Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Meanwhile at Muddle Manor

A baby boy quilt has been completed except for the binding. 

I am pretty sure you can't go wrong with sock monkeys.

I rest my case.

My friend Sandy surprised me the other day with this beautiful quilt she made for me. She said, you are always making quilts for other people and I wanted to make one for you. She assures me that it is soft and cuddly and I should use it to wrap up in. And she is absolutely right. But right now I just want to look at it in all its glory. I want to look at it a lot. Friendship means a lot to me. And to see this tangible evidence of it each time I go into the quilting room just blesses me!

Sandy's sister Peggy quilted my new treasure.  Peggy is a new longarm quilter. She's been making quilts for a long time, but recently took the plunge to get a longarm machine for herself. Can I just say that she has totally put me to shame with her beautiful quilting. Isn't it gorgeous!

And because everyone should have several projects going at once (right?) I have a new one I've been pondering for a while up on the design wall. I'm still playing around with placement of the pieces, but so far I like it a lot.

Late night snack - whole grain cereal with strawberries and bananas - yummy!

I am so blessed in so many ways. I am truly thankful. With all its challenges and trials, life is still a wonderful gift.

I do hope there are many, many good and perfect gifts in your life!

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

David the Nurse

The quilt Miss Ru requested for one of her nurses, David, is complete. David was going to have surgery and then be off from work for six weeks. Ruthie, of course, was touched by this and asked me to make a quilt for him. It has taken me a bit longer than usual to get it done, but I am happy with the end product.

I think he will like it.  As you can see, Bruno worked so hard helping me that he had to take a nap.
Here's a closer look at some of the quilting. It is all freehand, just muddling along. It was fun.

And here is another look after it went through the washer and dryer - all crinkly and cuddly and soft.
If you've ever wondered what it would look like to lie on the floor and look up through the quilting while it's still on the frame ----- this would be it.  It looks like some really big holes, doesn't it. But don't worry - they all go away when it's washed.

Here is the official portrait, outside, washed, dried and held up by the incomparable Mr. Muddling!

For the backing I used two bird panels framed in some Jinny Beyer fabric. I like the back almost as well as the front.

Oh, and I wanted to share with you this strange shot I got of the moon very early Monday morning. There really was a ring around the moon and those clouds. 

I do hope you are having a wonderful week. I am. And I am extremely thankful!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

We Almost Have a Dining Room Again

I'm beginning to see a faint light at the end of the tunnel. I can almost see the dining room again. We moved the treadle machine over in front of the window, so that will have some good natural light when I'm ready to do a little treadling.  And you can't really see it, but at last my piano is accessible again and I can play! Not that well, but we won't talk about that.

We have created two separate beds in there for the cats. The litter box is under the one to the right. Sorry. But it has to go somewhere and I do not want it in the quilting room. Our cats are both girls and they don't really like each other that much, but they are managing to co-exist. Believe it or not, it took me most of one night to empty that bookcase there on the right, clean everything and put it all back. That tells me for sure that I have been neglecting basic housework for a loooooong time! Maybe I'll do better. Maybe.

These little Scottie dog bookends were made by a second cousin many years ago. He gave them to my grandparents and I ended up with them. Aren't they sweet! The books are some that our girls enjoyed and are some of the few that we still have. These will stay in the quilting room on one of the shelves, just because I like to see them there.

Mr. Muddling put up a curtain rod behind the quilting frame for me to display quilts. This one is Deb's Stars made from blocks given to me by dear Wonky Girl. It seems to me a happy quilt and makes me smile.

My favorite machine - a 1940 Singer 401 is in the case here on top of the red sewing machine table Mr. Muddling rehabbed for me. And yes, there is another quilt in the works here. It's good to have a variety ready to play. Only trouble is, by the time I'm done with cleaning, there's no energy left for playing with fabric. But soon. Soon!

I've been surprised how much trouble there is to get the relatively simple financial affairs of our daughter settled. We talked more than once of giving me a power of attorney for all her affairs, but never did it. Somehow we always thought she would be her usual Energizer Bunny self and get back up and go some more. Bless her heart, she tried.

Time does help, so does hard work and interesting things to do and things that make me happy. Visiting my blogging friends again makes me happy. I have learned so much from you all over the years and I am thankful for these somewhat ephemeral friendships. They are real nonetheless!

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Neglected to Post

Somehow I forgot to post pictures of this quilt I made for Quilts of Compassion. Since a big purpose of this blog is to provide a record of quilts I've made, I wanted to get it on the blog. This is not the best picture.  Apparently the day I took it was a cloudy day. These are more of the strip sets I made for an earlier quilt. This time I sashed them in purple and used a border of green with purple flowers. It really does look better in person than it does here. I promise.

See?  This is a truer representation of the colors.

This jungle bird fabric is the backing, and you can get a little look at the binding there as well.

There has been a little progress on the quilt I'm working on right now, but not a whole lot. 

And that is because we have been doing a lot of cleaning, painting and rearranging around here. We've been working on getting Miss Ru's bedroom transformed into my quilting room. That involved repainting her very purple room a much lighter color.

We're not done yet and those quilts will not stay on the quilt frame, but they sure do look pretty on there right now, don't they? That quilt frame is over twelve feet long! It completely takes up one wall, but it will be nice to be able to close the door on it and keep certain four-footed little beasties off the quilts in progress! Dinah, of course, feels sure that the change is purely to benefit her.

Having hard physical work that we want to do helps so much right now. There is still SO much to do. Still lots of "stuff" that will have to be stored, kept, given away, etc. Lots has already been done, but there are still stacks of personal correspondence and things of that sort. Frankly, I'm not ready yet to deal with all that. But one day I will be ready.

Thank you all so much for your sweet messages and emails. That you think of us and pray for us is such a blessing any time, but especially right now.

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Sewing helps. I have always liked the Agatha Christie fictional detective Hercule Poirot.  One of his frequent sayings was "method and order". I think of that often as I am piecing quilts. There does have to be method and order, and as my friend Sandy says, sewing is one of the few things we have any control over.

It makes me happy that I can methodically add elements to my design wall and start to see a pattern.

One of the last things Miss Ru asked was that I make a quilt for one of the nurses who had taken care of her. He had surgery while she was still in the hospital and would be off work for a while afterward.  This one will be for David. It is taking longer than usual, but there are extenuating circumstances. I think he will still be touched that her last quilt request was for him. That was Ruthie. She loved people, especially nurses!

I made a couple of these blueberry banana pies for Mr. Muddling's coworkers. They have been so kind to him and to our family. I hear they were happy to see these.  I do know I got nicely cleaned pie plates returned.

Seeing our little flock of chickens roaming the back yard always makes me happy. It is so hot here now that I like to let them find shade and cool wherever they can. 

And of course the flowers and fruits growing out there make me happy, too. I'm glad to see that we have a banana stalk in production, and there are cherry tomatoes, too. Most things have given up and retreated from the heat.

We are doing a lot cleaning and cleaning out. There is still plenty left to do, but we're working on it. You'll be happy to know that a young friend of ours was beyond happy to take all of Miss Ru's high heels. So many of them had never even been worn, but Ruthie did love her shoes. 

And like Miss Lady, we are catching up on our rest. That helps, too.

Thank you for all the sweet messages and comments. I am so thankful for my blog friends. I do hope you are finding plenty to make you happy, too.

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Miss Ru

This is the way I prefer to think of Miss Ru - always that beautiful smile, always a loving sister, a loyal friend, a truly wonderful daughter.  

Miss Ru moved off to heaven and left us last Wednesday night. I know I've been absent from the blog, but it's been almost unbearable. I still expect her to come in and visit with me, ask me why I'm not sewing, and who's getting the next quilt. 

Please don't misunderstand me. I wouldn't bring her back if I could. She spent the last seven and a half weeks of her life in intensive care units. Doctors and medical staff, for the most part, did all they could to get her the help she needed. Cystic fibrosis is a mean disease, and Miss Ru fought it with all that was in her. She never let it define her, but brushed herself off after every battle, put on her makeup and high heels, and got right back to living her life. She was truly the strongest, most courageous person I've ever known. But her little body had just taken all it could take. As the minister at her memorial service said, "Wouldn't you have loved to see her step into heaven and take that first free, unencumbered breath?!" Yes, I would, and I'm so happy she never has to suffer again.

I do not intend to stay in this place of grief, but there do have to be times of tears and laughter as we remember our precious Ruthie. Life will never be the same for Mr. Muddling and me, nor for our other children, but we will see her again and I take great comfort from that. 

Give those you love a big hug. Kiss them and tell them you love them. Be sure that you, too, have the promise of being reunited with loved ones on the other side of this life.

And since I haven't told you lately, I love you. I value your friendship in this blog world. I pray that your home is a happy one and that you find joy in living. With all its disappointments and sorrows, it's still a wonderful life!

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, July 13, 2014


The Churn Dash quilt for Quilts of Compassion "Quilts for the South" quilt drive is completed. Finally. I had these blocks already made. (That's the thing about churn dash blocks - they are a tiny bit addictive once you start making them.) I sashed, cornerstoned and bordered those blocks, then got it quilted, trimmed and bound. Now it is ready to go. That makes two completed from me.

This one was made by my friend Phyllis. She thought it would make someone happy to have a western-themed quilt, and I'm sure she's right. It is such a vibrant quilt. I wish you could see it in person, and don't you love that red wood plank fabric she used as backing!

I also very much like the label Phyllis put on this quilt.

Meanwhile out in the back yard, things are growing still, even in the heat and one of our silly chickens is trying to hatch a stone egg. The center photo is figs on that tree behind the chicken in the photo on the left. They are juicy and delicious! I've canned a dozen half pints of fig preserves. Some of that is on its way to my mother. It is one of her favorites, so I'm very glad we have had a harvest this year. It was so dry the past few years that there were very few figs. This year, thank God!, we've had plenty of rain, so the tree is loaded with figs.

And.......Miss Ru is being transferred to the Houston Medical Center this morning, as I type, for evaluation as a possible lung transplant recipient. It's just the first step of a very long process, but it IS a start.  Thank you all so much for your kind emails, thoughts, and prayers for our family during this time. It means so much to us all. I show Ruthie your comments and emails and she is so grateful. I wish you could see that gorgeous smile in person!

I am so thankful for so many things. We had a pastor years ago who used to tell us not to expect "to float through life on flowery beds of ease", and that's certainly true. There is a reason the Apostle Paul told his son-in-the-faith Timothy (1 Timothy 6:12) to FIGHT the good fight of faith. Life is often a fight. But the good news is we win!  I've read the back of the Book.

If you don't know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I truly hope and pray that you get to know Him, because the day will surely come when you will be glad you do!

Hugs and kisses and lots of love,