Friday, April 4, 2014

Inground Stock Tank Pool Project

We decided to bury our 8' poly stock tank in the backyard to make it an in-ground pool or little spa really.  We bought the stock tank several years ago and have been using it as an above ground pool or spa.  First we had to take apart several raised garden beds to make room for the pool in the location we decided on. 



Then we dug, and we dug, until we finally called in a good friend with a tractor to help.


After that we still had to dig.  It was not easy, we were exhausted!


We lined the hole with old carpet scraps so that the pool would have a soft bed to sit in.  We leveled it as best we could and started out backfill.





We left room behind the pool to make an area to hold the pump, filter and hoses.  We then built a deck to level the whole thing out.  We built in a trap door so that the pump can be accessed from the top if necessary.





Then the rock came, 5.5 tons of 3" flagstone.  Boy did we have our work cut out for us!



Here it is really starting to come along, we put a little water in the pool only to find that our original pump and hose system wasn't going to work the way we wanted it to.


 We had started with an Intex pump 673R and the 1-1/4" hoses and the clamp on strainer and inlet.  It leaked, there just wasn't a good way to seal the connections well enough.  So, we had to come up with a better method.  We had an old used Hayward spa pump that would work if we went to the larger Intex hoses, strainer and inlet.  With these we were able to achieve a tight seal.  We did have to buy an adapter that went from the pump with standard threads to the "Intex threaded" hose.



All fixed and running like a charm.






These very small pools are tough to keep clean.  We use a siphon type vacuum that attaches to the hose for cleaning the pool, it's great for the big stuff but terrible at the fine silt. The super fine particulate matter was giving us fits, it would just flow through everything we tried.  I read some forums about how other were dealing with this problem and I came up with a couple of things that were far superior to the bags that come with the vacuum.  First I used some gym socks slid over the inlet held on with a zip tie.  Then I learned about biodiesel bags that will filter to 1 micron from Duda Diesel.   I bought the poly felt filter bag #2,  7" x 32"   This is what you see in the picture.  Boy did that do the job, really filters out the fine stuff.  I had to modify the bag to fit around the inlet.  I tapered the bag with my sewing machine to make the opening smaller and then I stitched an old t-shirt sleeve to the open end of the bag so that I had something thinner to wrap around the inlet so that I could use a zip tie to cinch it on tight.


Now all we need is warm weather so we can get in and enjoy all of our hard work!



We added a metal pool railing to the deck to assist getting in and out as well as a concrete garden bench from Lowes that we painted with pool paint to act as a step and a place to sit.



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chesapeake Bay Wedding Quilt


After returning from a trip to the east coast I felt inspired to make a quilt using plaids which is something I haven't done in a very long time.  I looked at several more traditional patterns and just couldn't get excited about anything that I saw.  I did, however, like the look of Geta Grama's modern dresden plate pattern that was popular about a year ago.  I also got a lot of inspiration and information from Cindy Lammon at Hyacinth Quilt Designs.  I gathered all my plaid scraps and a large box of plaids that I was gifted from my Aunt Beryl.  I didn't have a store bought ruler so I made my own out of cardboard. 

In the beginning

And the stack grows
Circles squared off .  Trying out different ideas for the area between the circles.


Getting ready to baste.  I had just enough room.  At 112" x 100" it is huge.








Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunny Steps Quilt

Introducing my new quilt design Sunny Steps.  I designed this quilt after I received this "Sunnyside" fat quarter bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop (www.fatquartershop.com).  I really like this line and everything else designed by Kate Spain for that matter.  I just love the 3D stacked boxes effect that was achieved.




Sunnyside Fat Quarter Bundle
Sunny Steps

Sunny Steps with my sweet dog Airlie

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My New OLD Standard Rotary Treadle Sewing Machine

I was gifted this old coffin top Standard rotary treadle sewing machine by a fellow quilt guild member. She has a pretty early 6 digit serial number so I'm guessing she is from the 1890's - 1900ish.  It was in  an uncleaned and somewhat neglected, but fair condition.  I knew nothing about vintage treadle sewing machines and was very excited to get my hands dirty and learn all about it.  I started to clean her up right away.  I first removed the machine from the cabinet.  It was evident right away that the decal was long gone so all there was to do was to clean off the years and years of oil and crud that covered the whole thing.  It took a lot of elbow grease and there is still more that can be done.  What I'm most excited about is how much better the cabinet looks after a cleaning with Murphy's Oil soap, touch up with some Old English and an application of Howard's Restor-A-Finish.  We figured out how to cut and fit the belt with a little help from YouTube.  I was able to figure out how to thread it and within minutes I was sewing.  She works like a dream.
Here is a FREE pdf of the original Standard Rotary Manual

Before she came home to me.

Catalog  Image

Coffin top before

Machine before

Dirty bobbin case with a little Liquid Wrench 
Distressed top before

After


Here she is in action with her ruffler foot attachment.
video

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pug Dog Silhouette Quilt

I was asked by a friend to make a pug silhouette quilt with three pugs, two black and a fawn to represent their family of pugs.  First I needed to figure out how to make a pug big enough for a quilt.  I found a few images online and read a few ideas and came up with this method.  I printed out an image of a pug onto regular printer paper then traced that onto a clear plastic sheet protector pocket thingy.  I then taped that to something that would suspend it... in this case a music stand.  I set up a light behind the plastic sheet to project the image onto the wall.  I  traced the pug onto a piece of butcher paper that I had taped there.  Once traced onto the butcher paper, I cut it out and pinned it to a piece of fabric and cut out the image.  I appliqued the dogs to the fabrics, added colorful appliqued collars and then quilted it.  Fun project!










Monday, September 23, 2013

San Marcos, Texas

Beautiful September morning in San Marcos, Texas  I happened to catch this shot on my phone camera while walking the dogs this morning.  No photoshop, just an iphone camera... Just had to share!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Boxed Chain Memorial Quilt

This is the third of three memorial quilts that I did for my partner's family.  This one is made using several of granny's black and white blouses and a couple of jelly roll pieces from my stash.  I wish the blacks had turned out looking blacker.   It needs a little more contrast to really build the box illusion.    Oh well, it is what it is and I think it does give the illusion just not as strong as I would have liked.  Overall, I'm very pleased, I love this red color!







In the shade

In the sun...