Friday, July 21, 2017

Dog Days of Summer

This is Mr. Muddling's Lady most every morning She does NOT want to get out of bed. As a matter of fact she moves right into his spot as soon as he gets up and leaves the room.

We lost one of our baby chicks, a Black Australorp. No sign of what did it, just gone. This little Buff Orpington was poorly at the same time, but we have been giving her special attention and she seems to be one the mend. We had to remove her from her sisters. Chickens believe in the rule of survival of the fittest even at a young age. It is never a good idea to leave one with the flock that is even slightly sickly!

The rest all seem to be healthy and happy and we are trying to give them extra cold things to eat and drink to help with the heat. I don't want to lose any more!

The is the progress I've made on this one. I plan at least one more row of black and neutral blocks on each side. I'll sew it all together then and see if I need to add more. It IS fun and it IS easy, but it is taking forever!

There are still pretty things outside, front and back. A lot of them are in pots though! But still, life is good and there is always so much for which to be thankful. And I am. God is good!

I hope there's lots good going on where you live!

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Space Sock Monkeys

Sometimes you just need to finish something, and I did! I've had this little quilt cut out for a while, and it seemed like a good time to get it finished. I think this one will go to the USO lounge at the local airport.  The volunteers there tell me parents really appreciate having a quilt to put down on the floor and let little ones stretch out and play a bit.

It is bright and colorful all over. There is a diagonal stripe for the binding and I've just about used up all this wild flannel stripe on the back.

Nice and crinkly after it's trip through the washer and dryer.

I've been working on this one now. I saw the pattern originally on Jordan Fabric's YouTube channel. I was intrigued and tried to figure out how to cut it. I failed. Then she added instructions and told what ruler to use to do the cutting! Yay! 

Here's a link to the sewing instructions. This one shows that you can use the same block to make two different quilts, but it also shows the ruler and the cutting instructions.

Whenever I finally finish this one, it will be going to our niece. She said she wanted one in red and black. Lots more blocks to make, but it IS all straight line sewing.

Summer has arrived in Houston. Some time ago, actually. Not that much exciting going on outside, but there is always entertainment in the chicken yard. Buddy wants to play with them so bad!

Finally, I think I'm all caught up! I hope you're having a wonderful week, full of good things to see and enjoy!

Hugs and kisses,

Mike and His Drunkard's Path

Here is a little better look at the quilt I posted in my last epistle. I was inspired by Wanda's Bouncing Balls. I love reading Wanda's blog and seeing her artistry combining color and pattern. I, unfortunately, have not reached her level of color sense. Not even close, But I have fun anyway!

Mike has a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. According to all medical prognostications, he should have been dead long ago, but he's not and we are all glad!  Especially his sweet wife Tracey!  Mike has been having some new challenges lately and our pastor asked me to make him a quilt. Mike ONLY wears plaid shirts and jeans, so this seemed like a perfect fit for him, and sure enough he loved it. I am extremely thankful I can do this, make these quilts, to gladden hearts and comfort and hopefully always impart the love of God.

And yes, the JOY of the Lord is our strength. Even if you have to go down a drunkard's path to get it! 

You can't see it really well, but even the backing is men's shirting, a pinstripe this time.

I'm doing a little catch up blogging, so get ready, there will soon be another!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Where Do I Start

 I have been absent from my blog for so long. What can I say? Life has just interfered with my blogging!  First of all, the baby chicks have moved outside to their big girl house. Mr. Muddling worked very hard to divide the chicken yard and house, for now, into a condo each for Marilyn - our one remaining old chicken, and for the young chicks! The picture on the lower right was where I tried putting Marilyn in with the littles. It did not work well, so she was banished back to her side of the world of chickens!

Outside, there are lots of pretty things and interesting things to see. As for Buddy, the chicks are the most interesting thing he has EVER seen. He is sure it would be a lot of fun to play with them, but that is not happening!  And yes, Lady (center bottom row) really does think our bed belongs to her.

Ruthie's and our dear friend Dawn from the UK, sent a lovely balloon bouquet to help us celebrate Ruthie's birthday. Not a day goes by without her in our thoughts, but we are not in distress or gloomy. We just miss her.

What helped a lot was that our dear Mary came down for a visit with her boyfriend (whom we like a lot, by the way). They were here for Fathers Day and Ruthie's birthday.

The day to day life of household maintenance has gone on, too. Our washing machine decided to go on strike. Fortunately, we have an extended warranty and it was well again and back in action in a very short time. The water heater thought that with the washing machine up and running, it would be a good time to deprive us of hot water. Mr. Muddling to the rescue! Brand new one installed and working wonderfully. The old one was well over ten years old, so no hard feelings there!

I've been very busy for quite a while working on this one. I will do a blog post on it soon. 

In short, life is good. There will always be trials and temptations to lose heart, but we are just not going to do that! God is so good to us all and I am eternally thankful.

I hope you are having a successful and overcoming time with whatever is trying to give you trouble!

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Quilt for Christopher

Christopher is the grandson of a friend of ours. He has made some poor choices in his life and is in the midst of a real battle for his health and sanity. Our church has been praying for him. A lot. I decided to make a quilt for him, too, as a tangible reminder that people care about him. 

This was a quick one to make because I had the components already in hand. The whirlygig or windmill or whatever you choose to call it block is one that I learned to make from the wonderful Wanda of Exuberant Color . I had made those from leftover fabrics from rail fence block quilts I had cut a while back. I also had the sixteen patch blocks already, because that is one of the things I like to sew just to sew. (Sometimes I just want to sew, and not think at all. I keep a big bin of 2 1/2 inch squares by my sewing machine for that purpose.)

The inner border is a 2 inch solid blue and the outer border is 5 inches. The  binding is the same blue fabric and the backing is this wild zig zag flannel. 

Also completed recently is this little orange peel experiment. I will not even claim that it is well done, but I wanted to see how the Go! die worked for that block. Not bad. It fits exactly on a 5 inch square. I used an iron on bonding and zig zagged around the edges.

For those who are curious about how the chicks are coming along, I can only tell you that I waste entirely too much time being entertained by them! Seriously, they are hilarious. 
This picture was taken on the May 18th, and you can see they've already got quite a few of their feathers.

This is a week later. Can you tell that they are already bigger and with more feathers? Exciting times!

My little wild Chloe has evolved over the years she has lived here to a much more sociable kitty. Her affection is still doled out on her terms and at her whim, but it is still good. She makes me laugh!

Buddy and I went for a walk on Tuesday. I snapped this photo on our way back into the driveway.  Don't you love the crepe myrtles "dripping" there!  The mimosa tree on the left is so pretty, too, and the fragrance is wonderful.

There is so much in this wide world for which to be thankful, isn't there? I often think to myself, like Louis Armstrong, "What a Wonderful World"!

Friday, May 12, 2017


I DO finally have a finish. This is actually a bonus finish! It's one of the leftover blocks from this quilt, which I quilted to make a little tv tray mat. My take on Kathy Doughty's Vintage Spin was so much fun. I may seriously have to make another one.

This is the quilt I finally finished. I got stalled on it somehow and put it aside for awhile. But now it is finished and I have to say I like it!  It will be going to our nephew. 

The backing is a tone on tone and the binding is a fun orange "space" fabric. Both are from Connecting Threads.

There are fun fabrics in it that make me smile.
And plenty of pretty ones, too. Lots to see and enjoy. I think he will like it!

Speaking of see and enjoy  - here are a few pictures of our baby chicks. They arrived last Thursday and it has been really hard not to spend too much time out there enjoying their antics! They are growing so fast and have already begun to get their wing and tail feathers. 
The picture on the upper left is the little box they traveled in, and the next two are soon after they moved into their much larger quarters. The one on the lower right is today and you can see if you click on the picture to enlarge it that they have changed quite a bit in just a week. Exciting stuff!
And lots to see and do outside, too. It's no wonder I haven't gotten a lot of quilting done! I do love this time of year when everything is doing its best to show off the prettiest blooms. 
Oh, and the lower left photo is our neighbor Midnight "helping" me tie up cucumber plants. The yarn was just too much for him to resist!

I hope there is plenty going on in your corner of the world that is making you happy. Because. The Lord has given us a lot that is good, even when it looks like bad might be winning!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, May 1, 2017

If only

If only I could say that there is something complete. But alas, there is not. I had hope with this little half square triangle quilt top, but somehow I managed to measure the border incorrectly, so after some ripping I am ready to make another run at it.

Isn't it funny? I had a totally different two border fabrics in mind, ironed and ready to cut, but then, they just weren't right. I think these two are. Now, if I can just get it all sewn together it might actually get finished!

On a much more positive note, my good friend Deb (AKA Wonky Girl) sent me these three very pretty pieces of fabric. Thank you Deb! You are a blessing to me, and to whomever gets the quilts where these fabrics eventually go to live. It will be fun for me to find the perfect project for these happy fabrics!

So, what, you may ask, is it that has kept me busy? Working in the yard, which is slowly but surely coming back under control, and cleaning the garage. Where does all that STUFF come from??? We had to get the garage cleaned, because this week there will be a delivery of some little feathered creatures. I know I said no more chickens, but ...... I want more, and Mr. Muddling delights to give me what I want! Got to love him! And I do.

Our neighbors gave us this little kiddie pool and Mr. Muddling built a wire enclosure for it.

Now there is sheeting draped around it to keep it warm and cosy and a light for warmth. We have the food and water dispensers ready to fill when they get here.

I. AM. SO. EXCITED!!! I can hardly wait.

Meanwhile, there are lots of really pretty things blooming and growing and producing. The picture should enlarge when you click on it. At the very bottom, second from the right you may be able to see the orchid blooms. I can hardly believe it, but almost two months later - they are still holding on to those beautiful flowers. 

I'm giving a try to putting some of the outside flowers, annuals, in pots this year so I can move them around. I am really loving looking out this office window and seeing all those flowers in bloom!

I hope you are happy and healthy and living in joyful expectation of more good things to come!

Hugs and kisses,