Thursday, June 28, 2007

Home Improvement

Do you remember that old game with the sliding number tiles? The tiles were set in a small tray and you were supposed to slide them around until you had them in order. There was only one open space, though, so sliding one tile to its destination meant that you had to move all the rest of the tiles around to get them out of the way. (I think I'm showing my age here. This was pre-Sudoku, pre-Playstation, pre-electronics...we're going way back.)

This has been my house for the past few days. On Tuesday my daughter e-mailed to say that she would come down this weekend to paint the new guest bedroom. Just as an aside, my daughter worked on the painting crew for the school system for two summers in high school. She knows how to paint. She loves to paint. Really. And, no, we don't hire her out--although I've often thought painting would be a good sideline for her if times get really tough in the publishing biz.

Not an hour had passed after her e-mail when we got a call from Daniel saying that THIS week would be good for him to build the bookcases I have been wanting for years in the living room. Daniel is the son of a friend of ours who does home remodeling and carpentry work. He is very good and very hard to get. If he says THIS week you grab him because otherwise we'll be waiting for months and months to get him back. So of course we said yes.

Now the problem is that we had moved most of the stuff from my son's old bedroom into the living room, my sewing room, the basement, etc., etc. in order to prepare the bedroom for painting. This is a small house. There isn't a lot of extra space to move things around. But when Daniel said he'd come, we moved most of the living room stuff along with all the other stuff BACK into the bedroom to leave Daniel plenty of room to work and to preserve the few nice pieces of furniture I do have.

These are the bookcases he built yesterday. The shelves will go up today.

In the course of our conversation about home remodeling Daniel mentioned that he knew how to texture the ceiling (which the back bedroom needed) and he would be only too happy to do that for us. (For a small extra fee.) Which is good, because that should be done before the room is painted. But it also meant moving everything out of the bedroom again, because the texturing is a messy affair. Sigh.

So this morning we moved everything out of the bedroom and BACK into the living room. Most of it anyway. I have a three foot stereo speaker (on a wheel cart) in my dining room and an office chair in my kitchen. I THINK the other speaker is under a sheet against the wall in the living room, but who knows? It could be anywhere in the house by now.

Despite the fact that I now have a couple of extra tables sitting in the middle of my sewing room, I did finally manage to finish the border on the last round of our guild's round robin. This looks a little wrinkly, but I don't at the moment have anywhere to set up the ironing board. It's nothing fancy, I know, but I tried a variety of pieced borders and just couldn't get anything that looked good next to that last sawtooth border. The owner of this is a very talented hand quilter, so maybe she can use this plain border to show off some quilting.

Someone from the guild has suggested one more round in which we make a label for the quilts and document who worked on the borders. I thought that was an inspired idea.

I also worked on another Serendipity block last night. I needed some hand sewing to de-stress after a day of sawing, hammering, and the compressor for the nail gun coming on at irregular intervals. Not to mention dealing with our dog who doesn't like loud noises and gets a little nervous about all the people tramping in and out of the back door. I'm going to make the purple surrounding the center hexagon and the green polka dot fabric the same in each block to give a little internal consistency. It's hard to see in this picture, but the batik fabric is a little darker than the polka dot, so there is some contrast there. So far this is my favorite one--I like how the outer blue pulls out the blue in the center.

Thank you to everyone who commented about the great sewing machine dilemma of the last post. I really appreciated that so many people were willing to share their opinions. I did go back and buy it after trying to talk myself out of it. It is now resting on one of those tables in the middle of my sewing room because I'm afraid to take it out of the box until the dust settles around here. Every so often, I go in and give it a pat. Just to reassure it (and myself) that things will settle down soon.


Pam said...

Sounds like quite the production!

Love the new Serendipity block, very pretty.

Congratulations on the new sewing machine -- Enjoy!!!

Libby said...

I remember that game . . . never good work it out *s* Love your Serendipity block - I'm going to be starting soon. I've got a collection of fabrics set aside.
Harper is a scare baby when it comes to loud noises. Someone suggested that putting a tight t-shirt on her could help. She has a delightful pink number that I slip over her head and front paws, then draw up the excess into a taught knot on her back. It sure eased some of the distress when we had our roof redone a couple of years ago. Gonna have to dig it out for the fireworks next week *s*

atet said...

Wow -- I remember that game. And that I never won! Hope things calm down a bit soon so you can play with your new machine. I'm envious!

Great block and very lovely quilt!

Guðrún said...

Oh yes this Serendipity block is lovely. You are getting a lot of exercise these days by moving things from one room to another.

Leigh said...

Sounds like it's all happening at your place!

tami said...

I remember that game too. My mom used to get them for my sister and I for car trips hoping they would keep us quiet.
Sounds like you had a very eventful time. I'm sure it will be so worth it in the end.

Belvie said...

I found and bought one of those games for my nephew last Christmas. It was made from metal...the ones I remember where plastic. It cost a lot more than the ones I remember too!

Like others have said before me, I love your Serendipity blocks.

Molly said...

The good thing about chaos like this is that after things return to boring normalcy, it seems like heaven for a while....Love that greeny-blue serendipity block.

Darlene said...

I remember that little game; and occasionally I would win. LOL

Your Serendipity block is great! Congrats on the new sewing machine - enjoy!

Wow, after reading about everything happening in your house - I'm exhausted. I'm about to start doing some stuff in our home - planning to take a short break from work especially to get caught up with life in the house.

Mir said...

Wow, I didn't realize everything was going to happen so close together. The shelves look great though--I can't wait to see them in person. Just think, a few more days of chaos and then you'll have an organized living room and a freshly painted guest room. Is the ceiling already done in Thomas' room?

Andrea said...

I was brilliant at those little puzzles - lol !Your blocks are fabulous - another one on my to-do list.Going to see if I can find the book you mentioned. I love your blog !

meggie said...

So glad you got the new sewing machine! Enjoy it.
I love your new block colours too.
I remember those little puzzles, I always liked them... but not as a house plan. We are going to be the same shortly, as we get our new carpet laid, & I am dreading it.
Still I might find some missing 'treasures' when I move everything about, LOL.

Ali Honey said...

Sorry I didn't get to you in time to comment on the 440. I have one - now a year old. I love some parts of it but have a few reservations. The walking foot is wonderful. The bobbin area sucks, and is difficult to get at without tipping the machine backwards. I will be interested to see how yours behaves. keep us posted. Cheers Alison in NZ.

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

I do remember the game, and it sounds exactly like you have been playing it. At my last house I had the timber floors varnished, and had to fit ALL the furniture in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry. It was up to the ceilings - in the end i had to move out for a day or 2.

ruth said...

I had that game as a kid, I could never get it to work! Love the new block!

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Oh dear, sounds like organized chaos! But those bookshelves are well worth the effort and never knock back paint offers! Love the brightly coloured work and pleased you got the machine, Tracey