The labors of Labor Day

I have it in my mind that Labor Day is a day to Labor. Don't know where that came from...or at least I didn't until I talked to my parents last night and they labored on Labor Day. And, as far as I can remember, they always have. And, now, so do I.

Now, this first set of pictures is not something I made over the weekend. This is a wool rug that I crocheted. It's not perfect. Kind of rustic with the starts and stops obvious like they are. But, it fits in perfect with our other decor. Kind of home made and rustic. That's who we are.

See? it fits perfect in our living room. Rob plans to get a dog and have the dog lay on this rug at his feet. Now, I just need to get him a pipe and slippers and it will all be complete.

I know I said I probably wouldn't make any more rugs, but guess what? I started one this weekend. A new bathroom rug for Sydney. Purple, cuz purple is what it's all about, right?

But, most of my Labor Day weekend this year was spent refinishing furniture and quilting.

The other day, I sat in my antique secretary's chair in my home office. Now, the sad part of this story is that my antique secretary's chair has wheel problems. The holes are too big and the posts that the wheels are mounted to come out if the chair gets lifted off the ground. Okay, let's correct that right now. They used to come out. Not any more.

Anyway, I sat in my wonderful chair and it tossed me to the ground. Right on top of the little knitting stand that Rob brought me as a surprise. And, my little stand ended up in several pieces...as did the back of my chair. Several very frightfully, ugly words later ( I may have actually made up two new swear words that day) and by the time I was up off the floor, my little knitting stand was in a half dozen pieces, between glue that gave up the ghost and broken spindles and dowels. I spent nearly a week glueing it all back together, and this weekend was the final stage of getting it refinished so all the cracks would disappear. Doesn't look like much now, but the four pieces on the left will very soon be a beautiful knitting box, with a lid, on those delicate spindle legs again. Very soon. Like 16 screws and the last bit of glue soon.

My other project for the weekend was to paint the cabinet that my 1920's National Sewing machine is in. It's like giving the old girl a new dress. This cabinet was all to pieces. Of the 10 glue points that held the legs together, 6 were loose. The very top of the cabinet (the underside of the flat piece on the floor) was all peeling veneer. And, it was all black, bubbly laquer. I took the machine out and glued it all together and then I started sanding, and the more I sanded, the more beautiful red wood grain showed through. Gorgeous. Everything except the very top flat surface was salvageable, nary a crack and hardly a chip in the surface. So, I sanded it all down and got it ready to refinish. The color was a beautiful red mahogany, so I put more red mahogany stain on it...and all that wood grain disappeared. So, yesterday morning, I sanded it again...it's smooth as a baby's butt now. The wood grain all came back. I stained it with a natural stain this time so the grain didn't go away, and I put 4 coats of varnish on. Everything is finished except the sewing surfaces. I want to get another two coats of varnish on and then, this weekend, three coats of paste wax so it will be smooth and fabric won't have any drag as I sew.

That top surface is going to get paint. There was a time when people mixed paint and wood. I'm thinking I might bring that trend back. It will be so much easier than replacing the veneer.

I have to say that refinishing this has given me the bug. There's another two sewing machine cabinets that could use some hard work. And, the two end tables in the living room. Oh, and the dining table needs some work. Hmmmmm. I'll have to spread that out so I still have time to quilt.

My other big project was finishing the August Linus quilt. Here it is, all quilted and ready to go.

It's hard to photograph red quilting on a red quilt. The camera doesn't want to focus on the lights and darks, so you really can't see the leaves and vines in the border. But, it was a great chance to practice the leaf and vine for my West of Paris Texas quilt. Now, just to find the time.

I also started the September Linus. I pulled blocks from my bag of blocks that didn't make muster. Who knew I had so many. I used about half that were all greens, blues and yellows and sashed it in green. Hopefully pics of that soon.

Everybody have a great Tuesday. Take care. Stay dry and cool and run from Fire. We're having a lot of fires around here. Our home probably won't be affected. A lot of Austin would have to burn before it gets to us. But, it's so sad to see the destruction to neighborhoods around here. Guess it was perfect timing to turn in those Linus quilts last month. There's plenty of need and they should be in circulation by now.



Becky said...

Glad to hear that your location is relatively safe.....I've been thinking about y'all! Your refinishing projects sound great. Looking forward to the pictures of the completed pieces. I'm glad you didn't hurt yourself in the "bust-up"! That could have been even more disastrous. We've had solid rain for 3 days straight.....I wish I could route some to Texas!

Seraphinalina said...

What a cheery quilt! I love your August Linus.

Sydney is right, purple is what it's all about. I painted nearly every room I had in my many rentals through university purple.

Piece by Piece said...

Sounds as if you are getting to be a pro at refinishing. It must make you feel good to complete a project and have it look fantastic.
I have a piano bench that needs sanding down and refinishing, if I send it over.....well, maybe that's not such a good idea.
I am going to have a go at it myself and put a quilted padded seat on it.
Hope your neighbourhood remains safe from the fires.


Spice said...

Now I want one of those knitting boxes! I remember them from antique store visits. I'll have to hunt around ebay and check for them.

I did watch both movies and loved them again, for the 10,000th time.

I have the bug to watch "The Letter" next!

Coloradolady said...

I need to do some refinishing too, it is the starting that is the hardest. Plus the nerve. I want to redo two pieces that belonged to my great grandparents and they are mine now....I want to sand and paint them and get rid of the dark, dark stain. I don't have the nerve I need to get started. So I don't. I am torn between the finish I think I want and ruining the pieces. The mean nothing to no one but me, so value does not really come into play on this.....hard to decide.

Glad to hear you are safe...my daughter's Boyfriend who lives of Parmer, as does she, had a fire only a couple of blocks from his apt. Very scary!!

Take care...I am off to do a little sewing!

lw said...

Wow! I'm sorry to hear about the furniture disaster, but I'm glad you're already fixing it all.

I love the August Linus. It is such a happy-looking quilt!