Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tile and Stonework Installation

Look! No snow!
We've had some warm weather lately, getting up into the 60s (16 C) on occasion. Here in Northern Colorado, when the sun shines, it gets rather warm quickly and many people go around in shorts and T-shirts. There were even some die hard golfers on the courses today, which has to be hard as it's been quite windy.

Stonework closeup
The stonework on the outside is being installed, looking good! I picked shades of grey, no brown, orange or purple. Yes, purple is available, it actually does look nice, but I wanted to keep it neutral.

Master bath floor
This is the master bath floor, the area on the upper left is the shower, the white wall in the middle upper is the tub surround. 

Second bath floor
The second bathroom floor is not only tiled, but grouted, as this is the only dark grey tile to be used as a solid color, not as an accent. No, I take that back, the bedroom fireplace will have this same tile. This bathroom and the downstairs bathroom will both have only showers, no tubs.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sewing the Flowers Together

Starting to Sew the Flowers Together
This is tedious work. After I carefully laid out the blocks, I numbered them in the same hexie for each flower, so all would be pointed in the same direction. With so many pins, I won't put my QA guy on the quilt top, he will have to wait a bit for further inspection. I sewed the intersecting sections together, then started sewing them to the flowers. At first, they went together fairly randomly.

Four Rows Sewn Together
Then I realized it would be much easier to sew a small section to the larger, and growing section. With this method I can keep the bulky part on the bottom and a relatively smaller section on top. This is fairly easy to manipulate, especially compared to sewing two fairly large pieces together. Remember, for each seam I have to turn the quilt top slightly so the hexies line up properly, and it's much easier to line up each seam if I only have to struggle with one large section of fabric on the bottom and a relatively small one on top.

Corner of quilt top
This is a corner, showing how I'm adding a few leftover colored hexies here and there.

Marking hexies
While at first I was marking the start/stop points on the hexies using a template, I found that I could eyeball the correct positions fairly accurately.  (The paper is the back side of my new dental insurance card that I printed)

Whenever the marks were slightly off, this wonderful piecing foot always showed me where I needed to be. This thing is truly a gem.

I had to quit sewing for a while so my son could bottle the latest batch of beer he was making. I had run out of hexies and needed the table to cut more for the border.  This is all the room I have in the apartment for sewing. I can't wait to move into the new house; there will be an update on it shortly.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Project - Hardanger!

EGA Hardanger Sample Piece
Our EGA Chapter signed up for a Group Correspondence Course in Hardanger and I thought, why not? Another new project - just what I need. As if I don't have enough UFO's to finish. But this is a new technique, and an opportunity to try something new.

Motif 1 - Heart
The class is taught by Marion Scoular, whom I admire very much. If you recall, I went to Albuquerque over Labor Day weekend to take a class in Richelieu Embroidered Tea Towels from her. At first, I was a bit skeptical of this new, well to me anyway, style of embroidery. This is worked on 25 count fabric, and I usually work surface embroidery on much finer stuff. This happens to be Lugana, a cotton/rayon blend. I chose a mushroom color of fabric and white threads to keep things simple. I didn't want to waste a lovely hand dyed thread in case I really messed up this project.

Added Motif 2 - some blocks
Everything has to be very precise, all the blocks need to line up properly and you really have to be careful about traveling threads on the back and securing the threads properly. Many times I realized I stitched over three threads instead of four and have had to pick out quite a bit. Now I'm being more careful, checking the work with each block (called Kloster blocks, as you may know).

Center design
Here is the center design, with a Viking ship in the center of the heart. This is worked with No 5 Perle cotton and a size 22 tapestry needle. It feels so large in my hand! And no hoop or frame, this is all worked in the hand, also a bit unusual for me.

Close up of Viking Ship
There will be four Viking ships in all. The almost look like sea horses, don't they?

Starting on the border
I've made a start on the border in this photo.  If you look carefully, you can see the pink basting stitches running horizontally quite a bit above the center. My very first stitch was a mistake, by counting up from the center too far. But all the stitches line up, and the design doesn't get much bigger than this, so I won't run out of room on the fabric.

This Saturday most of us taking the class will get together to compare progress and share stitching notes. I'll see how it goes! I think we will really need another get together before we start cutting away the fabric threads, that will be scary. We just started the project in January, so we have six months to get it all done and send the pieces in for judging. That shouldn't be too hard, as long as I don't get sidetracked, which seems to happen far too often.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Drywall Installed

Kitchen, showing pantry door
All the drywall is now installed in the house and the mud covering the seams and nails is curing. It's nice to go into the house now that it has heat. It looks a lot more like a house now that the walls are up. This is the view to the kitchen from the family room. It's an open floor plan, so the family room, dining area and kitchen are one big room. I'm not sure I will like it, but that is just about all you can get without building a huge house.

Family Room with Fireplace
Originally, the fireplace was on the wall to the left, but we moved it to face the back yard. So our entertainment center will fit on the wall.

Master Bedroom, with another Fireplace! 
I've always wanted a fireplace in the bedroom, so here it is! This would have been one big window, but we had to break it up for the fireplace. I'll have a little reading nook to the right.

My Bathtub goes here
The master bath, with the tub and the shower to the left.

Back of the house
The house looks the same as in the last post, only with a lot more snow. We got just over 8 inches (20 cm) this past Monday and Tuesday. I stood on the sidewalk to take this picture, and apparently this lot has been sold and a new house will go up soon. I think our builder plowed the snow to remove the building materials. The new house will be a ranch, like ours, which will be nice.

Hand Trowel Sample
If you look closely, you will be able to see the swirls in the drywall mud. This is the finish we will have on all the walls. I love it, it's just a bit rustic without looking like stucco. This will take at least two more weeks to be applied and cured, then things will go fast!