Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Christmas to Remember

I live in Michigan. Usually we avoid the big disasters like tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes. But every once in awhile we get hit with something. This time we got stopped in our tracks by an ice storm that is the biggest in over 25 years.

While it is beautiful, it is also dangerous.

We've lost some branches and the top of a tree.

But the worse for us, is the loss of power. We've been without power since December 22, so this makes day 5. I'm very grateful for the crews working around the clock to restore power for over 300,000 people, but it is getting old.

A shot from my living room, looking out the front window. LOL!

The bright side, we've been eating at lots of local restaurants and seeing movies. We've seen American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks and today's movie is The Wolf of Wall Street.

I am very lucky to have a smart husband who said, "We're going to a hotel." Hotel rooms are at a premium so we're sharing a room at the Holiday Inn Express with our daughter who's visiting from Chicago.
Photo taken before the storm, when he was caught being naughty.
We've been checking on the house three times a day, because our dog Boomer is still there. The humane society recommended letting house pets like dogs and cats "shelter in place" rather than disrupting them by taking them to a kennel. Boomer's a bit lonely, but otherwise is fine. He's spending his days on the sofa in the basement. He's usually not allowed to be on the furniture, but it's easier for him to stay warm on a nice sofa. I also made a crockpot full of Italian beef last Friday and he's been having that with his dinner everyday since it will just go bad.

 I hope everyone had a warm and happy Christmas.

Till next time......Happy Stitching

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Latest projects

I've finished two projects started long age. The Mermaid is a quilt I started using my daughter as the model in a class with Charlotte Warr Anderson in 1993. My daughter was 10. This year she turned 30 and kept checking on my progress on this quilt, I am happy that 20 years later it is finally finished and in her hands.
The second quilt I finished for a new baby. When my children were little, I taught at the local quilt shop. I taught a class on the book Calendar Quilts by Joan Hanson in 1991. One of the class samples was the Bunny Quilt that was for a spring quilt. The top was in my UFO pile when the I needed a quilt for a baby shower. The new mother babysit my children when I worked at the quilt shop, so it seemed appropriate to quilt this top for her new baby girl.

Now I'm working on a bed quilt for my other daughter. I am making 205 sawtooth stars that are 4 1/4" finished. I've finished about 80 and have another 25 cut out and waiting on my new sewing table. The sewing table is much wider than my old one and I can fit many cut-out blocks on it while I sew.

Fall has finally arrived in Michigan and it's a beautiful 50 degree day.

Till next time.......Happy Stitching.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

My New Sewing Table is Here

I've been shopping for a new sewing table for about a year. While at he AQS Show in Grand Rapids I was able to compare a few different brands. I bought this table from Tracey's Tables and I'm thrilled. It was delivered yesterday and they carried it to my basement and demo'd how it worked. My DH didn't have to lift a finger.

Here's the table with a baby quilt I'm working on.

There is a large leaf that folds up to make the surface much larger. The leaf is supported by legs on casters that easily swing out. My last table had a support that hooked into a screw, that soon fell out. The old table's leaf was also on hinges that only worked if I sat on the floor and held it up with my head while I set it up.  LOL!

The left side of the table is much wider than my old one. But it I do need extra space, it also has a really cool double leaf.

The first leaf is on easy to use hinges. And the second leaf is on top of it.

The second leaf then folds out to complete the surface. My old table didn't have the leaf to complete the rectangle and large quilts would fall into the space and cause trouble.

To complete my sewing bliss is my big screen TV. This is my view from the machine. That's Reggie Bush who's kicking some Bear butt.

This table also has three drawers. Many of the tables I looked it at were much more expensive and had lots of extras I wasn't interested in. This table opens really large and rolls very easy. It has a hydraulic lift for stowing the machine. The $1200 price tag included delivery, set-up, and the acrylic insert for my Bernina. I've been sewing on it all day and so far, I love it.

A new sewing table and the Lions winning, I must be dreaming.

Till next time.... Happy Stitching. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Last Kitchen Post

We finished the pantry to mud room conversion. At Home Depot we found a bench and shelf unit from Martha Stewart. I think it's perfect.
We removed the shelves and the wall that framed the door. Now when we come in from the garage, it's a large landing, instead of a small landing and a closet. The Martha Stewart units did not fill up the whole space, so we'll put some more hooks on the left side.

Till next time......Happy Stitching.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Finished Kitchen! YAY

The kitchen is all complete except for the mud room.
Here are some comparison photos.
Make sure and click on a photo to view the full size slide show.
From the garage before. The bar between the dining room and the; kitchen was moved about 18" into the dining room and the soffit above it was removed. We added two drop down lights. The dishwasher is now next to the sink instead of under the bar. I get a lot of compliments on the floor. It's not much different from what I had, but it is prettier. It is vinyl and the counter tops are Formica.
Old fridge area before. The fridge was on a short wall, that made the entry from the garage narrow. By moving the fridge to the wider wall, nearby and replacing the fridge with a short base cabinet (18" deep where the fridge was 26" deep), it opened up the space. The fridge now sticks out just a bit from the new wall.
I was afraid that moving the fridge would make this wall way too small, but so far I'm really loving it. In the old photo you can see the door to the basement where I'm standing for the next picture.
This comparison gives a good comparison of moving the counter further into the dining room.

Here's the view from the living room. It's surprising how moving the bar just 18" really made the kitchen so much bigger without really affecting the dining room.

Here's the view from the dining room. I do miss the white cabinets, I loved how bright it was. But we decided on the wood, for a bigger change and they were considerable cheaper, too.

Now, back to hand quilting the Mermaid quilt. It should be finished soon. : )

Till next time.....Happy Stitching.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

More kitchen stuff

We are also getting a new counter top in the basement. You can see the right side is pieced with wood scraps.
Some dry wall mud got put in the mud room
The stove area has doors. The sink area is taking shape.
The back wall shows the new beverage station. More cupboards above the counter.
The dishwasher is in. The new custom cupboard on the far wall.

Till next time.....Happy Stitching.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kitchen Update

Here are two days of kitchen updates.

On Thursday, Don brought in some of the cabinets from the garage and had the electrician in to do the electrical stuff. Don and the electrician put up the cabinets above the stove. Some new wiring had to be done for microwave.
Don also put up the drywall to cover the whole where he took down the soffit and extended the other soffit where more cabinets will be hung. On Friday, the plaster guy started covering the new drywall and did some repair work over the sink.
The door on the left leads to the basement. Don added the new cabinets and the fridge wrap around. Here's a good shot of where the door frame was taken off the pantry to make a mudroom.

Till next time......happy stitching

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kitchen Remodeling

I'm having my kitchen remodeled. The contractor has been at it for two days. I'm taking pictures everyday and I hope to blog every few days, too. Let's start with a tour of the old kitchen.

1. Here's a view standing at the counter in
picture 7.
2. Here's the view standing in the dining room.
3. Here's the view standing near the sliding door in picture 1. 4. At the end of picture 4, there's a landing with 3 doors, one to the garage, a half bath on the left and this pantry/broom closet on the right.
5. Standing on the landing in step 4 is this view,
where you can see the side of the fridge.
     6. This is the fridge.
7. Standing next to the fridge you see the
counter where I stood to take picture 1.
We emptied the kitchen to get ready for Don, our contractor.

We emptied the back pantry/broom closet. When I went to work yesterday, the kitchen looked like this.

When I got home from work, it looked like this.
Today I came home to find the soffet gone... and the wall in front of the pantry/broom closet has been removed to make way for a tiny mudroom.

Till next time......Happy Stitching