Thursday, May 28, 2015

Safe and Dry!

Thank you so much to those of you who have asked if we are all right. Yes, we are, thank God. I am so thankful. There are so many who have lost everything.

The thing about this much rain is that it's a good excuse to stay inside and sew. That is both a good thing and a not so good one.  There is a tremendous amount to be done outside, but it's too wet to do any of it. So, I've been doing a lot of sewing. I just don't have a finish to show yet.

Last night I quilted and trimmed this one I made from Deb's churn dash blocks. The red and blue sashing and cornerstones I added made these not-at-all patriotic blocks look a lot more so! This one needs binding. It will go to the USO at the airport when they are all done.    

This one is ready to quilt. I have the backing sewn and the batting cut to size. Just have to get myself in there and do it. It will also go to the USO.

This will be another of the Bonnie Hunter Dancing Nine Patches.  (You can find the directions in the "Free Patterns" tab at the top of her page.) I made mine with 2 1/2 inch pieces instead of the 2 inch ones she used. This one will also go to the USO when they are all finished.

I finished piecing this one a while back and my friend Sandy's sister Peggy quilted it for me. All it needs is binding. This one will go to Quilts of Compassion. They are doing a "deployment" in July to Texas and maybe Oklahoma. I'd like to get some more made to go there. As I said earlier, so many people have suffered so in this latest round of devastating weather. It may seem foolish to send quilts to people in July in the heat, but Janice Grimes and her crew minister to these people and pray for them when they give the quilts.  They seek out those in each community who are familiar with those who have been impacted. It's a "God Thing" they are doing and I like to help.

Yes, I started another one. This tumbler quilt is sewn together now and trimmed. I have to choose borders and continue the process. It will also go to Quilts of Compassion.

I hope you are having a good week and finding lots of ways to have fun, and just maybe help someone who needs it!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Another Finish!

Yes, I finally sewed the binding on this one!  Yippee!  Two finished in a week. This is the one that I made with leftovers from two other quilts.  It will go the the USO soldiers' lounge at our local airport.  I like it!

I do love sewing on my "new" Singer Model 201. Quiet and powerful.

I combined a dark navy with a black and blue print. As you can clearly see on the right side, my quilting is not "all that"! But it gets the job done.

Right now I'm looking at and smelling these gorgeous gardenias. They are favorites of mine for so many reasons. I just wish they lasted longer. 

I woke up to a sunny sky this morning and went outside to take some pictures. I'm glad I did, because it is raining again now. The arching branches in the background photo are mimosa.  The inset photo, upper left gives you a better idea how much it is arching. The tree is in full, glorious bloom and the fragrance in the evening is so nice, almost like fresh peaches. Mimosa trees are called trash trees by some, but I like them anyway. There were always mimosas around everywhere I've lived in the South.

Also, the hydrangeas are blooming like wild. The little bush is in the upper right photo. There are both pink and purple blooms on the same plant. The other photos are of the same vase of blooms.  I actually followed instructions this time and burned the stem ends before putting them in water. They have lasted much longer. I took these pictures yesterday and they had already been in water several days by then. Those I've not burned only last a day before shriveling.  So, yes, it is a good idea to heed directions. 

I am working on two different quilts this weekend, and I had another idea pop into my head last night, so no boredom here, even in the rain. I am so thankful for this life I am privileged to live, for my sweet husband who supports me in all I do (even if he rolls his eyes sometimes!) and for the beauty surrounding me. 

I do hope you are having a simply wonderful weekend!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Strings, Crumbs and Orphan Blocks

I could not stop playing until this became a quilt. It was just fun to keep adding until I ended up with something I like. Miss Ariel decided she needed to be in this picture. 

The backing fabric is a really nice flannel from Connecting Threads.

Some of the block centers are orphan blocks and some are just pieces of fabrics I like.
As I worked (played!) I put the blocks on a design wall. The blocks are all different sizes, but I kept the widths uniform so they could be sewn in vertical rows. There are several different widths, but each width was sewn into its own row. Make sense?

I just had so much fun with these little bits and pieces. See that sock monkey peering over the edge?
At any rate, it all managed to come together in a quilt I shall enjoy seeing. I think it will have to hang in the quilting room for a while at least. There's a lot to see in there!

These are just some pieces I pulled at the same time. For some reason I had sewn these strips together. For right now, I'm just enjoying how they look.  They may turn into something, or they may go back in the string bin. We'll see.

These are some of the churn dash blocks Deb sent to me. I had asked Sandy to make these blocks into a quilt, but I decided I wanted to do this one myself. What can I say? I changed my mind. I had an idea that if I sashed them in red with blue cornerstones they would make a somewhat red, white and blue quilt for the USO. What do you think?

AND, our gardenias are blooming! I love their fragrance. I just wish they lasted longer. But while they do last, I bring a couple of the blooms inside each day to perfume the house. Just beautiful!

We are still getting a lot of rain. The vegetation loves it, but I could do with a break. Not complaining, since after all - Summer is coming and we will need all that stored up moisture.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to those of you in the States! A lot of people have paid the ultimate price for the life we enjoy. We owe them our gratitude. I am thankful for our country, even when it seems to be headed in a wrong direction.

Enjoy your weekend!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I Am SO Bad Sometimes

I did get this top all sewn together last night, and I pulled this fabric for a possible border, but that is where I went off track.
I pulled out this project box with some free form block starts and lots of colorful scraps.
And those blocks started growing.
Next thing I knew, I had five more or less 10 inch blocks finished. It was just so much fun letting them grow as they pleased.
It's not as if I would have had to look far to find something to sew, I keep a box of 2 1/2" squares next to the machine for leader/enders. I've made a LOT of four-patches and nine-patches that way. But. I just wanted to play, and so I did.
I also pulled some turquoise fabrics for a quilt I have in mind. No clue yet what pattern, still marinating. But I wanted to have an idea of what was in the stash - quite a bit apparently. There may still need to be a tiny bit of stash enhancement though. Just saying.

I awoke to a sunny day and thanked God! Enough with the rain already. But, we did get more rain this afternoon.  It's beginning to feel a bit like a tropical jungle around here.  On the plus side, we have some of the biggest wild plums ever!

I hope you are finding some time to play and having a wonderful time!

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Little More Productive on the Quilting Front

I finished this quilt that our Pastor had requested for a lady at our church. She was very pleased with it, said it made her think of the garden she would like to have! Aren't these Phillip Jacobs flowers gorgeous!

The backing is this Jinny Beyer fabric, which looks perfect for it to me.

And my always favorite shot of any quilt - fresh from the washer and dryer, all crinkly in the morning sunlight! Doesn't it just make you want to cuddle with it?
Not a quilt, but still awfully pretty - these angel trumpets blooming in the back yard. They are blooming prolifically and early since we had such a mild winter this year.
Right now I am working on another quilt to donate to the USO lounge at the airport. You may remember that my two friends and I had donated nine quilts earlier. The volunteer coordinator requested more with patriotic colors the next time, so we are trying to oblige her.

If you have not visited Mary Johnson's blog, you really should. This is one of her free (my favorite word) patterns which are available on her MaryQuilts site. She has a number of these patterns that are compatible with the GO! Cutter, too. That really makes them go together quickly.

Here's my progress so far. The horizontal rows are sewn together.  Now I need to get them all connected. Isn't it a pretty pattern?  The stars look almost 3D, and the diagonal patterns that emerge are really nice, too!  Thank you Mary!

Speaking of nice, I have a very nice blog friend, Deb, who blogs as Wonky Girl. She and her husband live in Arizona and foster (and adopt) rescue poodles. The love they have for these mistreated dogs is so heartwarming, and even more heartwarming is to see the changes in the dogs as they stay in that loving environment. Just makes me happy to get a peek at the process. 

Anyway, I got a package in the mail from Deb yesterday. Devotional books, rotary cutter blades, and that is a huge piece of the mottled blue and a couple of pieces of very patriotic yardage!!! Oh, yeah, these will be used very soon. She also sent a lot of churn dash blocks already made. My friend Sandy is making that quilt. Sorry, I did not think to get a picture of them before they left. But they'll be back, and I'll show you then. Deb also included a piece of yardage that will go beautifully with those churn dash blocks as Sandy puts them together. Can't wait to see the finished product! Thank you so much Deb! You are a blessing!

I hope you, who are mothers, had a wonderful celebration of that on Sunday. I did. My children and darling husband treated me very well, as they always do. I am a blessed woman!

Whew!  That was a long one. Thank you for sticking around for the whole thing. Our God is so good to those who will trust Him. I do!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I Have an Excuse

On the plus side, I did get this one quilted.

Here's the backing. It is really mostly a very dark navy blue. 
On the minus side, it still needs the binding put on it. It is trimmed and the binding is cut and ready to go.

My wonderful 1940 Singer 201 just refused to come back to life. I still have hope for it. We've bought a new motor and when Mr. Muddling gets time, he will give it another try. I just miss it. So I bought another one. The very talented and wonderful Elizabeth from My Sewing Machine Obsession very kindly sold me one that she had loved back to life. I am once again happy, happy, happy! I do love sewing on the 201's. They are just so smooth and dependable.

I have been almost shocked that this little orchid I had bought for Miss Ru last year (you do remember that she loves purple!?) decided to come back and bloom again this year. I had another one, but it did not even live, much less bloom. This was a very nice surprise for me!

I celebrated with chewy delicious oatmeal raisin cookies. Or maybe I just made them for some other reason, but they were good anyway.

Okay. Here's my big excuse for being absent from my blog for so long. This is what almost seven cubic yards of mulch looks like. I had already distributed some of it before I took this picture. I almost bought twice that amount, but some semblance of reason kicked in and I got only the seven. Mr. Muddling has made me promise to NEVER get that much again. My back and I were more than happy to give him that promise!

As you can see, there is mulch everywhere, which is a good thing. A far better thing is that it has all finally been distributed.

A friend asked me to make a comfort quilt for a friend of hers whose husband passed away at Christmas, using some of his shirts. It takes a lot of disassembling to get those apart. Just saying.

Now Mr. Muddling with the aid of the minions has been leveling the back yard. Somehow over the past years, a lot of soil has migrated from garden beds into the main part of the back yard. This tends to make it all want to go onto our patio when it rains. Not a good thing. Hopefully this will alleviate that situation.

One other spot that got a lot of mulch was right outside the kitchen window.  I have plans to make this a more pleasing view for when those dishes have to be washed. 

Here's a little peek as some of the prettiness around Muddle Land.

And, this quilt is on the frame, and I really need to get in there and finish quilting it. We are close!

I am extremely thankful for my sweet, darling husband who is always more than willing to help with anything I decide to do, who not only never complains about the amount of fabric and sewing machines I have - but encourages me always in everything I do. He is my best friend and I am so blessed to have him. The sixteenth of this month will be our thirty-fourth wedding anniversary. He's the best!

So, I hope you'll forgive my long absence. I just haven't seemed to find the time or the energy to actually get in here and write a blog post.

I do hope there are lots and lots of really good things happening where you are and that you, too, are happy, happy, happy!

Hugs and kisses,