Friday, September 30, 2011


Remember, I said a few days ago that I wanted to make rosella cordial from the bush growing out in our garden.  I did it.  It's actually pretty good, sort of like a fruit punch.
The color of course is what I really like - RED!!!  I had a pretty big colander full of the rosella pods or whatever.  I followed Rhonda's directions and peeled off the red leaf thingies (calyx) to make the cordial syrup.  You use a small amount (to taste) of this syrup to make the cordial.  A squeeze of lemon improves the taste, I think.  This site is talking about making jam, but you get a little more information about the plant and more pictures.  I only got one lone bottle out of that bunch, but I may make more later.  It's just interesting to try things, to see if you can actually do them, don't you think?

This morning was so nice that I worked out in the back yard for a while.  I trimmed bushes and vines and then cleaned out the chicken house and put fresh hay in the nest boxes.  (Yes, the chickens were happy.)  Bruno watched everything with great interest and kept everyone in line.  Later he got a bath, and now he is resting on "his" bed in the sewing room as I type this.  What a life!

This afternoon our son dropped by for a quick visit.  Here he's showing Mr. Muddling his latest fishing trip pictures.  Those two surely do love to go out in the boat fishing!

And this is what's on my little design wall right now.  Bonnie Hunter is another who is so generous with her patterns and expertise.  This one is called Strip Twist.

I've got most of the squares made, I think I just need two more, then I'll start sewing them all together.  If I can stop playing around with them and moving them here and there. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with lots of fun things to do and see!

Hugs and kisses,


Monday, September 26, 2011

Texas Quilt

I finished the little big boy's quilt early this morning.  His name is Bill, so I marked it for him real good!

I don't know that it's altogether fair to call it a Texas quilt, but it makes me think of some of what people think of when they think of Texas, especially young people - horses and cowboys.

This was such a fun quilt to make.  The tumblers just went together so easily!  And the bright, cheery colors and fabrics and designs just made it that much better.

It's been through the washer and dryer now and is soft and crinkly and totally huggable.

I had thought I would put a red and white binding on the quilt, but when I tried it, I just didn't like it.  The green seems to work pretty well, don't you think?  Our church congregation will pray over this quilt on Sunday morning and then give it to young Bill.  He will have a tangible piece of comfort to take with him when he goes to his new home.  I really pray that he will be blessed there and that he will be a blessing.  He is so incredibly sweet.  I wish you could see him.

I have one lonely zinnia that just grew of its own volition out in the garden.  It's the only one I have this year anywhere on our property, and I think it is doing its best to have a good showing.  It has bloomed like this for months, even in drought situations.  Got to love it!

And this little rose is the most electric orange I've ever seen!  The little rain we had last week has encouraged it to bloom some more.

I know we're supposed to be moving into Autumn here, but you'd never know it.  We're in the upper nineties all week according to the weather forecasters.  But as long as I'm in here in the air conditioning, it sure does look pretty outside.

Hope everything in your world is behaving itself!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where Shall We Start?

Well, for one thing, Ray is a lot more amenable after Bruno and I had a little talk with him.  It could have something to do with those several missing tail feathers, but you'd have to ask Bruno about that.

Claude is still sure the world (that would be me) owes him food in his bowl several times a day.  Even though he hisses at me and will not let me near him.

I've started another quilt.  I'll tell you more about this one later, but I'm really liking it so far.

I've cut out lots of tumblers for a quilt for a little, excuse me - big boy.  He is the foster child of a family at our church and he will be leaving for another state next month by judicial order to live with a family member there.  He's been through a lot, but he has such a wonderful personality and no bitterness at all.  I thought he might like a quilt that would remind him a bit of Texas.  (You may have figured out that I got the tumbler die for my Go! cutter.  It is so fast, and look at those cute little trimmed corners.  I have a feeling this one is going to go together easily.  Yippee!)

Four rows of the Christmas apple cores are sewn together.  I really like this one.  It goes together so fast and so well.  And then when I have enough of the curvy lines I can move over to another project.

The lemons are beginning to ripen.
I'm really glad I covered the lemon tree up so well during the cold weather earlier this.  It's hard to even remember how cold it got, it's been so hot this summer.  It's been a year of extremes.

I planted some rosellas this year.  I had read about them on Rhonda's blog, Down to Earth a while back and decided I'd try them.  Obviously they grow well here.  Which figures, since it is part of the hibiscus family.  The red things you see there along the stem are what is left after it flowers.  The flowers do not even last one day and they are not the big showy flowers of the hibiscus we are used to seeing here.  Anyway, it seems that you can make jam and jelly and a cordial from them.  It's on my list of things to do.  We'll see.

And finally, here's a little peek at what is still blooming out there.  That rain we had helped everything breathe again, I think, but we need more.  The mornings and evenings are a little cooler.  I can almost feel the promise of Fall in the air.

Hope you're finding plenty of interesting things to do and see where you are!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Public Service Reminder

Driving toward beautiful downtown Houston this morning I was reminded

That it's only a little over six weeks until

             International Quilt Festival
             George R. Brown Convention Center
             Houston, Texas
             November 3-6, 2011

And of course, Quilt Market is October 29 - 31, but I am neither a vendor nor a buyer (try telling Mr. Muddling that!), so I can not go to that one.

And then once again I sat outside the lab and waited for Miss Ru to finish getting yet more of her blood drawn for tests.  (I don't know why I called this a potholder last time I showed it.  It is a dishrag in the making, and though it looks blue, it is quite purple.  Waiting at doctor's offices is the only time I work on crochet in the warmer weather usually, so it has grown slowly.  And that's a good thing.)

The view outside.  We had another little shower this morning.  Glory to God!  The rain is just so welcome here right now!  It had stopped raining by the time we headed to the Medical Center and you can see by the first pictures on this post - it was already clearing up quite nicely.  Ru has a couple of weeks of IV antibiotics ordered by her doctor and the nurse is here right now getting her set up for that. 

Ruthie had to fast for the blood work this morning, so she was starving by the time we finished at the doctor's.  We decided to treat ourselves to lunch at Luby's.  Sorry, I didn't think to take a picture until I had started.  (I was a little bit hungry, too.)  That chocolate pie you can just get a glimpse of in the upper left is Ru's.

This cherry pie was mine.  I did save half for Mr. Muddling though.  It was so good!

In other news, Bruno and I had to have a little talk with Ray this afternoon.  When I went into the chicken pen this morning to be sure they had food and water, Ray decided I had no business there and proceeded to fly at me as I left.  I was not hurt.  At all.  But.  No one that I feed is going to attack me!  I hope he understands now.  We'll see.

Hope all is restrained and contained in your world.  LOL

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Oh, It's A Happy Day!

Because look at all that wet stuff out there!  Hallelujah!  We finally got some rain this afternoon.  Oh, when it has been so dry for so long, the rain is just glorious.  It feels like the whole of nature is just rejoicing in the refreshing.  I know I am.  I went out in the rain and got all my buckets lined up to catch rainwater.  My plants will thank me later.

And look at this pile of apple core Christmas beauties!  I have been having so much fun with my Go! cutter.  My Sweetie Pie gave me a GOOD birthday present!  I have wanted to make an apple core quilt since I saw the one that Anna had on her blog a while back.  I just did NOT want to cut all those curvy pieces.  And I didn't!  Yay!  Seriously, I cranked all these out on the Go in no time!  It helps, too, that there is a little notch on each curved part to match to anther core's curved part.

Here are three of the pieces sewn together but not pressed.  Really easy to sew together.  I like that.  Easy is good.

And here are a bunch of strips sewn together.  It's shaping up nicely, huh?  There's just something about Christmas fabrics that make me happy.  Anticipation maybe?  Anyway, I'm having fun with them.

And here's another shot of that rain, because it really made me happy!  It's stopped now, but I can almost imagine the grass starting to turn back to green from the dried up brown it's become.  I'm going out now to let the chickens out to explore all the newly watered back yard.  They will love it!

I hope you're having happiness where you are, too.  There is so much that is good in this old world.  Better to think on those things.

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Drunkard's Path

Looks like there would be a better name for that pattern, especially since this one is a gift for a church administrator.  LOL  I don't know if that's really her title, but if it isn't, it should be.  She's a wonderful woman of faith and a great blessing to our church.  To me, she's still a young woman, but she has a great love for quilts and for the older patterns and fabrics.  So I hope she likes this one.  ('s a surprise!)

I've used this seed packet fabric before.  I like it a lot.  And it seems to be pretty happy with the front fabric as well. 

I've mentioned before that I machine sew the bindings onto my quilts.  I thought tonight I would give you a little mini tutorial on how I do that.  First of all, I use 2 1/2" strips of fabric, cut selvedge to selvedge, and then sewn together.  Press seams open, fold in half along the length of the fabric and press.  Now, sew the raw edge to the back side of the quilt sandwich. 

As you can see from the previous picture, I leave a little extra fabric when I am sewing around the corners, and I don't sew it quite all the way to the edge of the corner.  After sewing the rest of the binding to the quilt back, go back and pick up each of the corners.  Fold it in half with the corner of the quilt right in the middle.  Starting at the quilt side, sew a "V".


Then all you have to do is clip those corners off,

and turn it toward the front of the quilt.  I really like this little pointy thing.  I got it for free when I bought something, probably a book, years ago.  It does a great job of making those corners look good.

Now all you have to do is machine sew to the front, trying to keep your stitching pretty well in the same orientation on the front and back of the quilt.  (And no, I do not succeed at that a lot of the time. LOL)

I really heart how this one turned out, and I hope she does, too.

I also hope I've made some kind of sense with my tutorial. 

Hugs and kisses,