Slow Progress

One year ago we decided to build a house. This is one year’s progress. Windows and doors are in, Rough electric, plumbing, heat, rooms walled in with most of the insulation is installed. We await city inspection. When we pass inspection drywall goes up and siding goes on. Once the siding goes on it will look closer to being a house.

The front porch and back porch are both poured with stamped concrete on the front. It’s a beautiful addition for the curb appeal and should really show off well with the siding. We won’t have the back porch screened until spring. Our lawn will also wait until spring, as the contractors all have enough work to take them till the snow flies.

I hope in a few weeks I will have pictures of rooms inside a sided house. We are choosing paint colors, buying light fixtures, and measuring and ordering furniture—sofas are six months out. Cabinets that usually take 12 weeks now take 24 weeks; no one knows how long we will wait for various appliances. We ordered everything we could as soon as we could. Now it’s up to the supply chain and subcontractors to get us into our house.



July 19, 2021

The basement was poured on July 9. You can see the garage and front porch which will both be filled in with dirt once the walls have cured. The basement lies in the background.

This is the back of the house where you can actually see the basement with the egress window. The back porch will be filled with dirt once the backfilling begins. That’s a lot of sandy soil surrounding us. We shouldn’t have a drainage problem.

.We hope to begin framing some time this week. Ten days down, 110 to go.


It’s happening. They started clearing the lot yesterday, June 10.

We made the decision to build this house on October 1. With my family, even after you make a decision, it takes a while to actually proceed. Because we need to make the right choices, whatever those may be, we decided to wait until spring to start the build. Technically, it is still spring in Wisconsin, with official summer less than 2 weeks away. But here we go.

The small lot will be completely clear of trees before the digging starts, as none of what was growing here had much of a life span left. Working with a blank slate is always easier. We were offered the smaller logs to keep for firewood if we chose to have a fire pit. No fire pit for us; our retirement home will have a screened porch. That’s where we intend to be next year on this day with a bottle of bourbon

We are building a house…I think

We were running out of time: 1) for building a house and 2) before we are forced to move. We found a builder and realtor who had lots to sell in a neighborhood less than a mile from where we have lived for 43 years. We liked what we saw, found a plan, and met with the realtor.

Then we waited. We met with a draftsman. Then we waited. Then we made changes; then we waited. We are still waiting one month later. In the mean time we met with another builder to get a second bid for a comparison, liked what we saw and may choose him.

The first builder is Mike Fern, a builder we have known for many years; he recognized us when we walked though his model home. He is an excellent carpenter, the lot is great and ready to build. The second builder is Paul Holzinger. John loved the Parade home Paul built four years ago. We liked what we saw when we toured one of his homes, but he has no suitable lot for us until maybe next spring.

This is the floor plan; it’s our attempt at downsizing. Everything on one floor, a room for sewing, laundry room, front and back porches, big kitchen, master suite.

But in the mean time…we wait.

Scrappy Triangles

A month or so ago I read a blog post from Debbie at A Quilters Table. She had made a few scrappy triangles from one of her blogger friends. She piqued my interest. Leila Gardunia at Sewn by Leila Gardunia started a year of scrappy triangles tutorial in foundation paper piecing. I read her first post about it and then about foundation paper piecing. I printed a few of the patterns and put it on my to-do list.

While waiting for the weather to warm up I went to my sewing room and did my two 100 day projects. With lots of time to sew, I picked up the FPP pattern and gave it a try. I have lots of scraps but not much in the way of low volume scraps. I have, and like, lots of green scraps. I also have some yardage of solids in a variety of greens, perfect for the top of HSTs.

So I dug into my green scraps and started paper piecing. These were my first three patterns. I was hooked. They are so fun to make. Back I went to Leila’s blog to read more. That’s when it hit me: the project is A YEAR of scrappy triangles. Yep, 52 FPP patterns and another long-term project.

Here we go. Leila is on week 30; I am on block 17 and I’m loving it. I’m adding colors as I go: blues, orange, yellow, aqua.

The best part is picking out fabrics and colors.

More projects; some progress

Let’s face it; I have enough fabric, I love to sew, I have no one to sew for. That means I find something I like and go for it. I found two projects. One I had to buy fabric for, and I love it. It was a 101 piece charm pack of bright Kona solids from Moda.

Aren’t they pretty? I joined #100daysofkonacolor and am making 4 HST every day from two squares of color and the gray. It will take less than 100 days but I’m okay with that. I can miss a few days and still keep up. It’s just so much more manageable at this pace.

We are officially 4 weeks into the craft projects, so I need to have 28 of whatever I’m doing. I have 300 four-patches and 32 HST doubles so I’m ahead of the game. These two projects take less than 30 minutes of my time in the sewing room which is good for spring sewing.

The weather is warming up and I will need to be getting yard work done which gives me less time sewing. It’s good to have goals and projects to keep me in my sewing room.

Crazy Scraps


Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts makes lots of scrap quilts. She saves all her scraps. I save most of mine, too, but usually not the small ones. On one of her recent blog posts she showed this quilt

It is made of hundreds of four-patch squares. I love it. I decided I have enough scraps to make one, too. Although I don’t believe mine will be this big–it’s at least a queen size. I tend to make lap size quilts. Then I began.

I went scrounging through one of my scraps bins, the one with the small scraps and squares. Those squares need to be 1&1/2″ each. I had a stack that size plus squares that were 3″ and 3&1/2″ that I could cut down without much waste. As you can see, there are lots of odd shaped scraps, too. Those are all getting cut down.

Now let me do the math. 50 X 70 inch lap quilt yields 875, 4-patch squares. That’s 3704 1&1/2″ squares. I chain piece two squares together until I have 200. Then I sew those together in groups of 10 until I have 100. And I only need to do this 10 times.

I read on a blog recently about something called the #The100DayProject. Anyone can join and do any project they want. I joined and the moderators send me an email every week keeping on task. I’m making this quilt.

My plan is to make 10 4-patch squares every day. I started late so I have some catching up to do.

I have 100 squares completed, 200 twos ready to sew together and a few stacks of squares. Each day after I make my 10 4-patches, I will either sew together some squares or cut some more from scraps. It’s doable. By July 4 I’ll be ready to sew them together. I’ll need another goal to get that done, too.

It’s a scrap quilt. I’m okay if this takes a while to complete.

Waiting For Spring

Today is April 15.

It is only six or so inches compared to more than 10 in The Cities or Green Bay. No spring here yet; Easter was 2 weeks ago and we have barely seen grass, held a golf club, or walked onto a pickleball/tennis court. Tulips are far from peeking through the ground and we can only think about what we will be planting. I even had a tough time cleaning out my winter porch pot.

To keep busy, and keep my mind off the weather, I’ve read a few books. Another Inspector Gamache and The Great Alone kept me interested for a few days.

My sewing room is also busy. I’m joining a 100 Day Project and making another scrap quilt. I also took a few weeks to participate in a free-motion quilting challenge, and indeed, it was a challenge. All of those are separate entries–I have lots of time on my hands to do indoor activities.

The Pacific Northwest

Portland, the Oregon coast, Olympia National Park, Victoria Vancouver, Seattle, ferry rides, Portland. What a wonderful 10 day excursion. In Portland, we took our first Uber ride and John is now it’s biggest fan. He understands why Kelly uses it when she goes out. We had no idea how to get to the Pearl District from our motel, so we called Uber and off we went. We could enjoy a few beers at some of the many breweries downtown and get home safely.

This was our first view of what as to come. Mt. Hood from the air.

We drove off to Depoe Bay to see the whales,and see them we did. They were “dating.” Some of the pairs swam close to the shore and showed off for us. Actually it was the male showing off for the female, but we didn’t take it personally… It’s difficult to get pictures of them actually fluking, but I’m glad we stopped because the next day on the way back, fog covered the area and no one was whale watching.

Our first view of the Pacific.

Then Newport and a walk along the beach. Beautiful, breezy, a bit of fog, and very cold water.

We traveled along the ocean and inland on Highway 101 on our way to Astoria. There we encountered a three mile long bridge across the mighty Columbia River, a maritime museum, and Bow Pickers. Bow Pickers is an old fishing boat, parked in a gravel lot, converted to a “food boat,” selling fish and chips. That’s all they sell besides a can of soda or water. Best fish and chips.

Next leg of the journey is Washington. Next post.