Sew How’s That Retirement Going?

img_2265Pretty good!

As you may remember, I retired at the end of 2017. I shut down my business, ended my online store, quit sending out the newsletter, and stopped teaching. All in all, it was a great decision. I’m loving retirement!

I have more time with that adorable grandchild (who just turned four), and I have more time to quilt! Far less stress in my life, too. I used to panic if I had more than 30 emails in my inbox. I read and responded to them all, of course, but those with a to-do component stayed there until I could check them off the list and clear them out. A quick check reveals I have 269 emails. Just sitting there. And I’m OK with that. I know. I can hardly believe it myself!

In the last year I started attending my guild meetings again. OK, most of them—the ones with speakers. I also joined a guild about an hour south of me and I am enjoying that group of quilters very much as well.

I made a bunch of quilt tops this past year, finished five charity quilts (little ones), gave away two quilts to new grandnieces…

… and quilted 30 tissue box covers for holiday gifts.

I also made a quilt to cover the fire place. (Long story shortened:  we didn’t use the fireplace because it was too drafty. So, several years ago, I covered the opening with Styrofoam insulation boards and duct tape. I stretched a piece of fabric over the last insulation board and called it good. It was something less than charming. Far less. I got really tired of that fabric. Here’s what it looks like now.)

There were also three trips to Paducah for National Quilt Museum board meetings, a trip to see family in Florida (with a quick visit to see the Mouse)…..

…a quilting retreat, and two trips overseas. It was a great year!

Oh! I also learned how to make felt Christmas tree ornaments! (That’s the Winky Wonky Donkey, from the book of the same name.)

I made about 30 ornaments all together, and all by hand. Quite the learning curve, but lots of fun.

I thought for sure I would have made a dent in my UFO’s in the last 12 months. Sadly, I just created more of them! Apparently, starting new projects makes me really happy!

My friend Marsha McCloskey just informed me that whatever one does on the first day of the new year predisposes one to continue that activity in all the days that follow. What a lovely thought. I’m going to sew all day long tomorrow.

I hope 2019 brings you love, peace, joy, good health, and prosperity for you, your family, and for all those you care about.

Happy New Year!
Ami Simms

182 thoughts on “Sew How’s That Retirement Going?

  1. Ami, you don’t know me; I am in the Utah County Quilt Guild—I just want to say thanks for your cheerful messages (ok some pretty darn funny) these last years. It brought an extra smile or laugh to my day—so you have blessed another’s life. Thank you so much.

    Leslie Oldham….occasional quilter—often fabric purchaser—and fellow human “bean” appreciator. Have a good year!

    >

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  2. I always love hearing about your quilting and granddaughter and more. I feel like we will be almost neighbors before too long – moving from Colorado to Michigan!!

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  3. What a lovely surprise to see this in my inbox. I recently spent an entire morning going through and deleting emails that apparently don’t actually get deleted when I delete them in Outlook. There were around 3,000 or so. I’m probably up to over a hundred again. I love all your projects, especially the felt ornaments and the fireplace cover. Happy and Blessed New year to you and your family, Ami!

    Marcia Middents

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  4. Oh Ami, it was so wonderful to hear from you and read all about “retirement.”. I hope the new year continues to gift you with all that you love. Take good care!

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  5. Thank you. A fun read and a pleasure to know you are a happy person and pleased with your decision. I wish you all the best. Kim Haugen Prescott, Arizona (where it has been snowing ALL DAY and reminds me of the Midwest!!!)

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  6. So glad you are relaxing in your retirement! I am thoroughly worn out from all you’ve done just from the reading of your email! Keep on enjoying! The best to you in 2019!

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  7. Hi Ami,

    I’ve missed you!! Glad you are enjoying your retirement. Two years ago we left sometimes snowy and always taxing New Jersey for life at the beach . . . in a suburb of Myrtle Beach SC.

    I am still looking for my quilting “tribe” but I solved the problem of UFOs by donating a large space bag of quilt tops to the Coastal Carolina Quilt Guild (went to meetings for a year – too big for my taste. But they were happy to get the tops finished for charity.)

    Good luck as you travel and develop new creative passions!!

    Mary Lou Kirtland Garden City Beach, SC

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  8. Great post! Always loved hearing what you were up to! I retired in November & am awaiting my first grandchild! A girl. Been busy moving from Florida to Tennessee so no quilting yet. Soon though, very soon. Glad you are happy!!

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  9. Ami, so glad to hear that you are enjoying retirement. The fireplace quilt is just right for that spot. May 2019 be filled with even more adventures and lots of sewing/quilting. Please keep us up-to-date on your projects and Zoey fun.

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  10. What a lovely newsy post. So glad you are loving retirement and doing so many things. Happy for you.

    And thank you for reinforcing the idea that I want to spend January 1 just sewing!!! Now I really have a reason why I NEED to do that.

    Warm wishes for a healthy 2019!
    Judy Veltidi

    Sent from my iPhone

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  11. I was worried about you!  You have no idea who I am because I am not a quilter.  (I am a beader.)  But my friend Donna Grybowski, a woman of many talents, would forward emails to me regarding Madison (rest in peace, you wonderful dog) and Scooter.  I emailed Donna a while ago when I realized I hadn’t gotten any emails from your site.  Neither had Donna.   So you have retired.  Fully retired.  Good for you!  I had retired from the corporate world back in 2009 but in 2011 I got a part-time job at our local grocery store; I quit that job back in February, so I am fully retired now.  I have no idea how I accomplished anything while I was working! And yes, I am a dog person.  I was an only child, and have had a dog since I was 6 years old.  For the past 20+ years we have had black Labs (my vet called them BLabs).  I am 71 yrs old, so this past March when we had to put our sweet, sweet Diesel to sleep, I was devastated.  You know the feeling.  We were lucky to find another rescue; he’s a Lab mix (black, sleek, 55 lbs) who is supposedly 5 yrs old, but he has the energy of a 2yr old!  Jax does his best to keep me busy. We have also had cats (my husband is the cat person). I just wanted to thank you for sharing Madison’s and Scooter’s lives with us.  I always looked forward to those emails!  I wish you, your family — and Scooter of course — the best in the future.  Bless you all. Rosleen Long(& Roger, Jax, Donovan and Haley)

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    1. Roselyn, congratulations to you on your retirement too. So many people have asked about Scooter, I should have him write the next blog. (More time for me to quilt.) Thanks for your kind words and remembering me with such kindness.

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  12. So good to hear that you are enjoying retirement. I miss your blogs and the dogs blogs too!! I retired in 2017 as well – not by choice but everything worked out perfect as if I had planned it so all is good. I quilt for two guilds. One a long arm guild and another that pieces. All of the quilts go to a variety of charities. It is so satisfying. Happy trails!

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  13. I was wondering how you and Scooter were getting along. So good to hear from you! Happy New Year! And yes, I plan on sewing tomorrow also.

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  14. Thank you for the update! I have missed hearing from your pup (and you). I also miss your store, but I bet you don’t miss keeping up with it!

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  15. I’m very happy for you in your retirement, even tho I’ve missed your regular emails. I love being retired! How did I ever have time to work?? I now have a new designation for some of my ufos: they have been put into timeout. I’ll pull them out when I think I can make them behave better. Hugs to you 🤗

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  16. It’s so good to hear from you, Ami! All you’ve accomplished in the past year leaves me breathless and exhausted! I see you got to Roma. Wonderful city!

    I hope you have an equally successful 2019, filled with hope, health and happiness (and quilting)!

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  17. It’s so good to hear from you, Ami! Your 2018 accomplishments leave me breathless and exhausted! I see you visited Roma. Wonderful city!

    I hope 2019 affords you the opportunity to be as creative as you were in 2018. Wishing you a new year filled with hope, health, and happiness (and quilting)!

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    1. I learned how to do the stitch through YouTube videos. There are several patterns out there, just try something easy at first. Give yourself the luxury of a few false starts, and you’ll get the hand of it.

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  18. I love it!! Had hoped that when I moved to SW FL that I’d at least be able to semi-retire! 8 years later still working full time long arm quilting everyone else’s tops while mine sit in the closet & bins!!! Enjoy!!

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  19. So good to hear you are ‘living the life’ that you deserve. I have thought of you often this past year and sent positive thoughts your way. Sounds like you didnt have much of learning curve for retirement! I’m so glad!! You go, girl!!!! Lisa Throneberry

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  20. So good to hear from you, sounds like a wonderful year. Stay well. Hope the pup is well also. Miss your newsletters but we understand.

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  21. So good to hear from you again; I’m glad that things are going well and that you are enjoying your retirement. In 2019 may you continue to enjoy a happy, healthy retirement.

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  22. you probably won’t read this but just found the WONKY DONKEY book this year I love it!! It makes me laugh no matter how many times I read it. HAPPY 2019!

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    1. I read all the comments…..eventually! My very good friend found a copy of the book for me for my grand baby. Can’t wait to give it to her!

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  23. Good for you, Ami ! I’m glad you had a wonderful year. I and my family had a great 2018 also. Soooooo, onward and upward into 2019 :)

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  24. Good for you. How wonderful you are enjoying yourself .
    All those years you helped us and I took a class at least 40 years ago that you taught a pine tree wall hanging. I mentioned to you that I was left handed and would have a problem doing it, you just laughed and replied you were left handed too! What fun your classes were and what joy you gave to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you

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  25. Good to hear from you, Ami. I am glad you are enjoying retirement and moving forward with things you enjoy. We wouldn’t be quilters/crafters if we didn’t have a bucket load of UFOs to haunt us.
    Your list of completions is impressive.

    Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

    Linda

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  26. What a great post. So glad to hear from you. Sounds like you are rockin’ your retirement – good for you! And best wishes for the coming year right back at you and yours.
    (The gingerbread man made me laugh out loud.)

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  27. so good to hear from you. Sounds like a fun year to me. What you need is another grandchild for even more fun! But take it you are still on the board at Paducah.

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  28. Good for you. I’ve missed your newsletter but am glad for you- recharging, traveling, new experiences. Looking forward to that year after retirement myself, soon enough. And of course, expecting to put a dent in that stash beyond life expectancy.

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  29. So nice to hear from you, Ami! Glad to know that you are still stitching along. Me too. Still making a few quilts, but also obsessed with clothing, oh and hand embroidery, too. As long as we enjoy it, why not? (I entered my blog address below but have not been good about updating it for a while.)

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  30. So happy you posted your post-retirement news!! Have really missed your blogs with all of Scooter’s news. May the new year be filled with fabric, and quilting. Arlene Adams

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  31. Fantastic to see you in Rome again! Your book of quilt patterns from Ostia was a source of inspiration to me! Hope you found lots more lovely mosaic floors…..

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  32. Wow! Here you are😃. Great. I’we wondered how you’ve been. Good to hear you are doing so well in retirement, travel, and the family which of course includes Scooter🐶🐶. Thanks for letting us know of your “doings”!! Keep them coming, please.

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  33. Thanks, Ami, for letting your loyal fans know how and what you’ve been doing. We miss you, but it sure sounds as if you have this retirement thing figured out, and you’re enjoying it as you should! Love all your new projects!

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  34. Isn’t retirement grand? I had such a hard time letting go and now I have no idea how I had time for a career! It is so nice to hear about all of your adventures in 2018. I know Scooter is thrilled to have you home! I really love the little gingerbread man😁. Happy New year to you and your family.

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  35. So happy to see that you are doing so well.
    And having quite the adventure during your retirement.
    Enjoy every day! I will have to remember to sew all day tomorrow too!
    Maureen Gillet

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  36. So good to hear from you once again, Ami! I thought about you last summer, when I was visiting my best friend, June, in Flint, and was tempted to call you and say hi, but for me it was recovery time–another very close friend had died earlier that year, and I just Needed to be with June for a while. There were days when June and I just sat and knitted or read or sewed….and a few times when I/we cried. I felt much better afterwards.

    I’m so pleased that I had a chance to meet you and have lunch with you during your layover from Alaska that time! What a treat that was for Liz and me (and Becky, too, I’m sure).

    Tell Scooter we all miss his part of your blog, also! I always enjoyed what he had to say! ;-)

    I’d love to see a picture of your granddaughter sometime, if you can share! Isn’t being a grandma absolutely the Best?!

    Have a happy and blessed 2019!!

    Charlotte

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    1. Recovery is so hard. I hope your burden is a little easier to carry now.

      I remember my layover meet-ups with much fondness. Such good times!

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  37. So fun to see (read) you again!! Retirement is great – if one can keep the sewing room somewhat cleared to do all the fun stuff!!! Travel, grands can interrupt but I, too, plan a little sewing today. Happy New Year!!!

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  38. So lovely to hear from you! It’s great to hear you are enjoying your retirement. I remember fondly my class with you at the PA Qult Extravaganza I don’t know how many years ago now! Best to you in 2019 and Happy Stitches!

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  39. Oh, my! You have been one very busy woman! Good for you. I’ll bet your guilds are happy to have you in them! The fireplace cover is a wonderful idea! I might have to steal that one – or borrow it! I do love your Wonky Donkey ornament and the partially eaten gingerbread man. I want to make them even though a new ornament is the last thing I need. We’ve gone down to a 3 foot tree from a 6 1/2 foot and there are plenty of ornaments that were donated and still too many left here.

    Sew the day away – and have a really happy, productive 2019, Give Zoe lots of hugs and kisses as only a grandma knows that special joy!

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  40. What a delight to find your email this morning. You have been a busy girl since retiring. Isn’t retirement wonderful! Thank you so much for giving your followers an update on what you’ve been up to. I hope this becomes a yearly thing.

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  41. Hi Ami! I was thinking about you just the other day and I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying life as a retired person. It’s good to know that you are getting to spend time doing what you want to do and, I have to say, you make retirement look inviting.

    I hope we run into each other again one of these days! xoxo,

    Becky

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  42. I must have missed the email telling us you had retired. You stayed on my mind and I kept wondering when we would hear from you again. So, I am very glad that your disappearance was AOK and not something dire in your life. Yes, retirement is fun. Do drop us a line now and then, as you are like a dear friend we want to keep up with.

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  43. Best Wishes to you and your family. Happy and Healthy 2019. I would quilt all day, but leaving for Florida in about 3 days. Everything is packed.
    You were always an inspiration to me – I took your hand-quilting class in Easton Pa, and you came to our lake country quilt guild in the 90’s. I had a different name back then. But you are a fantastic teacher/person and I wish you loads of fun and relaxation and happy quilting in your retirement. Theresa Chalone

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    1. Theresa, thanks so much for writing! You made my day. I remember classes at Easton, PA with great fondness. Thanks for the good wishes.

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  44. Retirement is wonderful. I am so glad you are enjoying your own creative time, and famiy. The last year has been growing veggies and knitting, oh, and adding to the fabric stash. 2019 will be attacking that stash. Best wishes for healthand happiness!

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  45. Happy New Year to you. It was so nice to see your name appear in my inbox.Glad you’re enjoying your retirement. I enjoy mine everyday. I believe the only day I don’t do some form of quilting is the day that doesn’t end in a “Y”.
    Best Wishes from Ontario, Canada.
    Bev

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  46. I still love you just as I did before.
    If what Marcia McCluskey said is true I am pumped because I have been cleaning organizing prewashing flannel fabric for the back of baby quilts and just buzzing around in an hour of exercise this morning very very productive so I am looking forward to a very productive 2019 as a matter fact that’s my word for 2019 productivity you have a great great day and I am so happy you are enjoying retirement

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  47. So good to see you in my inbox. Sound like retirement is a refreshing way to go! I think I will have to wait a bit yet, but am certainly looking forward to it. Keep doing what you are doing and enjoy every day in every way! Have a great new year!! God’s blessings to you!!

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  48. Great to hear from you and to hear your doing well in retirement.
    Sorry to hear that what you do on New Year’s Day continues thru out the year…..had kids and grandkids and I did not accomplished much at all. 🤔

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  49. Ami you’re so talented! Love everything you do! Perhaps a book of humorous stories might be a new project? Always love your way of looking at life with your quirky humor? Just do whatever you enjoy 😊
    Wishing you & Steve a wonderful New Year!
    Love you,
    Kim

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  50. Today is the first day of my husbands retirement….I hope his goes as well as yours is going :0) congratulations for taking the leap! I enjoyed seeing what you’ve been up to and hope you have a very blessed 2019 Happy New Year!

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  51. So glad to hear you are enjoying the new chapter of your life! May the good times continue to roll for you and yours. May the new year continue to be fruitful and maybe some of those UFO’s become done. One can dream right? LOL Do keep in touch. Happy New Year! Cris

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  52. congratulations on retirement! So glad you really did retire – and now have time to enjoy your grandbaby and create more UFOs!!! It’s nice to hear from you again, though – always enjoyed your news and Scooter’s news as well.

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  53. Hi Ami, I am a sometime reader and retired too. Ain’t it great? Glad to know you are also enjoying it. I hope you continue to keep us updated from time to time (don’t want to make it a “job” haha). I still refer to your blog for tips and ideas. Thanks for all you’ve contributed to our world. Peace in the New Year and for all years to come.

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  54. Hi, Ami!
    What a treat to find your latest happenings in my inbox! It was a fun read and I marvel at your energy. Enjoy your retirement and Happy New Year to you!
    Marlene Carron

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  55. I also retired this year and am LOVING it! I have told at least 3 other quilters about Marsha McCloskey’s quote about sewing on New Year’s Day. I have a gathering to attend on Monday (and the following Monday) to make some service quilts for children – everyone is bringing tops to finish up with flannel backing.

    I love your newsletters – and am so glad you are continuing them. You may not realize what fun you bring to our lives – thanks so much for still including all of us in yours. Sandy

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  56. Discovered your em/blog while cleaning up/deleting the back log of ems. Good to year from you, Ami! Retirement is a very different new stage in our lives. At this point I’m tired from being so busy! We have 21 grandchildren, to date, and I’m three baby quilts behind for the last three grandchildren! Grandma Pam is warming up her sewing machine to begin those quilts! We spent two weeks in Rome 12/31/18-1/15/19 visiting our daughter, a nun, who lives there. Took lots of pictures of many church floors for future quilts. Glad you made it to Rome…I feel Rome calling me again! All the best in 2019 to you and your family.

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    1. 21 grandkids! Wow! No wonder you’re tired! So glad you got to Rome and saw the quilty church floors. Thanks so much for commenting.

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  57. Love retirement also. Freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want. Your quilts are beautiful; have done some myself until I lost my sewing machine to a storm we had that flooded out the basement, never replaced it. But I do love to crochet and read – love the fireplace idea!

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