Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

About a month or so ago, my sewing/embroidery machine started acting up; not all the time, just every once in awhile; it seemed to be only when I was using a USB for embroidering.  Then this week,  the light bulb went off and I thought, why not try a design that came with the machine.  It didn’t work either.

So after much researching on the internet, we ( yep, had to get the husbter involved in finding this), found some machine repair shops that worked on Brother sewing machines; my machine is a Babylock Ellisimo, which is the same as the Brother Quattro.

Pat, one of our friends that is fluent in Spanish, made the call for us to see if they worked on my type of machine.  It was a yes and it will be diagnosed while you are there.

So today, we headed to Alajuela (there is one in San Jose, also) to check it out.

When we walked into this shop, we were both astounded at what we saw.  Seems like every machine imagineable was there!  From basic sewing machines to fancy embroidery machines with many needles, to sergers, etc.

We were promptly taken to a table to put the machine on so I could show “the Dr.” what the problem was.  I set up the machine, and started embroidering on it and you should have seen the crowd of people that work in there come to check out the “el grande maquina”…..I looked at Mark and said “perhaps I should give classes!”


This is a picture of the store front – the repair shop is also located there – and get this, there is a Singer repair shop that’s attached to the repair shop – so it’s a 3 – stop place!  And quite easy to locate also.

LaBobina2The “machine doctor” says it looks like you have a virus and it needs to go to the electronic dept. which he will take care of .

It was just unbelievable seeing all the machines they had available for sale.  There were all kinds of parts available in the display cases….Mark says he wishes auto mechanics carried such an inventory here!

At any rate, we both felt a sigh of relief when we walked in and I had no qualms about leaving it.  Now to wait for it to be repaired.  I will most likely be in the states when that happens, but call me Miss Pollyanna, I’m holding out for sooner, rather than later.

They had extra hoops for sale, all kinds of scissors, glue guns, glue sticks, thread, lots and lots of thread.

They also had 3 machines for sale called The Butterfly….from China, of course. However, the machines looked like old Singer machines and were even in wooden sewing machine cases/tables for around $300.  I made the comment that I’m almost tempted to buy one of those so I’m not without a sewing machine!  I should have taken a picture of his face and the look I got….it was one of those priceless moments!

Then we headed to Jalepenos – Normans in Alajuela for a great lunch.

Pura Vida for now – I’m a really happy camper having found La Bobina!


Now that we’ve been living in Costa Rica for almost a year, unbelievable that it’s been almost a year, I can say there are some things I miss from the old country. We’ve decided to refer to the U.S. as the old country.

I miss my magazines! Yep, can buy magazines in Costa Rica that are in Spanish….wonder if the day will ever come that I feel comfortable enough to do this?

I miss being able to shop in a real fabric store with all the necessary items you need to complete a project. There are many fabric stores in Costa Rica, however, they don’t carry thread (except for one in Grecia), and sewing notions. I have yet to find a pattern in Costa Rica and I definitely need a pattern for guidance! It is not fun running from store to store to find these items.

I miss my garbage disposal! Immensely!

I miss being able to go to a clothing store and having a wide variety to choose from. Can’t wait till October when I return to the old country. I’ll be a shopping fool! I’ll be first in the stores when they open, and last to leave when they close.

I miss my knitting group at Panera on Friday! Perhaps the week I’m in the old country, they’ll feel the need to meet more than just on Friday.

I miss that I still have to go on a search mission to find things that I KNOW were packed to be moved here. By the time I find what I’m searching for, the mood has left me to do whatever it is I wanted it for. But then again, somethings never change….I’m constantly searching for where I’ve put my coffee cup down. And this house isn’t that big to have spend time searching for it! LOL

I miss Barnes and Noble! A lot of times when I felt bored (meaning I don’t want to clean the house). I would go to B & N and just wander around amidst the books and magazines. Spent a lot of time doing that back in the old country! LOL

What don’t I miss?

I love that all gas stations in this country charge the same price for gas!

I love the happy, friendly people in this country.

I love the weather, the freakin’ great weather! I don’t ever want to be cold again! Hear that KY, no cold weather the week I’m back there!

I love the fact I wear flip flops EVERY DAY!!! I’ve dubbed the flip flops as the shoe of Costa Rica!

I love hearing the birds singing in the a.m. – however, the parrots could start their chattering a little later in the day. I love hearing the geckos chirp that are now living in the house. They eat bugs, they are our friends.

I love all the new friends we’ve met from all over…it truly is a small world! Met people that now live here from Nashville….how ironic is that?

I love that I have friends that are coming to visit us! I love sharing our new lifestyle with old friends. It’s not for everyone, but it really is a relaxing place.

I love the fresh fruit and veggies available year around. Coffee is pretty darn good here too!

I love the healthcare here! Drs. are willing to work with you and before sending you on to specialists, they make phone calls in your behalf and talk with specialists to how best treat your problem. (ie: thyroid, is now at a “normal” level and I only worked with 1 Dr.m but she called endocrinologists to inquire how best to treat it).

You know, I really feel we made the best move EVER! We have no A/C bills, no heating bills, economical healthcare, lots of friends, (you don’t have to look very hard to find someone to go out to eat with you), no one is in a hurry; everyone smiles. Have many friends that have visited the old country and they all say they couldn’t wait to get back to Costa Rica! They feel the old country is a “rat-race”, everyone is in a hurry.

If you are looking for a place to visit with happy people, check out Costa Rica. No, it’s not perfect, but it beats living in a “rat-race”.

Miguel, my pet Iguana, is sunning himself on the rock outside the bedroom doors. Guess the dogs are getting used to him because they don’t bark at him anymore.

Time to change colors of thread in the embroidery machine…so Adios and Pura Vida from the Happiest Country in the World! (Thanks, Beth, for reminding me of this!)

Gave Deloris a call and said “road trip” – her response, how much time do I have time to get ready? LOL

When we first were thinking about visiting Costa Rica, Mark found this place; we almost stayed there till we found Animal Lighthouse Rescue.

Check out; she has people come from all over to take classes – and I don’t just mean from Costa Rica! There are places to stay right on the grounds and it’s close to everything; restaurants, ZooAve, a winery, etc.

Since arriving here, I’ve noticed shopping for fabric in Costa Rica is frankly “a pain in the ass”. No patterns (except for some quilt patterns at Villa Rita’s); thread in different stores (altho’ there’s one fabric store in Grecia that does carry some notions); in other words, it’s not like saying “Hmmmm, I think I’ll sew today and you head to Joann’s, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby, etc.; you will head to many stores to collect everything you need to complete a project.

Villa Rita’s is not far at all from our house! If you get my drift, it could be a problem?! Gorgeous fabrics to choose from, gorgeous quilts already made up, etc. Rita even has her 6 year old granddaughter designing and making quilts!!!

Need to think about taking a class.

She had the neatest wall hanging in her home of a Costa Rican lady in a colorful costume; she made up the design from a wall hanging out of wood and silver! How cool is that!!! There are so many clever people in the world…..this was also entered in a quilt show that was in the U.S.

The creative juices are beginning to flow… is good!

As we were paying at a restaurant that we ate at earlier this week, La Trocha, the chef insisted we come back on Thursday a.m. at 9:30 for breakfast. When you are retired, you NEVER, EVER, turn down food! LOL

So we met Thursday morning for a most delicious breakfast! Tortillas, made in a Nicaragua style, had more flavor and were very good. I’m don’t care much for Costa Rican tortillas because they are way too thick for me! Then of course the ever delish Gallo Pinto, and then an omelet, not folded over, with everything you can imagine on it. I had mine on top of the tortilla – so good!!!

Then the women had an excursion planned. I wanted to go back to the quilt shop between Grecia and Sarchi and watch them put in grommets, it’s not the way I want them put in, but I guess that’s what I’ll have to do!

Then Delores says “would you be interested in going to a place that “makes souvenirs and is off the beaten path”. Well, duh, Yes I want to go there! And will return there too. Saw LOTS of wooden things I’ve seen in souvenir shops and this were just too good to pass up price-wise. Keep in mind it’s a woodworking shop and get this; the dust is free!

Heading back into Grecia I had found a fabric store that I hadn’t been in yet. So we stopped…..fabric stores here are just so different!!! Takes me forever to make up my mind, etc.; however, I did buy Gayla some fabric for a quilt back – and if she doesn’t like it, I’ll keep it!!!

There is a quilt retreat place not too far from our house and I finally contacted the woman and she said she’d love to have me come visit. That will be on next week’s agenda!!!

Friday was the first day that the “over 60 group of ladies” took an adventure. There were 7 of us. We took the bus from Atenas to Orotina. It was great! Can’t wait to take the bus again!!! However, I can assure you that the bus driver drove a lot faster than I would on that road! LOL

I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant we ate lunch at….but the important thing, is I can get to it. Told Mark that some day we should take the bus there for lunch. And just think, after my birthday this year, I can ride the bus FREE – altho’ it’s super cheap to ride it!

I think when Terri comes to visit, we just might take a day and do that.

Anxious to see the Central Market in San Jose too; altho’, we’ve been warned that we cannot stop and “window shop” on the way to the market; because we’ll do that on the way back! LOL

Lots of new experiences this week; love this country!

Adios for now!

Yesterday our guests, Abby and Gayla, left for their home in Tennessee.  I love going to the airport to get visitors but I sure don’t like going to the airport to say good-by!  That’s how the morning started.

But it ended on an up note because we went back to the airport and picked up Jonny and Warren from Phoenix.  They are renting a place here, actually not too far from our house, for 6 weeks.

We played “tour picker upper” and even took them to the grocery before depositing them at their lovely abode!  Old Bessie was loaded down with their luggage and groceries.  They are staying in a development called Hacienda Atenas. Can’t wait for Mark to see it in the daylight – it’s gorgeous!

I hope Jonny remembers I told her it was very hilly! LOL

Anyway, she spent a lot of time in Ghana at the end of last year to get a library open.  And, this is the best part, well, actually the selfish part….she brought me some of the greatest fabric from there!





Aren’t these colors gorgeous!  Oops, got one in there twice; click on the thumb nails to make them larger!

Wondering about attempting to use the last one to make a coverlet for our bed. What do you think?  I’m open to any and all suggestions for ideas on how to best use this fabric.  It’s so much prettier in person without a shaky camera blurring the colors! LOL


Hope Jonny and Warren are getting settled in their new digs.  Will check on them tomorrow.

Tomorrow we’re going to some friend’s for breakfast! We met them the day we received our Cedula’s and found out they live about a mile down the road from us.  Breakfast is my favorite meal…when someone else cooks.  However, I need to watch what I’m eating because Gayla insisted on buying oodles and oodles of things from the bakery!  She knew the layout of their products and didn’t hesitate to update me on it! LOL


Update on the road behind us:  We had been told it was going to be asphalt, then concrete, then pavers, then concrete. Today concrete pavers (all one color) were delivered.  We don’t care what’s put down, but we sure would like it to be pronto!  A word not in Costa Rica’s vocabulary.  The dirt blowing, etc. is just plain out of control with all the heavy equipment that is being used.  Actually, it’s just a backhoe driving back and forth….The curb and gutters are installed and cement was mixed by hand for this.  The “bedding” for the pavers has been delivered….come on guys, please, at least get to our driveway before you take the week off for Easter….pretty, pretty, please!!!



Abby, Gayla and I left the house about 8:45 a.m. and didn’t return until 7:00 p.m.! WHEW!  What a fun day we had.

Started out the day with going to ZooAve.  As soon as we entered two beautiful peacocks spread their tail feathers!  What a site!  Abby, 8 years old, was impressed.  Saw lots of animals….she was most impressed with fawn that was in an enclosure with a huge turtle and an iguana!  LOL, you know the animal she can see in Tennessee!

Saw lots of monkeys, emus, various sizes and kinds of turtles, crocodiles, you know lots of Central American animals.

Left the zoo about 11:30 a.m. and coming home we decided to take a detour to Grecia and Sarchi.

Had lunch in Grecia and then Gayla wanted to hit some fabric shops!  And hit them, she did!  As we would leave a shop, her words were, “we can come back, right?”  Went to 2 fabric shops and then back to the car and we were on our way to Sarchi.

Let’s just say, Abby made out like a bandit today!  She got some cute things, including a leather purse with a brightly colored parrot painted on it.  She’s so proud of it!

On the drive back to Grecia, we stopped at a little quilt shop!  Gayla got more fabric!  And wanted to know if we could go back there too, because she couldn’t make up her mind about a bag!

Started to rain a little, which actually felt good!

We drove “on the good road from La Garita to Grecia” so of course, coming home we came the narrow, twisty road over the horrible bridge because I thought they should experience it. LOL

Abby kept insisting we were lost!  Finally, I said “Abby, you might be lost, but I’m not!”

We went to a few shops in Atenas, again, Abby made out like a bandit….but I will say the shoes she got were so cute! If they had had them a little bigger, I would have gotten some too!!!  Tomorrow, I’ll get a picture of them and put it on Facebook!

Hit Atenas and I knew there was no way I was cooking dinner tonight after the day we had had; called Mark and asked him if he wanted to come in to town and eat with us.  Gayla felt like having some “good rice” so we went to La Troilla and had some “muy bueno” rice!

Adios for now……really tired!

Yep, going to bed and yes, it’s 7:35 p.m.


Hubby insisted that MY knitting, quilting and sewing magazine were trash and if I didn’t find someone to give (pawn) them to, they would go out in the trash!

Found a friend that basically took most of them and another friend took a stack of quilting magazines.

Hubby is happy, I am sad!  I know there are patterns in there I NEED!  Even tho’ some magazines went back to 2006.

He rained on my parade…..

VOTE HERE! Bunco Women Gone Wild