Sunset - June 2, 2020

Sunset - June 2, 2020

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Love "Y"ellow Ware....

"Y" is for Yellow Ware - and I love it! England was a major exporter of yellow ware in the early 1800's. It wasn't long though before America began producing our own type of yellow ware along the East Coast. States such as New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania were centers for developing potteries. With the Western advancement, Ohio soon followed.

Yellow ware is defined as "sturdier than redware and less dense than stoneware." (from Collecting Yellow Ware by McAllister & Michel)
I have a small collection of yellow ware - all bowls. I don't know how I got started on bowls, but they have long held a place dear to my heart. What did the original owner mix in them...bread dough, cakes, jams, pie fillings or pickle relishes? Each bowl has a secret story - how did it get that little chip on the edge or a thin crack running down the side...was the kitchen a happy place filled with children? Was the woman a farm-wife who woke before dawn to have breakfast on the table for everyone? 

Not being a purist, my collection ranges from examples of typical colorations - blue bands, bright lemon yellow glaze, the plain tans...
There is a set of 6 ranging from a 10" diameter down to a 4" diameter bowl...each one collected individually and mismatched in coloration. 

They all share the same design of a little girl with a watering can standing in front of a window. 
I believe the bowls were premiums found in sacks of flour or sugar during the early 1930's. The bowls came in green (quite coveted I hear and harder to find), a lighter tan or the deeper caramel. The only mark on the bottom of each is "USA."

These bowls and others rest on a heavy shelf which rims our sunroom/dining room. When I asked our builder if he could build something that would hold heavy objects, he outdid himself. He tested the shelving by literally hanging from the edge by his hands...for 15 years, the shelving has held everything we have placed there including heavy crocks. The only problem? I have run out of room! 

Be sure to visit all the other "Y" postings over at Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Special Quilt Blocks...

Just finished piecing 2 quilt blocks - 

A classic design - simplicity itself...went together well...why are they special? They will be mailed off tomorrow and will become part of a quilt project organized by Moda Fabrics...Go to
to read all about the details. Just One Star is a challenge to piece, quilt and bind 100 quilts in 100 days - the completed quilts will be presented to injured service men and women to provide a little comfort and convey the knowledge that they are being thought about. 
Moda is asking for 1800 pieced stars before May 1, 2011. They don't take long to do so won't you join in? The stars are to be pieced in either red or blue on a light background - I couldn't decide, so made two - they can choose whichever or both...

I sure would have loved to be in New York this week to visit the Red and White Quilt had to be something so spectacular to see in person...I hope other bloggers who were fortunate enough to attend will share their experience. The next best thing is downloading the new app that the American Folk Art Museum prepared. It is Free - just go to the iTunes App Store and download it to your iPod, iPad or other device.

There are a ton of photos, background information, Historical facts about red and white quilts, etc.along with an audio commentary on some of the featured quilts.  It is going to take me a while to "tour" the museum!! The image that speaks to me the most is the Circle of Chairs with the red and white quilts gently folded over each chair...this symbolic image of quilters gathering together to stitch and share their friendships with each other. I can hear the voices of those quiltmakers - speaking to us from the past - "When this you see...remember me..."

Have a good week and wishing each of you a special Circle of Friends to gather with.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Giveaway Winner Is.....

...chosen by a very high tech system....using state of the art tools...

slips of paper were created....

...a special font was used to record a sequence of numbers...don't you like the "hand written" look?

...the numbers coincided with my official log book which contained the list of names of each of you who left comments...

...all the generated slips of paper were placed in a large, mostly tamper proof container...
 ...and finally a carefully selected individual was called upon to place their paw er...whatever...and pick...
 The Winner..................

Teresa! - Visit her blog at It's All Good.
Looks like she will have no problem filling the box - lots of quilting and beautiful cross stitch going on over there!

Congratulations, Teresa! - I will be sending the needlework box off to you first thing this coming week...I hope you enjoy using it!

Still hard at work on making more of those little cherries for BTCT...
.. as I was sitting there earlier today cutting out circles, it dawned on me that I have not been keeping up with the demand. I am using them up faster than I can make them....winter is still well entrenched around us, so I find a comfortable place by a sunny window during the day or get tucked into my favorite chair by the fire at night. With the amount of cherries yet to be made, I can foresee sitting out on our deck as the weather improves...feeling a soft, warm breeze on my cheek. Then eventually returning to the cool interior as the sun heats up in July...and on into Fall, bundled in a sweater as the leaves swirl around the corners of the house...and probably back by that fireside chair again eventually!! Hundreds of cherries yet to be made...

Here is Block #13 - Little Blue Basket from Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilt 

I thought being a basket block, it needed that handle too...

 That's it for now. I want to thank everyone for visiting and commenting during this recent giveaway...stay tuned - there are plans for another one in the not too distant hope you will come back often and sit 'a spell...I love company!
Have a productive week and 
Think Spring!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Giveaway Reminder!!

Hi everyone - just a last reminder that you still have time to sign up for my little giveaway...the winning name will be drawn on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 5:00 P.M. (that is 5:00 P.M. in Wisconsin!) 
All you have to do is leave a comment here. If you left a comment on the original Giveaway Announcement Post, I recorded your name all ready!
That's all for now - see you back here Sunday!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"X" for Alphabe-Thursday...

Okay - I really, really tried to come up with a word to work with that starts with "X" - that is our assignment from Jenny Matlock for this week's Alphabe-Thursday. We have a Webster's Collegiate Dictionary - 7th Edition, if you please...which means that version is really, really old. There are about 64 words starting with "X" in that particular edition - few if any, I can pronounce correctly. After Googling "Webster's Collegiate Dictionary," I have discovered that there is now version #11 available which no doubt contains many, many more "X" words...and those are also beyond my ability to pronounce. We should, however, purchase a newer volume to be more current on any words that have been added to our "English" language. There is only one problem with doing that right now...
I am e"X'asperated....why? Because we can barely get out of our driveway which just happens to be a snowball's throw from our nearby County X road (and needs plowing, by the way)
We are now into the 4th official day of Spring...according to my desk calendar. Can you see the little words at the side of the March 20th date..."Spring EquinoX."
 Now, I ask  you - does this look like the "Spring EquinoX?"
Mr. Outback turning into the wind with Kelsie "herding."
This is how our morning started on far, 13" of the white stuff...the house is wrapped in a wintery blanket after an all night snowfall...

The sidewalk has disappeared...
 Our 3 girls are totally confused -
 ...especially our sweet senior sheltie, Sasha who gets confused more easily these days, bless her heart.
Where did that green grass go?

eXasperated?...more like eXtremely eXasperated...
I promise to go out and purchase that updated dictionary as soon as we dig out and maybe then I will be able to find a good "X" word to share...but for now, I am just plum tuckered out trying to find where Spring has gone...

Be sure to drop by Jenny's for all the other "X" postings!!!
And don't forget to visit my previous post - " A Long Overdue Giveaway" dated March 20th....there is a little giveaway going on and you just need to leave a comment there to enter...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Long Overdue Giveaway!

I have a little giveaway for you - just a little something to say "Thank You" for following along with my days at Taylorsoutback.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog posting. The winner will be chosen randomly next Sunday, March 27th and posted on that day's blog. (Be sure to leave a way to contact you if your name is drawn!)

So here 'tis...
This fabric covered box is perfect for any quilter or other needlework artist. Lots of little nooks and crannies to stash needles, threads, little scissors, etc. Or it could be used to store secret little treasures...A couple of years ago, I made one for myself and now she has a twin sister who needs a home...yours is the one with the little red tassel...
Being part of the blogging community has impacted my corner of the world. "Meeting" other quilters, artists, gardeners, chefs and decorators has opened up so much inspiration and encouragement. The quality and content of writing I have discovered on your own blogs has enriched my life so much. Through you I have been introduced to new techniques in quilting, music I have grown to love, books that have become favorites, gardening advice so sweetly shared and online friendships that are treasured. Thank you!

Wrapping up this posting with what has been accomplished this week...
Block #7 in the Beyond the Cherry Tree project

Block #12 in the Civil War Quilt project 
Thank you so much for being here, Dear Reader, and don't forget to leave that comment! 
Have a good week everyone...


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


"W"ild "V"iolet Jelly 

If you will allow me a little license here, I am combining my missed lesson from last week's Alphabe-Thursday - the letter "V" with this week's "W"...
Those of you who have been following along with this blog since 2009 may remember that in May of that year, I shared our recipe for Violet Jelly. With Spring just around the proverbial corner, you might like to see a replay and if you are visiting for the first time, I hope you enjoy being introduced to this special jelly. 

You will need to gather your violets from an area that you know to be free of pesticides. We have a nice little patch that grows right in the middle of our walking path where the land slopes down and stays damp much of the Spring and Summer. I keep an eye out for our occasional bears who cross the path on their way to a natural spring that is located back in our woods. 

Wild Violet Jelly

2 generous cups of violets (no stems please)
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (carefully strained)
4 cups of sugar
1 box powdered fruit pectin

Sterilized jars, lids and rings

Using a glass container, pour boiling water over violets, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, you will have an inky blue/gray infusion. Carefully drain the infusion through a fine sieve. Reserve the liquid and discard the violets. Repeat the straining 1 more time. Add the fresh lemon juice and watch the infusion turn a beautiful rosy lavender color.
Place this liquid in an enamel pan and stir in powdered pectin. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil, making sure all the pectin has dissolved. Add the sugar and return to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
Ladle the jelly into the prepared jars and process in a hot water bath as you would for any other jelly. 
This makes about 6 8 oz. jars - a perfect size for a special gift. The taste is similar to honey with just a slightly tangy flavor - like you think a violet might taste! A fun project to do with kids especially when the infusion turns color.
Below are images of the infusion before and after adding the lemon juice.
Violets soaking in boiling water

Inky blue/gray infusion - the next day  

Infusion after adding lemon juice
Processed jars - isn't it pretty!!

Thank you for visiting and be sure to stop by all the other "W" posts over at Jenny's.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Little Square of Sunshine.... sometimes hard to find when you live in our neck of the woods. Winter days are short in their length and yet seem to go on forever, week after snowy week. Those of you who live in a similar climate probably have the same phrase..."nine months of winter and 3 months of rough sledding..." We have been given the gift of extra daylight by the simple act of adjusting our clocks this weekend.  Warmer weather is on the way for the coming week...upper '40's - rain instead of snowflakes. Rest assured, winter is not through with us yet, but the journey towards Spring has begun...the air has just a touch of softness to it and the days of sunshine bring a more intense light. Watching the horrendous events unfold in Japan makes us aware that a little snowfall and icy roads merit a concern less than a grain of sand in comparison.

The western light comes through my sewing room windows all afternoon and I can sit at my machine working on various projects. My back feels the sun's warmth. True confession - I have actually dozed off for a moment (s) - this happened just this past week as I listened to soft music - a little power nap.  I have found a safe way to relax! Just have to make sure I am not holding a needle or pair of scissors...

Just so you don't think I sleep the days away...there have been a few accomplishments this week.

Caught up on the Civil War blocks from Barbara Brackman. 

Lincoln's Platform 

London Square

And a little bowl of cherries...(or chair of bowlies a la Mary Engelbreit)

Some of these little puppies are going into BTCT block # 7 - 
 ...there are hundreds more to be made for the quilt and I am playing around with different methods to see which makes life easier. Office Dots, Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles or Paper Pieces...between all the options, depending on what size is called for, I think my bases are covered!

Wishing each of you a sunny week and a reminder to be thankful for a roof over your head and solid ground under your feet. Count your blessings and go find your own little square of sunshine...

Our Kelsie

Friday, March 11, 2011

1913 Redwork Quilt

Hi again...a quick post to add another red and white quilt to Taryn's Red & White virtual quilt exhibit.

This quilt was a Christmas gift to me from my family 1n 1999. It was acquired from an online eBay auction with our winning bid on 12/29/99. The eBay seller was from Ridgeway, Pennsylvania and she found the quilt at an estate sale in Brockway, Pennsylvania earlier that summer.

We don't know anything about the quiltmaker. There are embroidered initials "L", "O", "T" (?) and "E" and the centered date of 1913. Photos can be enlarged by clicking on each image.

Was this a wedding gift to a couple with those initials? Or an anniversary gift? We will never know the occasion but someone thought enough about the recipients to embroider popular redwork designs on a woven background. The thread count is not real high - the background is a muslin or similar as is the back. The red embroidery work is done in a cotton thread, equivalent to a #8 perle cotton - the stitch is a stem stitch throughout. On a few of the blocks, it appears a slightly heavier cotton thread may have been used and the workmanship looks a little different.
Just a couple of my favorite designs...and of course they include a log cabin!

The embroiderers "traveled" with their red threads as you can detect llttle "tails" underneath some of the designs. Possibly the blocks may have been done by more than one person?
The hand quilting is approximately 6-7 stitches to the inch and quilting designs are composed of clam shell, hanging diamonds and feathered triangular wreaths. As is typical of that era, there is no applied binding and the backing has been neatly turned to the front and whipped stitch in to place to form the edging.  Overall, the quilt is in very good condition with no real issues. It appears to have been more of a "presentation" type quilt and received little use. It may have been laundered a few times.

I hope you enjoy viewing my redwork quilt!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Red and White Quilt...

Back again sooner than planned! I have decided to join in the online Red and White Quilt Exhibit hosted by Taryn at Be sure to visit Taryn's website for a wonderful array of red and white quilts, both antique and contemporary. This is in conjunction with the upcoming Major Red and White Quilt Exhibit on display at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, running from March 25 to 30, 2011. This exhibit has set the entire quilt world all abuzz...I live in the country and large cities no longer have an appeal for me, but for a few hours, I would like to do a Star Trek Energize and spend the day at the Museum...beam me up Scottie! 
If anyone has information regarding a publication that might be available...let me know!
Back to Taryn's online exhibit! This is my contribution...

 Not much is known about this antique quilt other than when I purchased it back in 1994 or 1995, the owner stated his Grandmother had made it "many years ago." Obviously, dating it exactly would be a stretch. I think she used Turkey Red fabric and a few pieces may be something else not as stable. The white background has a stiffer feel to it and a fairly high thread count compared to the red. The blocks are hand pieced. I believe the only machine work done was in attaching the binding. It is hand quilted. The batting used is quite flat and thin and the backing is a very coarse muslin. One of the reasons I purchased it was because the gentleman's Grandmother had immigrated from Wales many years ago and our family's own roots on my Dad's side go back to Cardiff, Wales. The Grandmother eventually settled in Wisconsin in the Rudolph area. She had passed away some years prior to his selling the quilt. He said he felt no "attachment" to it and could use the money for other interests...Other than that, there is no provenance. I believe the block pattern is called "Hands All Around."  

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Comes In Like A Lion....

on a Snowy Monday this any way to start off a new week in March? Check out the snowflakes on my iPod... is not like we are getting major storms rolling is simply that snowfalls continue to arrive regularly and our snow covered never goes away. 
There was a little respite in the cycle and we were able to get my folks up to the house for a Sunday dinner. While we have been doing multiple weekly visits to them, Christmas was the last time they ventured up to our neck of the woods. Mr. Outback's delicious BBQ ribs (credit goes to our son for that recipe!) were the enticement and I know the way to my Dad's heart is a basket of freshly made dinner rolls.
 I am happy to report that both Mom & Dad ate heartily and it is good to see my Mom's appetite on the upswing. We finished off the meal with a Lemon-Lime Tart from one of my very favorite cookbooks.
The recipe is called Texas Big-Hair Lemon Lime Tarts...the taste is fabulous and although my own tarts boasted a somewhat shorter/Northern "Big-Hair" meringue, I would make these again in a heartbeat...

Another seed order has arrived in the mail - this one from Renee's Garden in sunny California...aren't the seed packets little pieces of art!!?

...sometime this week, a trip out to the potting shed to collect a large bucket of potting soil, bring it back in the house and go ahead on starting some things in flats. We found a nifty little stand with a cover at our local Fleet Farm which should provide extra grow space indoors. It eliminates the problem of not enough windowsills and can be moved out to the potting shed porch when temperatures permit. 
With this ongoing weather pattern, I found myself growing deeper into a winter blues mood - with this week's snowy forecast, it was hard to stay upbeat, so a sound-talking-to was in order...I can either wallow around, thinking gloom and doom or go to my Happy Place - aka The Sewing Room. So the plan for this snowy week is to tackle some mending, work some more on my Canadian Cottage project and finish up some applique blocks which I am obligated to for other people.

And more shameless parental promotion...our son, Dave, has just returned from a week of leading a tour group - he brought back some of his own amazing Aurora images...Winter can be breathtaking...check it out! (Click on his Blog - there are a couple of recent postings when you get to the site)

In the meantime, if you know of any little lambs that would like to come visit us here in the Northwoods - send them over...I am getting tired of hearing that lion roaring...
Have a good, cozy week where ever you call home...


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"U" Is For Upheaval...

Or Part 2 of "This Is The Week That Was...

And if you live in Wisconsin, this has certainly been a couple of weeks where we have seen "Upheaval" - the economy or lack thereof has landed very close to home as our newly elected Governor tells us "we are broke." Hello - we have been broke for quite a while now...where has the Legislature been? Thousands of our States best teachers and many other State workers have gathered in Madison - composed of numbers not seen since the Vietnam War protest days. No matter which side you are on, these past 2 weeks have impacted everyone and the effects will be seen moving across the entire country...I think we are in for more "Upheaval." Soaring gas prices, the volatile events in the Middle East, certainly the wild weather everyone has experienced this winter - all of this creates more "Upheaval." 
Before this post gets too political and becomes a quilting has also gone through some "Upheaval." Have you ever had this happen?

Stitching merrily away only to discover..ignorance is bliss...

Or washing 7+ yards of background fabric and finding this twisted rope...(yet another good reason to own a front loading washing machine in  the future!)

Finally got it unwrapped and into the dryer - I look forward to seeing the state of things when the buzzer goes off - LOL! And since I took the Process Pledge, I promised to tell all - the good and the bad!

And the Canadian Cottage/Delectable Mountains project moves along slowly - have cut numerous large triangles for the corners and piecing of the Delectable Mountain blocks... 


Just finished Block #6 of Beyond The Cherry Tree and have also finished the twisting vine portion of #16 - with ONE cherry in place...only 111 or so to go...
Wreath looks a little out of round to me, but follows the original pattern - have changed the direction of the 4 stems to allow for additional embroidery which I hope will work...perhaps that dear quilter was in a state of "Upheaval?"

Needing a break from all the leaves on some of the earlier blocks, I have started jumping around for variety - it might create a little more "Upheaval" in my quilting life - but it certainly doesn't create boredom! 

Webster defines "Upheaval" as "sudden and great movement or change..." It can also mean a new direction, pushing us to rethink, regroup, and ultimately come out of something better off - moving Upward, being Uplifted and finally United.

Wishing each of you a week filled with smooth days and little sure to visit Alphabe-Thursday over at Jenny Matlock's for more "U" postings.