Saturday, May 08, 2010

Living Color

I'm pleased to report that the house is proceeding on-track. It's still looks like I'll be able to move in within a week or ten days. 

Every time I visited the place this week the drive was packed with trucks belonging to workers tiling my kitchen back splash, doing the finish electrical work, and painting. And I use the term "workers" advisedly The painter even had his wife there for a couple days. He says she's almost as good with a paintbrush as he is!

I'm including chips from the Sherwin Williams website so you can get a more accurate idea of the colors. My photos are pretty dark The living room, dining room and kitchen are painted Lagoon. It's a fairly deep tealy-green, and is a lighter shade of the same color as the exterior of the house. 

My bedroom and the guest room are Vesper Violet, a medium-value grayed violet. I have no clue about the intended purpose of the electrical outlet half-way up the wall in my bedroom. I will say that this house absolutely will not lack electrical outlets. Frank ordered PLENTY of them!

I plan to use grass green and yellow as accents in the bedrooms -- more green in my room and more yellow in the guest room. My father-in-law says he won't sleep in a "purple" bedroom, but I'm hopeful my other men friends are more sanguine. 

The studio is Daydream, a shade lighter of the same grayed violet as the bedrooms.

My bedroom in California was a violet so pale it was almost white. I liked the color and decided to amp it up for this house. 

I'm fearless with colors in my quilts but for some reason  I'm timid with paint colors in my house. I'm trying to be more bold; we'll see in the fullness of time how successful I've been.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Biggest Quilting Tool in the World

Chances are that if you have a hobby you've noticed this phenomenon: Tools specifically marketed to hobbyists are more expensive than the same tool marketed to the general public. Cycling socks? If regular socks cost $7, cycling socks cost $20. Model railroad board? If a sheet of regular plywood costs $12, a sheet of model railroad board costs twice as much and is one-fourth the size. You can buy a package of a dozen spring hairclips at the dollar store for, well, a dollar. A package of 30 of identical clips, packaged by Wright for quilters to use when binding a quilt, retails for $7.00.

As a quilter I'm always on the lookout for tools in unlikely places. Often tools purchased at the dollar store or at Home Depot will be cheaper and will work better than tools made especially "for quilters". Need to label your blocks or stabilize them for signatures? A roll of masking tape ($2.00) will do the trick nicely. Need an unusual template? A window shop will cut a piece of acrylic in the shape of a bunny or an acorn for a buck or two. Need a guide for stitching that perfect 1/4" seam? A little stack of Post-It notes from Office Depot will handle that task easily.

So you can bet I'm patting myself on the back. I've just acquired the largest quilting tool in the world and it was absolutely free. It's the vinyl floor in my new studio. You can see the pattern is a black and white checkerboard. The squares are 9". When I need to block a quilt, or measure a piece of fabric, or pin-baste a quilt sandwich, this grid will keep things nice and square. 

Of course, the floor wasn't free, but it didn't cost anything extra for this pattern. So I'm calling it free.

Oh, and the studio is 15' x 30'. I think it's fair to call a 450 square foot floor the largest quilting tool in the world -- until someone challenges me for the title.

By the way, if you want to keep a pair of thread snips handy to your machine, do what my friend Mattie does. Pick up a key coil. Thread your machine's cord through the ring, and fasten the clip to your scissors. Voila! Your snips will always be at your fingertips.

In the latest news on the house, the interior painting began today, and the finish and trip work progresses. Tomorrow I'll be shopping for mirrors, towel bars and such for the bathrooms.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

I'm Floored, or At Least The House Is!

Yes, it's true. The hardwood floors are stained, sealed and varnished, and the vinyl flooring is laid in the studio. And last Tuesday the Silestone fabricator measured and made the templates for the countertops; he said they'd take no more than two weeks to make and install.

This week I hope to see:
  • the baseboard molding installed
  • the bathroom cabinets (which have integral sinks) installed
  • the interior painted

I think then the final steps of the construction will be installation of the kitchen countertops, the light fixtures and fans, the toilets and the appliances.

I have an appointment for the delivery of my studio furniture on Thursday. I'm going to shop for the guest room mattresses on Monday. And I'll call the antique dealer to ask him to deliver the guest room beds this week as well.  

My mother-in-law and I are mapping out our moving and move-in strategy. 

I've given notice to the woman who rents me a room that I'll be moving out the weekend of May 15. Keep your fingers crossed for me that we have no slips in the schedule!