Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another oldie

I'm really digging into the vault this week....but I suppose even though my quilts are old to me, they are new to you, so that's how I justify it to myself!
Tonight I'm showing you my Be Thankful quilt, (complete with my wonderful MIL's feet!) a quilt I made in a class back in 2004 at the Utah Annual Meeting event. It is a Pat Sloan pattern and though I love the more country/prim colors of the original, I just had to do something different and wow was it ever different! It is a mostly appliqued quilt, but I used the freezer paper/machine applique method - this was when I was still in the, "Oh no, I could never do needleturn" phase. But if you put your mind to it, anything is possible!

Below is a photo of the blocks in progress while in the class...

Here is a photo of some of the other fabrics being used by others in the class, along with the samples from the teacher...I wish I could have seen the finished red and yellow quilt with the above blocks - I think it would have been beautiful.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Busy busy

This has been, and is going to be a busy week for me, (my hubby has the week off - yippee!) so I will do some nice short posts without the usual monologue. OK OK I can hear you all yelling and cheering so I'll stop the writing and get to the photos of the day!
Above is a quilt I made for a friend who had a baby girl last year back in UT - now if you have had a look through my blog you will know that I don't do pretty and pastel. Even though I love pretty colors, when it comes to making quilts I am just so drawn to brighter fabrics. But I had this line of fabric and loved it, and think it is just perfect for a baby quilt.

And below is a pic of me taken yesterday wearing the jewelery my friend had made and given to me - see one of the below posts for more on that...and it was so lovely to wear! Big bonus - it didn't make anything turn green or irritate my skin so it must really be made of good stuff lol!! And by the way, my 4 year old son took the photo - hence the odd angle ;)
And believe it or not, for me this is a short post :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Applique Houses

I am feeling a little guilty for not doing many quilting related posts on my blog (which has such a quiting related name!) but I just haven't done any quilting this last week. So I am going to pull out some old photos of things I have previously done and share them with you when I only have time to do a quick post - like tonight since it is 12.30am and I am tired!

The photo I have tonight is a row of houses I made for a row by row swap way back in 2002. These are appliqued, but it was before I dared to do needleturn! I did these using the good old reliable method of gluing to freezer paper and using the machine blind stitch. Ahhh the good old days! But even now, in 2007, I still think they are cute, and it makes me want to make some for myself since I sent these away to a lady in New Zealand for the swap! If I remember rightly, the pattern is a Piece O' Cake design from their book "All Around the Neighborhood". I'll see what other photos I can dig up for tomorrow!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall and PIF friends

Fall has arrived here in NH, and this year is just glorious - it has been very warm and the show of color has been late coming, but wow it has come with a vengence! Right now everywhere you look it is orange, red, and yellow. Did I mention it is gorgeous yet?!! We went for a drive yesterday and had a picnic in the middle of all the gorgeousness (is there such a word?!). This is definitely the place to be at this time of year!

This is our house and some of the trees surrounding it...

This is the spot where we had our picnic yesterday...

And I suppose I should mention that the Red Sox are going to the World Series! I, not being a sports fanatic, or even American, didn't realise the enormity of this until I watched the whole of Boston celebrating late into the night on TV last night. My husband assures me that it is quite an exciting thing, so I'll believe him, and add the obligitory...GO RED SOX!

I have my 3 PIF's! Yay! The first two posted here on my blog, and the third was pretty much decided for me over the weekend. My daughter had a play date at a new friend's house on Friday after school. I hung out with the mother, and we got talking about our hobbies, mine being quilting of course, and hers, which is beading. She pulled out trays of the most beautiful home made beaded jewellery I have ever seen! She used to sell it, but hasn't really done anything with it for over a year now. I was admiring it and before I knew it she forced (!) it on me! Despite my protests (I mean this stuff isn't cheap - she uses real gems, silver and gold, not plastic!) I came home with a gorgeous necklace and earrings set, a beautiful watch, and several pairs of Winter themed earings. She had nothing to gain by doing this - she did it purely to make someone else happy, and that to me is what PIF is all about!

So like I said, my 3rd PIF friend has been decided! Even though she has already done her part, I will do something for her using my skills.

The other 2 PIF friends are Flip Flop Mom (Terri)- check out her site, here - she has the most GORGEOUS photos of the Fall foliage happening here in NH right now.

And also, Donna, who I don't know too well yet, but I'm sure that through the PIF process we will get to know heaps about each other

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Quilting Mecca

Today was a pretty slow quilting day for me (that means I did none - zero - zilch!) so I thought I'd show you a couple of photos of the Mecca of the quilting world - Keepsake Quilting!

When we decided to move here over a year ago, it didn't even register that I'd be living in the home state of this shop until my fabulous Mother In Law (yes some of us DO get on with them!) told me. Of course it was on my to-do list, and I've managed to get there twice now. It's about 1 1/2 hours drive from here so it's been strictly for special occassions only :) But it is every bit as fabulous as you would imagine and huge! Pretty much everything you see in the photo on the right hand side is part of the store. I love their Batik selection - a whole room of just batiks. Gorgeous! The only thing I don't like are that there isn't much on sale, and you know us quilters love a good sale, but it's a definite must-do for any quilter in the area, if only to say that you've been there!

And one of the best unexpected things - the beautiful bathroom! Check out the wallpaper...(yes I stood in the bathroom and took a photo of the wallpaper lol!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pay It Forward

I am joining the revolution! Well rather, I am going to do my bit in the quilting world to help Pay It Forward! Here's the deal...and I'm copying and pasting this...

It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based of the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. You all know I’m already a PIF type of person. (I really am!) So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! (I, Joanna, will try to have it done for Christmas) What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I signed up to do it on Karen's blog... http://www.cottonspice.com/CSblog/ and I can't wait to see what she comes up with! So if you want to do this, leave a comment saying that you want to do it, and then I will send you some questions to help me see what you do/don't like and what your 'style' is, and I will also keep an eye on your blog to get more clues ;) I can't wait to get started - it sounds like fun!
In other news, I have some photos to show you - yesterday I hung up all the framed quilts I had made on my walls in the living room, as well as the pumpkin tablerunner which serves well as a wallhanging too! You will see my daughter jumping in one of the photos - those of you with daughters will no doubt be familiar with HSM 1 &2 (if you don't know what that means then you don't have young daughters lol!) and she wanted to re-create the album covers by jumping up like Gabriella and Sharpay. Oh life is getting interesting around here!
And here is a photo of my son I found after he 'stole' my camera. He denied taking any photos - he blamed it on his little brother, but I happen to still be a little smarter than him, and I think the proof is in the pudding....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Creatively thinking...

I just had to share this adorable photo! It was my hubby's birthday on Friday (we celebrated it today however) and he hates it when I buy him presents. He would rather I make him something, so it's a challenge to creatively think of new things each year. This year, the kids helped me get a bunch of white rocks from our garden bed and we arranged them on the lawn. I got the kids to lie in front of them, and the above photo was the result! Got it enlarged to an 8x10, put it in a frame and there you have the best present ever for less than 10 bucks! Actually, less than $6 - what a deal! The hardest part was trying to get all 3 kids to smile at the same time. This was the best I could get. And my youngest has been carrying that doll around all week. He wouldn't even put it down for the photo! Lucky my hubby thinks it's cute.

I also have my pumpkin tablerunner/wallhanging all done. Binding finished and everything! We even used it tonight on our table. Of course the orange pumpkins are fabulous in our orange kitchen/dining room!

What with this quilt and all the framed pumpkins I posted yesterday, I am on quite the pumpkin kick! Hey I even made a pumpkin cake for my hubby's birthday cake...my youngest son thought the number '3'candle was edible and this was the result...gotta love nearly 3 year olds!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

School Fair

We spent the day at my daughter's school - they were having their annual Fall Festival. I was going to have a table and sell some stuff - see the photos! Now this week has been insanely busy for me and I didn't really start to seriously make things until last night at 7pm. At 3am this morning I finally was done, and had made everything you see here. You must click on the photos so you can see them up close and really 'see' them!

But my hubby and I both agreed that it just wasn't enough stuff! If only I had started earlier - as in weeks ago lol! But the deal breaker was that I would have had the kids with me, and manning a table at a school fair and trying to keep 3 little kids in check just was not happening. Plus I fell in love with the things I had made and couldn't stand to part with them! It's the age old problem with us quilters. So I decided to not do the table and just enjoy the fair with the kids. So I now have a bunch of quilts in frames to decorate my home for the Fall!

And onto REALLY exciting news - you might have seen me mention once or twice or a dozen times, the quilt I was making to be raffled at the Fair. Well guess what? I won it!! Yippee! Another thing I couldn't part with, so I bought enough tickets to pretty much ensure I'd win! This is a photo of it hanging at the fair - actually completely done - I had even sewn on a label with care instructions. At least now I'll always know how to wash it:)

So it was a pretty successful day. I got to enjoy the fair with my kids, and I came home with the same thing I took. Just a little (OK, a lot) less money!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Done done"...well almost...

Tonight I finished the fundraising quilt I made for my daughter's school fair this Saturday. I took some photos of it and was just uploading them and noticed something. It's not quite as "done done" as I thought it was - if you look closely you will see that I forgot to take out the basting stitches! It's always my favorite part and very satisfying, so I'm not quite sure how I forgot to do it! Oh well you can still get a good look at it - just ignore the basting lol!

Also today for your viewing pleasure is an apricot jam sandwich I made for one of my sons this morning. I spread the jam and what did I see but a smiling face looking back at me!

I swear this is how it was and I didn't retouch the sandwich in any way! I feel like one of those people who finds the virgin Mary in a tortilla! Maybe I should be selling it on Ebay and making my fortune. Oh wait, my son ate it. There goes that plan! Anyway, to me it looks more like a smiling clown than any religious symbol!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Piecing, not applique

Today I have 3 different things to show you. One quilting related, the other 2 not.

The first thing is a little quilt I pieced today. Nope, not applique - I needed something quick and easy to make, so I made up this pattern. I am going to teach some ladies from our church how to quilt - as in beginner level, from the basics on up. I didn't think my favorite type of quilting, needleturn applique, was a good place to start! I suggested we start with a tablerunner, and they suggested a Fall theme, so this is what I came up with today...

Of course I have yet to layer and quilt it, but you get the idea. Super easy, and it will get them learning about colors, connecting corners, sashings, borders, strip piecing (the stems) and then the quilting itself. Hopefully I will have a 'done done' photo for you this weekend.

Secondly, my darling husband came home the other day with flowers! He would bring me flowers every day if his brain would think of it, but being a man, he needs to be reminded to do certain things lol! So I was very excited to have some beautiful roses to put on my dining table.

And thirdly, I made a Fall wreath for our front door. My neighbor told me that her and my back fences are covered in Bittersweet. Being a little new to this region and this plant, I asked her to tell me all about it. She said that she uses it every year to decorate with, and told me about how the yellow shells will pop open and expose the bright orange berries. She put some above her outside doors last week, so I got all inspired by that and yesterday ventured into the unruly mess of Bittersweet vines out the back. I put some around the railing at our front doorstep, and had a bunch left over so started to play and this is what I came up with....

Now when I put it on the door at 10am this morning the berries were still covered by the yellow shells. I went out for the day and when I came home at 3pm all the berries had popped open and I finally got to see this beautiful plant in all it's glory!!

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend. Not having grown up in the States I am still a little lacking in American history knowledge. My first grader had to explain to me today why we have Columbus Day. Yep, my first grader became the teacher. And now I know what Columbus Day is!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"You should be famous!"

I mentioned yesterday that I hadn't really done any quilting since we bought this place over 3 months ago. Well today I fixed that! I am making a quilt for my daughter's school as a fundraiser. It was going to be something more elaborate but since I only have less than 2 weeks to get it done, easy is the name of the game! I need to trim up the edges, get a border on it and then layer, baste, quilt, and bind. But at least it's a start.

The kids and I spent a few hours this afternoon/evening in the new 'quilt room' and got this top done. Luckily I was able to get an old TV we had working with a DVD player, so they were happy! They dragged down their Wiggles couch and beanbags and had a great time. It gave me hope that I may be able to spend a decent amount of time down there quilting and have them be there with me, not getting into too much trouble!

I also got out my sewing machine (a Juki 98Q which I am IN LOVE with! You can see it above) and put up some quilts as well as a flannel backed tablecloth to use as a temporary design wall. It worked well and my daughter was completely amazed that the fabric pieces stuck to it! She was very impressed with the quilt for her school and said, "Mum, you're so good at making quilts - you should be famous"!!! High praise from a 6 year old!

Design wall area...

TV for kids...OK and for me too...

Monday, October 1, 2007

My new quilt room!

Firstly, thank you to those who left comments about the autumn leaves - you are all so kind and I am so grateful for your feedback. I am now inspired to do something more with those leaves!!

Secondly, I have exciting news - if you are a quilter you will indeed understand...I have a quilt room! Woo Hoo! We bought this house in June and I haven't really done much quilting. I always feel guilty that there are other things needing to be done, and my quilting has taken a back burner. Naughty me - I know I should take time for myself!

Anyhow, I spent this weekend and today making myself a real honest-to-goodness quilt room. Our basement is about 90% finished. It has drywall and a ceiling but no flooring or floor moldings. But hey all I need are 4 walls and a roof, right?!! There is this room in the basement that I just knew was meant to be a quilt room. But it was ugly. Really really ugly. The old owners' son had lived in there and used it as a boxing/exercise room. Holes all over and just blech. But I had the vision and now I am IN LOVE with that room!

It is now yellow, a shade called 'melted butter' (it is actually a lot lighter than the pictures show - it's much softer) and has some little curtains and lamps and a desk for sewing on and a chair and all my fabrics, plus a few extras.

All the other rooms in the house have bold colors, which I love, but I still love girly things and just wanted something pretty and feminine! I still have a lot to do to the room, ie make a nice cover for the chair, get some quilts up on the walls, hang up some flannel for a design wall - you know the drill, PLUS get some nice flooring and molding. But at least it has a rug (came with the room when we bought the house, along with the wooden drawers in the pics) and I have the beginnings of a lovely space to work. My daughter Sofia is in heaven - I told her it's 'our' room for sewing and crafts. She gladly gave up a hanging book rack I had bought for her room for 'our' room! (Book rack was something like 8 bucks at the Sally Army store!)

So here is the before - taken when we were first looking at the house to buy (from the inside looking out)...

And then today with just the paint and a couple of clowns...

Then with the basic furniture...

And some pics after I went shopping for things like the lamps, clock, curtains...yet another clown is in the pics...

I will post more pics as I get it looking the way I want it. I'm just so excited tonight that I had to share!

Oh and thirdly, a big thanks and hug to my darling hubby who bought the paint and everything else!