21 February, 2017

Getting Organized

Stash and Dash Organizer - 8" X 5" when closed, as pictured.
 2017 is the year for getting organized at my LQS; they launched something new, a "Let's Get Organized" club featuring a pattern each month from patterns by Annie. The shop will highlight twelve different bags and/or organizers to make quilters' (or anyones') lives easier and more orderly...not to mention CUTER! This is last month's pattern: "Stash and Dash". The hardest part, for me, was choosing the fabric to use! I will make more of these, it is a great pattern with a wonderful finished product, but I will choose a busier fabric for the contrasting binding. Live and learn. This one worked out perfectly fine, but there's always room for improvement; since one is attaching binding and sewing through the layers, front to back, I did find that using an almost-solid did nothing to hide stitches that didn't align perfectly on top of one another. This isn't really a big deal, but I did make a mental note for next time (I am already planning my next one!). The first step was quilting the main body fabric and lining, using Soft and Stable inside, it made a wonderfully stable foundation and was easy to quilt through, I loved the process and was happy with the cross-hatching.
The inside of the Stash and Dash has three roomy, zippered, mesh pockets; perfect for filling with any treasures you want to grab, stow securely and take along. Who couldn't use one (or two) of these?
The pattern has easy-to-follow instructions for binding and zipper insertion, I felt like a pro with these results! The nice thing about the mesh pockets is that they are stretchy and can be over-filled as necessary, the sliding strap on the outside will adjust to accommodate whatever is contained inside.
The back of the Stash and Dash has a vinyl see-through pocket for including any necessary, accessible items you might need without opening or unrolling the organizer.
I couldn't wait to share this cute project with you. I highly recommend the pattern (the tips and techniques are terrific!) and feel more organized already, WOW; by the end of this year my organizational skills will should be epic. 😉
Life is Good!

16 February, 2017

"S" Is For Stitch

I saw some precious projects made up with tiny, hand-embroidered, blocks using the patterns from a book by Kristyne Czepuryk: S is for Stitch. Well, of course, I had to take a hand project with me on our recent vacation. I spent many a morning sitting outside on our balcony, happily stitching away one letter at a time. These little blocks finish up at four inches square.
 By the end of our fifteen day cruise I had all of the letters and little pictures done.
The trimmed blocks, ready for setting.
Beginning the setting.
After adding the inner border I thought about adding a strippy-pieced outer border, after auditioning a piece I abandoned that idea; it seemed too strong and distracting. I will add an outer border, in a tone-on-tone turquoise color, I just need to find the right piece. This small quilt measures 30" X 35" right now, before the outer border is added.

This is the little girl version, there is a boy version too; I believe I need to do that one as well!
Now I know my ABCs, next time won't you sing with me?
Life is Good!

13 February, 2017

Phil's Prediction

Punxsutawney Phil predicted, a week and a half ago, that winter isn't over yet; not by a long shot. Someone needs to communicate this fact to our daffodils which are happily bursting forth in bloom each day, such a lovely harbinger of the changing seasons. But, we know enough not to be fooled, Mother Nature can be quite the trickster. Only yesterday, the afternoon temperature soared into the seventies under bright blue, cloudless skies. However, just a few days ago we awakened to a hard frost that sent the most amazingly intricate ice crystal formations plowing up through the as-of-yet-unseeded topsoil out in front of our house; the weird landscape looked as though it came from another planet, it was fascinating. Welcome to spring in North Carolina where the temperatures and the weather can change in the blink of an eye. I hope that this February day provides treasures outside your window, wherever you are located.
Peace reigns at Chez Goodneedle once again, the fans, dryers and dehumidifiers have left! It will be quiet here until Friday when the bedroom ceilings are slated for demolition; looks like I won't be cleaning house that day-- at least not down at the bedroom end. 
Life is Good!

12 February, 2017

Under Water

So, if you read my last post you know that we had been floating, on a boat, for two weeks. We returned home in the wee hours of Wednesday morning this past week. Tired after two flights across the country to get back home, I put off the task of unpacking until Wednesday afternoon. I was in the middle of the process, had just carried a load of laundry to the other end of the house when I heard a strange noise coming from our master bedroom, a noise I couldn't identify; I thought maybe Hannes had gotten into something, I headed back to the bedroom and couldn't believe what I found. Hot water was gushing, full force, through the recessed lighting surrounding the tray ceiling in our bedroom! The nightstands, lamps, bed (bedding, mattress) carpet, and floor were all being flooded. I shifted immediately into high gear pullling furniture out of the way and grabbing towels all the while calling, loudly, for my husband to come rescue me!  It turns out that the hot water supply line to the kitchen sink in the theater room (converted attic space) had blown loose from the fitting, in turn flooding the kitchen above before it made its way to our bedroom below.  Mr. Goodneedle was able to get the valves shut down and we salvaged as much as we could. It turns out that an adjoining bedroom as well as our master bathroom suffered water damage too. A call to the insurance company resulted in a disaster relief company responding with big guns-- hugs fans, dryers and dehumidifiers; they've been running non-stop for days. Oh, the noise in here! It sounds like we live at the airport right now with jet engines surrounding us. It's too early to tell how much long term damage has occurred just yet, time will tell. I keep reminding myself that this nightmare and resulting chaos is only temporary. We know that were very lucky, if this had happened even one day earlier it could have been an epic disaster, property-wise. How quickly our position shifted from being on top of water to under it!
I am counting my blessings today (with my fingers in my ears). 
Life is Good.

10 February, 2017


Where in the world have the Goodneedles been? Floating. On a boat; a big one. We sailed out of Los Angeles on Monday evening, January 24, bound for the Hawaiian Islands. Little did we know that there was a surprise waiting for us; a big one, as big as that afore-mentioned boat!
My brother-in-law captured this moment, in the boarding area, when I discovered that he and my sister were sailing with us! Can you tell that this surprise was successful? We had a great time together. I am going to post pictures of our time away below, with little, if any, text; enjoy. I don't have any photos of the very long sea days across the Pacific, over and back, only of the port stops-- you can use your imagination, believe me there was lots and lots of water.
Sailing into Hilo on the big island of Hawaii, snow-capped Mauna Kea is visible. 
The original Volcano House hotel, at Volcanoes National Park, HI. 

 Dressed for dinner, still on Hawaii; my sister and I bought handmade leis from a local lei-maker.
Day two on the islands saw us on Oahu, at Pearl Harbor. Sadly, we were unable to take the small transport boat out to the Arizona Memorial that morning, the choppy water made passage unsafe. 

 Early morning of day three of the island tour saw us porting in the harbor at Nawiliwili, Kauai. 

Morning sunrise on day number four, over the island of Maui. 
 The massive Banyan Tree at Lahaina Park on Maui, this tree has sixteen major trunks supporting it.
There were signs here on the beach warning against cairn construction (rock stacking) but that certainly didn't seem to faze this gentleman. The one on the left here fascinated me, how did he do that?
Our last port day, the day before disembarkation in Los Angeles, was in Ensenda, Mexico. It was a windy and rainy day there. We didn't leave the ship, but enjoyed seeing some of the locals from our balcony; they were noisy too! 

Our last day together. My sister provided the matching T-shirts, commemorating our combined vacations.
We arrived home again in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, to another adventure; stay tuned. 
Life is Good!

26 January, 2017

Long Live The Bitties

This is Lynnleigh, the little Mommy, on the day after Christmas, with her Bitty Babies. Her original baby, Abby Deen, is on the far right and the twins, Daniel and Margaret, who came to live with her on Christmas day fill out her lapful. The twins are a bit "older"; with rooted hair, they are the next logical step to caring for babies for this just-turned-four-year- old. We took a birthday shopping trip this past Monday to shop for the threesome, the children needed clothes-- and shoes; Lynnleigh was excited!
Margaret accompanied her Mommy on this trip. Sadly, we learned upon entering the store, that the Bitty Twins have been discontinued. Although there were still Bitty Baby clothes they no longer carry clothes or outfits for Daniel (or all the other Bitty Boys out there). I am happy that Lynnleigh has a set of the last remaining twins. 
This picture makes me laugh, I assure you she's not at all bored! I do think her posture reflects her disappointment over the lack of clothes available for her baby boy. Fear not, however, she was able to find enough to care for all her children: the Bitty Bathtub is on order and she found all the accessories to go with it, these babies will be exceedingly clean! Plus, she found some lovely girl baby clothes and declared on the way home that Nana can make Daniel some clothes, she's even offered me carte blanche on the pattern selection! Thank you, Lynnleigh, I have my work cut out for me. I simply cannot believe that this little Mommy is four years old!
Life is Good!