Thursday, February 23, 2023

King Size Batik Quilt

I finally finished this king size batik for a friend of ours. And she liked it. Which is a very good thing!  I had finished the quilt top quite a while ago, I just couldn't seem to get myself to do the quilting. But I finally did, and I am so glad!
I really like how all the colors and patterns played together. It is a free pattern from American Patchwork and Quilting called Juxtaposition. Super easy to make and a good way to use up some of those batiks I've been hoarding for so long!

Meanwhile, here at Muddle Manor some of the things that are making me really happy (Left to right, top, and then left to right, bottom):
Spirea (or bridal veil) in bloom, a little owl our daughter Mary made for me many years ago sitting on a little twig chair, resin bird on nest, our redbud tree in glorious bloom, the cutest little fawn on my bookcase, the first dogwood bloom of the year and last but not least, Dinah on the back of the porch swing on our patio. She had been afraid of that swing forever, but obviously she has overcome that! Good girl! 

This is what I'm working on now. I've a long way to go to make it as big as I want. I think I'll need sixty blocks. I have thirty-six so far. It IS fun to see quilts grow and evolve.
Houston has decided that it's time for Spring, or maybe Summer, so that's what we're having this week. Next week, who knows! We've been working outside, and there is a lot to get done out there. 
I hope it is wonderful where you are and that you are having lots of fun. I believe in having fun!
Praying for you all!
Hugs and kisses,


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Ah, February

February is not my favorite month. The excitement of Christmas and New Year's have passed and it is still cold. It has been very rainy here, which we needed, so I'm trying not to complain. (But it is a muddy mess!)
Anyway, I try to create things inside to look at that make me happy. Sometimes the smallest things can make a huge difference in my attitude.  

The paperwhites and the new growth on the dogwood are very encouraging outside. Even artificial flowers are a mood enhancer. Most of the plants we rescued from the cold are still imprisoned on the patio. And yes, there is still a lighted Christmas wreath in my sewing room. Small handwork keeps me busy inside, and there have been lots of seeds started in pots outside. The little rabbit with his heart shaped balloons just makes me smile!

This is what I'm working on the sewing room now. I started with nine patches of mostly reproduction fabrics. I made a lot of them and put them up on the design wall. Blah. So, I added some triangles to make square in a square blocks. Better, but still not there. So, I added more triangles. I don't know if this will be IT or not, but we'll all find out sooner or later!

And THIS is what happens when my renegade chickens break into Ruthie's Garden - CARNAGE! Sheesh! Those were carnations.
Oh, well. I've tried to save what I can and there will doubtless be more flowering plants to replace them. Gardening is a never ending adventure. I remain optimistic!
I hope you remain optimistic, too. There are always tough times, but there are always good times, too. We just have to hold on until they get here!  And trust the good Lord who has never failed us!
Hugs and kisses,


Thursday, January 12, 2023

First Finish of 2023

I quilted this one in December, but never got around to sewing the binding on until January, so we'll just call it 2023. This quilt started off as a pattern from Mary Johnson who is so generous with the quilt patterns she creates. I decided to add in some sixteen patch blocks for the fun of it. I like the secondary pattern they create.

I used a red print for the backing and a solid red for the binding. It will be going to the USO Lounge at IAH.

It looks pretty comfortable on the patio swing. 
The shelves behind hold plants I'm attempting to save from the cold. The arctic blast is gone, but usually we get another cold weather in February. 

I've been working on a little quilt and trying my hand at hand quilting. Not impressed with my needlework so far, but surely I will improve!

Mr. Muddling and I moved the little greenhouse to the other side of the back yard. New Year, new ideas for organization, and I hope more productivity out there!

I am always encouraged seeing the stubborn persistence of plants. That poinsettia at the top left is from Christmas 2021. I left it outside all year until the cold came, and it is still trying to produce big flower bracts. Chickens are always endlessly amusing! Paperwhites have grown from bulbs newly planted and are blooming, and the Althea (Rose of Sharon) is already putting out new greenery.
And then there are Buddy and Lady - taking it easy and trying to stay warm when it was so cold. 
Life is still good. God is still on His throne, and there is still always reason to hope and to move forward with courage!
Hugs and kisses,


Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas!

With an arctic blast forecast for us, we worked all week to prepare. One of those preparations was allowing the chickens to pillage to their hearts' content in our vegetable garden. They have had a glorious time. Seriously, they've been eying it all year long!

We sealed up our patio as well as we could with plastic sheeting and started bringing outside plants inside.

It was quite a job, but we got most of it inside before the really cold got here. There are more in the little greenhouse. It is sealed up and we'll see how those survived once this is gone! Here in Houston, Texas, we are not accustomed to those temperatures. Nor do we want to be! LOL!

Our sweet neighbor gave me this Christmas cactus last year. She's not able to look after her plants any more and wanted me to have it. Isn't it gorgeous!

I had a lot of fun making these little frogs for our daughter and the cats for her housemate. They are free patterns from Ann Wood. I love her creations and all the inspiration she provides!

Mr. Muddling and I wish you a very Merry Christmas! May the blessings of the Lord pursue and overtake you, and may the peace of God blanket your home!
Hugs and kisses and lots of love,


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Christmas Makes and Doings

Isn't this a great Santa panel? I had to get it when I saw it online. I was originally going to make it a wall hanging, but it wanted to be a quilt.

So it kept growing until it became one! All of the colors and fabrics played together so well that it came together in no time.

It has already been gifted to a pretty lady we love.

Sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies made their way to upper New York State and have now been devoured. More went across town and met the same fate. We won't talk about the ones that stayed here. 

I bought an Instant Pot in October 2020. I thought it was not that long ago, but I went and looked, and it's been over two years. The picture above is a bottom round roast cooked in the Instant Pot for 4 hours. And after we enjoyed some of it for our lunch, I sliced the rest, which fell into tasty tender morsels.

I vacuum sealed meal size (for the two of us) portions and put them in the freezer. We like to call that "money in the bank"! All it takes is a couple of minutes in the microwave to have meat ready to eat!

We had a stir fry over rice one day with some of that roast beef. It was delicious!

We are supposed to have some freezing weather next week, so these pictures are bittersweet. Whenever we see those yellow angel trumpets dripping off the branches in such profusion, it usually means the end of warm weather is near.
I hope your week is going well and that your Christmas preparations are well in hand. With all its challenges, life is still pretty wonderful, and God is always good! I'm thankful.
Hugs and kisses,


Sunday, December 4, 2022

Half Rectangle Triangles

What a lot of fun I had making this quilt! 

First I sewed a light and a dark half rectangle together and then I just kept on going! I really like this one.

And the crinkliness and softness straight out of the washer and dryer are SO nice. Of course it helps that I backed it with cozy flannel.

I was so happy to see the little camellia bush start flowering (lower right). Aren't those reds gorgeous! And Dinah in the center is just a mess. She has her own ideas of how things should be, and those are the only ideas that interest her! Cats!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It will be here soon. 
We had our family Thanksgiving dinner today. We (Buddy and I) were a little puny on the real day. But thankfulness is good every day of the year!
I hope things are interesting and happy in your part of the world and that you are finding lots of things to make you smile!
Hugs and kisses,


Saturday, November 5, 2022

Filmstrip and Pumpkin Spice

At long last this one is finished. It will go to the USO Lounge. I'm calling it Filmstrip. Can you see it?

It started out as just the navy blue and those darker repro colors. It seemed a little too dark to me, so I added in some neutral strips. It seems happier to me. You can see from the two outside shots that it is really not that dark a blue. It looks darker inside.

This is a Quilt Archeology project called Pumpkin Spice from Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts. 

The colors in this one too, are much more vibrant and true when the picture is taken outside.

I had ordered a pack or oranges and purples from her web store and this was one of the oranges. Coincidentally it was the orange in the kit!
I had a lot of fun making this little cutie. I cannot claim to have done a perfect job, but I did enjoy making it. And that's what it's all about! 

We had some stormy weather last night, but today is lovely! It will be back to hot tomorrow, so we have been enjoying this cooler while it lasts!
I can certainly not call myself a regular blogger, but I do like to keep this online diary of some of what's going on here at Muddle Manor. I miss so many of the blogs I used to love when I first discovered blogs. To those of you who still write your blog, thank you! You are a blessing to me!
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend with lots of good things to anticipate in the week to come!  God is good! Always.
Hugs and kisses,