Thursday, December 31, 2015

Two More UFOs For 2015.

 As it's the last day of the year I couldn't pass up the opportunity of finishing two more UFOs, not that I'm marking them off a list. The fan quilt was donated as blocks and it didn't take long to join them, quilt it and add the binding. I bound it in pink to match the pink in the fans and to give it a lift of color.
    The second quilt was a donated top which I divided into two tops, adding borders to make it a good size for a teenager. As it was so hot today (41C again) I didn't stray far from the air conditioning. I have counted up the pile of quilts and have 17 of the 25 I want to finish by early Feb so I think I'll make the target. I have also been crocheting more blanket squares as it's cooler than quilting. I have another top almost quilted so hope to finish that one tomorrow.
 I hope you all have a very Happy New Year with peace, good health and many blessings in 2016.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Postman Has Been Busy.

I received another fabulous parcel of 35 QAYG blocks as well as binding fabric from Penel B., of NSW today and they will be perfect for a quilt for a man or teenaged boy. I plan to put it together ASAP and add it to the growing pile of finished quilts for donation.
 A few days ago I also received a donation of the pastel quilt top from a quilting friend, Lorraine B. She received it from the maker who gad fallen out of love with it. It looks like it was made using a layer cake pack and the fabrics are lovely but they were combined in a way which had little contrast between the fabrics in each triangle, which made it a washed out looking top. It also had a few seams that hadn't been completely stitched so I thought I'd repair them and maybe add a border to give it some color. However, as I studied it and took apart the seams that had blown, I could see that it would be a pretty quilt if there was more contrast between the triangles. I took it apart completely and re-stitched it, pairing colors which had more contrast and I think it gives it a real boost of color even though nothing else was added. The first photo doesn't do it justice but I hope you can see what I mean. Now I just need to make a backing to match, hopefully tomorrow.
There is a well known fabric store with 40% off all fabric today so I took the opportunity to buy some more tone on tone fabrics to make more binding strips to finish off more QAYG blocks into quilts. 
Now I'd better get back to work. Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Special Donation.

 Today I received a phone call from a lovely local quilter, Sue V., who had made this fabulous QAYG quilt which she has very generously asked me to donate to Impact on her behalf. Thanks to Sue and my other blog readers who have donated blocks etc, I expect to be able to donate 25 quilts to Impact for victims of domestic violence, by February. I'm sure that with your help, Impact will benefit from donations of more quilts during 2016 too.
      I have also finished crocheting another blanket which will also go to Impact. Today was a busy day with family commitments and it was lovely to be able to catch up with Sue as well.
    Tonight I'm hand stitching one of my quilt tops and I hope to have it ready for quilting soon.
Many thanks for your fabulous quilt donation, Sue.
Hugs, Jan Mac


Monday, December 28, 2015

A UFO Day.

 The magic cupboard has been hiding, or containing some donated bits and pieces and I found these lovely Fan blocks stashed in a bag. There were 22 finished blocks and 20 fans which still needed to be stitched to the background. I also found some matching navy fabric as well as some floral fabric in similar tones. I un-stitched the navy and floral strips and will use them either for the second Fan quilt from these blocks, or in another project.
     I pressed and trimmed the blocks so they are all the same size of 12 inches and joined them in a setting of 4 by 5 which will make another lovely quilt to be donated to Impact. I will finish the other Fan blocks as well but will concentrate on getting this top quilted first.
      I do love to finish off donated UFOs and donate them to where they can bring comfort to those in need. Many thanks for trusting me with your donations and UFOs which I'm happy to finish and donate on your behalf.
Hugs, Jan Mac



Sunday, December 27, 2015

Time To Make An Impact.

 I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and spent time catching up with family and friends. I worked nights up until Christmas Day so it was a busy time fitting some sleep in with cooking and enjoying the day with family. It went far too quickly but we did enjoy the day and tried not to eat too much. Lol
      Today was a bit cooler so it was perfect time to quilt another donated top as well as making another quilt from donated QAYG blocks. These quilts will be going to Impact, an organization which helps victims of domestic violence and the pile of quilts for them is growing nicely.  I'm hoping to get a few more finishes before the end of the year as well as some hand stitching while watching the cricket on TV.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, December 20, 2015

What A Difference.

 Last night I quilted until 11 pm as it was reasonably comfortable in front of the fan. Today was even hotter with temperatures of 43C (109.4F) at 11 am and after last night's sewing I was a bit slow getting things done today but I did finally get the binding sewn on the top I quilted last night.
   This was a larger quilt top which had been donated and I split it into two smaller pieces as it was too large for a donation quilt. I planned to add borders to make them large enough for older children and it's surprising what a difference adding a border makes to a quilt, especially a scrappy quilt. You can see the difference between the finished quilt and the second top. I think I'll add a red border to that one as it has more red in it. I like adding borders to most quilts as I think it frames the quilt or I often add them to make them a more functional size.
      When I stitched the binding I also found a small quilt, backed with flannel, which just needed binding so I got that one finished as well and it will be donated to a local hospital for a baby.
The hexagons are the hand stitching I have been working on when it's too hot to sit at the sewing machine. They are half inch hexagons and I'm enjoying working with them.
      Today was so hot with very strong and hot winds so we are relieved that there were no Bushfires and a cool change has arrived. I'm working nights again now so there won't be much happening other than work and lots of sleeping, but I have made good progress with the pile of quilts for the next delivery.
Hugs, Jan Mac




Saturday, December 19, 2015

Yes It's Extremely Hot.

 Yesterday the temperature was 41C (106F) and today it was 42C (108F). Even though we have evaporative air conditioning, I over heat if I try to sew or quilt as I can never get the cooling breeze where I am working. I didn't get much done yesterday other than some hand sewing but today I really wanted to get some more donation quilts finished.
     I took one of our pedestal fans and directed it where I was sewing and put together donated QAYG blocks to make a quilt for a woman. I also found a donated top which measured 50 inches square. I really don't find square quilts to be very functional and usually try to make them larger by adding borders. With this top I trimmed the side squares down and then added dark red borders, wider for the top and bottom to make the quilt longer. I bound it with a light blue fabric to match the blue border between the different sized squares. The red is actually brighter than shown in the photo and adding borders has made it a size which will be more appropriate for an older child. These quilts are both going to victims of domestic violence.
     The very cute cot quilt was made by a member of my Melbourne quilt group. Marg C. makes beautiful cot quilts and I quilt them for her and then they are donated to kids with cancer or in foster care.
    My final photo shows the fabric strip I use to make backing fabric wide enough for a larger top. Linda, these strips measure 6.5 inches in width but any size would work. I can make them into Chinese Coins quilts, even if they vary in width and any leftovers will be used in other donation quilts. I'm glad that I decided to just get started sewing in front of the fan and it really wasn't too bad when I was distracted by sewing.
Many thanks, Jan Mac



Friday, December 18, 2015

How You Can Help.

I have decided to make at least 50 quilts for my next delivery to an organization which helps women and children who have been displaced from their home due to domestic violence.  I currently have 8 ready to go and will work steadily towards my target. I'm actually hoping to make more but will aim for 25 to be delivered by early February next year.
   Some of you are already very generously making and sending QAYG blocks which have been a wonderful help in getting quilts finished and donated. If you don't have time or scraps to make the blocks I can also use scraps of a shorter length made into long strips. I then use these to make backings wider, by sewing a strip of them down the middle or I can also make them into Chinese Coins quilts and any colors of scraps work with them. Some quilters have donated tops and others have sent the strips and both work well.
     I can also always use any fabric to make backings. The largest size I usually make for donation quilts are 50x70 inches but backings of any size are great as I can add to them to make them larger. I can also use any strips cut 2.5 inches in width to join the QAYG blocks. An adult size quilt uses 21 of these strips which is about 1.5 meters of fabric and the smaller size I make uses 16 strips which uses about 1 meter of fabric and any color works with these quilts. If you don't gave a meter of one fabric I can also use a mix of colors with a different fabric for the outer binding.
     I know everyone is already busy but if you spare a thought for those poor women and kids who are victims of domestic violence, and have a small amount of time, any of these donations would bless those in need.
Many thanks for all your help to date. You are bringing joy to so many needy people but sadly the need
is still great.
Hugs, Jan Mac


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thanks For Your Help.

I delivered another 5 quilts, 2 crocheted blankets and some lovely donated toiletries yesterday to the local group which helps homeless teens. I had delivered 10 quilts to them in October and they were thrilled to be able to have enough quilts on hand as Christmas gifts for the teens. The Counsellors said that it means so much to the teens to know that people are thinking of them.
   I always feel more energized after delivering quilts and I'm now working on quilts for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. According to one of the agencies who work in this field, there are an average of 750 women hiding in refuges every night and that is only in the state of Victoria. It's shameful that women and children are not safe in their own homes and need to go into hiding to avoid further abuse.
    Thanks to the QAYG blocks you are making and donating you will bring some comfort to these families, and I also appreciate your help to get more quilts finished and donated.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Special Delivery.

 A delivery truck arrived today with a special delivery of more QAYG blocks from Erika Collis of NSW. Erika sent her first blocks in Oct and then she has obviously been busily sewing more since then. She sent a box stuffed full of blocks and she has done a wonderful job with them. Thank you so much for your gift of time, Erika, which means I will be able to get more quilts finished quickly.
     I hope you have many blessings as you have blesses so many of the needy with these quilt blocks.
Hugs and thanks, Jan Mac.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I Thought I'd Finished.

I really should be getting things ready for our family Christmas, buying presents, cooking,cleaning and all of those fun things. I thought I had made enough donation quilts and was running out of time. However, this afternoon I had a couple of hours spare so couldn't resist making another QAYG quilt. These blocks are a mix of the donated blocks I received recently so if you look closely you might be able to identify the blocks you've sent.
    I broke a tooth tonight and luckily I already had a dental appointment for the morning so hope to get that fixed and arrange to deliver the quilts and blankets to a local charity. I might get time to make one or two more but 2 blankets and 5 quilts will still be a nice number to donate if time runs out.
   Many thanks to all of you generous quilters who made and donated the blocks. Some needy people will really appreciate the gift from your hearts.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, December 12, 2015

What Makes Your Heart Sing?

 I love making quilts! For me the joy is in the making, not the owning and that is how I am able to spend so much of my time making lovely quilts and then giving them to people who couldn't afford them. I have the fun of playing with beautiful (or even ugly fabrics and making them into something beautiful) fabrics, trying new designs and not having to store all of the quilts. I am a fast worker. In fact I find that is embarrassing when taking a class, and I try to slow down but I just can't. I've been quilting since 1978 so I have had lots of practice and I guess that's one reason I am so productive. My other love with quilting is finishing off other people's UFOs. You know those projects that you have lost interest in, well I love to finish them and donate them. I won't necessarily finish them as you intended but they will be finished and bring joy to others.
    My other passion is to find those vintage pieces which are UFOs, or tops in need of repair and I love to finish them and bring them back to life. However I can't part with any of these vintage pieces. I love to examine these treasures and find how the quilter has eked out her supply of fabric by piecing many small pieces just to have enough to make a block. The use of color and their faded beauty make my heart sing.
     Yesterday we were shown some beautiful vintage quilts and there was so much to love about each of them. I was in quilting heaven. The last two photos are of some of the Show and Tell of the Castlemaine Appliqué Group members. It was a lovely day to meet up with quilting friends and I always come home energized and inspired and of course with a few purchases from Corliss's quilt shop, Threadbear.
    I hope you are enjoying your weekend too.
Hugs, Jan Mac






Friday, December 11, 2015

A Special Stitchery.

 One of my quilting friends passed away from cancer almost two years ago and her DH asked her closest friends to help him to find homes for her treasures. Bev was a lovely lady who shared my love of appliqué and we were both members of the Castlemaine Appliqué Group. A mutual friend suggested we each stitch a block of this Stitchery from her stash and then raffle the quilt to raise money for cancer research.
     I've spent the past week stitching the block as we want to share them at our Appliqué meeting tomorrow. Stitcheries are not something I have done a lot of but I did enjoy thinking of happy times with Bev while I stitched.
     It's also a great relief to have another finish to cross off my list. It's only a block but I didn't want to leave it unfinished and keeping the group waiting for my block. I also have a Santa stocking to make for our newest family member, our youngest DD's fiancé so that is at the top of my list. I'll be dropping off the donation quilts and gifts to the homeless teen group next week and will gave to focus on getting ready to have the family home for Christmas. That and more night shifts will be keeping me busy.
Hope your plans are coming along nicely too and if you find a few spare hours, please let me know where so I can pick some up too.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Two Beautiful Donation Quilts.

Two lovely quilters from Melbourne had offered to make and send me some QAYG blocks, which are always welcome. Imagine my surprise when I often the package of blocks and found they had each made the whole quilt. These quilts are beautiful and will warm the heart of one of the homeless teens for Christmas. Thank you so much Jo B. And Ellen M. For your very generous gift which will be much appreciated. Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Fun Day of Chatting.

 Yesterday was the last meeting for the year with my Melbourne quilting group and it was lovely to see everyone again before we take our summer break. We don't meet again until February so I wanted to get some more tops to quilt from the large number which have accumulated. There were about 100 tops to finish and we have been steadily working our way through them, donating 91 yesterday to a group which supports kids in Foster Care.
     Our Show and Tell was lovely as always as we have a lot of talented quilters and these are just a few we saw yesterday. After so much talking yesterday my throat was very sore and I slept most of the way home while DH drove so today I'm planning to be in a "cone of silence" to rest my throat. I'm planning a quieter day of stitching after two very busy days and I still have some family sewing to finish. I hope your Christmas stitching is almost finished.
Hugs, Jan Mac


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Another One.

Today we had a Christmas gathering for my extended family with one brother flying down from Darwin, and lots of nephews and nieces traveling from distant places like Brisbane and Melbourne. My Dad isn't very well but at 90 years of age it's to be expected that some days are more tiring than others. He's currently in hospital for a tune-up but we sprung him for lunch as it might be the last time we all get together with him.
   Unfortunately it was a hot day it we all had fun talking and catching up on family news. I had quilted this top earlier in the week and wanted to get it bound before we go to Melbourne for my Quilt Group meeting tomorrow. The top was made by one of my quilt group's members so I want to have it finished as it's our last meeting for the year.
   Then I plan on spending some time working on some more quilts for Impact as well as some for family. Christmas will be here before you know it and I'm very grateful for air conditioning or not much sewing would happen in this heat of 100 degrees F. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little cooler.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Only One.

I might have overdone it with sewing for the past two days as the cough has worsened again and energy levels are down again. I took it a bit easier today and only made one quilt from donated QAYG blocks today. It's a larger one using 35 squares and will be lovely for a woman being helped by Impact.
  Now I'm just going to sit quietly with some hand stitching.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, December 4, 2015

Becoming More Productive.

 It's good to feel well enough to sew again and able to finish quilts for Christmas as gifts for the needy. Having a supply of donated QAYG blocks means that I can spend more time making them into quilts. I'm trying to get some more made for Impact, which is a non profit organization which helps rescue women and children from domestic violence. It's shameful that so many women are affected by this when we all expect to feel safe in our own homes.
     I found a cheater panel which I added borders to and it made another pretty quilt to donate. I also met up with Lesley L. From Kyabram and she dropped off another large pile of QAYG blocks from Bev of Rochester. Thank you so much for the blocks ladies. I'll get them made into quilts ASAP.
I've been thinking about starting to post the photos on my other blog, Oz Comfort Quilts, as it looks like I can't stop making and donating quilts. I took a short break but it's hard to completely stop from making quilts to donate so whenever you gave time and scraps to make the QAYG blocks, I'll be happy to make them into donation quilts.
Hugs, Jan Mac