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Wednesday, June 30, 2010


My home continues to be invaded by crews of workmen.  Today painters who used enough plastic to protect everything that it looked like "Dexter's place of crime". 
I did learn something that I had never noticed before.  We have lots of green grass outside and the walls look green from the reflection so you can't really see the true colour of the walls on a sunny day?
It is really obvious in this picture.  The stencilling that is on my walls, done years ago, is about to dissapear.
This is my newly painted kitchen and again, the green is reflecting off the grass, through the window on one of our seemingly rare sunny days.  Still waiting for a carpenter for cupboard replacement and appliances but walls are beautifully clean.  Stencilling is gone as are all the soot stains. 

Notice, nice new maple leaf placemats for Canada Day adorn my kitchen table. I don't seem to have much sewing time but, am hoping that I will find some time tomorrow since it is a 'holiday'. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Almost Over?

Today was the "meeting" of our insurance adjuster with two dudes from the restoration company and we got the 'bottom' line of what is left to be done in our fire clean up along with a vague timeline.  I am happy with what is happening, just wish it was all over.  We have a painting crew starting tomorrow morning, furniture cleaning tomorrow afternoon and, as well, a technician coming to do an onsite inspection of all our electronic equipment.  He will determine if their is soot on any of the wiring, components etc and if any pieces need to be removed and cleaned.  Apparently soot 'eats' the wiring?  Who knew? 
We are still waiting for a carpenter to look at the damaged cabinets above my stove, waiting to hear what the value of my appliances is so that we can decide if I want to shop for new ones or let the restoration company take care of that chore. Furnace ducts will be cleaned.   Also, carpet cleaning to be done when all is finished along with a final day of cleaning. 
After that, bare walls need to be somewhat decorated although this is a time for simplifying our lives so am hoping we can declutter and relegate some of our family pictures into albums instead of in frames that need dusting? 
I have taken a few loads of older clothes that I don't wear (or don't fit) to the donation bins.  Somehow, this clearing out is easier when you have your stuff piled or stacked up. 

I have no idea how my eye is doing after my surgery however, I see the surgeon on Wednesday and hope that he gives me a good report for my birthday! 

My sewing machine has been purring for the last couple of days.  I promised myself some sewing time after doing morning cleanouts of various drawers and my guild scrap quilt is now 'fixed' after I noticed a border had a few pieces that were added upside down and, as well, have stitched up my Orion Star blocks and they are ready to assemble and add borders.  I also have some QoV pillowcases ready to sew and labels to add to a few of my quilts that I am donating to that worthy cause. 

Pictures coming soon - keep watching! 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The week that was.

Well, the week that 'was' is almost over.  This time last week, I had no idea that the electricity being off would change my life drastically!
However, out of the bad comes the good.  While we have had to endure a cleaning crew in our house from 9 until 3:30 every day, my home hasn't been this clean since we moved in 28 years ago!  Every nook and cranny, every crevice has been 'de-sooted'.  And, for me, a great chance to get rid of clutter and old objects that I had long forgotten about. 
And, I am motivated to continue the decluttering in weeks to come - go through seldom used drawers, cupboards and closets and leave them with only functional, useful items that are used regularly.
We have one more day of cleaning crew - they are 'attacking' my laundry room tomorrow and then a walk through of the house, checking to see if anything has been missed.  I must admit it is a shock to open cupboards and, while everything is in there, it has been put back differently so time is spent searching for the elusive spice or tin of tuna. 

My walls are 'naked' as putting pictures back up is my job and, again, time to decide what we really like and what we have lived with just because it was there. 

Next week, new stove will arrive (I hope), carpets will be cleaned and after that, it is waiting for painters for the kitchen, carpenter for kitchen cupboard replacment and microwave/convection oven to come. 

For all my quilting or hobby friends, I have advice from what I have learnt!  Keeping items in labelled, lidded containers is far better than any other kind of storage.  The plastic bins with drawers are great as well but, having any fabrics or supplies for projects on open shelves is asking for not only dust and dirt, but in case of a fire or other disaster, damage from soot.  The time and effort to clean all the little bits and pieces that are laying around or on pegboards is incredible.  I am going to shop for clear view plastic shoe boxes that I can label and fill them with my fabric postcard making supplies, my quilting bits and pieces and try to have nothing left that will  need dusting other than the tops of the containers.  A lesson learnt the hard way and it was difficult to watch the cleaners have to handle each and every item that was exposed to soot.

Today was also my cataract surgery.  I don't think of myself as a wimp but, I much preferred retinal surgery where I had some wonderful drug substance put into my body by intravenous!!!  Today was a test of my patience.  My eye feels like grit or granules of sand floating around but I will survive!  I see the doctor tomorrow for a post-op appointment and will find out if he has success or there are issues with my scar tissue from surgery last year.

Lastly - every day is a good day when you can find time to sew!  My fabulous Pfaff is back home and today I worked on my Canada Day placemats.  I still have to do a bit of free motion quilting and bind them, but, they will be DONE for July 1st.   I have a few projects lined up to work on while I am unable to bend or lift.  For that, I planned ahead

Sunday, June 20, 2010

End of the week or new beginning?

This is a day where I am reflecting on the week that was and the week to come... a time to be frustrated or count my blessings?
My sewing machine is in having some upgrades done under warranty and I 'need' to finish my blanket stitching on my Canada Day placemats.  Hopefully, this week it will be ready?

One of my grandsons got his "Eagle feather and award".  I was a proud Grandma! 

My husband cut our fields on Thursday.  That was a good thing!

The crows were following behind him, grabbing critters from the ground.  As you can see, another drizzly day. 

Then the worst part of my day happened.  Electricity went off while I was frying bacon for a sandwich for my hardworking husband.  I forgot to turn the burner off and was with my husband returning the tractor when the electricty came back on.  Burning bacon isn't good for the microwave or the house.  Sad end to the day and we are now in the midst of an insurance claim.

This is a protein fire which means the soot is greasy and smears when you try to wipe a surface clean.  The cleaning crew boss gave me one of the magic sponges they use so I could clean my sewing machine (Brother 1500, not electronic)  and table since I didn't really want them moving or touching my 'baby'.  I have lots of quilt blocks cut out to stitch together and they are covered in soot so am deciding how to proceed.  They think that I should throw out all exposed thread and filled bobbins but I have sent a spool home with my buddy and she will let me know if the thread smells since her home isn't all smoky and sooty like mine is.
Clean up will be a slow process.  Kitchen first with all cupboards emptied, then the rest of the rooms in the house.  All electronics have to be 'dipped' to clean the wiring and components.  Furniture and drapes need cleaning as well as carpets.  Kitchen appliances replaced and new cupboard above the stove, painting and I will have a house that will be cleaner than ever before.  Not too sure what will happen when they see my 'stash' of fabrics?  So, good news was that my Pfaff was being serviced so it didn't get exposed to the smoke and ash. All quilts and wallhangings need to be laundered so I will busy this week working on those although the cleaning company will clean anything as per my instructions. 
A great time to declutter my house and reduce the trinkets and 'stuff' that we have.  In the meantime, I am hoping to be able to stitch up my Orion Star blocks and wipe off more of my sewing equipment before the crew arrives tomorrow and tells me that a lot of it has to be discarded. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Running around Monday

Today was spent running around - no sewing machine time.  I managed to get a few more geraniums and they are happily planted giving my front garden lots of colour.  Today is cloudy but no rain, so my poppies and peonies are happy and opening up in their glorious shapes and colours.
I traced off a couple of my maple leaf shapes onto fusible web last night and will try to get a couple of placemats made to match my July 1st table runner.  It won't happen tonight because it is actually warm enough that my excuse to not attend my dh's ball game is no longer valid.  It is close to the end of ball season here so I must make an attempt to go to a few games before the end of the month and tonight is the night!  Simple dinner planned and off we go!
Rain is predicted for tomorrow and if it is a wet day, my plan is to drag out all my Christmas fabrics and go through them, deciding what to keep and what to put in my 'for sale' container.  Since I am hoping to be somewhere much warmer at Christmas and I already have a nice stash of suitable fabrics in my 'other' home, I really don't need as much here.  Time to de-stash some more!  

I picked up my 'one' contact lens today for the eye not having surgery and the optometrist's office is a wealth of knowledge.  It was great to chat with the staff there and they reassured me about my upcoming surgery and also explained why I cannot have surgery on one eye and not the other...... the size of what I see in the distance will be completely different in the eye that had surgery vs vision correction with a contact lens.  Interesting conversation and am glad I had to go and get my one contact lens.  Best of all, they didn't charge me for it!  Great office, great optometrist and am glad I am their patient. 

Today was a good laundry day - washed all the barn jackets... gross job but they are hanging on the clothesline and not only look cleaner, they are much brighter.  Another job done off the spring cleaning list. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New day, new blog

I am going to start blogging again and hope to keep my friends up to date with my latest quilting projects, gardening escapades and life around our hobby farm.  With all the rain we have been having, my sewing machine has been purring while I have been stuck inside.

The quilt blocks pictured above were made for a contest at Tom's Sewing.  For every donated block with the theme 'think Spring', your name was entered into a draw for a new sewing machine.
Gee, I didn't win!  But, the blocks are being made into donation quilts so it was a worthy cause and fun to stitch the blocks with signs of summery flowers about to bloom! 

I have also been stitching together some Eleanor Burns, Orion Star blocks.  I taught a class last week to two of my regular students and this is one of the quilts that they wanted to make. The blocks are large and finish at 16" so, once they are made, the quilt will go together quickly and be a Quilt of Valour. 

One of my online quilting groups did a project that we called a weekend ONEder quilt.  Not only was it fun to make, it was fast, easy and a great way to dig into my scraps.  I have been seriously going through fabrics in my stash and setting some aside for selling (cheap!) to friends and guild members and as well, for cutting into strips to use in donation quilts.  Am trying hard to resist buying more fabric when I have lots upstairs!  This will be another Quilt of Valour and will be a project that I am going to teach at the guild in September when I do my 2nd annual QOV workshop.

This fun bag is a tote made from six fat quarters.  A group that invites me to teach a few times a year wanted to make tote bags and I gave them two options.  This one is fun, easy and can be made from those fat quarters that are sitting in your stash and you are wondering what to do with them.  Totally reversible, it is a project perfect for a beginner as well as an experienced quilter.  Makes a great gift as well! 
My funky flower quilt is a work in progress.  My Wednesday Diva group had a block exchange and we each made 11 blocks with one more needing to be made to complete the quilt top. The theme was 'bright' which is one of my favourite fabric choices.  It is patiently waiting to be layered, quilted and bound and I hope to get it finished this month as my name is rapidly approaching the top of the list on my Queen of UFO group.  We get two weeks to finish a project when we become Queen and, if we fail, we owe a penalty fat quarter.  Good motivation to get this finished.  It is better to finish than owe fabric!  
The sun is shining quite nicely now on the Pacific West Coast so gardening is calling my name but my peonies and poppies look glorious.  There are also some rosebuds forming so next pictures will be of my beautiful flowers! 

Have a great week - I know that I feel much happier with this glorious sunshine.