Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bare Bones!

Ever wonder just how much a roll of toilet paper can weigh? I thought that this had been rescued in time, but I was wrong, as were my hand-knotted bathroom and hall rugs. Three days later and musty smell is still here.

All the wet fabric has been washed and is in a giant stack in the living room (my new sewing studio) waiting to be ironed. It goes quickly when accompanied by a good movie.

Stay tuned as the reconstruction begins!

Absorbency Test

Many sincere thanks to Donna and Dick for all their help in cleaning up this mess. The smell remained on Saturday, leading us to discover more wetness in the closets, one of which contained a soaked stack of all my old Quilter's Newsletter Magazines. All gone now!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Change of Plans

Home remodeling gone wrong! Notice the cereal boxes in photo number one.
Then look carefully behind the table toward the pantry and notice the two guys standing there. One is my plumber; the other his assistant. This sad little tale of woe began some 23 years ago when I purchased a home from AMREP, a local developer. Well, seems that this company was known for affordable pricing, which they achieved through the use of substandard materials! In this case, plumbing constructed from polybutylene pipes. As the house aged, first one leak and then another appeared, first in the walls, then beneath the floors, and finally in an area that wasn't accessible. My plumber, Earl (who is fabulous beyond belief!), had already installed a flow restricter to ease the pressure on my woefully inadequate pipes, but the leaks continued unabated. After the last adventure, Earl replaced the faulty pipes with copper, from beneath the slab to up through the ceiling to service the kitchen and laundry, hence photo number one.

Moving on to photo number two, however, what didn't get done last time was to change the pipes in the bathrooms at the other end of the house. Well, this week, while I was conducting raptor surveys at the Armendaris Ranch, my new housesitter and his father called to leave a message! Hmmm! I knew that didn't mean good news. Yep! It happened again, this time the cold water pipe into the bathroom, behind the wall, behind the vanity, and behind the sink. It was a fast leak this time, and by the time it was discovered some 50-100 gallons of water oozed from between the walls into my hallway, seeping into my bedroom, the guest bedroom, and soaking my sewing room. The best news about all of this is that Earl, being the most wonderful plumber in the world, answered when I called from T or C, New Mexico, trucked on over to my house, removed the hidden key because he already knew where it lived, and he fixed the leak before I ever got home! He left his bill on the counter. Now, how many plumbers to you know that would do that for you?

So, leak fixed and all is well. Except, what I didn't notice when I arrived home about 10 p.m. was that the sewing room was thoroughly drenched. In fact, the carpet was still squishy this afternoon. So, my partner in quilting, and instigator of good ideas, Donna, suggested that she and I just remove all that carpeting -- today! And sew we did, most of it by noon. Being of the creative sort, our minds were as busy as our hands as we worked hard removing carpet, carpet tacking strips, and ruining our cuticles. Check out the fabric stash carefully tossed anon into the guest bedroom. It didn't look so big when it was all stacked, color coordinated, on the shelves.

Have you heard of creative concrete floor painting? Well, we looked it up on Google today, and decided that it will be just the thing for our remodel job. Donna's daughter, Katy, also of an artistic bent, is going to make the sewing room her final art project for her senior class. I aspire to lower heights, and plan to paint the hallway floor.

What began as an aquatic atrocity will, we hope, become a delightful decor! Katy is even going to teach me to splatter paint. Stay tuned for the final photos!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Hawks Aloft 2008 Raffle Quilt

'Twas a dedicated crew of eleven that met at Ed and Mary's for our 15th annual Hawks Aloft quilt retreat. This is probably the most traditional of all the quilts we have made to date. The quilt design was inspired by the center motif. I made it during the Japanese Katazome stencil dyeing class that I took from Karen Miller in October. It is a traditional Japanese crest with three cranes. The center was pre-stitched before the big day, so we would have a better chance of finishing, and finish we did - - in record time. Anita stitched the last border on just before dinner.

Thanks to Ed and Mary Chappelle for letting us use their lovely home with the wonderful view of Sandia Peak. Thanks too, to all the quilters who stitched throughout the day (from L to R):
Allison Schacht, Joan Hellquist, Sam Sanborn, Patty Phillips, Ed Chappelle, Steve Elkins, Mary Chappelle, Ruth Burstrom, Yours Truly, and Anita McSorley. Not shown is Pat Folsom, who had to leave early.

I am always amazed at how well these quilts come together. All are stitched on paper foundations that are prepared ahead of time. Now, the interesting part comes. This coming weekend, Patty and I will layer the quilt and she will take it home to do the anchor quilting, the outer border, and the binding. After that, Anita, Mary and I will take turns with the free-motion quilting. My good friend, and partner in quilting, Donna, has some strong views on how the quilting should be done, so I hope that she will volunteer to stitch her idea into place.

Raffle tickets should be available in March 2008. The quilt will debut at Festival of the Cranes in Monte Vista, Colorado, March 7-9, 2008. Join us there for a wonderful weekend. Hawks Aloft will have a large booth with many of our non-releasable educational raptors, and I, along with our biologists, will be leading raptor tours! Besides, there is the fabulous restaurant that simply is too good to pass up, Hunan Chinese Restaurant.