Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pacifica Quilting Trip

Pacifica, California

Last week I went on a short quilting trip to beautiful seaside Pacifica, California, just south of San Francisco, and a couple of hours drive from where I live. Once a year I spend a few days quilting by the ocean. I can see and hear the waves from my motel room. It's quite wonderful.

After check-in I unpacked and got the room set up with sewing, cutting and ironing stations. The motel is small and the manager, who knows me as the quilting lady, always gives me the same room. It helps, because I know where the plugs are hiding. With the room set, I went out to the beach and enjoyed the waves for a while. The mist was coming in and I was nervous about driving after dark in the fog. There would be no beautiful sunset, so while it was still light I drove to the grocery store, picked up snacks, then headed to Gorilla Barbeque to get dinner. It's take-out only so I went back to the motel and ate in my room. Then it was time to sew.

During these quilting trips I like to try new techniques. For the past several years I have been working my way through the book Quilters Playtime by Dianne S. Hire. The book is full of exercises, named after children's games. The game I chose for Thursday evening was Ring Around the Rosy.

Fabrics selected from the bags of scraps I brought with me.

I like these proportions.

Strips sewn together

Strips cut into units - no measuring, just eyeballing.

Cut into wedges

A few wedges cut from plain burgundy fabric

Laid out, kind of like a flower

The first few wedges sewn together

All of the wedges sewn together.
Reminds me of a pleated skirt.
It's supposed to make a complete circle like a flower, but I stopped here.

That's what I got done on Thursday night. I watched a little television and fell asleep to the sound of the waves.

Friday morning and there were just a few hours before I had to pack up to leave. This was a shorter trip than usual, but I could still get some sewing done.

Yellow/orange/red scraps
I decided to sew together something that would form the yellow part of a flower to go with the wedges unit.

Sewed similar sized pieces together

Little units sewn together

Sewed a few strips together, cut in half 

Auditioning for placement


Leftover, may be used later

Made another set of strips




Leftovers may be used later

I packed up and checked out. I only stayed overnight, but I accomplished quite a bit in the two sewing sessions.

After checking out I walked to the coffee house and got a coffee and pastry, which I enjoyed at the beach. Often I stick around the area until dark, but I felt it was time to go. It was Friday and I didn't want to get stuck in traffic. On the way home I stopped at Texas Roadhouse and had lunch. It was my first visit and the food was very good. I drove home after that.

The next day, Saturday, I drove to Sacramento to attend the monthly Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild meeting. I shared my latest projects and got to see what the other members were working on. After the meeting I had lunch with Steph, who shared during the meeting a self-invented technique that reminded me of the exercises from Quilters Playtime. I lent Steph my book. I'm sure she'll have a lot of fun going through it.

My current project: Perhaps inspired by my recent trip, I'm working on an ocean-themed quilt. It will be quite scrappy, with lots of novelty prints from my stash.

EQ Sketch

Fabrics for the centers of the blocks
Note the solid fabrics underneath correspond to the sketch below.

First couple of blocks for the ocean quilt

Although my quilting trip at the ocean was shorter than usual, I had a great time. I love the ocean and I look forward to the next time I can go back, even for just the day.

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