19 February, 2019

Hope and Promise

The first bloom of the season in our yard ~ a sure sign of hope and promise for days to come.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."  - Ecclesiates 3:1

Life is Good!

18 February, 2019

One On One... Again

Another weekend, another grandchild. This time it was the youngest; this newly-turned-six year old really keeps us on our toes! The activities included, but weren't limited to: homemade ice cream making with Paw Paw, practicing hand sewing skills with lacing cards, sewing skirts for her American Girl dolls, making a necklace hanging rack for her room and, of course, a tea party! The tea party table was set with a tea pot and cups from two of her great, great, grandmothers! In between all of those fun things lots of pictures were colored, crafts created, jokes told, stories read and memories made. 
We ate at Cracker Barrel on Friday night. She ordered a pancake and had a biscuit along with a side order of broccoli. Eating out with grandparents is a special time, she can order whatever she would like. We've already been broken in and worn down by picky eaters over the years, we weren't fazed.
Meet "Reese's Cup" and "Ice Cream"; these two "worm" creations kept her occupied for hours on end. Our "art box" filled with all sorts of odds and ends along with markers, scissors and glue is her treasure trove. 
All in all it was a great weekend that flew by much too quickly. She and I are already making plans for what we'll do "next time". 
Life is Good!

14 February, 2019

Will You Be My Valentine?

Happy Valentine's Day from my heart to yours!

Life is Good!

Free download of the embroidery pattern by Jacquelynne Steves can be found here.

13 February, 2019

Pressing Matters

I have had an affection for irons and ironing my entire life; here's all the photographic proof you need!😉 I can't even calculate how many irons I have owned, and worn out, in the last six+ decades, there are that many. In the sewing room right now I have my large "workhorse" steam generator iron, a full-sized regular iron that I can carry into other rooms, a portable iron for travel, an old-fashioned dry iron without steam holes for fusing and two, small, Clover irons for hand appliqué work. 

In any quilt class, workshop or gathering of quilters the "steam or no steam?" question is always a topic open for discussion. I am a huge steam aficionado; the more the better! I like for the seams in my quilt blocks to lie super-flat; there's no such thing as too much steam for me. My only advice to quilters who can't decide if they are in the "steam" or "no steam" camp is to take precautions to avoid stretching; always "press" (up and down) and not "iron" (push back and forth) and to be extremely careful not to handle a pressed and steamed block too quickly, let it cool in place on the ironing board!

I knew that my old-trusty Rowenta "Expert" steam generator was on it's last leg, it had been over-heating and was slowly falling apart, I had owned, and loved, it for approximately five years. I adapted and made concessions for its quirks and foibles as I knew that this particular model was no longer being made. I was well aware that our relationship was coming to a close, it was just a matter of time. And then, one fateful day, when I picked it up it literally fell apart in my hand! That was it. 
Sadly, I was forced to search for a new model, the day that I had long been dreading was upon me. I knew that I wanted another steam generator but wasn't sure which one. The prices for irons such as these range all over the place; one can literally spend as much as one has! Cost was important factor in my decision, I had a list of requirements and researched for hours. In the meantime I used the Rowenta Power Glide 2 pictured above. It works well, but it just wasn't quite the same. I need steam! steam! steam! 
After all of my research and reading as many reviews as I could find, I took a deep breath and settled on the Rowenta "Perfect Steam" model. Clearly, as I learned from the reviews, spending an exorbitant amount guaranteed absolutely nothing. My choice was definitely, what I would consider to be, mid-range in the cost department. It arrived on the doorstep two days later. So far, so good. We are developing a relationship and I am finding new features to love. This model has a removable water tank for filling (yes!) and a nicely designed tapered tip that makes ironing around buttons effortless. Yes, I iron more than quilt blocks!
The day after our recent vacation ended I was back at it, catching up on laundry. I am happily ironing away again with ease. It takes a while to fall in love again, but we're getting there. I receive no compensation from Rowenta, my experiences with their products are mine alone; keep in mind that this isn't a review but, rather, my own personal opinion based on what I like. Speaking of that, I did do some ironing while we were on the cruise ship. I didn't t take my own travel iron along, but used the one in the laundry room that was conveniently located just across the hall from our room. Mr. Goodneedle asked how I liked that iron. My response: "meh". He just smiled. Yeah, I know-- I suppose that I am an iron snob, I can own that. How about you? What do you need in an iron?

Life is Good! 

12 February, 2019

One On One

We had a wonderful time with our youngest grandson this past weekend at Chez Goodneedle. We love to spend time with all of the grandchildren, naturally, but occasionally having them one on one  is extra special. Gregory is growing up fast, but I love the fact that he still says "chickmunks" instead of chipmunks and that he calls the marble game played by one "solitary" instead of solitaire; those few remaining vestiges of being very young are all the more endearing. Gregory and PawPaw worked on his Pinewood Derby car together, somewhat of a time-machine moment for us as it seems only yesterday that our son, Gregory's father, worked on his own Pinewood car with his grandfather!
From that same time machine (or the wayback machine, remember Sherman and Peabody?) comes an electronic pinball machine (see photo above) that our son played with for hours on end as a young boy; it holds just as much fascination for this current generation redhead thirty-some years later! 
Life is Good!

08 February, 2019

Stitching On The Seas

All those sea days spent sailing to and fro on the big boat were not spent with idle hands, far from it. Like I did two years ago, this past trip saw many hours on the ocean spent hand stitching these itty-bitty motifs onto Essex Linen. They will soon be set into a child-sized quilt. (Click here to read a similar post from 2017.)  This time, using the same awesome book: "S" Is For Stitch by Kristyne Czepuryk,  I stitched out the boy version.

Stay tuned to see how this one is set together. The colors are much more muted this time, I love it!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Life is Good!

05 February, 2019

Too Quiet?

Have you missed me? I know that I entitled my last post "Keeping It Quiet", but you might have noticed that I have been very quiet over the last few weeks-- too quiet! The truth is that we have been gone, cruising the Pacific and enjoying the sunshine of the Hawaiian islands. Our flight back to the east coast was anything but quiet; flying from Los Angeles to Atlanta on Saturday was one rowdy airplane ride full of Rams fans on their way to the Super Bowl! 😲 This was one scenario that we never, ever would have even considered when booking our flight late last summer. Timing is everything. We did have a wonderfully relaxing time away, catching up on some reading and taking in some movies that we had wanted to see. I spent the afternoons on board the ship working on some hand embroidery which I will show here soon. As always, Dorothy knew best: it is great to be home again, there's no place like it!
I will certainly miss English teatime in the afternoons, though. 
My latest mission includes searching for the ultimate scone recipe!
Life is Good!