31 October, 2014

October 31, Observed

This is what an October 31st table display looks like in the home of a Lutheran quiltmaker.
Life is Good!

30 October, 2014

Why I Quilt

...wrapping the world with love, one quilt at a time...
Life is Good!

29 October, 2014

The Weekend And Beyond...

Observing Mason's 6th Baptismal birthday after church this past Sunday.
Today I'm playing blog catch-up. We've had a busy few days here at Chez Goodneedle. Our Capital City grandchildren visited on Sunday. I love the photo above of our Senior Pastor and Mason at the Baptismal font, it is very special. Mason is the first child that this Pastor has baptized where he also confirmed both Mason's Mom and Dad when they were freshmen in high school as well as married them some fourteen years later; all right here in this same sanctuary.
Mason and his Mommy returned home and little Miss Lucy Ann (and her babies) stayed for a few days with Nana and Pawpaw. On Monday we made doll quilts together. Lucy Ann chose all the squares from my 2.5" bin and laid them out exactly the way she wanted them to be arranged. Nana stitched and she was my assistant, bringing me the pieces in the correct order! After we finished the first one I had a feeling that she would lose interest... but boy, was I ever mistaken! Oh, no; she was determined and hung in there. She chose the tying thread (perle cotton) colors and helped with the tying. She loved every bit of the process.
Yesterday we took a trip to Charlotte to visit the new American Girl store there. This was the view from the front seat looking back for the entire drive! She pored over the catalog in preparation for her shopping excursion. She told us that it "seemed like forever" to get there!
Lucy Ann and her two babies arriving at the store.

Lucy Ann took her time shopping, she was interested
every little item and considered how she might use it.
She was enthralled by the hair salon for dolls.
After careful deliberation, final selections were made and it was, all too soon, time to check out and get some lunch. Lucy Ann had a T-shirt specially made for Sarah (doll in her arms), it is contained in the teeny-tiny shopping bag she's holding. Baby Barbara is in her carrier on the counter. Both dolls have new outfits and Lucy Ann provided her grandparents with some wonderful, happy memories and such a fun time spent together; I hope she remembers these last few days exactly the same way. Tonight she'll be sleeping in her own little bed at home again, we kissed her goodbye only a few hours ago... I miss her already, our house is altogether too quiet.

Life is Good!

22 October, 2014

What's Weighing You Down?

I've been plagued with a fair amount of shoulder pain lately; nothing severe, but it's enough to be an annoyance. I've been babying it, treating it with ibuprofen and heat. Yesterday I was ready to leave the house for a scheduled haircut, I grabbed my purse... and the pain came shooting back! Small wonder. My purse and its contents weighed in at 5+ pounds. What was in there? Nothing that I considered to be excessive, but it all adds up: a wallet, keys, tissues, teabags, cell phone, tape measure, sun glasses  (and case) eyeglasses case, notebook, checkbooks, sanitizing wipes, a pocket calendar, eyeglasses cleaners, two ball point pens, throat lozenges, a bottle of ibuprofen, a lipstick and a baby flashlight.  I need to rethink what I carry around on my shoulder and the toll that all that weight is taking. How can I pare down this load? This won't be easy for me. For starters, I know that I only need one ball point pen! What's weighing YOU down?

Life is Good!

21 October, 2014

Quilting "The Journey" And A Book Review

I've resumed quilting on "It's The Journey" after a few distractions. Working on this challenge quilt continues to be a joyful experience, as has always been the case. Each shape offers a new opportunity to try out another quilting motif or technique. Snowbird has risen to each and every task and performed beautifully. Three things have come together and combined to assist me in becoming more adventurous and creative in my quilting choices, two of them are machine related: Snowbird is equipped with Bliss drive and Quilt Glide stitch mode, both allowing for smooth-as-silk movements resulting in curvier curves and flawless, precise control. The third thing is a new confidence  gained as a result of taking a longarm class this past summer. The instructor, Gina Parris-Perkes, was encouraging and helpful in exactly the way that I needed to be gently nudged forward past what had been my own self-imposed boundaries. That, and actually breathing while quilting have made a world of difference! (I have a classmate friend to thank for noticing that and cheering me on with: "breathe, breathe"...!).

Quiltkeemosabe and I will get-together tomorrow for our monthly "Bible" study, working our way together, block by block, through Rosemary Youngs' Quilt Block Bible.  We alternate hosting and instructing and have added a book review to our agenda too. If we're going to hold each other accountable for stitching up the blocks we figured we'd throw in some accountability for the books we buy!  This was my month to write up the book review and I chose Karen McTavish's new, 2nd edition of Mastering The Art of McTavishing. This book comes with a twin set of DVDs demonstrating her signature, distinctive, quilting stitch; I found the book a sound investment worthy of its place on my bookshelf, it's a highly valuable resource. If you would like a copy of my book review just let me know and I will be happy to e-mail a copy of that to you.
Life is Good!

17 October, 2014

Feathered Friends

~"Lynnleigh's Feathered Friends"~
I've been waiting for a sunny day to photograph this latest, completed quilt. It is made from the pattern "Chubby Chicks" and measures 60" X 60".  One more added to the "done" column for this year!
I poured a lot of attention into the quilting on this one.  Using tips and tactics learned in Gina Parris-Perkes' longarm class (Fantabulous Feathers and Fills) at the AQS Quiltweek event in Charlotte this past summer I was able to let the feathers just fly! I am very happy with the results.
I searched all over a few years back to find enough of this backing fabric, it's the perfect complement to the theme and was well worth the effort. This quilt is a gift for our youngest granddaughter.
Life is Good!

15 October, 2014

A "Soft" Quilt

Gregory's Soft Quilt ~ 47" X 67"
Gregory's birthday is coming up next month, he'll be four year old. I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and his immediate response was this: "I want a soft quilt, one like Mama's, but mine needs to have cowboys and trains and horses and tractors and race cars... oh, and barns too!" My daughter-in-law explained to me later that he was referring to her flannel quilt as the soft one. She received that quilt  from our Quilt Ministry when she was hospitalized with complications following Lynnleigh's birth. She went on to explain that Gregory would likely want his to be tied, not quilted, like hers; so that it would be soft and puffier. Okay, got it. But now, how to corral all those disparate prints into something that didn't look like a mish-mash? I dragged out an old pattern, the Quick Step Quilt * by Carol Britt. This top went together quickly today, I bordered it all around as a means of reining it in and I do think that it does look neat and orderly. Initially, I was really at a loss as to where to find all of these novelty prints in flannel... but wouldn't you know it, there's an online source: flannel world, and yes, they had everything Gregory's soft quilt called for! I washed and dried all the pieces before I set to cutting, each one came out of the dryer soft and fluffy; I was pleased with the quality.
Cowboys, trains, horses, tractors, race cars and barns, all together in one soft quilt; 
made-to-order for one very special little boy!
Here's the biggest surprise of all, the backing fabric is Minkee;
ramping up the soft factor to a whole new level! 

* I have used this pattern many times before, but it's been quite a few years; it is designed to be made in vertical columns, front, back and batting together. The units join together and actually quilt the piece at the same time. On this quilt, though, I was only interested in the layout for the front. I forgot all about the unusual assembly for this quilt and bought the fabric according to the yardage requirements on the pattern... plus the backing fabric. As a result I have enough of all the required flannel prints to make another, identical, quilt... just in case he loves this one to bits!

Life is Good!