Spring lilacs

Spring lilacs

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Fall in Door County...(photos!)

Door County is a peninsula north of Green Bay, Wisconsin and a very popular tourist and recreation destination. It is often called the Cape Cod of the Midwest. Mr. Outback and I had not been there since 2016 and so we decided a Fall mini-vacation was overdue. We packed up the 5th wheel with way more food than 2 people could think of consuming for a week and loaded up on long pants and fleece jackets knowing how weather in Wisconsin can change in 5 minutes. At the end of our 5 day stay, we were thankful for the extra warm clothing and have returned home with more food then when we left.
How is that possible, you may wonder? Door County grows fruits and vegetables as their climate provides a well balanced growing environment. Now is when the farm markets are packed with many varieties of apples...
Honeycrisp being my most favorite of all...Nature’s most perfect food!

Pumpkins of every shape, size and color and...

The thousands of cherry trees which bore fruit earlier this summer are now picked clean and the harvest is available in many forms...

Fudge and chocolates - oh my!

Wild grape vines are everywhere and in the many vineyards, clusters of concord grapes are nearing their peak.

The peninsula offers so much - from neatly kept farms, to “Mac Mansions” built along the coastline, to wonderfully restored log cabins...country lanes and the famous winding road section leading to Gills Rock...
We spent a day on Washington Island, crossing on the ferry that serves to transport visitors and supplies back and forth. We giggled at the Garmin in our truck...we were that object doing about 11 mph on the water, just off the coast of Plum Island...(that little symbol my husband uses is a helicopter...yep, once a pilot, always a pilot!)

Being there reminded me of our trip to Halibut Cove out of Homer, Alaska - I love the slower pace, the quietness and undeveloped landscape which is becoming so rare. I think I could live on an island quite comfortably...
Especially when it contains two lavender farms...

Though the lavender at both places had been gathered back in July, there are still some fragrant stems showing...

And because the farms distill their own oils, the lavender based products are a must...wish I could offer a fragrance app for you! This book made it home too to join my little library of Lavender-inspired cookbooks...



There is a strong Scandinavian heritage in the area and the two structures we visited reflect this...
This was being used as a drying shed for lavender and the wood carvings were lovely and intricate.
Farther down the road is the Stavkirke which was completed in 1995. The chapel was built by volunteers from the Lutheran Church across the road. The craftsmanship was gorgeous. (The chapel is also available for small weddings - how exquisite that must be!)

We are now back home with wonderful memories and feeling relaxed...it is back to a “normal” routine...getting the RV cleared out and winterized, finishing garden cleanup and then back to the sewing room...I have a quilting retreat coming up in 5 weeks and had better get my act together...Working on a couple of things which I won’t be able to share for a while...
Wishing you a weekend filled with making your own memories...
Pat
PS - it may be Fall here, but all ready thinking ahead to next Spring...I fell in love with these very fun glazed pots for the garden...

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Backing up/reverse sewing...

Years ago when going through both knee replacement rehab, one of the tasks I was instructed to do was walking backwards on the treadmill...disconcerting to say the least but eventually the strengthening and balance results were apparent...
I can only hope I will become a stronger quilter after completing this reverse sewing and picking out endless free motion stitching that just did not please me at all...the section I stippled took maybe 2 hours and it took 5 evenings to undo everything...
A machine quilter I am not! I can follow a straight line fairly well, but anything else leaves much to be
desired. Partly due to the stiffness of my hands, even wearing those little gripper gloves, it is hard to manipulate the quilt sandwich satisfactorily. In the past, I have taken classes from some very talented machine quilt instructors but always felt I belonged in the remedial section.
When all the threads were picked out, went back to the machine and did straight lines, put the binding on and can now call it Done! (It really does lay flat despite the wonky look on the clothesline)

I thought the lines in the border fabric kind of said...how about trying mitered corners, so that worked ok. For my first venture into working with wool applique, thought the pumpkins and leaves turned out all right too.


It has been years since I made a Fall/Halloween season quilt, and this one will go up on our hallway wall for the season for a fresh look.
Here we are into September and the days go by at Taylorsoutback with visible changes taking place here ...our fields are filled with color - goldenrod is in full bloom...

...and here and there one can spot a maple tree with a few leaves turning. Crows are calling from the woods and a continuous chorus of crickets are saying summer is at an end...the nights are cooler. Mr. Outback is busy cutting up the remnants of our old cedar deck & we have plenty of kindling & firewood to take us through the next 2 winters before we seriously think about converting to a pellet stove. Cutting up 100” length logs has lost its charm after 40+ years of heating with wood although sitting by the fireplace in the evening certainly has its merits.
There have been celebrations - our 52nd Wedding Anniversary and Mr. Outback’s 75th birthday with a made from scratch carrot cake (his favorite)

... dinners out and lunches with friends. Our daughter-in-law & I enjoyed a treasured Saturday together shopping...did I count how many weight watchers points??? Nope!
My little sign in the kitchen is a daily reminder...

Wishing each of you simple things to cherish...
Pat