Family Bethlehem Star quilt

Family Bethlehem Star quilt

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Eureka! Back to blogging...and summer days...

Well, it was a short hiatus afterall...things seem to be running as they should...
So no more whining and back to fun things...

First...are you having the same hot summer days as we are here at Taylorsoutback? Such a strange summer weather pattern...it is totally to be expected that we keep old sheets in the potting shed to protect the gardens from frost...but this is the first time ever that I brought out sheets to act as a canopy from the hot sun...I sure don’t want my lovely lettuces to bolt...


In the early morning hours or the cool of the evening being outside is perfect and we are enjoying the now completed deck...we have gone from a rustic look which worked well with the log exterior...but required high maintenance...


To being without a deck for months because of our contractor’s job backlog...


To the latest in composite decking, much more user friendly for its 74 year old home owners...



It is a great spot for tackling the dreaded job of finally removing all the papers from my Scrappy Houses project...or enjoying a morning cup of coffee..our Seana offering advice...


Summer days are in full swing now...the gardens are producing at long last; flowers are blooming, strawberries, blueberries and my favorite Rainier cherries are abundant...visitors to the house - not only friends and family but wildlife too...such a special time here at the edge of the Northwoods...

Hoping your summer days are filled with time to sit and enjoy the outdoors...

Pat





Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Blogger issues saga...

Reaching out for any feedback dear readers...still not receiving any email notifications when a comment is added by you...continuing to go into my dashboard to see if any comments are pending and then I can hit publish. So will handle that for now...

Also a new problem - one of my followers sent me an email after I commented on her blog posting - my comment came up as a “no reply blogger”...shaking my head over this???? Any thoughts???? I have made so many attempts to correct the email notification issue - following all the shared tips on how to fix things...maybe I have messed up something in the process...

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated and I will make every effort to follow through and reply back to you!

I could end up eating a lot of chocolate(like this little cutie) out of frustration...and being on Weight Watchers only gives me 23 points each day...

Pat

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Blogger Comments - not working

Going to step away from blogging for a while until Blogger can figure out how to fix the mess they have created with the comments/notification situation. I have tried the fixes suggested - it worked for a few days and then yesterday (6/26) the ability to have readers comment has disappeared all together. No comment box showing...I jumped in to the Blogger community forum for help and there are dozens of similar bloggers with the exact problem. I don’t know if this happened to just the 6/26 post and will find out by posting this short update...
Very frustrating!
I might be back eventually - maybe...meanwhile, making tiny hexies seems less problematic...

and you will often find me out in the garden...
(This Inge Look card makes me smile!!)
Happy stitching to everyone.
Pat

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The 70273 Project

Many of you have participated in the 70273 Project or have heard of it. I was one of the later...knew of it, was interested and have been “meaning to make a block” - you know how that goes...
While at the Minnesota Quilt Show last week, along with my friends, we met Jeanne Hewell Chambers and her husband, The Engineer. This woman reached out with her warm, Southern accent and touched us deeply. She is a hugger, and a wonderful lady filled with thousands of stories, sharing her Project all around the world.
We were priviledged to view her exhibit of completed quilts...
(Left to right...Joan, Jeanne, Kathy, Pat G. - I had one with all of us, but can’t find it)
...you can make blocks in 3 different sizes or a complete mini quilt based on 18” x 22” (a fat 1/4). If you make a complete mini it is called a Middling. There was one Middling that really reached out for attention...

Jeanne told us the story of this one with the tiny christening gown. It had been brought into church in a pile of donated things and apparently it was decided to just throw it away. Instead Jeanne asked if she could have it and she took it home to create this moving tribute. Each pair of the tiny double X’s represents one person of 70,273 people who were executed by the Nazi’s when it was determined they were unfit for labor camps due to a disability or deemed “imperfect.” Jeanne embroidered many double X’s around the edges of the delicate lace on the christening gown as well as filling in the background of the Middling...and yes, those are teardrops done in double X’s.

When I returned home from the quilt show on Saturday, I knew what my plan was for Sunday. Using whatever scraps I had on hand, 4 blocks were quickly put together. You can use any technique...
Rick rack...Grosgrain ribbon...Choosing a decorative embroidery stitch on your sewing machine...Or a simply pieced block...

As long as each block has a pair of X’s to represent one person...I have some ideas for future blocks.
I had no TV on, no background music...just the haunted thoughts about these people who are gone. And I thought of those around me today...who struggle with difficulties in their lives...perhaps unable to walk, difficulty in hearing, vision or speech...would someone determine they are not perfect enough? And I thought about how much hatred there seems to be in the world now and the evil things that are done...
And I thought about all the wonderful, giving quilters I know...we can join Jeanne in getting her project to goal...she is over halfway there!
If you have not visited Jeanne’s website, here is the link and information about block sizes.
Please visit her website to learn more and consider making a block or two...or more.
This is our way of remembering and hopefully adding to the message that this must never happen again.
Pat

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Minnesota Quilt Show - 2018


We are back from a 3 day visit to the neighboring state of Minnesota where we attended the 2018 Minnesota Quilt Show at St. Cloud. Along with 3 quilting friends, the miles flew by as we drove over and just happened to make a few stops along the way...S.R. Harris - a huge outlet featuring a gazillion yards of every kind of fabric imaginable (but disappointed not to find the old fashioned heavy oil cloth I was looking for) and then onto Grubers Quilt Shop which was filled with eager shoppers.
Of course we did some shopping - although mine was minimal - afterall...I could make countless scrap quilts out of my stash - if only time was there...but I did find a lovely floral that looks like a great piece for broderie perse....And a few odds and ends from the Primitive Gatherings booth. And I just could not resist adding some more Di Ford fabric - these fat 1/4’s from her newest Maling Road collection...
Along with needles for English Paper Piecing...And these nice looking “toothpicks” for tweeking problem areas when doing needle-turn applique...



The 2 highlights of being at the Show -
The Van Gogh Challenge which was sponsored by Cherrywood Fabrics (Minnesota based company) - oh my! Using a Cherrywood provided blue fabric each participant was challenged to create their own mini quilt based on Van Gogh’s paintings or his life...the embellishments and stitching (by hand or machine) were over the top!





The exhibit which really touched my heart was the 70273 Project...I had earlier thought about making a block but until I met Jeanne and heard her story and saw the exhibit, the power of this project was not truly felt. In my next post later this week, I will show you the 4 blocks I made the day after I got home and how I felt while making them. I will also share a few photos from our little group which met Thursday evening for Show and Tell. So stay tuned...
We toured the quilt show and what wonderful and imaginative quilts were on display - these are just a couple, including Best of Show & Worksmanship awards...





And on Saturday, before we left for home, we closed out our visit by attending a very nice lecture about basket quilts presented by Dawn Ronnigen (of Collector With A Needle)It was great to see Dawn again and hard to believe almost 2 years have gone by since she brought her wonderful trunk show to our guild here in Wisconsin. She is so knowledgable and and always has such interesting background information about antique quilts. Looking forward to seeing her new book due out in July...Antique American Needlework Tools.
Thanks for stopping by & come back soon to hear more about our trip to Minnesota.
Happy stitching!
Pat

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Gardening vs. quilting...

...and right now, gardening and being outside are winning...

About the only kind of stitching going on takes place between raindrops. And there hasn’t been a whole lot of that until just yesterday. So I pick up a little knitted vest project that was started last Fall (in addition to being a slow quilter, count me a slow knitter too) and work a few rows....Isn’t that a cute little dumpling bag to hold a skein of yarn...Mimi over at Mimi’s Passions sent this. She is not only a prolific quilter but can knit faster then ever turning out beautiful projects.

Or prep a few little 1/2” hexies...

Or make more 1/4” stems for applique...

And then head right back outside to the gardens...at least the sage plants are looking happy...

And my potting shed has gone from this....(I know...shocking mess!)

To being able to walk into it without killing yourself...

And that is the way of things for now at Taylorsoutback...

See you later... (all signs and magnets from friends who make me smile!)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Memorial Day and remembering...

After serving in the Mexican-American War and the Civil War, General John Logan proposed to Congress that May 30th of each year be designated as Decoration Day to honor all those who had died while serving in the military. Eventually that day became known as Memorial Day and the specific time of 3:00 P.M. is when we should all stop, pause and remember. At cemeteries across the nation, flags are placed at each headstone - it is an act called “Flags in.” This year, 243,000 flags have been placed just at Arlington alone.
Growing up in Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia and with my Dad being in the Navy, Memorial Day was a yearly observance mainly and I cannot really recall ever associating the Day with BBQ’s, celebrations and big get togethers as the focus seems to be now.
With the passing of both Mom and Dad and their internment at Arlington National Cemetery last September, we wanted to mark this solemn Day by placing flowers at their gravesite. How to do that when many 100’s of miles away? I had held onto the card given to me by our assigned Arlington Lady and remembered she had said with much feeling, if there was anything she could ever do, to please contact her. This I did and she immediately volunteered to receive the ordered flowers and take them to the gravesite. We have just received photographs that she emailed to us and my heart is so full of appreciation for her kindness and going the extra mile.


The tradition of the Arlington Ladies goes back to 1948 when the then Air Force Chief of Staff and his wife were attending a funeral and they noticed that nearby, an airman was being laid to rest with just the chaplain and Honor Guard present. There were no family members. This touched Mrs. Vandenberg so much that she decided to organize a group of Air Force officer’s wives and each one would be assigned to a funeral, regardless of whether family members would be present or not. It did not make any difference what rank the individual held that was being honored. From private to general, all would be treated with the same respect. Following the Air Force group, other branches of the military began their own team of Ladies and to this day, every funeral for a veteran has the appropriate branch represented. Their mission is not to grieve but to honor. At the funeral of my parents, I was not even aware of our Navy Arlington Lady until after the ceremony was over and she introduced herself. They stand quietly and respectfully and always ready to be of assistance if needed.
In closing, on May 30th, please take a moment at 3:00 P.M. to remember...