Monday, December 21, 2015

Four More Sleeps

The twenty-first is winding down, and Christmas Day will be here before we know it. As you can see, my Christmas cactus has decided to bloom right on time. There are several others in bloom as well.

We got such a fun package in the mail today from my sister and her husband. We had a good time exploring all the goodies in the box, but my favorite has to be this sock monkey mug. It is making me happy right now being filled with hot tea!



You might have noticed that I like sock monkeys. Just a little bit. And that they seem to find their way into lots of the quilts I make. What can I say? They just make me smile, and I figure they might do the same for someone else. Smiles are good.

This pretty little tote bag showed up here last week from my friend Sheila. Beautiful construction work she did. I shall enjoy using it. Matter of fact it has a small crochet project in it right now!

I got another package today. This was from my friend Deb, aka Wonky Girl. Look at this gorgeous fabric! Oh the fun we'll have together! Blog friends are such a blessing to me! 

I have completed twenty of these star blocks and cut the sashing strips. Soon, this too will grow into a quilt.
 
This one has grown into a quilt, but it has not had its binding added yet. I need to get busy.
 
This is a busy time of year for us all, isn't it. Our baby girl Mary will here Wednesday! We can hardly wait. We are all looking forward to a Christmas feast here on Friday.
 
I hope your plans and projects are all lining up happily and that you are taking time to just enjoy the season. We are so blessed to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus!
 
Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, December 13, 2015

If I Were a Bird

I think I would want to be a safe inside parakeet on a day like today. This is Miss Ru's Pete Keet, and he is singing along with the playlist today while outside it is cold and rainy. If you look through his cage past the ceramic chickens on the shelf you might notice birds on the feeder outside helping themselves to some bird seed. I wonder if Pete feels superior? He lived in the wild for a time before he came here to live. I'm sure it was an accidental thing, but he definitely does not want to leave his cage. I have to clean around him because he will not let me take him out, nor will he leave on his own power. Ruthie had been saying she wanted a parakeet, and one day when Mr. Muddling went out to the chicken yard, there was a parakeet eating chicken feed! He came inside, put on gloves and went back and got him. We had a cage in the garage, which I quickly cleaned up and furnished with paper and seed, and there he lives still. Isn't it interesting how our loving heavenly Father will supply even our wants?
 
On the sewing front, I finally finished the flannel tumbler quilt for our bed. It is heavy! I'm sure we will enjoy it when it really gets cold here, but for now - I'm just glad to have it done!
 
 
This top is also finished and the "rocky" looking flannel underneath is to be its backing. My friend Phyllis came down and did a lot of sewing of that top, and then I finished putting it together. Now I need to get it quilted and bound. This will also be a USO quilt.
Quarter square triangles in solids and stripes along with some 4 1/2 inch squares have been growing into these star blocks.  I like to let things develop as I go along. Seldom do I know exactly what I am going to do as I make a quilt, but it surely is fun to find out!
We are getting a little bit of Christmas decorating underway. I need to go buy more Christmas tree lights tomorrow. And the really good news is our Mary will be coming home for a few days at Christmas! It will be so good to see her again. She says she's going to try to stay awake the whole time so she won't miss anything. Funny girl! I told her she will probably pass out with a food overload!
 
I hope your holiday preparations are well in hand and that you have lots of plans for fun and good fellowship.
 
Hugs and kisses.

Monday, November 30, 2015

What Shall We Say

We could talk about how good the pies were at the Thanksgiving feast. Or about how glad I am we sent one home with the son's family!
We could talk about all the pretty things still alive and well in the back yard, and the roses on the counter from our dinner last week.

I could surely tell you how good these beans were with the Thanksgiving ham bone slowly cooked with them for flavor.

We could talk about the unexpected place we found this new Christmas decoration - Tractor Supply, where we went on Saturday to buy a new chicken waterer.
We could talk about why my progress on these blocks is so slow.

Edited to add:  I am so sorry, these little videos do not show up on all mobile devices, maybe not any of them. But they do on the laptop. It won't be the end of the world if you can't see them, but they are cute.  video
You could agree with me that this little solar powered flower is cuteness. (My friend Phyllis gave it to me a couple of weeks ago.)

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We could laugh together at how much Lady enjoys her new toy (also found at Tractor Supply!).

But I think I'll just tell you that I am thankful for this avenue to share my life with you. I love my life. I'm thankful for the great goodness of our great God. 

It's the beginning of a new week and tomorrow begins December! I hope it is full of joy for each and every one of you.

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Almost the End of November

I had another idea. I used some half square triangles cut on the Go! cutter to frame sixteen patch blocks. 


Now I'm sashing those with a red with small orange dots.

Mr. Muddling painted our little storage shed this week. The red is the same as the fence, but just for the fun of it, the door panels are green. Should I call it our Christmas Cottage Shed? 

I like it! I also like that the angel trumpets are still alive and blooming prolifically!

We had friends to dinner last night. It was so nice to spend time together. Tomorrow (THANKSGIVING!!!) our son and daughter in law, granddaughter and boyfriend will be here for the feast. Two pies are made and in the refrigerator. Cornbread dressing is made. Still lots to do tomorrow, but it will be fun. 

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I shot this little video today of our chickens enjoying time at the "water fountain" (one of the rain barrels). They make me happy.

I hope you all have a good Thanksgiving here in the States, and elsewhere - I hope you're thankful, too, and have a wonderful day. Our God is so good.

Hugs and kisses and blessings to you all,

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November

My friend Sandy and I made a little trip to the airport yesterday to deliver another batch of quilts to the USO for their lounge there. I do not have pictures of them all. We only decided at the last minute to take four other quilts. The bottom right picture in the collage above is one that I made earlier. That one did not go, but one very like it that Sandy made. I did not get a picture of hers.  Seven of the quilts we took were originally intended for a different charity, but they went to the USO instead. The very sweet volunteer yesterday said they give a lot of the ones we make to the soldiers to take with them, and that makes us very happy!

There is still plenty growing in our own back yard, and we are so glad!

Two cats, three dogs and a parakeet.  Looks like they have a pretty good life, doesn't it!

On my design wall are some quarter square triangles. Just playing, for now.

How sweet is this! My friend Wanda sent me this vintage postcard. I don't know if you can see the writing at the bottom, but he is asking the chicken, "Did you lay 'dis egg?"

This quilt came back for a little renovation. It was made for our dear pastor a little over two and half years ago. Since then, some of the names I had sewn into this quilt had moved out of her life and I volunteered to move those names off her quilt. Mission accomplished! Sometimes, when things end, it's just better to get all traces gone.

I am still working on this flannel quilt for our bed. Mr. Muddling has ordered a warm one, and this one will certainly be that. I'm still adding borders. 

Next week is Thanksgiving. We had thought my sister Sue and her husband would be joining us from Colorado, but he has had a rotator cuff injury and his doctor does not want him to make that long drive, even if Sue did most of the driving. I'm sorry. But we will still have plenty of people and food and fun. Maybe they can make it next year.

Thanksgiving is good, but you know - every day is a day to be thankful. God has been so good to us all, if we only stop and take the time to realize it!

I hope you're having a wonderful week!

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Success!


The Nine-Patch and Fence Rails for the USO is complete and (HALLELUJAH!!!) after a run through the washer and dryer, the blocks I had so much trouble with on the sides are not badly noticeable at all.

Here is a closer look. 

The backing is a pale blue tone on tone.

I've had an interesting time working on this kite block quilt. I had the blocks on the design wall, when Miss Dinah decided to walk behind it and knock it over. I've circled her in the picture. She came back to survey her handiwork.


After going through lots of design changes, 

I finally got it put together. 
Here it is outside this morning. I just finished quilting it and getting the binding sewn on last night.

The backing is a really soft and wonderful turquoise flannel. It is a bright, happy, and I think beautiful quilt for our lovely pastor. Turquoise is her favorite color. I think she will enjoy it!

I got a fat quarter stack of bright flannels from Connecting Threads and decided to cut them into tumblers. I should have bought two packs. But. I just added in more fabrics from the stash and put them up on the design wall. I've now started webbing them together. I don't know if I'll get them totally put together, but I  need to get them down off those walls. I have another one to make for my sister Sue's sister in law as a comfort to her in the loss of her best friend, her husband to cancer recently. Sue and her husband will be here for Thanksgiving, so I'd better get going!

I know I've been remiss in my posting. I expect to do better.

I do hope you are keeping busy doing things that make you happy!
Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Houston Quilt Festival 2015

Mr. Muddling and I went to Quilt Festival on Thursday. We walked and walked and walked and saw so many beautiful, beautiful quilts.  There is a really nice blue and white quilt exhibit, but no pictures allowed.  The collage above is a small sampling of Victoria Findlay-Wolfe's exhibition of her modern take on the double wedding ring.


This one is titled "Kimmie's Dragonfly" by Vel Garrick. She make it for her friend Kimmie, who collects dragonflies. She's done a mosaic applique and watercolor quilting techniques (not sure exactly what that means, but it's what the description stated) to blend colors and it is longarm quilted.
Here is a closer look at a portion of it. The artistry is amazing and I love how all those unrelated fabrics blend so beautifully to form the big picture.


There was a display of miniature vignettes. Lots of them. I liked the 1950's travel trailer.
We both knew immediately how much Miss Ru would have loved this one, titled "Like Cinderella"! She did love her shoes. The maker of this one, Yukiko Maruhama, lives in Japan and it is all hand pieced, hand appliqued and hand quilted.

On Friday I went back with a couple of friends and did more walking. This one is called "Ablaze" by Helena Sheffer. Of course I like all those reds playing together!
This one, entitled "What Happens in the Swamp?" by Christine Holden, just made me laugh. If you can't see why - click on the picture and it should enlarge. I would say that egret has a rather precarious perch!
I know this doesn't look exciting at all, but click on the picture to enlarge it and look at that stunning quilting. Just amazing. Freehand longarm quilting. It is titled, "828 Valence St." by Laurie Tigner. In her imagination she saw what her presently not very impressive front garden in New Orleans might have looked like in a different time, and this is her interpretation of that vision.
Yep, this is me when I finally got home tonight. Of course there was much, much more to see, but I don't want to wear you out with pictures. (At least you didn't have to do all that walking!) I am so thankful to live right here and to have the privilege of visiting this bounteous display of quilty goodness!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend and that you are doing something FUN!

Hugs and kisses,