Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Dyeing Space!

 dye room

My new dyeing area is now finished in our basement/crawl space.  The only way to get into our basement is by this little door on the outside of our house.  It’s less than 5’ tall and you have to duck to go though as a beam runs right across the opening. We have a big piece of foam stapled to the beam because I can’t count how many times we or friends have hit their heads on that beam!   Once inside we have a small area where people 5’5”, like me,  can stand so this area works well for my new dyeing space.   Can’t believe this kitchen sink and counter that I was so excited to throw in the dump now makes me so happy.  

dye sink

I have hot and cold water and Tim installed a pump to get the water back up to the septic tank. I found an old white board the kids don’t use anymore so used it to cover all the drain pipes to the septic tank and can use to make notes when I’m dye fabric.  During our kitchen reno our hot water tank died so I have a nice shiny new tank by my sink. I have lots of storage for my big containers and Tim added a drawer for all my dye powders.

dye sink1dye sink2

If your wondering where the crawl space area is it’s through this small opening and is all on rock so the ground if very uneven. I didn’t turn that light on as you don’t need to see the mess of boxes back there!  Note the foam pad stapled to that beam too :)

dye sink3

Thank you Tim for building this space for me and supporting me with all my crazy hobbies!  It was the best birthday present!

Monday, July 29, 2013

‘Curve It Up’ Quilted


Finished quilting my Curve It Up QAL quilt this weekend and am working on hand stitching the binding down now.  This was a fun QAL to be part of and a big thanks to Jenny and Helen for creating it.   My goal with this quilt was to use up some of my hand dyed fabric scraps but I don’t think I put much of a dent into that stash!  I also hand dyed the background and used 4 different commercial batiks to piece this quilt.


I picked Mimosa for the panto design and used a light green thread which blended well with all the light and dark colors.  Quilters Dream Blend batting and a beige/teal Stonehenge for the backing.

curve3 curve4

Friday, July 26, 2013

Medallion Quilt Layout Plan


Here are my next 4 blocks for the Medallions QAL.  Thought I would get some blues and greens in the mix.  Here they are with the other blocks I have made so far.


Now that I have a few blocks to play with I wanted to see if a layout idea of mine would work. I thought it would look neat to offset the blocks in alternating rows like in the picture below.


Yes I definitely prefer this layout as I can see more quilting possibilities with the background fabric now connected. I see flowing feather in there now! :)


I’ll just need to make a few half blocks to fill in the top and bottom of the alternating rows.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kitchen Reno – Almost Done!


Since a few of you are asking for a kitchen reno update, here it is!  My installer has been here working on the crown mouldings and you can still see the blocks of wood and tape holding it while the glues dry.  He’ll be back on Friday to do the touch ups.  I now have all my things back in my cabinets and even have room to spare!  Love the inside of the drawers and cabinets as they have a wood finish, not white.


We discovered that we were short on the light rail moulding so he will order more and when that comes in he will install that.  Not a big deal.  You can in the next picture the area that still needs to be finished.


   Here is the set of drawers that are waiting for the new handles from the measuring mistake.  I can easily open the drawer from the side for now.


Here is a close up of the counter tops, I am so relieved that I love them as that was the hardest decision off  all.  I picked a medium color to blend with the flooring and stainless steel sink.


  Next decision…what tiles to use for the backsplash?   Here is a link to the ones that I love but are way too expensive ( $25/tile).


Though I would end this with some before and after pictures.


kitchen3areno8( In the future I can see a quilted wall hanging on the panel where the fridge is!)



BEFORE/AFTERkitchen2reno9( I’m loving the new counter space to the right of the stove, don’t miss the pantry at all!)

Once we get the skylight area mudded and textured to match what is on the ceiling already and then painted that will make a big difference too. Also new lighting will be going up to help brighten the space since we lost so much light from losing the skylights.  I won’t bore you with anymore kitchen pictures until EVERYTHING is done, so that might be a month or so. It just so nice to have a functioning kitchen again :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Yellow Brick Road Quilt


Remember this package of loveliness that I won at our guilds xmas meeting last year. Well it is now a flimsy!   I decided to use the Yellow Brick Road pattern as it uses up the whole fat quarter so no leftovers.  I took out the yellow fabrics as there were more than I needed in the pack to make a queen size quilt.   I wish I had enough brown fabric to use it in the outer border but I didn’t so it went in the inner border.  I’m finding living without a local fabric shop very hard as Lori and I are working on two new patterns and it’s hard to make samples when you don’t have fabric!  I’m finding ordering online, waiting and then finding out the main fabric for your quilt is on backorder is getting a bit frustrating.   But it will all come together I just wish I could piece them now when I have the time.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Shibori T-shirts


I have realized that I can’t dye in my new kitchen so Tim has offered to build me a dyeing area in our crawl space. We have a small area  in our crawl space where I can stand up in so that’s where it will go.  This may not sound great but I’m really excited to have my own space where I can make a mess and not worry about contaminating my kitchen.   We saved our old kitchen sink and counter top so he just need to do the plumbing and will add shelves under for storage of all my dye equipment.   So for now I can dye out on my deck for the summer and we should have this new space build for me by September.

I was dyeing a few T-shirts using the Shibori method and you can find my tutorial on this method here.  I used brighter colors this time and used 1/2tsp of dye in 1 cup of water to get the darker colors.  Here they are in the rinse bucket.


And here is the final results.  I used the same dyes just applied it in the opposite direction to make two completely different shirts.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Medallion Blocks


I made a few more Medallion blocks while work continues on the kitchen.  Looks like it will be Monday by the time they are all done. Only one ‘whoops’ moment this morning as the installer drilled the wrong hole spacing for 3 of my drawer handles, he added an extra inch.  I quickly got online to do a search and found my handles in that larger size. The installer was very relieved and happy to pay for new handles compared to him having to pay for three new drawer fronts.  Good thing I’m a quilter and understand how easy it is to measure and cut wrong!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


new kitchen1

I was so happy to see the cabinet installer pull into my driveway at 10am this morning.  He worked until 5:30 this evening and I said he could leave if he promised to be back tomorrow. He laughed and said he would leave his work trailer here so that I know he’ll be back.   Most of the cabinets are in with 3 more to go then all the finishing work still needs to be done.  Looking at this picture I think I might be painting my window trim white but I won’t decide until everything is finished.  Feels good to have things moving along.

While they were working I needed something to keep me busy so I made these 4 tote bags. I used two Hoffman Bali Snap packs, Rum Raisin and Parfait, and quilted them with swirls and dwirling.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Still Waiting….

So its been a week since my last post and I still don’t have a new kitchen.    Last Wednesday the new cabinets were suppose to arrive and the install started but I heard nothing all day Wednesday and Thursday. I spent that whole week waiting for a phone calls….. Sigh!  Finally got a hold of our contractor Friday and he said the cabinets didn’t make it on the last truck up so it would be in that day…thanks for letting me know! Why do trades people never think you might appreciate a call so you know what is going on.  Anyway on Friday I decided to call the furniture company and get my new appliances delivered so I had something new to look at.  They came within an hour of my call, I love good service!  So that made my day and then around 3:30 that afternoon my cabinets and countertop arrived so were put in our garage.  Today they are still in garage and I was told they can’t install until Wednesday so tomorrow is suppose to be the day, I’m not holding my breath.  I don’t mind living without the cabinets as I have my new fridge and stove and can wash dishes out on the deck, it’s the not knowing and all the waiting that is driving me a bit crazy as I can’t plan on doing anything.  So that has been my week and I hope by the weekend I have a kitchen again and can share some pictures with you.  Fingers crossed they do come tomorrow.

Anyway I can’t have a post without a pictures so her is my little birds nest a few days ago. One egg has hatched but the other one still hasn’t so I don’t think it will.  The baby had more downy feathers now and I hope to get a good picture of it soon, it just looks like a blob in this picture.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kitchen Reno – Before pictures

Today is the day that my new kitchen cabinets will be delivered and the install will begin.   We have lived in this house for 17 years and the house was only a year old when we moved in. The kitchen cabinets were build by the previous owners and had a few issues.  I couldn’t move any shelves, the doors were not on straight, the melamine was chipped where they cut it and they varnished the oak trim after it was on the doors so there is varnish splatter in many spots.  So they were not high quality cabinets but they were okay.  So I’m looking forward to updating the look and most importantly having it be more functional as we are making a few layout changes. Here are the before pictures.
Note the lack of dishwasher!  I am really looking forward to having a dishwasher that doesn’t complain when you ask it to do the dishes. I think my boys are going to love that the most and even said they would be happy to load it for me!  Let see how long that lasts :)
We also had our skylights removed, you can see in the pictures below they is now drywall there.  I was very sad to see those go but they we more of a problem as having water pour into your kitchen every spring was getting very frustrating.   During certain weather conditions in the spring when the snow on the roof melts then freezes again it creates ice dams on the roof causing the water to back up under the flashing.  Water then pours into the house though the drywall around the skylights and you have one big mess.  I think we have repaired that about 4 times so are done with that.
This is how I have been living all week.  Didn’t want to take out the sink until we knew the cabinets were in town and we had a delivery date. 
We took the sink and cabinets out last night so this is how my kitchen looks right now while I wait for the cabinets to arrive.   We are also waiting on a drywaller to come this month and finish plastering our skylight area then I can finish painting the ceiling. I thought I better paint above the cabinets before they are installed to make that job easier.  Once all the cabinets are in I’ll share more pictures.   The only thing I haven’t decided on is the tiles for the back splash but I thought I better wait until the cabinets are in before making that decision.
I have purchased all new appliances and decided to go with white again as I really don’t like the cold look of stainless steal.  I’m not sure what all the fuss is about with stainless but I know that it sure is hard to keep my stainless steal toaster and kettle clean so how am I going to keep a kitchen full of appliances looking good.   I’d rather be quilting than cleaning!  :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Shadow Box Squares


Even thought I do take the summer off from quilting for clients I will sneak a few quilts in for friends, especially those that like to barter with homemade treats!   This is Robin’s Shadow Box quilt and I used the panto Splash for this quilt as I think this quilt should be called “Splash of Color” as she used so many beautifully bold batiks.  The squares are 8” finished and this is a great way to use up scraps.  I found an online tutorial on how to make this quilt here.  This one is on my To-Do list!

robin2 robin3

Here is a peek at the backing which is a batik too.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Guild Hug Me Quilt


I took a few guild quilt tops home to work on over the summer and finished one up yesterday.  It has been so hot here this week and we only have air conditioning in my Shack so I’ve either been quilting or swimming to avoid the heat!  This quilt may look familiar as I quilted one just like it in March (seen here) but we made two so I quilted this one differently using the Chantilly Lace panto.

hug1  hug3

The backing is a soft blue flannel.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Metro Medallion QAL


Jenny and Helen has started another Quilt Along over at Sew Kind Of Wonderful.    They have designed a Medallion block using the Quilt Curve Ruler and shared a tutorial on how to make it here.  The challenge is to make two blocks a week for eight weeks and since I have decided to use my batik and hand dyed scraps for this project which will be my challenge!  I’m going to use different coloured hand dyed fabrics for the frames so we will see how good an idea this is once I get a few more blocks done.  The blocks are very easy to make and Jenny was right they are addictive!


Thought I would add this next picture too!  A Robin has made a beautiful nest in a small spruce tree near my garden and left her nest long enough for me to peek inside to see these two eggs.