Thursday, October 30, 2014

Progress and an Outing

There has been more progress on this quilt top. I think I'll call it Chicken Strips. What do you think? It makes me smile every time I see it.

My friend Phyllis and I went to Quilt Festival today. We were privileged to visit for a few minutes with this very nice award winner,  Sandi Snow from Lutz, Florida. (Don't you love that her t-shirt matches her quilt?!!) The name of her quilt is "Dotting Inside the Box".  We were surprised to learn from her that she quilted it on her regular sized domestic sewing machine! She said that she used a rolling ruler to get those circles so perfect.

This is the fortieth (or RUBY) anniversary of Quilt Festival in Houston and there was a magnificent display of red quilts. You know I was happy about that.  This one, "Lady at Her Spinning Wheel" by E. Marilyn Fuller was so intriguing to me. Didn't she do a wonderful job of painting a picture with just red and white blocks? 

This one, "Canola Fields" by Leah Gravells of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was impressive to me as well. She made it as a quilt-as-you-go using 199.......are you ready for this? - 3/4 inch strips of batik fabric! So pretty.

Here's another good one, "Fireball" by Candace Phelan of Wellington, Florida, using 3,300 -  1 1/8 inch circles. The technique is raw edge applique. My mouth was just hanging open.


This one is "Voldemort" by Robin Williamson of Carrollton, Texas. In the card describing it, she says that she actually enjoyed constructing it of 3/4 inch strips. 

This one is "Storm II" by Gabrielle Paquin of Orleans, France. It is her original design representing what happened between earth and sky in a storm. What is impressive about this one is that it is made totally from men's shirting fabric.

We did not even begin to see all the quilts that were there. I'm hopeful I'll get to see more this weekend with Mr. Muddling.

I hope these pictures have inspired you as the real things inspired us!  There are so many talented quilters out there, and each one has their own style. Isn't it fun that there are no rules as to how you express yourself in your quilts!

Hugs and love,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Do You Ever Think - I Wonder What Would Happen If I........

Yeah, me, too. A lot. I started thinking, what if I take some of those chicken fabrics I've been hoarding and make some blocks? It quickly developed into quite an avalanche of fabric strips. 

I had already made some rail fence blocks and now I'm playing with the idea of interspersing them with the chicken blocks. Yes, I'm muddling. There is a reason for my blog name.

I had made some of these little whirlygig (or whatever you want to call them) blocks, and then I thought they might like to play with some of the 16-patch blocks.

Then I thought they might be happier if I sashed them in little white on black dots. They were. The backing is all ready for this little boy's quilt, so it will hopefully get quilted soon. It will go to the Quilts of Compassion.

I had some more 16-patch blocks and they decided they needed to be sashed with red after they became snowball blocks with more red. What? Your fabric doesn't talk to you? Seriously?

This one got quilted last night. See how happy it is? (Lady says she doesn't hear the fabric talking.)


The borders are finally on this little girl's quilt. Just need to get the backing put together and it will also be ready to quilt. It, too, is going to Quilts of Compassion. I like that they go in to areas that have been devastated and give people the comfort of a quilt made for them by a complete stranger. It helps all of us to realize that there are still decent people who care.

I hope you are enjoying your day. I am. Matter of fact, I'm going to venture back into the fabric strip bonanza and get busy making more blocks.

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Painted Animals Baby Quilt

I've been working on a special quilt for a special little girl who is on the way.

My friend Phyllis painted these cute animals on fabric and I wanted to be sure I found a setting worthy of them.

I tried a number of options before coming up with this one.

I really like it.

Each block has a different animal and they each have their own batik heart machine appliqued.

Batik was not my first choice, but it was the one fabric from my stash that just pulled every element together. I did a really close meander in the blocks around each animal and it "pops" them out to perfection!
 

The backing is this soft and sweet flannel with little matryoshkas in different colors all over. I had the perfect little pink diagonal stripe in my stash, too. Now, that's the advantage of having lots of fabric!  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it. LOL!)
 
I'm really thankful for good friends who are always ready and willing to help me accomplish these ideas.

Tonight there were medicinal chocolate chip cookies made (and a few consumed!). Life is good.
 
I hope there are lots of successful projects going on with you this week!
 
Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sea Glass

The sunshine is dappling the quilt a bit, but I like it. I'm calling this one Sea Glass, just because that's what the colors seem to call it. It is made from drunkard's path blocks (surely there could be a better name!), and I used the Go! cutter to cut them. They went together very easily.

Inside with the sun shining in the window the quilting looks so pretty.

I'm not even going to pretend that my piecing or my quilting is perfect. Not even close.

But my guess is that it will still be a much loved quilt.

The backing is pieced from two Jinny Beyer fabrics, same pattern different colorways.

And here it is without any help from the shadowplay. This one is on its way to a man who richly deserves it. I hope he enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Mr. Muddling has been on vacation this week, but it has been a working vacation for him. He's working on getting that fence put up in the side yard. The hardest part of that job is getting all the ginger lily roots dug up and out of the way! Our dogs are continually searching for something, anything in those ginger lilies and Bruno especially is finding something that is making him itch like crazy. I will be glad when they are totally gone! They made an excellent privacy fence, but it's time now for them to just go away.

After some pretty bad storms on Monday, we've had a beautiful weather week. Cool nights and clear, sunny days that haven't been unbearably hot. 

As you can see, I did get my quilting machine back from the shop and it was not a terrible cost either!  Hallelujah! I'm very pleased with the service where we bought it here in Houston - before, during and after the sale. 

I do hope you're having a wonderful week and getting lots accomplished that makes you happy!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, October 11, 2014

So Many Quilts

The Drunkard's Path quilt top is finished.

The Snowballed 16-Patches is very close to being a completed quilt top.

The Pink Siggie Framed Sixteen Patch quilt is a completed top.

Just in case you wondered what I've been doing. I really have intended to be better about posting to the blog. Alas, I haven't done a great job of that.

I was cruising along quilting the DP quilt when I had a major thread jam. Finally got that cleared after blowing a fuse. Then another fuse blew. Then another fuse. So my quilt machine is in the shop. Bummer.

Oh well, gives me time to start another quilt. Or two. I have ideas swirling in my head, they are just not quite ready to come out and play yet. 


I did get to see the last of the lunar eclipse (another blood moon) very early Wednesday morning. A cell phone camera does not begin to do it justice. 

I hope you're having a good weekend and that things are not breaking (except possibly eggs!) at your house. It's looking like we may get some rain here today, and that is perfectly all right with me. We've had more rain lately than in the past few years, but it still dries out in a hurry, so a little more will help things still growing. The heat of Summer can be brutal for the vegetation, and it's not a lot of fun for most of us humans either. I'm thankful Autumn is beginning to give us little hints that it's on its way!

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, September 26, 2014

Last Friday in September

The vertical rows are all sewn together and now I need to join all of them and I'll be ready for borders.

I've been pulling fabric candidates, but haven't made firm decisions yet.


Another quilt trying to get out of my head and out into the world. I've been making four patches for a very long time as leader/enders and then sewing four of them together to make 16-patches. You know I like red, and this looks like it will turn into something I'll really like!

Lady and Bruno. Oh, my, it looks like a really tough life here at Muddle Manor, doesn't it? LOL!!

It's a beautiful day here, warming up again, but still nice early and late. I do hope you're having a really good week and that you have something going on that is making you happy.

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another Little Boy Quilt

This is the second of three I said I would finish before I started on the drunkard's path. I had the middle part done long ago, but did not have enough of the fabrics I had started with to finish it as I had started it. Muddling. It will get you every time.  Eventually I had the scathingly brilliant idea to sash it in red and add a piano key border. It works!  Hallelujah.

An all over red, white and blue Mustang print is the backing with a solid red binding.

The colors aren't as true in this one as in the outdoor shots, but you can see it better. This one will be going to a one and half year old boy who has a brand new baby sister. Don't you think it will give him plenty to look at?

And yes, Bruno has once again worked so hard helping me that he had to take a nap. And yes again, I started the drunkard's path. Before I finished the third one in line. I know.
The first two vertical columns on the left are sewn. I had to make myself stop. They are going together really fast. The Go! cutter makes it easy. Except for when I make a mistake. The picture on the design wall to the left is one I took of the layout before I started sewing any of the blocks together. After getting the pieces mixed up - more than once - I decided it would be a good idea to print a picture of my layout so I could tell where they went!

There are a very few figs still getting ripe on the fig tree out in back and if you click on the picture above and enlarge it, you will see Marilyn stretching her neck to take another bite out of a ripe fig.

This is Lena and another of the Marilyns (I named all three of the yellow ones Marilyn) helping themselves to water from the rain barrel. I had turned it on to rinse out the compost bucket I keep on the kitchen counter after I had emptied it in the chicken yard this afternoon. Chickens pretty much do as they please around here.

My sweet teddy bear is wearing a hat my friend Sandy made for me. It is also an apron!  Very clever. I do have the best friends!

We are having some wonderful weather right now. It's getting a bit cooler, not much, but it's still mighty nice! We don't have the huge shifts in the seasons that some of  you have, but it's still good to feel a touch of Autumn in the air.

I hope you're having a good week with lots to see and do that makes you happy!

Hugs and kisses,