Studio Update

Over Memorial weekend a couple of items in the studio decided that they had had enough.

The plastic venting for the window air conditioner/heater came undone. When I went to reattach the hoses it began to shred. No problem, there is extra tubing, I’ll just cut it off and attach it lower. Unfortunately the entire length of hose shredded at every opportunity. No more air conditioning for the studio until I find some new hoses.

Air Conditioning hose

Air Conditioning hose

An online search proved that finding replacement hose in the length I needed was not an easy task. During my search someone mentioned using dryer vent hose. It comes in several diameters, is cheap, and available at your local hardware store. Unfortunately I needed 5″ and the home improvement stores only stock 4″ and 6″. Gotta love the internet. Home Depot allows you to order non stock items and have them delivered to your store for free or to your home for shipping costs unless you order over $45.

The weekend also saw me at my wits end for the sliding glass door. Bill and I took a look to see if we could replace the rollers on the door. We are certain that they are in a million pieces. It should have been simple, just stand inside and gently lift the door up and over the track. Not so quick, it won’t lift over. Start searching online, some doors have an anti-theft device, looking…. Nope. Bad news. That means you have to take off the outside, fixed door first, which mean taking the door apart. This is not a good option, the studio door is very poorly installed, not square in any direction and just barely keeps out the water as is. That also assumes that once we get it all apart we can even find the correct replacement rollers and get it back together.

(Side Commentary)
Why you ask haven’t I replaced this door yet. I’ve been complaining about it for years. First it is expensive. Yes, this door is terrible, but the door from the family room to the deck is getting just as bad. That door has a twin to the deck from the bedroom that works fine but would look dumb if we only replaced one of them and then there is the door off the eating area and the other end of the family room. Also working fine, but in the same room as the family room so would also need replacing. That makes a total of 4 sliding doors to replace. No small project, so it just keeps getting put off.
(Side Commentary Ended)

Thinking we must have missed something, I looked at the other web links I opened, hoping that there would be a better answer. Thanks to good marketing and search engine optimization one of my hits was for a company called “Slide-Ezzz“. It bypasses your door rollers and instead you install teflon tracks and skids. In searching for reviews of the product it turns out that Home Depot sells the product for home delivery and it is only $32. That is a price point I am willing to give a chance.

So I placed an order at Home Depot for dryer vent hose and 2 Slide-Ezzz sliding door repair kits. As long as I am at it, the door off the family room is now requiring 2 hands to close.

The dryer vent hose came first and it took both Bill and I to get the hose connected to the Air Conditioner parts. The dryer vent hose was just slightly bigger diameter. With patience and gentle persuasion, we finally got both hoses hooked up and had the Air Conditioner once again pumping out cold air. Only down side is the ugly silver hose…. Danger Will Robinson…. But the studio as a whole isn’t a show room, so it is all good.

Danger Will Robinson

Danger Will Robinson

Yesterday the Sliding door repair kits arrived. This evening I decided to see how far I could get by myself. I got out a bunch of cleaning supplies and tools and set to work.

Getting Tools together

Getting Tools together

I wasn’t quick, but the directions were clear and everything worked as they said it would. I did need to use tin snips to cut the track. I don’t know what kind of good scissors would cut thru the teflon track. Wire cutters might do the trick. One of the last steps is adjusting for an out of square door with shims. They tell you to move the door to one side or the other and look at to see if the door edge is consistent, if not shim. I slid the door all the way open and determined I needed shims on the left side. put in the shims and slid the door closed. Wow. There is now a gap that is over a half inch at the top of the door. Remove the shims and put them on the right side instead. Now the door is straight when closed, but is uneven when open. Since having a door closed is the goal, shims on the right it is.

The door is completed and I can close it with one hand. It isn’t perfect by any means, but I’m pretty sure that now people won’t have to stand outside waiting for me to open the door for them with my special ninja hands.

Very pleased with my purchases and would definitely recommend the door replacement kit if you have a tricky door and want to put off getting new doors for a while longer.

Why no pictures of the completed door? It is dark and it looks exactly the same as it did before. Now it just moves easier.

A New Day, A New Floor


For those who have been in the studio and even just those who have read the blog, it is apparent that light colored carpet was a very bad flooring choice for the studio. I have been considering my options.

The studio is the original 1930’s garage for the house, so is just an oil stained concrete floor beneath the carpet. One option would be to just clean and paint the floor and call it good. Easy maintenance, but a big bummer on the legs and back when standing to cut or dye fabric.

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Late last year I noticed a new book on skinny quilts. I was immediately drawn to the quilt, but in looking at it, I determined it was something that I could do. Showing up at my weekly Friday sewing group 3 of the other 4 members saw the same book and were also drawn to the quilt. Fast forward to January when the designer of the quilt visits our quilt guild and has a workshop to create the quilt from the book.

I didn’t really feel I needed the class, but I knew that if I signed up, I would actually get the quilt made. That turned out to be true.

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Quick Cuddle Quilt

Hospital_quiltI needed a quick quilt for someone in the hospital. Hospitals are so drab and if you have to spend any time there you really need something brighten up the room.

I designed a quick layout of squares and rectangles. Two squares and one rectangle make up the quilt blocks. I played around with sizes and decided to make quick work of the project, bigger was better. A good size turned out to be based on 16 inch blocks.

To ensure that it was nice and cozy, I used flannel for both the front and the back. The colors didn’t come out exactly the way I wanted, but it worked for the purpose.

Light or Dark: That is the question

I am working on some UFO’s that I inherited from my grandmother. She had several boxes of projects in various stages of completeness when she passed away.

I have been working to complete some of the projects to give to the grand kids. My goal is to try to divide up what I have so that each family gets a lap size quilt. Since I only need 7, I think I will have enough pieces to work with. All but one of them are scrappy quilts. The projects that she was last working on were simple one patch designs using 5 inch squares of scrap fabric. I have one completed and she has enough squares cut and started for at least 1 or 2 more. Continue reading

Sunny Braid Finished

Sunny BraidI challenged myself to finish my braid quilt in time for the SCVQA quilt show. I knew that I would put off quilting this one if I didn’t have a deadline. The quilt show seemed like the perfect opportunity to give me that deadline. I thought the quilt lent itself to a fairly easy choice for a quilt pattern, even on my standard domestic machine.

I decided to follow the zig zag patter of the braid across the quilt. I started with the middle row and quilted from one side of the quilt to the other. I then worked my way to the top and bottom of the quilt by quilting every 4th row. By only quilting every forth row I got the layers sabilized more quickly and it enabled me to give up sooner, if I ran into a lot of problems. I can’t say that I was super speedy, but it really wasn’t difficult. I was able to use my walking foot, since it was straight lines, so it wasn’t stressful at all. I ended up quilting every other row. At the top and bottom border I just continued the same quilting pattern.

I’m happy to say it is complete and it looks great in the guest bedroom.

Theo’s Light Bright quilt

In ProgressTheo’s QuiltThis quilt went together very quickly. I created all the points of color by sewing full strips of each color together alternating them with black strips. Once they were all sewn together, I then cut them into the rows for all the borders.

I had to do a little bit of un-sewing to get the lengths that I needed for each border strip, but that was much easier than cutting and sewing each small square separately.

For my next version of this quilt I may do a little bit of rag edge for the large squares to introduce some texture.