Spring 2017

Spring 2017

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...

Pat

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mom....

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.

Pat

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!

Pat

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Some snow-filled thoughts....

December 17, 2016
Outside, it is a winter wonderland...lots of fresh new snow and increasingly cold temperatures have guaranteed a white Christmas here at Taylorsoutback. Inside, our tree is up and presents are being wrapped. The first round of baking has all ready disappeared...next week the kitchen will be filled with more cookie ingredients. Apparently, some elves have been devouring those first efforts...
Just a little sewing going on around here as last minute touches are added to a special gift...no peeking!
The first week in December started out with our annual Christmas gathering for the Liberty Ladies, my quilt history study group. We always do a cookie exchange and optional gift offering. This year I made a sewing box from the French General pattern Le Marais.

French General fabrics and a beaded tufted interior


In return I received this wonderful quilted piece - love the colors and the scale of the blocks. The border fabric really sets everything off too!


A special lunch with long time friends and opening Christmas cards from loved ones far away help to keep our thoughts upbeat. My Mom has not rallied and the nursing home staff has arranged for her to be under the care of Ministry Hospice. We had so hoped she would be well enough to join us for Christmas, but it is not to be. When we emptied their house last year, all Mom & Dad's Christmas ornaments were carefully packed up and kept. Our tree this year has all of those hanging on the branches & I had wanted her to see them. So many years and memories of special ones we had given them...


We are so thankful to have our Dave and Jena with us - no more long, anxious flights from Anchorage in the midst of winter storms. Their presence and thoughtfulness are beyond dear...recently while Mr. Outback and I were gone for the day on errands, they both arranged solar powered lights on an evergreen that stands next to our pond...from dusk to early morning, the lights shine out softly and lift our spirits.

May your days ahead be filled with all good things and blessings.

Pat

(PS - with the closing down of Blogsy for those of us who blog via iPad, a new Blogging app has recently appeared - it is called Blogo and I am giving it a try - so far so good - learning my way around)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Winds of change...

 "It was November, the month of...passionate wind songs in the pines..."
L M Montgomery




Walking is a favorite of mine and not done often enough. However, since November 2 at our Annual Fall Retreat, I have made a concerted effort to walk frequently.

 Month after month since early 2015, our country has seen such disruption that will take a long time to find a common ground and correct the hurts. Being outside, with ones own thoughts can be therapeutic. All week, the weather people have been calling for our first winter storm starting tonight. Should I try to get in one last outdoor walk before changing to the basement treadmill? The afternoon had hovered around 57 with spurts of rain drops and a soft breeze on the cheek...barely enough to ruffle your hairdo. Calling one of my little fur companions, Seana, we set out on the grassy path Mr. Outback keeps mowed in our south field. Three laps around = 1 mile. 
It was very still at the level we walked...hardly a branch moved; the dried and faded goldenrod heads nodded gently and even the silky, white inner seed pods from the milkweed seemed at rest. Last week they filled the air, drifting and spinning about finding new homes. Far above, in the uppermost tops of the pines and poplars, a distant sound grew from the west...as though a great chorus was announcing the approaching storm. I looked up and could see tree tops swaying and touching each other like dancers. The sound intensified and the air around us was filled with the fragrance of distant forests that had 
been collected along the way...
Closer the winds came until they crossed our road and tumbled down to sweep across the path and onto our fields. In the woods, tree branches snapped and hit the ground. Yes - a tree does make a sound when it falls in the forest whether someone hears it or not!

Living in the country for 20+ years has opened my eyes to so much - Nature in all her seasons offers lessons and parallels if we only allow ourselves to be open to seeing and hearing. The winds this afternoon will bring a major drop in temperature and the first snowflakes of the long winter. Changes are in the making. What will the morning bring? What lies ahead? Our faith and knowing goodness surrounds us can guide us even though the road ahead may be icy and uncertain...

From the northwoods, I wish each of you Thanksgiving Blessings...




Monday, November 7, 2016

Gone quilting....

Our annual Fall Retreat is now in the memory book - 5 wonderful days of being with quilting friends - sewing, hikes along the many trails, no cooking and the most incredible string of beautiful weather ever - November in the Wisconsin northwoods - 50's to low 60's during the day, 30's at night....amazing!

A fun trip to the nearby LQS - where we met this sister quilter...

While I have returned home with nothing completely finished (had not expected too!) progress has been made on a couple of my long term projects...

The second border to my Di Ford Drayton Hall...

And the start of Border #3...

All the little 9 patch units are done for Lisa Bongean's Settler's Crossing...my goal now is finish this up during the winter - after 3 years there will NOT be a 4th! Time to do it!

Needing to calm the feeling of being a quilter out of control...please tell me I am not alone...

So many projects that need or want to be done...and yet new discoveries are calling...Paper Pieces and their new Dear Jane packets will be arriving starting in December...next Spring, Di Ford's 2nd book will be out and must have. All the new fabric lines being introduced...

Help!!!

Happy stitching everyone...

Pat