Friday, July 31, 2020

Drum roll please! It is finished.

     Well, actually it is the basement, but I am calling it the longarm studio. Before, it was a basement, now it is a loft type studio.
     My husband put in hundreds of man hours taking down the suspended ceiling, cleaning up wires and pipes, priming with 2 coats the floor joists and cross bars and knotty pine panelling and then 2 coats of paint. We bought single bulb LED fixtures that were tucked in between the floor joists. The light they give is beyond what the old double bulb flourescents did. And for less electricity.
     The big splurge was the luxury vinyl tile planking from Home Depot. I had been carrying a square sample with me for four years and never found anything I liked as well. It is rigid, wide, rubber backed, clicks together, guaranteed for life, waterproof and a gorgeous color. My husband's knees have yet to recover. 
     I decided to move the longarm to another wall and it gives more floor space. The whole space seems so much bigger now. I also am trying to eliminate some shelving I had. I am dying to dive in and use it. However, our whole family annual trek to the Adirondacks is upon us and I am packing like crazy.
     I cannot believe I have such a big, gorgeous space to quilt. Wow.
The before
Emptied out


Friday, July 17, 2020

Tidal Pool contained

     I am not going to call this Tidal Pool anymore as I used the pattern as inspiration, but did not copy it exactly. It looks like Crayon Circle Scribbles, so that is its name.
     When it came time to assemble all the 8 1/2" unfinished blocks, I was going to web the construction as usual. However, I saw that Lynne remarked that hers was a bit ungainly to manage and I remember that stage. I thought if I assemble the blocks into 4 patches completing a circle block, it would be easier to web. Then, I remembered the Left Handed quilter showing how she webbed from the left vertical long row instead of the top. Since this quilt was longer than wide, I tried that and then I only had a few short row seams to sew. So, blog friends helped in trying a new way to construct a quilt. Thank you.
The blocks sewn into 4 patches first
All sewn up. A border maybe? 2 1/2" strip scraps around the edge?

     I have no idea yet how to quilt it and it doesn't matter as my longarm is still hostage under drop cloths although I can hear the laminate floor being banged together underneath me as I type.

Thursday, July 16, 2020


     That is what I got when I arrived home after cardiac rehab on Wednesday. A box from the company that sells the tote bags I have been using for my comfort quilt packages. When I opened it, all 13 bags left in their inventory were in the box. Hooray! They generously donated them to me!

     Even funnier, is that the company is in the neighboring town from me. What are the odds? They are in an industrial park and I had no idea they were there or what they did.  I sent them a thank you card already. If you don't ask, you won't know if someone will help you.
     Prayer answered!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Tidal Pool on the wall

     I was able to cut and sew the remaining batik squares and get all the blocks up on the wall. They remind me of crayon scribble circles. Maybe I should name it that. The first photo is how they were just plopped in their parking space, the second is a couple of tweaks I already made. I think I will have to look at it for a while to decide what to move. Fun time making them. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The longarm is waiting

     The basement redo to convert it from a dungeon to an artspace continues. Two thirds is done. The suspended ceiling is out, the ceiling primed and painted, and the longarm is swaddled in drop cloths. All the shelves and cabinets are shoved together for now. 
     The last portion was started today. The ceiling has been primed. I really need to get some quilts done as my last two quilted comfort quilts went out last week.
The longarm is facing towards you from the left end. This portion is done.

Coming down the stairs. The exposed pipe had a suspended bulkhead that came way down and it felt like you were entering a compressed space.
It came down and opened up the space. Longarm is to the right.
Instead of a suspended low box, opened up. Primed, painted and new LED light.
The stairs no longer feel like a descent into a shallow space. Knotty pine panels painted.
The last part. The gloomy panelling, tracks for suspended ceiling, crummy flourescent lights, and old carpet tiles that were a thread magnet. The longarm goes across the long wall with the window. Can't wait to see this transformation. This has been primed now and grid taken down, but no photos.
Floor planks bought and waiting for painting to finish. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Tidal Pool on the wall continues

     I have a good chunk done, but I need about 14 more sets of batiks to finish the 4 x 5 circle layout. It is quirky, but I like it. Yes, I know the top right block is positioned wrong. Saw it when I posted the photo. Corrected now. This won't be the final layout, just a parking place for the blocks until they are all done. Lots to change.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Quilts in search of bags

     The comfort quilts that I make and give on referrals are put into tote bags which hold the quilt, book, card, and pocket quilts. The quilt is washed, dried, put into the tote and the whole bag goes into a XL ziploc bag to keep it clean and fresh.
     A few years ago, someone gave me about 25 bags that are a vinyl canvas with side pockets that I have successfully used. The company went out of business, and I got the totes. I sewed a quilt block pocket over the logo pocket and that is where I put the book, card and pocket quilts.

     However, I am on my last two tote bags. The one pictured went out on Friday. I have looked all over the internet for them. I looked in the bag, found a company name and contacted them to see if I could buy some unprinted. They only had 13 in stock and the order is usually fifty. I offered to buy them and I received an email that they would donate them if I gave them company information. I am not a company, but a free service and I tried to explain that in a response and show them how I use the bag. I have not heard back from them, so I don't know if I qualified in their book. I would even buy them.

     The fact remains is that I need bags like this. If you know anywhere I could purchase these and that they are not prohibitively expensive, please let me know. The bag is an integral part of the package and it can be used to transport stuff for treatments. Waterbottles fit nicely in the side pockets.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Scattered Shots

     Finding it real hard to concentrate these days. In the face of so much fear, unrest, nastiness, and loss, I am sort of numb. I have tried to work in fits and starts, but no momentum. I miss people. I am not an introvert. 
     The long arm is out of commission as the basement is being remodeled to make it a bright and happy place. 
     I did try Bonnie Hunter's new Leader and Ender, the Shoo Fly Block, but after a few blocks, it is not singing to me. I will make some of her new Leader/Ender blocks.
     Then I used leftover pieces to try a new idea with skinny neutrals among leftover pieced strips. 8 1/2" blocks unfinished. I like the look, but don't know where it is going. Should I continue or not? Don't know.
     Then I pulled out pieces for a quilt called Tidal Pool by Marlous Carter. Our guild had her as a guest teacher over a year ago, and the cut squares have been languishing in a bag. I sewed a bunch and put them on the wall. I can cut and sew these without thinking, so for now I am working on this. 
     Trying to work out of the funk. If I was a musician, I would be singing blues, but a quilter, hmm.