, since I play the piano. Black fabric is leftover from Baby Q quilt.

Fabrics stacked right sides up, cut wedges.

About half the wedges laid out

All of the wedges laid out. I like the gentle curves.

First few wedges sewn together

Half of the wedges sewn together. They came out more pie shaped than planned. Next time I'll try cutting the bottoms wider and/or cutting fewer wedges from each width of fabric.
Ready to sew the other half of the wedges. I use the small ruler to keep the wedges from blowing away in the breeze from the nearby window.
Two sets of wedges done

The finished run of wedges

Camelot Fish and Chips in Pacifica

Inside Camelot Fish and Chips
Nice British atmosphere here. I had fish and chips, which were pretty good.

After lunch, back to the beach. The bench is "my favorite bench." I come out here often to enjoy the waves, even at night! A nearby restaurant shines a bright light on the ocean so the customers can enjoy the view at night.

Beautiful view from my bench

You can just see two brave hikers on the hill.  You won't find me up there. I can see just fine, thank you.

In the afternoon I began working on Pick Up Sticks from Quilters Playtime. According to the instructions, I was supposed to use graph paper, which I did not have. A substitute could be regular printer paper. I had a little, but I make my design notes on it and didn't want to give it up. I thought of using pages from a telephone book, but it would be naughty of me to tear pages from the motel phone book. Next I thought of getting a newspaper from the motel manager, but he wasn't around. Back in my room, I found a Michael's ad in a bag. That will work!

Michael's ad

Sunset as seen just outside my room. I was so focused on sewing that I almost missed it. I caught the last couple of minutes.

Ad torn along the long edge to create two long, narrow pieces

I chose a navy background and this piece would barely cover the paper. So I trimmed a little off the long edge of the paper, which worked fine.

I gathered some orange, red and turquoise fabrics

Narrow strips in various sizes and colors

Navy fabric for background

Background cut in wedges

Strips inserted between wedges

All of the fabrics need to cover the paper

First strip placed on the paper

As seen from the back

Sewing the first couple of strips. My sewing machine is very small and I had to roll the far edge of paper and pin it in place.

First strips sewn

Almost to the end of the paper

Trying out the last "stick." There won't be much left for the final background wedge and I don't want it to be a sliver.

Trimmed the next-to-last background wedge

There's a little more of the paper showing now.

Stick sewn on

 Finished run of Pick Up Sticks

As seen from the back

By now it was time for dinner. I headed to Gorilla Barbecue, as seen on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives for a rib plate. Since I learned about Gorilla, I've gotten a meal there on every visit.

I took this picture when I picked up my food long after dark. I got there just before they closed.

This is how it looks by day. Check out the line. That's because the food is great!

After dinner I started working on a different book: Thinking Outside the Block by Sandi Cummings and Karen Flamme. This was my first venture in the book. I chose to work on the exercise called Freeform Units with Inserted Strips.

Cherries fabric leftover from a dress I made for my granddaughter Reghan.

Two strips sewn to wonky square

Strips trimmed even with edges

Third strip attached

By the time I got the third strips sewn to the wonky squares, it was very late and I was ready to call it a night. I figured I would have some time in the morning to sew on the fourth strips. I watched some TV, read more of my new book Fabric Art Workshop by Susan Stein, then fell asleep to the sound of the sea.

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