Coming up for air…

I finished two quilts for Christmas. This is Ryan26’s quilt. He unwrapped it during our Christmas Day celebrations, then literally 3 seconds later he knocked over a glass of red wine ALL OVER IT.

I don’t think I’ve moved so fast in all my life. Less than a minute after that happened, it was in the washing machine. Fortunately, it emerged unscathed. But omg.

I’m calling it “The Only Way He’ll Ever Leave Home” quilt because it has Scout in the middle of it. You can see it, just behind the real dog. Ryan26 loves that little dog so much, and he’s certainly not going to be allowed to take the real version with him when he decides to go! The quilt is the perfect compromise.

Each block took around two hours to assemble. The quilting was full of drama. I was finishing it in secret for Christmas/his birthday, so I was getting up at 5AM and quilting like a maniac while he was asleep. I sewed my quilting glove to the top not once, but twice, and there were all sorts of dramas with thread tension, etc. I may have sworn once or twice. But I got there in the end.

He’s started making a quilt of his own. He designed it himself and has started cutting out the diamonds.

This one is Jenna’s quilt. She and Evan24 have been going out for over 2 years now, so it was definitely time for her to be brought into the fold with a quilt. This one was made totally from scraps – some dating back to the days before I started writing this blog and I was trying to make some extra money by making doll quilts.

I decided that every block should have some pink in it. The squres are 2.5″ X 2.5″ and the sashing is 2.5″ wide.

If I had my time over, I’d have made it with one more block wide and a block LESS on the length. (It’s really tall!)

Unlike the “The Only Way He’ll Ever Leave Home’ quilt, this one was quilted without any bother and I spent the last week of my working life quietly hand-stitching the binding, while listening to the work that was being done to plan for next year.

I’ve cut out the squares for a quilt I’m making for my principal. If it wasn’t for her continually renewing my contracts at the school, we would never have been able to become financially free. It’s the least I can do…

Even though in my head I know I’ve retired, I still feel as if I’m on summer school holidays.

Except for the depth and quantity of my naps. Dear God – nearly every day I plunge into a nap like a deep-sea diver and emerge two or three hours later, with memories of dreams and with creases all over my face from the pillow. I’ve read from other retirees that they’ve found that they also did the same thing, almost as if the body is catching up on missed sleep, or maybe de-stressing from the demands of work.

I don’t know whether this is true and at the moment I don’t really mind. After all, I’m still on school holidays…

Still, on January 27 when the teachers go back to work, I think that THAT’S when I’ll suddenly realise that I’m retired. That’s the day of my last pay packet – yikes! I also have to go to the beach to send a photo of myself to the staff at 9AM, because I said I would in my retirement speech. I think that’s when it’ll really sink in.

In between naps I’ve been doing heaps around the garden. I’ve decided that while travel is off the books for the next year or two I’ll be running OPERATION BEAUTIFY on the house and garden. On Monday some lovely young men are going to be ripping my ensuite out. I only have 2 more days of having to step into a bath to take a shower. Oh how happy I’ll be when I have a walk-in shower in my ensuite!

I hope to post here more regularly now that my time is my own. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Coming up for air…

  1. Love the quilts and OMG red wine…I would have freaked too…..so glad it all came out. Making a quilt for your principal is an amazing gesture as I know how long and expensive hand made quilts are and I’m sure she will be very touched by your gift. Love the pink quilt too. My friend loves sausage dogs and she would love your doggie quilt too. For now for sure it would feel like school holidays and only when school is back in it will hit you that YOU DID IT…………and you are retired. Well done. Have a great week. Kathy, Brisbane

  2. you inspire me to finally finish I quilt I started before 2005 and never finished it as … I don’t know how!
    I’ve not made one for a bed before, only tiny ones. It sits in the the drawer waiting someday to be done. Perhaps this is the year.

  3. Congratulations on your early retirement. Your quilts are beautiful. Do you mind me asking how you quilt all the lovely swirls after the pieces are all together?I have an ordinary sewing machine and can only do blocks and then with great difficulty , lots of wrangling and lots of cursing . I mean it’s supposed to be relaxing isn’t it?

    • Hi Barb.
      You need a different foot for the needle – mine looks like a circle – and then you lower the feed dogs. These are the little things that grab onto the fabric and force it under the needle.
      Once they’re no longer engaged, you can move the fabric under the needle in whichever direction you want. The needle stays in the same place, but the quilt can be moved in swirls, straight lines, wibble-wobbles – whichever shapes you want.
      I’d recommend nipping down to a quilt shop for a lesson, or look on Youtube.
      It’s nerve-wracking at first, but easy once you get your head around it.
      ps. I’ve been known to swear A LOT when I’m quilting.

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