Saturday, April 23, 2016

Four Patches that became Nine Patches that became a Quilt

As you might remember, I tend to make a lot of four patches as leader/enders while I'm doing other sewing. And then, too, sometimes I just want to sew something! 

Quite a while back, I had bought some charm packs that I never got around to using. Over time, my hands have developed a real dislike for unwashed fabric, so I washed - very carefully - all the fabrics in the charm packs. They still decided to shrink. I then
trimmed them to 4 1/2 inch squares. 

Coincidentally that is the exact measurement of  the four patches made with 2 1/2 inch blocks, and I thought I would try using those units to make nine patches. So I did.
And this is what it became!  That border fabric was waiting patiently in the stash, and it seems perfect to me. The whole thing went together really fast, and that's a good thing because the lady to whom it is going has a birthday on Monday. When her husband asked me to make a quilt for her, I told him I wasn't at all sure it would be ready in time, but I'm so glad it is! I hope she likes it.
The backing is this pink camouflage type print. I'm smiling when I look at it. I don't know what she will think of it, but her husband is a Vietnam veteran. She's a retired schoolteacher. Somehow it seemed to me that they had both been through the wars!

Here it is in all its freshly washed and dried crinkly sweetness, always my favorite shot of a new quilt.
There has also been some of this going on around here - wedges of batik and Kaffe Fassett fabrics being sewn into circles. I am loving seeing these come together. 

As you may have heard, we had some pretty intense weather in this area the first part of the week. There was a lot of flooding and damage in so many places here in the Houston area, along with many others. I am happy and thankful to report that we had no damage here at Muddle Manor. Lots of rain, but no flooding, thank God! He is so good to us always and we are so thankful. 

I do hope you've taken the time to notice His goodness to you, too!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Happy Quilt for Two Very Special Little Boys

You might remember here where I talked about nothing finished and showed some quarter square triangle blocks I had made. At the time I had several ideas of where they would go, but none of them was exactly "it". You know what I mean?

A couple of weeks ago my sweet sister in law gave me another batch of fabric she had gotten for me at a resale shop, and this chalkboard lettered fabric was among them. PERFECT! Don't you love it when that happens?
The orange rocket ship fabric in the borders and the green plaid flannel are both from Connecting Threads, and the binding fabric is a Deb Strain for Moda I bought years ago. It's croquet balls, can you tell?

Here it is all together, and as you can see Esmeralda has inspected it. I think it met her approval. 

This one is for our Pastor's grandsons. She loves them SO much and talks about them a lot. It seemed to me good to make this for them to enjoy when they visit her. I hope they like it!
In other news, I failed to mention that I added three "new" machines to the herd of them that live here. I know. I do not need any more vintage machines, but I surely do like them. What can I say? 

The top is a Singer Model 15 manufactured in 1952, the center is a Singer Model 404 manufactured in 1958, and the third is a Singer Model 457 manufactured probably 1969. I bought them all online from, and they all worked perfectly after a little cleaning and lubrication from the wonderful Mr. Muddling. These old machines just make me happy, and I am so thankful to have a husband who not only tolerates, but encourages all my little happinesses.

So many things outside are making me so happy. Look at those tiny little figs in the upper left, tomato blossoms upper middle, tiny little lemon lower middle. And at the very lower right is our pecan tree!!! Would you just look at those leaves! Right above it are amaryllis just in glorious bloom! Happy, happy, happy - how can I help it with all that going on out in our very own yard?

Truly, the world is so full of things to enjoy. Our God is good. All the time. I do hope there are some really good things going on with you, too!  Because I love you.

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, April 8, 2016

Bright Boxes and Piano Keys

This happy quilt got finished last night and took a turn in the washer. Today, it went through the dryer and outside for its portrait. It is really bright, but I like bright, and that's a good thing since it will live here.

The backing is this flannel plaid.

And here it is in place in the den. (Notice the dog toys on the floor.)

And yes, they immediately had to try it to be sure it would work. I think it met their approval. There are three dogs and two cats who live in our house It's a matter of self defense to keep as much of the upholstered furniture as possible covered with quilts. When those quilts are bright and happy - that's just a bonus!

Little views around Muddle Manor. The cat on the chicken rooftop lives (supposedly) next door. He likes it here, too. 

I have started a new little garden on the kitchen side of the house. I can see it while I'm at the sink. Doesn't make me like washing dishes any better, but it is pretty anyway. Mr. Muddling fenced off that side so no marauding chickens or dogs allowed. I'm hoping to get lots more done out there before the real heat of Summer gets here.

I bought an Orange Peel die for the Go! cutter a while back and cut out these retro chintz petals. I zig zagged them onto 5 inch squares of solid fabric and sewed them together. The plan (as I laughingly call it) here is to quilt it on the sewing machine for a wall hanging.  

Behind it is yet another project I've begun. You know how it is. There is a never-ending supply of quilts in my head trying to get out!

The weather here is beautiful. I hope you're having some pretty weather where you are, too. Have a great weekend and enjoy yourself!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, March 28, 2016

Chinese Coins Framed in Black

I finished sewing the binding on this llittle quilt last night and sent it for a trip through the washer and dryer.

Here's a closer look. I used a variegated thread on this one. I haven't done that for a while, but somehow it seemed like the right thing. The fabric really is a solid black, but it's hanging on a sunny patio and the sun is shining through it.

The backing is this cute flannel print and there is a multicolored stripe for the binding.

Cuddly, comfy after the wash and dry.

That's Chloe there behind the quilt with Pete, the parakeet hanging over her head. I have to keep an eye on both those cats of ours. They sometimes get an urge to reach out and touch that bird!

I do so love this time of year. I wish I could share the beauty all around with you in person, but for now, it's still mighty nice to see pictures! I am trying to absorb every bit of Spring I can while it lasts. It will be Summer all too soon!

It was cold enough this morning that I turned the heat on for a while. This afternoon we had the air conditioning on, and now the windows are open to the pleasant evening air. Ah, Houston!

I do hope you are having good weather and lots of pretty things to see in your world.. We have been given lots to enjoy, and I am thankful!

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, March 18, 2016

Double Hourglass Quilt for a Friend

This one just makes me so happy.  I had several ideas of how I thought it would end up, but it had a mind of its own, and I'm glad it did. Isn't it fun to see where they will go!

I really like this backing fabric. I've had it for a long time and it seems to be perfect for this one.

The binding is a Jinny Beyer fabric.

Dinah has inspected it and despite her somewhat sour expression, she has approved it.

Not a great picture, but I can't resist showing it in all that crinkly delightfulness!  It you notice there on the right, you 'll see lots of semi-mindless sewing I accomplished last night while I was listening to a recorded book. It's amazing what you can get done while you listen to something interesting!
Here's a little look at what's going on outside. I DO love Springtime!

I was stopped at a light the other day and happened to notice - - - bird nests! Right beside the freeway. You should be able to enlarge the picture if you click on it. Seeing this made me smile. There amid the hustle and bustle two little families made their homes. There is hope for us all!

I do hope you've seen something that gives you hope and maybe a little smile!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Sister Sue

My sister Sue and I grew up in Mississippi. These pictures were all taken in the 50's. Sue is on the left in all of these. She is a year and a half younger than me. Also in the pictures are our parents and my mother's father. 

Sue and I were best friends back in those days. We had only each other to play with most of the time. We played dolls (you might notice my doll Roberta in her carriage there next to Daddy), climbed trees, "helped" Mama in the garden and cleaning house. And of course we found lots to get into that we shouldn't have. Curiosity, you know. We also both developed a life-long love of reading.

I admire my sister Sue's tenacity and determination. She earned scholarships and worked her way through university and then went on to become a pharmacist. She moved to Colorado, where she met and married her sweet husband.

I've been working on this quilt to give to her when they come later this month.

The backing is this constellation patterned turquoise flannel. Seems to be a fitting choice for a star quilt, huh?

I like it a lot. I hope she will, too.

Here's a shot of its crinkly cuddly sweetness after a run through the washer and dryer.
We have had a lot of rain this week, but we needed it, so no worries. The cat belongs next door, but he is perfectly at home here, too. He's actually much friendlier than the spoiled kitties who do live here!

There are so many beautiful and interesting things in this world the Lord has given us. I do hope you have found some to enjoy today!

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Life is Good - Even if Nothing Is Finished!

First of all, I have to say that it is absolutely gorgeous here in the Land of Muddling! Spring has sprung full grown, and I am loving every bit of it. There is just a feast for the eyes virtually everywhere I look.

I was working on this little double hourglass quilt. (You may remember that I posted about it in my last "nothing finished" post here.) I changed it up a bit and I think it's an improvement.

I got the horizontal rows sewn together, and there it sits. 

I decided I wanted to make another star quilt from some of the sixteen patches I've accumulated in between sewing other things and so they have started growing on the design wall. These are big blocks, sixteen inches unfinished, so it won't take many to make a good sized quilt. This one is also still in progress.

The other day Mr. Muddling brought home two big bags of fabric from his sister. She has co-workers on the lookout and they save any fabric that comes into the resale shop for her. She does pay for it, but she gets a good deal and then she gives it to me. She's like me - she likes to give! Thank you, Gloria!

I had to include that little piece of needlepoint there on the top right, because it is so sweet. It says, "A baby is a kiss from heaven blown from the hand of God". 

A lot of the fabric has been washed, dried, folded and incorporated into the stash. My friend Sandy came over to ooh and aaah with me over it all. There were so many fabrics neither of us had seen. It's just fun! And you know we like to have fun.

I am so thankful for all the beautiful things the Lord allows me to enjoy. I'm thankful He allows me to share them with others. I'm really thankful, too, for you - my friends out in blogland. You continually inspire and encourage me. Thank you!

Hugs and kisses,