Settler’s Trail quilt

Settler’s Trail quilt

Sunday, August 25, 2019

August, sweet August...

As summer winds down and we move towards September and the changing of seasons, I can’t help but think back on the last 3 months...here at Taylorsoutback in northcentral Wisconsin, summer days flow quickly by...much too fast. In our part of the world, Summer, Fall and Spring are here and gone in a flash but the our winter months seem to hang on and on...So we tend to store up as much good times outdoors as we can to get us through the colder and shorter days to come. For our family, August is the month of birthdays and our wedding anniversary...53 years!

Many years ago, when we first moved to Wisconsin, we had a little 14 foot Shasta trailer and we would visit various campgrounds in the area. Coincidentally, one of the places was located only a few miles from where we live now. While the campground is no longer there, the property has been bought by a very energetic family and one of the huge projects they have taken on is repurposing the original barn that use to serve as the campground check in office. I love old barns and it is always a treat to see one lovingly taken care of.

This weekend, the family opened up the barn to local vendors and staged a “Change of Seasons” craft show. Of course, we had to pay a visit!





The barn looks good and it sure brought back some fond memories...



We walked around the property and along the river that flows behind it...we used to pull our little camper up next to the water and Mr. Outback would head out with his trout fishing gear...

Things have grown up in the last 30+years but it still has that sense of peacefulness you can find by the water...




Another very fun event took place recently - if you live in Wisconsin, there is a very good chance you are a strong Green Bay Packer football fan. It is kind of a requirement actually and yes, we have been known to wear cheeseheads. 

On August 11th, The Pack celebrated 100 seasons in the NFL and they put on a party that included cupcakes, special grass seed packets to grow your own Lambeau Field and lots of other “freebies” - 
We got to watch Training Camp as our team practiced...#12 - Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood...



And a wonderful tour of Lambeau topped off the day...I had no idea how beautiful a football stadium could be!

Of course, we were not allowed to be on the field...but my toes could stand at the edge...


My daughter-in-law and I by the goal post...

Between all the visiting, activities and some heavy duty gardening at the house, I have managed to do a little stitching...very little...
August Cheddarback blocks from Sentimental Stitches are done...


And lots of 1 1/2” diamonds have been prepped for the 6 pointed stars that are needed for Victoria’s Garden...




Meanwhile...the days march on; starlings and flocks of geese are all ready gathering...the nights are delightfully cool for sleeping and Labor Day is on the horizon...

Wishing each of you sweet days, good memories and time to stitch...

Pat 



Thursday, August 8, 2019

Busy as a bee...

And we are into August...oh my...counting down the summer days...
Here at Taylorsoutback, this month means many hours in the garden filling containers with green beans, blueberries, Napa cabbage, peas, a variety of lettuces, carrots, my favorite little Persian cucumbers and waiting for that first ripe tomato...and just have to share my first attempt at growing garlic...waiting for the upper leaves to start falling over before harvesting the bulbs but just had to see what was going on below the soil...this is the first garlic bulb that I checked...doing a happy dance here!


My little herb garden is lush this year compared to 2018 when everything seemed to struggle...drying sage, oregano and lots of thyme in my little microwave set up in the potting shed.  The basils are prolific...not complaining at all! Day lilies are blooming and cutting a few oriental lily blossoms to bring inside sends fragrance drifting across the room. 


The surrounding fields are full of yellow tansy and goldenrod and bumble bees are everywhere...


We were able to take another mini vacation to the UP in Michigan recently and relax a little bit which allowed for some much enjoyed stitching time.
The 2nd block for my Rowdy Flat Library quilt is now completed with its own busy little bees...



The Queen Bee has lots of little worker bees flying in different directions around her and I just had to include some little Princess bees in pink too. The yellow grouping in the corner are 3/8” hexies - the template was included in the pattern. 



What a fun block to work on - can’t wait for Susan Smith to send the next block. 
Finally, just to keep buzzing along with all the other bees, finished the center medallion for a new quilt by Karen Styles. The pattern is in the March-April, 2019 issue of Quiltmania. Piecing it was a challenge for me & the completed unit was pinned to the background prior to appliquéing around the edge. When I was done - oh no! It had shifted about 1/2” so the points did not line up to the 4 folded lines of the square which made it look off center. Got out the reverse sewing tool, cleaned up the threads, repositioned everything, pinned again and this time also thread basted to make sure everything was more secure. That extra step made it work and the circle stayed in position. In addition to all the EPP’ing blocks that go around it, I plan on using this stripe from Di Ford. 





(Oh - and that little gold circle in the very middle?? - Some of those darker green points needed a little cosmetic treatment)  

I think that is about it for now...hoping your days are busy and bountiful too...

Pat 







Sunday, July 21, 2019

Powering up...

...after some really wicked storms went through our area on Friday, we have been without power and it just came back on about 1/2 an hour ago.
This year has brought us numerous power outages and our generator has really earned its keep. Living out in the country as we do, without power, we have no water, heat/cooling, refrigeration or potty rooms. A generator is a necessity! 

Our dependable 8000


We don’t get power into all the rooms of the house (seriously considering a much larger, permanent installation of a Generac system) which means my sewing room goes dark for the duration. So if the sewing machines don’t function, out comes the handwork - making good progress on Block #2 of the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt. This one involves lots and lots of little bumble bees floating around the Queen Bee at the top...little legs and antennea are inked in with Pigma Pen...this is just turning out to be such a fun project and a very different approach to applique for this novice...being a fan of back basting to prep for the applique is where I started and now the Rowdy Flat is pretty much freewheeling once the center circles are in place. 






By the way...I was wondering how Mary Lloyd’s original 1850 quilt, which serves as the inspiration for Susan Smith’s delightful pattern,  came to be called The Rowdy Flat Library Quilt in the 21st Century. Searching a map of Australia, there is a town called Rowdy Flat in East Victoria, about 240 clicks northeast of Melbourne. Wouldn’t it be fun to visit! Would love to make a return trip to Australia...it has been much too long. 

But, I digress...

So...while the electricity is out, what can a person do? There is always the garden that needs attention and with the fresher, cooler air, it is much more comfortable to work outside...

Snow peas need to be picked...


More herbs ready to be dried...



And early blueberries to grab before the birds discover them...



So it goes at Taylorsoutback in mid July...summer days that move so fast and yet feeling blessed to live where I do...

Now that the lights are back on, I am heading to the sewing room to finish up the Cheddarback quilt blocks that came to a halt when we lost power...have 4 completed for July and #5 is cut and prepped...will be nice to have the iron up and running again too.


Have a good week where ever you are and hoping weather in your part of the world stays calm and comfortable.

Pat

A recent visitor strolls by my potting shed...






Tuesday, June 25, 2019

“I wonder what it would be like....

....to live in a world where it was always June.”
L.M. Montgomery

How perfect that would be - June has it all...warm, but not too warm...soft nights that cool...everything bursting into glorious bloom...

Sigh...

The Alaskan grown peonies are putting on quite a show right now...how I love the Coral Sunset that starts out so vibrant and then gently fades to light peach...



The Coral Charm is deeper in color...





My old fashioned Wisconsin-grown peonies are huge this year in delicate pinks...





I must enjoy them now for soon they will drop their petals and prepare for next year’s cycle...

Meanwhile a small sense of accomplishment on finishing the 1st block of Rowdy Flat Library Quilt...(must do some “fine tuning” before a better pressing)





Just had to introduce her to the garden as the colors echo some of my fabric palette...





Tiny dragonflies and if you look closely, a minute bird...



Prepping the 2nd block now...lots of little bees in a circle on this one...when my hands are not in the gardens, they itch to choose fabric and try to meet the challenge of tiny appliques...




All for now from Taylorsoutback...the bees are buzzing outside too and calling my name...
Wishing each of you a lovely day where ever you are...

Pat

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Odds and ends...

....actually, more odds than ends...no finishes and it is going to be while before a completed quilt shows up on this blog. Summers, here in Wisconsin, like many other places is all about the outdoors and that is where you will usually find me. It feels like with the beginning of gardening season in mid-May, by the time everything is planted and a person begins to clean up winter debris and newly emerging weeds, the summer is almost gone and you are starting all over again. My goal has always been to have everything neat and tidy by early June...wishful thinking...maybe next year??? So for now, we enjoy...
Forget-me-nots...


The Prairie Fire tree in full bloom...


Young green onions from thinnings in the garden...


And a stunning double rainbow over our pond after a recent storm passed through...
(Photo by our son, David Taylor)



When night falls and I return to inside, a few quilt blocks finally get attention...


June’s offering from the Cheddarback BOM over at Gay’s Sentimental Stitches are complete - surprised myself, it is only the 16th.


And the first block of my Rowdy Flat Library quilt is getting close to completion, which is a good thing because Block #2 is winging its way somewhere over the Pacific from Australia and should arrive soon...



We took the 5th wheel up to Negaunee in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan recently. Mr. Outback had a skeet shoot and when I wasn’t visiting with friends and catching up with everyone, my dear little Featherweight, Adelia, hummed along making more HST’s for the Tree of Life quilt. (I want to think Adelia was happy to be working and also being returned to the town where she was discovered in an antique shop a few years back.)





The box of HST’s grows...


And that is about it at Taylorsoutback for now...filled with odds and ends - mostly odds, but still a feeling of accomplishment while savoring the month of June...

Wishing each of you lovely moments in the week ahead...

Pat


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Welcoming spring...

...here, finally at Taylorsoutback...while it has been a cooler, rainy lead up to the end of May, we now have doors and windows open and welcome the fresh air and soft days. Here, at the edge of the woods in northern Wisconsin, that means visits to the greenhouses, digging in the dirt and dewinterizing the RV to get it ready for its first outing. The days are filled with activity and so far, not much extra time to enjoy sitting on the deck...but it will come.

Avoiding the crush of heavy traffic from the south as vacationers make their way farther north, we tend to stay put over the Memorial Day weekend. With rain in the forecast, I decided to piece a “little” mini from my newly acquired copy of Pam Buda’s latest book.  Oh my...sure did a double take when discovering that the “quilt” I chose only measures 5” when finished...guessing that might be considered “Quilt In A Day” doable?? Not going to say exactly how long this took...but I was taken with the name Pam has called it - “Jane” - whether she refers to Ms. Austen or my all time favorite heroine, Jane Eyre, I am not sure...but I decided it was Jane Eyre (not only my heroine, but the book that I love above all other pieces of fiction - ever!) 
And it all started because one of my quilting buds gifted me with a piece of fabric that I call “Thornfield Hall” -









Just had to display little Jane alongside her famous quote - “I am no bird, no net ensnares me; I am a free human being of an independent will...”
And of course, the piece of fabric for the backing must have little birds...






Each square in the block measures 1/2” finished and we are instructed to press the seams open to reduce bulk...I like using my Clover liquid pen to help keep the seams open and ready for pressing. 




So this minute Bear Paw block also seemed to call for a cup of coffee brewed with Bear Paws (half-decaffeinated for me) coffee from a nearby local roaster. We are hearing of more new coffee roasters, local micro-brewers and vineyards around the state - always a treat to know products are locally sourced. 

Have also completed the Cheddarback blocks for May that Gay over at Sentimental Stitches is offering each month...A few of these blocks present a challenge and tells me my piecing skills have gotten a little lazy...this is a wonderful block of the month and will hopefully sharpen my ability. 



And at last...Old Glory has been presented to the nearby nursing home in time for Memorial Day...it was made to honor my Dad, who was a Navy veteran as well as all the other veterans who were or are residents at the home. 



I have to admit to a skipped heart beat when the thank you note I received mentioned they had not decided as to whether the quilt would be displayed (which was my intention and included a hanging sleeve) for all to see or if it would be given to a resident veteran to use. I did call the office to remind them displaying it would be best as the techniques and fabrics used would not hold up well to frequent washings in hot water - there are also beads sewn on for the eyes of the eagles...so I think that they understood! Hopefully...

So that is about it for now from Taylorsoutback...heading out to the garden to give the garlic plants some extra food...Have a good rest of the week and wishing each of you moments of bliss in your corner of the world.

Pat