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.
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.