Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bruno and Buddy

We have had a rough couple of weeks. My Bruno finished his time here. I don't think I will ever stop missing him. He was my faithful friend and constant companion. When no one else was there, Bruno was. I know that a lot of people don't understand and think we are foolish to care so much for "just an animal". They don't understand. He was so much more to me.

And now I'd like you to meet Buddy. I do not think it was unfeeling of me to get another dog so quickly. It's more of a testimony of what a good dog Bruno was. And this one needs me fully as much as I need him. His owners boarded him in a kennel three months ago. They had some misfortune and couldn't keep him. Eventually they told the lady running the kennel to just get rid of him.

Our son is the one who found him for us. I told him I wanted a male Rottweiler puppy right now and like the good son he is, his answer was, "On it." That same day he called and gave me the info on a one year old male Rottweiler, and I called. Mr. Muddling and I went that day and saw him and he came home with us. He's not a puppy, but he is young enough to still have a lot of the puppy sweetness, and at least he's over the more destructive traits of a younger dog.

We stopped by our vet's office on the way home to get him checked. The bad news is he has heart worms. The good news is, we've already started the treatments and he has a very good chance for a long, good life. 

Maybe you don't believe like I do, but I believe God is concerned even about a woman missing her dog, and even about a dog who has had a bad deal. This just seems like a "God thing" to me. We needed each other.

As for Lady and Ariel, they have mostly accepted him as a very big new member of the family. The cats - not so much. But they will all get used to each other with time.

I do hope you are having a good weekend and that there are things in your life for which to be thankful. There always are, even if sometimes you have to look a little harder.

Thank you for reading about my dogs and my life.

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, August 5, 2016

Pinwheels and Nine Patches

Sometimes my mistakes make me happy. Not often, but sometimes. When I was making quarter square triangle blocks a while back, I accidentally sewed a lot of the first two pieces together on the wrong sides. They would not make quarter square triangles. However, they did make some pretty good pinwheels.

I noticed that the 2 1/2 inch square nine patches were exactly the same size - another happy surprise. So I sewed them together. I have to say, I like it! Esmeralda has inspected it and she approved, too. Got to have chicken approval, you know

Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the inner and outer borders along with a gray print for the binding make it all play together nicely.
This little pale blue print (another one gifted to me by my sweet sister in law) seemed to be a good choice for the backing. 

Here it is all freshly washed and dried, crinkly and cuddly.

Mr. Muddling decided I needed a couple of orchid plants. Aren't they pretty! Plus a little peek at the back yard and the zinnias. Don't they just look like sunshine? The ones this year are the prettiest I've seen in a long time.

Last night I finished sewing together the last of the Scrappy Trips blocks on my treadle machine - such a sweet machine and still sews perfectly at about ninety years of age! After I get these blocks pressed, I'll put them on the design wall and see if I need to make more. Muddling, what can I say?

I've been working on the houses blocks, too. I cut them with the Go! Cutter and then realized I should have fused the fabric to some stabilizer first, so I cut stabilizer with the Go! too, and my friend Sandy ironed the cut outs to the stabilizer and then ironed those to the background blocks. I know. I have the best friends. Anyway, I am zig-zagging around them all with the the vintage White sewing machine I got recently.  Another workhorse, it uses a size 15 bobbin which goes a long time before running out.

It is still hot and dry here. Ah, Summer in Houston - it just goes on and on. However, I have plenty of sewing and other things to do inside, so I don't mind. I'm just thankful for air conditioning!

I hope you are having a good weekend already!

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Taylor's Quilt

Taylor is a friend of ours, a neighbor who was a good friend to Ruthie. She mentioned when she was over here with her mom, Sandy, that she would like a quilt from me - one with plenty of different kinds of quilting and words written into it. Well, with a challenge like that, how could I resist?

She also said that she would like a "grownup" quilt, whatever that is! After all, I'm the one who puts sock monkey fabric into soldiers' quilts. 

A while back I had grouped lots of different 2 1/2 inch strips of Kaffe Fassett fabric into fours. My friend Phyllis took them home and sewed them into strip sets and brought them back to me. Don't I have the nicest friends? I squared them into 8 1/4 inch blocks. I thought I would just sew them all together rail fence style, but them I happened to think, "What if I alternate them with 8 1/2 inch squares?" So I did.

These are all Phillip Jacobs fabrics except the lower left, a Jill Gordon that ended up not making it into the quilt. I really, really like these big bold floral pieces, but it is hard sometimes to see how to use them. 

Eventually, Mr. Muddling suggested using a black sashing strip between the squares. I like it! So, another cooperative quilt. Lots of input from different people, but it all comes together to make one young lady very happy.

Oh, and just to show her how UN-grownup it is, I backed it with this black spaceman/alien print! I do like to laugh, and she laughed, too, and loved it. I would say it was a success.

A little vignette of life around Muddle Manor. In the center bottom row, Lady waiting at the window for her daddy, Mr. Muddling to get home. She knows what time he should be here and assumes her post.
And in the upper right a yummy, delicious Tim Tam with coffee. Thank you so much Margaret for introducing me to them! I've corrupted introduced lots more people to them now that they are available here in the States.

I am past ready for cooler weather, but it's a long way off for us. I was just out in the front watering the poor gasping plants in pots. HOT. I think I'll stay in until later. Maybe it will cool down a little.

I hope you've been having a really good weekend, full of things that make you happy!

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Big Half-Hexie Quilt

Another one finished! This one is made with a cutting template I bought from Missouri Star Quilt Company several years ago. We used it to make the "Won't You Be My Neighbor Quilt". The template is used to make the roofs for the houses and you can get two of those out of a ten inch square. So, a pretty good sized finished hexagon. And we all know that it's way easier to sew rows of half hexies together than it is to do that dreaded "Y" seam!

I used an orange inner border and a Brandon Mably fabric for the outer border. I like this one! It just says FUN! to me.

The backing is two different black prints that came from my sister in law Gloria's last bunch of fabrics. The binding is a solid purple.

Here it is in its crinkly, freshly washed and dried photo - always my favorite shot!

Out in the back yard, there is still plenty of pretty to see. We had a nice rain yesterday afternoon, which we really needed. I've been doing a lot of watering out there, so I was glad for the rain.

This ominous looking sky appeared this morning and I thought for sure we would get more rain. Alas, we did not.

The good news is:  Blue Bell has cranked out some strawberry ice cream! Mr. Muddling and I made sure to pick up some this week at the grocery. Life is good!

I have several more projects in the works. We'll see how long it takes to get them done. Always more ideas than time for me.. Is that so for you as well? I am really thankful for an air conditioned house and plenty of fabric and sewing machines! Because I'm staying inside!

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cooperative Quiltmaking

My friend Sandy sewed together some 6 1/2 inch half square triangles I had cut with the Go! Cutter, and paired them with some nine patches that I had made to make this pretty quilt. I think these inner and outer borders she chose really make it a stand out!

The backing is this very nice Free Spirit fabric.

I put together more of those same 6 1/2 inch hst's Sandy had sewn together to make this one.

I backed it with yet another fabric from my sister in law Gloria's latest gift to me.

So there you have it, two quilts neither made totally by either of us, but together by both of us and with fabric help from Gloria! These will also be going to the local airport USO lounge for use by our soldiers. I love that we all have a part in that!

Of course I also had ample help from our three little helpers!

Summer has arrived in all its glory here in Houston, Texas. It is HOT! And I'm staying inside a lot. Isn't it good I have so much sewing to get done!

I do hope you have plenty to keep you busy and happy, too!

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Five Delivered, One More Finished

Last Thursday, Mr. Muddling and I delivered these five quilts to the USO at the local airport. My friend Sandy made the top two and I made the other three. We wanted to get some there soon, because some of the volunteers got a little generous and gave all but two of the ones we'd taken before away to service members! We do not mind at all, we make them to be enjoyed, but they still need some to stay there at the center.

Last night I finished this one and it will go in the next batch. As you can see it is chicken approved.

Deb, I used your fabric for a backing again.  It is so bright and pretty it just makes me happy. I hope it will make soldiers happy, too. Thanks again for sharing!

Just look at all that crinkly snuggleness!
On Monday Mr. Muddling made this new and improved larger ironing board for me. He cut plywood and bolted it to the top of the old ironing board and I covered it with batting and this bright orange fabric. It looks right at home, doesn't it! I'm pretty sure it is going to make my life a lot easier. Mr. Muddling is ALL that!

There has been canning of figs going on here. My mother and siblings all enjoy fig preserves and I am glad to share! Yummmmmmm!

And yes, I've had another idea. Well, several actually, but I am going to try to finish the other two that are mostly a quilt top before I jump too far off the diving board.

It is very hot here, and dry again. But this is Houston in the Summer and that is just what you can expect. Thank God for air conditioning, that's all I have to say about it!  Of course it's also a very good excuse to stay inside and sew.

I do hope you are having a lovely week doing lots of things that make you happy. Because I love you!

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Busy, Busy and Yet Nothing Finished

At least nothing finished by me, though I do have three quilts in the works. By all that makes sense I should have finished at least one of them by now, but no, I started others. What can I say?

My friend Sandy, on the other hand did have a finish! This one will be going to our local USO airport lounge. Isn't it pretty and colorful! I think it's wonderful, and I like those tropical Mustangs on the back.

We had a wonderful time with our Mary who got to stay with us almost a whole week this time! Ruthie's birthday was last Monday, so we decided to combine that with the Father's Day celebration and had a family get together on Sunday. Mr. Muddling and Mary went and got a birthday cake and some flowers.  More pretty flowers and a happy balloon arrived later in the day from Ruthie's (and our) dear friend Dawn in the UK! So sweet of her to remember us. It is almost two years Ruthie has been gone, and it is still hard at certain times. It helps though to be with family who feel exactly the same feelings. I am so thankful for the many good times we have shared over the years. God is good!
Another beautiful floral arrangement arrived on Monday from a couple of Mary's friends in New York. We have enjoyed all those flowers!

I know you know I really, really like vintage machines. This one, a Japanese model from the 1950's or 60's, hard to tell, arrived last week. You might be able to see the disgusted look on Dinah's face at the state of its case when it arrived. The wiring was bad, too, but it's such a beautiful machine. Perhaps you can click on the picture and see those decals. Mr. Muddling got it all rewired and serviced for me today and I've already given it a little run of sewing. Perfection! I know I'm going to have fun with it.

Life does stay pretty busy around here, but sooner or later I will finish more quilts! 

I hope you're having a really good weekend and finding plenty that is making you happy!

Hugs and kisses,