Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Glass Work Area

While our plan today had been to clean the main living area for a visit from Sharon's father, we got sidetracked cleaning the basement. We should have taken a "before" picture, but in truth it was so very cluttered we wouldn't have wanted to post the photo anyway. We had a lot of recycling piling up all over the place and plenty of  disorganized piles of "stuff." After spending many hours today, we imposed some order.

While we were at it, we decided to set up a space to start work on our leaded glass panels. We pulled our glass grinder and other tools from the storage area and got them organized and ready. (This space was formally occupied by the furnace and water heater, so moving them in the remodel really opened up this side of the basement.)

Now, we just need to track down the final materials to get started on this exciting new project. We're running out of time to get it done by spring, so we'll probably miss our self-imposed deadline.

And we still must clean the upstairs rooms by tomorrow afternoon....

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quilt Blocks Finished!

The rest of the blocks have been assembled!!

Alas, Sharon needs to build a couple more blocks to replace the last two. The Michigan Beauty square was difficult to put together and it didn't turn out very well. Sharon may just make a different square to replace it.

Also, the St. Louis Star was a disaster. Some of the pieces must have been cut out wrong, or assembled wrong, because the center bows out and the square doesn't iron flat. Sharon already took this one apart once and tried to reassemble, but while it got slightly better, it still is unacceptable. This one will definitely need to be replaced. (But not for several days as we're expecting Sharon's father and step-mother to come visit for a couple days this week.)
Kentucky Chain, ca. 1906
Butterfly at the Cross, ca. 1906
Farmer's Daughter, 1901
Union Star, ca. 1906

Vice President's Quilt, ca. 1897
Northumberland Star, ca. 1906

Aunt Anna's Album Block, ca. 1906
Lewis & Clark, ca. 1906

Nameless, ca. 1906
Squire Smith's Choice, ca. 1906
Bachelor's Puzzle, 1897

Star of Beauty, ca. 1906
Uncle Sam's Hour Glass, ca. 1906

St. Louis Star, ca. 1906
Michigan Beauty, ca. 1906

1904 Star, ca. 1906
Replacement block:
Nelson's Victory, ca. 1906

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Furniture FINALLY Arrived!

Sharon is very pleased with the quality of the furniture. Though, it would have been nice if the pieces had arrived closer to 30 days as originally advertised, rather than three months. We were also pleased to discover all those cushions pop right off, so it will be easier to clean and replace the fabric, when necessary.
We're probably going to do more rug juggling later today or tomorrow. We're planning to try that burgundy rug — rejected from the dining room — in this room.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Quilt Progress

Sharon made good progress on her quilt squares this weekend. She finished the last 10 of the filler squares and then 10 of the historic blocks. The going has been fairly slow at the beginning because she is going through and cutting all the pieces of a particular fabric in descending size order. She builds squares as she finds she has all the pieces cut.
Sarah's Choice, ca. 1906
Mrs. Lloyd's Favorite, ca. 1906

Mrs. Roosevelt's Favorite, ca. 1906
Shooting Star, ca. 1906

Solitaire, ca. 1906
Grandma's Star, ca. 1906

Pinwheel Square, ca. 1897
Bird's Nest, 1897

Flying Cloud, ca. 1906
Air Castle, ca. 1897

Update on Monday: 6 more!
Handy Andy, 1897
Hull's Victory, ca. 1906

Chain and Bar, ca. 1906
Four X Star, 1897

Gentleman's Fancy, 1897
Best of All, ca. 1906

Update on Tuesday: Another productive day of sewing!
Frank Leslie Design, ca. 1871
Mosaic No. 5, 1897

Red Cross, ca. 1906
Diamond Ring, ca. 1906

Godey Design, 1869
Mosaic No. 1, ca. 1897

Scotch Squares, Jan 1913
St. Valentine, ca. 1906

Scrap, ca. 1906

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mia's Bird Cage Arrived

We received our replacement bird cage today! Even with the mistake, the folks at Designer Aviaries were lovely to work with. We're quite happy with the new cage.
Large Classic Bird Cage by Designer Aviaries
It took some coaxing to get Mia inside, but she'll get used to it soon enough.
Sharon also got a message that our living room furniture has finally shipped.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quilt Block Preparation

After spending a couple frustrating hours stripping paint this morning, Sharon decided to take the afternoon off and do something fun. So she spent this cold, snowy afternoon preparing for sewing her historic quilt blocks.

She went into full organization-mode and printed out the rolling cutting directions and templates for all 43 blocks and organized them in a binder in plastic sheet protectors.

Then she went the further obsessive step and made a spreadsheet listing the blocks and their fabric cuts. Then she made a separate table for each fabric which listed the blocks which used particular size cuts. Each table looks like this:
She's planning to work from the widest cuts to the thinnest.  She's hoping by coming up with the list of blocks that use, for example, 2¾" navy/rust strips, that she'll be able to cut those pieces all at once and hopefully waste less fabric that way.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Paint Stripping: How Much is Enough?

Sharon has been trying to decide how much paint stripping to do in the master bedroom. She spent another 14+ hours this week carefully going over half the the woodwork in the room, scraping and digging paint out of nooks and crannies.

But there is always the decision about how much is enough. There are some spots that refuse to strip clean without removing the woodwork. The paint is so embedded in the wood the only way to remove it would be to sand down through the upper layers or dig it out, probably noticeably damaging the wood.

We'll probably have to settle for leaving these spots as is and just stain over them.

Hopefully Sharon will have the energy to spend this next week finishing up this room.