Bill and Sue get repaired

I finished knitting my sweater last week.  It was a great project for working through my anxiety about the house repairs.  But, there's no good place to block it that won't be in the way for a while.  Rather than try, I picked up another project to keep my hands busy. 

I picked up this Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Bill UFO in an antique shop a couple years ago.  There were a couple of Sue blocks made and the pieces of Bill were there, but no layout for where to put the pieces.  I made these ten blocks.  And, last week, I started remaking these ten blocks.  Because that's what I do.  (not sure about the Sue in the top row in the white dress.  She might need a new dress.)

I wasn't happy with them.  Bill's shoulders were halfway down his back and Sue's hand was constantly outstretched like she wanted something (Excuse me, could we get this little girl a glass of water?)  So, I started taking the arms and hands off and by Saturday evening, I had them all back together again. 

I believe that UFOs are created when projects don't come out the way we envisioned them.  That leaves us uninspired for the project.  I think that's what happened to the original maker.  The blocks were kind of a mess when I got them, and I could see someone being disappointed in that and giving up.  Start something new that inspires.  I buy UFOs so I can pick them up at that point, with no expectations, and see what I can create from the original maker's disappointment, just by seeing it in a new light.  I'm glad I was able to set this one aside for a while, until I could forget my original vision and come back with fresh eyes and correct the things I didn't like. 

And, yesterday, I made this block. 

Most of the fabrics are not mine.  Either they came in the UFO or I supplemented with garment fabric from my Mom and also from my stash of quilting fabric.  I tried to keep in a family of 70-80's prints as much as I could.  And, a new, heavier background. 

The crew was here working on the foundation Wed-Fri.  They were afraid they'd have to come back on Saturday because of obstacles they ran into, but they didn't have to do that, thank goodness. 

I will say the whole experience was disconcerting.  And, I worried that I had overpacked...taken too much care.  I had not.  Even with all the glass and dishes in the kitchen packed or padded in some way, I could still hear glass rattling and finally realized it was in the fridge.  The house moved.  It went up and down and side to side.  I holed up in our bedroom with the cats and dogs.  The crew wasn't in the house until Friday, so there was just the one day of them jackhammering through the foundation 15 feet from where I sat, trying to hear a conference call.  But, I did sit and work all day Thursday and Friday.  I guess it was a way to stay busy and not think about what was going on. 

This is one of the jacks they used.  The black pole in the middle is the pier that will support the house and keep it level.  The red part is the hydraulic driver that pushes them down.  The pier was driven down about 20 feet until it hit the rock substrata.  So, now the house sits on rock, not clay soil. 

Here are three of them lined up along the back of my kitchen/dining room.  They used the weight of the house as leverage to drive the piers down.  That caused the house to bounce, especially the kitchen. 

They did piers down both sides of the house and across the back, and six piers inside the house that they went through the floor to place.  They broke and repaired a water line.  They put the dirt back in the holes they dug.  When they started, we told them that whatever they dug up, they could toss to the side and not bother trying to replant.  All our flower beds on the sides and back of the house need to be remade to aid drainage away from the foundation, so what they dug up gave us a head start on that project. 

Today, the plumber comes.  He's our wild card.  They're going to test the water lines, incoming and outgoing, for leaks.  If the plumbing settled with the house and didn't crack, we will be very lucky.  If not, we will be giving the plumber a lot of money.  So, again, fingers are crossed that the damage is minimal.  I cannot tell you how much it costs to replace a whole plumbing system in a city where plumbers make $135 an hour, on average.  I just don't want to know that.  If I need to know it, they will tell me.

Everybody have a great week!!  I started unpacking on Saturday.  I was doing it right, unpacking all the dishes and running them through the dishwasher before putting them in the cabinet.  Then, Rob wondered what if they have to jackhammer through the foundation again to repair a water line?  And, I stopped working and sat and sewed Bill and Sue blocks. 

I deserved the rest. 



Anonymous said...

WOW! Sounds very stressful. Worse for the animals, they wouldn’t know what’s going on. The UFO is so cute. Lots of work. Thanks for sharing. Mary

Anonymous said...

Bill and Sue, how precious! They are going to look great when you are finished, if you ever do finish. Don't know how you 3 have kept up with all the workmen and changes and such. What a week!!! Take care and rest when you need to. lum