Friday, January 29, 2016

Red Dancing Nine Patch

My friend Phyllis came down last week and helped me sew sashings to some of these nine patches. They have now grown into a quilt! This is the Dancing Nine Patch pattern from Bonnie Hunter. It's a free pattern on her blog.  Her pattern uses 2 inch squares, but I used 2 1/2 inch squares in this one and adjusted the size of the sashings to fit them. I keep a tray of those squares beside my sewing machine and put together four patches and nine patches all the time in between other sewing. It's amazing how quickly they grow into a stack ready to put in a quilt.

This one will also go the USO at our local airport. We like providing these pretty quilts for our service men and women who give so much to our country, and often with little thanks or recognition.

The backing is the rather wild fabric from Connecting Threads. I also used that fabric for the binding. I like it!

Last night my friend Sandy brought over this pile of fabric she had acquired from friends. Lots of pretty pieces in here!

I should have worked harder to put all those fabrics in order and away, but instead I thought of making a quilt from some of them. And before I knew it, it was two in the morning and this had grown on my design wall. LOL!  I have the rest of the four patches ready to sew together. It wouldn't surprise me at all if grew some more tonight.

That's Lady helping me weave a pot holder. And what you can see growing there in the front yard is a pecan tree. I planted one before, but it did not live. It was a dry, hot year when I planted that one. I hope this one will live and prosper. It looks too bare out there to me with that big pine tree gone. Hopefully this one will soon improve the looks of things. Also in this collage is the donkey's ear in bloom and some of that delicious pumpkin, cranberry, pecan cake. YUMMY. I am so thankful for so many things to see and taste and enjoy in this life!

While I was making that pot holder the other night, Dinah discovered the joys of a ball of yarn. She is hilarious! I hope you can see the little video I shot of her playing.

It's a beautiful day here. I have some blackberry plants to get in the ground this afternoon. I can almost taste the blackberry cobbler already!

Hope your weekend is full of fun.

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Springtime in January

Several months ago my sister asked me to make a quilt for her sister in law who had just lost her husband, the love of her life, after a wrenching battle with cancer. 

The only problem for me was that she wanted me to make it in pastels. Pale pastels, with white sashing. I tried. And to be perfectly honest I wasn't feeling it.
I had the brilliant idea to add in some slightly darker fabrics and alternate them with the white blocks.
Much better!

All soft and crinkly, fresh from the washer and dryer.

The backing is a very sweet pink flannel, and the binding is more of the white on white that is the outer border.

And you know what? I like it! I really believe she will feel the love, not only of me but of my sister and her husband (who is her brother), and more importantly of our God, the God of all comfort.

I am so thankful I can do this little thing called quilting to help and to bless others!

I hope you are staying safe and warm (or cool if you're in the Southern hemisphere!). 

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Texas Quilt

I recently learned that a friend of ours is moving out of state, so I decided she needed a Texas quilt. Because, you know, we don't want her to forget. I do not like at all that she's leaving, but I do love her and hope she will be happy. Her job is transferring her, so she doesn't have a big choice about the whole thing. I'm believing it will be a good thing for her. 

This one, I think, turned out really well. It was another one that I just sort of made up as I went along, but there IS a reason my blog is named Muddling Through.

The backing is this happy fiesta fabric my friend Deb sent at Christmas. It is just perfect! That is number two completed so far for 2016.

After I finished quilting that one a night or two ago, I pulled out several of the bins (okay, ice cream buckets!) of two inch strips.
I pinned groups of six strips together, and have a pretty good pile of those ready to go. I have a scrappy trips quilt in mind for them. I'm still working on the pastel quilt and this will be an in-between project. I like to work on more than one thing at a time.
We still have lemons on the little tree in the front and the grass is still green. We had the big pine tree in the front taken down this week. It had been in precarious health after that drought of a couple years ago and since there were tree men in the neighborhood, it seemed a good time to get it done. I don't know how long it will take me to get used to that big bare spot where it dominated the landscape. It's quite a change.

I guess when it's all said and done, none of us are that fond of change, but it is something that comes to us all. I hope the only changes you're having are good ones. 

It's been a rarely beautiful day here today. The dogs and I spent some time today on the screened in porch enjoying it. Life is good, and I am incredibly thankful.

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, January 10, 2016

My Azaleas Think Spring Has Arrived

Seriously? Yes. Some of the silly things are actually coming into bloom. They are in for a rude awakening. The forecast is for near freezing tonight. But it surely does make a bright spot on my kitchen windowsill, doesn't it!

I picked these zinnias on Friday. You might notice that a few of them have been touched by a bit of frost, but they are still pretty.

This quilt has now had its binding applied and been through a wash and dry. I do like seeing all that crinkly goodness! This one will go to the local USO.

And........the Christmas decorations have all been put away and this exercise bike is back in its place reminding me I need to get on it and ride. We will absolutely not talk about the amount of pie, cake and cookies consumed over the past couple of month. Not. At.. All.

I bought some Texas-themed fabric a while back and decided I would like a quilt made from them. It's just a yard each of a red and a blue. I added some white in and so far, this is what has happened.

And since it's me, you've probably already figured out that I put a few "other" things in, too, just for fun.

It is an incredibly beautiful day here. It's cold, but such clear blue skies and bright sunshine it just make your heart happy. At least it makes mine happy!

I do hope you are having a wonderful day where you are.

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

First One of the Year Off the Frame

Hurrah! I did get the quilting on this one finished last night (okay, early this morning, if you just have to be accurate!). Hopefully it won't take me as long to get it bound as the last one!

This quilt started out as beautiful little pieces of striped material that my friend Wanda included with some fabrics that I had ordered from her back in October, 2014. Took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with them. I started out pairing them with a solid to make quarter square triangles.

Then, I thought: What if I use them to make star blocks? So I did. These pieces are all cut with the Go! Cutter.

Next, they needed some sashing between the blocks, don't you think? I did, too. Cornerstones were added and it was all sewn together. Isn't it fun to see how a quilt grows? I love it. I usually don't know where it is going when i start one. It's interesting to find out.
I have the binding material chosen, just have to get it ironed, cut and applied.

Yeah, I probably need to get all the Christmas decorations taken down. I am still enjoying seeing them, but it about time.

Except for this little cutie. Mr. Muddling's work partner and his wife gave it to me for Christmas. Is it not perfect!!! It will have to stay out year around. Because it makes me smile, and I like to smile.
Speaking of making me smile - the black and tan dogs do a good job of that all the time! Do you think they might be just a tiny bit spoiled? Could be. But we like it that way. I am so thankful for this life our good God has given me.

It's a cold, rainy, dreary day outside today, but inside it's bright and happy and cheerful. I hope you are having a happy, productive day, too!  

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Brand New Year

I think this one edged over a little into 2016, but even a lot of the binding was put on in 2015, so I'm going to put it in last year's tally. I had thought this one would go to the USO here at our local airport, but my plans were changed, and I am always glad to get that little push as to where a quilt is to go. This one will be going to a missionary couple our church supports. 
They will be visiting with us this month, and they will have a little surprise to take back with them!

The backing is this nice warm flannel, and with the brown and white angled stripe, it has a more masculine side as well as the bright colorful side. I hope they like it as much as I do.

Here's my accomplishment picture for 2015:  34 quilts completed. Each and every one of them make me smile, and that's a good thing!

The quarter square stars quilt is loaded and the quilting has started. Maybe it will get finished tomorrow.

I've got the pieces cut out for a pastel and white quilt my sister asked me to make for her sister in law who recently lost her husband, the love of her life.

Here are the first couple of blocks completed.

We had such a good visit with Mary, but it ended all too quickly! She's about to make some cookies here. (My friend Margaret made this apron for me several years ago, and Mary wanted to look special while she cooked. Isn't it pretty!) We needed more cookies. I had mailed lots to family already, but we like to give some to our neighbors, too. And then, some were consumed by us. Hey, we had to be sure they were good!

I have no idea what Dinah is trying to say, but I do know that's a funny face!

Isn't it good to laugh! I try to do a lot of it every day. You know the Bible says that laughter doeth good like a medicine!

Hugs and kisses,