Back to sewing

I was back in my sewing room this week getting back into a routine of doing something every day. I looked up the APQ UFO Challenge number for March (it’s 3, how ironic!!) and according to my sheet that means I need to finish the Jelly Roll Race top I made back in Feb 2020 (ah, right before covid changed the world :-s). This was not made with traditional jelly roll strips, rather I pulled out all my solid fat quarters and left overs and cut them into strips, then sewed them end to end to make one very long strip. Then I started the jelly roll race :-p

I searched my stash for backing fabric that would play nice with the top and after digging to the bottom of my bin I found a multi-color numbers print that was perfect! I made franken-batting from leftover sections of batting and got it basted!

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to quilt this so off to Pinterest I went to look up other jelly roll race quilts for ideas. I found several with ‘organic wavy lines’ and really liked the look so I was sold! I chose to use a bright yellow thread on top and black on the back then I got started quilting on it.

I finished the quilting late yesterday and I knew I wanted to use a solid black for binding but wasn’t sure I had any… once again I started digging through my bin. I found a piece of black fabric 20″ wide and I only needed 15″ to make binding – yay! I got the binding sewn to the back last night, I’ll finish it up today and share outdoor pics next week ๐Ÿ˜‰

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An update on my medical benefits as I move into retirement at the beginning of April. I had been feeling less than confident about wading through all my options on healthcare.gov as well as choosing a medicare supplement for DH. I was reading an online article late last week and it mentioned a link to a website that listed certified insurance brokers that can help guide you through these choices – Yes please!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I clicked on that link and used the “find an agent” tool to find several in my area. Coincidentally, I had chatted online with a friend who recently used an agent to help him find insurance (as he is not 65 either), he shared his agent’s information but she was located about 40 mins away and when I talked to her we really didn’t ‘click’. I called one of the agents listed on the website in my area and I really liked her. The great thing about these agents is there is no cost to me for their service, they get their funding from the insurance companies. Since I had already been trying to do this on my own I was pretty familiar with everything she offered but I felt much better getting guidance from someone who does this on the daily!!! 10 out of 10 highly recommend!

I’ve signed up for a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan for the remainder of this calendar year and DH will be enrolled in an AARP supplement plan and a separate Rx plan. Now I just need to get Medicare/Social Security to speed up their part to get him enrolled in Part B!!! Ugh… why does this crap take so long!?!

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I decided to do a little more baking yesterday… a friend posted one of those altered cake mix recipes on Facebook and since she tried it and liked it, I jumped on the bandwagon yesterday. I used box carrot cake mix and apple pie filling (plus 3 eggs). It was easy enough, dump everything in a bowl, mix, pour in the pan and bake – LOL! The recipe calls for 9×13 pan but I chose to make it in a 9×9 pan so the cake would be thicker. The cake turned out really nice, fluffy yet moist. I only had vanilla icing in the house so that’s what I used… but it’s a little too sweet so both hubby and I scraped that off after our first bite, Ha!

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Lastly, I started researching prices for Aruba in Nov or Dec and boy did I get sticker shock. The prices for Dec are DOUBLE what they are for Nov… so if we go it will definitely be in Nov – LOL! We’ve racked up quite a stash of air miles over the last three years using our credit card for almost everything we purchase so we’ll definitely be using those to help offset some of the cost!

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

Retirement planning

I haven’t done any sewing this week because I’ve been distracted by other things.

First, we had friends stop by for a visit on their way home to Massachusetts from their 5 weeks stay in Florida. They pulled in late Friday afternoon and left Monday morning. We had fun catching up and just hanging out! Of course I neglected to take any pictures :-p

Next, my neighbor asked if I would dog sit for her while she took her son (50 years old) for tests out of town… It’s a very long story that I won’t go into here, nevertheless I agreed to keep her dog for 4 days. She dropped her off a few hours after our friends left Monday morning and I took her home Friday morning.

She didn’t require a lot of care or maintenance but I was told she might potty in the house so I kept an eye on her like a hawk! Her only annoying habit was she liked to get up early to go outside…like 4 a.m. early!!! Honestly that was the hardest part because once she was up she was ready to be fed, so those four days were not a lot of fun ๐Ÿคจ

I’ve got my house back now and I’m falling back into my routines so I’m hoping to get into the sewing room today. I want to update the blocks on my weight-loss quilt (nothing has been lost ๐Ÿฅบ) and to start a new pattern in the Color Block series from Debby Brown.

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I’ve just about got everything nailed down regarding my retirement coming up on April 1st. I’m 99% certain I’ll be getting medical insurance through healthcare.gov rather than Cobra. The main reason is cost – at the moment I don’t have any health issues and I usually only go to the doctor for my annual Gyn and mammo screenings so I can get a decent plan through healthcare.gov for A LOT less than what Cobra would cost me. I already pay out of pocket for my HRT patch and pill because using GoodRx is cheaper than my current Rx coverage (go figure!). I talked to my local dentist and they have a plan for $299 a year that will get me two cleanings and a full set of X-rays so I’ll be doing that as well. I will need to figure out what I want to do around vision coverage but I am not due for a prescription update for another 2 years so I’ll take my time deciding that piece.

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We’ve been making plans for the few months following my retirement and I’m getting really excited!! We’ll be driving to Tampa, FL to visit friends and celebrate DH 70th birthday the week after I retire and just yesterday we decided to leave a day early and stop in Savannah, GA on our way down. We’ve visited Savannah before and we really liked it so one day layover there will be nice… I mean, we’re retired so we can take our time right? LOL!!

Later in April we’ll be going to Charleston for a long weekend to attend a Corvette car show. Next, we saw an advertisement for a one-day Regional Tennis tournament that will be held in May here in Myrtle Beach so we plan to go watch. That’ll be my first live tennis experience. There won’t be any famous players but I’m sure I’ll still enjoy it. DH has also signed up for a car show here in Myrtle Beach in June, so the next few months will be relatively busy ๐Ÿ˜‰

We’ve also been discussing going to Aruba over the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday. I haven’t done any research or price checking just yet but I think that would be really fun!

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

9 patch Hearts

I put the finishing stitches in the 9 patch Hearts quilt earlier this week and now it’s all done! As a reminder, I finished the top back in 2018 and then it sat in my ‘to be finished’ box until a few weeks ago ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I’m so happy to have it completed and I found a home for it too. We had friends stop by for visit on their way home to Mass from Florida and I decided to gift this quilt to them โค They LOVE it!!

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I’ve been doing really well building my habits of daily walks and drinking at least 64oz of water every day. I was on a 9 day streak until our friends arrived on Friday :-/ I got distracted talking and catching up and let my streak end .. oh well, I’ll just pick right back up when they leave tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

Loopy Hearts

I’ve started the quilting on my 9 patch Hearts quilt… I’m sure there’s another name for this pattern but I can’t find it, LOL

I’m doing a loopy meander with random hearts. It took me forever to get started but I finally pushed myself yesterday and I got through about 1/4 of the quilt. I should get through a lot more today while watching tennis, then I’ll need to start thinking about binding. I’m not sure yet where this quilt will live – I really like it for myself but I’ve already got way too many quilts. I’ll have to see how I feel once it’s finished ๐Ÿ˜‰

I went through the stack of quilts I’ve set aside to give away for theย Hands 2 Help challenge being hosted this year by the Academic Quilter… I’ve got 7!!! Wow! I’m pretty sure I’ll be donating them to Little Lambs Foundation. You can still participate because signups don’t “officially” start until March 20. The full schedule can be found in the kickoff announcement.

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I’ve been doing a little better with the weight loss goals I’m tracking. I’ve walked and drank at least 64oz of water each day for the past 5 days ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Let’s hope this is the start of a very long streak! I snapped this picture while walking the other day… signs of Spring!!

That’s about all for now… have a great rest of your weekend ๐Ÿ˜€

Getting back to it

I put the final stitches in my Woven Star top and ran it through the wash… it’s been added to the stack of quilts ready to give away.

Every year I participate in the Hands 2 Help challenge hosted by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict, unfortunately this year she’s having some health issues so another long-term participant of the challenge has volunteered to host.

As I make quilts from my scraps throughout the year I typically hold onto them for this event. The Academic Quilter is hosting this year and her kickoff announcement just came out this morning. Please feel free to join in… you can feed your quilt-making passion and help others at the same time!!

I’ve also made progress putting my Weight Loss quilt together. I started this four days before we lost our beloved Sammie in December. Unfortunately no weight has been lost but I’m still tracking my goals of drinking 64oz water (blue squares) and walking (pink circles) daily – some days are better than others!! If nothing else, it’s pretty LOL!

I had a goal of completing my applique hearts quilt by Valentine’s Day… yeah, that’s not happening! I did piece the back and I’ve got the top & back draped over my ironing board to start basting. Hopefully I will get that done today and start quilting on it. I plan to do a loopy meander with random sized hearts sprinkled in. I’ve changed my goal to have this done by the end of the month…that should be achievable!

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Not much else happening around here! Have a great rest of your weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl if you’ll be watching.

Woven Star progress

I finished quilting on Woven Star this morning. I chose to do straight line quilting in the star following the ‘woven’ pattern and then did free-motion meander in the background.

I pulled a couple pieces of remnants to audition for the binding and decided on this chunky stripe.

I should have this finished today and it will be off to the washer to rinse out the glue basting.

I’ve also decided I’m going to finish one of my UFO’s this month… and since it’s Feb I thought this one from Sept 2018 would be fitting

I have plenty of that blue print fabric for the backing so I’m making do with what I have!

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My self-imposed retirement date (April 1) feels like it’s rapidly approaching. I’ve got all the big things covered like health insurance and our finances are in order. I just feel like I’m missing something… I’ve checked with so many people and if there’s something I’m not doing, I can’t figure it out!!

We’ve already got travel plans made for the week of April 4 – we’re meeting some friends in Tampa, FL to celebrate Hubby’s 70th!! Then we’re talking about visiting other friends in Maryland in May… no rest for the weary, hahaha! Hubby has entered his Z06 Corvette into a show in June but it will depend on how hot it is that weekend whether I go sit with him. We went to this event many years ago and it was so hot I literally felt like an egg frying on the pavement… NOT doing that again!!

One thing that’s just dawned on me that I’ll need to change when I retire is to stop trying to ‘multi-task’ everything. When I stop working I’ll have 8-9 hours a day that will be freed up to do other things, so I need to shift my thinking from ‘what can I do while I’m doing X’ and shift to doing one thing at a time. I’m sure it’ll take some time to ‘un-do’ this pattern of thinking ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I’m still putting seed/food out for the squirrels and yesterday I had a visit from a flock of wild turkeys – I snapped this photo from inside through the blinds LOL… I knew they’d run off it I opened the back door.

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

Woven Star top

I got the Woven Star top all pieced this week… it took longer than expected because I made a few mistakes and had to rip out a few seams ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But all’s well that ends well!

I know it looks a little wonky in this picture but it’s really not that bad ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL It measures 50×50 so it will make a nice crib size or child size quilt.

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We had a bit of winter weather here this weekend… so pretty when it only lasts a few hours, haha! The picture with the wild turkeys was taken about 4 hours after the ones with the snow.

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I just finished watching the Australian Open Men’s Championship match between Rafa Nadal and Daniil Medvedev… if you don’t want to know the outcome… STOP reading now!!

It was an epic 5 set match that could have gone to either player and it included some phenomenal shot making. Also on the line was a chance at breaking the three-way tie between Roger, Novak & Rafa of 20 grand slam titles… and the winner was:

RAFA NADAL!!!!! Wow, it was a crazy roller coaster ride! He lost the first two sets and it appeared he was physically done…but if anyone has watched Rafa you know he’s never out until the very last point has been played. In true Nadal fashion, he rallied to win the 3rd & 4th sets. He broke Medvedev’s serve early in the 5th but was broken back to bring the score to 5 all. Rafa broke Medvedev again to take the lead 6-5 and was able to serve it out for the WIN!!!!!!

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There are two big NFL games later today and wouldn’t you know it we’re having problems with our DirecTv service. It started last night so we called and of course they can’t get anyone out until Monday morning ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Luckily I was able to use my smart TV to stream the tennis match on ESPN+ otherwise I would’ve been furious. If it doesn’t clear up for the football games, I’ve got my laptop jerry-rigged so we can watch on the app but use the TV as the monitor. Oy!! what a mess!!

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

Woven Star

I missed posting last week because there really wasn’t much to share. I haven’t been spending much time in my sewing room but I have made a little progress on the Woven Star quilt from Debby Brown’s Color Blocks challenge from November.

I decided I didn’t want to do all the sashing strips recommended in the pattern so my quilt will be smaller

Here’s a progress shot, I still need to piece all the blocks together…then I’ll decide if I want to add borders

As for the weight loss qal, I’ve still been keeping track of the blocks but I haven’t made any progress losing weight! LOL Ugh… the struggle bus is real ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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I’m getting out of the house today to go to lunch and a show with some of the ladies in my neighborhood. I usually shy away from these things because I feel so awkward in big groups but I’m pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone. We’re going to see “Menopause the Musical”… Ha, I’m sure I’ll be able to relate LOL

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I’ve been staying up late and getting up early to watch the Australian Open. Luckily when I got my new Pixel 6 I had to upgrade to a new Unlimited plan that happened to come with Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu so I’m able to watch all of the matches on ESPN streaming once they stop covering it on their regular cable channels. I’ve really been enjoying the Ladies matches this year, the matches have been very competitive.

And as far as football, I’m really happy with the teams that won yesterday! I wanted the underdog Bengals to win (I really like Burrow) and I’m ecstatic that Rodgers & the Packers have been knocked out. Today I’ve got my fingers crossed for Tampa Bay and Buffalo.

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Oh and I almost forgot – I formally turned in my notice to retire this year!!! My last day will be April 1st, no joke!!! It’s so exciting but also frightening…wish me luck :-p

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

A little here, a little there

I’m slowly inching my way back into spending more time in my sewing room. I used to call it ‘my happy place’ and it’s starting to feel like that again – of course it’s still very empty without my trusty companion laying at the door but I can’t change that so I must accept it.

I’ve been keeping up with the โ€œWeight Lossโ€ qal hosted by Kirsten ofย Sew Fabric Love although no weight has been lost at this point – ugh! My goals are to drink at least 64oz water daily and to walk daily. I’m hoping I start seeing some green squares soon!!

I chose a striped fabric in my stash to use for binding the Christmas panel quilt. Now that this is done I’ll pack it up with the remaining completed projects and mail them back to my friend โค

I wanted a canvas print of my baby to hang in my office so I went online last week and ordered it. I had never done this before so I wasn’t sure exactly what size to get, I went with 24×18. I used easycanvasprints.com and they live up to their name! I think I may have zoomed in a bit too much on the original picture because her head in this print is almost as big as mine LOL!!!! I still love it… and when I’m ready I’ll try again ๐Ÿ™‚

A few other odds and ends… I started cutting 2.5″ squares for my next Color Blocks quilt. I’m making the November pattern called Woven Star. Debby Brown has added a new 2022 *free* course for more color block quilt patterns to help us use up our scraps. She issues one pattern a month and even provides suggestions for quilting. It was fun to follow along last year so I signed up again.

Lastly, I finally closed up the fabric ‘trash bag’ I’ve been filling up for over two years (it’s the floral print). I still have the one I closed up a few years ago so now I have two I need to take to the animal shelter.

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

Finished quilts of 2021

Two posts in one day? I figured if I didn’t post this now I never would…so here goes!

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Wow, such a slow year of quilting for me… if it wasn’t for Debby Brown’s QAL I might not have finished anything ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I kept up with the monthly patterns until June and then I made the Sept pattern.

I also spent time working on these quilts and double oven mitt I finished for a friend whose mother has stopped sewing

And I did finish a few other small projects…

All in all, not a very productive year by my standards ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Here’s to hoping 2022 will be much better โค