Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Hmmmmm, what is that behind the bird feeder??

It is the back of a new quilt.  What a surprise.

And here is the front.  This little baby quilt finishes at 49 inches square.  It is the disappearing nine patch I was working on a while back made from charm packs that I've had for a long time.  I added a couple of borders and it looks pretty good to me.

I finally got an extension table for the bed of my longarm, so I was able to use the circle template.  I had to take a break from this quilt I've been working on to play with it.  You know. 

Here's a shot as I was quilting it.  It was a lot of fun!

You know that here in the land of Muddle we have chickens.  I am allowing the girls to free range in the back yard for a good part of each day now and they are loving it!  They are right outside my window once again, just like in this picture.  I love hearing their contented little murmurs as they go about their chicken-y business.

This big kalanchoe out in front is starting to bloom.

And the Carolina jessamine on the lattice is really putting on a show!

I was looking at the azaleas just a bit ago and I think we'll have blooms on them soon if we don't get another freeze.  It is so good to see things start to come to life again!  We're getting a nice rain shower right now and it will cool down a little then.  

The world IS so full of a number of things, as Robert Louis Stevenson so famously said, that we all should be as happy as kings.  I am happy, and so thankful for so many things.  I hope you are, too.

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, February 21, 2014

Can Spring Be Far Behind?

At least that's what I'm hoping.  We are beginning to see some of the early bloomers showing off out in the back yard.  It is so nice to see some color showing up out there! 

The center photo on the bottom is one of our lemons and some of our eggs in a wire basket.  I wrapped each lemon that I wanted to save from our tree individually in newspaper and packed them carefully in a cooler with newspaper between the layers, and surprisingly most of them survived for about two and a half months.  There are still a couple dozen waiting to be used.  Treasure!

Ruthie's parakeet, Pete, is mighty happy to be getting to spend time out on the patio again.  He does so love gossiping with the outdoor birds. It is really funny hearing them chatter back and forth.  There is a bird feeder just outside the patio and that attracts lots of visitors for him.

And... I have all the rows sewn on this one. Now I'm adding the setting triangles and sewing the rows together.  It's going to be a big one, so it's taking longer than usual. It's been a fun one to make and I think will be a striking finished quilt.  We'll see!

We had really warm temperatures here all week, but it's back to being a little cooler now.  Not bad at all and certainly nothing like the cold a lot of you have had to endure this year.  Our younger daughter in New York State has had quite enough of winter by now, and I don't blame her a bit.  I'm thankful to live here where it does not get so cold.  We won't talk about how hot it gets. ;)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tumblers and Tamales

I quilted this flannel tumbler quilt last night.  I am so bad about pushing a project to the side to start a new one.  You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?

Anyway, it's finished now, and I'm glad.  The tumblers are all flannel, including a variety of fabrics left over from various projects of mine, plus some from a sampler package I bought from a seller on ebay. (Thanks, Deb!) The border is a corduroy that I've had for a while.  I quilted it in a medium mostly meandering freehand.  I'm not showing the back, because it is not at all interesting.  It's a heavier weight fabric I've had for ages. There was almost enough of it, so there is also another very old piece of heavy weight to finish it. I intended this to be a utilitarian piece, and I think it suits its purpose quite nicely. It has already taken up residence on my recliner in the den.  Apparently it is a good idea to cover any piece of upholstered furniture I want to keep. Not to say anything about Dinah, of course........

Our son and daughter in law gave me a meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas and today I put it to good use.  I had cooked a pork roast earlier in the week and after grinding it with the new attachment, I made tamales.  I ended up with almost seven dozen, which is nothing for those super women (like Mr. Muddling's mom, now residing in heaven), but quite a chore for me!  They are good, though.

We got this sweet Valentine in the mail from our friend Phyllis and her husband so I thought I would share it with you and wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you get LOTS of chocolate and whatever else your heart desires.

I won't show you the nice, big box of chocolates Mr. Muddling brought home for me today.  

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Toy!

I got an early Valentine's Day gift from Mr. Muddling on Monday.  The Singer 301 was sometimes referred to as the Featherweight's big sister.  It's still a lightweight machine compared to my Singer 201. I found this one at the online shop run by Elizabeth and her friend Betsy.  I've been reading Elizabeth's blog for a long time.  I so enjoy seeing her work on old sewing machines and make them functional and beautiful again. I knew it would be a good one, and it is! Isn't it pretty!!

Of course I had to see how it sewed, and I have to say - it does a really good job. Perfect stitches. I've had these charms for a long time. They're Moda, but I don't remember what line. I washed them and they are not perfectly perfect any more, but at least they don't give my skin grief, so that's good.  I made nine patches.

Then I cut 1 1/2 inches from the lower seam line, and again 1 1/2" from the right seam line - all the way top to bottom and side to side. Sort of a disappearing nine patch, but slightly different.

I have nine blocks sewn and this is probably how they will go.  With a border, it should make a good sized child's quilt.

I've almost finished machine appliqueing the circles onto the half square triangle squares.   This will be a BIG quilt, so it is taking some time. I am actively working on three quilts right now and we won't talk about how many more are clamoring for attention from backstage.

Lady and Bruno are staying comfy and warm on the fleece side of this quilt. That's the good thing about a fleece baking - you can use the cotton side for a little cover and the fleece side to snuggle.  We're in the thirties here right now, but we'll be in the seventies this weekend. 

I hope your sweetheart is as good to you as mine is to me!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, February 6, 2014


That's how many of these blocks I have sewn together.  Now I have to get the circles appliqued on to them.

As you can see, I chose to machine applique them with a blanket stitch.  I am just not a fan of hand sewing.

Twenty-one is the number of completed blocks that are now appliqued. LOTS more to go.


So, let's talk about cooking on a winter's day.  Today I made a white sauce with finely chopped onion in it, added shredded cheddar cheese and poured it over

leftover ham and peeled, sliced potatoes.

After baking, covered, for around 40 minutes and then uncovered for about an hour, we had some really good lunch.

I had some sweet potatoes.  Mr. Muddling and Miss Ru think they are deadly poison and will not touch them.  My grandmother told me years ago that you can freeze the baked sweet potatoes in their skins and then slice and cook them later. That is what I did. Sauteed them in a little butter with a little sprinkle of sugar. Yummy!

There were freshly baked wheat rolls, too.  I know. Have you gained weight just looking?  Think how I feel!

It's almost dark now.  I've gone outside and locked the chickens into their pen.  They had already gone "to bed" on their perch.  I know I'm silly sometimes, but I do love my chickens. I'm thankful that we have a place where they can live and provide entertainment for me.

I hope you are staying warm (or cool, if you're in the Southern Hemisphere!) and finding lots to make you happy.

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, February 3, 2014

Design Wall Monday

The March/April issue of Quiltmaker magazine arrived at Muddle Manor the other day.  I always enjoy seeing what other people have made/are making. There was one pattern in here that appealed to me considerably.  I am not great at following patterns, so a lot of the time I don't even try.  I just make
 up my own instructions in my head as I go along.  Muddling, you know?

So, I used my Go! cutter and cut more 6 1/2" half square triangles in light, medium and dark batiks and then cut some 5" circles from Kaffe Fassett, Phillip Jacobs and similar fabrics, and started playing on the design wall.

Yes, that is a china cabinet.  At one time we had a dining room.  But I took it.  This design wall is 4' X 8' and is made from a sheet of foam core bought at Lowe's and covered with thin batting.  I can schlep it around the house since it's not attached to a wall.

I really like how this is coming together. Nothing is sewn yet, but that could change at any moment!

Happy Monday!  Hope yours is going well.

Hugs and kisses,