Friday, January 30, 2015

Sewing in sunny Florida

Besides remodeling the kitchen I aim to stitch and stitch and stitch some more. 

My plan is to focus on this...

I started Keep the Spirit by Debbie Mumm several years ago.  I've always liked it and only set it aside because it is big and cumbersome. I was having trouble working on the dark blue in the evening, too. 

Here, I can spread out and work on it more often than at home. 

It took me a while to find my place and get any sort of rhythm but I've put a few stitches in and will show you when there is something to show.  (Picture the above with about 6 more stitches.)

And, really, who can work when you glance up from your carefully created stitching nest and see this? 

A wee thing I did manage to stitch...between being called into service for kitchen remodel duty was Tic Tac Snow by Miss Crescent's Crowne Designs.  

I know that many people could stitch this in one day but it took me a week...or maybe even a little longer.  I do have the snow flake buttons but they're at home.

I have also managed to complete some of the parts of my Homestead Star by Jodi Barrows.  I needed to relearn the square in a square method so my start was slow. Luckily, I cut one of the hour glass blocks and realized I was doing something wrong.  Glad I didn't trim all 80 before discovering I was not cutting quite right. I only made two of the neutral/red flying geese just to test myself.  Only 78 to go. 

In the mean time, between small bouts of stitching and sewing, I am loving this Florida weather.  The news keeps talking about how 'cool' it is but for any New Yorker it is like a beautiful May day. 


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Phase 2 is finished.

Phase 2, being cupboard installation, is as done as it can be right now.

The sink area still looks a little rustic.  There is a plywood counter with a temporary sink.  The counter top people will come measure next week.  I have requested they put me on a list in case anyone cancels.  So far, they've moved me up two days.  If they can't move me up a few more days I may have to forestall the installation until I can come back.  So, in the mean time, the cupboard doors are off for ease of plumbing.  The cupboard to the right of the dishwasher is cracked so a replacement is supposed to be coming.  It is just set in place for spacing. 

One of the best features...the two open cupboards. I really haven't arranged anything...just set a few things in place to see. 

There will be a breakfast bar at the end with room for two stools.

We got this much done without suffering anything but aching muscles...until we were installing the knobs.  I, with a tool I use EVERY DAY, snipped my finger with a pair of scissors!  Really?  Shameful.  

I am ready to pull out my sewing machine and focus on something fun...and re-learn how to keep my fingers out of the way!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

My first ever blog hop.

I have never taken part in a blog hop.  This time, since I followed along and made my row each month, I thought it would be fun to be part of the blog hop that Cindy over at Quilt Doodle Designs set up to show off her 2014 block of the month. 

You've probably seen the various components coming together.  As I played along, I did not post pictures to Cindy's flicker page.  Since I was negligent in that area, I thought it would be nice to participate in the blog hop.  The hop goes on for 3 days and includes these ladies on the following days:

January 24th

January 25th

As far as mine goes....for whatever reason...getting a nice centered picture is hard to do while the quilt is spread on the floor.  It's the dead of winter so pictures need to be wherever the light is good...not necessarily where the quilt positioning is at its best.

The first row...the one that drew me in...was the snowmen.  Love snowmen and these little fellas are so darn cute.  ('Fellas'....guess I'm channeling my grandmother who called men 'fellas')

Some quilters added embellishments to their cups but I just really liked the red with the snowflake quilting.  My red fabric is actually a deeper red than you see here.

Embellishing the middle part was the most fun.

I keep thinking my snowman needs a hat or ear muffs have to stop somewhere.

I used some plaid green wool to make the wreath on the door.  Oh no!  The picture is sideways!  Can I just's a's looks the same when right side up.  Any blogger knows that once a picture is in place it is a nightmare to add a new picture and get it in place.

I used snowflake buttons to create the snow.

They were cute and easy to add...once I convinced the cats they weren't toys.

On the top part I just used quilting to add some embellishing.

I quilted some laces on the skates...

...and a string to connect the lights.

It was a fun quilt to make...with clear and easy-to-follow instructions.  Thank you, Cindy, for doing that for us.

Happy stitching.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Progress, progress, progress.

We are getting there.  Today 'we' will set a temporary sink, install the microwave and cupboard doors.

Well, that's my 'to do' list.  I haven't read the real one!

In the mean time this is where we stand this morning.

That blind is going to drive me crazy.  It is too big for the window so doesn't adjust like you'd want.  They're nice wood slat blinds, though. 

The stove arrived yesterday.  It needs to be pulled out so we can put the microwave in.

One of my favorite features will be the two open cupboards.

The old kitchen was ALL open cupboards.  The only cupboards with doors were the two corner cupboards and they had glass windows.  Besides being a cheap particle board kitchen, there was no place to put anything you didn't want visible.  The two appliance garages were crammed full of all the miscellaneous stuff a kitchen accumulates.  That was just not for me.  By only having these two cupboards open I will still have that look that caught my eye when seeing the house for the first time.

Today I am heading off to shop for some furniture.  In the mean time I am trying to deffer a 'bad-hair-day' because I forgot my over night bag from when I spent Thursday night at my mother's house.  I can live without the dirty laundry but my hairbrush and hair dryer were in there!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Where we stood this morning.

On our third full day we will be starting from the corner.  Those cabinets were set in place yesterday. The general rules of the game are:  nothing is easy, nothing goes fast, and everything must be level. 

Left of the sink mimics the right side with a corner cupboard with an appliance garage.  Everything was put in place yesterday so we start down the left hand wall today. 

The backside of the wall cabinets and the one that goes over the stove.

We are giving the recycling guys a work out.

Last night we went shopping for knobs.  Much less fun than you'd think.  I needed 43.  It's hard to find a bin with 43 of anything and there isn't really time to wait for an order.  I found some I like, though.   

Next up:  shopping for a faucet.  Oddly enough, one of the hardest things to shop for.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Kitchen project...full day #2.

This is where we stood last night.  One side done minus doors and drawers.  That's the sink base in front of the installed cupboards.  

Looking into the room...that is the left hand corner's corner base cabinet on its side.  The leveling feet are being added.

Last night we went and picked counter top samples.  One has been chosen.  I'm not telling, though. We kind of-sort of didn't agree.  There was an absolute 'no' vote on the one I was starting to get serious about.  The one we chose is currently a promotional color and I'm not one to pass up a deal so that's how we ended up deciding. 

It was time to find a little sewing space so I headed upstairs with the folding table.  We don't even have chairs but the little stool should be ok for short spurts of sewing.   I have to cut, clean up the cutting stuff, then set my machine on the table.

I am making this quilt from a Jodi Barrows' book.

These are my fabrics.  The project has been in my stash for a few years.

I will soon be needed in the kitchen again so I'm off until tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The adventure begins.

I was not on hand for the demolishing of the original kitchen so I only have a couple pictures to show the progress.  I will spare you the pictures of the electrical and plumbing 'things'.

The kitchen is pretty simple.  A U shape with a breakfast bar (not shown) at the end of the left side. 

I think the contractor was mainly showing us how well the floor was protected.

These photos do not show what was yet to be revealed.  A moldy mess that involved the need for this:

That is how our entire kitchen was sealed off so the mold could be removed. 

I can't even begin to say how happy I am that we decided to hire someone to come in to demolish the old kitchen.  The mess that was uncovered would have been more than we could manage in our scheduled one week construction window.

I arrived yesterday just in time to inventory all the boxes as they were hauled in.  

Anything kitchen-y needs to be done creatively. One of my first shopping expeditions will be to buy a stove and microwave. 

Coffee a-la-floor.

Here is the empty space.

First thing this morning the work began.

The first two bottom cabinets are in place.  It's easier to start with the uppers first but our corner cupboards sit right on the counter top so we have to set the corner first.

I am mainly just extra help.  I lift, measure, fit, direct and whatever else needs doing.  In between I am keeping busy with other little things.  Unpacking, vacuuming, laundry, and odds and ends as they come up.  Took me half an hour to find a dish to have cereal out of this morning! 

More to come as progress is made.


Monday, January 19, 2015

A finish and an adventure.

Last night I finished Charmed Shoreline by Hinzeit. 

I really like Hinzeit patterns but this one had too many errors.  Even the correction online was wrong.  So, I was just glad to get it done.  It will be put away for a while so I didn't iron it before snapping a picture. 

Later this morning I am heading south for a month.  Woot.  I've gone for longish stretches before but not as long as a month.  I've packed an entire suitcase of sewing projects.  'Cause, you know, there aren't any fabric stores!  Ha.  Such a lie.  But still, I would rather work on projects I already have. 

We are also remodeling a kitchen.  We had the old one torn out and the basics completed prior to our arrival.  Phew.  So glad we did that because there were a variety of issues that needed to be dealt with.  I will chronicle the project once I am there.  My computer went on ahead of me and I don't have pictures here and now. 

We are 'serial remodelers'.  We've remodeled two houses and built our current one...we were even our own contractor.  Fun. It's too bad I didn't blog back then.  An adventure of a lifetime. Anyhow,  I think the kitchens and the baths are the hardest but the most fun.  

Today the cupboards are scheduled for am the very same time.  Luckily, we have a plan.  Now, I just need all the unrelated parties (the airline and the delivery service) to hold to the schedule! 

Stay tuned to watch this non-sewing project take shape. 


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Grand Illusions is

finished.  The quilting will have to wait but I couldn't get the top done fast enough.

I was not real happy with the end result.  I did take the blue squares out of the sashing.  It was just way too chaotic for me.  I know that those blue squares were the center of a secondary block that was formed by the corners of the main blocks and the sashing...but I just couldn't take it.  The main blocks just didn't pop enough with all that other stuff going on.

I saw a few examples with the center of the main block altered.  I much preferred that look but I was too far gone to change 25 centers.  After changing the corner stones in the sashing I would have liked to have eliminated the black squares but, again, I was too far into the project to go that far backwards.  I am hoping the quilting will mellow it all a little...or draw out the main blocks and let the secondary blocks recede.

I am a sucker for a good mystery.  You just never know what you'll get.  I knew I wasn't in love with the color pallet but didn't have enough confidence to change it.  Sometimes that can lead to a disaster with colors falling in places you don't like.

I can always hope one of my kids likes it enough to want it.  And, you never know, maybe after some time apart I'll change my mind.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

A finish-finish just in time

to pack it away until next year. 

Bent Creek's Christmas Mantel from 2010 has been waiting around all these years for me to figure out what to do with it.  I finally make it into a pillow. 

It was a mystery released bit by bit that year.

The thing used Pearl Cotton #5 on a large weave fabric.  I have no idea what, at this point.  It was part of the kit.

That big open weave just didn't lend itself to framing.  I'm sure it would look nice but it just wasn't what I wanted. 

I am glad to finally have it off the work table.  If I had it to do over I'd use regular DMC floss on a much higher count linen.  I really don't have any interest in doing it over so it is what it is. 

The quilt the pillow is on is a sneak peak at another finished project.  I am participating in a blog hop later this month hosted by Cindy of Quilt Doodle Designs.  I know you've seen me working away at this project but the embellishments are new.  It was hard to stop adding details to the cute rows.  Can't wait to see what other people did.