Fall 2017

Fall 2017

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...


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...


Monday, September 25, 2017

Drayton Hall - revisited...

...After 4 years of what seemed like endless English Paper Piecing the diamonds, traveling with this project for literally thousands of miles - as far away as our trips to Alaska...in the car; in the rv; at retreats; guild meetings; stitching with friends; doctor's waiting room; by the fire....

And joining everything together was like rubbing your head and patting your tummy at the same time...

And then turning it over to my nearby long arm quilter to add her finishing touches...

And the next to the last step of adding binding...

And adding the label...
(Think I will make a new one though)
Dancin' on the ceiling...oh boy, what a feeling!

And because I have not joined in awhile, doing Lori's QAL over at Humble Quilts .....
Feels good to be returning to the sewing room more frequently and tackling some UFO's with a dash of something new.
Happy stitching everyone!

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.....