Category Archives: bathroom remodel

Bathroom Reno, Week 4

The most dramatic change in the bathroom during Week 4 of the renovation occurred in the northwest corner. We went from this . . .

2013-4, nw corner, sheetrocked

to this . . .

nw corner, wk 4

I can’t wait to see what it looks like at the end of Week 5!

The subflooring has been covered with cement board in preparation for porcelain tile. The floor area under the windows on the northeast side is being filled in with a self-leveling liquid, as it is significantly lower than the rest of the room. Here is Theo exploring the area:

ne corner, wk 4

This half of the bathroom was originally a sleeping porch, measuring about 7½’ x 8′ and accessed by a door (no longer there) on the west wall. When we bought the house in 1981, this room had exterior siding on the two interior walls you see in the photo above. The sloping cement floor and ill-fitting windows rendered the room unusable, one of the reasons we incorporated it into a larger bathroom during the first remodel in 1985. (Oh, how I wish I had taken “before” pictures!)

Now that all of the open spaces in the walls and floor have been covered up, it’s safe to let Theo have a good look around:

nw corner, wk 4, Theo investigating

I hope you’ll come back next week for a good look yourself!



Posted in bathroom remodel, cats, update | 2 Comments

Bathroom Reno, Week 3

The walls in the White House bathroom are looking good. All of the open spaces in the walls have been filled with sheetrock, and the only lath and plaster you can see now is in the area where the shower will go. After the walls had been mudded and were dry, the crew sanded and vacuumed. They did such a careful job that almost no dust escaped into other rooms in the house. Now, after priming, the walls look almost good enough to hang pictures on!

south wall and sw corner, sheetrocked
South Wall and SW Corner
ne corner, sheetrocked
NE Corner
2013-4, nw corner, sheetrocked
NW Corner


The work this coming week will focus on the shower area, above, beginning with building the shower pan. Then the tilework begins!




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On the Sewing/Quilting Front

While electricians and plumbers were working their magic last week in the bathroom that’s being renovated (see previous posts), I was at work down the hall in my sewing room. As planned, I quilted two baby quilts — but the quilting didn’t go as planned. I wanted to do free motion quilting (FMQ) using a large-scale boxy geometric design. Alas, it was not to be. My up and down lines looked fine but I lacked control on the side to side lines.

After several attempts, each of which was followed by picking out stitches, I gave up on the FMQ and resorted to quilting straight lines in both directions using a walking foot. I randomly spaced the lines from three to six inches apart. It wasn’t necessary to mark the quilts as I used the straight lines in the print fabric and the seamlines as my guides.

You may remember that Nancy Stovall of Just Quilting basted the quilts for me on her longarm machine. The big red basting stitches were extremely easy to remove — but even so, it took a bit of time to remove the thread.

2013-4, thread nest
A Nest of Thread


My friend Pam Raby, who blogs at Quilts and Paws, suggested using water-soluble thread next time. Brilliant! I’ve already passed the suggestion on to Nancy.

Bound, labeled, and washed and dried, this quilt is ready to be delivered to its rightful owner. Here’s a photo of the back of baby Nehemiah’s quilt:

2013-4, back of Nemo's quilt
Baby Nemo’s Quilt, 46″ x 47″


I also found time to work up a wall hanging using my own Full Moon Rising pattern:

2013-4, FMR 900
In Progress: Full Moon Rising, 16″ x 57″

In addition to four metallic fabrics from the Neutral Territory line by Donna Becher for P&B Textiles, I used a beige circle fabric from the Earthtones line by Norman Wyatt Jr., also for P&B Textiles — those two lines are a match made in heaven! — and a Marcia Derse scallop print for the end pieces. The strips between blocks, which I’ll use for the binding, are from an Andover blender that I have in several colorways.

And finally, just because it’s spring — my favorite season — and I’m rejoicing in every blooming thing, I have to show you what’s on display in front of the Portland White House:

2013-4, April showers, tulips
Tulips in the Rain


2013-4, April showers, hellebores
Hellebores in the Rain





Posted in baby quilt, bathroom remodel, free motion quilting, update | 2 Comments

Bathroom Reno, Week 2

At the end of Week 2, the northwest corner of the bathroom is looking more like the future site of a shower. The sheetrock has been removed from the north wall and the water lines are in. The plumbing has been inspected and approved.

2013-4, week 3, nw corner


On Friday the wallpaper was removed. It turned out to be quite a task because of the glue that was used on wallpaper back in the 80s.  A whole lotta scrapin’ going on!

2013-4, week 3, east wall


I was a little sorry to see that wallpaper go. I really liked it:

wallpaper 1

wallpaper 2

If it were a fabric, I think I would have some in my stash!




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Bathroom Reno, Week 1

At the end of Week 1, some of the plumbing lines are in and most of the electrical work is done.

More lath and plaster, original to our 1913 home, was uncovered at the northwest end . . .

nw corner, prepping for shower
Northwest Corner

. . . in preparation for the shower. That rectangular frame is for a product niche.

At the opposite end of the room,  the west wall has been framed for a pocket door:

sw corner, framing pocket door
The West Wall


We’re using the bathroom’s original five-panel door, I’m happy to say. The door used to swing to the inside, toward the north wall. Converting to a pocket door is really going to open up that side of the bathroom.

It’s a little hard to see in the next photo, but the south wall is now wired for three sconces:

south wall, wired for electricity
The South Wall


The biggest challenge so far has been keeping our little black cat Theo away from the site. At the moment there are openings in the walls and, over where the tub used to be, a large open space between the subfloor and the downstairs ceiling. Theo is insatiably curious and would like nothing better than to investigate every nook and cranny in the bathroom. She is tiny — she weighs just 6 pounds — and can wiggle into extremely small spaces. This is the cat that’s already used up one of her nine lives by going down the hot air vent in the kitchen and coming up the one in the living room — via the furnace.

Theodora, May 2012
Empress Theodora — Theo for short






Posted in bathroom remodel, cats, update | 5 Comments

The Bathroom Remodel Begins

When we remodeled the upstairs bathroom in 1985, I neglected to take “before” photos. Not this time around! I want to capture every moment in the bathroom’s transformation.

Here are some pictures of the bathroom before the crew arrived last week and emptied it of most of the fixtures.

nw corner
NW Corner


ne corner
NE Corner


se corner 2
SE Corner


sw corner
SW Corner


In the photo below, I am standing in the tub facing south.

looking south
Facing South


Do you want to see what the bathroom looks like now? Take a look! This is the northwest corner, where the shower will go:

nw corner, empty
NW corner, empty


This is the northeast corner, where the clawfoot tub will go:

ne corner, empty
NE Corner, Empty


The southeast corner:

se corner, empty
SE Corner, Empty

The windows you see above, installed in 2004, are just about the only things in the bathroom not being replaced.

The southwest corner:

sw corner, empty
SW Corner, Empty

See that lath and plaster? It’s original to the house — the bathroom walls were sheetrocked during the 1985 remodel. On the other side of the lath and plaster is a linen closet that’s going to get a fresh coat of paint.

There’s still a little demo left: the wallpaper has to come off and the remaining light fixtures removed. But things are rolling along. The clawfoot tub was delivered today, and the plumber arrives bright and early tomorrow morning.




Posted in bathroom remodel, update | 6 Comments

Happy Birthday, House!

Our house was built in 1913, which means it turns 100 years old this year. Happy Birthday, House!

Portland White House
The Portland (OR) White House


We’ve done a lot to the house over the 32 years we’ve lived here — remodeled the kitchen (twice), remodeled the upstairs bathroom, remodeled the main floor bathroom (twice), finished the basement, rebuilt the garage, and rebuilt the back patio (twice).

Now we are embarking on a second remodel of the upstairs bathroom. When we moved into our house in 1981, the upstairs bathroom had a tub but no shower. We replaced the tub with a larger Jacuzzi-style tub but didn’t add a shower because we had chosen to relocate the tub under a picture window. It’s time to add that shower now.

We’re going to replace the jetted tub with a clawfoot tub, add a custom shower on the opposite wall, and replace all the other fixtures in the bathroom. We’re not doing the work ourselves, I hasten to add. My husband and I are not do-it-yourselfers when it comes to these kinds of home improvement projects.

Although my website/blog was created to chronicle my sewing and quilting life, I’ve decided to include the transformation of our upstairs bathroom. Demolition starts next week!




Posted in bathroom remodel, family, update | 12 Comments