27 May, 2020

Brother Bear

"Brother Bear"  ~37.5" X 43"
Working from the stacked, numbered, boxes in the closet I am endeavoring to finish one UFO each month until the end of the year. May's box contained all the elements for this precious little hand embroidered baby quilt, I even had all of the fabrics selected for the setting "logs" but scrapped them because it was too busy. I did keep chosen the border and backing fabrics, hence the name of the quilt.
See that baby bear roaming between the trees?

Here's a close-up with the backing fabric that I have chosen. 
Naturally, (if you're a fan of the Berenstains, like me) you know that there can't be a Brother Bear without a Sister Bear! Here's "Sister Bear", the girl version of the same quilt, currently under the needle.  I hope to get Brother Bear loaded and quilted right away; back-to-back bears ๐Ÿ˜‰, successfully meeting my goal for May. These patterns are from Kristyne Czepuryk's book: S is for Stitch.
A current view from the design wall: Brother Bear and the first half of "Milk Money". 

Adapting in an upside down world: ๐Ÿ™ƒ We went out to dinner last night, at an actual restaurant, to celebrate our recent milestone anniversary! It's hard to describe that feeling, after all these weeks of quarantine; it was like we'd been set free. Everyone was extremely kind and all social distancing protocols were observed. It was a joyous occasion, certainly one to remember!

I'm happy to report that all of your prayers for Quiltkeemosabe's husband have worked and he is doing quite well; he continues to recover at home and grow stronger every day. We were so happy that he drove(! YAY!!) out to our home for a short visit yesterday, he and Quiltkeemosabe sat with us out on our new porch; it was just like old times, catching up. Thanks be to God!

"You are wisdom unimagined
Who could understand Your ways
Reigning high above the Heavens
Reaching down in endless grace
You're the lifter of the lowly
Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me
And Your promises are my delight

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You're with us in the fire and the flood
You're faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us"

 These words are from Michael W. Smith's "Sovereign" (you can listen here). 
You're welcome, the refrain has been playing in my head for two days. Amen!

Life is Good!

24 May, 2020

May 24, 1975

Forty five years ago we said " I do";  and today, I'm blessed to be dancing with the same partner. I'm thankful every day for this man, for our shared faith and commitment to God and His church, for families that have supported us along the way, for two healthy, loving children with families of their own, and for a lifetime of shared memories. Thanks be to God!

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." -1 Corinthinians 13:4-8

Life is Good!

21 May, 2020

Dinner Guests and Memories!

We had guests for dinner last evening, and very special ones at that! As one quarantined week has melted into the next for oh-so-many, it's easy to lose track of how lonely one is becoming and how repetitive each day-to-day has been. What perfect joy it was to welcome family from the Capital City, even for just a few hours. On an otherwise unseasonably cold and dismal, rainy, day we had our own personal injection of sunshine with the arrival of our daughter, son-in-law and oldest two grandchildren!  I do believe that feeling was mutual. 
Hannes enjoyed having an extra snuggle partner too!

Mason and I played Chinese Checkers, he won. I have wanted to have this game ready to play ever since we began building the porch, its a warm and fuzzy memory for me that goes back fifty-plus (+++!๐Ÿ˜‰) years. When I was a little girl I remember summer afternoons spent playing this game on my grandparents screened in porch with my great-grandmother when she came to visit them. 
This is my great-grandmother (Grandma) and me a few years before those game-playing hours spent on the porch. She lived near Boston, in a home for "Aged Women" (!?!).  She would come to visit my grandparents, by train, for a week in the summer every year (and then again for Thanksgiving weekend). I can still recall riding along to pick her up at the depot. Boston really wasn't that far away at all (30-35 miles); but, in those days, this was the normal method of travel and it was Grandma's way. My grandparents' home was next door to ours and I would walk through the field every day after lunch while she was staying with them to spend time with Grandma over that Chinese Checkers board. She was always dressed up: dress, jewelry, stockings and tall, lace-up shoes with heels. I was in the seventh grade when she died; my grandfather, her son, passed away a year before she did. 

Mr. G. is currently making a custom sized drop-leaf table for our porch space, it's where the Chinese Checkers and other puzzles and pastimes will live. This table project has been side-lined, temporarily, while he's taking care of an injured shoulder. I don't know that my Grandma ever knew how fondly I remember spending time with her; it's one of my greatest hopes that our grandchildren will have warm memories of spending time at our home. 

Adapting in an upside-down๐Ÿ™ƒ world: Today I had my scheduled shopping appointment at our LQS. Believe it or not, I almost missed it! Wouldn't you know it, the only place I had to be (except for that dentist appointment) in the last two months and I had hastily scrawled the appointment time in two separate places, for two different times!?! My appointment was actually supposed to be at 11:00 AM. I had written that time down in the kitchen; in the studio, on my planner, I had written down 1:00 PM! Thank goodness I got a phone call at approximately 11:20 inquiring where I was. I grabbed my prepared list, hopped in the car, and got there in time to grab what I needed. Really. ๐Ÿ™„ Tomorrow we enter Phase 2 of reopening the state. Stay safe my friends, be patient with the process, and wash your hands ๐Ÿงผ. 

"And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
you will look around and take your rest in security." - Job 11:18

Life is Good!

20 May, 2020

My Home State

I loaded this panel onto Snowbird last week to do some bead board, straight-line, quilting. I decided to use the panel as is, it measures 19" X 44" and is perfect, without being bordered, as a table runner for our kitchen table. I had it quilted up in no time.
One of the very best tips that I've ever heard is one that I learned from quiltdivajulie. She makes her bindings before she's quilted her pieces so that they're ready to go when the quilt is trimmed and needs finishing. For me, this is a psychological trick-- it takes no less time to have it made and ready ahead of time, but it is such a efficient way to work. My mind doesn't want to stop and make binding after quilting and trimming; but, I have no trouble loading a quilt, preparing the binding, and then setting about the quilting. When the trimming is finished, the binding is applied right then and there; this is helpful to me and seems like the most productive way to work.
Speaking of efficiency-- actually, I quilted two at the same time. The New Hampshire panel is a gift for my mother. Shhhh-- don't breathe a word if you're reading this and know her, she'll be surprised!
This was done and on the table by last evening. These panels, My Home State, are by Northcott. Mine was a gift from Quiltkeemosabe, check at your LQS for the state of your choice.
Mr. G and I play Cribbage every day, if you're familiar with the game you'll understand the smile on his face-- he had four 5's dealt to him and a Queen turned; this hand is worth 28 points! He had trouble not laughing as we played out the hand, he knew that this experience is very rare and lucky!

Life is Good!

19 May, 2020

Decisions, Decisions...

It won't come as any surprise to you reading this that Mr. Goodneedle and I are huge DIY'ers. If there's a way to do it ourselves, we'll check it out and much more likely than not, we'll go for it. There's a need to replace the sling backs/seats in out formerly outdoor (now porch) dining set. The current fabric on there has seen way too much weather over the past ten years or so, it had always been out in the elements until now. I found an online rehab company for this purpose and ordered some samples, they arrived last week. The hardest part for us is making decisions; I don't know why. We could see the pros and cons of each sample and went back and forth.

I was looking for something to blend with the cushioned furniture in the same space, ultimately, we chose this one and we're NOT looking back. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Once replaced, these new chair slings will appear lighter, brighter, and hopefully will work to coordinate the entire space; that's our thinking. The whole truth, however, is that we're not replacing them only for aesthetic reasons. 
No, we're replacing them for safety reasons! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ Wish us luck, we've never tried this before.
I received the most glorious Mother's Day bouquet from my daughter in the Capital City, I forgot to share this photo earlier.
Equally pretty: fresh, local farm-picked strawberries are still abundant and incredibly sweet and delicious!
We're not the only one faced with decisions these days. We've begun eating dinner every evening on the screened porch. Hannes hangs out there with us for a short while and then, he gets up and sits in the doorway; he can't decide where he wants to be! I've brought his bed out so that he'll be comfortable but he barely even touches down in it before he's up, pacing, and ends up cak in the doorway, staring at us! Changes are hard, especially as we get older, I just know that he's thinking: "Mom, Dad- we never did this before, why don't you come inside and eat in the kitchen the way we always did before?!?"

Adapting in an upside-down๐Ÿ™ƒ world: Following along with the decision-making theme today, it's not easy for any of us to know what's right and what isn't as far as getting back out in the world, there's no manual for this, it's uncharted territory. The "new normal" for you might look completely different than it looks for me, there are simply too many variables depending on where you live, your age, your health and so on. Today I am going to the dentist to have stitches removed from my mouth that have been in place since the oral surgery that I had on March 12! Up until now I haven't felt comfortable submitting to this simple, 5-minute, procedure. Faith has to triumph over fear, and today I'm ready! I have faith in the dentist's office and all of their practices and procedures to keep me safe, it will be a relief to have these removed; they've seemingly grown disproportionately larger each and every day, lurking back in the recesses of my mouth! I will be supremely cautious, staying safe and vigilant about germs and surfaces; that's my new normal. I cannot, nor will I, become a prisoner to fear! And so, I've decided what's right for me, given all of the information that I have. Let's all keep each other in mind too, everyone is on their own sliding-scale for comfort. That's perfectly okay, we can't decide what's right for anyone other than ourselves; but, we can decide to be kind and understanding to each other, we're all walking this path together, figuring it out for ourselves one step at a time! 
How can you cultivate peace 
and put your own faith ahead of fear?

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep,
that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope."  -1 Thessalonians 4:13

Life is Good!

18 May, 2020

O, Happy Day!

Yesterday was a happy day of celebration in our family, the twelfth wedding anniversary for our son and daughter-in-law. This is always a special time of year, wedding anniversaries following Mother's Day; these two chose to be married on the same date as our DIL's precious grandparents, so many years earlier, such a sweet tribute! I thought you might enjoy this side-by-side update of the happy couple. ๐Ÿ’— These people bring such happiness, joy and pride to our lives, we are truly blessed.

Adapting in an upside-down๐Ÿ™ƒ world: 
There was reason to celebrate within our church family yesterday too. With all special precautions for personal safety through distancing, it was outdoor voting day for our congregation to issue a call to a prospective pastor on otherwise a glorious sunny day. Provisions were made for drive-thru voting from one's car or for walk-up balloting. We've all missed each other so much that it was hard to get everyone to leave the parking lot after the ballots were tallied and the results announced. The exciting news is that a call was issued, and he said "yes"; O, happy day! Hopefully, before too long, in-person worship can commence once again on the inside of the building, we can sit in pews, sing hymns of praise and listen to live music. We're working our way through this process by phases, one day at a time; and yesterday was a BIG day for our family of faith (small in number, huge in faith)! 
Thanks be to God!

His master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master."  Matthew 25:21

Life is Good!

14 May, 2020

Binding and Baking

"Sweet Sixteen" is off the rails, binding has been applied and the hand finishing has begun. I'm quilting up a few table runners right now, one day has a way of sliding into the next. The quilts are piling up. Mr. Goodneedle asked me last evening who this quilt was for. I have no designation in mind, I just keep at it, one quilt after another; and sew it goes. One would think that these scrappies would make a noticeable dent in the bin of precut squares; so far, I can't tell a difference! The bins seem as full as they've always been.
Sweet Sixteen uses 2.5" squares, the pattern can be found here
Two loaves of cinnamon swirl bread fresh out of the oven. These will be great for French Toast.

Remember these Quilter's Quarantine signs that we all had back in the 90's? Here's mine, they're not as funny today as they were back then; not since we've all learned what mandatory lockdown is like. Isn't it ironic though that the "treatment" listed on this is to attend as many quilt shows and shops as possible? It will be some time before we can know those types of cures, I look forward to those days!

Adapting in an upside-down ๐Ÿ™ƒworld: I've been stitching up quite a few face masks using the  Valami pattern, click on the hyperlink to download the free pattern.  Once I got started it became easier, assembly-line style. It took awhile to gather all the necessary supplies but I'm good to go now, I've got the copper nose wires cut and at the ready.
I'm only using batiks, lining with cotton knit and using T-shirts ties. I have a nurse friend who took this style for a test run and pronounced the fit as a very good one, "the nose piece makes all the difference", she reported. Who would've ever guessed, months ago, that we'd be raiding our stashes to make face masks for health-care workers and personal protection? Stay safe, wash your hands๐Ÿงผ!

"Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long."  Psalm 25:5

Life is Good!