Friday, September 23, 2016

Pinwheels and Zig Zags


Believe it or not, I'm back with a finish! I'm calling this one Pinwheels and Zig Zags. It is for a very good man we know. This quilt is made with half square triangles cut by me with the Go!Cutter and sewn together by my friend Phyllis into squares. Then I muddled this together. I like it!

Here it is after a wash and dry. I do love that crinkly cuddly look and feel. 

It is backed with a tie dye design fleece and the binding is a shades of blue stripe. Mr. Muddling tested it for me and it is just perfect for our friend to enjoy as he lounges in his recliner. I hope he enjoys it. (And I hope he realizes how hard it was for me to get Mr. Muddling to give it up after testing!)

Thank you so much for all your sweet comments and emails after that last post about my mother. She moved off to heaven on the 12th of September. It's what she's been wanting to do for a while now, so I can't really be sad, though we will all certainly miss her. As I said, she was ninety years old and she had lived a long good life.

Still lots of pretty stuff out there in the yard. I just wish I felt more like getting out there and working. I've had some health issues I'm working through. Nothing major, just got to get all better! You know how it is. Getting older is not for sissies!

Buddy had the first shot to kill those pesky heartworms on Tusday and stayed overnight at the vet's for observation. He has to have absolute quiet and rest (yeah, right!) for a month, then another two shots and another month of rest. He is being very good about it, but he really wants to run and play. However, since it could be fatal to him if pieces of one of those dead critters in there migrated to his lungs, he'll just have to behave.

It's been a tough couple of months, but as our favorite pastor told us years ago, we are not meant to float through life on billowy clouds of ease! We have to fight life through. I've found that is true. Not always fun, but still true. And life is worth the fight!

I hope you've been well and happy and healthy while I've been AWOL from my blog. I'll try to do better, because I like to stay in touch with you. Because I love you!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Winding Down

This is a picture of my sister Sue and me with our mother. I am the blonde, and though you can't tell from a black and white photo, Sue always has had gorgeous auburn hair. Mama is ninety years old now and has been having some health issues. The last week in August she had another stroke and fell. Her right arm is fractured and she has lost a lot of her memory. Mama will probably be transferred to a nursing home/rehab facility next week. My heart is heavy, but at the same time I know she has lived a long, good life. She has had many struggles, but she has been an amazingly strong and determined woman when she wanted to be. 

At the age of forty, she went back to college to finish her degree in elementary education. She went on later to earn a Master's Degree. She taught at the local elementary school for many years. She has never thought of herself as exceptionally strong or intelligent, but she is. I pray that the great God who has taken such good care of her all her life provides for her exactly what she needs now. I am very thankful for my brother who has lived right next door to her for years. He has also taken very good care of Mama and is still doing that to the best of his ability.

Meanwhile, here in the Land of Muddle, Summer is winding down. It is still hot, don't kid yourself! But there are hints of Fall in the air here and there. Buddy is such a good boy. I am thankful for him. Those two chickens are the only ones left! I don't think I will get any more. 

My friend Phyllis sewed together many half square triangles I cut with the Go! Cutter from some of that last batch of fabric I was given by my sweet sister in law Gloria. I'm thinking I may do a simple zig zag design for this one. We'll see. 

I'm still making more blocks for the Scrappy Trips quilt. I got six of them put together in the last couple of days.

And here are six more ready to sew together.

I got all the 2 1/2 inch strips cut for the Christmas quilts that Sandy, Phyllis and I are making. Now I need to cut sashing strips from these whites. (Millie, do you see your Christmas strips under these? I won a giveaway on Millie's blog several years ago and made this quilt from them.)

It seems there is a lot of pain, anger and sadness in our world now. I know that it's there, and in a lot of cases it is valid. However, giving in to those feelings usually only makes things worse. I choose to look on the good things, the things that make me happy. Many of you who read this are people who make me happy. Your positive attitude, your talent, your willingness to share your knowledge all make this world a better place. I'm thankful for you!

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Life Goes On

It's been almost two weeks since my best friend Bruno left us. I still miss him and I'm pretty sure I always will. But I am so thankful for Buddy! Isn't that the sweetest smile?

Buddy has fit into our life almost as if he'd always been here. I do love him. He and the girl dogs get along just fine. The cats are still very irate that he has invaded their space!

I finished a little string quilt.

Here it is in all its crinkly cuddly-ness.

I decided the Scrappy Trips needed more blocks, so I am working on getting those sewn together. The strips all came from my 2 inch strips bins (otherwise known as ice cream buckets).
And, my friends Phyllis and Sandy and I decided that we should make a Christmas quilt in the Dancing Nine Patch pattern. I cut lots of 2 1/2 inch strips and divided them out to us all. I still have the background strips to cut, which will be white for this one. We saw a picture on facebook and wanted to make ourselves one! You know, once in a while you just have to make one for yourself.

It's hard to believe that August is almost over. Fall will be here before we know it, and I, for one, am ready for it!

I hope things are going well in your world, and that you have at least one thing that makes you very happy indeed.

Hugs and kisses,

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,