15 July, 2019

"Wisdom" Winner and Quilt Camper

I had a helper to draw the lucky winner this morning. Jacqueline was the name drawn. I have contacted her via email and as soon as she sends me her mailing address the patterns for "By Wisdom A House Is Built"
will be in the mail to her. Thanks to everyone who entered and/or stopped by to leave a comment on this recently completed twenty-years-in-the-making quilt. I guess that means it's instantly vintage!
I have a Quilt Camper this week, a young lady from our church. She is an eager learner and a very quick study.  Her first project was a four-patch pincushion. I asked her to pose with it before she added the button to the center just so that we could document how perfectly her points came together!
After she finished up that little starter project she moved on to a travel-sized pillowcase. 
Success! Her next project is a tumbler quilt-- she got that all cut out and began sewing pairs together before it was time to call it a day. She'll be busy this week. I hope to instill a love of quilting in her, this big project will be large enough to be functional but small enough to actually complete; a sense of accomplishment is its own reward. 
Life is Good!

13 July, 2019

Week At A Glance

I had all sorts of good intentions to keep up with this blog. Really. But, then, life has a way of interfering. It's okay, it's all good! And so, a random post detailing the week at a glance. Our two youngest grandchildren have returned from Florida, their precious little family is reunited once again. They're all staying here until their major home renovation becomes a habitable home once again. It won't be long now. This was the scene in their kitchen yesterday:

And, I hear that as of today they now have running water and functional bathrooms again -- progress all around! In the meantime, we're all adapting to extended-family living just fine. Lynnleigh loved her new sundress, as you can see in this photo, she and her doll are both enjoying them. She discovered her personalized stepping stone in the garden, I believe that she was thrilled!
The new perennial garden has begun to show more color as it becomes established. Lynnleigh is my constant companion out there this week, usually asking as soon as breakfast is over if we need to go outside and deadhead the flowers. She is an eager helper and learner; she knows the names of all the flowers and plants and keeps an eye on the bird feeders, too-- reminding me when they need refilling. 
Speaking of the garden: Lynnleigh placed the little copper "windmill" right beside this low birdbath yesterday, she thought that it would be perfect placement so that the birds could have a "bath and a blow dry!"😉
I've baked a few tomato pies this week; using up generous tomato donations from friends, which just so happen to make a delicious summertime lunch! The recipe follows here:

Cada's Commemorative Tomato Pie
1- 9" pie shell, unbaked
3-4 large tomatoes, sliced (I let mine sit on paper towels to "dry" for about 30 minutes)
salt and pepper to taste
sweet fresh basil
2 or 3 green onions, chopped
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Fill pie shell with sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle w/salt and pepper, basil and chives and green onions. Mix mayonnaise and cheese, spread evenly over the tomatoes. Bake @ 350 for 35 mins. Serves: 6 

We had a few visitors from the Capital City who enjoyed some cousin time and discovered their own special garden stepping stones while they were here! 
I did manage to get this fella (Penguin Party by Elizabeth Hartman, pattern here) pieced this week. This will be a quilted pillow for our oldest grandson whose favorite animal is the penguin; Mason will turn ELEVEN in a little over a week-- how is that even possible? 
I had to run a few errands yesterday. This is a common sight in the back seat these days.  
And a finish-- albeit a small one, but sweet nonetheless; a porch quilt for the summer: from Kim Schaefer's "Calendar Quilts".

Thanks to all who entered the drawing for the "By Wisdom" patterns; 
there's still time if you would like to leave a comment, click here-- a winner will be chosen on Monday.

Life is Good

08 July, 2019

By Wisdom...

... a House is Built. Through perseverance a quilt is finished!
I've been working on this one for twenty years, off and on (more off than on!). Last evening I finished putting in that last quilting stitch; so, it isn't truly quite finished yet, it still needs binding, but having this one off the frame sure feels good! The finished quilt, assembled as shown, measures 60" X 63". As soon as I got it off the frame I took the picture. Once it is bound and labeled I will take an official beauty shot.
The original pattern by Indygo Junction was available in twelve individual monthly booklets, these can either be done individually and bound one by one, or set all together as I chose to do. I bought the entire set at a precious little quilt shop in Georgetown, MA back in 1999, after I saw their version done and hanging in the shop, I loved it. It was a great shop, sadly, that shop is no longer in existence.
I changed the design a bit, using a more refined font instead of the primitive one provided and set the embroidered blocks into strips rather than using torn, raw edges on top of a background piece. I also used black thread and a small buttonhole stitch by machine to cover all of the raw edges on the fused applique. However, over all, even with the changes the basic design is the same.
Here is the cover of the May booklet, you can see the differences in my version and the pattern version. If you're interested in making this quilt I am giving away my pattern set now that I am done. 
I am offering the entire set, shown here; this Folk Block of the month designed by Sarah Sporrer if you would like to have it. All you need to do is leave a comment* and tell me which month of the year is your favorite and why. I will draw a lucky winner one week from today. Good luck. To get you started: my favorite month is September, it is my birthday month and I just love the feel of the change of seasons, the days begin to cool and shorten. Good luck!

Life is Good!

*If you leave a comment make sure that it is attached to an email address so that I can reach you and get your mailing address for shipping purposes. If I can't reach you I will need to redraw.

05 July, 2019

Mommy and Me

You might remember from a previous post (here) that our youngest granddaughter chose fabric recently for a sundress for herself and her doll. While she's been vacationing with her other grandparents in another state, I managed to get their dresses done and ready for their return back home. 
The pattern is shown here, it was a great pattern and easy to follow; however, I would add two suggestions if you're going to make this pair of dresses for a little girl (and her doll) in your life. The first suggestion is one that was given to me and proved to be extremely valuable: make the larger dress first! That way, you learn the pleating method for the bodice front and back, after that the smaller doll dress is a snap! The second suggestion would be to cut the skirt sides with pinking shears so that there aren't raveling raw edges on the side seams. (It's easier to cut them that way than after those side seams are sewn, believe me!)
Here is the dress front and back. I love the way that the bodice is fully lined and the shirred elastic straps and back casing will assure a comfortable fit without straps sliding off the shoulders or the dress gaping at the sides while being worn. Plus, these patterns are great without any zippers or buttons so that little ones can easily dress themselves. I hope to get a photo of little Mommy and her doll modeling their coordinating dresses when they get back later this weekend. Stay tuned~

Life is Good! 

04 July, 2019

Independence Day!

From our home to yours~ be safe today and enjoy our liberty and freedom!

Life is Good!

03 July, 2019

Catching Up!

Summer is zipping by at the speed of light! We traveled last evening to the Capital City to watch these two swim at that same speed, they're crazy fast! Naturally we're biased, they are our grandchildren after all, but we continue to be delighted to see their competitive spirits balanced out with good manners and excellent sportsmanship at their swim meets. These two are definitely water babies through and through.

Indulge me as I ramble from here, this catch-up post is necessary to get me where I need to be for upcoming sewing and quilty posts. Now for total randomness:

This is a recent photograph of the kitchen in our son's home; he and his family have temporarily been displaced (to Chez Goodneedle!) while their home goes through a major renovation. They are making good progress and the daily changes are astonishing! Our two youngest grandchildren are currently visiting their other grandparents; for now it's just Kyle and Leigh Anna living here with their two dogs.
Speaking of their two dogs; their vet makes house calls in a BIG way! Last week Leigh Anna called her as their female dog, Hallie, had a bad case of "happy tail" that simply refused to heal. It was a constant source of bleeding that they had dealt with on and off for the better part of a year. She would smack her tail on something (anything) and injure it, then it would bleed and she would wag her tail... over and over, you get the picture. The decision was made to dock her tail. The vet came out and did the surgery, parked right there at the end of our driveway! Hallie has done extremely well over the past week recovering and getting used to wagging a stump instead of her long tail. I find this whole mobile vet concept to be brilliant!
Mr. Goodneedle can't eat red tomatoes, (but he loves them) the less acidic yellow tomatoes are his delight. We have friends from church who keep him in good supply! There's a few red ones for me!
The bluebirds are at it again! We've had a second nesting this summer with five (just hatched!) new mouths to feed!
I have fallen heir to this treasure. When I was in Jr. High we sold these door to door as a fundraiser. Do you remember when zip codes were first introduced? I do. Zip codes and area codes; according to this directory, were introduced in 1963. There was a grace period as they came in to existence (I can't recall how long) but I remember, too, the threat of returned mail if the zip code wasn't included. This well-worn booklet is one that was worth its weight in gold back in the day, I remember consulting it all the time. No home could be without one; we sold many, many copies! 
One last photo to close out. We had our small quilt group meeting last week at a member's home. This is the view from her sewing room. We had a garden tour before we adjourned inside, isn't it lovely? I seriously doubt that I could stay indoors with this just outside the window; even to sew!

Life is Good!

30 June, 2019

Document Those Quilts!

This is the second in a series of things that we all know that we're supposed to do when making quilts but are overlooked a good deal of the time. The previous post covered prewashing fabrics that might bleed before they're used in our quilts, thus avoiding catastrophe. Today's post is about documenting your quilts. You know how glorious that feeling of pride and accomplishment is when you take that final stitch in a completed quilt? You want to revel in the moment and you think you'll add the label and vital information later. Later has a way of never coming. My Mom asked me if I would help her to document her quilts while I visited earlier this month. We rounded them all up; I found eleven without labels. Believe me, it's much easier to remember given quilt names when it's in the front of your mind, not years later! We persevered. Mom supplied the best information that she could and I took it all down, photographing each one as we went. Remember, adding labels isn't for you, (although it might be handy to check on the information for yourself), but all the data on the label is really for discovery by the next generation or recipients of your quilts; it can be as extensive or as brief as the quiltmaker chooses. 
So, what exactly should go on a quilt label? Bare minimum of facts to be included are the quiltmaker's name, his or her geographical location at the time the quilt was made and the year. 
My own labels include the quilt's name, my name, my location, the year (often the year begun and the year completed, they're not often the same year!), any pertinent pattern designer information if that applies and the name of the quilter if that varies from myself. Typically I design my labels on my laptop and print them out onto a paper-backed photo-transfer fabric sheets*.  You could also embroider your labels or write them by hand with a permanent fabric pen onto a piece of stabilized fabric. Once it's completed I attach it to the bottom corner of the quilt back, incorporating it into the binding at that corner. 

Believe me-- adding your labels as you finish your quilts is one less worry that you'll have later when you're trying to remember "when did I make this?", "did it have a name?", "what was the pattern source?"!! Time's wasting; go forth and document your quilts! You're welcome. I will be working on a dozen labels or so in the next few weeks, wouldn't you like to join me? 
Life is Good!

*I have always used Dritz Printed Treasures for this process in the past but find them harder and harder to find, and when I do they're much more expensive; I may switch to EQ printable sheets in the future, they do get good reviews.