Winter collage

Winter collage

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Road To Autumn...


 ...often leads to Quilt Shows...and our guild has one coming up next weekend...the 15th Biennial Quilts Among the Pines. If you happen to be in the Central Wisconsin area on October 1st and 2nd, drop by for a visit. We have 20 vendors coming in, 100's of quilts on display, demos, and our popular Bed Turning. This year, the Turning features quilts which are composed of "repurposed" fabrics, blocks, etc. There is a beautifully made Raffle Quilt which will be given to the winning ticket holder on Sunday. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the show.


2011 has been overly busy and I will only have two entries for the show. Just picked up the quilts from Lori Schmidt, a long arm quilter who lives nearby and now binding is being applied, labels made and hanging sleeves attached. I love the textures Lori created with her big quilting machine. Will just show you some close ups for now as the quilts are not officially finished.


The first one I named Jamaican Nights and is intended as a wedding quilt.





The second quilt is my first attempt at applique - a number of us in our quilt history study group - Liberty Ladies - decided to do this pattern by Lori Smith - From My Heart to Your Hands. It is Elizabeth's Pride but for me it was Applique 101!

Just completed is Block #39 in the Civil War Quilt series by Barbara Brackman. Hovering Hawks...
And most important is this little 6 1/2" patriotic block which will be mailed off this week.

In case you haven't heard about this comfort quilt project, visit http://thescrappyappleyard.blogspot.com/2011/09/star-block-fabric-example.htm for more information. A young soldier was recently killed and instead of a wedding which was to have taken place last week, a bride-to-be and the family must make funeral arrangements. The call has gone out for blocks...won't you please consider making one? Update - just reread the info and they are asking for an additional block to make a quilt for the close friend who was with the soldier when he died.

Thank you for stopping by to visit. I hope you have a good week and may all the autumn roads you travel be filled with beauty. 







Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"The Wonderer"

In honor of this weeks letter "W" on Alphabe-Thursday - one of my favorite poems is by Robert Service, who wrote so many delightful poetic stories and rhymes. This is an excerpt from "The Wonderer" -

"...Then there's the wonder of my Eyes,
Where hills and houses, seas and skies,
In waves of light converge and pass,
And print themselves as on a glass.
Line, form and color live in me:
I am the Beauty that I see;
Ah! I could write a book of size
About the wonder of my Eyes."

Pickhandle Lake, Yukon Territory - September, 2010
 Please visit all the other "W" postings over at Miss Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Civil War Blocks

After the last few days of non-stop garden to kitchen time, today is a day for savoring other thoughts...
The day is overcast, chilly and rainy and inside a cozy fire warms us. We have had a killing frost and the garden is no more for this season. The potting shed is filled to capacity with tomatoes in various stages of ripeness, winter squashes mellowing, herbs drying and tender potted plants temporarily stored in preparation for winter housing.

Jena has safely returned to Alaska - we miss her all ready! She stayed with us Wednesday and Thursday before returning to her folks and  preparing for the long flight back home. What a delight she is to be around...

On a day like this my thoughts return to quilting...another Civil War block has been completed in Barbara Brackman's series. 
# 38 - Ohio Star - a classic quilt block...

It struck me how far we have come...
Each week's printed pattern and history profile has accumulated in my binder. 
And the stack of completed blocks has been growing...
A while back, I found this perfect backing on sale at Hancock's-Paducah. 
Next decision will be what kind of sashing to use...no hurry though we still have a few more blocks to go!
Now Barbara draws us in to yet another bit of quilt history - her 1812 War and Piecing blog has me hooked all ready and I have been printing that information out as it appears...so much inspiration and there is just the most perfect piece of reproduction chintz in my stash......


All for now...want to finish watching our Super Bowl Champion Packers shake up things with Carolina...we have very fond attachments to all things North Carolina, but when it comes to the Pack...they have our total loyalty! That is just the way it is...:o)
GO PACK!!!
Have a good week everyone.






Monday, September 12, 2011

A Matter of Thyme...


Glories in the morning - this greeted me as I headed out to the garden - the newly opened flowers rival the color of the sky.

Later, as I stood in the potting shed sorting through just dried thyme, it occurred to me, why not just go to the store and buy one of those little cans? 
All those minute leaves to strip off the stems - so time consuming...but my heart wins out every time - the satisfaction of watching something grow, the harvesting and inhaling the fresh fragrance and later the taste in the kitchen - knowing the source and the fact that it had not sat on a shelf for months somewhere.  A lot of the time here at Taylorsoutback is devoted to DIY but that's okay. The pleasure of growing, sewing and just plain doing is reward enough. Living out in the country, we don't get many "drop by" visitors...I am happy you are here. So let's catch up over coffee or would you prefer tea? Forgive me if I tend to ramble today....


We attended a special wedding this past weekend. It was a blending of tradition and 21st century innovations. Do you get teary eyed at weddings? I didn't use to but find my emotions are closer to the surface as I grow older...
The bride was beautiful and her new husband, handsome. They rarely took their eyes off each other...
 Jena was Maid of Honor for her sister - and looked so lovely.
The Chapel was a renovated Old German church resplendent with original stain glass windows. 


Somewhere summer has left us behind and the first hints of a seasonal change are in the works...the grass is heavy with morning dew following cool nights and dots of colored leaves are revealing themselves along country lanes. Few hummingbirds remain and crows gather in the fields harassing each other. Our pond is strangely quiet - no geese remain - except for a few feathers and bones of the last young goose who was left behind. We wondered why a mature bald eagle had come to visit us 2 days in a row...a stroll over to the dock showed us why and gave us a lesson of how Nature balances everything.

In the garden, the raised beds are being emptied - onions drying, the last of the beans gathered and the summer squash have slowed! Some of the zucchini have been shredded and mixed into loaves of  zucchini bread for autumn and winter treats...


Working in the little herb garden, I gathered lemon balm and lemon thyme and added both to tiny lemon tea loaves. 
Soaking in warm lemon glaze
This older book by Emilie Tolley and Chris Mead was the start of my attachment to all things herbal. 

You can tell by the wear and sticky notes it is a favorite of mine. When I pull it off the shelf, it is as though an old friend has come to call. 

You didn't think I would go too long without bringing up quilting, did you? 
Blocks #35 & #36 in the Civil War series are done...
And another applique block for BTCT...
We just got the instructions and pattern for the outside borders...yikes! I really need to pick up the pace on the remaining blocks...those borders will fill many a cold, winter's night by the fire.


Told you I might ramble - thank you for taking the time to drop by...I really enjoy your visits and hope you will come back soon.
Wishing you a week filled with sweet moments and time for reflection on the goodness of life.










A quiet evening by our pond - a good place for reflecting...





Thursday, September 8, 2011

Unique Artistry!!

Well - late to class for Alphabe-Thursday with Miss Jenny - but I have a good excuse...the framing job for this wonderful piece of artwork was delayed due to waiting on some of the framing materials. Just picked it up this afternoon...

This is a belated birthday present for Mr. Outback.  One of his two tours in Vietnam was with an aviation group that called themselves "Blue Stars."  Maria at Personalized Sketches and Sentiments drew the unit's insignia and added a replica of Mr. Outback's Senior Army Aviator wings. 

She did a wonderful job - look closely - the drawing is composed of Mr. Outback's name...Maria's attention to detail and her artistic skill really shines! (Click on each image for an enlargement)

Framed in brushed gold, matted in dark blue and inner accent mat of gold

Mr. Outback is happy - and I managed to pull off something unexpected! 


Be sure to visit all the other "U" postings over at Miss Jenny's for this week's Alphabe-Thursday.




Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to quilting...

After what seems like ages, I finally have some quilting to share again...experts say when any form of a dark cloud appears over you, keep busy. Those of you who live with pets know how the heart is affected at their loss. Last week, our Monday began with sad tears and by Saturday they had melted into happier ones with the arrival of Jena from Alaska. 
Jena's Mom, Jena, Allison and Heather
We are known as Mom & Dad #2 - love it!!
She is the special young woman who we safely carried to our Dave last summer. Jena is home for two weeks and will be Maid-of-Honor in her sister's wedding on the 10th. 


Never having met her sister, I took a chance on making this tablerunner in earth tones...
 ...turns out Allison had just painted the kitchen in a similar shade of the light green accent strip...Whew - I lucked out!



As for those weekly Civil War blocks from Barbara Brackman...with everything going on, I had fallen behind about 4 weeks. Managed to catch up recently and feel back on track. 

Got thecolors misplaced - will redo this one!!


Also completed another of the BTCT applique blocks - this one much quicker and more simplified...

I needed a short break from the last couple which were more intense. Working on another easier wreath and about 1/2 way done...

Hope to share a completed quilt later this week - it is at the L.A. quilters studio right now - photo soon....

I have saved the most wonderful item for the very last...the story behind this pillow is based on a blog posting I wrote a number of months ago about how quilting is such a part of my life. Judy over at Shade Tree Quilting took one of my sentences and stitched the words onto a Redwork pillow (which just happens to be one of my most favorite embroidery forms). I was flabbergasted (isn't that a great word!!?) on opening the box to find this treasure waiting inside.

To think someone would spend the time to do this for me - I am touched beyond measure at Judy's thoughtfulness. The world of quilters is enormous and that bond we all share grows stronger every day. 


Wishing each of you a wonderful week filled with accomplishments.