Yes, they are heads…

Judy sent me a detail shot and more info. It's pretty interesting! She says:

"Just wanted to give you a follow-up on the church door. The heads represent the 6 bishops of Ljubljana overlooking the body of Christ. The shiny knob is the result of thousands of hands entering the church and "rubbing it shiny". I'm sending a different view to show it a little better. "

0111 Ljubljana

Interesting, indeed. You should be able to click the photo and see it larger.

Now I'm going to reveal the practical part of myself. Perhaps it's because I live in Texas where any standing water = mosquitos. Mosquitos that could carry West Nile virus which no one wants. I look at the large vessel in the lower right (an amphora if I'm not mistaken) and the bishops' miters (hats) and I wonder if they were designed in such a way as to not collect water. I can't help myself – I'm spending at least as much time wondering about the water as I am about the story that is being depicted. Does anyone else ever wonder about this sort of thing? 


Are those heads?

Yes, they are. Judy Liebo sent this picture of a door that is on a church in Ljubljana. She says that while it isn't from Italy, she couldn't resist sending it to me. Thank you, Judy – this is a really interesting door!

0113 Ljubljana

It's fascinating, don't you think? I wonder of the average person, back when this door was new, had any idea of what it depicted. (I've had a lot of art history and should know the answer to that, but I don't.)

I also wonder if the shiny brass doorknob is original equipment? It looks out of place.

More doors…

These came in from Mary Lines. This is from Notre Dame in Paris…


I have stood in that same spot and I must say that these are indeed marvelous doors. I need to comb through my own Paris door photos…

And these are photos she took in Amsterdam…



My mom needs brass plates at the bottom of her back door like these. Taz, the 8 lb wonder-Yorkie, is scratching the life out of the bottom of her door.

We’re really done this time!

Today the final touches were put on the remodel at Chris and Lorna's. I admit that I allowed some mission creep. I could not call the job finished without replacing an awful window over the kitchen sink that overlooks the newly remodeled side deck. And the boards on the side and back decks were really slick when wet and needed to be made safer. 

I read an op-ed piece last week that I can't find to link to now, but in it the author was lamenting the loss of craftsmanship. As I remember it, he said that we used to be a nation of tool users and now – not so much. I suspect that that is correct and that most of you have never replaced a window. So here's a quick look at what we did.

The old windows (and there are 9 more that I am ignoring) are single-pane aluminum windows with an additional aluminum storm window. This is a different window but they all look like this.


Taking out the old window was slow and sort of hard. The storm window came off more easily once Steve figured out where all of the screws were. The inside window was another story. After nearly an hour I finally googled it. What little I found suggested breaking the glass and cutting the aluminum which is what we ended up doing. I was too busy trying to be helpful to take photos. (Did I mention that it's even hotter now?)

We never did figure out how the original installers put the old window in. It made no sense. But eventually we took the bits apart enough to find all the screws. We ended up having to remove most of the wood that the old window had been attached to. 

The new window came with flanges that, as it turns out, were never going to fit in the opening. Luckily they were vinyl and Steve cut off what needed to be removed. He screwed the window into the opening through window casing. Then I filled in the gaps between the window and walls with foam insulation.


And a detail…


That was Friday. Saturday we went back to trim the window, inside and out. I don't know if you ever think about what lies under the trim/moulding in your house but it's often kind of ugly. Trim helps a whole lot! And caulk to fill the gaps doesn't hurt either.


We decided that the two decks needed to have a gritty finish on them to keep us all from slipping. I went to Lowe's and found out the oil-based porch paint sprinkled with some stuff that looks a lot like fine salt is what was called for. Steve power-washed both decks several days ago and they were dry enough today to paint.

Back deck before:


and after…


It's a surprisingly calm, almost boring color which keeps the focus on the door and wall colors. 

Here's the side deck, before:


and after… 


It takes oil-based paint 2 days to dry so I don't know yet if the gritty stuff is gritty enough but I do hope so. I painted the trim on the new window this morning too. None of this painting took that long and it makes such a difference in the way the area looks. 

So that's it – mission accomplished! Now I'm going back to choosing fabric for the 2nd door quilt.

How to make a perfect invisible stitch…

I'm still making videos and I think you are going to enjoy this one especially!

If you have ever taken a class from me or Linda, if you have any of our Applique Sampler books, if you have the DVD – you have seen this stitch. But even with all that, there's nothing like seeing it again – up close. I do hope you enjoy it.


I've been tidying up the Lessons home page. I've added more videos that I didn't blog about so you might want to give it a visit when you have time. Click here.

And I thought you might like to see where I'm making these videos:


My studio is not that big and the light stands are in my way a good part of the time. I have a few more videos to make and then I'm going to give the movie-making a rest for a bit and get back to quilt-making!

It’s good to be busy!

I've made a little progress on Door #2…


This is a more complicated block – lots of little pieces that could be simplified and it's possible that I will simplify it. Or not. I can't tell right now. I am thinking that I will treat each block as a separate quilt – but they could be sewn together. I'm finding that this is an incredibly flexible set of designs.

Kim, a friend here in Sherman, sent this photo of a door from a structure in Norway that dates from the 1500s. I think that's grass on the roof, isn't it? The base of the house makes me think of feudal Japan which is just totally wrong.


Marlene sent me two photos. This one is from one of Napoleon's villas on Elba:


And these from a fortress in Monteriggioni from 1213. Amazing to think that all of these doors we old before our country was even an idea. We should all feel young together! (Oops, forgot the photos. Here they are:)



I don't know if you noticed, but I did add a link to my Pinterest boards in the sidebar of the blog and on the piece o' cake home page. Now I just need to remember to pin more things. 

I've also added a search feature to this blog. Who knew I could do that! I've used it already to try to find old posts and I'm happy to report that it works!