Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Room of One's Own

“It is strange how a scrap of poetry works in the mind and makes the legs 
move in time to it along the road.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own  

 It's been two years in the making, this little space for quilting.  Over this time, there have been Momma strokes, timing frustrations, ridiculous city permit requirements, great cost adding to nothing....  But the time has finally come to create a space of my own.

After spending money to have the property surveyed, building a fence, and then having the city send out questionnaires for approval of converting the garage into a working space, the city gave approval with stipulation that I remove my driveway and would be forced to park on the street.  At that point, I nixed the idea of the garage and asked the contractor to build me a "tiny home."  No permit needed for a house on wheels (yet!).  But as we searched Portland's permit requirements, we found that a stand-alone shed 200 sq ft or under needed no permit.  After initial searching, we found Tuff Shed would build any size desired for a very reasonable price.

And finally the day arrived!  The prefab shed arrived bright and early.  I had to make sure it was definitely mine..I had been disappointed about this building so many times before. 

The space for the shed was ready.  The gravel had been compacted into almost solid concrete.  The builders found it perfectly level.  Everyone was happy.

The base was laid down.

The sides went up quickly.

They had to trim the Dogwood and Hazlenut trees.  Just a little.

Then up went the gables.

Next came the roof.

And the porch roof.

Tarpapering the roof.

Roofing and windows and trim.

I wondered how intrusive it was from the street but found the fir tree and lilac, rhododendron bushes hid it well.  Looks good!
The roofing was the last task for the day.  They returned bright and early the next morning to complete the job.


Everything is caulked to the max, tight and happy.  And we've got doors!

Next step is to have another coat of paint on the building and then to bring in the electrician to start the interior work.  Lots of lights, insulation, wallboard, painting.   Add steps down on this side from the deck, move the hose and water out.  Lay a walkway and add steps into the studio.

Still some work, but it looks cool :)

Virginia Woolf was talking about writing in her essay, but I think it expand to all forms of art.  This is a space of my own to create art in a whole different way.  And it makes me happy :)


Friday, April 15, 2016

Baaaaa Baaaaa She Said Sheepishly

I love a good quilt show.  I also love a not-as-good quilt show, but don't love it as much :)  I try to attend every show that is presented in Portland and then finger-out to other parts of the PNW.  This past weekend a friend and I attended the Clark County Quilters Show at the Clark County Fair Grounds, just north of Vancouver, WA.  Nice show. Smallish but showing gorgeous quilts, wallhangings, and art quilts.

As we wandered the aisles of vendors, I came across Williams Wools and Weaving.  Now I have seen this vendor at most the local shows.  Such cute sheep fabrics!  Such cute sheep figurines! And every time I have visited this vendor, I exclaim, "How cute!  Oh I love this fabric!"  I look at all the sheep figurines, picking one up, setting it down to pick up another.  And then I mosey on down to the next vendor.  

Well this time I didn't just mosey on past.  Oh I still exclaimed how cute everything was.  I still picked up the cute figurines.  But this time I bought fabric!  A cute sheep panel.  Two different sheep fabrics.  This time I had a quilt in mind.

I wanted a white with small blue polka-dot fabric to make the background for the flying geese--yes, I am still on a flying geese frenzy.  I searched all the vendors and could not find any at the show nor at Fabric Depot, where we visited afterwards.  Fortunately I had a white with large dots at home.  It looks pretty good.  And while we were at Fabric Depot, I found the nicest border print of a field full of spring flowers.

So now I have a cute sheep quilt, ready to be sandwiched and quilted.  Just waiting for some child to snuggle.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Making Progress

Doug and Jene and me and Mackenzie and Kaity
Somewhere out there is a family "normal."  I don't have one.  My family is small but large.  In my family is my sons and my daughter-in-law and my grandgirl.  There is my partner and my sister and brother-in-law and their kids and their grands.  My mother and cousins and aunt.  Our stepkids and their kids.  There are my schoolmates and colleagues and a few former boyfriends.  In my family, there are former students and my sons' friends, quilting sisters.  

And none of these people are "normal."  Oh they are weird...well some are, of course.  They are part of my family.  But there are no mass-murders or stalkers (except my sister back in high school...she said she stalked her boyfriend after they broke up, often driving past his house.  But I don't think that was classified as stalking back in 1967, right?).  We don't have any abusers in our family.  We lack our share of bank robbers (although I did steal some colored pencils once when I went to the library in Ontario and needed a pencil...went to a little store next door and realized I had no money.  A pencil was only a nickle but it wasn't sharpened...the colored pencils were sharpened.  I took them.  I was maybe 12.  At 65 I realize I could have asked a librarian for a pencil, but this all seemed logical at the time).  I have met some bank robbers up close and personal, but I have never invited them into my family.

Yesterday was National Sibling Day.  This interesting day started almost 10 years ago.  I am just hearing about it now.  I guess my head hasn't been in the news/the know for a while.  Some people don't have blood siblings or their siblings are no longer with us.  They can create a family of brothers and sisters from all those people in their big family.  We can just Photo Shop you in.

Meanwhile, I am making progress on my Hands Around the World quilt.  I have the moon and the earth finished.  I really like that earth.  Hope no one notices I didn't get Texas's tail in the gulf...  Now on to some stars!  Then I can figure out the sizing for the center to match the little kids holding hands :)

In between handwork, I am still making quilt tops.  This is my latest.  It is a pattern from Eleanor Burns, Quilt in a Day.  She calls it Zippity Quick.  It was :)

Now back to the star applique and to another quilt top I have cut out for sewing.  It is overcast and chilly.  Perfect day for sewing :)


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Hands Around the World

A friend of mine was given a big bag of quilt blocks and fabric.  She doesn't sew and thought I would like to have the big bag of goodies.  HEY!  Who am I to turn down fabric?  When she brought the bag to me, I found 60 little figures--30 girl blocks and 30 boy blocks.  Each block was made scrappy, using different skin, clothing and background colors.  Heaven!

The bag also had some extra fabrics and a pattern the initial sewer had created.  I decided to follow her pattern to a degree, smaller and adjusted to my style.  She had all the boys and girls holding hands around the outside border, with stars and the earth in the center of the quilt.  I set the kiddles around on the design board and thought what I might want to do with the pattern.

I made a season for each of the corners.  Now I will start on the center medallion.  I am not sure how I will make it exactly, so I need to give it some thought.  

Meanwhile, I am making other tops.  I have a collection of 18 finished tops--many of them from friends who send them to me to finish and donate--waiting for the hypothetical quilting shed to be finished.  Hopefully it will arrive toward the end of this month.  Then we get to finish the insides!  Electricity, lighting, insulation, wallboards.  Then the machine will arrive.  And then cabinets and a table.  THEN I should be ready to actually use it ;)

Patience is a virtue...
Patience is a virtue...
Patience is a virtue...