Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative

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The Lily Pad

Whilst I have been frantically knitting jumpers for my trip to America I have finally been able to get on with some creative fabric work.  I designed this pattern some while ago but with the leak under the floor have only just been able to work further on it.

Lily Pad 2603

I have yet to decide whether I will change the background, leave it as it is or just change the alternate background corners.

I have chosen to work with the raw edge fusing technique, which I will stitch down using a straight stitch in a colour to highlight the pieces along with background quilting.  Whether this will be a one block piece or not has yet to be worked out.  I may scale it up to about an 24” square, currently it is 14” square.  Sadly the photo doesn’t show the colours very well.


A question for all knitters and would be knitters.

Do any of you out there in the ether think that a knitting shop, that not only offers on trend knitting patterns, yarn and all the appropriate embellishments, but also provides a space to learn with workshops, classes etc.; a relaxing environment to just sit and knit over a cup of coffee/tea and a slice of cake, operating hours outside those of ‘normal’ shop hours; would be a good idea in the south east of Birmingham?

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Nearly back to normal

Finally we are nearly back to normal!  It has been a very long 6 weeks since we discovered the leak; now all is replaced, redecorated and repaired.  We have a completely new floor, with new flooring which is a slightly darker colour than we originally had but now blends well with all the furniture.  DH chose the wallpaper, (it matches every other room in the house) and the paint colour – he likes cream, whereas I would have gone bright and colourful but these walls can be embellished!  A couple of very colourful wall hangings and rehanging my other work and it will look even better.


Now I have my sewing machine back out and placed in a lighter area of the room – so to work.

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What a difference a weekend makes.

The floorboards went down on Friday morning, much more quickly than I had thought they would; followed by the start of the decorating.  The walls were quickly striped, the paper purchased, the woodwork rubbed down and preparation done.

The decorator, Mark, arrived on Saturday morning at 8 am and worked through until just before 4 so he could pick up the paint before they closed, as it was the paint store owner was tapping his watch, with the place shut up ready to go when Mark got there. 

Sunday saw a slightly later start but needless to say Mark worked through until he was just left with the painting to do on Monday.

Monday he finished his part, cleaned up really well and yes I would recommend him to anyone. We chose the flooring which the builder is going to pick up sometime this week for laying perhaps on Friday if not sooner.  The competent  plumber is to come back as the radiator is still slightly leaking from the valves (that the idiot plumber put in years ago) – I could see water dripping from the joints, they are now wrapped up with cloths as the drip is not too bad but it needs putting right before the floor goes down. 

The builders put in charge of the operation by the insurance company, have all been very pleasant and extremely helpful – I can’t believe they were prepared to work over the weekend.  I would be very happy to let them do work on my house at any time, although the same cannot be said for the restoration/drying company.

I just can’t wait for it to all be finished and behind us, I’ve had enough now and my sewing machine is still calling to me.

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Another Quilt Find

Having the house turned upside down over the last month or so (feels like much longer), and being almost housebound waiting around for people, has given me an opportunity to go through things, chucking stuff away and rediscover other interesting items – see photos.

I unearthed this beauty at the weekend and found the fabric I need to finish the top.  I have to cut some more paper squares as well as the fabric then all it will need is layering up, quilting and binding, when I say all it involves all the yukky bits like crawling around on the floor layering the thing up and the hand basting ready for quilting but I may give spray basting a go if the weather gets a bit better and I can get outside.  Sadly this won’t happen until the dining room is fully repaired as I don’t have access to my sewing machine for the quilting until then but I can do the rest.

This quilt was started many years ago, it must be at least 10, supposedly to go on the wall at the back of our bed in the, then newly created, loft conversion.  The wall is still bare and waiting!

I chose the Carpenter’s Wheel as it is one of my most favourite blocks and can be grown outwards as large as is needed.  I originally used some fat quarters I had but obviously have added to these.  Thank goodness for John Lewis who had a stock of the pansy fabric long after the Cotton patch had sold out!

It is, what the American’s call English piecing, but it is just paper piecing really.  I thoroughly enjoyed cutting these out, attaching the paper templates and the hand sewing; all very relaxing and something for in front of the TV.  I have still left all of the papers in and they will remain until the top is finished.

I think I will machine quilt it but I have yet to decide how – any suggestions will be gratefully received.

It measures 82” x 82” so far without any borders – the biggest quilt I have ever made.

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And the mess goes on.

The dining room is still in a state of damp disrepair.  The person from the company charged by the insurance company to dry out the room appears not to know what he is doing, as he keeps changing his mind on what is the best approach to achieve the drying.  One minute we have a dehumidifier to try to dry out soaking wet floorboards, then we have a fan with a dehumidifier to try to dry out the still soaking wet floorboards which he has now decided will have to be replaced-so why are we still trying to dry them out?  Then he decides that the dehumidifier is not doing anything (although he told me that, and we both saw, water was still pumping out of the machine), so he took it and the fan away. 

Dining room 050312 (2)Dining room 050312

Our dining room without the floorboards, drying out very, very slowly. 

Eventually, after he finally sent a request to the builders to remove the floorboards they came along and did the job in less than an hour and a half; they had to work around two large pieces of furniture whilst carrying out the removal, this happened a week last Tuesday. The drying person came back last Wednesday to bring back the fan (no dehumidifier) with the instruction to open all the doors and windows.  Ok that’s fine but it has either rained or been extremely cold since, we had also been instructed by the builders not to go into the room as it wasn’t safe, the keys to the doors and windows had been left at the far side of the room! 

Yesterday I woke at 5am to find the electricity had tripped out!  Well I had to get up to investigate and ended up staying up checking the whole house for the problem (in the dark as someone had moved the torch into the dining room out of reach), eventually we found that it was a socket somewhere causing the problem.  Thankfully we have a circuit board that has trips on each section i.e. the lights are on one fused circuit, as is the cooker, garage, shower and door bell; we just switched off the socket circuit and tried to get ready for the day with only one socket.  The cooker has a socket associated with its switch so we had a cup of tea. 

By 8am I had called the builder, who was already on his way to a major job but turned right around to come and help out.  It was a nightmare, he had to check each socket in the whole house to discover the way in which it had been wired up before he could isolate the faulty one.  Finally he found it was two in the dining room that had been affected by the damp.  The electric to those sockets has been disconnected, therefore no fan, no drying can be done.  I did have the doors flung wide open all day yesterday as the builder rescued the keys for me so I could access the doors from outside.

The person from the drying company said he would be back to take some readings from the wet joists on Monday but I have not seen or heard from him since Thursday.  His fan is not being used as it can’t be plugged in.  I could use a socket in another room and an extension cable but the fan is so loud it hurts my ears, even when the doors are shut.  As it’s raining today the doors can’t be opened, I am unable to reach the windows so they are shut too; we are now stagnating.  What the heck do we do next, I am seriously fed up with all of it.