Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Old Faithfuls.

 You can't beat the QAYG blocks for putting together quilts quickly. I still had a pile of QAYG blocks and have been making some more with my batting scraps and scraps of fabric. I love how a different colour used to join the blocks can alter the look of the quilt.
 This pink one will be lovely for a young girl and it's a very vibrant quilt.
 This quilt and the one to follow were made for a boy and man and they are the quilts I have the most trouble with as many of the blocks I have on hand have florals or lots of feminine colours and Peter Mac told me that they don't get many quilts and what they do get are mainly for women so I am trying to focus on getting blocks made for males too.
 I make the larger size of 5 x 7 blocks for men and the smaller size of 4 x 6 for women and kids as well as different sizes for the tops I'm quilting. When I did the bushfire quilt drive in 2009 I used to make 3 quilts of 5 x 7 size each day. I can't believe I was able to keep that up for months but I must be aging now because I could make 3 of the 4 x 6 size but not 5 x 7.
Never mind Every finished quilt will bring comfort to someone who has had their world turned upside down by cancer. I'm very grateful that our experiences with cancer didn't require chemo and extensive treatments but I can remember the stress and anxiety we felt and hope that a lovely quilt will give comfort that someone is thinking of them.
 I couldn't do so much without all of your help though.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Midnight Oil.

 It's surprising how a deadline can help you focus and I know that 100 quilts to Peter Mac by the end of the year is ambitious, especially as we are almost half way through the year. However with some very long days of sewing I have finished some more quilts including one for my family - another baby quilt for a great niece as well as quilting a few tops. The first one will go to Peter Mac and the pile has about 15 in it now. I also found a smaller top which was in adult colours but too small for an adult so I thought I would add some additional fabric to make it more appropriate for a child. I found an ideal border fabric and had just enough to make it more kid friendly. I also button hole appliqued a teddy bear in the centre and this one will also go to Peter Mac for a young child.

 I used a cot quilt panel for the backing and just added some of the border fabric to make it larger. I have also been busy cutting up scraps and finishing off some more UFOs so I will have more to share very soon.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, May 20, 2017


 I feel very blessed to be able to do something I love and which benefits others as I love making quilts and also finishing off other people's UFOs. I also love to donate them where I know they will bring comfort and let's face it I don't have enough cupboards to store all the finished quilts I have made.
This week I was invited to a luncheon held by Peter Mac to thank their volunteers and it was inspiring to talk with other people who volunteer and donate to the patients of Peter Mac. I felt privileged to be in  their company and  I met some ladies who have been making chemo hats for 27 years. The co-ordinator for volunteers assured me that they could use as many quilts as I can supply so I have committed to making them my main area to donate and will try to donate 100 quilts by the end of this year. That's a big undertaking with all that we have happening here but I can but try.
    I really am blessed to have so many fellow bloggers who send me fabric, tops, quilts, orphan blocks or QAYG blocks because it has only been possible to donate so many quilts due to all the help I have had over the years. We can be very proud of the quilts we have donated as they are beautiful and much appreciated by the recipients.
    One of the blessings of blogging has been meeting and corresponding with other like-minded quilters around the world and I was lucky enough to meet Felicia and Marijke 3 years ago when we visited Holland. Marijke has sent another box of wonderful string pieced blocks as well as a lovely top and more QAYG blocks which will all be finished off and donated on her behalf. Thank you so much Marijke for all that you do for others less fortunate.

 Marijke also sent these 2 beautiful cups, one for DH, and it will remind us of such a happy time when we visited you and Chris in Delfzel.
 I am also grateful for all those lovely bloggers who stay in touch and support these quilt projects. It does help to keep focus on how we can connect around the world and help others in need.
  Peter Mac Cancer Centre is the only hospital which solely treats cancer patients in Australia and we are very lucky to have such world class facilities and I know that every quilt we can make and donate will cheer a patient and their family and that is really why I quilt.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Full Steam Ahead.

 I had a lovely Mother's Day visit with my youngest DD and her lovely husband and it also gave me the chance to give her her quilt. She was totally surprised and very emotional about it. Thankfully I made it how she had imagined it and used the correct Cat photo.
     Now that huge project is finished it's time to get some more gift quilts finished and ready for donation.
 I added borders to this purple one to make it larger and I think it looks more finished.
 These 4 tops were all made by members of my Melbourne quilting group and it's great to be clearing the cupboards of some of the tops that have been waiting for quilting.
It's been a busy week but it's great to have time for some quilting and I'm also cutting scraps up into different sized squares so I have a stack of them ready for another donation quilt.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, May 13, 2017

It's Time For The Babies.

 The last few days have been busy with sewing for our expected new grandson. I've already made 6 muslin wraps and couldn't resist one more, as well as a bib and 6 burp cloths. I'll probably make more bibs when he's older and more burp cloths before he arrives.
 I also finished a small knitted helmet and a knitted jacket in newborn size. I have knitted others but forgot to take photos for they were packed away.

 Our DD is using a woodland theme and loves foxes so this was a cute stuffed animal I made to add to the nursery.
 Tonight I thought I'd better get busy with more baby quilts for the nephew and nieces having babies soon and I want to get them done soon so I can pack the fabric away again.
 I've finished with another QAYG quilt made from more donated blocks and I have more to put together but I am off to Melbourne tomorrow so more to share soon.
 Happy Mother's Day everyone. I hope you're having a lovely weekend too.
Love, Jan Mac

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Finshes To Share.

 I'm feeling a real sense of achievement and relief in having the Cat quilt finished and it has made me feel like getting some more of my UFOs finished. That is if I can find them as they have all been packed away. I can't wait to see my DD's reaction when I give it to her on Sunday.
 I also quilted 2 more tops made by members of my Melbourne quilt group and these will be donated to various groups such as Foster Carers, Anglicare and Peter Mac. It's always rewarding to donate quilts to comfort others and we are donating more at our Biggest Morning Tea this coming Monday in Melbourne. Email me for directions if you would like to come as we are always happy to welcome guests and it's for a good cause.

Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Long Time UFO Finished.

 The "cat" quilt has been on my list to make for about 9 years and it is finally finished. It takes a long time to make a quilt you're not actually working on!! My quilt hanger wasn't well today so I hope to show photos of the finish tomorrow. I';m very happy with the photo transfer which was done by my local printing shop, using a technique similar to printing on t shirts and they assure me it will be washable.

 We spent a few days in Melbourne last week, taking more boxes down and also tidying up the garden, trimming trees etc at our new home, and it is feeling more like home each time we stay. Today I pinned and quilted 2 more tops and will finish the binding tomorrow.
I've also put together crocheted squares to make a blanket to donate to a group of needy kids. Crocheting sqaures is a nice relief when I need a break from stitching but I did hand stitch the binding down on the Cat quilt last night and just need to write on the label so it's good to finally have a finish off my own list of UFOs as I'm usually busy finishing off other people's UFOs to donate.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Quieter Week.

 A nasty head cold meant that there was less sewing this week and although I managed to clean out 5 cupboards, I spent a few days doing not much while I recovered. I also managed to finish the baby quilt up to the last borders. I added a large border in white for the top of the quilt and that is where I will applique the child's name when he arrives. I chose a bright aqua for the final border and I found a lovely aqua chevron pattern for the binding but might use a darker teal instead of the aqua. It will depend on the colours chosen for the nursery and this one will be for our expected grandson if his mother approves. LOL. Otherwise I'm sure one of the other expected babies will be a boy and I will have one ready to go.
 My DD had requested a "cat" quilt about 7 years ago after her beloved cat, Tiger, passed. I have been collecting cat fabric and really should have made the quilt long ago but kept collecting and puzzling over how to make it. She also wants a photo on fabric of her beloved pet as one of the central blocks. My indecision probably stemmed from worrying about how to do that too.
    Luckily when I packed away most of my fabric I kept the pile of cat fabric and decided it was finally time to get it done. Even if it's not exactly what she had in mind at least it will be finished.
I had already made 8 of the 30 blocks needed and I remember there was also a worry that I didn't have enough of the blue for the whole quilt. I must have found some more because I have enough and hopefully enough of the cream too. I spent a couple of hours working on it last night and should be able to get the blocks finished soon and then try to find a place to copy a photo onto fabric. I used alternate blocks to add more interest and I think I'll add a wide border too in a darker blue.
  It will be good to have it finished and gifted so I can focus on finishing more UFOs. I haven't put myself under too much pressure with UFOs this year as we have so many other things happening.
Linda, the Square in a Square pattern used 6.5" central sqs and 5.75" sqs cut on the diagonal for the outer pieces. I always start with them larger than I need and then trim to size. A couple of the central sqs were only 6" but with adding the outer triangles, it's not obvious.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Change of Pace.

As I had to pack up my quilting things for house inspections I decided it was time to work on a few things which don't create so much mess. LOL
   I finished the first baby quilt top I'd started and have put it away for now. It will be for one of my nieces or nephews' babies and I will add borders and the baby's name when the baby arrives.
  I also found a half jelly roll which has a Woodlands theme which is what my DD is having for their nursery. I didn't want to cut the fabric up too much and lose the designs on the fabric so I made it up like a jelly race quilt then cut 6.5 inches off twice and reversed one panel. I'll border the inner panel with white and then add borders so almost finished that one too.
 They are also talking about eliminating plastic bags for shoppers here, and some states already do this so I thought I'd make some more cloth bags. I started by covering eco bags I already had but will also make some without as I think that might be quicker. I will have very stylish grocery bags now.
  I also needed to start on more baby sewing as my DD is already half way to delivery. I made these little pants in newborn size but I think I will add to make the waist band higher on the next pair I make with this pattern as they don't seem to be big enough to cover a nappy. I'm also knitting baby jackets now that the weather here is cooler. I will return to finishing more quilts but it's nice not to have too much stuff to tidy away for house inspections. More decluttering will happen over the weekend too.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It Never Gets Old.

 As you can see I have been very busy finishing off more QAYG quilts from donated blocks. I still love putting them together and it is so easy when I receive donated blocks. I've even had bindings donated at times and that speeds up the process even more. These quilts will be going to clients at the Peter Mac Cancer Centre and kids in Foster Care.

 There was no sewing yesterday as we had 2 house inspections but I have quite a few finished quilts to donate now and these finishes have depleted my stash a bit as I used that for the backings and bindings. I still have more QAYG blocks to put together and will get back to it soon.
   Many thanks for your kind comments. Margaret, we live 2 and a half hours from Melbourne in the country, and we are moving to the outskirts of Melbourne to be closer to our DD, her lovely husband and our expected grandson. Marijke, if only we were close to emptying the house. LOL A large house and living here for 27 years, means that there is a lot to declutter and move, but we will get there.
   All of the house inspections have been very positive so far so fingers crossed.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Quilting Frenzy.

It's surprising how much quilting you can finish when you have downsized the house and need to get some finished quilts donated before you sell and move. The first 4 quilts were tops made by members of my Melbourne quilting group and I volunteer to quilt tops for the group. It's always fun to work with new fabric and designs without having to store the finished quilts.

 These last 3 quilts were made from donated tops from my lovely blog readers.  It's fun to search my stash of fabrics for backings and bindings and again the cupboards are being emptied for a good cause. All of these quilts will be donated to Peter Mac Cancer Centre or to kids in Foster Care.

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated QAYG blocks, tops or fabric. They are all being used to make quilts for the needy and it's only been possible to donate so many due to all my wonderful helpers.
Hugs, Jan Mac