Saturday, March 26, 2011

More Progress…Finally!

It seems as though I’ve been busy doing everything except unpacking. 

I scrapped the First Friday Freebie that I had started over a month ago and replaced it with a new design that will be released this coming Friday, the 1st of April.  If you recall, I had to postpone last month’s FFF because I couldn’t get into my studio! 

I also started to hook a new rug which is going to be done in a scrappy…better known as ‘hit-and-miss’ in the hooking world...log cabin style.


But finally, at 6 this morning, I threw caution to the wind and got busy.

After much procrastination, I talked myself into unpacking some boxes which I’ve been putting off since the renovations.   I had definitely been avoiding the chore, simply because I could not come to grips with another mess after having lived with one for what seemed to be an eternity.


The blurry photo can be attributed to either the lack of caffeine at that early hour or me shaking because I was dreading the task at hand.  I can assure you that it wasn’t the former.  *wink* 

Of course, my assistant was there to supervise.


The actual unpacking was very easy.  It was finding a home for everything that took time.  As each box was unpacked, the piles started to grow…and grow.


Eight boxes and some pictures later, I did see some progress .

The left side of the front entry…


And the right side.


My Mom used to love to collect Royal Doulton figurines.  For several years, Mr. Painted Quilt and I gifted her with one on her birthday and after she passed away, they became ours to enjoy and remember her by.  Although they are not my style, I could never part with them nor the curio cabinet in which she had them displayed.


The still life that I painted on our grandmother clock pictured below is one of my favorites.  It now hangs on the wall in our sitting room.

By this time, Mac was tuckered out and had to have a little shut-eye.


More ‘treasures’ were added to the shelves in the sitting room.


Here’s a wider angle.


And from here, you can see into the living room.  It’s becoming more and more like home.


The sampler hooked rug commemorating 9/11 that I purchased on one of my travel teaching trips to Ohio back in 2003 is hanging in our dining room.


And the built-in china cabinet is now full…


And so are the pantry shelves.


All the boxes that were stored on our sunporch have now been unpacked.  Woo hoo!  All that remains to come indoors are the shelves which I have to find places for.  The rest is the furniture that will remain out there.


So, until the shelves are hung, the 8 boxes in the spare bedroom and the other 8 in the workshop will remain as is.  Tomorrow, I’m hoping that Mr. PQ will hang the remaining shelves so that I can at least unpack the boxes in the spare bedroom. 

The ones in the workshop…well…outta sight is outta mind…for a little while anyway.

What a day.  I think I’ll join Mac on the sofa.


Friday, March 18, 2011

The Reveal–Part 2

Things are slowing down a little at the Painted Quilt household now that the first stage of the renovations is over.  I still haven’t unpacked any more boxes but did hang a few pictures and managed to find new homes for some of the things that were piled on our dining room table. 

I’m somewhat hesitant to hang more ‘things’ until we’re certain that the furniture is going to remain where it is…for now.  Mr. PQ says that I’m always changing things around anyway so that really shouldn’t be a concern…and do you know what?  He’s right!    *wink*

crow divider

Although he has a few things left to unpack and to find places for, Mr. PQ’s office is finished.  He is an avid reader and has a huge collection of books. Jody, our contractor, custom built this unit and it houses everything perfectly.  The two cabinets on the right are still empty!


Travelling in a clockwise direction around the room is another bookcase and a cart to hold miscellaneous items..


Here’s his computer station…


And the other window which overlooks the back yard.


Next is our bedroom which is pretty sparse at the moment.  I haven’t hung any of the pictures or decorative items as you can see.  Unfortunately in this picture you can’t see the new Scottish lace curtains on the windows.  They are going to look even prettier once we can open the windows which will allow the breezes coming in off the ocean to blow them across the room.


Next to the bed is the dresser which also acts as a bedside table.


Because of the slope of the ceiling on the opposite wall as well as the addition of the new closet we had built, this is the best place in the bedroom to accommodate the dresser.  The ugly light fixture will eventually be replaced with a ceiling fan.


Our bedroom is in the ‘new’ addition which was added to the house in 1917.  This next photo shows the original roof line which was incorporated into the construction of both this room and Mr. PQ’s office.  It is actually quite charming and certainly adds to the character of the house but does hinder the placement of furniture in that part of the room.


This next photo shows my new walk-in closet.  It is my best guess that this room was once a tiny bedroom back in the 1830’s, considering there is a full sized window in it.


We also had lift-top cupboards/seats built in under the sloped roof line which have come in very handy for additional storage.


The size of the room is 8’ x 10’ so you can see that I have waaaay too many clothes.


Next are a couple of ‘updated’ photos of my studio showing the curtains that I hung on both the window…


And the door to the new closet.  I chose not to have a door installed because the curtain provides easier access to my fabric and wool stash which is neatly stacked in clear bins behind the curtains.


This next photo shows the location of the closet which is on the wall to the right as you enter the room.


And the final picture for today shows the stair treads that we had to install because Mac, our Westie, was having an awful time trying to manoeuver the stairs since we removed the carpeting.  He was okay coming down the stairs without the carpeting but because he had nothing to grip onto when ascending, he slid down a couple of times which frightened both him and us.  Everything is now back to ‘normal’ and there hasn’t been an incident since these were added.


We’ve had some glorious weather over the last little while.  All the snow has melted and yesterday I saw several robins in our back yard.  We also heard the sounds from and then saw a pair of pheasants sneaking under an evergreen tree to nest in our back yard as well.  Although it is overcast and gloomy at the moment with rain in the forecast, I think that spring has indeed arrived in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poinsettia Quilt Update and Other Stuff

Thanks to all of you who so unselfishly offered suggestions with respect to the laundering of my newly acquired Poinsettia quilt that I spoke about in my last post.


I received several personal emails encouraging me NOT to wash the quilt unless it absolutely needed it which, as I mentioned in my original post, it doesn’t.  The only reason I wanted to wash it is because I’m anal about things like this and thought that if I was going to use it on our bed, then I’d like it to be fresh and even cleaner than it already is.  Instead, I was advised to wait until a mild, sunny day and either lay it out on the lawn on top of a clean sheet or to hang it on the clothesline to let it air and freshen in the breeze.  I will be hanging it on the clothesline very shortly.


One of the emails I received pertaining to the quilt was from Lisa in Ohio who is a quilt historian and member of The American Quilt Study Group.  She provided me with some amazing information about the quilt pattern and with her permission, here is an excerpt from her email…

“Some history for you regarding the pattern, it is Mountain Mist's pattern #39 - Poinsettia.  Mountain Mist produced patterns on the backs of batting wrappers for many years.  This particular one was designed by Margaret Hayes around 1930.

You can still purchase original patterns through the Fabric Shack in Waynesville, Ohio (one of my local quilt shops).”

Lisa went on to add…

“If you want to see a couple more examples of this quilt, there is one on the Quilt Index that is embroidered and appliqued.  It is listed under Quilt Index Record: 42-75-5.  Another one is shown on eBay here.”

Click on the eBay link above to see the asking price of an almost identical version of my quilt.  I just about died when I saw it!  I sure am happy that Diane talked me into buying it…and so is Mr. PQ!  *wink*


This past Sunday was a glorious day in this part of Nova Scotia.  Although we’ve only been living here for three and a half months, the beauty, ruggedness and simplicity of this province never ceases to amaze both Mr. Painted Quilt and I.  Virtually all of the snow is gone except for places where the sun has difficulty reaching, but here is a tiny sampling of some of the beauty.


At one time I would have wanted to paint this scene but now I’m going to hook it.


Look at how clear the water is.


You can imagine just how high up we were when I took this next photo.  The view was breath taking.


We watched the fishermen unload their catch in this little fishing village.


Notice the lobster traps?  Lobster fishing in this part of Nova Scotia is allowed only from November until May after which time the season closes.


Want to buy a good, used fishing boat?


Nah…me neither.


That was how we spent our Sunday afternoon.

Better than unpacking boxes, wouldn’t you agree?


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Honest, Honey…

It’s all Diane’s fault!  (Insert the biggest *wink* here that you ever did see!)

houses and hearts

Allow me to explain.

Diane is a new friend who I met at our Tuesday hook-in and as it turns out, she and I share a lot of the same interests.  To make a long story short, guess what we did yesterday?

We went S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G and A-N-T-I-Q-U-I-N-G…two of my most favorite pastimes!

houses and hearts

Diane picked me up at 9 a.m. and we set out up the Valley to the New Minas/Wolfville area of Nova Scotia.  After fortifying ourselves with a delicious latté from ‘Just Us’ in Wolfville, we headed for our next stop a short distance up the road…and here’s where the trouble fun started.


It didn’t look like your typical quilt shop from the outside but let me tell you, N-E-V-E-R judge a book by it’s cover…or a shop from it’s exterior!  Trust me, this shop is every quilter’s dream!

houses and hearts

Thousands of bolts of quilt shop quality and brand name fabric greet you as you walk through the door, as well as every other thing a quilter might want or need…and all under one roof.  A one-stop shopping paradise!


Aisles and aisles of fabric to tempt every style and taste…


And a notions wall that runs the full length of the store.


Now here’s the kicker…the average price per meter…remember, this is Canada and ‘yardage’ is sold by the meter (1 meter = 39”) is $5.99.  Can you believe it?  I certainly couldn’t!  Both Diane and I love Civil War fabric and we both found lots of brand names in the $3 per meter bin…yes, $3 per meter…and that’s not a typo!

houses and hearts

Here’s Diane checking out…


And here’s what I stole bought.


At $3 per meter, who could stop there?  Certainly not me!

Honest, Honey…it’s all Diane’s fault!  *wink*


And although my old one still works, I doubt that it’ll survive one more tumble from my ironing board so I purchased a back up for my mini Rowenta iron…just in case.  And the price?  Cheaper than what I paid for my other one that I bought in the US at Joann’s...and when they were on sale too!

Honest, Honey…Diane talked me into it!  *wink*


Diane has one of these little lights that she uses when she sews with her Featherweight, so of course, I just had to have one too for when I sew with mine.


And of course I had to buy an additional bracket to attach to my Bernina…just in case I ever need to transfer it there.


And last but not least, some quilt basting spray because I was getting low.  I’ve used this brand before and it works just as well as the 505 brand…and at half the price!  Works for me.

Honest,Honey…Diane made me buy it.  *wink*


Needless to say, I was elated with my purchases. 

When I was checking out, I asked the gal how they could sell their fabric as cheaply as they do.  Her answer was that because they own the building and live right next door, their overhead is very low.  Also, because they have been in business for 25 years, the wholesalers call them whenever they want to ‘unload’ their surplus stock and because they buy 200+ blots at a time, they can pass on the savings to their customers.  The fabric that is offered at these prices is last year’s…but who cares?  Certainly not me…and obviously the customers who have enjoyed these savings for the past 25 years don’t either!

houses and hearts

After lunch, we headed out for ‘Antiques at Home’.  Unfortunately, they don’t have a website but they are located at 9728 Highway #1 in Greenwich, NS, telephone 902-542-1273.  If you like primitive Canadiana antiques and you’re in the area, it’s worth checking out.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

The story I’m about to tell you is not only unbelievable, it’s bizarre at the same time.

Diane…who just in case you forgot is at fault for all of this…is an avid antiques and antique quilt collector and has been to this shop several times. (BTW, her house is to absolutely die for!)  She spotted a quilt hanging on the wall that she was interested in buying the last time she was there but for whatever reason, did not purchase it at the time.  She pointed it out to me and asked what I thought of it. 

I loved it!  The hand appliqué and hand quilting was stunning.  She looked for a price tag but couldn’t find one and neither could the shop owner.  However, when they were looking for the price tag, they came across this label…


Vankleek Hill is over 1000+ miles away and is where Mr. Painted Quilt and I lived before we moved to Nova Scotia in December!  (Insert weird music here). 

This seemed to be beyond coincidental and when I think about it now, the more I know that this quilt was meant to come home with me.

The quilt was in the shop on consignment so the shop owner called the owner of the quilt while we were there to ask the price.  It was less than what we would have agreed to pay so needless to say, that sealed the deal.

And yes, Honey…Diane did insist that this quilt come home with me and that if I wasn’t going to buy it then she would.  (No *wink* needed here).


Here’s a close up of the center medallion.  The quilting is perfection and apart from a few stains, it is in mint condition.


It’s unfortunate that Mrs. Anderson did not add a date to her label but let this be a reminder to all of us how important it is to sign and date our quilts. 

houses and hearts

And my final purchase of the day was this framed motto sampler, something that I’ve always wanted...and the price for it was right too!


Now I just have to find the perfect place to hang it.

And yes, Honey, it was indeed Diane’s fault that we had a wonderful day filled with fun, laughter and GREAT purchases too!  (No *wink* needed here either).

I can’t wait until we do it again!


I need your advice.  I would like to wash this quilt but I’m a little apprehensive about doing so for fear that the red fabric might either bleed or transfer.  It would appear to me that this quilt has never been washed but I have no way of telling whether Mrs. Anderson pre-washed her fabric before constructing her quilt.

What do you suggest?  I welcome your comments.