Squirrel!

My plan was to finish the Stars quilt I had basted last weekend but wouldn’t you know it I got snagged by a squirrel project!!

Debby Brown released the September project “Gather Ye Rosebuds” early and I just couldn’t wait!! 😮

I immediately pulled out my pink scrap bin and started cutting 2.5″ squares then spent the next few days putting the ‘flower heads’ together

So where is my Stars top? Folded up on the end of my ironing board! I’ve taken PTO all next week so my *new* plan is to start quilting it on my Pfaff and continue working on the September Color blocks on my Singer… I knew a second machine would come in handy!! LOL

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Of course I’ve been watching the US Open and there have been some very dramatic upsets over the last few days!! The young players are definitely making their mark 😉 My favorite on the ladies side, Barty, crashed out last night losing to American Shelby Rogers but my favorite on the men’s side, Djokovic, is still going strong. However, he will face American Jensen Brooksby on Monday and that could prove to be quite a battle!

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On the retirement front, I still haven’t committed to a date yet but I am getting excited about it! I’ve been talking about it quite a bit with friends and family and I’m getting used to the idea of paying the full price tag for medical benefits (I still don’t like it tho!). I think I’m leaning towards June 30, 2022. That will let me celebrate 43 years with my company on June 4…putting a nice bow on the ending!

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Let’s not even talk about WW…. uuuggghhh, I’ve gained back a couple of pounds I lost over the last few months. I really need to get my head together and stop putting junk in my mouth! I know I shouldn’t even buy the crap but I fool myself into thinking ‘oh I won’t eat all of this, it will just be here for a little treat now & then’…. Hahahahahahaha!! I really should know better!

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That’s all for now… have a great rest of your weekend and enjoy the Labor Day holiday 😀

Let’s focus on finishing

I decided I want to finish the Color Blocks tops I have before I start on a new project so I got to basting! I used to pull my ironing board and basting spray outside to work on but I’m just over schlepping all that stuff around so… I’ve changed to glue basting. I started on smaller projects and have gradually moved to larger and larger ones. In fact, I even glue basted that huge Double Wedding Ring quilt I just finished!!

I still use my big ironing board surface but everything stays in my sewing room. First I center the backing face down then layer on the batting and then the top. I fold up half of the top to the center of the batting, smooth it all out and start dotting the glue on the backside of the top. I fold the top back down and iron the section I where I dotted glue. I keep moving the sandwich and repeating this process until I get to one end, then I pull it back and work on the other half. After the top is completed, I flip it over and repeat the whole process on the back. I didn’t think to take pictures of all the steps on this one but I have another top to baste and I’ll try to remember to do it!!

I haven’t decided what design to quilt on this one… hopefully it will come to me soon!

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Nothing new on the retirement date front…my company announced a hiring freeze for new positions through the end of the year which boosted my hope for an exit package 😉 However, one of the folks on my team is applying for a position outside our department so that might hinder the package… hahaha, it’s a weird game!

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The US Open Tennis tournament starts tomorrow… it’s going to be weird with so many big names not playing due to injuries (Federer, Nadal, Wawrinka, Serena, Venus) but this will afford the younger players a chance to shine! Of course Djokovic is still the favorite on the men’s side and I’m pretty sure Barty is the favorite on the women’s side. I’ve taken PTO the rest of the week after the Labor Day holiday so I’ll have plenty of free time to watch all the matches as they near the finals 🙂

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That’s all for now – have a great rest of the weekend!

Back to Color Blocks

Now that the big double wedding ring project is complete I can put my focus back on the Color Block QAL. Last week I finished the nine blocks needed for the August pattern, this week I made all the star blocks and just this morning I finished the center of the top.

The center row of blocks are most true to color

I went with a light gray for sashing to keep the stars as the focus. I plan to use the green dot fabric for the 6″ borders which makes this quilt 68″ square. I don’t usually care for square quilts but this time I like it 😉 I have no clue yet what I’ll use for backing :-/

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In other news, I’m still debating when I’ll actually retire. I plan to do it sometime next year but I haven’t chosen an exact date. I did have a conversation with my boss last week to let him know if any downsizing or restructuring plans arise I’d be ‘willing to take a package’ and save someone else’s position. I’m not sure it will get me anywhere but I put it out into the universe and we’ll just see what happens :-p

I recently started following a new blog Retirement Transitions. Pat’s blog focuses on the emotional side of retirement – what will I do all day, how will I feel like I’m accomplishing something, etc. She recently started a ‘Throwback Thursday’ series where she revisits many of her blog entries that helped her build a plan. I’ve found it very interesting and very helpful.

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On the WW front… eh, let’s just say I’ve not made any progress over the last several weeks!

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That’s all for now… have a great rest of your weekend 🙂

Double Wedding Ring Completed!

I completely missed posting last week and I had a really nice update on the Double Wedding Ring quilt I was finishing for a friend. As of last Sunday I had finished all the quilting, made the bias binding and machine stitched it the front of the quilt!! Woo hoo!!

The next step was to flip it to the back and machine stitch in the ditch from the front. Well, that was a lot harder than I thought!! I pinned and clipped to ensure I’d catch the edge but after doing about a quarter of one side I looked at the back and there were at least 4 places that were not secured!!! grrrrrr! I needed a plan B.

After debating what to do for several hours: should I keep going and address the missed spots after I was done or should I just hand stitch the binding to the back? I have never hand stitched binding because in my mind it takes too long BUT this quilt was screaming at me to DO IT!! So I listened 🙂 I pulled up a few videos on YouTube to be sure I knew what to do, I put on an audio book and spent time on & off the rest of the day hand sewing the binding.

I started where the machine stitching stopped and when I got all the way around to that section I removed those stitches as I went along. Surprisingly, it didn’t take as long as I thought it would and my hand only cramped a few times – clearly I was holding the needle too tight! LOL

Oh and thank goodness I had these little things stored away to protect my finger tip. I think I got them a few years ago in a Sew Sampler box from Fat Quarter Shop.

After I finished the binding it was time to run the quilt through the rinse cycle to remove the water soluble marker from the flowers. Washing/rinsing a quilt for the first time always makes me nervous, especially so this time because I was not familiar with any of the fabrics used in the top and the backing fabric was a saturated color. I dropped 5 color catchers in with it and I’m happy to report everything came out great 😀

Here’s the big reveal – in the first one I have it draped across my king size bed and in the second one DH is holding it up outside

I mailed it off to it’s owner on Wed and to my shock and amazement she called me the next day to say it had arrived!!!! Wow, maybe USPS is turning a corner? The package didn’t have to leave the state of SC but I still didn’t think it would arrive in one day!

She’s going to let her mother open the quilt since it was her work of art; I’m anxious to hear what she thinks about the finished product 😉

I wasted no time starting a new project! I had said I wanted to make the August Color Block pattern and I knew I had 2 green color blocks left over from a few months earlier so I started to make more. It was really nice to get back to some cutting & piecing after focusing on all that quilting! Here’s the status so far

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In other news, my poor little Sammie has developed another problem this week, something called HotSpot. I had never heard of it before but I’ve learned it’s an allergic flare up on the skin from any number of possibilities… we’ll probably never know what caused it. Hers is located on her back between her hips, I noticed it Wed night before bed, her hair was matted in that section but I couldn’t see anything so I washed the spot and noticed it felt very warm to the touch. In the morning it was all crusty again and this time it was discolored mucus. I called the vet and they got her in that morning. They shaved the area so they could see what was going on and there it was… all red and inflamed…ugh!!! This little girl cannot catch a break!! They gave me cleansing pads, steriod spray, antibacterial ointment along with antibiotic and pain pills. I have to clean and treat the area 2x/day and she is so uncomfortable when I do it… breaks my heart!!!!! I’ll spare you the pictures 😦

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That’s about all for now… enjoy the rest of your weekend

I’m quilting again!

I finally got frustrated enough to pull the Double Wedding Ring quilt back out into the dining room this past Friday. I figured even if I didn’t work on it I’d have to look at it all day LOL. Thankfully, I jumped right back into quilting on it!!

When I stopped quilting on it several weeks ago I had 8 more circles to outline and 62 flowers to quilt in the center of each circle. As a reminder here’s what each finished circle will look like

I’m happy to report I’ve finished all the circles and only have 28 more flowers to go!! Whoooopie!!

I’ve been thinking about what I’ll use for binding and last night I went into my stash to look for a solid that would match… and I found one!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, I’m so excited and relieved!

I laid this mint green fabric next to everything and although it’s not a perfect match to the lighter squares, it’s pretty darn close!!! Close enough!! Now I just need to watch a few videos about cutting bias strips for binding 😉

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I really want to get back to making color blocks for Debby Brown’s quilt along…I’ve missed piecing!! I still have my Gemstones top up on my design wall as a reminder.

I’ve saved the patterns she released in June & July but I’d really like to make the one she just released for August.

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That’s about all for now… have a great rest of your weekend!

Go USA!!

Still waiting…

I’m still waiting for my quilting mojo to come back! It appears to have taken a summer hiatus 😦 I can’t even remember the last time I walked into my sewing room…ugh! I’m not going to beat myself up about it, I’m just going to let it be and hope it will come back soon!!

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I’m still doing WW, tracking my meals and trying to get out for walks every day. I haven’t gained anything but I haven’t dropped anything either – ha!

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Our little old Mini Schnauzer Sammie is still going strong. She’s still on the meds for the lymphoma and the vets all say she’s doing well. The last two visits we’ve had with different doctors they both have mentioned they’re surprised how well she’s doing especially since it’s been over 1.5 years since we started the chemo meds (Nov 2019). She’s developed a corneal ulcer on her left eye that is just not healing. She’d been on eye drops for almost two months when they finally sent us to a specialist. Her visit was this past Tuesday – they numbed her eye, scraped off the top layer and inserted a protective contact lens to help with healing. They said she’d be uncomfortable for 24-48 hours and sent us home with pain meds. She’s doing much better today, we go for a follow up check on Aug 5th… I sure hope that thing is healed up by then!!!

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No decisions yet on when I will retire but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately! I was mulling over a date of Jan 1 but I’m not sure I want to retire in the middle of winter. Even though I live in Myrtle Beach and winters are not harsh by any means, it’s still cold and there aren’t many outdoor activities I would enjoy. My next thought is Mar 1, winter will be over and Spring will be in the air…I think that would be an amazing time to ‘start over’. I know this will sound awful but I’m still holding out hope my company will magically down-size me and offer me an exit package that would include medical benefits…but I don’t see that happening anytime soon :-/

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That’s all for now… I’m enjoying watching the Olympic events in Tokyo, especially tennis!

Family Fun!

I thoroughly enjoyed having my niece and great-niece visit this past week. It was SO AWESOME to see them face-to-face and give them a big old hug ❤

They flew in on Monday morning and back out on Friday morning. We spent a few days at the beach and at our neighborhood pool… the rest of the time was spent playing and enjoying each others company.

Here are a few highlights

We also spent time at Savannah’s Playground. I had no idea anything like this existed and if it weren’t so hot the few days they were here we would’ve gone back a couple of times :-p Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of her at the playground…she was moving way too fast and I was trying to stay in the shade!! LOL

Here are a few more pictures I downloaded from her Momma’s FB page 😉 Oh yes, we definitely had to get ice cream one afternoon too!

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That’s about all for now. I’ve been spending the last few days getting the house back in order – a 3.5 year old can wreak havoc, in a good way!

Have a great rest of your weekend 🙂

No progress :-(

Unfortunately no progress has been made quilting the Double Wedding Ring quilt. It’s been sitting on my dining room table for two weeks and I have barely added any stitches 😦 I have family visiting for a few days starting tomorrow so I need to move it all back to my sewing room. SO FRUSTRATING!!

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I’ve been enjoying Wimbledon these past few weeks and I was so happy to see Ash Barty win the Women’s final yesterday!! I’m currently watching the Men’s final: Djokovic v. Berrettini… it’s been a pretty good match so far, each player has been dealing with nerves and poor shot selections. I’d like to see Berrettini win because it’s his first…but I’ll be happy if Djokovic wins too.

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That’s about all for today… have a great rest of your weekend 🙂

Not much progress

Unfortunately the procrastination bug has bit me and I haven’t made much progress on quilting the Double Wedding Ring quilt. I finished 4 more circles last week when I had ample time to finish the whole thing :-/ I think I’m dragging my feet because I’ve started to worry about how difficult it’s going to be to put the binding on!! LOL, how silly is that!?! She still sits on my dining room table so it’s definitely not ‘out of sight, out of mind’!

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I’m still pondering about retirement too, I’ve done so many Google searches that I’m now getting Ads about retirement showing up in my feeds – hahaha! Here’s a short list of things that have caught my interest so far:

Join a quilt guild
Join a book club
Join a walking group
Visit National Parks (lifetime senior pass)
Learn a new hobby
Start swimming for exercise
Travel with hubby
Travel with girlfriends

I’m sure more will be added as I continue to research. I’d like to make a decision on a retirement date over the next few months…January 1st sounds good, doesn’t it?

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I’m still hoovering around 8lbs lost on WW… I have a few good days, then I make poor food choices for a few days and I’m right back where I was at the beginning of the week – grrrrr! I’m not sure if this will get easier or harder in retirement!??

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That’s all for now… have a great rest of your weekend and enjoy celebrating!!

Still quilting

I’m about half way done quilting on the Double Wedding Ring quilt. I’ve got 9 more circles to outline then I still need to do another 62 flowers in the center. As a reminder here’s what all the finished circles will look like

Pushing and pulling and smooshing this huge quilt through my domestic machine has proven to be quite strenuous – ugh! It’s been years since I’ve quilted something this large and back then it was a simple meander. Quilting this won’t be the last challenge either… after that’s finished I still need to trim and bind it with all it’s curves and angles!! eeeeeek!

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Nothing much else going on around here…still plugging away on WW. I did start walking again last week, just short 15 minute walks to get back into a routine. Let’s hope this helps move the needle on the scale 😉

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In other news, we worked with our financial advisor this week and he told us that we’re in a great place for me to retire whenever I want – I just need to decide when!!!!!!!!!!

OK, that’s both exhilarating and frightening!! I’m 59 1/2 and I’ve worked my entire life… I started working full-time the Monday after I graduated high school, and I’ve been working at the same company ever since, 42 years (I’ve survived a number of acquisitions and mergers).

Now my brain is working overtime trying to figure out exactly what would I do every day if I retired??? I don’t want to sew & quilt every waking hour…I would get burned out. My days have been so structured for the past 40+ years… I’m not sure what to do with myself if I’m not accountable to someone/something else???

Am I crazy? Has anyone else gone through something like this?? All advice and perspective is welcome 🙂

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That’s all for now… have a great rest of your weekend! Wimbledon starts tomorrow!!