Dispatches From Whitcomb Street

Please destroy after reading

cog + wheel and santa cruz

Last weekend, we went on a crazy whirlwind of a micro-vacation to see Phillip and Kayla in Santa Cruz. We flew out on Friday afternoon and came back late Sunday night; it was fast and fantastic.

(photos by Terry)

Mostly we cooked and ate and drank. My kind of relaxation.

They live up in the mountains outside Soquel, which is outside Santa Cruz—which put us:

  • 0 minutes from redwoods;
  • 5 minutes from farmer’s markets;
  • 10 minutes from town;
  • 15 from the beach and surfing;
  • 20 from wine country. 

I know, right?

Anyway, we had a marvelous time. I ate the first really good oyster I’ve had in a long, long time—first thing in the morning at a farmer’s market, spanking fresh from the sea. We drank wine and made meals and looked at trees and watched stars and spectated the hardcore surfers. I watched the sun come up over the Sierras. And I finally, finally gave them their quilt

It was supposed to be a wedding gift, hah, but turns out that now, a year later, is just the right time for it anyway. 

It’s a lap quilt from a Denyse Schmidt paper pattern, Cog + Wheel. I was drawn to this quilt because of the way it plays with color within a very ordered, structured setting, and by its long, fussy curves. I was a pretty sloppy sewer before I worked on this one, but found that piecing this quilt top made me much more accurate and careful—I’d made a log cabin-style crib quilt before, but never something as curvy and demanding of accuracy as this. Man, it was fun.

I stalled out for a long, long time, though, when I got to the quilting. The pattern calls for quilting lines about an inch and a half apart from each other; I, being a maniac, thought it would look nicer with denser lines. Done by hand. I worked on it for a long time before I discovered that pinbasting with pins like a foot apart doesn’t really allow for a very good result. I took a long hiatus, then took a deep breath, pulled out all the quilting I had done so far (about half), and started again.

But it was so worth it. I was still tacking the binding down the night before we left—I’d come home from shooting all day and hunker down with the quilt and some old I Love Lucy episodes. But I finished in time to wash and air-dry it, and it puckered up beautifully, and I could not be more excited about it. I think this is the proudest I have ever been of something I’ve made.

Of course, now I want to make a quilt for our bed, because I’ve forgotten already about the strife involved in making even this tiny quilt. I should pick a deadline, and if it goes according to pattern, I’ll have it a year later.

  1. whitcombstreet posted this
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