21 June, 2022

This, That and a Few Sleeping Over...

We had a busy end to last week with a few guests in the house to liven up our otherwise boring routine day-to-day schedule. An after-dinner concert is certainly out of the ordinary around here, but it really classes up the place!
We had dinner one night at Cracker Barrel, these two love, love, love some Chicken and Dumplings!
Also spending some time with us right now is a our grand-dog, Buddy. Lynnleigh and Gregory enjoyed spending time and playing with him, too. The youngest grandchildren have returned back home but Buddy remains here for a few more days; as you can see, he's made himself right at home. 
A friend and I were able to squeeze in another Chrismon class at Rufty's on Saturday. Only one more month remaining of classes there before they close their bricks and mortar store. This is the Kingdom Ball. It's a hard one to photograph because of its 3-D nature, it will be beautiful on the tree. We've already registered for the final classes that are being held next month at the store, we're trying to learn all that we can while there are still classes with teachers!
These are the Chrismons that we've made this year, so far; clockwise from left: The Crown of the Apostles, The Kingdom Ball, The Cup of Salvation, Christ in the Manger and a 3-D Cross. After the physical shop closes there will still be kits and materials available but it will be online. 
This is one of my oldest UFOs. I discovered it in my recent closet reorganization! I know that I finished the teeny primitive embroideries (I can't remember the pattern names or designer but I do recall that these were a set of long "cards" that I purchased at a quilt shop in New England, the shop also specialized in wool applique and embroidery primitives) in the late 1990’s. It was a great shop but, sadly, closed a long time ago.  I remember that I set this one together in 1999. It's time to get it quilted! (You notice that I didn't say that this is my oldest UFO; no, it's only one of my oldest! Sigh.)
This itty-bitty calendar style table topper, or wall quilt, measures 23" X 27". 
And, in the meantime, the laundry room tear-down, and re-do, continues. Did I open this post by saying that things around here are boring and/or routine? Nah, there's nothing farther from the truth. There's always something... and it's all good. 
Life is Good!

15 June, 2022

With Love and Best Wishes

At long last I can share what I've been keeping under wraps for months! Our Pastor and his fiancée were married on Saturday, it was a glorious day filled to overflowing with love and happiness. Earlier in the year I thought it might be a great gift from the congregation to present them with a quilt full of best wishes on their wedding day. Every part of this project was top secret! The bride had shared with me her favorite colors; we were off and running. I took two friends with me to shop for fabric and using this pattern from Lella Boutique,  set to work. It took me a few weeks to get all of the blocks ready and stabilized with freezer paper, but by April they were good to go!
I made 35 blocks, (an extra row) instead of the 30 called for, as our Pastor is 6'8"! Armed with Pigma pens, I invited the congregation to come and sign a block, at their convenience, on three consecutive Saturday afternoons. We also took blocks to the shut-ins so that they could participate as well! Everyone was so excited about the idea, the insides of the hearts were filled with loving well-wishes, scripture verses, advice and signatures. 
There ended up being a few blank hearts that I filled with some personalized embroidery to commemorate their big day!
Ready for loading onto the long arm.
It was quilted with a modified Clamshell which covered nicely, mimicked the curve of a heart and didn't obscure the signatures at all. 

Before we knew it the big day had arrived! Their quilt of love and best wishes was secretly placed in the bride's dressing room last Friday afternoon. I believe they were pleased with the gift. Someone involved in the wedding moved it to the Fellowship Hall before the ceremony began, it was a great conversation piece as I noticed people huddling around the quilt display looking for their names and reading what everyone else had written. This is truly a gift from many hearts; one quilt that bears the love and best wishes of a grateful congregation, that's a LOT for a quilt to do but it does its job beautifully! As for our little church, we couldn't be happier and, along with this quilt, wish the happy couple a lifetime of love and God's blessings!
"With Love and Best Wishes" ~ 68" X 92"

Life is Good!

14 June, 2022

Another Before and After

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. This "before and after" shot is no exception. What makes the greatest difference here? Shelf dividers! They're worth every penny, (I ordered them through Amazon) no more fabric stack avalanches! So, what led to this insane decision to drop everything and make some improvements in the organizational department of the stash closet?  I have been binge watching The Home Edit on Netflix; enough said, if you're a fan you already understand, if you're not, I can highly recommend it as a lifestyle that will set you up for nothing but success! Once you get your supplies identified, labeled and organized you're off and running, it's easy to maintain a system that's tidy and efficient. After I straightened up the stacks (I was already a step ahead there as I had grouped my fabrics into color families years ago, no re-doing there) I still had to dig in boxes and bins lurking elsewhere in the closet to uncover everything that was hiding, and bring it all into the light of day. I was ruthless. I only kept necessary sewing and quilting supplies and what I know that I will use and/or finish at some point. 
The next step was ordering bins to contain categorized fabric collections. We were gone on Saturday and when we returned home these boxes, piled on the front porch, looked like someone was moving out! I'm quick to admit that I have always loved The Container Store, it's long been my mother ship. 
According to the mapped out plan I had drawn up for the closet these are what I thought I needed. The clear bins help to immediately recognize the contents, the labels further point out the specific items within. No more recycled corrugated cardboard project boxes or tote bags for me, I've found that they only become a dumping receptacle where projects go to die.
Almost three days of sorting, culling, stacking and stowing were ahead of me after that.
And, as of noontime today, here is the final result. I couldn't be happier, I know where everything is, can lay my finger on it in a quick second, and will thoroughly enjoy using what's right in front of my eyes. It's liberating! As current projects are completed I can now clean out its respective bin and relabel it for the next! Speaking of completing projects, I can, and will,  finally reveal the BIG sewing secret that I have been guarding; stay tuned for that in my next post, it's all good.
Oh, one more thing, Happy Flag Day!
Life is Good!

10 June, 2022

Out With The Old...

We're redoing our laundry room, here's the before and after as of now. The picture on the left was taken in February and is representative of how this space has looked since we built the house, almost twenty one years ago. Mr. Goodneedle had always wanted to build the cabinets for the house. All that time ago we were eager to get it done move in and, after designing and building most of our home ourselves (sub-contracting some jobs like shingling and brick work) we contracted to have the cabinets made and installed. And so, here we are today, that burning desire of my husband's to build cabinets has not waned. Last year he said he'd like to re-do the kitchen. He proposed building the cabinets in a lighter wood, we agreed that maple might be a nice change, lighter and brighter (our kitchen cabinets are currently dark cherry). Somehow, the more we talked about it, we decided that a good place to start might be the laundry room, an area to sort of "audition" what we had in mind. I'm well pleased with the appearance (and tickled to pieces to have upper cabinets in there now!), isn't it pretty? Not only did he make the cabinets but added crown moulding at the ceiling and replaced the old fluorescent overhead light fixture too! It's becoming a dream space, I simply can't wait to have this room completed! Mr. G has most of the lower cabinets ready for finishing. The existing oak lower cabinets will be removed and the counter top will be replaced with a lighter colored surface as well. 
The new uppers now hold laundry supplies, good usable rags, lightbulbs, baskets, planters and vases; all those things that I had shoved behind doors and on shelves where they didn't belong. Having this much organized and arranged has brightened my entire outlook on doing laundry, it doesn't get better than that!
You can see from my vantage point here in the kitchen, 
looking back toward the laundry room, what big, big changes are afoot!
Stay tuned, it's all good.

Life is Good!

09 June, 2022

Bye, Bye Social Media

I have accepted a challenge to give up both Facebook and Instagram; at first it seemed hard, then I realized that my scrolling to those sites on my phone was purely habitual and not based on a need to know anything whatsoever. I can honestly say that in the last few weeks, the elapsed time since I have said good-bye to those two social media platforms, I have felt calmer and happier. I haven't looked back and I've learned that if there's anything important to know, someone is going to call me and tell me. The bonus there is an actual telephone call from one person to another, truly a win-win! I will continue this blog, it's something that I have always enjoyed and I have met so many wonderful friends as a result, but I won't be linking this blog to my Facebook page anymore. I'm grateful for the challenge that was offered and continue to feel so fortunate that I was in the frame of mind, at the time, to accept it. This might be something that you want to consider if you're frustrated by time-drains and other peoples’ drama resulting in nothing to show for the effort. Personally, I've been very productive with those reclaimed hours. Originally I thought I would do it for a week but then I realized how much better I felt without needing to know how many times Sue gets up during the night, why Teresa's children don't have summer jobs, who's traveling where and what political candidate Bob is backing and why I'm not very smart if I don't agree with him. One delightful week led to two, and then three... bliss!
I'm still here, right where I've always been, 
 feeling much more at peace and relaxed. 
Life is Good!

08 June, 2022

Turning Pages from Here to There

We've only just returned from a road trip to visit family. I have been so very far behind in my reading that I gladly grabbed the seat time to catch up. I finished Good Hope Road (which, incidentally, I had begun in February!), this was a sweet story of a young woman and an odd assortment of townspeople that chronicled the aftermath of a natural disaster and concluded on a hopeful note. I completed a second book on this trip too, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry. These were both wonderful reads; I just love Backman. I had read his Bear Town the summer before last and have another of his, Britt-Marie Was Here, on reserve at the local library when it comes in. My Grandmother... was such an imaginative tale, it completely swept me up and carried me along for the ride, it's one I won't soon forget. With any luck, I hope to return to *D.E.A.R. time in the afternoons this summer. My biggest problem is that there's too much to do and not enough time to get it all done... anyone else? 😉 What's on your reading list?
* Drop Everything And Read
Life is Good!

07 June, 2022

It's A Workout!

So, when I began this blog sixteen years ago I never seemed to have any difficulty finding things to post about. I was regularly keeping up with the goings on in and around Chez Goodneedle on an almost daily basis. Now, it's a workout. I don't know why. There are certainly no less things happening, that's for sure! And so, for today, accept this much: my current progress on the Workout Quilt from the Wonderful Curves Sampler Book. This one is nothing but fun, I'm halfway there! Thanks to all who've inquired about my whereabouts; all is well, and I'm still right here where I left off, stitching away. 

I shall return...
Life is Good!

* Thanks to Unknown (see comment below) for the eagle-eye, 
that pesky offending HST has been righted!