Collage

Collage

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Unpacking Joy....


... This will be the first Christmas in my 70 years, that Mom & Dad will not celebrate the holidays in their own home. My Mom is still recovering at the nursing home from her October 6th fall. The level of care for my Dad has exceeded what Mr. Outback & I can handle ourselves. He has joined Mom for the time being - the hours leading up to his move were some of the most difficult we have experienced. What the future holds is an unknown place we have yet to enter.

2014 has been a year filled with so much - visiting with Dave and Jena during our 5th trip through Canada and Alaska; meeting new friends...sorrow at hearing that far away family members are gone; keeping up with all of you who visit this little blog and share your creative ideas so generously. There have been happy times and sadness - yet we can all keep each other close even though many miles and even oceans separate us.

Once again, boxes are brought up from the basement - years of gathered ornaments and memories are hung on our fresh tree - and it is like unpacking renewed Joy everytime -

I remember the timeless letter of Fra Giovanni who wrote in A.D. 1513 -

"I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take Heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take Peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach is joy.

Take Joy!

And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away..."

Wishing each of you a New Year filled with Joy and Peace from our house to yours.....

Pat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Little accomplishments...

Sometimes it feels like you don't get much done when deep in challenging times....but then little things pop up - and you realize - now, I did finish that afterall...

Our Thanksgiving turkey dinner did get prepared and enjoyed - a day early, so time could be spent visiting Mom onThanksgiving Day. Another sewing room bin got sorted and ready for disposal, a few kitchen drawers got cleaned out and a jumble of canning jars are now organized in the basement. Little things but accomplished...

I never did share 3 earlier projects made back in September - 2 purses made - 1 for our dear DIL, Jena. She chose the batiks at The Quilted Raven in Anchorage when we were there visiting this summer.

And the same style purse for me - both using Texture Magic on the over flap areas ...I found my fabric at Bears Paw Quilt Shop in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Like the tiny bear paw print for the lining. Remembering where you found the fabrics as you travelled always adds a special touch to a project, don't you think?

And this little tablerunner for Jena - she was able to pack both the purse and the tablerunner in her luggage when she returned to Alaska after a much too short visit.... she has used it during the weeks of Fall on their dining room table.

My last little accomplishment is made of 2" hexies and is now in place on our dining room table...

As we head into the next few weeks of more holiday preparations, I wish each of you time for accomplishments - big or small.

Pat




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pieces - pieces everywhere....

Ever feel as though your life is in scattered pieces? At Taylorsoutback, our days continue much like that, but this post is about scattered quilting pieces. Leaving my Dad in the capable hands of Mr. Outback (I owe him big time!), I recently attended a 4 day quilting retreat. A group of us have gathered every Fall for so many years, we have lost count.

We drove down a quiet snow dusted road that led us to our lodgings...food was plentiful and a variety of beverages were available with the Pumpkin liqueur a favorite....we are not sure how it happened - she will remain anonymous :-) but never put lemonade in your steam iron !

For the first time my machine stayed home - taking only handwork seemed the easiest...

Hexies - 2" and triangles - pieces finally joined up together...need to remove the papers, quilt and bind - maybe in time for a Thanksgiving center piece?

And lots of putsy work but enjoyed getting back to Di Ford's Mystery quilt project - so far behind and any day the final installment will arrive!

Even had time to do some hand quilting on the Cherry Tree quilt - and use the big floor space to spread it out and check progress...

With the early arrival of cold weather and a foot of snow, having this huge quilt to work on seems more doable...

So those are the pieces in my life - mostly scattered - mostly not joined to make a whole but I just keep working on it...day by day.


Wishing each of you time to stitch your pieces together...


Pat

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Long, long ago....

.....and far away, we lived in southern Virginia, just a short distance from the Colonial Williamsburg area. It was B.Q. - before I fell in love with all things quilting. The architecture and furniture drew my attention. How could I have been so unaware of the extensive quilt collection that existed there?

Check out the gorgeous new publication - Four Centuries of Quilts - The Colonial Williamsburg Collection. "Almost" as good as being there! Beautiful photography and extensive historic reading material...a book to cherish and curl up with next to this coming winter's warming fires. No tricks for this kid - just a total treat!

(PS - I ordered it through Amazon at a very nice savings!)

 

The days continue stress-filled at Taylorsoutback...my Mom's recovery is slow and caring for my Dad is full time. We run daily to the nursing home and it is taking its toll on all of us. Stitching time is precious and takes place late at night when the house has grown quiet. It took awhile, but just caught up on the last 3 Benjamin Biggs blocks -

August block
September block
October block

Ready for November's offering...


Pat

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Where are my manners....

... My apologies to all of you who have taken time to comment on my most recent posts. An integral part of blogging are the comments or responses that we leave with each other. It forms a special connection with kindred souls across the miles. The days here at Taylorsoutback have been filled with stress and time consuming obligations. My Mom has sustained yet another very serious fall and is hospitalized. The weeks ahead will require rehab and time to heal. My Dad is staying with us for now.

We will take each day and handle what it brings - taking a blogging break and hope to be back in the near future. I do apologize for not responding to each of you...


Pat (thankful for just a few quiet moments of stitching)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

In search of the perfect needle.....

...since trying to learn applique, different needles have been added to my notions drawer(s!) but have stuck with Jeanna Kimball's #11 straw needles for quite awhile. Our LQS now carries the Tulip/Hiroshima needles and I just had to give them a go...

 

The little tube inside the very pretty packaging holds 6 needles. (Presentation grabs a quilter easily!) So far, the actual needle (size 10) is really nice...it does have a different feel to it - as you can see in the picture, it is slightly shorter then the #11 - but it works through the fabric with a very fine, sharp point. It is not as flexible as the Jeanna Kimball needles - which I tend to bend quickly. One advantage for those of us with aging vision, is that the eye is a tad larger and makes for easier threading...I also purchased the hand quilting needles but have not tried them yet - will share my thoughts on those soon. (Excuse my clumsy effort at trying a collage!)

Do you get drawn to quilts that feature eagles? I sure do and have had this simmering on the back burner way too long...

Three eagles, partially appliqued, partially basted and all the fabric pulled from my stash to make Old Glory from Blackbird Designs....

....when I saw Kyle's at Timeless Reflections completed version here it kickstarted this project again - so am determined to have these 3 eagles take flight by July, 2015. To help keep my focus, I have joined this online group that features Eagle quilts. Bet we will be seeing some wonderful projects along the way. So check out Angie and Audrey's blog Quilt Like An Eagle.

That's it for now at Taylorsoutback - the gardens are winding down as the last of the carrots are being pulled and the sewing room is busy making some gifts for someone special....

Enjoy these Autumn days or the arrival of Spring for those of you Down Under!

Pat

 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

On being an absent gardener...

We are once again settling in at Taylorsoutback...RV is unpacked and will get a thorough cleaning before going to the dealership for repairs...won't even post images of the damages we have on both sides due to 2 defective tires that went...ugh:-( Nevertheless we are home safe and sound with otherwise wonderful memories of our time in Canada and Alaska, being with our favorite couple...

Dave and Jena by entrance to his Gallery in Anchorage

While away, we shared the bounty of our summer gardens with the neighbors. They reported lots of peas, lettuce and blueberries - happy they did not just lay neglected! What was so amazing is this...

There are seven of these Cinderella Carriage pumpkins (Renee's Garden Seeds) - left totally on their own with a last minute side dressing of organic fertilizer before we left...the vines grew and grew and tumbled over the edges of the raised bed. I have never grown pumpkins before and couldn't be more pleased. What fun it will be to share and decorate for Fall....

Speaking of cooler weather - as hard as it was to say goodbye to the kids and head home, we did time our exit well - this is Edmonton, Alberta now

One week sure makes a difference - whew!!

All for now - much to do and frost is predicted for tonight...and the sewing room is calling - quilty posts coming up in the days ahead!


Have a wonderful weekend...


Pat