Friday, January 23, 2015

Loss of Motivation

I have no possible excuse, I just lost interest in the Grand Illusion. It is finished to the first border. I still have to piece the outer border, and then I will have to add at least one more border for it to be as big as I want it to be for our bed. 

I know I will get back to it, I like it. I guess I just got tired of looking at it.

So, I started playing around with some 2 1/2" squares and they turned into nine-patches.

Those started playing around with some 6 1/2" half square triangles and this is what has happened. 

It is good to have projects, isn't it?  I am thankful that there is always something interesting to keep me busy!

I hope you're having a good week and finding plenty to occupy yourself. We've had a cold rainy day today, but it should be nicer tomorrow.

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This. Is. Taking. Forever.

All twenty-five blocks of the Grand Illusion Mystery (no longer) Quilt are assembled, pressed and on two design walls.

Here is one of the blocks, up close and personal.

One hundred twenty double lines of four sewn together to make sixty sashing strips. Aren't those little soldier girls just the cutest?

Sashing strips pressed with center seams "twirled".

And now assembly has begun on the actual quilt top! I really do like this one. If I had seen it beforehand I would never have attempted it. (And they are saying that this is an easy one!!!??)

I set this as a challenge to myself, and I am glad I haven't abandoned it. I will finish it. I will!
Bruno went as far as he could go last night/this morning helping me.
But trusty Sock Monkey stayed alert and on the job! Or maybe it was that rooster with the gun who was keeping him awake. 
Dinah has been very interested in the birds at that suet feeder outside the window. And very annoyed that she can't seem to catch them!
Also outside the window, the peach tree is in full bloom. I guess it doesn't know that Winter is not over. We'll see if any of those survive. Anyway, it's a very welcome sight to me - this promise of Spring!
Meanwhile, the chickens continue to patrol the backyard, interested in everything and always busy. One of the many reason I like them!

I hope you are interested in something good today and it fills you with as much pleasure! As for me, I am thankful for so many things. With all its trials and struggles, life is still a very good thing!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

First Finish of the Year

I finished the  Sixteen Patches with Blue that I first blogged about last time. As you can see, it did go through a couple more changes since then.

I had really intended to make this one much bigger and keep it here for our bed, but it ended up going to a young man who recently lost his mother to cancer. I hope it brings at least a small measure of comfort to him.

This is the backing. I had originally intended to put together these two fabrics to go on the back of this quilt, but used the Oriental fleece instead.  I really like how well they go together. Not planned. At all. Muddling. Works for me!

Here at Muddle Manor things are still green and blooming outside. I'm not sure how much longer that will last, we have another cold front due. And oh, look - a chicken! Or two or three.

And, I put my count at 29 quilts finished in 2014. I finished more in 2013, but with all I've had to deal with here this year, I'm not going to be hard on myself this time. 

Bonnie Hunter posted the final clue - the reveal - for the Grand Illusion Mystery on Thursday (actully midnight Wednesday!). I really, really, REALLY like this one! I would never have even attempted it if I had seen the picture of the completed project, but since I now have all the parts complete and ready to put together, I am going to get to that real soon!  Thank you Bonnie Hunter!

I hope you have something exciting to keep you busy for at least the next little while.  It just makes life so much more interesting, doesn't it?

Hug and kisses,

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sixteen Patches with Blue

What can I say? I started another one. You know I am always making 4-patches with scraps. I often cut 2 1/2 inch squares from leftover bits of fabric and have them handy for leaders and enders by my sewing machine. You can accumulate quite a few 4-patches in the course of making other things.

Anyway, I decided to make a blue quilt like the red one I made here

But then I had an idea to change it up a little.

I like it. We'll see where it goes from here. 

And I actually have a Christmas cactus blooming!  It didn't make its appearance quite on time, but it was close. I've had it out on the patio, but I brought it in so I can enjoy it here in the window looking out on the chicken yard.

The weather outside is hot that great right now, gloomy and rainy and cold with more in the forecast.  Good weather for sewing, huh?!! I am thankful to have plenty to keep me from ever being bored! i hope you do, too.

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas and a Finish

We had a delightful Christmas at our son and daughter in love's house. And I finished this quilt in time to gift them for Christmas! Yay! I'm calling this one Oriental Tropics. The prints on the front are all tropical in nature and the backing is a soft, Oriental lantern print fleece.

Here's a better look at the front. It just seems full of sunshine to me.


Meanwhile here at Muddle Manor, the angel trumpet plants (trees, really) are just full of blooms right now. This is the yellow one just outside the back patio.

And this is the pink one by the chicken yard. I guess they must really like the rain and cooler temperatures we've had lately, because they are just happy as can be, and the fragrance - even on a cool night - is just heavenly!
Big news ------- believe it or not, I am totally caught up on the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt from Bonnie Hunter. She had mercy on us and had a very easy Step 5.

Bruno, of course, has been my constant companion and helper at all times. I do love my dog!

We had such a good time with our Mary here for Christmas. Our son and daughter in love took us all out for seafood lunch yesterday. Delicious! And Mary  went back to New York State and the real cold this morning. Maybe one of these days she will decide to move back down here. We hope!

I hope you had a really good Christmas and that you have recovered now from all the stress and hurrying. It is such a wonderful time of the year, especially when those we love most are near!

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hmmmm.......

First of all:   progress - all of Part 1, half of Part 2, all of Part 3 and almost half of Part 4 complete of the Grand Illusion Mystery.

There are more components lined up and waiting by the sewing machine. I am excited to be this far along.

 I have no real confidence that I will catch up this week because there is just too much going on. And the big news is our baby girl Mary is getting in tonight from New York!!! All of our little family will be here in town for Christmas, and we will all be together for Christmas dinner!  

I've been working on another quilt, but I can't show you that one yet. The binding is cut and I will get it sewn on soon.

I got such a sweet gift in the mail from Sheila this week - a teeny tiny zipper pouch. Her work is amazing, and the Laurel Burch fabric is just so pretty!  Thank you so much, Sheila!  Your kindness touches my heart.  Sheila does some beautiful work and at this time of year it is really impressive when she completes all the projects she's been working on all year. 

I got this little "happy" from my sister Sue. I laughed right out loud when I opened it - a sock monkey strap minder! (You do remember how much I like sock monkeys, don't you?)
It is cold here (Don't laugh, Anna!), and the pets are all enjoying warm places to cuddle up, except for Chloe - I don't know where she is, but her toy mouse is waiting patiently for her.

I do love this time of year. There is a sweetness in most of the people I meet when I'm out and about that is not there all the time. Maybe at least some of us feel the love of God that He would send His only Son to earth to die for our sins.  I know I do! And I'm so thankful.

I hope you have a truly wonderful Christmas! Enjoy your loved ones. And remember the REASON for the season.

Hugs and kisses and lots of love,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

One More Week!

Christmas has really done a sneak attack on me this year. How did it here so fast? Well, it's not here yet, but only a week away. 

I got the traditional cookies all made and they are in the mail!  Hallelujah! If you look in the photo above, you will see that our back door was open yesterday while I was baking. Ah, Houston, got to love it in the Winter. Summer, not so much. 

My Bruno. I do love this dog!
I was playing Christmas music yesterday while doing the rest of the baking and Ruthie's parakeet, Pete was singing along. He especially liked Handel's Messiah!  

The good news is I finished Step 3 of the Grand Illusion Mystery. Now I have to go back and finish Step 2. Hopefully before Step 4 comes out tomorrow!

It is a gray, rainy day here today, and really - I'd like to go back to bed, but there is much still to do. So, I'd better get to doing it!

I hope your preparations are going smoothly and that you're having a wonderful day. Take time to breathe!

Hugs and kisses,