Saturday, December 20, 2014

The 1930s Hexagons Re-visited.

There has also been a little bit of time for some hand stitching while I take time out to watch the cricket. I usually don't but this was a very good series against India so far, an a very good excuse to work on these hexagons. This is the last full flower I need for the top. I had to add a floral hexagon from the several "part hexagons" to make up the flower as this was one of the original hexagon flowers which had been cut. I had to do the same for one of the black and white hexagon flowers but it's not too noticeable as to detract from the piece.
I've joined all the full hexagon flowers together and now I just have to add more of the white so there is a double row of them around each flower shape. Then I have to make up the part flowers to add around the edges. I'm happy with it so far and I think it will look better with a press. Using the cardboard for each hexagon has helped to make them uniform in size and eliminate the poor cutting and piecing of all the white pieces.

More night shifts and some family get-togethers will keep me busy this week, and I'm not ready for Christmas, but all will be done in time and I might even get a little bit of stitching time.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, December 19, 2014

Still Sewing.

I've been very busy working on these two baby cot quilts and have almost got them finished as tops and then will have to quilt them. No pressure- as long as they are finished by Christmas Day when I see the new babies and the rest of the family.

The tops are pieced and I just have to blanket stitch around the letters before I add the last border to each. I'll stitch them by machine and it's a good way to get used to the new sewing machine. so far I am very impressed with it!
I didn't feel like tackling the blanket stitching last night so I started putting another top together. These blocks were made by members of my Melbourne quilting group and I offered to put them together and then it will be donated. I should get it finished soon and using the floor as my design area does mean I have to keep working on them before the family want to walk there. LOL

I have also sent off 7 quilts, a crocheted blanket and some gifts for the homeless for Christmas. It looks like we are going to have a very hot and dry summer with threats of bush fires again so I plan to get some more donation quilts ready in case they are needed. There have been fires near us already so I hope there is no loss of life this time.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Special Gift.

It started as a friendly chat with a quilter on FB. She said she had just bought another Lone Star quilt which had piecing issues and she should have known better as it had happened with another purchase years ago. I suggested she take it apart and re-make it so that the inset corner pieces and triangles lie flat. She has decided to take the latest one apart and recut the large diamond pieces to fit the plain pieces. Then she offered the original Lone Star disaster to me so I could re-make it. How could I refuse! The quilt top has just arrived from the US and I am thrilled. As I told you before I love to remake- these vintage treasures and give them new life. This one has lots of faded areas in the red diamond pieces but the fabric is otherwise in very good condition for a vintage quilt, probably made in the 1930s.
Can you spot the bright pink diamond here. Also three of the diamond pieces have a darker burgundy fabric on the outer pieces so she must have run out of fabric. The light fabric diamonds also change in the outer pieces.
It is all hand pieced, even the large plain pieces.

The stitching is very good but I think the measurement of the individual diamond pieces must vary which has led to the wavy edges where the plain fabric is inset.

There's that cute bright pink diamond. I think it gives it a really quirky look. What am I going to do with the top? I will take it all apart and re-make it by hand. To avoid the faded fabrics I will turn all of the red fabrics and use the underside which is still in good condition. I will probably disperse the burgundy diamonds so that they don't appear to be as a result of lack of fabric- or I may just re-make it the same as the original. Time will tell.
  What a blessing for me and I'm very grateful to the very generous quilter who shared this treasure with me. I can see why she bought it as it looks lovely when it's folded up and she failed to spread it out for a good look before purchase. Check back in a little while and we'll see how much I've done. In the meantime I'm getting those baby cot quilts finished and will share them soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, December 15, 2014


I made good progress with the red and white cot quilt on Sunday and just have the borders to add as well as machine appliquing the baby's name on their quilt. It's for baby Scarlett so of course it's in red and white. I didn't want to have too much plain white as it is for a baby afterall and they can be messy. LOL
I used Cat in the Hat fabric for the centre star and also had some fabric with kid's prints to make it more child friendly.

When my new sewing machine arrived yesterday just after lunch, I wasted no time in getting it out and becoming acquainted. It sews very quietly and is a lovely machine to use. I have made half the blocks for the next baby quilt before I had to work last night. I'm using a jelly roll with a few more brights added and I hope to get it finished in the next few days.
The jelly roll is of bugs but I also added some little cars and Dr Seuss fabric so it's not too matchy-matchy. I found the pattern on the internet and it wasn't hard to work out how it was constructed.

 I've also started to join more hexagons together and want to get it finished while I have time as I have more WIPs and UFOs I want to finish while I have time.
 Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to comment and thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Finally A Finish.

It didn't take me long to hand stitch the binding down on this quilt and now it's finally finished. I must have quilted it 4 or 5 years ago and then I wasn't happy with the binding on the irregular edges and so it sat while I procrastinated on whether or not to try replacing the binding. Finally I decided finished was better than perfect and just got it done! I guess it's not too bad to be waiting for binding when it took 70 or more years to quilt it.
 Of course it wasn't one of my UFOs but one I'd purchased as a top from a dealer in the US, probably in the mid 1990s. It's hand pieced and it will be much easier to enjoy as a quilt than a top. As I'm working on these vintage treasures I like to think about the quilter who started the project. Perhaps she was keeping busy with her stitching while she waited for news about a loved one in WW2? It's nothing special historically and I have just outlined the stars with quilting so it doesn't detract or distract from the stitching.
  I am also a very lucky girl as Santa has come early for me. There was a special offer of this beautiful Janome MC7700 sewing machine at half price and free freight from Sydney. DH encouraged me to spend some of my night shift money on this and I'm so happy that it arrived in time for me to have a play before I started nights again. It sews beautifully and is very quiet. The extra large throat space will make quiling easier too. My DD's cat, Sid, has given it a CAT Scan and I've made room for it. I have sewn half of one of the cot quilt tops this afternoon and I love it. I plan to get more of my UFOs, both mine and those I've accquired finished in the near future. I have been traveling a lot this year so not many finishes but I'm having fun and enjoying all the travels both here and abroad.
 Thank you for your kind comments everyone.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Time to Finish Some UFOs

I should be making the two baby quilts I have do for Christmas but I must be a free spirit because I work better if I am inspired by a project. I had also planned to stitch more applique blocks while I was on a roll with them. However, I have been spring cleaning again and found this 1940s quilt which has been waiting for the binding for 4 or 5 years. I usually get them done as soon as the top is quilted but this has a zig zag border on 2 sides and I had stitched the binding around the edges but it's not hand stitched down to finish it. I wasn't happy with how the zig zag bits worked and left it thinking I should take it off and try again. While I was tidying I was moving this quilt again and thought, you know it just needs to be done- not perfect. I am working on the hand stitching for the binding and it will be as good as i can get it and that will be OK. I'll show a photo when it's completed.
I've also stitched two more hexagons from the 1930s re-make I'm doing and I'm loving those lovely vintage fabrics.

I was going to wait until I'd made all the hexagon flowers before I joined them together but couldn't wait to see how they will look. So there you have it- I'm a side-tracked quilter this week but I am getting some UFOs finished. Actually they're not my UFOs, but a quilter from long ago but I do enjoy finishing off these pieces and giving them new life. It will be lovely to have a pink and white 1940s quilt to display instead of an unfinished top in the cupboard. I have lots more UFOs in the cupboard so I will keep working on more finishes if the inspiration lasts. Oh- and I'd betetr get those baby quilts done.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Progress With Vintage Hexagons.

The warm weather, a break from work and watching the Australian test team play cricket on TV has meant more progress with these vintage hexagons. I have now finally de-constructed the entire piece and I'm well on the way to having them all re-stitched.

It will only be a small piece but I still love it for all the fabulous fabric from long ago. I love giving new life to old pieces and this had been butchered. I want to keep working on this one to get it finished as I have another vintage piece which is on its way to me from a lovely quilter I chat with online. I have offered to remake it but we will see what shape it's in and what I can do. Hopefully I haven't taken on too much of a challenge. I'll share photos when it arrives from the US.
Hugs, Jan Mac