The move in to the new studio begins …

I had intended to make this part of my studio update post, but that turned into such a lengthy novel, I decided to post separately.

Tuesday was our regular meeting day for one of the quilting groups I belong to, and as it was the unveiling of this year’s challenge quilts, my studio walls made a great display space.

Here are a couple of photos of the action – typical of when quilters get together – lots of chatting, oohing and aahhing over the quilts on the walls.

Channel Quilters challenge unveiled

Channel Quilters challenge unveiled

Channel Quilters

The little room at the far end of the main studio, directly below the large triangle window, originally meant to be for storage of all things textile, I have decided is a good place to set up the fabric shop and my market supplies.

Not much happening in there yet,

Fabric corner of shopbut in a week or so I will have all the boxes unpacked and displayed on the tables around the four walls.

I have closed the shop until the New Year, so I can get everything sorted before the Christmas holidays, re-opening the second week of January 2015.

I plan to have a relaxing corner at one end, with my bookcases, sofa and easy chairs.  This will easily convert to a guest room for visitors coming to stay, and the first guests will be our eldest daughter and her family, who live overseas, home for Christmas. :-)

Studio building update – dramas and smiles

It’s all happening here now.   The carpets were laid last week -

Carpet and vinyl to the left

Wet working area with grey vinyl surround

Vinyl bottom left of picture with grey and red carpets

Vinyl bottom left of picture with grey and red carpets

All the greys are soft and delicate to go with the colour of the window and door frames.  The red strip of carpet greets you as you step in the door.  It was such a beautiful rich colour that I fell in love with it when I saw it in the shop and had to have it.  Common sense took over of course and I went for the pale grey for most of the studio especially along below the design walls, so there were no distractions for the eye from what would be hanging on the wall, but I did get some red along in front of the doors and windows, I love it :-)

We did get the ceiling fans and lights in place just in time before the carpet was laid – we didn’t want the scaffolds being pulled around on the new carpet!

Installing ceiling an lights

Installing ceiling an lights

Fan blades fold in when not working

Fan blades fold in when not working

Then the plumbers arrived.  Chaos reigned for a few days while new water lines were installed, replacing the old and already existing pipes under the house.  Every now and then the cry would come up from under the floor boards, “Don’t turn any taps on for half an hour!”

Then it was the drainage that had to be changed over – one day we had the toilet in the house, laundry tubs and the shower that we could use, next day it was only the studio toilet, laundry and kitchen and the message would be “Don’t press the button or pull the plug anywhere!”

The last bit of drainage work under the house was changing the pipes under the old toilet, from the old terra cotta to the new poly-pipes.  We were warned what could happen, and of course it did – in chipping the concrete away from the pipe the bowl broke near the base – not repairable -

Broken toilet

There's a hole in the floor, dear Henry....

There’s a hole in the floor, dear Henry dear Henry ….

so it was off to the plumbing shop to get a replacement, actually able to get the same as the one in the studio – we now have matching loos !!

All new loo

While this drama was happening, outside everything went quite smoothly.  The new tank rolled easily from truck to new resting place on its gravel bed,

Manoeuvring water tank

Manoeuvring water tank

Tank safe on new bed of gravel

Tank safe on new bed of gravel

and the local water carrier came with a truck load of water to hold the tank in place so it wouldn’t move in  the wind – tank will hold 5,000 gallons and 2,000 is enough to keep it anchored in place until all the pipes are in place.

Transferring water from truck to tank

Transferring water from truck to tank

New drainage lines with gravel bedding

New drainage lines with gravel bedding

Meanwhile the outside looks much like it did last time I took a photo, still no deck, hopefully, touch wood, and all things crossed, we will have it before Christmas.

Studio today

Studio today

Till next time, keep smiling :-)

Another UFO is finished and studio update

Remember this quilt from a year or more ago?

Tunnel quilt original photo 2013

Tunnel quilt original photo 2013

Which I cut the photo into strips and played around with it – read about it in this blog from January 2013 .

Tunnel quilt

Ready for quilting

Well, a couple of weeks ago I looked at it again, quilting finished (and no photos of that :-(  ), but there was too much colour in it,  tunnels are dark and mysterious, not bright and colourful as this.

After auditioning various organza and tulle overlays, I decided that painting might be the answer.  Out came the paints – bother, no transparent black only very thick opaque which wouldn’t do at all.  Light bulb moment – Indian Ink :-) After trialling various glitter/pearl type paints, I found this watercolour medium in the local art supply store.

Ink and sparkle

Ready to go

Ready to go

One and a half bottles of ink later, diluted at 3:1 with a few drops of the iridescent medium added to each mix of ink,  and painting it twice to get the depth of darkness I wanted, I added some pearl splashes to the area of the tunnel floor.

Those bright pinks and blues are more subtle browns now.  There is quite a lot of “water sparkle” on the fabric which isn’t showing in the photo, but very visible in sunlight.

Tunnel quilt finished

Painting finished and tunnel transformed

Close-up

Close-up

Now to finish off – do I bind it in the same fabric as the bars, or do I make a facing on the back? I don’t think this is a quilt to use the overlocker on.

Pinned on the wall now, so I can walk past it and think about it for a week or so.

STUDIO UPDATE -

The studio is still waiting to be finished and occupied.  The plumber was expected 2 Monday’s ago, hopefully it will be third time lucky – next Monday.  We can’t “occupy” until the building inspector says so, and the plumbing has to be done before that, even though it is an extension of an already existing occupied dwelling!

The fan lights for the ceiling have arrived, and when they have been installed (electrician needs to use the scaffolds to get up to the peak), we can go ahead with ordering the floor coverings.

Keep smiling – I’m trying to :-)

Let’s take a walk in the Spring garden

Bluebells

Blue iris

Tulip magnolia

Red pelargonium and blue forget-me-nots

Jonquils

Birthday candle bush

Wisteria with bumble bee

Blushing bride

Pink daisies

Pansies

Cheers, Sue.  :-)

New studio – in for the weekend and out again on Monday

The Channel Art Trail with it’s exhibitions and open studios happened over this last weekend.  Although my studio is still in a state of “not quite finished”, the builders were very good and vacated for a couple of days so that we could set up our displays.  The weather had been pretty awful in the days leading up, and there was mud everywhere, as is commonly the case on building sites.

To enable access to the front door, as the deck has not been built on yet, a temporary catwalk was constructed from old pallets and sheets of flooring, with a door mat either end, it worked very well.  The photos can tell you the story.

Pondering the next step

Pondering the next step

Add a few more pallets and another plank

Add a few more pallets and another plank

A little later and nearly to hard ground

A little later and nearly to hard ground

And on Saturday the sun came out :-)

Early morning outside after the clean up

Early morning outside after the clean up

Meanwhile inside a lot had been happening.  First the ‘soft’ design wall had to be constructed – a layer of cotton quilt batting glued directly to the styrene wall, and several lengths of heavy curtain lining called bumf (spelling?) which is like a very fine woven but thick flannelette fabric sewn together and stretched down the length of the wall, 7.5m down one wall and 3m on the shorter wall.  We tested the strength with a heavy bed quilt pinned with only 3 pins in the top – wonderful, even without the pins it stuck to the wall! Then we covered it over with black plastic so that no plaster or paint would splash on to it.

Here’s some more pictures.

Styrene wall ready for covering

Styrene wall ready for covering

First layer is cotton quilt batting

First layer is cotton quilt batting

 

Multi-skilled builder handy with the iron

Multi-skilled builder handy with the iron

Ready for the top layer of bumf

Ready for the top layer of bumf (or bumph ?)

Top layer before final stretching and stapling

Top layer before final stretching and stapling

And we only used 2 cans of glue

And we only used 2 cans of glue

Test strength with heavy quilt - only needed 3 pins at the top

Test strength with heavy quilt – only needed 3 pins at the top

Design wall covered with plastic for the plasterers

Design wall covered with plastic for the plasterers

Cleaning plaster scraps from floor

Cleaning plaster scraps from floor

Happy to watch this paint dry

Happy to watch this paint dry

Looks so lovely and clean

Looks so lovely and clean

A large empty space full of potential ready and waiting -

First load of boxes arrive

First load of boxes arrive

This is outside

This is outside

One end for Jen

And inside – one end for Jen

And the other end for me

And the other end for me

Plenty of room for displays

Plenty of room for displays

More of Jen's work

More of my work

Demonstration tables

Demonstration tables

Entrance catwalk

Entrance catwalk

Directional bunting

Directional bunting

The view outdoors

The view outdoors

 

Some of my collections

Some of my collections of quirky teapots and old irons – tiny ones are for lace

And lastly, what it looked like after the removalists arrived – we had to empty the space for the builders to come back at 7am on Monday to get on with the plastering

Removalists moved in

Removalists moved in

Next morning the plasterers were back at it

Next morning the plasterers were back at it

Thank you for reading this far, it has been a very long post, there was a lot I wanted to tell you about.

Keep smiling :-)

 

Best of Show and the Craft Fair

It is a whole week since the Craft Fair and Quilt Show in Hobart, and I have come down to ground level once more after having the honour of having my art quilt judged first in the Art-Professional category and then Best of Show in the Tas Quilting Guild’s Island Quilts quilt show in Hobart.  For my regular readers, you may remember I wrote about it last year when I was creating it, and when it appeared as my centrepiece at the Deloraine Craft Fair

Heavens Above

Heavens Above – Fireworks series #2

My prize was a Bernina 750QE -

Bernina 750QE

Bernina 750QE

It’s bigger than my old Bernina 1230, which I have used for more than 25 years. The sewing table just isn’t big enough now, (it was a school desk in a former life)  – I think that’s a good enough reason to have something larger and specially built in the new studio don’t you?

As a first timer at the Craft Fair with my shop, I think I did quite well, and might seriously think about it again next year

Flowerpot Quilts at the Craft Fair, Hobart

Flowerpot Quilts at the Craft Fair, Hobart

Till next time, keep warm :-)

 

 

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   :-)