Friday, August 31, 2007

Good mail day

Don't you love it when you get good mail? My DH decided to look through my Amazon 'Wish List' and today I received 4 books from it. What a sweetheart...I think I'll keep him!

There were 2 quilt books, one of them a Piece O' Cake book (I always say I want to be a Piece O' Cake lady when I grow up!) and a hardback version of the first 3 Elm Creek Quilts books which I have never got around to reading. Also were two super gardening books recommended to me by my friend Anna .... who is not only a prolific quilter but a prolific gardener too!

So I have a lot of reading to do over this long weekend. Yay!!

I also conned my lovely neighbor, Lori, into standing on our rock wall and holding up a quilt so I could take a photo! I tried getting my 6 year old daughter to do it, and she was tall enough but her little arms just couldn't reach the edges! Lori did a great job - you can barely even see her fingers!
It is the same quilt as in the post below with my son sleeping under it. Now you can actually see the full thing, though I do think it's darling to see a quilt being used to keep a child warm and cosy :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sunflower angels plus one of my little angels...

I wanted to do as I promised yesterday and make this a quilty-themed post so this afternoon I pulled out a quilt from the closet (I call it Sunflower Angels - from Garden Inspired Quilts by Jean and Valori Wells - see my Hotlist on the right) and put it, still folded, on my bed to photograph. Of course things came up (see end of post to see what exactly!) and I forgot about it. I came into my room just now to get the quilt and take a photo of it for you and what do I find but my youngest boy in my bed snuggled up under the quilt! So tonight you do get a photo of one of my quilts, just not in the usual way!
Now this boy has been causing trouble all week. I think with the excitement of school starting and things changing, he has been trying to make himself known. So here is the damage he did today, and the reason the title for today's post is quite ironic!
At the time I was not a happy mother and literally wanted to cry over spilt milk....but I was composed enough to take a photo as I knew that later on I would find it funny! Yep that's a whole brand new gallon of milk on my kitchen floor. I even got to move the fridge for this cleaning expedition.

PLEASE can someone tell me that something similar has happened to them?!! By the way, enough hours have passed that I am actually laughing at it now!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Parents - gotta love 'em

OK this is totally not quilt-related but it's just too funny not to share. My parents are in their 70's, getting on in years - but they're still very active and I can barely imagine that they are that old! Now my father is quite an eccentric fellow - a wonderful man but a little different in many funny ways. Like the subject of death. He is very matter of fact about it (I have been given instructions NOT to fly all the way back to NZ and waste money since he'll be dead anyway) and has been planning it for years.
So yesterday what do I get in my inbox but a photo of my Mum standing at their new cemetary plots! My Dad was so excited to tell me all about them, where they were, how much they cost etc. I must admit, they will have a fantastic view when the time comes to live in said place!
Now the kicker is that he has also been telling everyone that my brother-in-law is going to make him his coffin! My BIL is a very talented carpenter and when I went back to visit in 2004, this was the subject of many conversations between the two. My Dad put the idea to him, and even was trying to sell the idea to all his aging friends! So I hear that Dad is still keen on this idea, as is my BIL, and knowing them, they'll actually do it!
I promise, back to quilty stuff tomorrow!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Paint finished!

Finally I have the orange room done done DONE! And I love it. And my husband really really loves it! I think it will be rather shocking to some visitors to my home, but hey it's my home, right?!

I must say though, it rather feels like you are sitting inside either a very ripe cantalope, a pumpkin, or a bubble mailer envelope! But it will be the most theme-appropriate room come Halloween!

Now my mind is spinning trying to think of the perfect quilt to make for the walls. I haven't made one with orange as the predominant color before, and I am getting quite excited at the prospect. Also on the agenda are curtains. I gave away the old ones - thanks to the Craigslist 'free' section (you would not believe how many people wanted those ugly things!) - which were cafe style, lacy, and white with baby blue. Yes you can tell why they would not work in this room!

Also, just to get something quilty happening in this post, above are some photos of one of my project boxes. I keep each quilt project I am working on in a separate container, and this one just has the most glorious array of colors. I get happy just by opening it! It is for a quilt which my dear friend Anna has designed and I have made a sample of it to test the pattern for her - you can get an idea of the colors I used just by looking in my project box.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Look what I won!

Today was a very exciting day. I received a call from the local library saying that I had won a silent auction they had a couple of weeks ago. What was I bidding on? One of their old wooden card catalogs! They had 4 to bid on, and I won mine for the grand sum of $55. At the time I thought it was a lot of money to bid, but after looking online and seeing that other libraries are selling theirs for $200 plus, I think I got a bargain! The librarian was telling me that they used these until 2001 and that they think they may be the last library in the US to make the change to computers. I am so happy to have a piece of local history in my home!

So I picked it up (had to take the 2 middle seats out of the minivan for that!) and it now is in my living room with the TV on top of it! We didn't have a nice entertainment cabinet and just kept putting off getting one. Now I know why - because it was foreordained in heaven that this card catalog was to be mine mine MINE! OK that's a bit dramatic, but hopefully you can see how excited I am by it!

It will house all my quilty stuff that I use while quilting in front of TV. And maybe a shoe or two, according to my 6 year old daughter.

I called my MIL and told her about it and the first thing she said was "Ooooh you can put all your fat quarters in it"!! Is that a wonderful MIL or what?!! And yes I think it will be perfect for some fat quarters!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Love Color!

If you can't tell from the colors on my blog I am one of color's biggest fans! My living room is the tamest room in my house - it is a nice shade of milk chocolate brown.
Our bedroom is purple - and no, not a soft pretty shade of purple, but a deep yet bright...purple!

And our kitchen and hallway....well that is my current non-quilting project. I decided on my hubby's favorite - orange! I have done most of the cutting in, and as always happens, the color is a lot brighter once it's on the walls. So I suppose it's lucky that I love orange so much! Now I have to decide what to do with the lovely 70's fake brick on the back splash and the gorgeous cabinets circa 1973. And all of this must be done on a shoestring budget as we don't have a spare 40K to drop on a new kitchen like they do on all those shows on TV. But that's the fun of it all, right?! For some quilters color is a mystery - some are even scared of it. I know it can be hard to step out of the box of what we know and are used to doing. But I promise you, when you take that step out of that box and try something different, there are big returns! I think the biggest obstacle is wondering what others will think of our choices. Once you fall in love with color and realize that the only person who should love what you do is YOU then it all falls into place and you can experience color-freedom and the peace that comes from pleasing yourself first!

OK Pep-talk over! I must go finish the paint - hopefully I will have finished product photos next post!

Monday, August 20, 2007

My favorite book

Collaborative Quilting is my very favorite quilt book right now. Best of all, it's super cheap - only 13 bucks at Amazon....(see the link on the sidebar in my Hot List!) In fact I loved it so much and it was so cheap that I sent copies to my BIFF (Best Internet Friend Forever LOL) Anna, and my MIL, Carmen, both of whom are expert quilters.

It is jam packed full of colors, ideas, quilts, quilt room pics - because us quilters love to see where other quilters do their stuff, and most of all, inspiration.

It is written by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston. On the surface they appear to have completely different styles, but they just work so well together, and combine their styles beautifully.

They work long distance, Gwen being in Michigan and Freddy in California. This gave my friend Anna and I great joy, as I am in New Hampshire and she is in Maryland. We have never met, but we quilt together :) We are working on the meeting thing though!

I would recommend this book to every quilter - even if your style is nothing like these ladies, it is a fun and entertaining read, and you gain valuable insight into the design process of two quilting superstars!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Got to start somewhere.....

What does one say to start their blog?! I suppose a big WELCOME! would be a good start!

I hope to stay inspired enough to write more than 3 posts (the most I have ever done on old blogs) and to provide some quilty entertainment!

I chose to name my blog "Applique Today" as I am an avid fan of applique and I need to look at that title to remind myself, "Joanna, Applique Today!" Each day I have is a little more joyful if I can applique - even if it's just squeezing in 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes add up though.

My technique of choice is needleturn. I never thought I would needleturn - it was a dirty word in my vocabulary! But after giving it a go, I discovered that it's so much easier to pick up a needle and fabric and do a few stitches by hand than it is to haul out a sewing machine and all that comes with it. Especially when there are 3 little kiddies in the mix! Plus I can sit on the couch, or in the car, or on the grass - it can go anywhere with me!

We just moved to our new home (not NEW new, just new to us!) in June and I am still unpacking my quilting supplies. The current project I am working on is a fundraising quilt for my daughter's school's PTO. The president of the PTO is our new neighbor so we have been bonding over selecting a design! So far a winter theme is prevailing. It has given me a great excuse to get those fabrics unpacked!

Now, I love love LOVE reading blogs with photos, so how can I not do that myself? The picture for the day is a closeup of a quilt I made for my dear friend Anna - needleturned and machine quilted. On my new Juki - LOVE that machine!