Monday, August 29, 2011


This is what we saw a lot of on Saturday.  My sister and her daughter drove down for a visit with us.  Our niece has three children under four years of age.   This is the two oldest, Savannah and Ethan.  I could NOT  get a picture of them that was not blurred.  They are perpetual motion.

And this is Miranda, being fed by Mr. Muddling.  Note the arm action she has going. 

I think our neighbor probably saved our lives. After I told her about the young guests we were expecting, she suggested I borrow some of the toys she keeps on hand to entertain her young visitors.

Oh, yeah.  That helped!
We did have a very nice visit and lunch together before they had to head back home.  I am forever in awe of people who manage to deal with small children on a daily basis and make it look easy!

And today I am back to making more four-patches.

They, along with some friends, are slowly and steadily growing on the design wall.  You know, I do so love these 1930's reproduction prints.  They just make me happy.

Hope you're finding plenty to make you happy, too.

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I love Texas.  I wasn't born here, but I've been here for a long time, and there is still so much to this state I haven't seen.  The picture above is from a book by Wyman Meinzer entitled "Texas Hill Country".

Wyman Meinzer's West Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.

Wyman Meinzer has been named Texas State Photographer by the Texas Legislature.  Looking at his photographs, you can tell that he loves Texas, too.  Everyone has their own idea of what Texas is, and we're all wrong and we're all right.  It's a big place, and it's a lot of things to a lot of people.  I truly  hope that those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure someday soon get to visit.  There's a lot to see.

Speaking of things I like to see - I got a lovely package in the mail today from Connecting Threads.  They have some really nice fabrics (these were all on sale!!), and I love their thread.

As one of my no-blog friends recently discovered, a stash is a wonderful thing.  Especially when it means that you don't have to go out shopping in this heat!

 I have one row sewn together on this quilt.

And lots more strip pieced units that need to be cut apart and pressed and then sewn again.  You know the drill.

I'll leave you with another photograph from the book.  The Texas bluebonnets really do look like a blue sea in places in the Spring.  Just beautiful!

I do so hope you are finding lots where you are that makes you happy!

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I've been cutting 2 1/2 inch strips

and sewing them to strips of the reproduction 1930's fabric.

I've been playing with some of the half square triangles sewn from the flannel squares.  The one at the top left is already trying to leave the design wall.  LOL! Lots more of them need to be sewn before there will be enough for a quilt for our bed, which is where they are headed.  But before I can do that, I will have to trim more of the squares I have to a uniform size and sew them together in pairs.  Funny, flannel is so much thicker than regular quilting cotton that a pile of finished squares looks like a lot more than it really is.  That's what I get for not planning more.  I am so bad about just starting something and then figuring it out as I go.  (Muddling, you know?)

I've cut a nice stack of muslin squares that will eventually become another string quilt.

I've been drinking a LOT of the "nectar of the South", iced tea.

I don't really even want to talk about this.  Yep, another project begun and not yet finished.  Oh dear.

And Chloe, my mentor and constant overseer says that I should just lighten up and take a nap.  And to please stop disturbing her!  Oh brother.

I guess really and truly it is just that it is SO hot here and I am so tired of being cooped up inside.  I'm ready to get out and play in the dirt, but it's too hot and too dry.  I am ready for fall.  Seriously.  Now.

Hope you're having more success with your doing right now!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A String Quilt with Geishas

Almost two years ago I made a start at a string quilt.  I only got four blocks made and then I quit.  But this week I have started over and actually finished!  Yippee!

Isn't it pretty?  I had some serious issues with it, but that was mainly due to my own laziness uh, failure to press as well as I should have before beginning to quilt it.  I have already cut more foundation squares, so yes - I will be making more of these.  Millie told me way back then that I would love it when I finally made one and she was right!

Also, I decided to try using fleece as a backing.  Isn't this geisha fleece unusual?  Truthfully, I did not like the fleece for the backing.  It was hard to quilt.  I don't know if it was me, the machine or the fact that I did not use a batting and it was thinner than usual.  I don't think I'll repeat that experiment.  But.  It did made a very nice quilt.  There are way too many not-right-at-all places in this one for me to give it away, so it will just have to live here.  Mr. Muddling is already envisioning the fights he and Miss Ru will have over it when the cold weather shows up here.  (I am waiting patiently for cooler weather myself.  I live in hope!)

This is me and my first born.  Larry was born four days after my twenty-first birthday, and he's still the nicest birthday present I've ever received.  We celebrated our joint birthdays last Sunday.  Even though we live right here in the same (really big) town, we don't see each other nearly enough.

There are still some pretty things blooming out there in our yard.  We really do need rain though.

I hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pressing and Cutting and Cutting and Cutting and a Little Sewing

I've been cutting lots and lots of little 2 inch by 3 and a half inch pieces from my multitudinous scrap piles.

I want to make a quilt from this pattern on the cover.  I somehow don't think this will be a quick one to make.  LOL  I first saw it at Sunburnt Quilts when I was trolling through one of Amy's online Quilt Festivals.  There is always so much inspiration there, it keeps me going for quite a while.  Anyway, Karen did such an excellent job on her quilt that I just really wanted to make one, too.  Yesterday I started cutting leftovers into those little bitty rectangles.  Maybe one of these fine old days I'll actually get it made into a quilt!

Yes, I really do just cram them into a box after making a quilt.  I figure I'll get around to using them sooner or later and I can't bear to just pitch them out.

Of course they have to be ironed first before I can begin to do anything with them.

Frankly, it's just toooooo hot to do anything outside.  I do what absolutely has to be done and then I get myself back inside.  Air conditioning is my friend!

Seriously, it's 98 degrees out there right now at a little after four p.m.  The heat index is 106.

So, I sew.  This little pile is on the bed in my sewing room.

It has grown into this so far.  There is some talk that I might need a quilt intervention, but really, what else can I do?  Oh, yeah, clean the house.  Maybe later!  LOL

Hope you're finding lots to do and having fun!

Hugs and kisses,


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Two Tips and A Finish

Probably you already know about using your ironing board to help you hold a quilt when you are sewing the binding on, but just in case you didn't, that's tip number one.

Tip number two is the great usefulness of an ice cream bucket (or any other similarly sized container).  I've found that I can just put my binding in the bucket and it doesn't wander all around the floor while I'm trying to attach it to my quilt.  You know, helps it to behave.  LOL

And yes, I'm one of those.  I always sew my bindings on with the sewing machine.  I really plan for these to be used and washed and loved, so I want them to be sturdy.  (Plus, I'm just not there for all that sewing by hand.)

And here is the finished project, "Burnt Orange".  It's a lot prettier in person.  I couldn't somehow get the colors to look the same in a photo.

Here, up close and personal you can get a little better idea of the true colors.

And the back.  I made this one for a long-time friend of ours.  He and a partner own a mechanic shop that takes care of our vehicles.  He is that rare breed - one that you can trust to tell you the truth and be fair with you.  He has had a lot of health problems over the past few years and has beaten a fair number of them.  Right now he's going through dialysis.  Mr. Sweetie's and my hope is that he will feel our love and the love of the Lord when he's covered with this gift.

Out in the back yard, we still have a lot that's pretty to see, even in the midst of this drought.  (By the way, I'm so happy that our Governor Perry called today as a day of prayer and fasting for our country.  According to reports, there was a huge crowd gathered at Reliant Stadium here in Houston to pray.  I watched a lot of it streamed live.  And I prayed a lot, too.)

This view is from inside the chicken yard looking toward my sewing room.  If you look very closely, you can see Claude right in the center.

And this is the area Mr. Muddling and I fixed up for our nesting chickens.  We set it all up the other day.  My sweet husband got out in the heat and put up another fence small enough that a chick could not escape through it.  Then we moved the eggs and the two hens who had been sitting on them.  They would have nothing to do with the eggs, the little house we made for them or anything else.  Matter of fact, they kicked up such a fuss that I finally let them out and let them go back into the chicken yard with the other chickens.  I'm think I'm through with efforts to raise baby chicks.  I like the idea of it, but the cold, hard facts have proven to be something else entirely!

I do hope you are having a wonderful weekend, and that you are having success in your endeavors.  It's always such a good feeling when things go right, isn't it!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Let's Talk About the Perfect Ones

I'd like to pretend that all my junctions are practically perfect like this one.  I'd really love to be able to tell you how I accomplished this phenomenon

Or even close to perfect, like this one.  That would be acceptable.  Quite.

But the sad fact is that there are always a few that are terribly off like this one.  Hard as I try, I am just not perfect.  Wish I was, but I'm not.

I am so impressed and humbled by those of you who can sew a multitude of little pieces together perfectly.  But for now I'll just have to admire your expertise and keep on doing the best I can.  (And live in hope that I will continue to improve!)

I have this quilt on the frame now, and I'm hoping to get it finished tonight.  We'll see.

It is VERY hot here, but this IS Houston, and it IS August, so that's just what you get here usually.  Some of us cope by taking it easy.

Some of us do our best to ignore it.

And some of us opt for cool treats.

Me?  I'm just laying low, hoping it will be cooler soon.

Hope you're having good weather where you are, and lots of fun, too!

Hugs and kisses,