Catching up with the latest news building the studio

A lot has happened since I last posted – life gets in the way when you are very busy.

The studio construction seems to be never ending, stop and go and stop again, usually because it is raining, again!  which is what happened when the builders were ready to build the roof frame, then again when the windows arrived, and again this week when the sheets of tin were delivered last week and the laden truck has been sitting in the yard waiting for the weather to change.  Yes, winter has arrived with a vengeance.

Roof frame ready for the iron

Roof frame ready for the iron

Inside looking up - it's big

Inside looking up – it’s big

Re-aligning house roof to meet extension roof

Flat roof is on, now for the gable

The builders knocked off at lunch time today and won’t be back until the weather clears, who knows when.

In the meantime, stay warm :-)

 

 

Striped batik bargello

Over the last little while, fabrics I ordered last November at the Quilt Market in Melbourne have begun to arrive.
This one is from Batik Australia in Queensland, and is one of their striped batiks which lend themselves perfectly to be a background fabric for applique or to become a one fabric bargello.

Striped batik colour Sky

Striped batik – colour Sky 30

Using this fabric, I decided to design and make my own bargello.

Cutting 2.5m from the bolt,  I then cut out strips across the fabric, in widths from 2″ to 3″, then down to 1″ and back up to 3″, then down to 1″ again, and so on, finishing with a 2″ strip about 50 in total.

Cutting into strips across the fabric

Cutting into strips across the fabric

The strips were carefully pinned in order onto the wall so it looked like the original fabric.

Carefully pinned on wall

Carefully pinned on wall

Then moved carefully strip by strip a couple of inches in an up or down direction to create the design.

Strips moved up and down

Strips moved up and down

The hallway is too narrow to view the whole quilt from the doorway opposite.  A sideways view down the hall gives a better idea of the design. The blurred lines where the colour changes on the fabric give it a very soft shadow look to the lines.

Viewed from side

Viewed from side

Then when stitching the strips together, I made sure that each strip was exactly 2″ up or down from the previous, as you would if actually matching seams in a traditionally made bargello design.

First section sewn, looks quite different

First section sewn, looks quite different

In the dim area of the hallway, the stitched design has an almost tartany look to it.  This is 23 strips sewn,  not quite half way – the 2.5m will have shrunk a lot by the time I finish.

Then to decide how I can end up with a rectangle – I have a couple of  ideas on this – one very simple, and I end up with a small quilt or go with the more complicated design and be much larger – decisions, decisions …  I do want a large quilt with this one, so … I’ll keep you posted.

I’m still smiling (I think) :-)

P.S. Bargello patterns to use with Batik Australia’s fabric are designed by Christine Forrester. I have the Twin Peaks pattern available for sale, along with the fabric. Email me for details.

Week 5 building update

Things moved fast this week, the next layer of concrete was poured Tuesday afternoon, and you can read about it here on Jen’s blog – http://jenbeads.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/home-renovations-part-2/ with several pictures. Easier to do that than do the same on here

(If the link didn’t work for you, try removing   http:/  before the jenbeads in the address)

Once the scaffolding was off, you could get a better idea of what the building was going to look like inside, and how big.

Clean white walls

Clean white walls

Driveway entrance

Driveway entrance

A slight re-calculation on door placement meant cutting out a bit of wall

Oops, doorway moved a bit

Oops, doorway moved a bit

After the lovely sunny afternoon for the concrete, the weather changed and we had several days of mizzle (misty drizzle), not enough to stop work but you could feel the moisture everywhere.
Anyway, by the end of the week everyone was walking a couple of inches higher carrying clay under their boots

The ladder says it all

The ladder says it all

By Friday, the window frames and roof line for the study and storeroom were in place, and some of the flooring had arrived – to left of picture below.

Window framing

Window framing

Floors happen this week I think, which will make it easier to work on scaffolds on a firm flat surface instead of the uneven dirt base at present.

There’s been  no rain over the weekend so far, and we hope it continues that way.  I know everyone wants lots of autumn rains, which would be nice if there was one big umbrella sitting over Flowerpot!

Keep smiling :-):-)

 

 

 

Update on building the studio

This last week has seen the walls rise very rapidly after the second concrete pour to fill the walls up to floor level.
This is what it looks like inside the wall -

View inside the wall before concrete

View inside the wall before concrete

Stage 1 - waiting for concrete pour

Stage 1 – ready and waiting for concrete pour

Pouring concrete into the wall cavity

Pouring concrete into the wall cavity

All hands at work cleaning surfaces before concrete sets

All hands at work cleaning surfaces before concrete sets

Next layer on the way up.

Next layer on the way up.

Inside main rood

Inside main room

Inside looking out

Inside looking out

Scaffolding ready for the next pour

Scaffolding ready for the next pour

Meantime, while we wait for the concrete pour, the job is to remove the existing outside walls in readiness for the transformation to a connecting passageway.  From this -

Removing wall

Removing wall

to this in a few short hours -

A pile of bricks

A pile of bricks

and after a couple of hours with a tractor and several pallets,  it now looks like this -

Exposed walls

Exposed walls

The other side of those walls is our bedroom, so we hope that the weather doesn’t get too cold or damp before the new walls are up.  Where the little window now is will be the entrance door linking the house to the new building.

Exciting times, keep smiling   :-)

A bit of this and a bit of that

It is officially autumn (fall), we should be having nice warm days and cool nights, but the weather man has been sending us hot days and warm nights like we should have been having in January and February. Still, we can’t really complain, it has been known to be quite wintry at this time of the year.
The one thing that is normal is the sunrises we have seen lately. Here are a couple of them

Sunrise halo

Sunrise halo

Early sunrise

Early sunrise

In the garden, the raspberries are still fruiting, and the nectarines and plums are about ready.  Usually the tomatoes are nearly finished by now, but this picture shows the first red tomatoes this year, only a few days ago !

From the garden

Now that Woodbridge Market is only on the 4th Sunday of the month, I have gone back to Kingston Beach Market on the 2nd Sundays again. This will keep me busy with 2 different markets per month instead of the same market twice a month.

One of the popular scarves I have at the markets is the silk organza with cotton balls woven through the silk, known affectionately as “spotties”.  They are also very popular at Lime Design of Salamanca gallery and sell there for $59.00.

Delicate spotty organza scarf

Delicate spotty organza scarf

Some more spotty organza scarves

Some more spotty organza scarves

Some silk/satin devore and crepe de chine scarves

Some silk/satin devore and crepe de chine scarves

Monday was a public holiday to celebrate Labour Day or 8-hour day.  Being a day off for the builders, we decided to go for a drive and have lunch somewhere “up the road”.  There are 2 new cafes at Margate, 20 minutes north of here – we would try one of them.  Arrived at the first one – no sign out the front and the door was closed as was the carpark.  200m down the road to the next one – no flags flying outside – also closed.

Okay, over to Sandfly and the Huon Highway, there’ll be something open down that way.  The sign at the junction of the highway and Dip Road said open 7 days – that’s a good sign.  2km down the road, the flags were flying, and the carpark was 3/4 full, children playing on the lawns – good, we’ll try here.  A Slice of Pie café is fairly new, but we had heard good reviews.  Blackboard menu of a choice of homemade pies, quiche or soup, with a delicious side salad, and not expensive either, and very family friendly.

Although deep in the valley below the highway at Mountain River, the view was interesting – right next door was an apple orchard looking like it is ready for harvest, the back drop being the mountains behind Mt Wellington, in particular the one known as the Sleeping Beauty. This is the “head”, the length of her body can be seen from further south at Huonville.  It is very picturesque in winter when covered in snow.

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

I think I have rambled on for long enough, time now for my supper.  My next post will be an update on the building progress.

Keep smiling :-)

Building update

First truckload of cement

First truckload of cement

Monday afternoon, this was the first of 4 truckloads of cement – you don’t realise how big these trucks are until one parks right in front of you.  I am standing in the doorway of the house, and you can see the edge of the verandah roof at the top right corner of the picture.

Lucy kept a close eye on everything happening

Lucy kept a close eye on everything happening

Trenches all filled

Trenches all filled

Day 7 early morning

Early morning preparation for wall construction

It is a new method of wall construction which goes together just like lego blocks.

Wall panels stacked ready

Wall panels stacked ready

Styrene panels are locked together and concrete will be poured down the centre.

First wall and 2 layers joined together

First wall and 2 layers joined together

End of day 7 - walls so far

End of day 7 – walls so far

Result will be solid walls, with high insulation rating.  Outside surface will be a paint render, while the inside will have plaster as usual.

Exciting times ahead. :-)

New studio – week 1

Here we go – everything is happening so quickly, hopefully the weather stays good for the next few weeks.
End of day 1 – marking out the wall lines

Where the building will come to

Where the building will come to

End of day 2 – a lot of dirt was shifted to get this big flat hole

Dug down to floor level

Dug down to floor level

End of day 3 – Beginning of trenches for footings and first holes

Shape of building with first trenches

Shape of building with first trenches

End of day 4 – all trenches and holes finished

Holes and trenches done

Holes and trenches all done

While all this activity is happening outside, I have had time to be working in the sewing room.  I am putting together a couple of kits to go with quilt patterns by Leesa Chandler.  Photos and story next time.

:-)

My new studio – it’s happening, yeay!

The dream started over 20 years ago, but something always got in the way.  When we were farming, any spare money went on new tractors, new tree planting, irrigation schemes, etc.  Now we are retired, the dream is finally becoming a reality.

This afternoon the builders arrived and began laying out lines ready for the digger tomorrow morning.

First boundary marker goes in

First boundary marker goes in (right where my car is usually parked)

 We thought everything would fit nicely into the lawn space, but  it was just a tad bigger …

Outside wall will be over the driveway

Outside wall will be right over the driveway

I’ll keep you posted :-)

 

 

Summer quilting

With the temperature expected to climb into the thirties this week, I decided to spend time in the sewing room, on the shady side of the house and definitely cooler after 11am.

The result of 2 days work – the purple quilt finished but for the binding and that will happen tomorrow. It is 13 x 13 blocks, about 6″ square each, fabrics are mostly batiks, one Jelly Roll plus extra fabric equivalent to about half a J.R. and the purple for the sashing and border.

Purple quilt

Purple quilt

and a close-up of the quilting -

Purple quilt close-up

Purple quilt close-up

I ditch stitched vertically beside the purple sashing, then free-motion quilted down the rows, with a flower in the horizontal blocks and gum leaves in the vertical blocks, which are of course alternate blocks, and this gives the quilt even more movement.  Also, the actual quilting never got boring with repetition as it sometimes can, because of the alternating blocks, and by the time I got to the last row, it took only 12 minutes to stitch the row.

After this quilt, I will be back to dyeing scarves, making book covers and small purses, and anything else I can think of ready for Middleton Country Fair, which is less than 3 weeks away. By now there are usually a number of scarecrows starting to appear along the highway ready for the competition, but so far I’ve seen two only.

At Woodbridge market on Sunday, one stallholder was selling lovely bunches of basil with roots, with the biggest leaves I’ve ever seen.  Of course I had to take home a couple of bunches.

Yesterday, I snipped the leaves from the stems, piled them on a couple of oven trays and left them in the back window of the car in the sun for a few hours.  By the time they had dried out, the volume had shrunk incredibly -

Dried basil leaves

Dried basil leaves

They’re now in a jar in the pantry ready for use. I do love the smell and taste of  basil in salads as well as meat dishes – mmmmm!

The roots have been planted in the hot house, so here’s hoping they grow again.

Keep smiling, Sue.  :-)

A new day, a new year, a new …

Here it is 2014 already, my special year, and the calendar is fairly busy already.
This time a year ago I promised myself that I would do something about my UFO collection. All was going well, until those disastrous fires down at Dunalley, south east Tasmania … and for the next three months I was busy (with several friends helping) making quilts for some of those left homeless. After that I hardly sewed a thing of any importance, my life was taken up with overseas travel, being web manager for the quilting guild, and dyeing silk scarves to build up some stock for the Deloraine Craft Fair, and for lime gallery of Salamanca where they are mostly going now.
I am again looking to do lots of stitching and quilting, making a serious dent in that UFO pile. The one I am working on at the moment, I admit, I started a couple of weeks ago. It needs a plain border, narrow and purple, and then it will be ready for quilting.

purple quilt

purple quilt

Then I will get back to this one – the quilting lines already marked with a white pen, which hopefully has not become permanent on the fabric waiting for me to sew and remove.

Tunnel quilt

Tunnel quilt

And the Black Holes quilt – which I don’t have a current photo of -

Black holes before embellishment

Black holes before embellishment

and my red quilt which is waiting for a silhouette to be appliqued on it -

Red quilt

Red quilt

I decided it was time to change the look of my blog, with a new header and layout, what do you, my readers, think?

Happy New Year to everyone :-)