Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Funny

This is the wall at the other end of the big tub in my master bathroom. Instead of a quilt I thought it would be fun to hang my colorful purses.

I've been trying to clean up the garden, collecting the leaves and otherwise putting the garden to bed. I have been spending inside time reading. I'll be back to sewing soon!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On the Home Front

My house is on a hill, so from my living room and studio I can see the roofs of my neighbors on the hill below me. It means I have an unobstructed view and I get great light.

It's magic when it looks like this.

I'm almost finished setting up the house. The master bedroom and master bathroom are finished, as is the guest bath. The kitchen is all organized as is the dining room and the china cabinet. All my dishes and serving dishes are put away and organized. I've got a lot of my artwork and quilts hung up on display.

I still need to hang the flannel on the design wall, and hang things on my "Inspiration" walls - the photos and notecards from friends, the things that make me smile, and the things that inspire me.

The office floor is finally clear of junk, and a lot of paperwork has been sorted and shredded. I need to sort and file a big stack or receipts, but that's a job I'll do this weekend, when I can sit in that room when it is full of daylight, and I have no time restraints.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall House Top Block #3

Here's yesterday's block. I might have made another, but I did the usual weekend chores instead.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Autumn House Top Block #2

Remember the Christmas Random Plank quilt I made two years ago?  In the end, I decided it would be a table topper.

Well, in my family I cook Thanksgiving Dinner. When my Mother had her 75th birthday I decided it was time to relieve her of the burden of cooking the big bird, so I've hosted the dinner ever since. This year it will be a large family gathering, and my big dining room table will be expanded to its full length - 108 inches. I liked the Christmas Random Plank table topper so much I decided I had to make one for autumn, and for the Thanksgiving table in particular.

Moving to the new house put a real kink in the plans, but if I make one block a day there's a real chance I can have a flimsy by the big day. The design was finalized during a conversation with my pal Julie the other night. I did NOT want to make another Random Plank, for two reasons.

  1. Been there, done that.
  2. A flimsy built that way is very difficult to manage. It's big and unwieldy, and no fun to wrestle with day after day.

I considered doing a "Missing U" version, but again, been there, done that. Julie suggested an oversized House Top version of a quarter log cabin block. We measured the table full size, and I'll need 18 18-inch blocks. The flimsy would be about 54 x 108 inches.  I want to use fabric I already have, and I want to have a little fun with the blocks. The block in the photo above is block # 2, and I'm happy with it. Although the first two blocks use the same fabric in the first square, the blocks won't all use that same fabric. I'll keep the same general color and tone, but there will be variations. This is a scrap quilt, after all. The only constant is the fabrics are the colors of Autumn in New England: greens, golds, reds, oranges and browns.

***update: Holy Toledo! This is this blog's 1500th post!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Finally.... Sewing!!!

Finally, after weeks of unpacking and organizing, I got some serious sewing done. This block is about 19" square, and is the first of 18.  The theme of this quilt is "Autumn."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pink Letters

I think the letters look great in pink. I am hoping to be able to hang them up on the house this weekend (when it stops raining!)  When my dad and I were hanging the homosote on the walls in the studio last weekend he asked me, "So, have you painted the front door yet?"  He laughed while he said it, because he knew perfectly well I'd been too busy to do it.

btw, today is my 26th anniversary of working at my company! Wow!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

No Place Like Home

There's no place like home, especially when it's filled with pictures of those you love.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Studio and Sewing Update!

On Sunday my dad and I hung the homosote pieces to the walls in my studio. This is where my design wall will be, and what's really nice about it is that no only will it be a flannel design wall, but I'll be able to attach things to it with push pins as well. You all know how sometimes it can be tricky to get large pieces to stay up on a design wall by themselves.

It was a messy day, bringing the pieces outside to be cut to size, then carrying them back inside and attaching them to the walls. It was messy because I had to move everything around, and then move it back in place.  More on that later, but look, I sewed the binding on two sides of the Life is 'Tweet quilt!  Woo hoo!  I did that while sitting on the couch "watching" tv with Millie purring beside me. Life doesn't get much better than that.

* update: Pat, the design wall is 64" wide by about 84" tall.

Monday, October 20, 2014


The master bath in the new house is my least favorite room.  It's got a big jacuzzi tub in the middle, surrounded by fake marble and carpet, and is open to the bedroom itself. If that's not bad enough, there is no traditional medicine cabinet and storage in the so-called vanity is meager at best. Instead there is a wall with built-in shelves, and they are equally homely.

I hate having all that stuff on display, and wondered what I could do about it. I need the shelves, so I couldn't get rid of them.

The solution came to me as soon as I asked myself the right question.

"Can I cover it up?"

Hell yeah!!! The quilt is hanging on a curtain rod that's well secured. I can lift the quilt to access the shelves and stuff behind it, yet not have to worry about the quilt falling down or into the tub in case I ever decide to use the thing.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Of Pink Letters, No Squeaks and Leaf Blowing

I painted the first coat of pink on the sign letters. As you can see, the letters from the sign aren't without wear. They are old and I have to be careful when I handle them.

Got the L done.

I think these will look great.  I hope these don't need THREE coats, but if that's what they need, then that's what I'll do.

I'm hoping to sit and sew a bit tomorrow. I deserve a bit of a break. I've sorted out the last of the bins, organized the closet in the bathroom and put away all the tools and cleaning supplies. I've also oiled all the squeaky hinges all around the house.

Yesterday's big task was cleaning the leaves out of the gutters.  Wet leaves clog gutters, and then wreak havoc on your roof if allowed to stay.  So I got out the ladder and the leaf blower and blew the leaves out of the gutters alongside the house. The blower could clear out about four or five feet of the gutter, then I'd have to move the ladder, climb up again, blow the leaves out, and then do that all around the house. To say I'm a bit sore is an understatement. I loved the leaf blower. Watching it blow leaves wherever I wanted them to go, I couldn't help but think how much fun it was to use.

Friday, October 17, 2014


Not only did I NOT get any sewing done whatsoever last night, I spent the evening choosing photos to order from my son's wedding. This was one of them.

 Gosh, my son looks like an old-time movie star in this one!

This is probably my all-time favorite. Talk about attitude!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Little Distraction

I've got the binding for Life is 'Tweet sewn on, folded over and pinned. Now I can do the hand sewing while I "watch" TV. 

But then I got distracted. My son and his wife sent me the link to their wedding photographs. So, I, um, got nothing else done the rest of the evening and went to bed late.

(It also means I went to bed happy.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Binding for Life Is 'Tweet!

 I worked all Sunday afternoon on the pieced binding for Life is 'Tweet.

This is kinda, sorta what it's going to look like. I wanted the pieces of color to be of varying sizes and irregularly placed.

Only to realize that I couldn't sew it to the quilt until I made the hanging sleeve.

I pulled this greenish teal paisley from my stash and made the sleeve last night.

I stitched the binding to one side, then it was time for bed.

*Regular readers know that I do my final hand-stitching on the front of my quilts. You can read the story about how this came to be, here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Studio Takes Shape!

I moved the worktables around in my new sewing studio and it works much better.

I bought a rug mat from the big box office supply store, and it works perfectly.
 Here's a view of the work area.

From the sewing machine, I can look over to the ironing table.

Turning to the left, I can see the tv and my stash.

Still moving to the left, you can see where the design wall will go, and in the foreground you can see my small worktable.

 Looking up from the small worktable, I can see Millie on her kitty condo, and the landscape behind the house.
 My sister has been storing this wing chair I bought from a used furniture store this summer. She and my nephew brought it by yesterday. It is placed so I can have a nice comfy place to sit to study the design wall, read a book, think or watch TV.  It will also be a good place for a guest to sit while visiting.

I had to do some sewing, and made this block.