Archive for March, 2017

Why I’m not getting anything done

March 15, 2017

If you’ve seen the last several posts you may have noticed that not much has been happening here. I promised to explain. It’s mostly good.

When I saw the doctor at the end of September, I got my flu shot and the other pneumonia shot. I got overly tired and wasn’t taking my vitamins which spells disaster for me. A week later I caught whatever nasty respiratory virus  was going around, maybe more than one and spent several weeks being sick. I didn’t feel like I was completely over that when, damn, it hit me again a week or two before Thanksgiving. This time it progressed much more quickly. I did manage to make it to Thanksgiving dinner with my friends at the racetrack.

By the time the end of year holidays came around I was finally fully recovered. As usual I traveled to visit family over the holidays. I find it difficult to work there so not much got done while I was away.

As soon as I got home in early January I met with my realtor to start looking for a new house. I currently live in a 3-story townhouse. The configuration of the house just doesn’t work for me any more. A lot of the houses on my court have gone rental. After 30 years here, I knew it was time to leave this neighborhood when I came home one day to find someone banging on the door of a neighboring house, yelling “open the door, show me some ID, I’m here about a bail bond issue”. Yikes!

My main must haves were a garage (I’ve never had one), main floor master suite and lots of space for quilting. The main floor master and my price target pretty much put me in a 55+ villa (otherwise known as a townhouse). Someone asked me what the difference was between a townhouse and a villa. My answer was “about $200,000.” My realtor got a kick out of that answer.

Before I knew it I had three strong contenders to choose from. This happened much more quickly than I anticipated. I felt like I was on an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters. Will she choose the large country house with shared well and septic, the cozy charmer next to I-95, or the posh, new construction? My friend, Linda, dubbed the new construction “the posh house”.

I loved the development where the first house was but was leery of the shared well and septic. The charmer had a lot going for it and a lot of things about it appealed to me but, in the end, I felt cramped in it and there was that traffic noise from I-95 which would be 24/7. There was a large portion of the basement that I would have had to finish for fabric storage. The basement had no bathroom so it was find room to add one or run upstairs every time I had to go. There were some other things that needed work. By the time I did all that it would cost the same as the larger, newly constructed house. The first two were both condos where the fees ran around $450 a month. Kind of rich on top of the mortgage.

So, I went with the new construction which is a fee simple house (i.e., not a condo). The HOA fee is much more reasonable and covers all yard work, snow removal and common areas. This was an already built house that had a contract fall through. So, I didn’t have get to pick anything. At first it seemed a lot bigger than my current house but I’m not sure it’s that much larger. Maybe I’m delusional. It’s bigger where I need bigger and smaller where smaller is OK for me.

Second floor is two bedrooms, a bath and a loft. I’ll use the loft as an office/library. Anyone want to come visit for a sewing sweatshop? I hate to see these rooms sit empty all the time. After I furnish the guest rooms, of course. That will take some time.

First floor is garage, a front door entry way, kitchen, laundry room, dining/living room, master bedroom, bath and walk-in closet, and covered porch. The bath has a me-sized soaking tub and separate shower. Can’t wait to try out the tub – my current one sucks for soaking. The laundry and dining/living room are smaller than I have now but that’s fine. I’ll be spending most of my time downstairs. Everything for daily living is on the main floor if mobility becomes a problem. Could have used this when I broke my ankle. I can always access the lower level by going outside around the group to the back.

Basement is the quilting area. Studio sounds pretentious but sewing room doesn’t do the space justice. I’ve been in quilt shops that were smaller than the space I have in the basement lower level. Basement sounds to me like a black hole where this one is ground level at the back which faces south so there is a lot of natural light coming in the windows and slider. It has a room for my fabric. I’ve always known I had an excessive amount of fabric. I’m afraid it might not fit in the fabric room. An embarrassment of riches. There is also an area the builder calls an optional den that I’m turning into a sitting room. Linda has already staked out her spot for visiting sewing days. I look forward to many happy hours in that room. The main sewing area is something like 12 feet by 32 feet.


I closed on the house 2/28. Been bleeding money ever since. Lots of new furniture and stuff needed. So far I bought 4 bookcases for the sitting room and a cabinet for my Accuquilt Go and dies. Those were found at Mark Downs which sells used office furniture so saved some money there. I thought I’d go with something from Ikea to fill out the fabric room but ended up ordering Bush bookcases from Walmart to supplement the 3 large bookcases I have in my sewing room now. I’ve got a desk, rocker/recliner and Amish made dining table on order. Not so Next Day Blinds is covering the windows. Blinds were installed last week but the vertical blind for the slider came with the wrong valence and a problem track so they have to be remade. While showing Caren how the top down bottom up blinds worked, I found one that didn’t bottom up for me and found another today while testing the others. Today the shutter tech came to measure for the shutters on the first floor. You’d think that since the house has been on the market since November, the builder would have finished everything, but no, there’s still a punch list of things to be done. As Gilda Radner said, it’s always something.

Attempting to show photos of the empty rooms is futile because everything is beige which makes it difficult to see what’s what. I can show the kitchen. Is this awesome or what?


I’m standing in front of the pantry closet for this photo. To the right of the frig, out of sight, is what the builder calls a key drop – another section of cabinets and counter just inside the garage entrance. By square footage, I bet this isn’t that much bigger than my current kitchen but, oh, my, how much better this one is. My current kitchen looks big but there’s nothing there but empty space because of the entrance on one side and the slider on the other. Very little cabinet space and no counter work space to speak of. I end up using the stove as my counter work space because that’s where the light is. I’m not much of a cook but I can’t wait to cook in this kitchen. I’m not a big fan of wood floors in a kitchen but I’ll adapt.

I was fortunate that I didn’t have to sell my current house first. I had this plan fantasy about how I was going to move little by little so that I didn’t end up with a mess at the new house. External forces are at work (insurance company, mortgage company, etc.) to mess with my plan so now I’m planning to do the big move in mid-April and deal with the fallout. A friend in guild moved in November and said they now have a Room of Requirement (see Harry Potter) where all the still packed and partially unpacked boxes live. I wanted to avoid having that situation.

Now my goal for packing is to free the furniture that is going to the new house so the movers can get it out. Anything that doesn’t get packed by then I’ll have to deal with on my own afterward. My friend, Caren, moved earlier this month. I helped her pack, so turnabout is fair play. I’m getting her boxes and some help from her.

Can I get everything out in time to get my house on the market by summer? Stay tuned and we’ll see.

I don’t expect to get back to quilting until the end of April. Mustn’t forget to do my taxes.

Mimi’s Grad School: March 2017

March 15, 2017

Lots of show and tell again this month. Last year we started having drawings for prizes. You had to show something to qualify to be in the drawing. We think this is providing incentive for everyone to show something.

Polly and I worked on the same ship from Ladies of the Sea this month. Hers is the completed one on the left. As with last month I didn’t finish. Hang around for the next post to find out why I haven’t been getting much done. The points on those maple leaves were a pain in the ass. Polly thinks Sue Garman went a little overboard with the rigging on the ships. The backgrounds have more color than shows in these pictures.


Genie managed to finish 3 more Jacobean blocks this month. That makes 6 she’s done this year.

Clara is working on her Prairie Flowers (Barbara Brackman) blocks (the bottom). I can’t remember if the top piece is show and tell or a sample for the shop. Snow fell yesterday but I don’t think many people were saying “Yoo Hoo”. Shoudn’t it be “Ya hoo?”


Peggy H is doing Karen Kay Buckley’s Magical Medallions (or something like that).


I don’t remember who did this one. One year we swapped green and red squares. This block was made from the swapped fabrics.


Joan is making these lovely blocks from Little Brown Bird. She enjoys embellishing with embroidery.


Vera is also making Little Brown Bird blocks. Look how she used her fabrics in this block.

Patty is doing Rose of Sharon with her Accuquilt dies.


Ruth is doing quilt as you go on blocks from Affairs of the Heart by Aie Rossman. I think I’ve got the title right. These blocks are from a few years ago when we broke into several groups for our afternoon group project. This group was dubbed the Strumpets. We didn’t like that year so much because we didn’t get to see what the other groups were doing. But, you try something and if it doesn’t work, you don’t do that again.


Nechama did this block. I don’t remember the designer.


This is a portion of Kim’s center for her medallion quilt.


Kay, our southern belle, is a master of making the fabric work for her. She used one of her monogrammed linens for the tablecloth under the vase.

I don’t remember who did these. I really should do the grad school posts before I have time to forget.

Annette showed her Backyard Birds quilt that Kim quilted.


Annette is making a diary quilt based on Mimi’s book from several years ago. She plan to add family names to the tree block but hasn’t decided how to do that yet.

I hope you find the show and tell as inspiring as we do.