20 May, 2015

Positivity Is Spreading...

"Think Positive!"  ~  45" X 55"
Almost a year ago I posted about a quilt that I had designed in EQ7. I made up a few blocks and put it away; the project... but not the idea! You can access the block pattern by clicking on the link above.

I pulled it all out again this past Monday and began getting all my "pluses" into rows. I love the look of this... it's cheerful and positive! The cute little blocks measure only five inches square and I have put that Creative Grids Itty-Bitty Eights ruler to good use squaring them up. This new ruler is quickly becoming indispensable to me. I absolutely love the eighth inch markings as well as the non-slip finish, I honestly don't know how I got along without it before. I'm not quite half done with this small quilt, stay tuned for more... it's NOT being reshelved before it's a full-fledged flimsy! Part of the fun with this one is using up some of those accumulated low volume background prints... it was high time to cut into them! Don't worry about my stash becoming depleted, I've hardly made a dent. If you like making blocks on the small side you definitely should check out the ruler... but I'm warning you, making itty-bitties can become addictive!
See what I mean?  
These 2" Cake Stand blocks are piling up; a tiny bit at a time.
They don't take up much space or use up much fabric either;
I'm challenging myself to use up even the smallest of scraps.
Life is Good!

19 May, 2015

Sunshine and Shade...

...and the wisdom to recognize the difference.

I'm mixing it up this year. Admittedly, I am a creature of habit. Every year I buy the same plants, put them in the same locations... and expect the same wonderfully blooming results that I acheived a few years ago. This hasn't been happening lately, but up until this year I had been too stubborn to understand why. So, before I went plant shopping last month, I made note of the sunshine and shade patterns. There is a LOT more shade around our house than there used to be. I suppose that 14 years' worth of growth on the trees that we planted when we moved here, in 2001, can do just that! The potted Geranium on the once sunny step and the Iris in the bed under the spreading dogwood just weren't happy anymore; apparently, they don't believe in the "bloom where you're planted" adage. I now have a Dragon Wing Begonia potted up on that same step now; it's so pretty, even this creature of habit can learn to like something new. My Dad helped me to transplant what had become a foliage-only Iris to a new, brighter, location in the yard; hopefully the fruits of our labor will be evident in blossoms next spring. Hosta have replaced the flowerless Daylilies alongside the driveway where the sun never reaches anymore. Because the deer aren't choosy and like to eat both the Hosta and the Daylilies equally as much, the work required in maintaining the deer preventative is the same. Last week, armed with what I thought was the deer spray, my husband caught me spraying all around... and on... the Hosta with Round Up! I almost croaked when he pointed out my error. Quickly he came to the rescue with lots and lots of water, soaking the plant and surrounding soil. I'm blaming this mistake on a head full of congestion, a person can't be held responsible for operating under the influence of pollen. So far, so good; I haven't lost any plants yet, fingers crossed. So, back to my original subject:
sometimes changes can be a good thing, even for this creature of habit. I'm appreciating showy and colorful new flowers in old locations; I'm glad that I paid attention and chose to mix it up this year, and it wasn't nearly as scary as I had imagined. Watch out, status quo, you're not as safe here as you used to be! What glories might you be missing out on by staying mired in the same old rut? I've pulled myself up and out of mine and the view up here is simply spectacular!
Life is Good!

14 May, 2015

A PC Kind Of Day

Is it PC to report on the results of a very successful sew-in day? It is when the PC I'm speaking about is pillowcases! Mom and I turned out eleven a few days ago.  She made three pillowcase sets and I got creative and made personalized sleep-over pillowcases for each of the grandchildren as well as one for ConKerr Cancer, the generous organization providing pillowcases to children being treated for cancer. The pattern is available at the link above. How many can you make? I'm betting you won't be able to stop at one!
Life is Good!

12 May, 2015

Family Weekend

We've been celebrating family this past week... not only mothers! My Dad and I have spent a couple of days picking the most delicious strawberries ever at a nearby strawberry farm. The berries are huge, juicy and sweet!
We carried a gallon to the Capital City on Saturday where we had a wonderful afternoon visiting with these two cutie pies (and their parents!). We capped off the visit with a stroll through a local rose garden.
Our next stop, along the way, was a meet and greet with Woody himself!
 I can't tell who's enjoying himself more... can you?
 Even the youngest (perhaps especially the youngest) enjoyed the juicy goodness of the fresh strawberries!
My mother and her youngest grandchild, our son Kyle; here she's passing along the family recipe (and the preparation technique) for her ham salad. A keen eye may notice a can of Spam in the background... yes, that's the secret ingredient! Say what you will about Spam; but, I grew up on this delicious ham salad with fresh chopped green pepper and I agree with my son that it's just about the tastiest thing you could ever spread on a slice of bread!

Life is Good! 

04 May, 2015

Before There Was...

I finished quilting this for my Mom over the weekend, she has entitled this one: "Before There Was Color", it's a cute throw-sized quilt; it quilted up easily. I tried out a new pantograph that I recently bought from Willowleaf Studios, "Let's Have A Party" by Timeless Quilting. 
It was quick and fun to do, I'll definitely be using this panto again soon. I need to cut some binding strips for this quilt today. My Mom and Dad are arriving for a visit , I know she'll enjoy the hand work finishing this quilt while she's here. If my blog posts are rare or erratic over the next few weeks that will explain why.

Continuing on the "Before There Was..." theme: you might remember that I  have been documenting and organizing photographs for my parents. This picture was among the stacks, it happens to be approxiamtely sixty years old.
Before there was Mrs. Goodneedle, there was baby Goodneedle!
She was a healthy little girl.
Life is Good!

02 May, 2015

Crazy Little Conversations

Crazy Little Conversations In The Attic ~ 39" X 57" ~ 1998
Nancy, who blogs near Philadelphia, posted yesterday about some spider web blocks, entitling this clever entry: "Thinking of Wilbur".  I left a comment stating that I had a quilt with the words "Some Pig" quilted into a spiderweb. Her response: "I’d like to see that there Some Pig quilt of yours", prompted today's post.  This quilt is seventeen years old, it's a visual interpretation of word-play run amok! The title comes from CRAZY-patch construction of LITTLE CONVERSATION printS IN THE ATTIC windows setting.  Once the blocks were constructed I thought about literal conversations that might be had in an attic (reminiscent of the old $25,000 Pyramid game show... "things that might be said in an attic!") and added my own: "was I ever able to fit into this?", "what are we saving this for?", "you used to wear this?", "it has to be  up here somewhere", and "last one down turns out the light!" are all found in appliqued thought bubbles within the blocks.

Elaborating on the attic theme saw the raising of the "roof" to incorporate an actual attic space complete with a pair of mice; who happen to be playing, of course, (what else?) Cra-Z 8's!
I imagined there to be spiders in my attic, spiderweb quilting (by hand!) became the obvious choice. You can make out the words "some pig" just below the light bulb in this photo detail.
And there she is, the author of those words, Charlotte herself!
I'm grateful to Nancy for her recent thoughts of Wilbur, because of them (and her e-mail request) I was reunited with an old friend today... she's still looking pretty good after all these years and has reminded me of all the fun that quilting is, and always has been!

Life is Good!

30 April, 2015

A LITTLE Diversion

I've been hearing rave reviews for a ruler that I don't have. Quiltkeemosabe mentioned the Itty Bitty Eights ruler by Creative Grids, she thought that it might come in handy for our future Bible Study blocks. I usually try to avoid eighths of an inch when it comes to cutting out quilt blocks. I will go to great lengths to overcut and then trim down for accuracy. Yesterday I ran across an online pattern for this two inch Cakestand block. Using my scrap boxes of 1.5" and 2" cut squares I fished out a few and decided to take a closer look at the Itty Bitty Eights ruler and put it to the test. It worked perfectly! I cannot believe that I stitched the first block with such precision. To prove it wasn't a fluke I sat right down and stitched up two more. This has been a completely enjoyable LITTLE diversion after working on those high school graduation quilts with great BIG plain, solid blocks. What am I going to do with these micro quilt blocks?  I don't have any idea. It's just nice to know that I can do this. Of course, I immediately e-mailed a picture of completed itty-bitty block #1 to Quiltkeemosabe. As of this afternoon it looks like we may be headed down this rabbit hole together; one more adventure is underway, and it all began so innocently.
Life is Good!