Sunset - June 2, 2020

Sunset - June 2, 2020

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Very Special Quilt

During the last few months, I have shared our journey to Alaska and visiting with our son who lives in Wasilla. I also may have mentioned just a "few" times about Jena, who made the trip with us and now has become a special part of our family - it has been a joy to watch the happiness grow between Dave & Jena. They are fun to be around and we missed them so much this Christmas. Through the wonders of Skype, we were able to connect up with them Christmas morning and had the opportunity of watching Jena open her present from us.
One of her favorite colors is yellow, so it was easy to decide on a classic basket quilt pattern using a soft, buttery yellow print.
There is a long arm quilter living nearby who I have been working with on the last couple of projects and I was delighted, once again, with her quality of machine quilting and design suggestions. The feathered wreaths work so well in the alternating white blocks and that element is carried over onto the pieced baskets as well.
I used a Harriet Hargraves washable wool batt for warmth and textured loft.  There is such a feeling of contentment and joy when making a quilt for someone who is so dear. Jena really, really liked it!!!!

After experimenting around with the Blogger format, this post marks the first "official" change over from the old WordPress site. From now on, I will be posting under the new title "Thoughts From Taylorsoutback."
I will keep the old blog site available for now - The Journal of Taylorsoutback and there will be a link there to direct everyone to this new site. Hope that isn't confusing. If you have me listed on your own blog favorites - which I truly appreciate by the way! Can you add the new link to my Blogger site? Thank you!

This week will keep me busy in the sewing room...we had a very practical Christmas this year - Mr. Outback requested a new vise for his work bench & additional outdoor security lights. I received much needed new shelving and also additional track lighting in the sewing room. So, of course, that calls for major reorganizing & one thing leads to another...all the fabric is being sorted through and refolded. I figure that will take the most time! It is a total disaster! The fun part is getting reacquainted with forgotten pieces - either new and hidden or bits and pieces leftover from other projects. I promised myself, no new project starts until this room is brought up to speed - a good way to start the New Year.
My bout with the shingles seems to be fading - not taking the pain meds anymore and no new episodes...just left with an ongoing discomfort in the lower back if on my feet too long. That gives me the excuse to sit down in the evening and work on Block #3 of Beyond The Cherry Tree... Hope to post a picture of #2 & #3 completed later this week on the special blog that has been created for BTCT folks. The direct link is to the right on my sidebar. Be sure to check it out - it is amazing to see how everyone takes the same pattern and then puts their own interpretation to it...the color choices are so fun - from traditional to whimsical.

Have a good week, stay warm  tucked into your favorite chair - can you believe how much of the US is covered in snow right now?? If this is global warming, I might just start to question it??

 And - oh Happy Day - the 2011 Seed Catalogs have started to fill our mail box!!!!!!!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

The High Cost of Cotton

Thought as quilters, you might be interested in the following excerpt from a recent Marcus Brothers newsletter. A friend of mine forwarded this on and I checked to see about passing the info on to you. This newsletter is sent out to retail shop owners so I believe it would be okay to share. If I find out differently, it will be removed immediately. As a quilt shop owner in another life, I remember the days when cotton was $6.00 a yard and we were very nervous about how customers would react. In 2010 the price on the end of that beautiful fabric bolt has risen to $10.00 and beyond. A quality spool of 100% cotton thread is now $7 and up. Where are we headed as quilters in 2011? Read on...

" What is causing the price increases? First, there is a worldwide cotton shortage, now in its second year. The situation was significantly compounded by the flooding in Pakistan, which decimated the local cotton crops. Cotton prices are up over 100% from this time last year. Additionally, there are labor shortages, dollar devaluations and a list of global economic conditions in general; together, these affect the pricing on all products coming out of China. Not only has this created a shortage of greige goods for printing in China, but adversely affected the cost of the greige goods available worldwide. While we do print in Korea, the majority of the greige comes from China.
Looking ahead, what can we expect? We have experienced shortages in the past, but this particular set of conditions is like no other we have ever experienced in our 100-year history. In addition, greed and corruption are fueling extreme price fluctuations, as greige goods producers hold out for the best price. This cannot last forever, and hopefully the market will stabilize in the first quarter of 2011. The good news is that we are just now hearing that the cost of cotton is going down. However, these lower prices will likely not be reflected in the market for another six to nine months; as with any commodity, cotton costs rise faster than they fall. The challenge is that we must produce goods at today's pricing. It will be a difficult 2011 for all of us, both within the industry and beyond." (Marcus Brothers Fabrics)

One of my first thoughts upon reading this exquisite as our quilting fabrics are that come from overseas - and those countries do a fabulous job in quality cotton for quilting...what is holding the US back in reestablishing their own market? Most of our long ago cotton plantations no longer exist and our mills shut down quite a while back. Yes, we still grow cotton in this country, but with all the improved technology at our fingertips, why not increase cotton field production, reopen some of those mills with improved machinery and working conditions and put our people back to work.  I don't know about you, but even my clothing preference has always been for 100% cotton items and I have very strong feelings about shopping for my quilt fabric - it must come from those hardworking, creative independent quilt shops. Maybe by the Fall 2011 Quilt Market in Houston, we can hope to see a friendlier price trend. Making a quilt now requires much more additional planning and budgeting. Remember those old Cotton Industry commericals? For quilters, Cotton is the Fabric of Our Lives!

Thanks so much for visiting my new blog site - still a work in progress. You can also see other current postings at my WordPress site...The Journal of Taylorsoutback. But I am really growing fond of this Blogger place and the opportunities it offers. Thanks for your patience during this transition!! And I am just pleased as punch to see a list of Followers started - Thank you!!

Have a good weekend.

And keep on quilting.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Evening!

Hoping each of you have enjoyed a Wonderful Thanksgiving...perhaps you are just now beginning to celebrate. Here at Taylorsoutback, the dishes are done, all the tasty leftovers are put away and my dear folks have headed back home as they usually retire early in the evening. We are blessed to have them with us for this Holiday. I am happy to report my Mom ate extremely well after a week of no appetite which caused us some concern. We loaded up their car with lots of goodies for their next few dinners and things for the freezer. I so appreciate all the caring and supportive comments from everyone and some very timely suggestions too. They are much appreciated. We have spoken with our son Dave and his Jena up in Alaska too - they were headed to a gathering of friends and good food. We are thankful knowing they are both happy and well.

Just to let you know this is a new blog arrangement by way of Blogger. I am giving it a trial run and everything is very basic now with more information to be filled in. So far I am liking the ease of working with Blogger vs. WordPress. Not being overly computer savvy, I am finding WP to be somewhat limited for those of us who want something a little more whimsical and light. I can finally get buttons to other links working, add a Followers list (which I hope you will add your own name to) and bring a little color onto the page. Just have to figure out how to work with the size of images as my quilt header is just a BIT too large! When you consider each of those 9 patch units measures 1 1/2" finished it does bring it into perspective though...

For now I will keep both blogs up and running while I give the new one a go.
You can visit my earlier posts at WordPress - 

That is it for now - about ready to put my feet up for a while, maybe do a little applique and not think about how many calories I consumed! Back on the treadmill tomorrow!


More later!