Monday, June 15, 2015

Studio Progress!

  It's been an exciting week. The friends who are helping us finish our basement are a father/son team. The son had a high school baseball game everyday but Friday. They still came in and worked 3-4 hours everyday. I had to force myself not to be downstairs the whole time watching the progress. I knew I'd be in the way and bug them, so I was good. They would holler up the stairs to tell me of any milestones in the progress so I could go down and take a picture. Here they are...

The first sheet of drywall going up!

  The first long wall almost done...

 Beginning the west wall...

 West wall done...

North wall done!

   So all the outer walls are finished. Tomorrow they will drywall the stairway. Tuesday bright and early the lumber will be delivered and they will begin building the stud walls to divide the area into the rooms. Today I went to Menard's and Lowes to look for trim, baseboard, and lighting. I found 22" round LED ceiling fixtures that I loved. They put out 2400 lumens of light each! I want really good lighting and I think they will be the ones I get.

  My trip to Mankato, MN went well, although it rained from the time I left home all the way to Mankato, sometimes very heavy. The Deep Valley Quilt Guild ladies were a fun group, about 100 in attendance. Shirley, the Program Chair, arrived just in time for my program. Her 18 yr. old daughter broke her wrist in 2 places on Monday and she had surgery the day I arrived. After talking and emailing for months, I was looking forward to meeting her. I'm glad she made it. She's a great lady and I pray her daughter heals quickly. On the way home I stopped at an antique store and bought two oak  library cabinets. One is a filing drawer and the other is a two drawer card catalog. I love these things and buy them whenever I can get them at a good price. They make wonderful storage for quilting tools, patterns, or FQ's. I haven't taken pictures of them yet, but they will definitely go in my studio. Today I went to a flea market and bought a wonderful cupboard top. It is 35" wide by11" deep by 21" tall with two doors with white porcelain knobs. One door hides a 12- 4"x4"cubbyholes. The other is divided into 3 vertical areas, perfect for storing quilt books. The space between the doors is open and has 2 shelves. It is nicely aged and has imperfections that prove it's been used well, just the way I like my antiques! The best part is, I have a bottom cubbyhole cabinet that it fits on perfectly. It will be moved from the back entry to the studio so it can hold the "new" top cupboard.

  Until next time, keep stitchin'.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Building of a Quilt Studio

  After building our home and moving in in the fall of 2013, we're finally ready to build my quilt studio. Randy is more interested in the adjacent family room/media room/man cave, of course. As long as I get a finished studio I'll be tremendously pleased and content. The studio gets built first as per our prior agreement. :) I've been using the space, but it was wide open unfinished space. I've never shared pictures of it for that reason. It was "no frills" work space and not very photogenic. Everything had to be packed up again to make room for the carpenters. They were very understanding and agreed to work around all my cabinetry as long as it all got shoved to the center and covered with plastic to give them space to work. The finished room will be 20' x 27'. Here are the "before" pictures.

  This is the view standing at the landing at the bottom of the stairs looking towards my studio. the triple blue lines mark where my french doors will be. The blue line on the right is the wall leading to the family room. There will be a hallway/anteroom (7'x12') from the stair landing before going into my studio or the family room. The low plastic covered object is my cutting station which will be located between the two red columns. It's 50"x84".
 This shows the 27' length of the studio. The windows face west.
The view from my space back towards the hallway and stairs.
  A closer look at the west wall. The space between the windows will be my design wall. If you're wondering, the stripes on the walls is an insulating/stud wall system we installed instead of having to build wood stud walls and insulate the cement walls of the basement. It was expensive, but very toasty and sound proof. Now the only stud walls the carpenters need to build are the interior ones separating the space into rooms. All the electrical outlets are installed in the outer walls. A good thing since now our electrician is in the hospital with pneumonia and won't be working anytime soon.
  All my cabinets are under the plastic between the columns. I'm hoping to have the columns enclosed since shiny red steel columns aren't very decorative.

  The building materials will be delivered tomorrow and the work will begin. I'll take photos of the work in progress to share with you all. I am so excited. I can't believe a 40 year dream is about to be realized. I may disappear into the studio and never come out! Who am I kidding? Randy would come looking for me when he got hungry enough or ran out of clean clothes! :)

  One down side, I discovered I'm allergic to drywall dust when a friend was building a house and I helped sweep the mess. I missed 2 days of work with bronchitis type symptoms. I've bought masks for me to wear for this project. I can't afford to get sick. I've got 3 programs coming up. I'm presenting "Christian Staffinger: the Story of a Soldier and his Quilt" to the Deep Valley Quilt Guild, Mankato, Minnesota this Thursday. I travel to Madison, Alabama July 8th to present "The Importance of Quilts and Textiles During the Civil War" to the Madison Station Quilters on July 9th. In August I'm presenting the same program at a regional Questers meeting in Burlington, Iowa, where the Hawkeye Questers are hosting 4 other Quester groups. It's going to be a busy and exciting summer.

  One other thing. Before I had to pack up my sewing machine and fabric for the build, I had to hustle and piece a 56" square version of my Civil War Images quilt.  A lady from South Carolina commissioned me to make it for her son's 50th birthday. He's a Civil War enthusiast like me and it will be a surprise for him to hang on a wall in his office. He's an attorney in New York City. Here is the quilt in process and finally basted for me to hand quilt while my studio is being built.

  Cutting the pieces...
   The first four blocks...

Planning the rows...

Basting the finished top. My kitchen island works nicely for this.
  Keep stitchin'