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Like so many of us in Michigan, we had a wet basement this spring.  Unlike most others though, it was not a new problem for us.  We had floorboards (it's a finished basement) rotting away in spots so in November, my husband started taking up the floor to see if he could pinpoint the problem.  With the spring thaw we found 4 long cracks (easily about 6-8 feet long) and lots of water.  To make a long story short....the cause is the hydrostatic pressure under the floor and next month the workers will be in to trench around the foundation wall (on the inside), put in a drainage system and a second sump pump and repair the cracks.  The downside is that we have to completely remove the floors and walls (or at least the bottom 30 inches of them).  We are doing that ourselves (the repair job its self will be over $10,000....so anywhere we can save money is good) and it's been a huge job.  So why is that important on a quilting site?  Guess where my sewing room is?


Over the years, I have gradually expanded my space down there until I had my perfect sewing room.  I had 5 machines and a serger set up that could all be used at the same time.  The batting was hanging up for easy access.  For Christmas one year, my husband redid the wiring for me so the light is great and I have enough sockets.  There was a kitchen in the basement and the island became my cutting table.  There are photos of my sewing room in my photos if you want to see for yourself.


I have spent the last 2 days taking my sewing room apart.  I have a corner of the office to use.  I set up my smallest sewing table (the one I started with in 1974) set up with one of my machines.  Some of the material is in the closet in the office, some is in the closet in the guest room and some is stacked up (in plastic bins) in the guest room.  Most of the machines are tucked away in corners of the guest room but one is under the sewing table in the office.  I haven't quite decided where the ironing board or my big cutting boards are going to land...that's today's task.  I think it will work. 


It's a pity it's happening now as I am a teacher and usually summer is when I really immerse myself in sewing, but I am going to travel and see my kids instead (a 3,000 mile road trip all by myself...but it will keep me out of my husband's hair while he rebuilds the bones of my sewing room).  The sewing room is the priority...even to my husband and there is an upside.  We are taking the kitchen part out and I will gain an extra 6 feet of space for my sewing area.  I am already thinking about how I want to rearrange the space.  With the walls out, it will be very easy to add more electric sockets to the other walls...so I will have the plugs where I need them.  And....I am between projects.  I finished the last one, a log cabin star jacket for a friend, on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of it.  When she came in for a fitting (so I could decide how to do the buttons) she decided it didn't need buttons and took it with her.  Hopefully I will be able to get over there and take some photos soon...it really did come out beautifully!


So, like I said, bittersweet.  The bitter is losing the room for the summer.  The sweet is getting to see my kids a little more (I live in Michigan, they live in Oklahoma and Colorado) and getting a bigger sewing area out of it.  Hopefully it will go a lot like childbirth, at the time it goes on forever but in retrospect, it really didn't take that long.

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Comment by Billie Blakeney on September 1, 2011 at 7:13am
Read my most recent post(s) regarding the run off from our roadway. With the high water table, the water appeared in my family room once again. We're still in discussion as to the next recourse to take. We've put in french drains around the house to take the 'pressure' off the foundation. We'll have to invest into a submersible pump for the pit to continue to aleviate high water when the next hundred year storm arrives ..could be next week, next month, next year????? I'm glad that you're moving forward on the repair. Good luck with your project.
Comment by Karon on September 1, 2011 at 6:46am
This is a beautiful sewing room.  Great job.
Comment by Irene Gallway on June 18, 2011 at 8:53am
I have watched "Income properties" on HGTV and can visualize what your dealing with. On that show they run into situations like that. I think it's a blessing in discuise right now. I can't wait to see your new space.
Comment by Brenda Patterson on June 18, 2011 at 8:19am
Sorry to read about your water worries.Good thing that things like machines were lost due to damage. Kids ,travel and a new sewing room sound good to me the summer will fly by.
Comment by Linda "Sue" Robertson, TN on June 18, 2011 at 4:40am
I have been married 43 years and it looks like you and I have learned a very important lesson.  Leave the house when dh is doing repairs!!!!!   No arguments that way, any gallons of paint they spill we won't know about unless they tell us later but then it won't matter because they will have cleaned it up.  Works like a charm for us and what I found out, he does a good job!!  Young ladies out there, this is good advice coming from someone who is 60!!    Go have a blast with your children, and you will have your new sewing room to look forward to when you get home. 
Comment by Laurie on June 17, 2011 at 8:56pm
Other than the cost of the repairs, this sounds like a win - win situation.  Get to see your kids for the summer and when you get home you'll have a brand new sewing room.  Just curious where in Oklahoma they live.  I live halfway between Tulsa and OKC on I-44.  I'd love to go to PA for the summer and see my daughter and her family then go to FL and see my DGSs there.  Enjoy your trip and be safe.
Comment by Terry F on June 17, 2011 at 7:45pm
Oh Annie, that sounds like a big job.  You are lucky that your DH can do those things.  But you'll enjoy the grandkids, and your room will be perfect once again when it's done.  Very glad that your machines were not damaged!
Comment by Gayle/La. on June 17, 2011 at 12:07pm
I am from the south and I have never been in a house with a basement but I have often thought how lucky you all are that have all that sewing room down there.  I hope you all don't run into any difficulties getting that bad news turned into good news sothat by the time you are home again everything will be completed and ready for you to organize it and sew and sew.
Comment by Billie Blakeney on June 17, 2011 at 11:05am
Been there and done that but it was my music room with flooding that took place nearly every year. Had it repaired the same way you are going to do. Now the water is now diverted around the house and from the center of the house with lots of pipes that feed into a type of drain like well. Yes, it will be glorious when your basement is finished. Good luck, and keep smiling.
Comment by Suzanne L/WA on June 17, 2011 at 9:34am
As I was reading this and got to your line "Guess where my sewing room is?", I said "Oh-no!"  But as I read on, I see that you and your husband are making lemonade out of lemons.  :-)  How nice to have a husband agree that the new space needs to be all yours, AND that you get to travel to see family while the hard work is proceeding.  Maybe you can take some hand sewing with you?  Enjoy the creative processes this new space will inspire!

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