Sunday, April 5, 2015

Long story......

I have two.....yes, machines!  New to me, that is!  Both are machines I've been wanting for a long time.....with no intentions of ever getting......but it's the dream, you know?

But before I give you 'the rest of the story', (oh......I really miss Paul Harvey!  Don't you?) let me tell you that there is a really terrific sewing machine dealer and maintenance guy in the Tampa area!  If you are looking to have your machine worked on.....I can highly recommend Robert Ball at Southern Sewing Center in Lutz, FL.....1-800-253-1416. the story goes..... John's Pfaff 7570 bit the dust!  He has loved that machine, and has enjoyed making kites on it, and it's the machine he brought to Florida to use.  So right in the middle of his project, the screen went crazy, then died!  We googled machine repair places down here, and went to 3 of them.  The first one opened the case, saw it was a 7570, shook his head and said he was sorry, but they don't make the boards for those anymore!  What???  How could that be???

Then we went to the next place, hoping that the story might be different.  The guy said, "$500 bucks!  Six to eight weeks!"  (Yeah....just like that, too!  Sheesh!)  Then he asks ME what I use it for, with no regard to John, whose been standing right there with it, and I'm clear across the room looking at fabric!  I holler back that it's John's machine!  John says he makes kites on it, and instantly the guy says, "Oh, you should be using THIS machine!" and he points out the $4,000+ machine he has on display!  Cripes!  We got the heck out of there!!!!

So, with no regard to our waning sanity, we decided to try the 3rd shop!  We drive up and instantly see a treadle in the window!  Good sign!  No one is in the shop, so we start looking around.  All along the top of the wall are shelves with vintage machines!  And I spy a Wilcox & Gibbs!  LOVE them!  There are several industrial sized machines along one wall, and the other has a table running the entire length of the shop with machines for sale, new and used!  So we start looking at the used machines as John just needed 'something' to get him by until we get back to Maine in May.  In walks Robert and he looks at the Pfaff and agrees that getting a new board would be nearly impossible.  But he said he'd look at the machine to see if it might be something else.  Great!  But John still needs a machine to use, so he suggested the Necchi he had, and it was perfect for John.  Used, but hardly any wear to it, and it sews perfectly!  Awesome!  And a steal at $60!  (He has many used machines for $60 to $100.)

Then I asked if his antique machines were for sale or just for show, and he said those were just for show.  I told him how much I loved Wilcox & Gibbs machines.....they are art to lovely, and that it made my day to see one!

So John is getting the Necchi, and we buy a new case for it, so Robert goes out back to get the case.  He comes back with a new case and an old wooden box.  He sets the box down, opens it, and inside is a Wilcox & Gibbs!  He says a price, I said SOLD!!!!!  And let me tell was a steal!  Then I said he just made my DECADE!  :o)

Now my Wilcox & Gibbs is just for show.....the electric cord is a total mess.  But the workings move freely, so if I ever thought to get it working, I could!  But for's just a lovely piece of art!  I'm so happy!

The next week we were planning a trip to Texas for a family reunion, so it became the perfect opportunity to have my Juki cleaned and tuned.  It had been a couple years, but our go-to guy in Maine has moved there are a bunch of us in Maine wondering what we'll do with our machines now!  Yikes!  So I took the Juki in, and while we were there, I just happened to be looking at the featherweight that Robert had on the table......they are just so dang cute, how do you not look, right!?!  And he said he had another in the back, and when he brought that one out, it was better!  The decals were all still intact, and the case was pristine!  SOLD!  And yes......another amazing deal!  Not giving prices here, since they were not posted in his store, and I don't want to give him any issues on future deals.  But let me just say......he's fairer than fair.....and a pleasure to purchase from!  No buyer's remorse here!

And my little featherweight sews perfectly!  Of course it does!  They all do, right!?!  And who knew they could sew at lickety split speed!?!  Dang near as fast as my Juki!  Yowsa!

And my Juki is humming along beautifully......perfectly cleaned and tuned!

Needless to say......John and I will be bringing all our machines to Robert from now on!  :o)

Our big question now do we get 3 additional machines into our car for the ride back to Maine!?!  We were already pretty maxed out on space!  I guess we'll be mailing a bunch of clothes back!  lol


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Running? Me???

Yep.....I can't believe it, but yesterday I actually ran my first 5K!  Yikes!

Our cousin April, here in Tampa, has been running the Gasparilla races for the last 8 or 9 years, and when we arrived down here last October, she told us all about it......and said it would be great if we all ran it!  And we all got really excited, and registered, and figured we had a good two months to train and get ready!

Did I train????  No!

Hubby didn't either!

But we both ran it and had a blast!

Here we are.....after the run, sporting our medals!  And yes......I wore orange!  Of course!  LOL

On the quilting front, I put aside the criss-cross blocks and picked up the paper piecing on my pineapple blocks (Bonnie Hunter's Pineapple Crazy quilt).  I've worked on these blocks off and on over the last year or so, and have over 100 now!  Woot!  But I need a I'm spending some time on them while we're here.  I just love making them.....they are mindless......and sometimes you just want to push fabric through the machine without thinking about it!

These are some of the trimmed ones......I have a huge stack that still needs trimming.

And it always amazes me how the bags of scraps never seem to get smaller when I'm trying to use them up!  I brought with me three 2-gallon ziplock bags jammed full of scraps......and they still seem to be just as full, and I just made another 30 of these blocks!  Sheesh!  lol

Another project I made since we've been here in Florida is a giant wonky stars quilt I saw floating around on pinterest a few months back.  I used up the last of the big florals from my Florabunda quilt and used up a big yardage piece of sagey-green solid I had in my stash.  I really like the green with the florals......a different look than the yellows with them.

I should have pressed it before the pic......but the daylight was right and I was thinking about it......oh well!  :o)

So that about sums up my last few weeks.  We've been playing a bit of golf, but February seems to be the rainy season down here, so we haven't played as much as we would have.  And I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining about the weather, since most of the country is dealing with crazy, messy, freezing and blizzard stuff.  All I can say is we are SO GLAD we decided to winter in Florida this year......what a blessing this has been!

I'll post again when I have some progress to show on something.....until then, stay warm my friends!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Just catching up!'s official......I can't be trusted when I say, "I promise to blog more often!"

I'm full of crap, and I know it!  And now you do, too!  lol

We've been in Florida now for over two months, and there's just no excuse!  But I'm hoping (!!!) that this will get me going again!

So we arrived in Florida, and instantly are SO HAPPY we are doing the snowbird thing!  The winter in Maine has been cruel, indeed, and even though the oil prices have come down, it still would have been a small fortune to heat that house!  So we are playing golf a couple times most weeks, and hitting the hot tub some mornings.....walking our 4 miles on real sidewalks, filling the tank only 8-10 days!, and loving that there are so many choices of restaurants within a 3 mile drive!  Woot!  And, of course, we just HAD to go on a Christmas cruise, since we are so close to the boats down here!  It was wonderful.....and a nice change of pace for the holidays!  (And it won't be our last one.....we keep checking the last-minute-deals so we can't jump on one!  Yippee!)

As I mentioned in my last post, I brought 10 quilt kits I made up before we left, just thinking I might get to a couple of them......and I have!  Yay!  The one I'm working on right now is using up a lot of those big florals that I still had left over from making the Florabunda quilt (a Bonnie Hunter quilt).  I still had a bunch of the yellows, as well, and I just had to add a bit of orange (of course!), so these are the blocks......

The one on the left is trimmed to 6.5".  I have over 30 still needing trimming, and will need a total of 195 for the quilt!  But they are so addicting to make......I made those first 30 in just 2 evenings!  :o)

And my hubby has made 10 inflatable dolphin kites since he's been down here, so if I ever figure out how to link up his phone video......I'll show you them flying!  They're so cute!  Of course, when we left Maine, I had the camera sitting on the kitchen table......but do you think I remembered to put it in my bag......NO!  So all we have are our phones......and even though they are smart phones.....we aren't!  So I'll work on it, and see if I can get the video!

Well, once again, I need to thank so many sweet gals checking in on me, making sure I'm ok, and asking when I'm going to post again!  You are so kind, and I want you to know that I'm so thankful that you are reading me blog!  THANK YOU!

And I really will post again soon......REALLY!  :o)


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Holy cow.....

.....what a summer......and fall!

I can't believe my last post was June 30th!  Cripes!  AND.....the last line on that post said I was gonna post more often!  HA!  Who was I kidding!?!

Truly, the summer got away from me!  We had company most of the summer, and I hardly even stepped into my quilting room!  Crazy, but true!  But I did manage to get to the Maine Quilts show, and I took a 2nd Place ribbon for My Jubilee quilt there!  Woot!  So, a 2nd Place in Vermont, and then Maine.....woohoo!

AND THEN.....I entered it into my NH guild's show, (Cocheco Quilt Guild), which was just this last weekend, and I won BEST OF SHOW!!!!!


I'm in shock, needless to say!  And I still can't wipe the smile off my face!  lol

My hubby was so sweet, too......he had flowers for me when I got home from the show!  :o)

Life is good!

Of course, these last few months haven't been ALL about my quilt.

Our son, Chris, just got married to a lovely girl, Liz, on Columbus Day weekend in Sunapee, NH.

They had the ceremony aboard a dinner cruise boat, and then we sailed the lake for the reception!  It was beautiful!  The fall colors were at peak, and made for a perfect day!  We're so happy for them.....they really are perfect together!

Speaking of fall colors, this is a shot at a local golf course my friend and I played in the last month!  Gorgeous!

And, of course, our beautiful maple tree in our front yard put on a lovely show this year again!

As I said, we had a ton of company over the summer, but I managed to get a pic of the hibiscus a friend gave us while it was putting on its show!  Lovely!

Part of the summer was spent flying kites, and doing 'kite making for kids' events around the state. Always a fun day when the kids make kites!  They decorate them with markers, and minutes later, they are flying them in the field!  Awesome!

Speaking of kites, way back in May (seems like ages ago now! lol), I made a kite quilt for the fundraiser auction at the Wildwood Kite Festival in New Jersey.  My hubby is asked to fly at this event every year, and often gives kites for the auction.  Our good friend, the coordinator, asked if I could make a quilt (which I had no intention of doing!), but then thought about it, and figured "Why not!?!"  Of course, crazy me decided to do a machine applique quilt.....a process I'd NEVER DONE BEFORE!  What was I thinking!?!

But I think it really came out great!  Each of the appliques is of a very recognizable kite to flyers, and the pieced rail fence background sets it off nicely.  (I had seen the rail fence background on a guild member's applique quilt, and really liked the effect.  If I ever do another applique like this, I'd do that again!)  This quilt finished at 60x72.

And last, but not least, of my news is that we are becoming snowbirds this year!!!  Yep.....we are heading south to Florida in 7 days, and we are not returning until May!  Woohoo!

We never thought we would ever do the snowbird thing, but this past winter was so brutally cold, it cost us a small fortune to heat our house, and we just can't do that again!  And then we figured out that we could rent a condo AND play golf 2 times a week for the same amount......why wouldn't we head south!?!  And we're very excited that we found a nice place about 45 minutes from Chris and Liz.....not too close, but close enough!  :o)  And we have cousins galore and one of my sisters in FL, too, so there will be plenty of visiting down there!  Awesome!  We can't wait!

And I've kitted up 10 quilts to take with me!  LOL  Any bets on how many I even touch!?!  LOL

Wow......writing this post felt really good!  I sure missed blogging this summer!  I hardly had the chance to even look on any blogs.  Once in a blue moon I'd have a few minutes, and I checked a few.  I hope to scroll back on blogs and see what the heck everyone has been up to these last few months!  I've really missed keeping up!

And a big hug to the gals that checked on me over the last few months.....making sure I was ok!  You're awesome!  Love ya!

I'm thinking my next post will be from sunny Florida!  Of course, AFTER I've played a round of golf, and had a Krispy Kreme!  LOL


Monday, June 30, 2014

I'm still here!!!

I really can't believe it's been nearly 3 months since my last post!  Cripes!  But I can honestly say that I've been crazy busy......and it was well worth it!

I finally finished My Jubilee quilt, and just in the nick of time to get it into the Vermont Quilt Festival!  The festival was this past weekend, and my two good friends, Pat and Suzanne, joined me for 3 fun-filled days at the quilt show!  And I have to say......I'm crazy-happy right now, because I got a 2nd Place Ribbon on my quilt!  Woohoo!  (Disclaimer:  ribbons are awarded by points system at this show, so there could be several 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons......not just one of each!)

But I got one!  Woohoo!  :o)

I was never dreaming my quilt could ever take a ribbon......mainly because MOST people don't like orange!  And my quilt 'smacks you in the face!' with orange!  So I was really shocked and totally delighted that the judges could get past that!  Yay!

AND.....their comments were kind and constructive......except for the one judge who gave me an 87!  (The other two gave me 95's!)  He didn't 'get' the different borders on the front of the quilt, which was inspired by my favorite quilt from the Red & White Show in NYC......antique, lovely, bold and independent......the 3 different borders were the best part of that quilt!  Why would I change that!?!

"Gotta think outside the box, Mr. Judgey!"  LOL

And I'm excited to be entering it in the Maine state show at the end of July, and my NH guild's show in October!  The validation from a ribbon is wonderful, but I just really want to share my work!  It's pretty fun and exciting to see your own quilt among the others at a show!  This was my first entry in a show, and I'm thinking it won't be my last!  :o)

And now that my quilt is done......I'll be back to blogging more often!  Really!!!  lol


Saturday, April 5, 2014


While my current quilting project is not quite ready for pictures, we do have progress to show on a different project!  The transformation of our dining room!

The wallpaper has been peeled off......and the spackling has been completed!  Woot!

Hubby is about to do the sanding, and then we can start painting!  Yay!

When we moved into this house 15 years ago, we knew we wanted to restore it, and that it would take some time.  Of course, I didn't think it would take THIS long to get to every room.  But I'm so glad that hubby made a comment about getting started on this room the other day, and I didn't let that idea sit for even a moment!  We went right out to Home Depot and got busy!  (I've learned that if he makes any motion towards a project, I better jump on board......or it could be years before we think about it again!  lol)

Every restoration project in an old house like ours (circa 1864) is a daunting task.  The dining room is 14'x24' small feat!

Once the painting is finished.....we're gonna get a crew in here to redo the hardwood floor.  It's in sorry shape, and it needs professional care!

Ok......I need to get back to that quilt's nearly done!  Woot


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I'm so sorry......

I just had an email from a member of the quilting group whose applique quilts I had just posted about over the last few days.

Evidently the group is terribly upset that I posted pictures of their quilts.

The gal told me that there were signs posted at the show that pictures were for personal use only.

Honestly, I never saw even one of those signs.

If I had, I would never have posted a single pic.

So, to any members of that group that might be checking back on this blog, I've deleted those 3 posts.

And I'm terribly sorry.