26 October, 2020

Another One Joins The Ranks

Move over, quiltmakers, it's time to make room for one more; Lucy Ann has finished her first quilt and she loved the process! This photo was taken just after that very last hand stitch was put into the binding, (admittedly her "least favorite part" 😉) her smile says it all! You might remember that she tie-dyed the backing  (and her T-shirt) back in September. We'd been waiting for another overnight stay to get it quilted up and bound. This past weekend provided just the right amount of time to get that accomplished.
I had the quilt sandwich loaded onto the longarm when she arrived and she took to the quilting process like a duck to water. She  did an excellent job of following the pantograph; she approached this step fearlessly and told me that this was the most fun part of all.

Off the rails and time for trimming. Is this one happy, proud, quilter or what?

The binding was attached before bedtime. 
As soon as breakfast was finished the next morning she set to work getting that binding whipped down.
And, just like that, by early afternoon; another quiltmaker has joined the ranks! She wants to know now what we're going to do next.  I couldn't be any more pleased.  She called after she returned home and reported that she was going to sleep under her newly-finished quilt  on Saturday night. 

Sweet dreams, Lucy Ann!
Life is Good!

24 October, 2020

On Being Efficient...

Each and every day I endeavor to be efficient. I live to make the best use of my time! So, a few weeks ago I volunteered to bring food for Fellowship Time between Sunday School and Worship for tomorrow. I knew what I wanted to make and planned out my times to make them. A batch of Jack O' Lantern Jumble, mini pumpkin muffins and homemade cinnamon rolls. I decided that I'd make a batch of the snack mix mid-week as a treat for Mr. G (and for Lucy Ann who was coming to spend the night on Friday). I had an extremely busy day on Wednesday (three scheduled medical procedures: bone density scan, mammogram and vascular ultrasound, all strategically scheduled to maximize efficiency, of course!) and I decided to make that first batch on Thursday when we were at home having the wood-stove insert installed in our fireplace. (This was more of an energy efficient move on our part, but efficient nonetheless!) So, I gathered all the ingredients on the countertop (I've made this for years on end!) and got ready to make up the Jack O' Lantern Jumble-- could I find my recipe? No! I am organized; my physical, printed, recipes are relegated to folders placed alphabetically: "appetizers, beverages, breads/coffee cakes, breakfast foods, cookies/brownies, desserts"... you get the picture. I was on a wild goose chase searching for the recipe and, all the while, wasting time! Grrrrrr. Let me tell you, these occurrences get the best of me! Finally, I found the recipe, folded and tucked behind another (???) in "appetizers". Why there? Who knows?!! I need a "snack" file.
I clipped this from the old Country Threads "Goat Gazette" newsletter some 20 years ago*. Needless to say, as soon as I found it I made up a batch for the countertop in preparation for a second batch today. 
The woodstove insert installation went much more efficiently. It's just been too warm to try it out yet. 

So, early this morning I got up to make the dough for the cinnamon rolls. Again, my tried and true recipe eluded me. I was completely defeated. Mr. G. asked me what I was searching for. When I told him he swiftly dove into my recipe files and handed me exactly what I was looking for! When I asked him where he found it he responded "breads/coffee cakes". "Oh", I responded, "I'd forgotten it was in a page protector".  That's true, I did. I'd already been through that file twice. 🙄 Okay, so being efficient and being effective are two completely different things. I might just need to rework my system! Let me tell you a second thing: the kitchen smelled heavenly while those cinnamon rolls baked this morning!

*Interestingly: Country Threads posted this recipe on their "Chicken Scratch" blog this past week!

Life is Good!

20 October, 2020

What's New?

I'm piecing pumpkins and couldn't decide which background color to go with; tan or black. I've been weighing my options and have gone back and forth, I really liked them both, I couldn't decide. The setting will be sashed with that same background color, the pumpkins will float over that background. 
Here's the setting and the pattern name and source; it's a simple block and a cute, seasonal, quilt. Mr. Goodneedle asked where this pumpkin quilt was going to end up. I told him that it would eventually hang, as a wall quilt, out on the porch (although likely it will be a fall addition for next year). He suggested putting the blocks out there, against the brick wall for perspective. Brilliant!
That did it! Black background it is! 

In other news: meet Buddy! Our daughter and her family have adopted a new family member.
I'd say that he's settling in nicely-- to their home and into their hearts. 💗

What's new at your house this week?

Life is Good!

17 October, 2020

Leaving It On The Table

I mentioned this work table last week, it's exactly what I'd been hoping for when I'm doing ruler-work on the front side of the longarm. I had been improvising with a sheet of foam core (any port in a storm, right?), I needed something to hold my tools above the surface of the quilt while I worked my way along.
Mr. Goodneedle picked up the hints that I was dropping and created the work table that I'd been hoping for! 😁  Now you know what I've been working on all week; I'm sew blessed to have a handy and helpful husband. This can also double as a light table and be used with a stencil and the laser moved to the front of the machine! 
What else has been going on around here? This is NUTS: the acorns this year are more abundant than we can ever remember. This patio, with no exaggeration, is blown off every two days! I suppose this must be some sort of winter weather forecasting tool, I'm afraid to research that one. Yikes. When we're out on the porch it sounds like there's a jackhammer on the roof! 
And not just on the patio-- they're DEEP beneath the shrubs too; it's hard to walk back here. 
Those blasted squirrels and the chipmunks are having a hay day, I've never seen them busier-- nope, they're leaving nothing on the table, they're burying as many as their chubby cheeks can hold!
Happy fall, y'all!
Life is Good!

10 October, 2020

Genesis 1:20

"And God said, "let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures"..."

In preparation for a youth Sunday School lesson on Creation tomorrow I was reminded of this wallhanging done back in 2006. This was my assigned Bible verse on which to create a piece for a mixed media art show at church at that time. This piece was auctioned off, my sweet mother-in-law bought it, and it hung over her desk in the kitchen for many years. It came back to me after her death and it's been hanging in the closet here ever since. I'll take it to class tomorrow for a visual aid. I tried out all sorts of techniques in the creation of this one!
Sometimes it's fun to look back on our work. Using improvisational piecing for the background, I fused cut-out fish from different printed fabrics to that, tacked some free-form cut "seaweed" and covered it all over with tulle to secure the looser elements before quilting it with wavy swirls and, finally, added glass bead bubbles over the surface. If memory serves I had a rough plan but changed, modified and embellished this as I went along, flying by the seat of my pants. We're going to talk about that in Sunday School tomorrow- creating. Certainly God had a plan for His Creation; we might think that we do too, rough or otherwise in whatever we create. My name might be on the back of this wallhanging but who is the true Creator here? What this lesson points out to me is that as God's divine creation, I can only share and do what He's designed me for. I'm never in control of the plan. Someone once said that "man makes plans, God laughs". What peace there is in the faith to know who's really in charge of the grand plan! 

Life is Good!

09 October, 2020

Where Did The Week Go?

We had loads of fun at our granddaughter's outdoor, socially-distanced birthday party last Saturday. She and her friends decoupaged paper mache pumpkins, ate treats and tie-dyed T-shirts! I can't believe that's already been almost a week ago. Time has FLOWN by this week! 

So, where did the rest of this past week go?
This pretty much sums up the week. I'm doing ruler work on a Metro Rings quilt. it's time consuming. but very, very satisfying. It's a BIG quilt, too. I've wanted a longarm work table for some time now, a sliding one that sits on top of the rails and will hold tools (rulers in this case, and a container for thread snippets) above the quilt's surface when doing custom work. I've had my eye on one, but it's expensive. (I've dropped hints to my resident handy-man who one time told me that wouldn't be a hard thing to make!??) In the meantime I am using a sheet of foam core. 
This does the job for now, is lightweight and easy to move, and was FREE (I had it in the closet already!).
And, since man can't live by quilting alone I've been baking buttermilk bread in the bread machine (several loaves a week). This is a great recipe that I am linking here. If you want to make yours in the bread machine like I do, substitute one pre-measured packet of yeast for the TBSP as listed and set your loaf size to 1 lb. 
Since I've been spending so much time in the sewing room I've been watching movies while I quilt; heart-warming, old-fashioned love stories on the Hallmark channel, it's my latest obsession and pure escapism when I need it the most. I've switched off the news and am avoiding social media platforms as much as possible because of the politics and personal agendas. These movies were all good. So is D.E.A.R*. time, I force myself to sit down and read for an hour late in the afternoon every day- this month it's mystery books.
Have you heard about the Stich Pink sewalong? I'm collecting Moda's blocks-of-the-day for October following the "Stitch Pink" initiative. You can subscribe here if you want to keep up this month. 
Here's the final layout, right now I am downloading the block instructions each day and keeping them in a notebook for later. I'm not going to make a pink quilt; but, rather, will do mine in Christmas colors.
It's been a while since I've commented on adapting to the state of our upside down 🙃 world right now. This picture might say it all: yes, it's October and, yes, this one Iris decided that now's the time to bloom. It's not the craziest thing going on this year, not by a longshot. Stay safe, my friends. 

Life is Good!

* Drop Everything And Read

02 October, 2020

Ten Years!

Ten years ago today, in what seems like the blink of an eye, our world was made 
SO MUCH much brighter with the addition of this sweet girl to our family! 
Happy birthday, Lucy Ann!
Life is Good!
(and it goes by so. very. quickly...)