Thursday, February 12, 2015

works in progress

You might recall that last summer we had a major overhaul of our kitchen and bathroom.  Turned out wonderfully, and of course, leads to other desires to update our home.  Like dominoes falling, so goes the home improvement projects!  In our second story area, there is still carpet in the bedroom (AKA sewing room #2) and loft/office that needs to go.  I'm tired of ignoring the stains, putting rugs over the worst spots, etc.  A couple years ago, Bob masterfully replaced the old carpet in my #1 sewing room (I basically have 3!) with DIY wood flooring from IKEA.  We would like to continue with that idea over the rest of the carpeted area, but there is an obstacle in our way.  When the house was built, we didn't have a good grip on what was going to happen with the log posts that support the railing, and the floor that they rest upon.  The carpet was installed and cut to fit around the posts and wrap over the exposed edge, which worked.  Now, however, when we rip out that carpeting, we have to go back to square one and modify the design.  
This is the way it looks now.

We need it to become more like this, with wood underneath the posts and covering the edge.

We have been pondering what would be the best approach to get this done and procrastinating because we either have to decide to bite the bullet and hire someone to take over, or figure out how we are going to do it for ourselves.  We are great DIY'ers, but we do have our limits!  Well, I couldn't wait any longer, and one night last week I just started prying and pulling until I could get the edge of the carpet loosened and pulled up.  This is what we found:

I remember when this carpet was laid, the workmen were not very happy about putting the carpet around the posts, and now I understand why.  They had to cut little pieces of that tackstrip stuff to fit around each post.  Then attach the carpet and bring it over the front edge to attach there.
Well, I guess we are committed now, because there is a chunk of carpet missing and bare wood that needs to be dealt with!

On to things I can handle more easily--

a little candlemat that I made from English paper piecing diamonds, along with wool and fabric.  It will be a little pattern for my Paper Pizzazz class at Bear Patch in a couple months.  It's an easy sew, and turned out well.  I especially like the fact that I found a cute little basket and candle to go with it!

And below is an arrangement of fabric stapled to canvas frames.  Like a fabric collage.  I want to hang these on the bedroom wall, they coordinate with the quilt on our bed.  Well, a couple of these are not actually stapled at the time I took the picture, because the stapler failed.  Not to worry, I figured out how to take it apart and free up the jam inside and I got the stapling done.  Now I have to get the spacing figured out and hang these up!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

the magic of machines

Many of you reading this blog probably have one or more sewing machines.  A fascinating machine that has intrigued me for a long long time as I tried to figure out how those 2 threads made a stitch.  Well, here's another cool machine that is essential to our sewing--the bolt winder!  Click on the link below to watch a little video.  It shows the full width fabric on the lower left feeding up and over to the right.  Behind the fabric there is another part of the frame that folds the full width in half and then it feeds down and is rolled onto a bolt.

Post by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

As you can see, it happens pretty fast.  Most bolts hold 10-15 yards of fabric.  And if you have ever wondered why the fabric on the bolt is somewhat askew, this video should help you understand that even though there is a person running the machine, the fabric is not handled with TLC by someone who carefully and lovingly folds and rolls the bolt!

So now when you see a stack or shelf of fabric bolts, you will have an image in your mind of how that fabric ended up folded and wrapped on the bolt!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I'm Back!

Surprise, surprise!  My unintended blog vacation is over and done with, and now I hope I can get back to some regularity with pictures and writing.  I really do usually enjoy writing these posts, but at some times in my life it gets completely forgotten.

I have gone through a tough time since that last blog post over a month ago.  I have not shared this before and not because it shouldn't be shared but just didn't really know how to address it.  My dad, Bob, was on home hospice care since May 2014.  He had heart disease and dementia, leading to his inability to walk and stand.  My mom was his rock, directing all of her attention to making him as comfortable as possible at home.  The local homecare program assisted with many things, and the nurses and aides were exceptional.  I have been home as much as possible to help mom and dad with whatever I could, making that 3 1/2 hour drive seem more like a simple commute than a big trip.  Christmas was his last day up and out of bed.  After that he was just too weak to risk getting him into the wheelchair.  He died on January 13, comfortably in his own home.  He was such a sweet man and wonderful dad to me, and I found out that so many other people also knew him as a kind man.

We felt very lucky that almost all of the grandkids and great grandkids were present for the funeral.  Nathan was sick so Serra and Aurora made the trip without him.  This was the group with their grandma, who was so glad to have them all with her.  

So, now I am trying to get back into doing the things that I love to do!  A little sewing, knitting, reading, etc.
By Thy Hands - March - by Buttermilk Basin

English Paper Piecing for a folder or book cover,
my own design for the Paper Pizzazz class at Bear Patch.

The months of January and February often make me want to hole up inside, away from the cold and snow.  I stumbled upon this cross stitch picture that I made quite awhile ago.  I really liked it then and I still do, so I will hang it up to enjoy again.  The words really describe the best part of winter!

I hope your wintertime is equally as good!