Saturday, August 27, 2016

Architectural Distractions

On Monday, my son had surgery to remove a small tumor from his lung. We expected it to be a reappearance of a previous liver cancer, and it was. We were as prepared as parents can be. It may help, but that doesn't make it easy. He's home now, his prognosis is pretty good, and he gets better every day. He's chipper and upbeat, so we're all feeling better than we did earlier, but it has been a stressful week.
Sometimes a person needs a mental escape to help deal with stress. I escape into architecture. There's something soothing about houses, and I totally shut out the world when I get focused on designing a house.

This is the first pair of houses I designed this week. The cottage was in desperate need of remodeling.
 When I was in elementary school, I drew castles, or I made doll house furniture from cut and folded paper. Later I took to drawing floor plans. The more stressful the situation, the more floor plans I drew. Sometimes I simply made house plans for fun. It's a good thing that graph paper was cheap because I've gone through reams of it over the years.

The three completed houses with the cottage in the middle. New siding, new roof, new trim, and new position have made a world of difference!
Now, I've graduated to designing houses on quilts. I'm not completely sure what I'll do with these houses in autumn fabrics. Table runner? Wall hanging? They're too big for mug rugs. I don't even know how many houses I'll need. At least one more, I think, but maybe two.

How do you think I should use these little structures? Each fits nicely into a 9" x 9" block, but 9" x 12" would also be a good size. What should accompany them? I'd love to hear your views.

Lunch is finished and I'm heading back to the construction site. 
House #4, coming up!


  1. Karen, so sorry to hear about your son's illness. I can't even imagine what you're going through. I hope for a good prognosis for him.

    Your houses are sweet. How about a wall-hanging? I've thought of combining appliqued houses with log cabin blocks, and will get around to doing that one's on a very long list of quilting projects I hope to do. Can't wait to see #4!

    1. Thank you for the kind thoughts. Life does throw the unexpected at us, and we can only hope to handle situations with grace. It has been a very difficult time for us, but our little family is so strong and supportive, that the hard times are easier to bear.

      I'm glad you like my little houses. The fourth is done and I'm definitely leaning toward placing them in a wall hanging. I've made photocopies of the houses and I'm playing with layouts today. As yet, nothing brilliant has come to mind. This may take awhile, but better late and great than early and disappointing.

  2. I am sorry to hear about your son's recurrence but glad he is on the mend. Of course it has been stressful and sewing is a great release. I love your houses. I always like to look out and see a tree from my windows and this has been the case in every house I have lived in. Alternatively you could alternate these lovely little houses with a simple nine-patch block. Whatever you decide it is sure to look as lovely as all your projects do. Please give your son my best and let him know I am sending healthy wishes across the sea to him. xxx

    1. Hello,friend. Thank you so much for your kind words. My son is doing very well following his surgery, and the houses have been a tremendous distraction for me. As you say, there are many options for a quilt design using houses. I hope all is well with you. I'm really enjoying your journey 6" quilt blocks. Your innovative ideas are never ending and always wonderful fun.

  3. Came across your blog via Craftsy where I am loving your mug rugs (I will be picking up a couple of them, just can’t decide which ones I want :-). Your little houses are delightful! They would look great on a table runner or wall hanging or even placemats. I can identify and sympathize with the need for a mental escape as I have a son facing health challenges also (mine is early 30's and lost most of his twenties to illness). Watching them struggle to get on with life the best they can, putting on a brave face and not being able to help other than moral support, well the stress is often overwhelming and sewing is one of my escape too… My heart goes out to you and yours. Looking forward to seeing your next house!

  4. Thank you so much, Patricia. I am so sorry to learn of your son's illness. You are so right. The hardest part of all of this is the inability to do anything other than to be supportive when we want nothing more in this world than to make it better with a bandaid and a kiss like we did when they were very young. Motherhood is wonderful, but it is never easy. I am truly grateful for your words of support. I'll be thinking of you and your son as we work through all of this. You'll both be in my prayers.