Monday, March 28, 2011

Our Spring

 This was taken this morning at our gate from the back yard looking into the front.  It almost looks like you're deep in the woods. 
But just another step to the left and you can see in this one that it's just our very own front yard.  The little tree on the left is our Meyer Lemon and if you click and enlarge, you can see lots of flowers.  The fragrance is beyond pretty, and I am hoping for lots and lots of lemons this year.  You may remember that I took extra care in covering this little baby in the cold of winter and that has really paid off in an abundance of flowers.  And the azalea on the right has just about finished its glorious bloom for another year.  There are only a couple of weeks that they bloom, but oh, they make up for the shortness of the bloom season with the abundance of the blooms.

We've got some mighty pretty dogwood showing off in several areas of the yard right now.  One of my neighbors gave me cuttings of hers several years ago after I admired it, and it has really taken off and proven itself worthy of ground space.

And these little native plum trees are just loaded with baby plums!  I'm hoping for enough to can some jam.

I finished sewing together the little blue one I've been working on, but it needs to grow quite a bit bigger.  Pondering on that and waiting for some fabric I've ordered to get here.

And here is another one I'm working on right now.  My little Janome does the best job of blanket stitching!  And it's a good thing, because my hand stitching is NOT all that!

I've got a fair number of the blocks done, just a few more, then trimming and on to the laying out.  I love seeing a quilt come together, don't you?

We have a lovely, slightly cool overcast day here today.  I love it.  We've already begun to get pretty warm here, so this is a nice change for us.

Hope your day is absolutely perfect!

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh, Yummy! Fresh Eggs!

I was out running errands this morning without stopping to eat anything first.  Not a great idea, but I did it anyway.  When I got back I made some omelets for Miss Ru and me.  I picked up some organic baby spinach and fresh mushrooms while I was out and about, so of course those had to go in, along with some shredded cheddar.

I had mine on a couple of corn tortillas.  Perfection!  I feel life coming back into me.

This was one of my errands this morning.  On Saturday, Mr. Muddling and I were out taking care of some errands, or at least that was our plan.  After this we decided most of them could wait.  I was driving and the man in the pickup truck in front of us took a turn to the right.  Then, he abruptly decided he wanted to go back the way he had come, so he u-turned into our van.  Fortunately no one was hurt and he accepted complete responsibility, so now I've done all the fun things you have to do when there's an accident and I just have to take it back to the body shop to get it repaired.

On a brighter note, the coleus from last year have survived quite nicely.  This pot is happily brightening up the area by the front door.

I'm really not sure of the name of this plant.  We always called it snow on the mountain, but the pictures that I can find on the internet are not this plant.   It came from my grandmother's house many years ago.  I love it for that reason, but it's also a pretty neat plant.  The leaves are variegated green and white, but the white turns pink when it's put out in the sunshine.  It will also look pretty for a long time (and usually root, as well) if you cut stems and put them in water. I keep it as a houseplant, but it can grow out in the garden, too, as long as it doesn't freeze.  I lost all of mine one year with a freeze, but thankfully I had given cuttings to my neighbor earlier and she replenished my supply.  Being generous pays off sometimes, doesn't it?

I hope your day is full of only good and happy things!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Muddling Again

I've been doing a little of this

and a little of that.  I was duplicating some cd's this weekend for Mr. Muddling and for a friend, and I just could not (did not) resist making them each a little case for those cd's.  I wouldn't say I did the best job in the world, but it was fun, and it will be functional.  So.  Good.

I've also been playing with some blues.

You know the drill - cut, sew, press, repeat.

So far, so good.  I like it!

Isn't it fun to play around with fabric?  I always have a good time when I do.  You just never know how a thing will turn out until you do it.  Or at least that's the way it is around here!

Lest you think I've spent all weekend in the sewing room, I also got some tomato plants set out in the garden while Mr. Cutie Pie was sharpening our lawn mower blade and another one for a friend.  Ah, I can hardly wait for those nice fresh, homegrown tomatoes.  I planted some seeds out there earlier in the week for lima beans, cucumbers, corn and squash.  We're coming right along.  Oh, and the chickens have shifted into lovely egg production - a dozen today!!!  Whoooopeeeee!

Obviously not everyone here is interested in productive activity.  Jack, Miss Ru's cat thinks work is vastly over-rated.

I hope your weekend is all you want it to be.

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why I Love Spring

What can I say?  It has just burst forth into glorious bloom and bud around here.  I love it!  You should hear the birds, they love it, too!

I finished this little quilt last night.  It is made of leftovers from the quilt I made earlier as a sofa cover.

This is the backing.  Don't you love it!  This is one of the fabrics my sister-in-law gave me.  I have more of it, so I'm sure you'll be seeing it again.

Here it is again with the plum trees looking over its shoulder.  Look at all those blooms!!

It's rather overcast here this morning, so the pictures are not that great.  The fabrics are not as dull as they appear.

Even inside without a flash it still looks pretty blah.

Now, that's more like it.  Another batch of leftovers out of my way!  I have lots more that I need to use.  Later for that.

I hope your day is absolutely wonderful!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Benefits of Blogging - One of Them at Least

This is a grouping of 2 1/2" strips I put together to start making a quilt for our younger daughter.  What, you may ask does that have to do with a benefit of blogging?  Well, I took a picture of it.  And then I took one of the strips out and took another picture.

I think it's a definite improvement, don't you?  Probably (maybe) I would have figured it out without taking those pictures, but I really think the pictures helped.  Plus, I like to document the quilts I make.  I enjoy going back and looking at them, because most of them do not live here.  Most of them I've given to someone else.

I've made some more of these Disappearing Sixteen Patches. 

The cheater panel on the back of the chair is a big piece and will be the backing.  The purple-y piece to the right will be sashing.

And on the quilt frame right now is this one for our den.  I made its mother last year and this one is made from leftovers of that one.  The one I made last year was for a cover for the couch in the den.  When you have as many pets as we do (2 cats and 2 dogs) and they all live in the house - you cover as many things as you possibly can.  Of course that's not even mentioning the chickens.  Thank God, they live outside in their own house!

Anyway, I've made a start at quilting it.  I think it's kind of neat that it will match the cover on the sofa.

Bruno would rather be outside herding chickens.

And Chloe is pretty sure I could come up with something that would be interesting to her if I'd only try.

Mr Cutie Pie and I worked outside a bit today.  It was such a pretty day.  I am so far behind outside it's not even funny.  Lots of work to do.  Ho. Hum.

Hope you've had or are having a wonderful weekend, full of fun and interesting things and lots of love!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, March 7, 2011

Winners and a New Project

I did not have a very large response to my giveaway on the tissue holders so I've decided to give one to each of the four ladies who left comments on the post:  Susie, Angela, Margaret and Susan.   I hope you enjoy them!

Above are some squares I've been sewing together tonight.  I saw a most interesting tutorial on Stash Manicure this morning for a  Disappearing 16-Patch block.

Of course I had to try it.  Couldn't resist.  Didn't even try.

Here are two of the sixteen patches, cut into quarters and assembled in two possibilities.  There will be more options when I get more blocks made.  You like?

Have you found something interesting to try today?  Hope so!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I Love Presents, Don't You?

This particular present is for a friend of ours.  We've known her for a long, long time.  She has had some struggles, like most of us, but she always has something good to say.  I love her.

So, I wanted to make something for her that showed her that we love her.  Her name is Joyce.

I included a lot of my special fabrics in this little quilt, including some of the hand-dyed ones.  I did pre-wash them with no problem, by the way.

I also washed and dried the quilt before wrapping it.  Here it is in all its crinkly, wrinkly huggableness (if that isn't a word, it should be).  LOL

I used some of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine to sew down the binding.

I hope she likes it!

And I hope you have a wonderful day!

Hugs and kisses,

Oh, my friend Margaret has some good news on her blog today.  Her granddaughter Abbey was in a terrible auto accident last month.  She's been through a lot, but she is so much better!  Thank God!

Oh, and another thing......if you haven't entered my little giveaway for a tissue holder and you'd like one, please go to the previous post and leave a comment.  Be sure, too, to tell me which one you'd like if you win. ((Double Hugs))

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oh, Wow! Look at the Time.....

If you look on top of this nice little pile of cuteness you will see that the clock is reading 3:00.  That's a.m.  Oh, my, I just have such a hard time going to bed at night.  What can I say?  Inspiration strikes and I just go with it. 

Here, I've spread out and numbered the little pile.  That's because I'm going to give away three of these cute little tissue holders.  I started making them earlier in the evening and before I knew it I had a dozen made.  Here's the link if you'd like to give it a try for yourself.

They contain perfectly one of these little packets of tissues.  Or you could just fold a pile of tissues and put them into one.

This is what the back of each one looks like, correspondingly numbered.

If you would like to have one of these, just leave a comment, and be sure to mention which one you would like.  I will choose three winners on Monday night.  I will leave comments open until 6:00 p.m. my time Monday evening.

I finished the little pocket tissue holders early in the evening.  What kept me up was this little quilt.  I finished the quilt top on Wednesday and loaded it on the frame, but I had trouble.  I used some of the hand-dyed fabrics and the machine did not like them - kept skipping stitches.  Last night I decided to try a smaller needle and polyester thread.  It worked! 

So I worked, too.  I got a lot of it quilted!  Yippee!  If you look closely at the bottom right you will see that I had to piece the batting.

I do so hate to waste anything, so I usually piece batting scraps to make up whatever I need.

And oddly enough, I've found that the machine blanket stitch does a better job of holding it together without skewing it one way or the other.

I also got a pile of fat quarters in the mail from Connecting Threads.  I know, but I did not resist that sale.  Anyway, I like my fabrics washed before I use them.  My hands are not fond of the dyes and sizing.  I discovered Connecting Threads quite a while back on Quilt Taffy.  She had written about their beautiful thread and I had to try it.  I like it!  Their fabrics are nice, too - very soft.  Looking at these after laundering them, I was tempted to buy enough to make something to wear.  They feel so good!

I've made a start at folding them, because after all, we must have some sort of order, mustn't we? 

Please comment if you'd like one of the tissue holders and don't forget to tell me which one you'd like.  I'll post the winners Monday night.

Have a great day!

Hugs and kisses,