I’m workin on it

You keep asking about our studio…..  I’m workin on it!  Not done, but have made tons of progress.

Here it is an hour ago, with still lots to do.

View from the main entry to studio:

Hey, it’s quittin time boss!  After 7 and still working?

Yeah, I knocked off early.  Here is my machine. I get terrific side light from those windows.

This is the main entry to the studio.  The white shelf doesnt belong there, nor does the empty small brown bookshelf.  They both need to find their proper homes yet.  Hopefully the card table will eventually be replaced by a desk.

Ok, over there, where Steve sees out the windows….. he also sees all my crap.  I’m workin on it i tell ya!

Catching up

My friends Sally and Paul just left.  They had to come over to see if I had been taken over by The Blob.  No, but I have felt like a blob!

I think the last couple weeks caught up with me.  I was too overwhelmed for a couple of days to do much of anything.  But several days of naps and a little retail therapy got me back into a more normal (for me) state.

So…… the addition is coming along well.  Drywall done.

Painter starts Monday.  Heat/AC should be set Mon as well.  My bathroom should be ready for us to have real showers Monday.  The drywall should be done in the bath too.  Really all that is left to do is paint, floor, lights, and trim after Monday.  And all the painting outside.  And finishing the rest of the bathroom ourselves.  And the living room wall.  And and and and and….. you know how it goes.

They started this job 7 weeks ago.  Can you believe how fast it has gotten done?  I cant.  The contractor said today how slow this job has been.  He is normally in and out of a job in 4 wks or less.  But this job has had some major differences.  The biggest difference for him is having so much of his Amish crew off because of Benny getting hurt in the accident.  He is home now, doing better.  We are so thankful for that.  He still has alot of recovery time ahead of him, but the docs thing he will be ok.

The part for my machine came today, so Steve got it on and fixed for me.  He is my miracle worker mechanic jack of all trades.  Think I better keep him around another week or 2.

Steve started haying this week.  He cut some Tues, raked Wed, (it got rained on a little Wed) raked and baled some yesterday.  Then it rained.  Alot.  He was not happy about that.  But, we didnt get flooded like Iowa either.

My babies will be home for a day next week.  I can hardly wait.  I dont get to see Neil and Yvonne and the kids more than twice a year usually.  It is always such fun to spend some time with them, regardless of how little or much time it is.  We hope we have good weather so we can visit Deer Park.  Elizabeth loved it last year, and would like to go back.   I think William should do well there too.  Lots of shade, lots to look at, and  he is happy in his stroller.

I am also looking forward to giving Yvonne her sewing/embroidery machine.  It is not a surprise, but it will be fun to share with her something I love so much.  She sounds excited about it too.

Oh!  that retail therapy??  Thank goodness for online shopping huh?

These are mostly Michael Miller.  Im not into licking fabric like some of you are, but I wouldnt pass up rolling around in some of this.  Most of the fat quarters are Fairy Frost.

And these next ones…. I have coveted this fabric for too long.  When I found it on sale, I had to do it.  I am still looking for the same kind of fabric (same fruit ladies) that are in squares, on point.  If you see any, let me know.  Only place I have seen it online is wholesale, by the bolt.  I dont want a bolt, only 2 yards.

Arent they hysterical??

So which kind of fruit butt are you??

Worse before better

They say it gets worse before it gets better.  That was true today.  I really should have left for the day, but couldnt.  Somebody had to be here to take care of a couple clients.  And Steve was way too dirty for that today.

The heating/plumbing guys came this am, bright and early.  They dove right in… not realizing what all they had to do.  Ugh.  I bet they said more than just ugh.  Actually, I think we all said more than ugh.

No pictures of the heater or a/c for the addition.  But here are some pics of the process in the old part of the house.

Yep, that was black mold.  He said they find it everywhere they ever pull out an old tub.  EVERYwhere.  Not just at my house.  Somehow, I took comfort in that.  So the black mold is gone.  GONE from my house.  YAY!  And so is that little tub. YAY!  YAY!

Yep, that was a jackhammer he was using to remove bricks that were under the wall.  The whole wall will be moved about 2 feet to make room for a standard sized tub/shower.  But he had to get through the brick to make room for the plumbing under the tub.  And the existing plumbing under there had come DISconnected, so the tub drained right into the gravel and down into the dirt….and tree roots.  So that is all cleaned out too.  YAY.  And new plumbing will make the shower water drain INto the septic tank.  YAY.

This is the expanded hole.

They also decided to rip out the ceiling and redo the existing ductwork.  YAY.  The fan is there to dry out some of the floor where it got wet and where they cleaned up some spilled fuel oil.

So…. I quilted today.  Quilted through the smell of fuel oil, the sound of jack hammering, the dust and filth of removing partial wall and ceiling and tub, and guys in and out.  And I survived.  YAY.

And best of all?  Tomorrow I might have a new tub installed.  YAY!

The other best thing?  We found a guy to lay the tile AND paint the inside.  YAY! YAY!


We are on baby watch… I have bets on tonite, since it is a full moon.  This will be Chrissy’s first calf.  We are hoping all goes well when the time comes.


Artistically, I have been immersed in Laura Cater-Woods new book “Idea to Image: Tempting Your Muse”.  I am also starting a class with her this weekend.  I am looking forward to it.

busy busy

My busy Bizzy Elizabeth called me up yesterday.  What a delight to hear my 4 year old granddaughter on the phone say Hi Grandma Gayle… and continue to laugh and tell me what she was doing, what William was doing, and all sorts of other things.  Calls like that are like gold to me.

We have had a busy weekend.  Yesterday we went to find vinyl tile for our addition.  We have looked several places and not found anything we I thought we could live with for the next 10 or 20 years.  Yesterday we finally did.  Of course finding helpful help at Home Depot is always a trick.  They didnt have enough tile…… oh yes we do….. oh, but I cant find it…… oh here it is.  sigh.  that took an hour to get that far!  If we lived somewhere else, we may have driven a few blocks to a different big box with more questionable help…. but that’s not an option.  So I was patient and Steve had time to browse every aisle.

Since you asked Judy, here is a picture of 4 of the tiles just laid together.  Paper backing still on, but it gives you a good idea.  We use the tile to measure batting when we cut it, so this pattern will work for increments of 6″, as well as a foot.  Yay!

I have also spent some time with my dahlia quilt this weekend.  I have most of it put together now.  I havent decided what to do about borders yet.

Today I was multi-tasking.   While machine embroidering most of the day, I also loaded a quilt for Steve, did dishes, made lunch and supper, and did 4 loads of laundry.  It is too hot today (3rd day of 90 degrees, 90% humidity…and more of them to come) too hot to even think about going outside.  Heat and humidity do me in.  Cant breathe, cant walk, cant function.  So I closed the curtains and stayed in the a/c.  I am anxious for the central air to be installed in the coming weeks.

Here is the applique I have been doing on my embroidery machine.  These designs are from JuJu, one of my favorite embroidery design sites.  This will be a quilt top for a client.  There will be 12 blocks, I got 8 done today.

Whatcha think Sammi?  I was thinking of you today when I stitched these blocks out.  The bees even have their antennae on them!

This will be a busy week too.  The workers will be working on the drywall, hopefully the heating contractor will be here, I will be quilting and Steve hopes to cut hay.

Heat+humidity+hay= lets book an airline ticket to Utah!

Back roads

We took a drive today…. all back roads.  I took so many pictures my batteries died.

I knew I wanted to go to an old barn that fell down.  Steve has known about it for a couple years, but I just discovered it a few weeks ago.

And he wanted to take me to see this pond/tree/shed that he loves.  I had never been on this road.  I think I was on about 10 different roads I had never been on before.

I made him stop as soon as I saw this tree.  It is a sycamore, fairly rare in this area.  Steve thinks we need one.

Oh, but it was even prettier from the other side!

This old house is on a road that neither of us had ventured down before.

Hope your weekend was great.  We are re-charged and ready for a busy week ahead of us.  Lots of quilts to do, a building to work on, and Steve is preparing for hay season.  Oh joy.

I did get the next several hours of listening enjoyment loaded on my mp3 player.  I am in the middle of Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs.  It has been entertaining, poignant and profound.  It is rare for me to laugh out loud due to a book, but this one has me laughing raucously.  Thanks for the recommendation Adam!

Ready for Concrete

The men have worked so hard…… and finally we are ready for concrete tomorrow.  The rough electrical work is in…the part that had to be done before concrete can be poured.

The west side:

And the east side…..which I think will be my favorite morning spot before long.

The dream is becoming reality, right before our eyes!


Doors are in.  Took a little extra work…….

yes, that’s a chainsaw!  That vertical beam he is trimming is over 100 yrs old, hand hewn.  Not perfectly straight or square.  Actually, that one was a touch twisted.  He needed to “trim” it a little.

And my new french door is in:

I am really liking it!

This next one is so you can see 2 more new doors….. looking east at west side of house:

Next is the north side of garage….

And last, the front of the house.  I am facing west, taking the picture of the east side of the building.  Man, thats alot to paint.  AFTER Steve finishes siding the oldest part of the house.

Makes me tired to think about all that painting.  Anybody want to volunteer to come help?  Paintbrushes, paint, food, drink, sleeping bag and air mattress provided.  And certainly lots of time for visiting.  All volunteers gladly accepted.


Wonder what this pretty bug is?  I think I will go do a little internet research to see if I can find out.

Gravel and windows

couple of quick shots from last friday.  we thought they werent coming to work for a few days this week…. but the hammers started at 7am this morning!

today we are getting doors.  i’m trying (not too successfully) to quilt while the gal is here cleaning, the men are tearing out the living room door and replacing it with a new one, a chain saw is running…..

you get the picture.

have a good one!

Tyvek, siding and shingles, OH MY!

Tyvek, siding and shingles.  All in a day.  OH MY!  These guys are my heroes.  They work so well, so hard, so quickly.

Anybody need a piece of Tyvek?  I kept all the pieces that were cut out for doors and windows.  And they cut a whole roll down to size that they handed me too.  They just did not understand why I would want that.  Then I took out my triptych piece that DebL made and showed it to them.  They were so surprised that it was made of Tyvek!  And gathered up even more for me!  How much should I send you Deb?

We were SO SO happy to see the original crew back today.  The 2nd crew we had on Mon and Tues were terrific too…. and yesterday  all the crews worked elsewhere.  But the fact that the original guys were back meant that the family hit by the drunk driver was doing better.  All 4 kids are home now.  The 2 boys are doing well.  The 2 little girls will be recovering for some time with broken bones to heal.  But home is good, right?  Their Daddy is still in ICU, but improving.  The Grandpa is the foreman of the original crew.  How wonderful to see him.  How wonderful that he is feeling good about going to work after days of sitting in hospitals with family members.

Doesnt that picture above look like they are making a mess?  They were kidding about the mess today.

So after their mess was cleaned up, they asked Steve to clean up HIS mess!  He had a bunch of little bark and wood smut stuff from his firewood pile that needed to be cleaned up.   Where Steve is raking, is exactly where the pile of gravel goes.  Then they will move the gravel inside with the skid steer.  Concrete floor gets poured on top of the gravel.

Above is from the street…… looking west.

One below is looking south.

The most fun thing today was that the building crew came inside to see what we do.  They were just amazed at those BIG sewing machines!  All of them have wives or Mothers that quilt….. but one of them has a wife that quilts alot.  And is quite good at it, according to her husband.  He could not keep his eyes off the machine while I was stitching.  He was totally mesmerized.  They had watched Steve quilting a pantograph (following a pattern with a laser light) and were shocked that I was quilting (freehand)  with NO pattern.  One said he marks the cloth for his wife…. but he had no idea anyone could quilt without that pattern marked on there.  One also was discussing with Steve how the machine worked, and how to hook it up to a gas engine!  I think we all amused each other across our cultural differences.

My dreamer……..

A Roof!

We are going to have a roof over our heads.  That’s a good thing!

From the road, looking west.

Looking mostly south…..

Looking east


American Idol:  I know it wont happen.  But David Archuleta gives me the heebiejeebies.  He needs to be voted off.  He does the most revolting stuff with his mouth.  And David A…. open your eyes damn it!  I dont mind listening to him, but I cant stand looking at him.  And really David A… dont even try to dance.

Now David Cook?  You should win.  Really.  Dont know if you will win, but you deserve to win.

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