Fall 2017

Fall 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A promise kept...

.....Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep,
It's own appointed limits keep.

Oh hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril in the sea.

The Navy Hymn
Written in 1860 by Reverend William Whiting - Winchester, England

Hearing this familiar hymn is always so poignant. Moreso on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 as we said a final farewell to my Mom and Dad at Arlington National Cemetery.

Unknowingly, our long time, dearest family friend, a Navy Band widow herself, had arranged to have the U S Ceremonial Band present for the funeral. She knew exactly who to contact. (This is an honor normally reserved for highest ranking officers. But she has kept close ties since 1960 when her husband, along with 18 other U S Navy Band members, were lost in an air plane crash while on tour with President Eisenhower in Brazil. Dad had retired from the Band months before this tragedy and of course he and Mom knew everyone who perished - the loss was beyond words. The men are buried at Arlington also - I still remember attending that huge funeral even though it was 57 years ago)

Following words of comfort from the Navy Chaplain, Taps was performed by the bugler and the American flag was then carefully and precisely folded by the 8 member Navy Ceremonial Honor Guard and presented to me with the spoken words...

"On behalf of the President of the United States, United States Navy and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service"

(Historical note: A properly proportioned flag will fold 13 times on the triangles, representing the 13 original colonies. The folded flag is emblematic of the tri-cornered hat worn by the Patriots of the American Revolution. When folded, no red or white stripe is to be evident, leaving only the blue field with stars.)

The bugler was a young man we know - he and our son swam on the same swim team throughout their school years. He is also from Wisconsin and is a member of the U S Navy Band...Dad played Taps for countless funerals at Arlington during his own career and it was so meaningful to have someone we know play Taps for him.

The entire staff at ANC has been wonderful to work with - they are all a special group of people.

And so we have kept our promise to Dad and Mom and they now rest in "these hallowed grounds" with over 400,000 men and women who have served our country.

Rest in peace, Mom and Dad - together forever...

Monday, August 14, 2017

22 years ago....or thereabouts...

....if you were quilting back then, you may recall the huge popularity of the "primitive" look that took the quilting world by storm...Gerry Kimmel, Linda Brannock, Jan Patek - the Red Wagon trilogy - wow! We couldn't get enough...darker quilts, angels, bears, sheep, trees - lots of trees...lots of rounded areas for applique; not the perfect points and placement of traditional applique. Who knew you could do star points that were not sharp? The more primitive the better! Plaids, wovens, naive figures on prints...what great fun we had.

So in 1996, when we broke ground for our log home, I just knew there would be a place to display this "Northwoods" quilt which had been started the year before...

I knew I could get it done - after all there isn't much to do when you are selling one house and building another...
Not so fast - that quilt languished in various boxes, baskets and closets - with only one row of trees to finish the hand quilting on...for about 22 years...
Until last week...quilting finished, binding on and a gentle wash.

This was a learning quilt - I made lots of mistakes, probably invented some new ones; used questionable markers for quilting lines (not the safer varieties we have now) ; lost the original spool of quilting thread somewhere...had to substitute a "close enough" color...and I like it all over again - the log cabins, bears and paper-doll cut trees...

Happy to check off a third project on 17 in 2017 -

Just think what I can accomplish in the next 22 years....
Happy stitching everyone!!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Benjamin Biggs Wedding Quilt....top!

Well, I sure haven't kept to my intentions of being a better blogger - here it is late July & this is only the 3rd posting for 2017...no long excuses though...let's just say my days are focused on too many house and garden projects.

As for quilting projects...Benjamin Biggs is a done deal - the top at least, and like my Drayton Hall top, is waiting in the lineup at the long arm quilters. (Yes those are a few wayward leaves that blew across the deck and landed just as I snapped the camera)

The only other actual sewing going on is getting 2 charity quilts ready to turn over to my quilting guild. Both will be tied and hopefully find a new home.

And if you will bear with me, I am showing a box of Cherrywood fabrics which need to also find a new home as I continue to downsize my sewing room...these fabrics were purchased with the idea of making clothing - something I only attempted a few times - with so-so success. As you can see, there are 2 larger bundles - one with gradated colors and one with 2 yards of a coordinating color. The small pack is fat quarters.

The second grouping is composed of more fat quarters, fat 8ths and dibs and daps of miscellaneous colors. Most of these in this group are also Cherrywood but may have a few other brands mixed in - however ALL the fabrics are hand dyed (and should be prewashed using Synthrapol to assure dye colors won't bleed).

If anyone out there is interested, leave a comment and I will get in touch with you to "talk turkey"!

That is it for now from Taylorsoutback.....


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Spring - 2017....

.....has returned to Taylorsoutback...greening up, ducks and geese back on our pond raising their new families and me rediscovering how to use those soft winter muscles as work begins in the gardens..

The long winter days are behind us and you will find me with paintbrush or shovel in hand most days.
Sprucing up the house is top priority this year...after 20 years at Taylorsoutback, things need to happen!
My Dad, who was career Navy, always recalled a favorite saying from his days aboard ship...
"if it is moving salute it...if it is not...paint it!"

So far I have painted our long hallway in from the garage and tried chalk paint/distressing on a very plain, inexpensive cupboard...don't you agree that it has the appearance of being stuck in an old barn for years?

Quilting time has been hit or miss but I finally have 1 quilt top to show before it goes off to the long arm quilter...hand quilting will probably not be an option anymore in the future - arthritis does not make for a good companion.

So...here is my 3 year adventure in making Di Ford Hall's Drayton Hall...
ta da!!

That's it for now - will try to post a little more often...


Sunday, January 22, 2017


My Mom passed away on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the age of 91. She and Dad are now reunited forever.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

New year...new plan...

Many of you are posting about new directions, new goals, new inspiration. So guess I am jumping in too...
Had a meltdown on December 31st ....

while trying to straighten up the sewing room...many, many projects - close to being finished, half way, started or dreaming of. Out of control for years....
Between 2 of my favorite blogs that I follow...Mimi's Passions and Timeless Reflections, there are 2 suggestions to bring my chaos under control. Start u or donating some quilts from the pile (s) and create a realistic list of prioritizing some finishes in 2017.u

Okay - starting on the storage closets next...and now have my list done (could have had 2 pages!)

Wish me luck!! I am going to need it.
We are deep into Winter here in the northwoods...with a high of -2 below during the day and at night a chilly -13 below, snow piles up and the ground will most likely be covered through March or early April.
At the end of each day, I crawl eagerly into bed welcoming the warmth of our Cherry Tree quilt with its wool batting. There is a delicious stack of books to anticipate - working my way through the first 6 books of Winston Graham's 12 volume Poldark series - are you a fan of the PBS episodes? And now we have Victoria to look forward to on January 15th. My sweet DIL gifted me with Daisy Goodwin's novel. Life is full of stresses these days and reading offers a respite.

For now, while the sunshines into my sewing room, I will get reacquainted with making 365 little houses (2012 - Building Houses From Scraps # 7 on the list - 43 done)...one a day - doable!

Happy stitching everyone.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Calling cards and flannel shirts....

When I picked up the phone to invite some cousins over during the holidays, it struck me how our social life has evolved from the 1800's. We now have so many options to keep in touch with near and far family and friends. Whether it be by land line, cell, email, Skype or Facebook, it all can be accomplished quickly.

Imagine yourself 150 years ago - hand writing an invitation or arriving at someone's home and presenting a beautifully inscribed calling card.

Or what an interesting approach in getting acquainted between a man and a young woman...

Oh my - how times have changed and not always for the better!

Even in more recent times - if you were a young military officer in the early 1960's - there was a certain protocol in place when calling on your Commanding Officer and his wife. When Mr. Outback & I married in 1966, we received this silver calling card tray from one of his Australian relatives. And my dear MIL, who wanted to help educate me in the Army tradition of calling cards and formalities, presented me with this book. I must confess, our dear little tray has more often held tiny mementoes rather than someone's card. I would like to think we know our manners and can be relied on to act appropriately when out in public. But, truth be told, we are simply more relaxed using the phone or email and love wearing flannel shirts....

So, if you are ever in our neck of the woods, a calling card is not required and you can just....

Happy New Year everyone - be comfortable and be safe out there!