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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween 2016 already!!!

I just realized it has been 2 years since I updated this blog.  My days are always so full, I keep forgetting to write here.  So much has happened over the past 2 years.

When we first moved here I sampled several clubs and took a couple of classes at the Villages Life Long Learning College.   After a while I settled into just joining the Genealogy  club and Fabric Fun Arts & Crafts.   The Machine Embroidery Club (MEQ) was created and that rounded out my club activities.  Ray checked out the Woodworkers club, The RC Model Airplane club, and the HAM Radio club, but none of them really caught him.

Sewing has become my passion and I really enjoyed Fabric Fun Arts & Crafts and the people there, but a few things the leader did started to bother some of us.  It was mostly that she didn't listen to the concerns of members and sometimes said things that insulted people. But the final straw was thst she spent a large amount of club money on a project for us without asking if the club members actually wanted to do the project.  WHen questioned on the expenditure, she said it was her club and anyone who didn't like it could leave.  A few of the women had been asking me to form a separate club for a while, so when this happened I filled out the paperwork and started Sewing N More.  We had our first meeting June 15th and in the short time since them we are now up to 50 members.  I have to turn people away now because the room isn't big enough!  Getting a room at one of the rec centers on the date and time desired is not easy.  I was lucky to get the room we have.  We are having a great time though.  Each week someone demonstrates a project and anyone who wants can make that project or work on something of their own.  We have show and tell every week and one meeting a month is devoted to charity projects.  This week we took a break from sewing and had a Halloween party/pot luck lunch. Almost half of the ladies who came wore costumes.  I organized some games and we had a great time.

There are over 2,000 clubs to choose from here in the Villages, plus all kinds of sports, restaurants, shopping.  Some people never leave the area, but Ray and I are adventurous souls. Each year an organization sponsors a summer quilt shop hop called Row by Row.  Each participating shop designs a row for a quilt and the idea is to go to various shops and pick up either a free pattern or buy a kit.  Once you make 8 rows into a quilt you submit it to one of the shops.  If you are the first one you get a prize.  If you use that shop's row in the quilt you get an additional prize from the shop.

In 2014 we stopped at a few shops ion Florida and picked one shop from each state between here an NJ during our Thanksgiving drive north.   Last year we decided to get a kit from each of the participating shops in Florida.  It was fun exploring the state.  We collected 92 kits and I won 2nd prize for the most shops visited.  This year my goal was just to get enough to make a quilt qyuickly and I won the prize from our local shop, Sharky's.    I have succeeded in making 3 quilts from the 2015 rows, but have not done the 2014 rows yet.   There's just so many great projects to work on and not enough hours in the day.

At the end of last year I was finally able to join one of the chapters of the Quilt Guild of the Villages. There are usually waiting lists to get in and I was lucky that a friend told me when there was an opening.  So now I belong to 3 sewing groups and the genealogy club.   Ray and I also joined the Villages chapter of the Mechanical Music Society and have been going with the group to visit various antique music box collections around the state.

On top of all that, we have gotten involved as volunteers at Silver Springs State Park.  This beautiful park is close to our hearts, our first visit having been way back in 1977.  Ray works on outdoor projects wherever they need him and I am leading the effort to organize and digitize their archives.  So as you can tell, there hasn't been much time for writing.

I do hope to post here as often as I can. but I hope my readers won't count on any regularity.  Retirement in the Villages and surrounding area is just too much fun!