Collage

Collage

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A summer heart...

... is a good thing to have on a cold, snowy April morning. Winter refuses to release its grip on us here at Taylorsoutback. Each morning I hopefully peek out the window; will it be greening grasses and budding trees or look more like this...

I jokingly told Mr. Outback this morning - let's sell the house, find an uncomplicated place to live in Arizona during the winter months and spend our summers in Valdez or Talkeetna, Alaska. He just laughed - but it works for me!

(Although - Our kids in Wasilla have experienced a very mild winter with little snow - hmmmm...go figure)

When you are housebound, the mind can wander into uncharted territory - while cleaning out more closets, drawers, continued decluttering and prioritizing 30+ years of accumulated quilting/sewing "stuff". My sewing room is beginning to feel somewhat lighter as I zero in on what really has captured my heart...moving more towards handwork and enjoying a slower approach...

Di Ford's 2014 Mystery Quilt - appliqueing the little circles on the current Part 2 Border...

Keeping up with the Benjamin Biggs Wedding Quilt blocks...#4

And more quilting on the Cherry Tree quilt...

All while waiting for the snow to go away and having my Winter heart thaw out...

Pat



 

Monday, March 31, 2014

A wedding gown...

.....brings comfort...

http://www.nicuhelpinghands.org

I first became aware of this remarkable project when someone posted the link to it on Celebrate Hand Quilting.

Having gone through the heartbreak of never bringing our first son home in 1973, it was with a great sense of comfort that I decided to donate my own wedding gown.

Our wedding day - 8-20-66

The tiny garments that the volunteers are creating speak clearly of love and compassion.

I wanted to share this link - perhaps their mission will speak to you in some way also.

Blessings,

Pat

 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A little of this...a little of that...

...and mostly more snow and cold...enough to remind us winter is still here despite Spring knocking on our door...

My calendar of anticipated events these days has lots of X's through it because of weather cancellations. But last Saturday, the skies cleared to blue and off I went with two friends to do our part in celebrating National Quilting Day.

Yards of background and the black/cream dot were great finds and even sweeter to finish 2 bolts for a 20% discount. Nice to find these for future projects on my wish list....

We walked on snow dusted brick streets, peeked into a couple of our favorite shops...

Found a special coffee mug for my Mom...Forget Me Nots by Nicholas Moss Pottery...couldn't resist!

We enjoyed lunch together, solving the problems of the world...

A day with quilting friends does much to brighten the heart...

And this cheery quilt from Chris brightened my heart even more...

Thank you again, dear friend...

Back to the sewing room...so much going on in there -

Getting ready for this month's Jo's Little Women Club...the shop model is almost done but needs a border...love those little Ohio Stars...3 3/4" - using starch really helps to stabilize the pieces.

Wishing everyone a good rest of the week..


Pat

 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Crossing the finishing line...

...the 2014 Olympic torch has been extinguished for 1 1/2 weeks now...but I just completed my race...

This was a beast of a quilt...fabrics that exploded with endless threads, poor pattern directions and a gazillion bias edges...

I will approach any long arm quilter on my knees who is brave enough to make it all "quilt out"...

Difficult to photograph in its paleness, totally square only in my dreams, but a finished top...

Once it is quilted, the plan is for scalloped edges using Darlene Zimmerman's technique which I really like...

...wish me luck on this one!!

Do you have your own "beast of a quilt"?

Happy stitching everyone...

Pat


 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I'm in Heaven...

....quilter's Heaven, that is...because I am...

Down By The Old Mill Stream...

This book has been so elusive. For almost 14 years, I have been on the lookout for a copy and had just about given up. Rarely, one would appear on eBay always way beyond me...

Enter my Buds - our little stitching group - the 5 of us have known each other for years - through thick and thin. Turning 70 next week, my emotions have ranged from denial, up and down blues and wondering how I got to this time in my life. Yesterday my friends surprised me with deliciously decorated cupcakes and a wonderfully wrapped package which when opened was The Book.

I laid awake last night reflecting on this beautiful present and even more on being blessed with the gift of their friendship. Thank you Dear Buds - I am touched beyond belief...

Pat

PS - this Crockpot Cheese Tortellini With Sausage is almost ready for dinner tonight - our next major snow storm has arrived and the winds are blowing snow in from the West...

 

Friday, February 14, 2014

The importance of being earnest...

...when it comes to making hundred's of half square triangles, lack of accuracy will get you everytime. It sure did for me. As mentioned in my previous post, this UFO goes back 4 years. Dozens upon dozens of HST's were made according to the instructions...I knew better...why I did not use Triangles On A Roll (TOAR) at the beginning, escapes me. Cutting many, many individual triangles can often lead to disaster when piecing and needing a 2 1/2" unfinished square.

Take a close look at the difference...

First ones made piecing two triangles together....Just a bit off wouldn't you say?


Brand new HST's...spot on...using TOAR


Then when sewing each HST to the next, needle position gets moved one dot to the right of center and on goes #57 - 1/4" foot with guide.

Works for me and lesson learned. Now back to joining those rows together...

What do you do to ensure good results when piecing?


Pat






 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

16 days of Olympic quilting...

Do you enjoy watching the Olympics? We sure do at Taylorsoutback...from the Opening ceremonies to the Closing...and all the events in between. Many years ago I started my own little Olympic tradition - a new quilting project would commence with the goal of having the top completed when the torch was extinguished. This was always much more doable for the Winter Games rather than the Summers - we tend to be on the road.

This winter when I looked at the scary amount of UFO's that have accumulated - well it was easy to choose one of those rather than start from scratch...or so I thought...

See this pile of a jumbled project?

Last time it saw the light of day was 4 years ago - during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. The partially completed top has been folded inward & pinned to my flannel board all this time (not good!) It took me a while to figure out what stage it was at and then realized the flying geese block in the next HST border was incorrect. A little reverse sewing, going over the instructions (which are pretty sad, hate to say) and now a good pressing and tweaking before continuing on...

I still love the fabric though the pale blue polka dot was probably not the best choice for contrast. It looked darker on the website when originally ordered. But it is what it is...my brief journey into the "shabby chic" look and it will be perfect for a summer quilt. Check out the Canadian flags and English crowns - Canada has always held a special place in my heart with my Grandmother's French Canadian roots and our frequent trips over the years to their beautiful provinces. The fabrics are by Robin Pandolph and were exclusive to Canadian quilt shops in honor of their Olympic year.

Have also completed the 2nd applique block for the Benjamin Biggs quilt...

And sew it goes...as the days grow longer and our temperatures head back into the double digits on somev days...we edge a little closer to Spring...for now I can be found, when time permits, at the sewing machine and counting the days before that torch is extinguished..

And a note to self...don't leave a half completed project pinned to a design wall for 4 years...

 

Pat