Spring lilacs

Spring lilacs

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

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Stitched...bound...and delivered...

The last couple of weeks have been devoted to completing the comfort quilt for my friend who is undergoing chemo...and the days have been quite busy and somewhat hectic. I did remember to grab a quick photo of the completed quilt before delivering it.

Big chunks of fabric and a very simplistic layout along with basic machine quilting got it done...



Being somewhat apprehensive as to how the quilt would be received, I was so happy to get multiple hugs! The flannel backing in particular has been greatly appreciated. We decided a good name for the quilt is “Be well!”  which is what I most sincerely wish for this dear lady. 

Meanwhile, here at Taylorsoutback, we have finally broken away from the tough winter weather - the days have turned sunny and soft breezes are giving us a little taste of Spring warmth...our driveway and deck continue to grow more visible as do a few edges of my raised beds in the garden. We can even reach the outdoor grill!  Knowing how Spring in Wisconsin behaves though...we are wise to her ways...cold and snow can still appear, but at least it won’t linger as long. 

As for the sewing room...some slow hand applique has been going on - and the sewing machine continues to get lots of attention. It is hard to resist Gay Bomers over at Sentimental Stitches when she offers yet another BOM challenge based on an antique quilt...wanting to brush up on my piecing skills and also tap into my growing collection of reproduction fabrics, I have jumped into her Cheddarback quilt...Gay has set up a Facebook page and just last week, the participating count was 500+! Everyone is showing a fascinating variety of fabrics and it is always fun to “meet” new quilters and at the same time,  recognize others who have made the same quilting journey on previous BOM projects.

Here is the first month’s offering...we have done a 12” (finished) block and 4 5” (finished) blocks. Eventually all will be joined together with sashing and cornerstones. I have not decided on that part yet...will wait to see how everything plays out...


There is a bonus block offered and I am deciding on fabrics as I type! 

That’s it for now...will link up to Patty’s OMG for March with the Be Well quilt - loving her program as it has really made it possible for me to stay focused and move things forward.

Wish I had a photo of something blooming outside like other bloggers...but we are still snowcovered. For now I will share a card I received from our Dave and Jena - they know of my love for Stargazer lilies...this card is definitely a keeper! 


And I could not pass up a little bouquet of real Stargazer lilies at the grocery store...oh the fragrance...





Wishing everyone a lovely weekend and as always...Happy Stitching.

Pat



Monday, March 4, 2019

On reaching 75...

Last week, amidst all the snow and drifts, it occurred that I have now occupied a spot on this planet for 75 years...3/4’s of century...how are you supposed to feel, comes to mind?? No magical, wisdom filled answers here...just knowing that I am surrounded by loved ones, have friends near and far and can remember where I am going while walking (most of the time) is a blessing. My family made the day special...other than baking the Challah bread, everyone else did the cooking...

For Breakfast...

Stuffed (mascarpone) blueberry French toast made with my favorite Challah bread recipe and a rare slice of bacon...





(Nope...not counting the WW points for this!)

And for dinner that evening...

Made from scratch Bolognese sauce and freshly prepared pasta - so fun to make! (Oh no...no photo...too busy enjoying the dish!)

While I am sure this week’s weigh in will reflect the above delicious food...it was so worth it and I will get back on track...

Part of my birthday celebration included receiving a 23andMe DNA kit - I am so tickled and excited to get the results back...it takes about 6 weeks. 

https://www.elmstreetquilts.com/2019/03/one-monthly-goal-march-link-up.html

Back in the sewing room - I am linking up with the March OMG over at Elm Street Quilts.
Someone I know is just beginning the difficult journey of chemo and I want to make a comfort quilt for her. Have found a very quick and simple pattern and will work from my stash using this floral as the focus along with a pink 9 patch that joins up with the blue sashing. 




The pieces are large and will go together quickly because a person just needs some comfort right away. So this project has jumped in front of everything else and will take priority this month. I think it is very doable. Hope I can find someone who can give it some overall quilting in a timely manner. 

That’s it for now - back to cutting strips of fabric...

Happy stitching everyone...

Pat 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

February OMG success...

With all the snow we have been receiving each week, one positive side affect is more time to stitch...in between making what feels like endless pots of soups and loading the rick on the porch with firewood.

As we draw to the end of February, I can check off another OMG and link up to Patty at https://www.elmstreetquilts.com/2019/02/one-monthly-goal-february-finish-link-up.html
Old Glory is now together - all the raw edges are secured with Invisifil thread and the final little touches have begun...







Need to finish making more little blue berries and some last minute embroidered stars on a couple of the blocks...





In addition, there has been a few moments for reverse sewing on another little UFO - this is supposed to be a table cover and I would like to have it ready should Spring ever arrive here...but for now it is somewhat a jumbled mess...




As much as the little pink and green stripe appealed to me, it just would not play nicely when trying to line up green to green and pink to pink. And of course, I do not have enough leftover fabric to recut and try again. So have ripped the seams apart, picked out a substitute fabric which does not really thrill me, but it will have to do and am now reattaching everything again.  Those 30 degree and 60 degree mitered seams are kind of weird too. Probably a good thing that Spring is after all still a few weeks away...

I was thinking about going into a “whine” fest about how our less than 4 year old LG frig has quick working and a new compressor and mother board has been ordered and the contents of said frig are distributed in various coolers out in the garage along with the 2 freezers in the basement...but hey...in the scheme of things...it is minor...just inconvenient as the dickens and makes you wonder why manufacturers keep raising prices but the quality of their product doesn’t keep up. I love the French door design we have and all the good storage and accessibility...but am really questioning why something would fail after a short time...so there, I did end up whining...

In the meantime...wishing each of you smooth stitching and refrigerators that run just as smooth.

Pat
Patty’s February OMG

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

More this and that...

Not the most clever of Blog posting titles...but after the record snowfalls of this week (and more tomorrow) my head is just about “snowed” out...Somewhere under that snow is our deck -



...just as I am trying to understand that somewhere out there is Spring...

In our northern area, Tuesday, February 12, 2019 broke the long standing record set in 1945 (I was almost a year old then!) for a February being the snowiest month. And we are not done yet...by a long shot.

We only lost power 1 time though which is saying something; a number of anticipated events were cancelled...the plus side is that I could spend a little more time playing with fabric...

I have noticed some of the blogs I follow regularly, show projects being worked on while using a dearly beloved Featherweight. Only recently, my own “Adelia” (named for my Grammy) has been placed in use at a recent sew-in day and it was so much fun to bring her out and enjoy our time together.
For Christmas, Mr. Outback gave me a Sew Steady table extension - the Featherweight addition. The only issue for not sewing on Adelia previously is that I prefer a larger support area when sewing. I love the look of this particular one...


(Sorry for the reflection of my dining room ceiling and chandelier - the extension is black and very shiny mirroring anything that is near by!) 

What a difference it is to sew with the added area. I love the extension table and Adelia will be spending more time going out on retreats in the future.
So when Robert Kaufman Fabrics came out with commenrative fabric - it did not take long to head to my LQS for yardage...



...to make a carrying case for the extension...

Exterior...



Lining...



I just took some simple measurements and  “cut away all the parts that did not look like a carrying case”...if I would ever design patterns of any kind, my company would have to be called “Flying By The Seat of My Pants.” But, the tote holds what it is suppose to and that is what counts. 

Hope you all have a good rest of the week - back later with more this and that...

Happy stitching!

Pat

Thursday, February 7, 2019

February OMG - still plugging away

You know how it is - a new pattern/fabrics beckoning to you - calling, enticing; the hands inching ever so closer...but...
There is that UFO that you just know needs attention and you need to keep moving it along...
So it is with Old Glory...
Last month, the goal was to secure the raw edges with the Invisifil threads on the main blocks...can check that off...
Now onto the borders and scallops...emporary-backup-temporary-backup.html
That will be the goal for February as I link up to Patty’s OMG...



I do notice a “draggy feet” syndrome...fusible applique would not be my first choice if given enough time...much preferring hand applique. 
But it is what it is as they say (who is “they” by the way?) Besides, by using the fabric intended for the borders now, I will find out how much is left over that could be used in another project simmering away in the background...Oh, I am in so much trouble...

Hope you had a good Super Bowl weekend...since our Green Bay Packers had all the wheels fall off their wagon this past season, there was not a lot of interest in watching any more football. We did the HBO’s John Adams marathon - it has been a number of years since that appeared and it was time to watch it again - just as wonderful this go round...feet up, finishing the binding on Settler’s Trail and imagining how it would have been to make a quilt by  candlelight...


This quilt recently returned from “Mimi” over at Mimi’s Passions where she did her Long Arm Quilting magic. I really like the soft simple swirls in the quilting design against all those 1/2” squares.


When the binding was done, I couldn’t wait to display it over one of our log railings...




Finally, after 8 years, it is officially done!

That’s all for now...we received almost a foot of the white stuff overnight and more is headed this way on Thursday - winter has arrived in the northwoods.

Happy stitching everyone!

Pat

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

January OMG - Brrrrr.....

Here it is - January 30, 2019 - at the edge of the Wisconsin northwoods we are in the heart of the Polar Vortex. As I write, it is -23 below and wind chill factor is off the charts...

I have just met my January OMG - https://www.elmstreetquilts.com/2019/01/one-monthly-goal-january-finish-link-up.html  With a color palette of numerous Invisifil threads, doing a tiny zig zag stitch around all the raw edges, the blocks for Old Glory (Blackbird Designs) are done. 






The main blocks are now finished except for adding berries and doing some embroidery. This project is a combination of machine and hand work. The berries/circles are made by using Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles - my go to method. Still have to make a bunch of those...
Have also decided to simplify a few of the blocks and eliminate some of leaves, etc. - and rather than “appliqueing” tiny stars, will embroider them. 
There is still much to do on this - lots of scallops in the border, and then ultimately layering and machine quilting. I miss my hand work and am itching to return to that...like those very current “squirrel” moments, I get distracted very quickly...

Have just received this adorable pattern from Lynn over at Sew’n Wild Oaks Quilting - check out her Etsy shop - so many temptations there!




There is a bin of leftover 1” strips from my Settler’s Trail quilt which will be perfect for piecing log cabins and more mini 9 patches...this quilt finishes to 31” X 31” - perfect for centering on our dining room table.





Motivation for quilting during January kind of dropped away - not sure why except to think with the super cold temperatures, all I can focus on is deciding on how many layers to dress in...

Stay warm out there and if you live in a warmer climate, would you be willing to share? 

Happy stitching everyone!

Pat


Saturday, January 19, 2019

This and that...

...and mostly trying to stay warm as we settle into more typical January weather here in the northwoods...still not much snow cover to speak of...if you step out onto the porch to gather more wood for the fireplace, you can hear the wind blowing over the tree tops...and you don’t linger...our nights call for extra quilts as temperatures drop below zero...
This is the first winter I have experienced problems with my finger tips quickly growing cold and numb and I dress in multiple layers. Mr. Outback reminds me that I am still on this weight loss journey (a good thing!! And now on track after a major Christmas cookie melt down which added 2 pounds back on) and “am older” (thanks for that reminder!) so staying warm becomes more of a challenge...
At any rate, keeping closer to home has meant time to continue decluttering (will it ever end?) and in the afternoons when we are blessed with sunshine coming in my sewing room window, there you will find me...
Four house blocks have been mailed off to California - following through on a request from Lori’s Humble Quilts blog...you can find out more about that (HERE). Always fun to fussy cut little faces peeking out of those house windows and hoping the quilts that these blocks go into bring a smile to someone’s face...




Work continues on my Old Glory quilt which will eventually be donated to our local nursing home. Playing with those Invisifil threads I mentioned last time...a tiny zig zag stitch gets the job done...


Have also resumed giving attention to Ann’s Legacy - yet another lovely Di Ford pattern from her first book. I opted to add tiny hexies (measuring 1/4” for each hexie) in place of some of the appliqued flowers, just to put my own little spin on things.
When learning that Di will undergo 9-10 months of chemo after being diagnosed with leukemia, each stitch I take (along with hundreds of other followers) on this project, will be with a prayer for her complete recovery.
Stitching with friends, immersing myself in lots of books at bedtime and pouring over maps as I begin plotting out a major trip later this year...life is good during these quiet days that are beginning to offer longer periods of daylight...
”Silver white Winters that melt into Spring...”
...What are your favorite things....?
Pat

Thursday, January 3, 2019

January OMG - linking up!

Oh my - it is 2019 with a fresh, new calendar staring at me...

All ready, the mind is in a swirl thinking of the next 3-4 months of winter here in the Northwoods...typically these months are the most productive for quilting. So what is off the starting block for jumping in to Patty’s OMG for January? Hmmmm...I could pick and choose from way too many applique projects that are in the works...but all of them are slow going...
Just finished piecing a “trial” block - Tree of Life...I could make more...this is a quilt I have been wanting to try...

but...
Nope - have to try and stay on task and chip away at some of those old UFO’s...So here we go - my goal for January...these are most of the blocks...think a couple more are still packed away...

Completing the assembly of Old Glory (Blackbird Designs) - I opted to do fusible applique on this project months ago - simply because it needs to get done and go to its new home...in honor of my Dad and Mom who were residents at a local nursing home...hoping the staff there can find a place to display it when completed.
If you follow Kyle over at Timeless Reflections, she has been sharing her use of the Invisifil Threads for machine applique. A number of months ago, I ordered a variety of colors that I thought might work with Old Glory (Red Rock Threadsin Nevada stocks them).

Most of my blocks are about ready for that stage, so that will be the focus over the next 4 weeks...
Can I do it? Wish me luck!!
Meanwhile - off to the Bernina dealer with my machine for a “well baby checkup” - it needs a thorough cleaning and pampering so its good to go for the next 3 months!
Happy New Year Stitching everyone!
Pat