Sunday, June 30, 2013

106? Really?

Yesterday, Saturday, that is what the temperature was here in Houston.

That is too hot.  I had the sprinker going into the chicken yard just to give them some relief.  Have you ever seen a chicken pant?  Not pretty. 

Everything is surviving pretty well out there so far.  I'm thankful we're not having water rationing. 

It's been more normal today - only 98!  I can't even rememer when the temps got to 106 here.  Not saying they haven't.  I just can't remember it, and I've lived here since 1968.

Like any sensible person, I've been spending most of my time inside. I'm playing now with some fabric prints of the Peanuts gang.  I think this might make some child really happy.
I do hope your weekend is going well!
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

So, I Was Sewing Along

Chain piecing units for the churn dash I've been making. 
My eye fell upon this nice little stack of units and my mind left the churn dash.
I started sewing those little strip units together and in almost no time I had this.  This simple block is one I learned from the amazing Wanda at Exuberant Color .  The link is to a tutorial and examples of different settings for these little blocks.  I used 2 1/2" strips.  Two of those strips sewn together with a 1/4" seam give you a 4 1/2" strip, which you can subcut into 4 1/2" squares.  Four of those sewn together give you an 8 inch finished (8 1/2" unfinished) square.  It's a really fun, fast block.
I did not sew all those building block units together though.  My friend Sandy has done a lot of those for me.  We like working together on these quilts!
Somehow in my brilliance (and the extreme lateness/earliness of the hour) I managed to switch the last two rows, but I didn't notice that until just now.  NOT changing it. 
My little late night project is now at the flimsy stage, but I'm sure it won't be long before it finds itself on the frame and being quilted.  I have chosen the backing fabric already and it is pressed, so that's a big start.  This one will go to Quilts Beyond Borders.  I took care to measure this time so it is the right size.
I'm off now in the heat to run errands.
Hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and kisses,

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sewing on a New Machine

New to me, that is.  I bought this machine a while back at the online Goodwill shop.  It's been sitting out in the garage patiently waiting for Mr. Muddling to bring it back to working order.  He did that this weekend!  What a pleasure this one is to sew on - smooth, quiet and the stitches are perfection.  It's a Singer 201, made in 1940.  There is a very informative article about this machine here.

There is just something about these very old machines that makes me happy.  For one thing, I am impressed that something 73 years old works so well!  There's hope for me.

As you can see there is quite a large pile of "units" to assemble into quilt blocks.

Here, some of them have grown into more churn dash blocks.  I'm hoping to get these assembled into a quilt for our bed, now that I have a frame big enough to accomodate it.
By the way, I had no idea who the Basic Math quilt should go to, but Mr. Muddling had told me that he wanted a quilt (or quilts!) to give away, too.  I told him he could give this one and he knew who it should be given to right away.  We did that yesterday and made one little lady very happy!

There was rain right before I got up this morning - not a lot, but refreshing to the landscape nonetheless.  I let the chickens out for a bit of a ramble.   They do love to see what's new.
I hope you have a wonderful week!  I think I'm going to go play with my new toy for a while.
Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Another collaborative effort - pieced by Sandy and quilted and bound by me.  This is a free pattern from Moda Bake Shop, named Basic Math. It is simple to make and goes tgether quickly.  Not sure yet exactly where this one is going.  I had thought it would go to Quilts Beyond Borders, but it is actually too big. 

There are a lot of fabrics in this one and you would think they would not play nicely together, but they seem to be getting along pretty well.

This backing fabric is really sweet.  I have no idea how old it might be.  It was some that was given to me a while back.
My little helpers are completely worn out with all the hard work they do around here.

I am SUCH a scavenger sometimes.  My neighbors all know that I want their leaves and pine needles when they rake.  I got a lot of these bags from Sandy and her husband this week.
Now there are "clean sheets" in the chicken yard!  Seriously, they have so much fun scratching for hidden treasure whenever something new comes to them.
I just came in a short time ago after letting the chickens out to roam for a little while.  I try to let them out morning and evening just for a break from the chicken pen.  Unfortunately I cannot allow them to roam freely or they would destroy everything in our yard!  They are quite destructive is such a small space as we have here.
It seems there is always more work to be done outside this time of year, and it's harder to get it done in the heat we usually experience.  But, early and late it is bearable.  I know it's not for everyone, but for me - - - dirt therapy has been a lifesaver!  That and fabric therapy.  Hallelujah!
Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!
Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day to those of you who are fathers. 
My father has been absent from the earth for many years, but I still miss him.  He was not a perfect father, but I love him dearly for the good qualities he did have.  I can appreciate those, since I am not perfect either (or even close)!
I am amazed at the wealth of beauty in our small yard.  We live in a suburb with neighbors all around.  This is not a large estate, and yet over the years we have created a rich tapestry from the blank canvas we had when we moved here almost thirty years ago.  God is good!

Miss Ru had a procedure on Friday that took several hours, which I spent in the waiting room.  I took a couple of projects with me, including this little "busy box" of four patches.  All the seams got spun, then I pressed them later that night. It's good to have something to do with your hands when you have to wait.
Confession:  I am not a morning person.  Just give me a little time to actually wake up though and I'll be much nicer. I am laughing out loud here, or maybe just snickering a little, at this little dog who showed up in my email this week.  I can SO relate.
Hope you're having a good, good day!  We are having a family dinner here after church today to honor the wonderful husband who is such a good father to our children.  I am so thankful for him!
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Seventh Quilt for Boys' Home!

Here is number 7.  I am so happy to have these all done.  I committed to make six quilts for this ministry, and we even ended up with one more.  Always good to give more!
My friend Sandy pieced this one.  I did the borders, quilting and binding.  She did a much better job than I.  I'm still learning on the new machine.
I think one of those boys is going to love this quilt in spite of its lack of perfection.

As usual I had "help" with the project.  Here is Lady, completely worn out helping me sew the binding on the quilt.
And here's a shot of the backing and binding.  I added a strip of the squares from the front that were left over.  Sandy had sewn these all into a long roll.  I see more of them showing up in the future.
It is so good to have friends who take hold together with me to help.  I've heard it said that if you have friends to fill the fingers of one hand (five), you are blessed.  I am blessed.  I've distanced myself from some people in the past year who claimed to be my friend, but were nowhere to be seen when I actually needed a friend.  I don't think it's a great loss.  I am so thankful for the friends I have who really ARE friends.
I hope you have real friends and that you are having a lovely day!
Hugs and kisses,
Oh, and by the way, I am posting today with the medium sized pictures.  You should be able to click on any of them and enlarge.  I think some people might have trouble with the larger photos loading. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013


First of all, I'm delighted to finally be able to post this little shot of the border, binding and backing of the Fruit Houses Quilt.  I have no idea if the problem is blogger or my Windows 8, but something has been shutting everything down every single time I tried to add pictures.  Tonight - success!  Yippee!!

Next, I HAVE to share with you this great blessing my blessing of husband gave me last week.  Yes!  My very own Tin Lizzie longarm machine on a 12 foot table.  Oh, the fun I'll have.  I quilted the Fruit Houses quilt on it and it is a dream to use.  I love it!  It took a LOT of rearranging of furniture to fit it in, but it's in its appointed place.  Of course I don't have a dining room any more, but that is not a great loss since we seldom use it anyway.
I went for classes on Friday and Saturday this week to learn more things and that was a blessing, too.  I have the seventh and final quilt for the boys' home loaded on the frame and as soon as I finish this, I will go and get started quilting it.
This collage is of photos taken in our backyard yesterday around seven in the evening.  We have lots of pretty things growing out there and today we got a really good rain, so that is a blessing, too, though it was a bit boisterous for a while!
I tried so many times to get a good picture of this fat quarter, but I failed miserably.  My friend Sandy brought it back for me from their Alaska/Canada trip.  It portrays the Northern Lights and is just beautiful!
If you have had even a fraction of the blessings I've had the past two weeks, you're a happy person, because I sure am!  God is good!
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fruit House Quilt

This is quilt number six for the boys' home.  My friend Sandy pieced it.  I added the borders and backing, quilted it and machine sewed the binding.  Isn't it wild!  I think a boy might like it.

If it's too wild for him, he could always leave this cheater print as the side that shows.  This print was given to me quite a while back and I've been holding on to it for the perfect project.  What do you think?
Blogger is not cooperating with me.  I've tried multiple times to upload a few more pictures, but no go.  Maybe later.
Until then,
Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Thank You Vicki Welsh!

A while back I was the fortunate and very happy winner of a stash pack of Vicki Welsh's beautiful hand-dyed fabric in a giveaway on Wanda's blog.  Somehow the package went astray in the mail and Vicki very kindly replaced it after she replenished her supply (she had to make more).  These beauties arrived today!

I wish you could see in person how very nice these fabrics are.  I have them outside and still the colors don't show as truly lovely as they are.

Here's a closer look.  Each one is unique.
Thank you so much Wanda for hosting this giveaway, and thank you again Vicki for going above and beyond to be sure I received my winnings!  I love them!
Meanwhile, another quilt is on the frame and I'm going to do my best to finish the quilting on it tonight.  Or I guess more accurately I should say this morning.
Hope things are all beautiful where you are and that you're having a really good time!
Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, June 1, 2013


How did this happen?  Just yesterday it was Spring and everything was starting to bloom and blossom and bear fruit.  Now Summer is upon us with our usual Houston heat.  We've been trying to get as much outside work done as possible.  Mostly, let's just be honest, Mr. Muddling has been working outside. The flowers and veggies are my domain, but he takes care of most of the yard work and outside maintenance. 
Inside, we've done a complete rearrangement of the dining room.  I'll show you why later.  It's still not totally in order.
Hope you're having a great weekend!  As you can see from the photo collage above, we are having a beautiful sunny day.  And hot.
Hugs and kisses,