Settler’s Trail quilt

Settler’s Trail quilt

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





Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rebooting....

Spring has arrived here at Taylorsoutback...daffodils are in full bloom, a lot of winter debris has been raked and hauled up to our south field and onion plants are in...Mr. Outback and I drove down to our favorite compost supplier and picked up 29 bags for eventual distribution amongst the 7 raised garden beds...and that is the status of things here for now.

Frustratingly my least unattractive foot apparel has been called into service again. 


Last year a painful left foot introduced me to The Boot - after weeks of wearing it, things seemed settled and I continued on through the summer and entire winter months walking normally and utilizing the treadmill every day...until this week...that foot problem is back again and once more, ice is my friend.
Suppose at some point, I will need to call for an appointment to see if something more can be done. For now, The Boot, ice and staying off my foot periodically will hopefully bring some relief. I am not good at sitting...

There is a vegetable garden to put in during the next few weeks; pretty flats of flowers at the local nurseries that are calling and readying the RV for camping season. I want to be up and about...

The most restful thing I can do right now is sit at the machine and try to quilt Old Glory - want to complete this and get it to the nursing home sometime during the week of May 20 - just prior to Memorial Day...




Not much else going on around here - just a little pity party...still, there is something to be said about sitting down at 2:00 of an afternoon, working on a quilt with a Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall movie in the background...



Hope you are having an uncomplicated and productive day!!

Pat 


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The ties that bind (ing)...

Spring has arrived here at Taylorsoutback...raking, hauling downed tree limbs, moving outdoor stuff from storage and puttering in the potting shed...the days are busy and satisfying. Before this lovely stretch of weather arrived, we had copious amounts of icy snow turning to rain which made for a good reason to stay snug in the sewing room.

As the month of April winds down, my OMG project is a done deal...the perle cotton ties have been finished to hold the layers together...ends have been trimmed...https://www.elmstreetquilts.com/2019/04/one-monthly-goal-april-finish-link-up.html




Binding made and applied...and I want to share how nice some new needles are that I have tried. (A little background first...Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings has taught a few workshops for our guild - one of which I was fortunate to take a number of years ago...she is a good instructor and provides very generous kits that are well thought out. Last month, she drove up from Menasha and presented an evening trunk show for our members and an applique workshop the next day. Boy, did I do a pouty face because I could not go...stormy weather and night driving for me are not a good mix.) At any rate, she brought along a number of her newer products, one of which were these Binding Needles.





I heard many positive comments from people who tried them, so of course...count me in! (No affiliation here) 

They are about the same length as a straw needle...




But so much firmer - easy to thread and very nice to use...if you have the opportunity, give them a try. 

Just a couple of photos of the completed utility quilt - the colors are difficult to photograph, but happy to cross this old UFO off my list.






Also joining in with Wendy over at The Constant Quilter with a completed mini - the applique portion was done during a sweet workshop with Dawn from Collector With A Needle when she visited our guild...just thinking what super nice presenters we have! 



And wrapping up - as if I don’t have enough major applique projects going on...I have fallen head over heels in love with the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt by Susan Smith of Australia  Love that it is both whimsical and inspired by a Welsh quiltmaker (who just happens to have the same last name as my maiden name) circa 1840. I was craving something that just said Spring!! and this definitely answers that.  It is a BOM and the first pattern has been received and begun...dipping into my supply of lights and pastels - a departure from the darker, muddy colors I usually work with. 



That’s it for now...wishing you a week filled with lovely moments. 

Happy stitching!

Pat

PS - are you a devoted follower of Jane Kirkpatrick? Just finished her Emma of Aurora trilogy - one of my favorite quotes -
“Women are the brooms of the world - they clean houses and clean souls. But often they get put back in the corner until the next mess needs to be cleaned up.” Alison Saar 













Sunday, April 7, 2019

Spring cleaning????

As I work outside for the first time since last Fall, the sound of sandhill cranes, returning geese and redwing blackbirds brings a quiet joy to my heart...while we still may have snowflakes in the days ahead, the gentle rains that are washing away the snow banks tells us that the brutal winter we have come through is about over.

Lilacs are still weeks away from putting on their show, but I just longed for a change in my blog header that says Spring and reminds us how fragrant the air will be.

Still busy in the sewing room keeping on track with Gay's BOM over at Sentimental Stitches. These blocks are for Round 2 (April) of the Cheddarback quilt. I may redo the lower right hand block as it looks a little wonky to me.




And another old UFO has come out of the quilting cave and placed onto the Q Snap Floor Frame. I am using #8 Perle Cotton for tying - something I like to do on certain utility quilts. This quilt is more Spring-like in colors and is being tied from the back for less obvious tacking on the front when using a heavier yarn. I do a running thread from point to point, then when completed, the threads will be clipped and tied off.




This will be my April OMG for Patty over at Elm Street Quilts...just squeaking by in time for entering this month as her link closes down in a few hours.

Finally, Spring cleaning will start this week and I came across an ad from Libman (no affiliation!) that features 6 Ways To Make Spring Cleaning Fun For The Whole Family.



I shared with Mr. Outback (who would much rather focus on outdoor chores)and he laughed so hard, we did not get pass #1 which is to give everyone a personalized bucket...oh well..it was worth a try...guess I will be the only one with a name on a bucket.

All for  now - hoping Spring has arrived in your part of the world!

Pat