Posts/February, 2012/

East Brother Light Station

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
East Brother Light Station

East Brother Light Station & the Marin Room

This weekend we took quick trip to stay in a light house on an island in the San Francisco Bay for the night. Did you know that there was a Bed & Breakfast in a historic light house on an island in the San Francisco Bay? Me neither!!

That is, until Nik’s uncle gave us a gift certificate to stay there as a wedding gift. Thanks Uncle Gary!!!

Staying at East Brother Light Station is perfectly choreographed. We met our fellow castaways on the dock at precisely 4 o’clock for a ten minute boat ride to the island. Hors d’oeuvres were served along with champagne in the parlor at half past 5. The dinner bell rang at half past 6, and coffee was served with dessert at 9 o’clock. In the morning, coffee and tea were available at 7 o’clock and breakfast served at 9. A brief tour of the original fog signal building was given at 10, the earth-shaking horn was blown at a quarter after, and the boat back to the main land departed at 11 o’clock. In between the milestones, we were free to wander around the half acre island, climb the spiral staircase to the light signal, browse the books in the parlor, or stare out to sea. During our nineteen hours on the island, we ate for five, slept for eight, read for two, took photos for two, and stared out to sea for three which meant that despite the lack of activity, there was no time to be bored. When it’s all said and done, we made the entire trip in less than 24 hours.

The price tag on the room is more than we would typically pay willingly, but when you consider the hors d’oeuvres and champagne, a four course dinner including wine that rivals any we’ve had in the city, and a huge breakfast….it’s not so bad.

On a side note, East Brother is conducting an inn keeper search right now and before we went, Nik and I wondered if we could do it. We don’t meet two of the critical qualifications….neither of us is a chef or has a coast guard approved boating license….but after staying on the island, we decided that we couldn’t do it anyways. Every day would be a little bit like ground hogs day, and I don’t think we would be as good at hosting ten people every day as the current inn keepers were to us. I still think we would be great inn keepers, just not at this inn!!

Nik has more photos on his blog.

Staring out to sea through the agave and past the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to San Francisco

White Triangle Quilt: The Process

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Piecing strips together

Since I left my job in November, I have been sewing a lot, and am currently working on one of my absolute favorite projects. It will soon be a 5 foot square quilt made of 648 white cotton triangles. Each triangle was cut from the flags that hung at our wedding last June which were made by our friends and family.

The flags sat on my shelf for over six months while I struggled with the pattern. Initially, I thought of chevrons. I did a small sample, and the pieces were too small and subtle, and the proportions were off. I thought at one point I would keep the flags as their full rectangular size, but that would have been too chaotic because they ranged from 4″x4″ to 8″x10″. Finally, I cut as many 4″ squares as I possibly could without knowing where I was going. Since squares are pretty boring, I cut each of those into two triangles and started playing. I divided the pieces into off white and bright white, and noticed that the stacks were roughly equal. I paired them together by sewing a seam on the diagonal to create over three hundred dual tone squares.

Lots of little squares (more contrast shown for graphic purposes)

I quickly realized that the possibilities were endless, so I laid out a few options and waited for Nik to get home.

Nine patterns options (graphics have more contrast than the actual fabrics)

We picked the middle pattern on the bottom row, and I started piecing. You can see how the bright white/off white fabrics look in the photo below. It’s much more subtle than the graphics above, which I love.

It took a full day to make the squares, another two days to sew the squares into horizontal strips 18 at a time, and yesterday I sewed all 18 strips together to finish the quilt top and basted the top to the batting & brown backing fabric. I plan to do the quilting by hand, so that might take a while, and then I will bind it all together. Hopefully I’ll have it finished by our anniversary!!

Basting the layers together

Playing with the designs in Illustrator made me wonder what else I could do. Now I’m excited to find more fabrics I love so that I can make another 324 squares to make one of these. I especially love the one in the lower left corner.

The quilts I will make one day

Other blankets I’ve made:

Giant Granny Square

Ripple Blanket

Granny Square Blanket

Tweed & Lace


Archives for February, 2012