Frosty morning on the pond

Frosty morning on the pond

Saturday, January 19, 2019

This and that...

...and mostly trying to stay warm as we settle into more typical January weather here in the northwoods...still not much snow cover to speak of...if you step out onto the porch to gather more wood for the fireplace, you can hear the wind blowing over the tree tops...and you don’t linger...our nights call for extra quilts as temperatures drop below zero...
This is the first winter I have experienced problems with my finger tips quickly growing cold and numb and I dress in multiple layers. Mr. Outback reminds me that I am still on this weight loss journey (a good thing!! And now on track after a major Christmas cookie melt down which added 2 pounds back on) and “am older” (thanks for that reminder!) so staying warm becomes more of a challenge...
At any rate, keeping closer to home has meant time to continue decluttering (will it ever end?) and in the afternoons when we are blessed with sunshine coming in my sewing room window, there you will find me...
Four house blocks have been mailed off to California - following through on a request from Lori’s Humble Quilts blog...you can find out more about that (HERE). Always fun to fussy cut little faces peeking out of those house windows and hoping the quilts that these blocks go into bring a smile to someone’s face...




Work continues on my Old Glory quilt which will eventually be donated to our local nursing home. Playing with those Invisifil threads I mentioned last time...a tiny zig zag stitch gets the job done...


Have also resumed giving attention to Ann’s Legacy - yet another lovely Di Ford pattern from her first book. I opted to add tiny hexies (measuring 1/4” for each hexie) in place of some of the appliqued flowers, just to put my own little spin on things.
When learning that Di will undergo 9-10 months of chemo after being diagnosed with leukemia, each stitch I take (along with hundreds of other followers) on this project, will be with a prayer for her complete recovery.
Stitching with friends, immersing myself in lots of books at bedtime and pouring over maps as I begin plotting out a major trip later this year...life is good during these quiet days that are beginning to offer longer periods of daylight...
”Silver white Winters that melt into Spring...”
...What are your favorite things....?
Pat

Thursday, January 3, 2019

January OMG - linking up!

Oh my - it is 2019 with a fresh, new calendar staring at me...

All ready, the mind is in a swirl thinking of the next 3-4 months of winter here in the Northwoods...typically these months are the most productive for quilting. So what is off the starting block for jumping in to Patty’s OMG for January? Hmmmm...I could pick and choose from way too many applique projects that are in the works...but all of them are slow going...
Just finished piecing a “trial” block - Tree of Life...I could make more...this is a quilt I have been wanting to try...

but...
Nope - have to try and stay on task and chip away at some of those old UFO’s...So here we go - my goal for January...these are most of the blocks...think a couple more are still packed away...

Completing the assembly of Old Glory (Blackbird Designs) - I opted to do fusible applique on this project months ago - simply because it needs to get done and go to its new home...in honor of my Dad and Mom who were residents at a local nursing home...hoping the staff there can find a place to display it when completed.
If you follow Kyle over at Timeless Reflections, she has been sharing her use of the Invisifil Threads for machine applique. A number of months ago, I ordered a variety of colors that I thought might work with Old Glory (Red Rock Threadsin Nevada stocks them).

Most of my blocks are about ready for that stage, so that will be the focus over the next 4 weeks...
Can I do it? Wish me luck!!
Meanwhile - off to the Bernina dealer with my machine for a “well baby checkup” - it needs a thorough cleaning and pampering so its good to go for the next 3 months!
Happy New Year Stitching everyone!
Pat

Saturday, December 29, 2018

End of the year nostalgia...

Just a few more days of 2018...a time for reflection and also looking ahead...what will 2019 bring? Hopefully, for each of us, good health and fun adventures and always a little more time spent with fabric and needle...

At Taylorsoutback, thinking of the positive “things” even though, at times, it felt like I was spinning my wheels and going nowhere.

Dealing with a very hot and dry growing season and not having the usual results with tried and true plantings in the raised beds...and then realizing what a plentiful crop of red and yellow onions we have stored for the long winter (have not purchased any onions at the store in over 2 years - enjoying 2 successive seasons of yield)

Successful outings with the RV and returning home without incident or needing repair (unlike previous years!)

Spending time on our new deck...

Never enough time with friends, but treasuring those occasions when we could get together...

Starting a weight loss journey and seeing positive results...

Digging into the “quilting cave” and seeing old UFO’s completed or moving forward...


There were also some “mini” quilts finished and featured each month...yes, I miss some months, but at least have something to show for it!.

So, all in all, when taken as a whole, I feel good by what has been accomplished...and have a sense of renewed enthusiasm.

Before I wrap up this final post for 2018, want to share some information - we attended the December 27th showing of Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old” - 4 years in the making; going through 100’s of World War I movies and photos; restoring them; adding voices and color and creating an incredible glimpse into The Great War and what everyday soldiers endured. I urge everyone to see this when it comes to a theater near you. It is moving; at times humorous; at times, so brutal you want to turn away. In the end, it is one more undeniable message of how useless and wasteful any war is...my own Grandpa, along with his brother, Victor, immigrated from Lithuania prior to the outbreak of the war, became an American citizen and enlisted in the Army and was sent to France. He fought on the Western Front (Company M, 148th Infantry) and was wounded during the battle in Meuse-Argonne. He laid for several days, in great pain, hoping the enemy would not find him, before he was found by the local French and taken to a nearby farmhouse. He was finally picked up and returned to the Field hospital but his leg had to be amputated. (Note: - as often happens with a Post-War government, Grandpa did not received his much deserved Purple Heart until 1955 - 37 years after he had been wounded.)
This is the only photograph I have of Grandpa (1890 - 1975) taken when he was recuperating from his injury. He is on the left, turned away from the camera but smiling. Look at his comrades too...all so young and smiling - even after what they endured. Growing up and visiting Grandma & Grandpa’s farm in Wisconsin, I always remember him as being quiet but quick to smile. I can still hear him talking with Great Uncle Victor in their native language...the memories and stories they must have shared...I wish I had been older and wise enough to understand...

Thank you for visiting my little blog through out the year, for your kind comments and encouragement and for sharing your creativity that energizes me...
Wishing each of you sweet memories and all the very best in the New Year...

Pat

Thursday, December 20, 2018

December OMG success!

Linking up with Patty’s OMG for December...actually a little early (I beat the deadline for once!)...her link will be open on December 26.
Mr. Woodland Santa now takes his long overdue place by our Christmas tree...after 22 years, he is finally dressed...
From his cotton shirt...and leather vest...


He needs to stay warm during our long and cold Wisconsin winters, so the next layer is a knitted scarf (using yarn leftover from my own knitted scarf)...

A matching leather cap tops off his head...

As he trudges through our woods collecting Christmas greens in his basket, all the bells on his boots, hat and around his waist give out a constant jingle letting us know where he is....




He now stands guard by our tree which is trimmed with my Mom’s Christmas ornaments...many that we gave her over the years as we always exchanged a special one every year with each other. Though both Mom and Dad are gone, I feel their presence so strongly...


From Taylorsoutback, I send each of you wishes for a Joyous Christmas and everything that is good and kind in 2019.
Pat

Friday, December 14, 2018

Stitching friendships...

For all of us who share the love of anything that includes needle and thread, fabric, yarn or canvas...receiving a handmade gift means that it is not only a reflection of the stitcher’s time but that it also comes with a treasured message of friendship.
Our group of Liberty Ladies, (where we study quilt-related topics and often focus on women who have made an impact in the history of our country, ) includes those who love to quilt, knit and/or cross stitch. My interests revolve around the first two needle arts but I never could grasp the technique of cross stitch. One of our members who does wonderful cross stitching has gifted each of us with a special Santa for a number of years. 2017 was my year to receive this delightful Santa from Joanne.

I love that he stands next to a treadle sewing machine - so like my Grammy’s...
Wanting to thank Joanne, I thought a little quilt was in order...what to do? Then a lightbulb moment...ah ha! I had finished Lori’s QAL (over at Humble Quilts) a while back - her Palmateer Point quilt. It just needed binding...


Done!
I hope Joanne likes it and knows that it comes with that special message of friendship...just as her Santa did for me...
Happy Holiday stitching everyone...10 days and counting down...
Pat

Monday, December 3, 2018

December OMG......

....if you have been following along with my recent posts that have been focusing on attempts to work on old UFO’s, you know that October and November goals were met in great part because of the challenge put out by Patty at Elm Street Quilts . I was kind of stumped for a bit trying to figure out December’s OMG...until I remembered a project that - once more - goes back a few years...this time, 1996...22 years ago...I have just run out of explanations and excuses...
Briefly, here is the story...I took a workshop from the same person who bought my quilt shop in 1995. Her name is Nina McVeigh and she has been a Bernina Educator for quite a few years now (she eventually decided to close the quilt shop after a number of years). Here is a link to check out Nina’s sewing tips and you can search for lots of her tutorials. Nina has an extensive background in sewing, clothing, quilting, long arm, you name it...a very accomplished and creative lady! So back to the workshop...we were to make a “Woodland Santa” - from scratch...soft cloth body, painted parts, pieced clothing, etc. My fella got his body put together, arms painted, boots and pants made and a coat that was partially pieced. As it so happened, he got neglected due to being in a brand new house that required much of my time and then a year of medical issues/treatment. And the Woodland Santa got shoved farther back into that all ready overloaded quilting cave.
Leaping ahead to 2018 - December...time to get reacquainted and finish this gentleman up in time for Christmas...so that is my December OMG .... thankfully everything was kept together - (and he has stayed put mounted on a rustic piece of log from our property - goodness, his patience level is amazing!) pattern pieces, instructions, half pieced wool coat, etc. His hair and beard will be composed of very special wool...when in Australia in 1994, we went to a sheep shearing shed and watched in fascination as the wool was shaved from the sheep. We were given wool to bring home (it was matted, grimy, filled with bits of twigs and leaves) and when I washed it in Ivory soap, it was magical the way it came clean and bright.
All the components...

Had auditoned a fabric for possible shirt earlier, but am changing my mind...
Partially pieced wool coat...

My special Australian sheeps wool and a mink collar selvedged from local Goodwill Store...


Back again later...will I be able to meet my goal for the 3rd month in a row?
Happy holiday stitching everyone!!
Pat

Friday, November 30, 2018

Squeaking under the wire...

...I was feeling so smug about meeting my November OMGover at Patty’s Elm Street Quilts, with finishing the redwork/Irish Chain quilt top. So I thought...I have extra time and can rejoin Wendy’s Monthly Mini Challenge which I have been missing out on.
Once again, with lantern in hand, back into the quilting cave...


....found a half way finished “what not”
...can’t remember the why or wherefore or what the reason was for piecing it...
Maybe an orphan block...who knows? Did some quick very basic machine quilting, added the binding and here it is, November 30, 2018...last day of the month but a finish.

I will try to be more organized and creative next time around!
That’s it for now...
Happy stitching everyone...let the Christmas countdown begin!
Pat