Sunday, September 14, 2014

Experiencing La Passion.

I was working on my La Passion every day while we traveled through Europe. Then we traveled England and arrived home and my Insanity Quilt took first place in the work queue. I didn't take it on our trip to Cape York either as I knew I wouldn't be able to keep it clean under those conditions.
  For the last few days I've been making more hexagons and stitching hexies around the outer border of Part 3. I still have more to go but I do love the design and the blue and white with a touch of aqua. We had a lovely night in Melbourne on the weekend, staying with our youngest DD and now it's back to working nights again so not much else will happen this week but there's always the weekend for more stitching.
 I hope you are all enjoying some time to stitch too.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Journey to Insanity

 I have been working on my multi-coloured border for my Insanity Quilt. I'm piecing it in sections so I will have an even distribution of the fabrics around the quilt. I'm also piecing the neutrals in the same way as I am using lots of different neutrals as well. I have purchased a Fiskar's half inch punch and it's an easy way to make lots of hexies from all the grocery packages.
 
I still have a long way to go but I am making progress.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Spring Has Arrived.

 The wattle is out and the weather is sunny and mild so it's lovely to know that Spring is here again and warmer weather is on it's way. We'll probably get some spring rain too but that's OK we can always use that here to green up our paddocks. Today was a day to finish off some more donation quilts before I work nights again.
 I always think even a "blah" top looks better quilted. This is the top I put together the other day, from donated 9 patches and the lime green binding gives it a lift too.
 I finished another QAYG quilt from blocks donated by Lesley and Co.
 This top was donated and consists of almost every half square triangle being three dimensional. I knew this would make it difficult to quilt easily so I machine stitched down all the flaps and then machine quilted it. I was going to add borders to make it larger but I had a piece of batting and a backing which fit it exactly so I decided to just "get it done"!
The backing is a cute farmyard scene and the batting was a puffy poly but it will keep someone warm. That lime green has been good for binding two of the quilts and I still have some left. I stitched some more on my Insanity Quilt last night and will show my progress soon. I hope all the Dad's have a Happy Father's Day while I will be sleeping.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hexagons Again

 I haven't been working on my hexies since we returned home so it was time to get some more stitched together and share my progress. The first hexies are 1" and the pattern is from Di Ford Hall's book, The pattern is Maggie Grace's Garden and I'm using a Robyn Pandolph jelly roll.
The second hexies are half inch in size and this is my version of the Insanity Quilt by Rhonda Pearce. I have started a Facebook page for people making this pattern and we now have over 700 members. A lot report that they are only starting this quilt because of the support of the group so that's a very nice thing to happen- spreading hexie madness. I haven't worked on this one while we were away and I have lots to catch up with now. I have stitched 10.8% of the 10.339 hexagons required so a long way to go yet.
Back to stitching. I should be cleaning too but I'm too tired after working nights and I'm sure it will wait until I feel like it.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tidying By Sewing.

 While cleaning up the piles of fabric I'd been using I found a pile of donated 9 patch blocks and thought it was a good time to make them into a top. I sorted them into piles according to colour and I found there were mostly browns and autumn colours. I also found 8 half square triangles in green and cream so decided to use them and make more to match.
 I trimmed the blocks to 6.25" as they were made by many different people and varied in size. It was time consuming but made it much easier to get them to sew them together.
 I found a variety of different neutrals and greens and made more HST's. I decided to use more blocks to achieve the size I wanted instead of adding borders as I wanted to use up the blocks and not have to find fabric for borders.
I finished stitching the blocks together but ran out of time to get it quilted. i plan to bind it with bright green binding which should also make it look brighter. My distribution of bright and dark greens wasn't as good as I'd liked as I laid them out on the floor and not on a design wall but it will keep someone warm and that is it's purpose. The top measures 42" x 60" and is fine for a boy. I had planned to machine quilt today but didn't feel like it so I guess another top is still a productive use of time. I need to get back to the hexies though as I have lots on the go.
 Off to bed now as I work tonight.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Scrappy Progress and a Change of Plans.

 Apart from doing the weekly washing, today was spent dealing with some of my many scraps. I'm a messy quilter! I wish I wasn't but I am. I aim for the waste paper bin when I trim squares etc but as much goes on the floor as in the bin. I also find I have many scraps falling to the floor when I am in full-steam working on a project. So this morning was spent in sorting all the different pieces of fabric that needed to be put away as well as gathering all the random scraps around the cutting table. I wanted a break from sorting so I started making half square triangles, just joining light and dark triangles. I didn't worry about their size as I sort them into bins according to their size later. This gives me a ready supply of bits and pieces to work with. Lately I've been using the 2.5" scraps to make Split 9 Patch blocks and I've just finished one using 3 " squares and HST's.
 I make the triangles larger than required and then trim them as I find it is more accurate for me.
 My largest pile at the moment is the 3" bin and I also have mostly 2.5" size. I try to select a pattern which will use these sizes when the bins start to get full. Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville http//www.quiltville.com has some great patterns to use up scraps and I just adjust the size I'm using depending on what size is most plentiful in my scrap bins.I'll start piecing more blocks soon so I can tidy up more scraps and get them made into quilts.
 I also finished off the third blanket using crocheted squares I made on our trip home from Queensland. I used more pink than I would have liked but I was almost out of yarn and pink was the only colour I could find in Atherton (Qld) as their hot weather for most of the year means that they don't stock much yarn in the remote areas. I wouldn't normally use so much pink in one blanket but it was all I had and will still keep someone warm.
While I'm tidying and sorting the sewing room, I'm also thinking about which projects I want to focus on to get some UFOs or WIPs finished. Last year I found it easier to get things finished if I selected 4 and focused on them, otherwise it's easy to get caught up with the next "New" thing and not get things finished. I had good reason to get some projects finished for two Exhibitions so I think I need to do it again and keep focused. I also want to do the same for my cross stitching, knitting projects etc. I have had a re-evaluation of the ripple blanket I had started before we went to Qld. I mainly started it because I wanted to try the pattern. I was not really happy with the colours I chose and as I have no particular need for the blanket at the moment, I've decided to pull out what I have done and use the yarn for more crocheted squares to make blankets for the homeless. I can stockpile squares and as the warm weather is coming I think I'll put away my crocheting soon and focus more on my other hand work.
  I'm back working nights again tomorrow but hope to get some more stitching done beforehand. I must get back to my half inch hexies too now that I am home again. I didn't take my La Passion hexies with me to Qld as I am working with lots of white hexies and I knew it would be hard to keep clean while we were camping.
Is anyone else making plans for their UFOs or is it just the Spring weather affecting me?
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, August 29, 2014

Here Comes Spring.

 It's almost Spring here and I'm supposed to be spring cleaning but couldn't resist making a donation quilt from scraps while I tidied the scrap bins. There hasn't been much progress with the purging of things but at least there is one more quilt ready to be donated to the needy.
Lesley gave me some more QAYG blocks from her quilting group when we met on Wednesday and I already had some binding strips ready to use so I also put another QAYG quilt together this afternoon. I will get back to the spring cleaning but it's good to have a couple of quilts ready to donate when needed. The warm weather is very welcome here and my quilting machine was more co-operative today so I may just make time to quilt another top while she's working well. If she starts to play up and breaks thread frequently again I can always use my other machine to finish off a few more QAYG quilts. There is also another blanket I am making with the squares I crocheted on our trip so there's plenty to do here, as usual.
Hugs, Jan Mac