Archive for January, 2010

You may think that I never actually get any quilting done.  Well, I must admit, I haven’t quilted for quite a while but I did do some sewing the other day.  I am back to work on the blooming 9-patch.  I had to set it out on the spare bed in order to keep the strips in order.

Blooming 9-patch strips

I’m adding the triangles to the end of each strip.  After that I can start sewing the strips together.  I like to think that I can afford to have this quilt custom quilted but I’m not sure that will really be the case.  It will be awhile before it gets completed so I have time to save some money.  Maybe I’ll get a nice tax return  ;o)  or not  ;o(

Bill and I are very happy to be in FL where we can be outside every day.  We are having good adventures, which I will share here when I get more time to blog.  I brought along three African Violet plants because I didn’t think they would be very happy in a house where the thermostat was set at 50*.

Happy plant

This one started blooming almost the day we arrived and the other two have some little blossom “sprouts”.  I’m happy that we brought them along and I think they are happy, too.

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Karen is celebrating her 500th blog post with a nice giveaway.  Check it out here.  Good luck.

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Suzanne, at Knots and Bolts, is closing her brick and mortar store and wants you to help her clean out some inventory.  Sooo, don’t wait! you only have until January 30th.   Head on over and check it out.  You can post on your blog to enter her drawing.  Buy some fabric or yarn, at 30% off and that will get you an entry, too.  Get all the details on her blog.

Good luck!

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Livin’ the dream

Aahhh, life is good.  No, actually, life is great!  If you follow this blog at all, you know that I have been blogging about my retirement since my first post in Feb. 08.  That seems like forever and yet it has arrived.  I retired from the fire department the middle of September and went to work for Lowe’s the first of October.  My last day with them was Dec. 31 and now I’m really retired, at least till May 1.

Bill and I moved the cat, Sassy, to stay with her foster mom on Monday, 1/4, packed the car with as much as it could possibly hold and drove away from our home in Maine of Thursday, 1/7.  We had a leisurely trip south, stopping for lunch with his sister in RI and staying the night with his SIL in VA.  We spent the second night in Savannah, GA and arrived at my condo in Port Charlotte, FL around 4:30 on Sat. 1/9.

The temps in FL were unusually cold, below freezing at night, and the temp in the condo upon our arrival was only 45*.  Yikes!  We promptly turned up the thermostat, which ran for the next four hours.  The natives have been freezing with the below normal temps but, although we had to wear jackets for the next several days, we don’t think it’s that bad.  It sure is better than the temps in Maine.

We have been out every day, buying this and that for the condo.  Bill had to fix the toilets, he hung up a small coat rack by the door, he put on new door locks.  Yesterday we bought a 6 foot table and set it up on the lanai for my sewing table.  I haven’t gotten the “sweatshop” up and running but it’s getting closer.  I packed two boxes full of fabrics and patterns with big plans to get lots of sewing done.

We have been walking every day and checked into joining a gym around the corner.  They have two locations and one of them has spinning classes, which excited us.  Tomorrow we start the South Beach Diet, again, so today we porked out on Mexican food and Fairytale Brownies.  We.are.bad…

In addition to posts about my sewing adventures, which have been few and far between lately, I will post notes and photos about the things we find while we are here.  There is so much that interests us, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Guess I’ll start with today.  We checked out our map and decided to head toward Garparilla Island.  We were very happy with that decision, it was beautiful.  We weren’t prepared for such a great day…no shorts, no sunscreen, no hats.  Oh well, we did think to pack a couple of chairs and limited ourselves to 20 minutes at the beach.

happy feet on Gasparilla Island

happy feet on Gasparilla Island

We drove to the end of the island to the Boca Grande lighthouse, built in 1890.   It experienced some damage during Hurricane Charlie but ultimately, survived very well.

Boca Grande lighthouse

We left out car in the parking lot and went for a nice walk along the only road to the end of the island.  We walked for 40 minutes, about 2 miles.

It was an awesome day, the temps are rising and we plan to be wearing shorts tomorrow.  Rain is predicted for the weekend so maybe, just maybe, I’ll get some sewing done.

I’m a very happy girl, livin’ the dream of being retired and spending the winter in Florida.  I am blessed ;o)

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Slowly but surely I am working on the kimono quilt.  Out of 36 kimonos to be completed, I finished 2 and 3…

Kimono #2

Kimono #3

So far, I’m very happy with these and I have figured out an easier way to deal with the diagonal pieces.  After ripping those pieces out half a dozen times on the first kimono (you can see that one here), I knew there had to be a better way.  I’m in the process of packing all the fabrics and copied patterns for our trip to Florida.  We will be spending four months in my condo in Port Charlotte and I’m attempting to sort out what I must have with me while I’m there.  We will be traveling with my machine and taking along numerous accoutrements but I can’t stuff the car full with nothing more than my machine and fabrics.  I’m planning to ship a couple of boxes of fabrics and kits to arrive after we do.

I actually finished two snowman wallhangings for my friends, Su and Deb.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get them done before Christmas but I don’t think they will care.  I had plans to meet Su for lunch and was going to bring hers along but she is having serious family issues and had to cancel.  I wrapped it and tied it with a bright gold bow, leaving it on her door as a surprise when she returned home.  She loved it!

Su's snowman up close

Deb's snowman w/quilting, borders and binding

Both pieces were completed with the same borders and binding.  The area between the inner border and the stitching was quilted with a meandering loop and occasional “snowflakes”. I’m not totally satisfied with the eveness of the quilting but I’m getting better each time I practice.

Quilting close-up

These patterns are 2 of 4 belonging to Cold Twigs Snowman published by buttermilk basin.  Check out their website here.  I did not originally plan to make these as separate gifts but I’m glad I did. I will stitch both snowmen again and make a larger piece using all four patterns.

I worked my last shift at Lowe’s on New Year’s Eve and it’s a great feeling to know that I don’t have to go to work any time in the near future…not tomorrow or the day after or the week after.  Woohoo!!! I may reapply when we return in the spring; time will tell.

Bill worked his last shift on Dec. 30 after more than 25 years on the Cambridge Fire Dept.  He grew up in the firehouse and all he ever wanted to be was a firefighter.  Together we are going to create an exciting new chapter in our lives.

We are expecting a storm over the weekend with wind and snow so it will be a good time to stay inside and get organized for the trip.  We are taking the cat to her winter foster home on Monday and want to leave by Thurs or Fri at the latest, weather permitting.  There is lots to do between now and then.  It’s not as easy as you would think to prepare for a four month vacation.

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