30 March, 2015

Melting...

The frozen shoulder has melted, for the most part; I graduated from PT today and have been released to do the exercise regimen at home from now on. It's all good. This morning I returned to putting on my jacket the same way I have for my entire life (until this occurrence) right arm in first and then reach around with the left arm to find that left sleeve; for me that was a huge milestone! I had to reteach myself to put on a coat, jacket, blouse, whatever by placing my left arm in first... or rather it was the pain and mobility limitation that drove that learning curve. It is extremely difficult to retrain the brain to perform an automatic, ingrained motion. Try it. Something as simple as slipping on a coat is nothing you ever even think about... until you can't do it! I am grateful today for Othopedic medicine, cortisone and a very skilled physical therapist. Frozen is nothing I want to repeat, unless it's a Disney movie; melting is better.
Life is Good!

28 March, 2015

Vintage Find

Saturday is Egg Day at our house. Both Mr. Goodneedle and I try to limit our cholesterol intake and decided a few years ago that we would celebrate breakfast with an egg only once a week (bacon only makes an appearance a few times a year); it's cereal the other six days. After the recent pantry clean-out and reorganization success I was spurred on to tackle more cabinets in the kitchen. You know how that happens... one thing leads to another, and another, and another. It's the If You Give A Mouse A Cookie syndrome; read it if you're unfamiliar, you'll understand. Anyway, during the height of this clean, purge and reorganizing frenzy I ran across this vintage egg cooker. I believe that we've owned it all of our married life (closing in on 40 years), leading me to think it was a wedding gift. I haven't used it in decades and decided to put it to use for poached eggs a few Saturdays ago, for old times' sake. I filled the receptacle with water, broke the eggs into the egg cups and pressed in the button. Uh-oh! I couldn't release my finger from the button without the appliance shutting off. I had already committed the eggs so I called quickly to Mr. Goodneedle to start the English muffins in the toaster while I kept the button depressed manually. The eggs cooked up perfectly, just like I had remembered; but I figured that the faulty on/off button had rendered the appliance defunct. Nope, not at all. After breakfast he took the egg cooker down to his "fix-it" shop and repaired the switch; it was a simple fix, he reported. We were back in business. This vintage find has been pressed back into service, at least on Saturday mornings. It will also hard boil eggs, with dyeing day coming up it'll see double duty this Easter weekend.
What treasures are hiding behind closed doors at your house?
Life is Good!

26 March, 2015

In The Begininng...

The year was 1983. A local fabric store was offering a beginning quilting class and I really wanted to attend. I discussed it with Mr. Goodneedle, we tallied up the projected expenses (how could he know then what would be spent in the years to come!) of that one class and we agreed that it would be my Christmas gift. It was a sampler class; I met the teacher (my dear friend of 32+ years now), bought my supplies and the "book" (magazine) and eagerly waited for that first session. I remember that Ann, our teacher, brought a Maple Leaf quilt to display (in addition to her sampler) and I sat in that class, staring at her Maple Leaf quilt, thinking to myself that if I could ever make anything that pretty I would stop right then and there. Ahem.  I worked diligently on that sampler quilt whenever I had a free moment, at that time we had a seven year old and a three year old, there weren't many of those moments to be had. This sampler was hand and machine pieced and completely hand quilted, lap style. I dug out the quilt and that beginning "book" yesterday, along with my hand-written class diploma; Ann came out to Chez Goodneedle for a sewing and catch-up day, I wanted her to see that I have kept all of these "firsts", the important things that define my life as a quiltmaker. I think she was impressed. This quilt, my very first one, is worth much more to me than money could ever buy. Begun in 1983 and completed in 1985 I can still recall the feeling of pride and accomplishment when I took that last stitch in the binding and knotted off the thread. But even greater than that was what followed: I carried this just-completed quilt upstairs and placed it over my sleeping son who happened to be home from school sick that day. He opened one eye, surveyed the quilt, and declared himself "covered with love". I've been making quilts ever since! I am deeply grateful to Ann for starting me down this road, I look back over these past thirty two years and I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without quilting; the friendships, the adventures, the creative endeavors and, of course, the quilts. They will live on, well past me. I look forward to another sewing and catch-up day next month with my dear friend and mentor, this time we may actually switch on a sewing machine! In the beginning there was a young mother on a tight budget with a deep yearning to stitch a quilt of her own... the rest is history!
Life is Good!
   

23 March, 2015

Fun...

...and done!
"Alphabetically Speaking" ~  33" X 38"
Pattern: Little Letters from Temecula Quilting Company

The back's pretty cute too!
Life is Good!

22 March, 2015

Wait Time...

There is a great lesson to be learned here. I am a little short in the patience department and I know, that as a child of God, I continue to be a work in progress... every day of my life. The words that are especially important in this quote, for me, are "active waiting" and "enduring".  I tend to ask for patience in the form of a prayer something like this: "please grant me patience to... (insert whatever)..." and then am repeatedly disappointed when patience isn't instantaneous! Groan. So, as I learn to wait actively, and endure that active wait time well, my prayer is evolving; nowadays it sounds more like this, focusing on what is key: "please be patient with me, God; I know that you hear every prayer of my heart and that your timing is always perfect. Help me to grow stronger in my faith as I endure wait time and open my eyes and heart with gratitude for what unfolds as I do."
...and then, there was this, 
popping it's head up through the pine needles... 
the Sweet Variegated Iris that I planted
last spring and had totally forgotten about.

Life is Good!   

21 March, 2015

My Newest Loves

The containers are cute, they feel good in your hand and fit in your back pocket. The lotion is smooth, delicately scented, and rubs in without a trace. Your dry hands are so yesterday. I'm addicted to Berry Blossoms (pink) but there's also Cucumber (green) and Fresh Flowers (blue).



Look for these, you'll like them... they're less than $2.

This new love has quickly become an addiction: Blue Bloods. We stated watching this compelling drama series on Netflix, beginning with the pilot episode and have just completed season #1, it's great.  I don't know where I was when this series debuted, living in a cave? I'll admit we don't watch much network television, with the exception of Jeopardy!, and even that we record to watch later so that we can skip the commercials. I'm thinking we must have missed the ads for this with all of our fast-forwarding! Anyway, if you've been a cave-dweller too you might want to check this one out; it's current on Friday nights with all of the earlier seasons available on Netflix. You'll be hooked if you're not already.
Life is Good!

20 March, 2015

Shhhh...

... it's quiet time around here; by "quiet" I am referring to low volume (low contrast) fabrics. It's no secret that I am in love with them. I'm not only obsessed with collecting them but I do use them all the time occasionally!  Let the record show that I've made three low volume quilts, have another one in the works and, yet, still have a healthy collection that is fast outgrowing a bin the size of a small suitcase. The thing that I love the most about low volume fabrics is how anything made from them has an instant vintage, timeless look. I enjoy using lots of various fabrics and, with these, things don't ever get too loud; they remain fresh, soft and quiet! Plus, my collection is almost entirely made up of fat quarters; there's always just enough on hand to whip up a cute little project without a lot of leftover scraps. Does that sound like rationalization to you? I was eager to stich up something quick the other day; who doesn't always need just one more adorable zippered pouch? I used Soft and Stable (new-to-me product!) to give this pouch more body; it's great, adding nice stability, I found it easy to work with and simple to sew through. The pouch pattern can be found here.  Happy spring, everyone; I wish you a productive National Quilting Day tomorrow no matter what you have planned. I will be quilting, Snowbird and I have a long-standing date.
Life is Good!