Spring 2017

Spring 2017

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Calling cards and flannel shirts....

When I picked up the phone to invite some cousins over during the holidays, it struck me how our social life has evolved from the 1800's. We now have so many options to keep in touch with near and far family and friends. Whether it be by land line, cell, email, Skype or Facebook, it all can be accomplished quickly.

Imagine yourself 150 years ago - hand writing an invitation or arriving at someone's home and presenting a beautifully inscribed calling card.



Or what an interesting approach in getting acquainted between a man and a young woman...

Oh my - how times have changed and not always for the better!

Even in more recent times - if you were a young military officer in the early 1960's - there was a certain protocol in place when calling on your Commanding Officer and his wife. When Mr. Outback & I married in 1966, we received this silver calling card tray from one of his Australian relatives. And my dear MIL, who wanted to help educate me in the Army tradition of calling cards and formalities, presented me with this book. I must confess, our dear little tray has more often held tiny mementoes rather than someone's card. I would like to think we know our manners and can be relied on to act appropriately when out in public. But, truth be told, we are simply more relaxed using the phone or email and love wearing flannel shirts....

So, if you are ever in our neck of the woods, a calling card is not required and you can just....

Happy New Year everyone - be comfortable and be safe out there!

Pat

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Some snow-filled thoughts....

December 17, 2016
Outside, it is a winter wonderland...lots of fresh new snow and increasingly cold temperatures have guaranteed a white Christmas here at Taylorsoutback. Inside, our tree is up and presents are being wrapped. The first round of baking has all ready disappeared...next week the kitchen will be filled with more cookie ingredients. Apparently, some elves have been devouring those first efforts...
Just a little sewing going on around here as last minute touches are added to a special gift...no peeking!
The first week in December started out with our annual Christmas gathering for the Liberty Ladies, my quilt history study group. We always do a cookie exchange and optional gift offering. This year I made a sewing box from the French General pattern Le Marais.

French General fabrics and a beaded tufted interior


In return I received this wonderful quilted piece - love the colors and the scale of the blocks. The border fabric really sets everything off too!


A special lunch with long time friends and opening Christmas cards from loved ones far away help to keep our thoughts upbeat. My Mom has not rallied and the nursing home staff has arranged for her to be under the care of Ministry Hospice. We had so hoped she would be well enough to join us for Christmas, but it is not to be. When we emptied their house last year, all Mom & Dad's Christmas ornaments were carefully packed up and kept. Our tree this year has all of those hanging on the branches & I had wanted her to see them. So many years and memories of special ones we had given them...


We are so thankful to have our Dave and Jena with us - no more long, anxious flights from Anchorage in the midst of winter storms. Their presence and thoughtfulness are beyond dear...recently while Mr. Outback and I were gone for the day on errands, they both arranged solar powered lights on an evergreen that stands next to our pond...from dusk to early morning, the lights shine out softly and lift our spirits.

May your days ahead be filled with all good things and blessings.

Pat

(PS - with the closing down of Blogsy for those of us who blog via iPad, a new Blogging app has recently appeared - it is called Blogo and I am giving it a try - so far so good - learning my way around)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Winds of change...

 "It was November, the month of...passionate wind songs in the pines..."
L M Montgomery




Walking is a favorite of mine and not done often enough. However, since November 2 at our Annual Fall Retreat, I have made a concerted effort to walk frequently.

 Month after month since early 2015, our country has seen such disruption that will take a long time to find a common ground and correct the hurts. Being outside, with ones own thoughts can be therapeutic. All week, the weather people have been calling for our first winter storm starting tonight. Should I try to get in one last outdoor walk before changing to the basement treadmill? The afternoon had hovered around 57 with spurts of rain drops and a soft breeze on the cheek...barely enough to ruffle your hairdo. Calling one of my little fur companions, Seana, we set out on the grassy path Mr. Outback keeps mowed in our south field. Three laps around = 1 mile. 
It was very still at the level we walked...hardly a branch moved; the dried and faded goldenrod heads nodded gently and even the silky, white inner seed pods from the milkweed seemed at rest. Last week they filled the air, drifting and spinning about finding new homes. Far above, in the uppermost tops of the pines and poplars, a distant sound grew from the west...as though a great chorus was announcing the approaching storm. I looked up and could see tree tops swaying and touching each other like dancers. The sound intensified and the air around us was filled with the fragrance of distant forests that had 
been collected along the way...
Closer the winds came until they crossed our road and tumbled down to sweep across the path and onto our fields. In the woods, tree branches snapped and hit the ground. Yes - a tree does make a sound when it falls in the forest whether someone hears it or not!

Living in the country for 20+ years has opened my eyes to so much - Nature in all her seasons offers lessons and parallels if we only allow ourselves to be open to seeing and hearing. The winds this afternoon will bring a major drop in temperature and the first snowflakes of the long winter. Changes are in the making. What will the morning bring? What lies ahead? Our faith and knowing goodness surrounds us can guide us even though the road ahead may be icy and uncertain...

From the northwoods, I wish each of you Thanksgiving Blessings...




Monday, November 7, 2016

Gone quilting....

Our annual Fall Retreat is now in the memory book - 5 wonderful days of being with quilting friends - sewing, hikes along the many trails, no cooking and the most incredible string of beautiful weather ever - November in the Wisconsin northwoods - 50's to low 60's during the day, 30's at night....amazing!

A fun trip to the nearby LQS - where we met this sister quilter...

While I have returned home with nothing completely finished (had not expected too!) progress has been made on a couple of my long term projects...

The second border to my Di Ford Drayton Hall...

And the start of Border #3...

All the little 9 patch units are done for Lisa Bongean's Settler's Crossing...my goal now is finish this up during the winter - after 3 years there will NOT be a 4th! Time to do it!

Needing to calm the feeling of being a quilter out of control...please tell me I am not alone...

So many projects that need or want to be done...and yet new discoveries are calling...Paper Pieces and their new Dear Jane packets will be arriving starting in December...next Spring, Di Ford's 2nd book will be out and must have. All the new fabric lines being introduced...

Help!!!

Happy stitching everyone...

Pat

Friday, October 28, 2016

Trunk show and workshop with Dawn - Part 2

So glad you have come back to see more lovelies from Dawn's Trunk Show - Collector With A Needle. Our quilt guild members really enjoyed seeing these wonderful quilts.

Check out this perfect stripe border fabric!

The very special Noah and Matilda...the original..(and please forgive me for that chair in the way! )

Original inkings - 1854...

And Dawn's stunning version....

This is a different, more modern interpretation of Catherine's Garden shown in Part 1 ....more lovely golden yellow....

And a soft, pastel Kaffe Fassett fabric frames this sweet version.

As you can see, Dawn has taken her love of antique quilts, choosing the reproduction fabrics we are so fortunate to have available, to recreate gorgeous examples of the original and also interpreting the same quilts in today's modern upbeat brights or pastels.

The following day, 20 of us joined Dawn in her Applique workshop...whether we were beginners or familiar with the backbasting technique of applique, we enjoyed stitching together to create this block from the Noah and Matilda quilt.

I used reproduction fabrics and want to finish it off with a little pieced border to make a mini quilt.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Pat

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Trunk show with Dawn! Part 1

After a really good day of shopping with my Mom on Friday, who resides in the nursing home, the weekend held some anxious moments as she experienced some breathing problems...but things seem somewhat more settled as of now... so I have some time to share the very special visit our guild had with Dawn Ronnigen, Collector With A Needle. Dawn has a lovely blog and, along with her daughter, publishes many of the patterns for her vintage quilts. The patterns are wonderfully packaged with a full color print showing the original quilt.

Dawn arrived, suitcases filled, with quilted treasures - she brought some of her antique quilts from a collection of 300.

A modern version using Kaffe Fassett fabrics..

And also with wool on a great plaid background...

Ferns and Berries...one of my favorites & yes I now have the pattern!

Catherine's Garden in golden yellow

And Dawn's stunning hand quilted interpretation in white...

Harrison Rose

Stay tuned for Part 2 - more photos and also what we did at Dawn's workshop the following day.

Happy stitching everyone! Oh that each day could be twice as long to do all the quilts in our hearts....


Pat

(With Dawn's permission, photos were allowed and used in this blog post)

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Yeah! Two finishes...

 

The Tlingits, one of the First Nation tribes, number in the 20,000's and live primarily in southeastern Alaska/borders of Yukon & British Columbia. We visited the Heritage Center in Teslin, Yukon a few years ago - it is situated on the shores of Teslin Lake - a stunning location...a row of hand carved totem poles marked the entry way...

Tlingit totem poles - taken in 2005

The Raven holds a position of great importance in their culture. It is the Raven who tricked an old Indian Chief into giving up an ornately carved box which held the sun. When the Raven opened it, the sun rose into the sky and covered the earth in light. Further reading go to - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlingit

The design (an original by Tlingit woodcarver, Tommy Joseph in collaboration with Lisa Moore of Quilts With A Twist ) on my pillow is the Raven holding the sun in his beak before releasing it. Tlingit artwork often features the use of red and black colors and much embellishment with pearl buttons. Choosing earth toned batiks however fits in with our living area. I tried doing echo quilting around the design - using the zipper foot attachment on my Bernina and am pleased with the effect. A softly variegated Superior thread was used in the machine quilting.

I went back and added three caramel colored buttons to the inner border as suggested in the pattern.

The 2nd finish - The Irish Chain quilt from Aunt Reen's Place February Sew Along. I had a friend of mine do some really lovely feathered wreaths and cross hatching - the stitching from her long arm shows up so nicely on the Moda Bella Suede background - I would love a bolt of this - gorgeous fabric! I did just a simple matching binding and think this turned out to be the perfect fall quilt to curl up with on chilly evenings by the fire.

Both completed (love that word!!) projects have provided a satisfying break from the huge, long term quilts going on.

Wishing each of you a week of finishes too!

Pat