Fabric Travels & the Kitchen Reno Adventure

Last year when I was in Calgary, I visited all my favourite quilt stores. Each one is very different. At Sewing Sensation, I spotted a bolt of fabric that had just arrived, it wasn't even on the shelf yet. I had to have some. I loved the whimsy and the colours. I brought it home and added it to my stash, knowing it would be useful one day.

Then a few months ago, a baby was born prematurely, she is the niece of a dear friend of my daughter's who lives in Tasmania. Olivia was very tiny and had to spend many weeks in the hospital. Memories of Liam flooded back when I saw the pictures of this tiny baby. Had Olivia been born here in Halifax, Nova Scotia she would have received a preemie quilt, a gift from the quilters of several local quilt guilds. I decided to make her a quilt and send it to Tasmania. I decided to use that fabric I had bought in Calgary.

As I started to cut and sew I cut off the selvedge to add to my stash of selvedges. The name of the fabric is "Mind Your P's and Q's" and the designer of the fabric is "Keiki", it was made in Japan. Although Moda has information about their fabric designers, I couldn't find out anything about "Keiki". I began to think of the journey the fabric had taken, It was designed and made in Japan. Who knows where the cotton came from, it could have been anywhere cotton is grown in the world. Moda is an American fabric company that began almost 30 years ago. So the fabric would have come from Japan to the US then shipped in my case to Calgary where I bought it and brought it back to Nova Scotia. After cutting and sewing, then quilting it the quilt made it's way to Tasmania about as far away as possible from Nova Scotia. I have no idea how many miles that fabric has travelled but it must be alot!

Olivia snug and warm for a Tasmanian winter!

Thanks to my friend Phyllis who took the quilt with her to Tasmania when she went to visit her daughter. More pictures of Olivia's quilt are on my Flickr page here. Thanks Alison for the wonderful pictures!

In other news, our kitchen is almost done! Just the exhaust fan for the stove to go in, some tiling to do and a grate for the cold air return. It has been a great experience working with our kitchen/floor guys at Woodshapers and Brady and Clayton our electrician and plumber. It was a bit of a challenging space with 7 doors! We are now down to 5 doors and it is going to work just fine. I love the butcher block that was handmade using local NS wood (maple, yellow birch and white birch).

The new and the old! The floors are spruce, some of the boards are 14" wide, the are well worn with lots of character.


Crisp and bright, more pictures to come soon. The dining room floor will be sanded and refinished next (it is the same wood as the kitchen) then painting, new windows...the list goes on and on!



Well, progress is being made. We now have running water (and a dishwasher!) and electricity. The floor is done and looks beautiful, we are so pleased with it and I am so grateful Peter persevered to get up the 6 layers of various floors from the past. Removing the old cabinets revealed many layers of this kitchen's past life right back to the wide board wainscoting to the 5 or 6 layers of old wallpaper. There must have been an old oil cook stove at one time which leaked in a corner and stained the floor black. Some came up but we didn't worry too much as the refrigerator and cabinet covers most of it. 

New window, wide board wainscoting and some wallpaper

Patching and covering up the old 60's wood panelling

The door is gone

Painting is done, Dusty Miller walls though not much will show when the shelves and cabinets are installed

Old floor revealed

First swipe with the sander

Rick did a super job

First of three layers of verathane

The bones of the cabinets

All ready for butcher block (handmade using NS wood), sliding shelves and doors. 

We'll see more progress this week, the cupboard doors and drawers are being painted off-site. The pantry cupboard will have sliding shelves - finally some easy access storage!


Moving Right Along


L-R: 3 of the 7 doors - Basement door, hall and into the den. And now there are 2!

We tried to save the trim but it was just too solidly built, cut from at least a 2" thick piece of wood, they don't make trim like that anymore. Thankfully the other doors still have the same trim.

L-R: the Pantry cupboard used to be back stairs going up to the "Maid's room". The stairs are gone but apparently the hatch in the floor in the bedroom is still there. The window will be half the size and the stove moves to the right so there will be a range hood over it.

Some of the old charming wallpaper - 1940's maybe?

This seems to be the bottom layer of wallpaper, I peeled it off, it is very brittle. I have no idea how old it is.

Another sample of old paper, perhaps 60's, that wonderful avocado green and orange that my Mom was so fond of! The plaster is full of horsehair! I must look that up on Google!

So, the kitchen renovations are moving right along after one day they have made great progress. The last of the old flooring is gone, the old cupboards and tile are gone. We have moved everyting out, spread through the diningroom and livingroom. We'll be 2 weeks without the stove but I have my slow cooker, electric frying pan and the bbq - and the Pub is in walking distance!

We have a good schedule, we have till the 20th to do all the repairs, get the walls ready, the new window in then the floor gets sanded and varnished starting on the 20th. The new cabinets (fingers crossed) will be installed on the 26th. 

Once the cupboards were gone we discovered several layers of old wallpaper and wide planks on the walls plus some of that lovely 60's "wood" panelling. I forgot to take a picture of that, I wonder why? Maybe I should for posterity! 

We have been thrilled so far with the guys who are doing the work. Wonderful to live in a small community where you can call the plumber and he is here in 10 minutes! Same with the electrician and the building supply store is 5 minutes away. 

There are more pictures in my Flickr Photostream here.