Drayton Hall diamonds

Drayton Hall diamonds

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Of books and days at home...

For those of us who live in the more northerly parts of the country, the months of January, February and March are usually about staying snug at home by the fire with occasional bundled up trips out to replenish the pantry or meet up with stitching friends...
The home becomes the center of our days...soups or stews slowly bubbling on the stove, the coffee pot full and if you are like me, a cupboard filled with quilting projects to choose from...
The cold and snowy days are also welcomed when books can be enjoyed to their fullest. My wish list usually consists of quilt history/textile books...and thanks to my family at Christmas, the quilting library has gained 3 new titles...
Two gorgeous Quiltmania publications - the first one a recommendation from Di Ford...
And...
The third book is also a beauty - more Chintz quilts and history...
No patterns in this trio, but so much inspiration and with a magnifying glass nearby, a great study in early fabrics...
When not curled up with one of these books, my list of 18 in 2018 is active - #1 is those paper pieced houses from 2012.




All the scraps I am using are separated into those 3 bins... Frankly, I want to wrap this project up - looking at those bins for this long has made me tired!
But - confession time...just could not resist doing a test drive on the first Brimfield Awakening block project from Paper Pieces. (A special Christmas gift from Mr. Outback!) You can make these blocks with lots going on - the papers have perforated lines for different fabrics in each unit or you can treat the unit as one piece.
Because so many other of my things going on involve scraps and/or many fabrics, it is nice to have something that is more controlled...
A French General background and a little fussy cutting bring a calmness to my handwork...
Hoping each of you have your projects for this new year organized and in the works...and if anyone is in a warm climate near a beach...wiggle your toes in the sand for those of us in the far north...
Pat

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Something old...something new...


Wrapping up 2017 by putting finishing touches on a quilt which dates to...are you ready? 1993!! And like every quilt...this one has a story...Back in the day when I had my quilt shop, a group of Hmong ladies would meet to do some stitching for me...it gave them a break from the demands of the home and family and they earned some extra pocket money. It helped to put more samples on display in the shop...win-win! The ladies would chat away and share laughter and we would converse through a translator. Silly me, trying to give stitching instructions to these expert appliquers...
They were very accomplished and very fast, often returning the next day after the meeting with a completed block...
Check out the minute stitches and smooth edges in their applique work...

Well, as life happens, my shop was eventually sold to new owners and those lovely blocks got pushed back - way back into the quilting cave of good intentions...and the years went by - fast forward to 2017...
This is the completed top - I just needed to work on the borders and would you believe, in the project bag were all the original fabric pieces and prepared bias vines...

The pattern appeared in a long ago book by Laurene Sinema - Folk Art Applique...
And, of course, when it comes time for the label, all the ladies will be listed as participants - finally getting the recognition they so much deserve. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to keep notes and record the ladies names. Destined for quilting in this new year...
As for the “something new” - to start off 2018... our Dave and Jena are in need of a new flannel quilt and they requested something modern and in soft tones...this is what they chose...and they really like the quilting design featured in the completed top...(the little graph is my “cheat sheet” to keep my rows organized as this is a large quilt - 90 X 108 compared to the quilt in the magazine which is only about 1/2 that size)

The pattern is called”Positive Direction” in the magazine...because our kids are hoping to build later this year and have so many plans, I am calling the quilt...
MOVING FORWARD

And off it will go to be quilted by a LA quilter...with a Hobbs washable wool batt, they will sleep under a very soft and warm quilt...
So I am off and running for the New Year and making a list of 18 in 2018 - hoping it will be a year of more completed projects - I just get scared thinking what else might be lurking in that quilting cave...
Happy stitching everyone!
Pat

Monday, December 18, 2017

Blessings to everyone...

... I so appreciate and treasure those of you who have taken time to visit and comment on the doings here at Taylorsoutback..we have shared much and that means in addition to having the special bond of quilting that stitches us together.
May your 2018 be filled with good health and all things that are kind and gentle...
Pat

Monday, December 4, 2017

A magical light...

A few weeks ago, shortly after dinner, our son took all the pups outside...he immediately came back in and said...”Now...go outside now!...” Wondering what was going on, we all headed out the door...and stopped immediately - eyes fixed to the North...





What a wonder - the Northern Lights danced and wove their way across the sky. The display lasted for the longest time - my husband wrapped his jacket around me (he was the only one who thought to grap a coat on the way out). I wrapped my arms around our daughter-in-law - her teeth were chattering! The night air was chilly but we continued to be mesmerized by the constant movement. I can’t remember our son having a jacket on - he was so wrapped up in capturing the moment with his camera which he had mounted on his tripod...we would glance over at him as he calmly adjusted settings and exposure...watching Dave with a camera is an experience that stands alone...we think he has a gift. He tells us the camera can “see” all the colors of the Northern Lights that humans cannot with the naked eye. While we “saw” primarily green, there was so much more in the spectrum...

Our son walked over to the southeast side of our home and got the image that appears in my new header...

As the lights slowly faded from our view and we headed back into the house, my thoughts were of the many adventures we have had in Alaska but never saw their Aurora show...

I had to return home to see this magical light...

Pat


(Both photos used with the permission of our son, David Ryan Taylor - to see a few of his Alaskan images, including Aurora - visit https://www.thealaskalife.com/blog/featured-photographerdavid-ryan-taylor/

Friday, November 17, 2017

Di Ford Hall Workshop...Part 2 long with photos

Okay...I have taken a deep breath and will continue on with our Shipshewana adventure on Friday, November 10th. (Thanks to our son, he has hooked me up to the Mac mini and preparing a new blog post seems to be much smoother than dealing with the Blogo malfunctions with iPad Pro)


This composite just shows Di playing with a few of the students fabrics - pointing out possible combinations for the bird and leafy ring in the center medallion...



Her enthusiasm was so contagious! She also had some examples of EPP - isn't it fascinating to see how fabric can be manipulated when making diamonds, pentagons and hexies. We all fell in love with her start to the Brimfield Block project - this is a new pattern offered through Paper Pieces and is based on a vintage quilt that was found by 2 ladies at the annual Brimfield Antiques event in Massachusetts. (pattern by Kim Martucci and Nisha Bouri) Mr. Outback has ordered this pattern for me as a Christmas present...I, of course, will be very surprised on Christmas morning!!


After our workshop concluded, we attended a delicious dinner at the Blue Gate Restaurant hosted by Lolly's Fabrics of Shipshewana...home style chicken dinner with assorted pies for dessert...oh my!


We were then treated to a trunk show presented by Di - many of her quilts from her latest book - Primarily Patchwork 2...from where I was sitting, it was difficult to get photos but you can well imagine how stunning they were to be viewed up close...

Then off to Lolly's for a private shopping experience...be still my heart...the bolts of fabric were overwhelming...I ended up moving my clothing to the tote bag and transferring all the fabrics to my rolling suitcase...so much more sensible!

This is a growing collection of Di’s fabrics...plus other purchases...more about that in the future!


Books were signed...by Di...


And by Brenda Papadakapis in my Dear Jane book...Brenda was in our Friday class and it was so nice to meet her...such a special lady!


A treasured photo was taken - I think I look like a deer caught in the headlights...I was so awestruck!


Saturday was exploring Shipshewana - back to Lolly's because we just needed more fabric! Yoder's Department - a remarkable carry's everything kind of store, watching the many Amish horse drawn buggies as they went about their errands...I thought seeing them lined up next to the gas pumps was interesting!


Saturday night was Show and Tell and I waited nervously to share my Drayton Hall with everyone - being in such heady company...


Sunday morning we headed home to Wisconsin in a wintery mix but made it home safe and sound filled with so much inspiration and memories...
Yesterday, Mr. Outback had a brand new shoulder replacement and I got my leaves basted for the center medallion while sitting in the surgical waiting area...

So that is it for now from Taylorsoutback...staying put this weekend and being close by to help my husband as he recuperates and just maybe get in a little stitching...

Pat

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Di Ford Hall Workshop...Part 1

What an adventure...I have just returned from the Shipshewana Quilt Retreat in Indiana. Along with 3 quilting friends, I drove down to Shipshewana on Thursday and on Friday we attended a day long workshop with Di Ford Hall as our instructor. I met Di back in 1994 while on a quilting tour with Doreen Speckman (she passed away in 1999). Di owned a quilt shop in Melbourne and I had mine in Wisconsin. We shared a picnic lunch and I took photos, never dreaming 23 years later I would see this now famous Australian designer of quilts and fabrics. She is my most favorite quilter ever!

Our project was this...

We were instructed to bring a few backgrounds and assorted fabrics to work on the center medallion.
(I packed waaayyyy too many fabrics worrying that I would not have “just the right one.”) Silly girl! 
The focus of this class was to understand how to make your fabric work for you. 
We would start with the bird and leafy wreath.


 Incredibly, Di took the entire morning to visit each student’s work station (there were about 36 of us) 
and examine everyone’s fabrics...What an education as we listened and watched. Many of us had laid out a possible arrangement for the bird and others were not quite sure. I knew my bird would be red to honor my Mom’s love of cardinals and I hoped to use a particular paisley for the wing.
 I was delighted to be told it was a wonderful arrangement & I kind of floated from there! But I was nervous about the 3 background choices brought from home.  When Di saw the Elly Sienkiewicz  roses she was very excited as this is quite “precious.” This term is so sweet and she used it when questioning if we really
wanted to cut into it! So the roses background is the winner...my leafy wreath fabric had me kind of 
stumped and Di suggested this green and red print would work well giving the wreath movement.




We broke for lunch and the afternoon was all about sharing tips on achieving perfect points on a leaf;
 improved stitching when working with EPP hexies and 60 degree diamonds, broderie perse 
application and finishing details on the overall quilt. At this point I am holding off as to how to finish the rest of the quilt thinking about a different arrangment around the medallion center...no hurry! The 
center will take awhile and I can dream along the way.  

I have more “teaser” images to share from the class of Di’s other project - will try to add those in Part 2...and the Amish dinner, shopping at Lolly’s, show and tell...

(having major issues using blogger since the huge update with IOS a month ago so am only able to add a few photos for each post that I do on my iPad Pro- my apologies for the chopped up text)






Saturday, October 14, 2017

Instead of quilting...

...Fall at Taylorsoutback always means garden and yard cleanup - prepping for our long winter months which will soon arrive...

Five out of six raised garden beds in the back always get attention - I love being able to go out the next Spring having clean beds and get right at the sowing and planting and it means a much healthier environment for growing. Bed #6 has been a thorn in my side for many years - old raspberry plants which were no longer offering up more than a bowl of berries if we were lucky; tall grasses and weeds were choking out everything. 

As soon as cool weather arrived I put aside my old leather thimble and donned my old leather gloves...







When these pictures were taken a week ago, only a few feet of area had been cleared...happy to report the entire bed is now free of old plantings and invasive weeds...next Spring, fresh soil will be added and that tall crop of asparagus you see in the one photo will be divided up and moved to their new
home...so much more productive and easier to maintain...yum! I can taste fresh asparagus on the grill
as we speak!
In the meantime...the temperature continues to drop, a fire is going and the sewing room is calling...I can go there for a while, knowing those raised garden beds are tucked in for the winter - well...there is a short row of Flashy Trout Heirloom lettuce that looks very tasty...

Pat