Friday, September 13, 2013

Getting My Vitamin Q

 Wow the last two weeks have just flown past and I'm so sorry that I've been MIA for so long. I have worked lots more night shifts than normal and the rest of the time has been very busy with quilting events. I am semi-retired and have been for the past 4 years which means that we are free to travel but I am also available for paid work when we are at home. Having held the same position as an After Hours Hospital Manager for the past 30 years, it's no hardship to work when I am available. My employer is happy as there is always a problem with getting experienced staff, especially at short notice to cover sick leave etc, and we are happy as we can take off for weeks at a time and I don't have to work around the holiday schedule at work. It's finally spring here but I have been extra busy as sick leave always increases during the winter months and so I've been working shifts in around my other activities.
 I attended my Melbourne quilting group and was very lucky to see up close this lovely hexagon top which was made I think in the late 1800s. I'll update this information if I have the timeline wrong. It's easy to see why hand piecing and hexagons have seen a renewed interest as this one was delightful and it was fun to see how the quilter had fussy cut her hexagons.
 I have been busy prepping more elongated hexagons for my Patchwork of the Crosses blocks. Oh did I tell you this is another new WIP? Naughty me for starting something new when I have so many others to finish but it is a good take-along- piece of hand stitching. At least that's my excuse and who can resist such lovely fun in deciding which scraps will play nicely in the blocks.
 I worked last Monday and Tuesday nights, then slept Wednesday to catch up and then caught an early flight to Brisbane to see the V&A quilt exhibition. It finishes on the 22nd of September and it was well worth the trip to see some of the beautiful quilts in their collection. The catalogue for the exhibition was sold-out but luckily I had already purchased my copy of the V & A book and I scanned a couple of my favourites to share as we were not allowed to take photos of the quilts.
 The quilt above was made by Ann Randoll in 1802 and was just exquisite. It was surprising how vibrant the colours were after all this time.
 The quilt below was the Changi Prison quilt made in 1943 by 20 girls, aged 8 -16, who wanted to make it as a surprise birthday present for their Girl Guide leader. It was made from precious scraps of their clothing and stitched in secret.
 I think the next quilt was my favourite but choosing just one is like being asked to select your favourite child! It is believed to have been made by Francis Brayley when he was stationed in India from 1864-77. It was made from 0.5 inch hexagons and stitched using wool fabrics, possible from military uniforms. The detail and workmanship was incredible and the colours and design were very graphic too. It may have shown better than some of the others because it was hanging whereas some of the others were placed flat over a bed form.
I stayed overnight in Brisbane and really enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather where I was able to get some Vitamin D and well as plenty of Vitamin Q. As I flew home I was asked to work nights again so that is why I have been absent for so long. All the "hurry up and wait" at the airport gave me plenty of time to work on my hand stitching so I did enjoy even the hours of waiting for planes.
I worked two more nights when I returned and then we took a four day camping trip so that report will wait until later today. While we were away I was booked for two more night shifts, starting tonight, so life has been busy but wonderful!
 More to come soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

1 comment:

Maria said...

Such a gorgeous hexagon quilt. Sew many hours of putting it together.
This year our Raffle Quilt for our Hanging is a Hexagon quilt. All our members made the stats and hexagons and then serial of them hand sewed them together. We had it professionally quilted and it is just GORGEOUS.
I really love those elongated hexies . Where. Can you get the papers for them Jan?

Love your photos in the top post...