Sunday, December 29, 2019

Catching Up Now

Our niece was expecting a Christmas baby boy, so I got this little panel quilt ready for him.
The backing is this sweet all over print of antique toys.
These guys wanted to go along to wish them Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, so into the box they went.
In typical first baby fashion, young Sebastian has still not made his appearance. But he has lots of goodies and love waiting for him when he arrives!
I made a couple of these tortilla warmers, one each for our son and our daughter. They are made from leftover string circles from this quilt.
I think they're pretty, and so did they. Best thing is - they work well!
I cannot even tell you how good this Cranberry Layer Cake was. My friend Kathleen posted the recipe here. Instead of a white cake mix, I used my tried and true yellow cake recipe. Otherwise the recipe is the same as hers. Delicious!!!
This is Moosie, who visited us all the way from New York State, by way of Charleston, South Carolina. She belongs to our daughter Mary and Matt. Matt stopped by Charleston to pick up our Mary, who is currently in school there, and they drove the rest of the way together. It was wonderful to see them all and to finally get to meet Moosie. She is the sweetest!
They left yesterday to begin the long drive back. We miss them. It is SO quiet here now.
Dawn is a long time friend of our Miss Ru, and now she is our friend as well. She sent us this beautiful Christmas arrangement. It arrived well before Christmas, and it is still gorgeous. Friends make life so much more precious!
You, my blog friends, are so precious to me. Thank you for being my friends all these years!
Hugs and love,

Monday, December 16, 2019

Busy busy busy

I have another quilt ready for the USO Lounge at our local airport. I really like it. It's made of three inch strips, and I used the Go!Cutter to die cut the stars. Mr. Muddling has stepped up to take Miss Ru's post of Design Consultant, and I used his suggestion for the placement of the stars.
Free Patriotic Quilt from Make All Things New is the pattern I used. Really fast and easy. Thank you!
Since I had some backing left on the quilt frame, I also quilted this little wall hanging and hung it on the hanger I bought recently from Connecting Threads. I love cardinals!
This is chicken posole we had for lunch yesterday. Posole, in case you didn't know,  is Spanish for hominy. It is also a traditional soup from Mexican cuisine. The one most of Mr. Muddling's family eat and  I won't touch is made with beef tripe. This one is much better!
And here is Mr. Muddling putting the last touches on my Christmas present with the help of his design consultants. I am hoping I can put pot plants from the yard into this little greenhouse and save them through the cold. We've been closing in the patio every year, but this will be a much better option.
That mass of green to the right of it is my mustard greens. Don't they look happy? We've got cold weather coming in later today. Hoping they survive!
I'm still working on my second Sew Many Strips quilt top. This one is going to our son and his darling wife and will be king size. I've added another set of borders to make it the right size. Still have two more sides to get attached and then the quilting. 
A little peek at some of what's going on around here. I am enjoying all the pretty while I can! And I have two Christmas cacti blooming and another in bud!!! I love it!
Still lots to do before Christmas, but we are so excited that our baby girl is coming home for Christmas with her true love! Having both our children here will make it so much better.
I am also so thankful that this year, knee surgeries and eye surgeries are behind me. I feel wonderful and it is so good to be feeling strong and able again. God is good!
I hope all is going well for you and this season of joy is invading your heart and your home!
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

This was my view last  night as I worked away on a quilt. I'm getting closer, but nothing to show yet. 

This was some of what I saw this afternoon out in the back yard. We had a little bit of a freeze a couple of weeks ago. I thought everything would be finished, but it was mild enough there is plenty left to see. I was so touched at the yellow angel trumpets. You can see them pictured on the lower left. The top of the plants is just dead, but  there are again flowers blooming on the parts still alive. You can see one of the blooms directly above the lower left and more in the lower center. And would you look at that tomato in the upper center picture!!! The plants are frost burned, but still these little tomatoes are trying to grow and live. There are several on the plants. Just amazing.

This is the look I got when I walked into our bedroom the other night and turned on the light. I don't think Buddy appreciated being waked from his nap. I do love this big funny dog!

I have been doing a little cooking today. We are going to our son and daughter's house for the feast tomorrow. Other family will be there as well. Looking forward to good food and fellowship!

I hope your day is full of wonderful things. God is so good to us all, it seems every day should be a celebration of thanks!

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, November 15, 2019

Two New Quilts!!!!

I got the neutral jelly roll race quilt done! I was not at all sure I liked it, but now that it's done - I do! This one will be going to the USO Lounge at the local airport.  I need to get more made for them. It's cold.

Here it is again, half in sun, half in shade. 

I think this one will go to a little friend of mine. It looks a little too girly to send to the USO, don't  you think?
This block is Sisters Choice. I love how each block looks different according to where you put the values.
Here it is again in some dapple-y sunshine. It is a happy quilt!

Speaking of happy - that's what I was with some freshly baked pumpkin-cranberry bread and a nice hot cup of tea! Mr. Muddling was pretty happy with his share, too.

We've had some cold weather here (for Houston anyway), but even though it was cold and dipped below freezing we did not have much damage to the plants outside. It will happen, but it hasn't yet! I do love seeing all the pretty babies growing out there.

Hope you're starting a wonderful weekend!  

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, November 7, 2019


I ran across a project I had started a while back. Actually it was two different ones. So, I took the four patches I had completed for the first project and used them in the other project, the Bonnie Hunter Celtic Solstice mystery quilt. I also altered one of the blocks. And it is now half way done. But I got a little discouraged about it, so I took it down off the design wall and went back to this one.
I don't have a picture for it, but the rows are all sewn together horizontally. Maybe I'll get the vertical seams done tonight. I have most or maybe all of the border strips cut. I'm planning to use two sets of borders to make it a king size quilt.  This is my second Sew Many Strips, an American Patchwork and Quilting quiltalong from last year. I have already made one of these and it is very happy on our bed! This one will be for our son and daughter in-law.

I know I have been absent for too long. I have been busy as you can see, but I've also had a cataract surgery, which is no big deal. What I didn't realize is that when I had the partial cornea transplant last year it caused my vision not to be correctable to a full 20/20. I know now, and I've dealt with that news, but I am not happy. I know it could be worse though, so I'm thankful.

We have a rainy day today and a cool front moving in again. Here's a little peek at what's been going on around here in the back yard. Still lots of pretties out there!

This little side yard, Ruthie's Garden, is the only attractive place in the back yard. I have let the chickens roam outside a lot this summer. I felt sorry for them in the heat, but they have pretty well destroyed every blade of grass. You can see them in the photos above , but believe me - I was watching them!

I hope you're having lots of fun and pretty things going on in your world! God has blessed us all so much!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, October 5, 2019

String Circles

The string circles quilt is at long last finished! Somehow it took me quite a while to get the binding sewn on this one.
I saw this book when I was wandering around on Amazon looing for something else, and I just had to order it. The cover quilt is the one I made, but I didn't make mine quite as large.
I like the ingenuity of using those large coffee filters for the foundations. I pressed them first to flatten them out and then started sewing. It was a lot of fun!
And it made a very striking quilt.
I used this yellow print for the backing and more solid black for the binding.
My sweet neighbor has a granddaughter who visits her often.. I thought she might like a little doll I had bought, so I gave it to her. In return, she and my friend surprised me later with this delightful toy Emily had made. I love it! If  you read the little note she wrote to go with it, you'll see that it's a "slof"!
In other news, I decided to make another of these quits. I had so much fun with the first one and I decided I'd like to make maybe a coupe more to give as gifts.
There is something very satisfying about just putting fabric through the machine and turning it into something else!
I bought a fat eighth bundle of the new Jo Morton fabric "Shelbyville", and I like it a lot. I cut it all up into 1 1/2 inch strips with my Studio cutter. There were also leftovers from the other quilt I made, so this one will have lots of variety.
Autumn keeps teasing us and running away again. Early in the morning and late in the evening there is just a hint of cooler weather. The rest of the day, it's still hot!
I do hope you're finding lots of good things to see and to do!
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Happy Days

Lest you think I always use vintage sewing machines, here is my Janome I've had for years and years. It still has a beautiful blanket stitch and I used it to sew all those string pieced circles to the black background squares.
And the really good news longarm is fixed!!! I am so happy. What a relief.
Ammon Floyd in West Jordan, Utah is my hero! He did troubleshooting over the phone, and took care of getting parts repaired when I sent them to him. Also the wonderful Mr. Muddling who reassembled it when the repaired parts came back home.
God is good!!!
You may have heard we had a little rain here last week. This is in front of our house after the rainwater had gone down quite a bit. That dry stuff on the lawn is what had washed up from the street. The really good news is we had no flood damage. Lots of people did though, and it will take time for them to recover.
Here in the Land of Muddle there are lots of pretty things to see, including a really tasty doughnut.
I hope there are only good things where you live and that you are having lots of fun!
Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Not Much Happening

First of all, I got a new machine. I love this type machine. I have seen it called a Singer Model 15 clone, and lots of other things. I just call it wonderful! Quiet, beautiful stitch and a big bobbin. What's not to like? This one looks like it was not used a whole lot and it runs like the wind! And isn't it perfect how well it matches my sewing table?
I was still using my sweet little American Beauty here. Same machine, basically. This one just needs a little work, which Mr. Muddling will now have time to give it.
Here you can see the beginnings of some Sisters Choice blocks I've been making.
Here is the completed quilt top hanging out on the patio looking a lot like stained glass. Isn't it pretty? I love how each block is made exactly the same but they all look different depending on your color and intensity choices.
Still no word on my longarm parts. Hopefully soon.
I now have twenty of these round string blocks made. Not quite halfway to the number I want yet. They are a lot of fun to make, but quite messy, too!
This is Ariel, Miss Ru's beloved dog, still living the good life here at Muddle Manor!
I DO understand why they call these the "Dog Days of Summer"! It is hard to get motivated to do anything that requires much expenditure of energy!
I hope you're enjoying at least a few things right now! We all have much for which to be thankful. I know I am!
Hugs and kisses,


Friday, August 9, 2019

Playing Around in the HOT Summertime

My sister Carolyn told me she had bought a new dining table and chairs. I made her a little table topper. She likes blue! There are lots of the framed nine patches left over. I'm sure they will grow into something else one day.
I had the idea to make a jelly roll of neutral fabrics, make a jelly roll race quilt, and put something on it that would make it a little bit patriotic for the USO. This is my creation. Not sure how much I like it, but I'm sure it will be better looking once it's quilted. No idea how long that will be. The latest word is several weeks before my longarm parts come back home.
Amazon is always tempting me. I saw this book and had to order it. I like the idea of using those big coffee filters as backing for circle strings. I have a big box of those filters out in the garage that I bought by mistake years ago Sometimes being a packrat pays off!
It took several hours to make these two circles, so I'm not sure how long it will take to make enough for a quilt top. Those "storage containers" aka ice cream buckets. hold one inch and one and a half inch strips cut from fabric leftover from other projects. Makes it easy to grab some ready cut for a project.
I am amazed there are still pretty things to be seen outside in this heat! At the lower right you'll see my harvest of muscadine grapes that grow on the east side of the chicken yard. I remember muscadine preserves my grandmother made so many years ago.
The lower left is a box of peaches we bought recently. Mouthwateringly delicious!
I am thankful for a comfortable home with air conditioning! And I am thankful for the gift of sewing. I would say it keeps me out of trouble, but we both know that's not always true!
Hope you are having lots of pretty things to see and do where you live!
Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Happy Birthday to Me

No birthday is complete with stash enhancement, and I got a big boost in mine! I always wash fabric before using it, so that was the first step after it arrived. I am fortunate to have clotheslines in the garage to hang things, so no fading outside in the sun.
There was also a new red mug added.
I totally agree with the sayings on the front and back of this mug!
I am exceptionally blessed in my husband. Mr. Muddling encourages me in all I do, even adding more fabric! Got to love him.
I've been playing around with the two inch strips I cut last week from leftover bits and pieces. I found that the Go! Cutter die with the 5 inch long side of the triangle exactly fits those little nine patches to frame them. It's die number 55398, which is a 4 1/2 inch finished quarter square triangle if you're interested. 
Nice little stack of them pressed and ready. The fabrics I used for the triangles of both light and dark are from the new acquisitions! Got to put them to work at once.
I'm going to make a small table topper of these, and there will still be some left over for "quilt seeds" (thank you for that saying, Wanda!) for another project.
I am waiting patiently for my Tin Lizzie to be up and running again. No word yet, but I live in hope!
I hope you're having a wonderful time where you are! God is so good to us all.
Hugs and kisses,