A week or two ago I posted about sewing outside and someone said: “just like Gilligan’s Island!” So I just had to google to see if there was any outdoor sewing on that famous isle. Indeed there was! Ginger must have been in a cooler location to look so glamorous sewing outside. Me, I had to keep wiping my brow! Oh, my!
By definition, a palapa is an open-sided structure with dried palm leaves making up the thatched roof. It’s a Spanish word that we most commonly refer to as “tiki hut.” We built our tiki hut for my 50th birthday one summer and have truly enjoyed many hours relaxing in our own little slice of paradise. There are two hanging chairs, a nice cedar rocker, and a cedar bench so it can be shared and enjoyed with our extended family and friends. When no one else is around I stretch out my hammock from pole to pole (taking up the seating area) and really relax. I can sleep the best in a hammock! If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen photos of my “current worldview” of my relaxing moments in the hammock.
When I began my major “secret sewing” projects last month it became apparent that I needed more room to spread out to go into full production mode- life in the 26 ft RV didn’t play nicely with those goals so I moved the operation outdoors. In case you missed it you can read about my rainy day sewing under the tiki hut by clicking here.
It’s been said that it is 10 degrees cooler under a palapa’s shade than the actual temperature outside. I can verify that after spending some of the hottest days on record for the month of May happily sewing under my tiki hut!
Sewing outside wasn’t without its challenges! Everything from having to run all the power with one long extension cord and multiple power strips, to having to pack things up at night and cover what I could with a tarp to protect from the weather (and critters – like stray cats), a lot of things simply had to come inside at night because I couldn’t take the risk – namely my Daylight floor lamp and my Oliso iron!
Time to Fix the Palapa
As mentioned in my rainy day post, the roof of the tiki hut is in need of repairs. Right now we are concentrating on the reconstruction of the house after Hurricane Harvey so all we could do was a temporary fix on the outside structure. We purchased a 20′ x 30′ tarp to cover the 15′ diameter roof. Sounds reasonable right? How hard could it be to pull the tarp up and over…..how difficult indeed?
It wasn’t a three-hour tour but a very sweaty two-hour ordeal, but finally, the job was completed and I was back in business! Oscar seemed to put his stamp of approval on the temporary fix too.
It took me two full weeks working from morning to dusk to piece two new patterns that will be released later this fall using upcoming fabric collections from Island Batik. I don’t think I would have made it without my fan, even though it did cause me to have “extra work” by always making sure the fabric was weighted down so it wouldn’t blow off and fall through the cracks of the decking! In addition, I truly enjoyed my Daylight floor lamp – I should see if they want a spokesperson! When I was attempting to piece without it I found I made more mistakes and didn’t match my points as well.
So What’s Next?
Glad you asked! A lot has been happening this past week. I did finish the quilts (both full-size) and was able to “borrow” a friend’s longarm for two days worth of all day hand-guided light custom quilting. I’ve always said, “I get by with a little help from my friends”. I can’t begin to express my gratitude – not easy to give up your longarm when you have your own customer quilts to do. Truly an unselfish sacrifice and much appreciated! I love the way the texture turned out on these babies and can’t wait until Fall Market when I can share the photos. (Life isn’t fair sometimes is it?)
Meanwhile, back on the home front – while I was away quilting we had a team of fellows working in the house laying the tile flooring. Goodness, have these guys put in the hours. They worked until dusk themselves every day this week – probably would have worked later if they had lights. As of this writing, they aren’t totally finished yet but we are certainly pleased with their progress. We have been unable to go inside due to the risk of messing up their work but have taken photos through the windows. Here’s a sneak peak of the flooring in my studio. We call it “driftwood” as we are going for a tropical beachy look.
Party For One Please
I’m on retreat! Yep – last night I loaded up the little red wagon with my sewing gear and headed out to an “undisclosed” location. I’m on a “party of one” retreat enjoying a little time in the country happily sewing INDOORS!! I will report in soon and actually be able to share my projects – secret sewing is taking a break – this rambler needs to share quilting photos!!!
Check back next week for my “secret location” quilting retreat reports. Can’t wait to see the progress on the house when I return!