Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Meet Brian!

It's been a year now since I have taken my sewing hobby and quilting to a more serious level.  About this time last year, I created a small table-top quilt with a fall theme in anticipation for Thanksgiving, and then it snowballed into me making more and more quilts--I just couldn't stop--I love it!  Shortly thereafter I created this blog and joined the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild--not necessarily in that order.  Oh, and I can't forget the sewing studio renovation.  As a result of that, I'm teaching sewing classes, and I'm quilting on commission as well as for pleasure.  So many great things have resulted from my latest pursuits.  Among these great things are the friends that I have met along the way, particularly in the guild and in the blogging community.  Just recently I connected with Brian Turner, Staff Writer and toxic substance safety advocate, who posts regularly on The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance BlogBrian's mission is to create awareness of environmental health risks and that's how we connected.  He discovered via my blog that I (actually my husband and I) had just completed a renovation and so now I am delighted for him to post his important message here and help keep us all safe.  So if you are considering future DIY projects, Brian and his colleagues are a great resource or "go to" when preparing for renovation, or other safety concerns for that matter.  And now here's Brian -

Be Careful Of Toxic Substances When Renovating

An older home is more likely to have toxic construction materials. Old homes used to be heated by boilers. Those boilers had their pipes wrapped in a paper-like substance called asbestos. Unfortunately, asbestos is highly toxic, irritating the respiratory system when inhaled, which leads in extreme cases to lung cancer, mesothelioma cancer and other disorders. Toxic products in the home can be released into the air during renovation. Homeowners must take steps to protect themselves when renovating an older home themselves.

The primary danger spots for potential problems are the basement, the kitchen and the bathroom. Actually, the water pipes throughout the house pose a problem because of the risk of mold. Even a small amount of water leaking from a pipe will create the conditions that mold likes best. While mold is not usually considered to be cancerous, victims of cancer often finger mold as a contributing factor if not the primary culprit. What is known for certain is that mold also causes respiratory problems.

Breaking open moldy drywall releases mold spores into the air, which can infect the bronchial tubes and lungs. Some forms of mold are extremely toxic and even deadly, depending on the situation. Be careful when renovating bathroom, kitchen or basement. The two most common areas for mold to grow without pipe leaks are doors and windows, especially in the bathroom. Dealing with mold requires wearing masks and gloves. The gloves prevent mold spores from getting on the hands. The mask prevents the homeowner from accidentally breathing them.

Another potentially toxic element is the insulation that was used behind the drywall. Again, this depends where the homeowner does the work. Some insulation is toxic to humans because of particles or fragments released into the air. Insulation can also off-gas volatile organic compounds or other toxic chemicals. This is a problem regardless of whether the homeowner demolishes the drywall containing the insulation. However, opening up the drywall without the proper protection the homeowner at even greater risk.

Finally, a major risk factor for various health problems in lead, which is chiefly in older homes, particularly homes built before 1978, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. (2) Lead is typically only found in paint. The paint fragments from demolished walls and ceilings can release microscopic paint fragments containing lead into the air. These lead-containing fragments are also dangerous if they are swallowed.

In all cases, separate the area of the home where remodeling work takes place from the rest of the house. Put up a plastic barrier over the doorways of the rooms being renovated. It may be wise to set up a clearing area just outside the rooms by using plastic to create a walled enclosure. This is done with severe cases of asbestos removal. In extreme situations, outside ventilation with negative air pressure machines may be utilized to make sure that all toxins are filtered out of the air. Using this method ensures that the rest of the home is completely safe for everyone involved.

Brian, thank you for stopping by and sharing such important information with us.  Please stop by whenever you would like, I'm sure we all would love to know more.  Also, readers, followers, and friends, please check out
The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog to obtain additional information and articles.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Everlasting Hug

My daughter's quilt is finished, and I am anxious for her to see it.  My wait, however, will be a little long today, as she has school tonight and won't be in until around 10 PM.  As most of you know, I enjoy quilt making but making this one was very special.  Here's why.

For the last couple of years, my daughter, as a young adult, has had her fair share of tribulations--none of which I will bore you with--but it seems no one I know personally is more deserving of a hug than she.  Being her mother, one who has watched her grow up to become a fine young lady, and who is now a mother also, it's only natural that when you witness your own child going through tough times, you want to at least give them a hug as an offering of encouragement, comfort, and support.  So while working on this project I had ample time to reflect on recent times, especially where she's concerned and have come to realize that this quilt will always be a hug from me, an everlasting hug!

This is Cubic Rhythm in its final form -

Well I better get started on my Halloween costume.  I've got a party to go to on Friday . . . .

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cubic Rhythm

My daughter has been wanting me to make her a quilt and has been waiting patiently for months without saying a word.  Finally, she couldn't stand it any longer and said, "When are you going to make ME a quilt?"  I responded by saying, "Go through my books and pick out a pattern and I'll make one for you."  To my surprise, she picked out a pattern that I would have never imagined she would want.  An overwhelming sense of relief suddenly came over me because I was thinking, whew, I'm sure glad I didn't take it upon myself to select a pattern and fabrics--I would have totally missed the mark. The pattern she selected is called "Cubic Rhythm" from Better Homes and Gardens Easy Quilt Projects copyright 2010.  I admit I was a little dismayed when she first showed it to me (I guess I had something else in mind), but I went on to ask her about the colors she would want as well.  At first she said she wanted the colors similar to the Dress Form Silhouette quilt--the quilt I had just finished for my client.  I then let out a small  groan because while I wanted to make her a quilt with the colors she likes, I was also wanting to use fabrics from my stash.  Unfortunately I did not have enough leftover fabric from my previous project.  So reality set in and I compromised by using as much as I could from my stash pulling out a muted abstract stripe with greys, blues and greens, two florals --one blue and one brown, and then I purchased three fabrics: one print with browns, greys, and greens, and two solids - a dusty blue and green.

I have completed piecing the top, modifying it just a tad . . . and she likes it!  Here's a preview.

I'll be back when it's finished.