Winter collage

Winter collage

Monday, November 11, 2013

A patchwork of blessings...

This blog has been neglected of late - and my responding back to each of you has also been neglected for which I feel badly. 2013 has been filled with so much magic and wonder - the wedding of our David and dear Jena, visits with friends and heavenly summer days blessed with blue skies and sunshine. As the year comes to a close, dark clouds and cold winds have taken over - my Mom's health continues to decline and we do not know what the days ahead hold for our family. She is receiving 24/7 care in a facility about 20 minutes away and Dad is living with us for now. Much of my time is spent as family chauffeur, chief cook and bottle washer and general all around support staff. Mr. Outback is our rock and sounding board in addition to watching lovingly over our 3 fur children. We are all pulling together...

Holding hands for over 70 years

For the time being I must put this blog on the back burner. That is not to say visits to your creative blogs will be forgotten. Following all the fun and inspiring posts makes the day so much brighter.

For now I leave you with this Apache Blessing which I just discovered...

May the sun bring you energy by day...

May the moon softly restore you by night...

May the rain wash away your worries...

May the breeze blow new strength into your being...

May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life

 

Pat

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Puppy love....

Look who has arrived at Taylorsoutback...9-week old Seana Rose.


This photo is of a rare moment when she is not going 100 miles per hour...

And, so we are once again a 3 sheltie family, although the vote is still out as to whether Molly and Kelsie think this was a good idea....

Molly with her new haircut to help heal her dry skin


How long did you say she is staying?

Having our girls brings smiles to the recent dark days of November...more about that later when I can think more clearly...

Pat



 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Xing with Hexies...

A friend of mine sent me a link to a tutorial on a very efficient method of cutting out hexies - just in case you have not seen this, had to share.

http://prettybyhand.com/blog/2013/10/3/cutting-fabric-hexagons-tutorial.html#comments

After measuring the height and adding the 1/2" - I started cutting and could not believe how quickly those little guys started adding up. Within an hour's time this little pile of hexies was ready. (Well...truth be told, I even dozed off for a few minutes - it was a very busy day!) and that includes glue pen time.

Thinking you could approach cutting out diamonds in a similar method....

This is where those 1/2" red and white hexies are going...

There was a tiny picture....no pattern...

...in Jo Morton's For All Seasons book. The hard part will be deciding which of our 3 miniature Christmas trees the little skirt will go around....

October was the first month for the newly formed Jo's Little Women Club at one of our LQS's. Have been doing up the models and prep work for "leading" the club. Feeling a little rusty at this - it has been quite a few years since my own shop days. It is enjoyable and in the weeks ahead I think my comfort level will improve.

This is the first little quilt that is everyone's homework for the month

So happy you stopped by - be sure to check out that quick cutting method for hexies - and have a good week!

Happy stitching...

Pat

 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A long, lingering Autumn...

... And the days drift by like the downy milkweed seeds that move across our fields. Pleasantly warm days for being outside and heavenly cool nights that call for a cozy quilt to sleep under. Here in Wisconsin, firewood is brought up to the porch and the gardens are stripped of frost touched foliage. Raised beds are cleaned and made ready for an easier start next spring. Mr. Outback has completed #7 - this one by the potting shed that will make my herbs much happier after being in wet clay.

Siding & windows repainted
Siding & windows repainted

Everything was moved to a temporary "nursery" so that the area could be made ready for the new bed. They will return to their new quarters come April. Two major moves in a month might be testing their ability to winter over. A few pots remain needing to be cleaned up by the potting shed soaking in the light of days that grow shorter.

We have made oodles of applesauce and some jars of plum "sauce" when the jam did not set up well enough - very tasty on Saturday pancakes! More apples have been sliced, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and frozen for winter pies. Tomatoes have been oven roasted and we are still enjoying crisp lettuces.

At the end of the day, the sewing room calls - after a huge stack of red fabrics tumbled off one my shelves (sending a strong message that it is overdue for tidying up) and a long forgotten floral was rediscovered - out came the Rit Tan dye and the fabric was given a dunking to mellow it down.

Small piece is before - large is after
Small piece is before - large is after
Since I use the back basting method for applique, everything is traced on the back. A partial fold shows the true cream color.
Applique/broderie perse design traced on to back for back basting. Corner fold shows right side

Pleased with results, now the cut out flowers will become part of the applique/broderie perse wreath for Drayton Hall. It is just a shame that a box of unused time was not found hiding on that crowded shelf!! My container of EPP diamonds continues to grow.

Staying focused will require a stern resolve as I have recently heard Di Ford will be introducing a Mystery Quilt through Quiltmania in January...if you check out Threadbear, you can have your name added to a list. We will be updated as more information becomes available. Fingers crossed that the kits will be affordable (fabrics to be selected by Di Ford - oh be still my heart!!!!!)

Slow but steady progress continues on my Cherry Tree quilt - another block marked today. Now that all the center blocks are done quilting the blocks along the edges of the border seems to go faster.

And so, this sadly neglected little blog is current for the time being...days at Taylorsoutback continue full - digging in the gardens, winterizing the RV and lamenting the fact that there was not a last trip out for the season (with the Apostle Islands closed off during the government shutdown, there went the trip to Lake Superior:o( - just another example of Washington silliness) - preparing for the coming winter months...chores upon chores. Looking forward to some fun this coming week - visits and get togethers with special friends will make for good times in this long, lingering Autumn....

Wishing each of you the same - what ever the season is! And a Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone in Canada!

Pat

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Smokin' sewing machine...

Whew! Surprised the smoke alarms did not go off - my trusty Bernina has had a workout...

Two baby quilt tops for two nieces...

That way overdue wedding gift for a nephew and his wife...

Aunt 'Reen's May Mystery quilt

...will be long-arm quilted in October - reservation made!

And a Jo Morton quilt sample which I forgot to photograph...all ready dropped it off at the LQS where I will be, guess you could call it, group leader for the shop's new Jo's Little Women's Club starting up in October.

Our Liberty Ladies group had a fun day at Nancy Zieman's Quilt Expo in Madison last week. The main focus for me was to pick up more diamonds for the Drayton Hall project....so first stop was the Paper Pieces booth and mission accomplished...plus Primitive Gatherings had convenient charm packs with 65 different squares...first 100 diamonds done - only 900+ more to go......

Then found what might be used for some of the broderie perse on the same quilt....still on the hunt though...and 2 more just because pieces.

This week has been a trifle more stressful starting with our bi-blue sheltie, Kelsie...

Scheduled for a teeth cleaning at the vets we were stunned to find out she needed 9 teeth extracted - they were all loose. Our new vet said she has never seen a sheltie that did not have dental issues - a weakness in the breed. But I also question how observant our previous vets had been. After 39 years and multiple dogs we thought it time for a switch to someone closer and more on top of modern canine care. After a long day, our silver girl came home with pain meds and antibiotics....where she is now bouncing around like a jack-in-the-box!

Then my Mom (88)was taken to the ER for shortness of breath - she has undergone testing but nothing glaringly obvious has shown up. We brought her back home and later that night, my Dad(95) fell in the bathroom. While he is okay, all of this going on has just piled up more reasons to get them into assisted living. Unfortunately, we are not making much progress in this direction. They are quite resistant. We got them the Life Alert system and it worked perfectly when Dad pushed the button for help when Mom was having the breathing problem. But we have moved beyond that now and need closer supervision as I am 40-45 minutes away.

To wrap this post up on a lighter note - what do you do to de-compress? How about playing with these little guys...1/4" hexies insanely purchased at Paper Pieces last week...talk about impulse buying...have not tried whip stitching them together yet...just experimenting.

The plan? Who knows - maybe a little pincushion or embellishment on a quilt label...certainly not a king size quilt that someone made and posted on Pinterest - now that's nuts!

Have a good weekend and hoping you find a way to de-compress when life feels a touch hectic.

Apples anyone? These are from tree # 1 - 2 more to go.....

Pat

 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Well...it's a start...

So they say...a journey begins with the first step...

If you have been reading some of my previous posts, you know how I have raved about Di Ford's book - Primarily Patchwork. I love this book so much!!

Drayton Hall has called to me first with all those paper pieced diamonds and the lure of trying Broderie Perse....

The center star made of 1/2" hexies is done and a start has been made on the 1000+ diamonds.

Auditioning a piece of French General for the inner scalloped border and a cream for the background...

Off to the 2013 Quilt Expo in Madison later this week and hope to find a floral to use for the broderie perse work - and of course, a stop at the Paper Pieces booth to pick up more packets of diamond templates.

Also started on the first of two identical baby quilts. Finding it efficient to just do both at the same time. All the cutting is done and everything can be run through the machine assembly line fashion. A very easy and fun pattern to do!

All for now - heading out for a family holiday BBQ - wishing you a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend...and for all of you in the Southern Hemisphere - Happy Springtime!

Pat

 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Celebrate Hand Quilting!

Do you hand quilt?? Do you love piecing in any form by hand a great source of satisfaction?? Applique, hexies, circles, squares or triangles...

As you work on your quilt top, by hand or machine - are you dreaming and planning how you will quilt it?? On your lap, in a hoop or in a large floor frame??

Do you sometimes feel as though you are out there alone in your love of handwork?

Well - come on over to a very special gathering of people who will welcome you warmly, share tips and offer enough inspiration to last forever!!

Caron Covert Mosey has done a super job organizing Celebrate Hand Quilting and helps to keep us all on track (no ads or marketing!)

Quilters from all around the world participate - from the US, Canada, Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands to South Africa and on to the continent of Australia. We all speak the same language.

I have only recently returned to hand quilting after a long absence - the hands and eyes are much older now and my stitches show it but being part of this wonderfully talented group of people has given me the support and encouragement to keep trying.

Wait 'til you see the beauty of trapunto work, stunning Welsh wholecloth works of art, appliqued flower baskets and intricately pieced blocks.

So click on the big Celebrate Hand Quilting button on my right side bar for instructions on how to join via Facebook...the membership count is over 900 now -

Come join the fun...


Pat

 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A work in progress....

...and long overdue... A wedding quilt for a nephew and his wife - married last year. (Picture - hanging my quilting head in remorse...) this is one of the Mystery Quilts Aunt 'Reen offered back in May.

The rows will be going together now and I am determined to wrap this up soon and off it goes to be quilted.

I have always tried to be more prompt but life sometimes does not give out enough hours in the day. Here in the northcentral part of Wisconsin, summers are much too short - this one especially with the very late Spring arrival we had. The gardens have finally started to offer up their harvest for the season. Green beans are slowing down but tomatoes are still very green and we usually get frost in September. Summer squashes are prolific as always - no matter the weather...

And these carrots were just thinned out this morning - will be so tasty in winter soups and stews. Lots more left in the row!

Another work in progress is my favorite play house - our potting shed.

No! That is not it!!!


Ours is a working potting shed - not made for lounging in and reading a book of poetry while sipping a cold glass of lemonade...it holds tools, soils, buckets, baskets, umpteen pairs of gloves and all the other "stuff" gardeners need - kind of like a quilters sewing room only more earthy! And my favorite feature - a big sink for soaking vegetables or washing up.

Moving through the weeks of summer, what is hanging to dry will act as a calendar. Sage leaves are getting dry to the touch and and tiny marjoram and thyme leaves lay on the racks of the dehydrator. Annabelle hydrangeas begin to show a hint of cream to pale celery green - just right for hanging from the hooks Mr. Outback positioned in the rafters.

When the time allows to "sit a spell" -

...out comes my garden journal where notes are kept...where veggies were planted in each bed from year to year; what seeds performed well or not so good; thoughts for the next growing season..

Check out these herbal markers that were a gift from my friend, Barbara Jean. Trying out 2 of them now and when the new herb bed is finished next year, all of them will find a home - aren't they great!!

So the summer goes...each day growing a bit shorter as it winds down.. Too fast...I want it to linger, to gather up each moment in a huge apron and make it last...
Thinking of our son and dear daughter-in-law too - so far away in Alaska - and hoping this time next year we will be together taking in mountain views or watching whales in the water.
Wishing each of you a week of progress...
Pat

 

Monday, August 5, 2013

My new friend....

We have just returned from a very fun mini-vacation to the Upper Peninsula...Mr. Outback got to shoot skeet for 4 days under blue skies and cool temperatures and I got invited to join some of the other wives for antiquing.

Sitting on the floor of a vendor's booth inside a large antique mall, was this little Featherweight - kind of dusty, neglected and looking for a new home. I asked if we could plug it in...turned on the switch...after a little fiddling, it worked! And the vendor had a sign up that said 20% off any purchase over $100...I said "I'll take it"...

As it looked in its case

When we arrived back home, the RV needed some things brought in and loads of wash started...we have a quick turn around this week and are off to Green Bay for another shoot...but with wash going and dinner started, I just had to take a close look at my new little friend. She needed a good cleaning, oiling and a fresh needle. My goodness, oiling a machine from around 1955 is a far cry from my newer Berninas (which are probably pouting now in the sewing room). I discovered the 221's have ALOT of oiling holes for such a small machine!

Of course, I just needed to thread it up and run a scrap of my own fabric through it...a nice stitch. My main intention? She will travel with us on trips. Small, lightweight, compact...perfect...I am in Featherweight heaven.


Now she just needs a name...


Hope you have a fun week filled with your own discoveries!!


Pat