Thursday, October 31, 2013

WIP Wednesday 10/30/2013

Menswear, Gleen's Wear (it rhymes)
For retiring co-worker Gleen (sounds like Glen) V. 
Squares are cut from Gleen's shirts, background is chambray (shirtweight denim). 
Original design. 54" x 72". 
Completed 10/29/2013

Fellow co-worker Becky R. talked Gleen into donating a bunch of his shirts to a clothes closet, or so he thought. Little did he know that I would use some of the shirts in his quilt.

Gray fabric on right is chambray. Black and white print on left is what I purchased before I had Gleen's shirts. My original design had those two fabrics for the top.

Decided to use a few of Gleen's shirts and save the black/white print for another project.

These shirts were not used in the project. Becky will give them to her pastor, who wears about the same size shirts as Gleen.

Part of one of the shirts

Ironed, ready to cut strips

Cut six inch wide strip

Saved the buttons, some of the labels, and a pocket from the shirts.

Safety pinned loose buttons to the placket to keep all of the buttons from each shirt together.

Five piles of six inch squares

Squares laid out on the design wall, using Organized Chaos method

Squares sewn together in sections. Background - large panels of fabric - added to design wall.

Quilt top sewn together
Chose not to do a border. Wanted a clean look on the edges, to reflect Gleen's quiet, reserved personality.

Gleen's fellow accounting staff gave me a list of his interests. I printed a few onto June Tailor Sew-In Printer Fabric: Bruce Lee and a poem from the original Willy Wonka movie. Also printed was a photo of the accounting staff.

Trimmed poem, added borders to top and bottom to bring it to the correct height.

Did the same with the Bruce Lee photo.

Three photos and spacers laid out

Photos sewn together. Section was incorporated into a long strip and pieced into the back of the quilt.

I tie most of my larger quilts. Usually the quilt has lots of pieced areas, which help me figure out where to place knots. However, on this quilt there were large expanses of unpieced background fabric. To create a grid, I laid two pieces of masking tape across the width of the quilt, marking the centers of the squares.

Next I used clips to mark the rows along the vertical sides of the quilt.

Using the clips and seams of the pieced squares, I laid the masking tape strips across the width of the quilt.

Knots tied between the marks. As each row was finished, I moved the top masking tape strip below the one on the bottom, lining up the marks.

The system worked well to keep the knots spaced evenly.

Once more, the finished quilt


Back of the quilt

My next quilt is for Cecilia, yet another retiring co-worker. (There is quite a long list for the coming year.) My idea was blues, especially aqua, which she seems to wear often. I happened to have a tissue box in a soft blue, reflecting Cecilia's quiet, gentle nature. I could base the quilt on the colors of the box. I showed the box to co-worker and partner in crime Veronica, who liked the idea. 

A short time later, Veronica did some spying and found out that Cecilia's favorite color is green. Okay. Within a couple of days, I learned that another co-worker/co-conspirator, Margarita, had a tissue box with exactly the right colors. Even though the box was mostly full, Margarita cut a piece of the box for me to use as inspiration.

A small piece of Margarita's tissue box

Last weekend I traveled to Sacramento for my monthly Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild meeting. After the meeting, I drove to the Citrus Heights area, where Hancock Fabrics, Beverly's and Jo-Ann's are all on the same street.

Found this fabric at Beverly's. It reflects the colors and curved shapes on the tissue box pretty well.

The scale of the print is pretty big. It wouldn't do the fabric justice to cut it into small pieces. So at this point, I'm planning to use the fabric as a wide border. The background will probably be white, with medium-sized squares of various green fabrics.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Los Angeles 2013

In late September I traveled to Los Angeles with six co-workers, for a conference for my work. While the daylight hours were devoted to seminars, I was able to do some exploring in the evening, taking public transportation.

The first evening all seven of us took The Big Blue Bus #3 from our hotel near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Santa Monica, about a 45-minute trip. Once in Santa Monica, we spent some time at Third Street Promenade, full of restaurants and shops.

Street musician

Sur la Table - My daughter-in-law Laurie loves this store!

After a bit of shopping, we walked a few blocks to Santa Monica Pier for dinner.

Entrance to the pier - didn't go out on it.
Realized a couple of hours later that I had been very close to the ocean, but didn't see it. Big regret.

Lobster, restaurant where we had hoped to eat, but the wait was too long.

Walked across the street to eat here.

Ate on the patio, as the wait was very long. Good food.

After dinner, we walked a few blocks to the bus stop and caught Bus 3 back to the hotel. I was able to lend my experience with public transportation in reading the bus schedule.

Second evening, on my own. Walked a few blocks to eat at a Greek restaurant. Planes landing at nearby LAX.

At the corner near the restaurant. Planes practically overhead. Best photo I had in the dim light.

Another plane landing, at sunset

Aliso's Greek Taverna
Found the restaurant by doing a Google maps search near the hotel. 

Haloumi cheese - from Cyprus, stands up to frying.
Had seen this cheese a few times on food shows, had to try it. Chewy and salty. May not order again, but I can say I did it once.

After delicious chicken entree, ordered dessert - Galaktoboureko. Say that fives times fast.

Similar to a bread pudding, but made of phyllo

View from my hotel room - planes landing to the right

Planes taking off to the left 

Third evening, on my own again. Took hotel shuttle to LAX to have dinner at Encounter Restaurant, in the building above.
Like the Greek restaurant, learned about Encounter in Google search.

Entrance and elevator
Elevator plays spacy music.
See link for music and restaurant info:

View from my table

Switched to other side of table. Much better!
Check out the lava lamps. Very Jetsons-like. Found out later that restaurant was designed by Walt Disney company. No doubt.

Columns in the distance change color.

Another view of the color-changing columns

The food was so-so but the experience was fantastic. After dinner I caught the shuttle back to the hotel. Most of the passengers were from other countries, judging from their accents, and not surprising since the shuttle stop was at an international flights area. For a bit I felt like I was the outsider, traveling in some foreign land.

I had a great time in Los Angeles, exploring and discovering some interesting places. I'll be back sometime.

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