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,

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Progress or Lack Thereof

So, I have a grand total of ten of the double diamond blocks completed for Step 2 of the Grand Illusion Mystery. But I think I have it figured out now. Just haven't made any more yet. But I will. I will. Honest.


Step 3 is WAY easier. Here is the start of it. I don't anticipate problems making the full amount of these. Just have to find the time.
Yes, the dogs are on the edge of their seats (bed) cheering me on. Note Lady's big yawn!

I finished the top for this lap size quilt and got the backing cut. My friend Sandy's sister Peggy is going to quilt this one for me. Thank you Peggy!!!

I have the borders sewn on to the "tropical" quilt top I made to reinforce my confidence. Backing is chosen, but not assembled. 

Our sweet neighbor Eva shared with us some of the delicious peanut brittle she made. Oh, my, it was (yes, WAS) so good! 


I picked the last of the butterbeans on Thursday and got them shelled. When my siblings and I were children we always had a big garden at our house. It was a matter of necessity to have enough food to stretch the grocery budget through the winter months. We always liked shelling these colorful beans best of all. And they taste good, too!



Christmas came early for me!  Mr. Muddling added two charms to my bracelet. They are so pretty! 

Christmas is approaching so fast and I am far behind on my preparations. I have LOTS of cookies that need to be baked, so that will have to happen soon.

I do hope you are having a good time and that you are doing a better job than I am of staying on track with your projects.

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, December 8, 2014

Humbled

After being so proud of myself and confident (after all I had completed all of step one of the Grand Illusion Mystery ahead of time!) I hit the wall with Part 2.  I just could not seem to wrap my head around how the double diamond blocks worked. I have finally managed to get a whopping four blocks (out of the required 100) done. And they are far from perfect. As I said in the blog title - humbled.

Naturally I had to do something to restore my confidence levels, so I started making these cute little blocks. I have four different fabrics that I cut from and just kept adding borders until I got them the size I wanted (in this case 8 1/4 inches).

Here's another one. These just make me happy.

And here are all thirty blocks on the design wall.  I am using the bright orange batik as sashing between the blocks. Ah, much better.

Here's another stress reliever (What, you didn't know that stressed spelled backward is desserts??) The is a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread. It's made in the crock pot!  If you click on the link it will take you to the recipe. It uses fresh cranberries and canned pumpkin and turns out really good, and moist, too!

This was lunch today. A friend posted a picture on that great tempter, Facebook, today and it inspired me to make this. It's just sliced potatoes and chopped onions, sauteed in a little canola oil, then add chopped smoked sausage and a couple of handfuls of those lovely long thin green beans (mine were frozen), sprinkle of garlic powder and cooked in my cast iron skillet with its lid on over low/medium heat until done. Keep an eye on it and turn every little once in a while. I know, very involved recipe, huh? It was good though!

These African violets blooming in the kitchen window make me happy, too. I am all about being happy!  How about you?

I do hope you are having a good week so far. I'm not giving up on the mystery quilt. I will conquer!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Happy

Look at this block. It just makes me smile. I see fabrics that I like, for different reasons. The black is one of a stash pack I purchased from Wanda. Thinking of her always makes me smile. I have learned so much from her over the years of reading her blog. Such a generous heart!

I used my Go! cutter for the little half square triangles. 

AND....I'm really happy that all 100 of the blocks for Part One of the Grand Illusion Mystery are complete!!!

I even completed the other 80 hst's required, and a few extras. I'm on a roll!  Just hope I can continue at this pace. I am excited.

Last night I finished sewing this little top together and now am thinking about borders. It's not quite big enough, so it needs some pretty good sized borders.

And wouldn't you know it, I have ideas for more! At least I'm never bored.

What's exciting in your world?  I hope you're having a really good week!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, December 1, 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery

I'm going to try once again to make a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. At least this time I have a pretty good start made. (To my shame, I have actually started and abandoned a couple of these mysteries before.) 




That is 31 completed blocks for the first step. And you can see I have components beside my favorite machine (a Singer 1940 Model 201) ready to put together. I think I can. I think I can!



We did get our Christmas tree up over the weekend, always a good thing!


And today I made a pecan pie. There might have been some of it consumed by me. Maybe.

We have a cold front blowing in right now, so the pleasant days of being able to enjoy the swing on the patio are done for now. But it is a good reason stay inside and sew. ;)

Hope your week has started off well!

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Two More for Quilts of Compassion!

This little girl quilt is finished at last.
There's no real reason it wasn't finished before, I just found something else to do in the meantime. You do know how that is, don't you?

The backing is Disney princesses. My friend Phyllis got in some quilting practice on this one. I think she did a great job!

And the same story with this little boy quilt. I just got interested in something else and pushed this one, too, to the back burner.

I do like it, and I hope some little boy will like it, too.

The backing is the story of "The Little Engine that Could". I remember my mother reading this story to us when we were children. I think I can, I think I can. Do you remember that one, too?

This will complete our shipment to Quilts of Compassion for this time around. I am thankful to have them all done before Thanksgiving. Now to clean the house and cook!

I do hope you will have time this week to spend with those you love. I'm thankful to still have that opportunity with at least some of our family!

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rosemary's Stars Quilt

The stars quilt is finished and I am calling it Rosemary's Stars, because it will be going to Rosemary. My sister in law Rosemary is a very capable woman (and a sweet one, too).  But you know even very capable people sometimes go through things that are hard to handle. I'm hoping this quilt will help if even in only a small way.

I have dawdled about finishing this quilt because frankly I did not know to whom it would be going.  I usually know ahead of time, but this time I did not know until last night. And once I knew, it finished very quickly (or at least it seemed that way to me, though it was after two-thirty this morning before my head hit the pillow!)

You know I like red, and this one has plenty of red in it, but there are other pretty colors as well. I think the gold tracings on the fabric add a lot to its pizzazz! 

The backing is a sweet pink fabric that I've had in the stash for a while, and the binding is this black and cream stripe from Connecting Threads. I like it! (By the way, they have some really pretty fabrics in the clearance section. Just saying.)

And.....Mr. Muddling and I noticed on our way to church this morning that there is actually some Autumnal color going on in the trees. This is not that usual for Houston, but it surely is pretty!

It's been a beautiful day here today, and quite warm. The cold is due back tonight, but it won't be extreme this time around, so that's fine with me. Good thing, huh, since I can't change it! 

I hope you've had a happy weekend and for those of you in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving if I don't get back on here before then!

Hugs and kisses,