Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Fabulous Gift.

 I received another fabulous parcel from Western Australia and it was such a blessing for the current quilt project for Peter Mac Cancer Centre. It came from Sandra W-C, Maria W's DD,  and they have both been very busy making 25 QAYG blocks as well as including the binding.

 Sandra also included 2 beautiful cot sized quilts and the backs are as lovely as the fronts so I  have included photos of them as well.



 Sandra also sent more lovely blocks as well which will play nicely with some I gave on hand. Sorry the photos are out of order, as I am trying a new way of loading them onto my blog when we travel, and it's not as easy as on my computer.
     We're having more house inspections at the moment and I have still been resting my wrists, so no quilting, but I hope to have more to show soon. There's also been lots of trips to Melbourne and DD2 and I  saw the stage show, Aladdin, which was excellent,  with great sets and costumes, and the Magic Carpet ride was spectacular. Therecwere lots of kids in the audience and it was wonderful to see them so enthralled with a live show.
   Now that we have the farm ready for sale,  it's  back to work for me and hopefully more time and health to quilt.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Finish and Hand Piecing.

 My arms and wrists are improving so I hope to be quilting again very soon. In the meantime I have counted the quilts I already have finished for Peter Mac and there are 39 which is a good number so far. I might only get 50 delivered before Christmas as we have a busier time coming up but there will still be 50 people experiencing a warm hug and I'm sure the rest will be appreciated when they are delivered too.
   I had a few days in Melbourne over the weekend but I did manage to finish my Shimmering Triangles top before we left home. It came together much more quickly when I had plenty of room to lay out the blocks before sewing them and I would make a few changes next time. This top will be quilted soon and most likely go to Peter Mac as well. I'd like to make one for our bed but I would like to use different colours next time.
     I have also been doing some hand stitching and have started work on my La Passion quilt top again, using half inch hexies. I started this one when we flew to Europe for holidays and it's hard to believe that was 3 years ago. I still love the pattern but it gets put away for 6 months or so at a time while I focus on the donation quilts. I need to have it finished before May 2019 for an exhibition in Germany so I need to keep working on it.
  I'm making it in sections and I have just joined another circle piece to the "mothership". I have 2 more diamonds to join on as well and then only two more circle sections and 1 more diamond piece before I have finished this part. I've also started stitching the next border around the outside too so it won't be too boring working on 4 rows of border.
  I'd still love to make one in red and white but need to get this one finished first. I hope to get quilting again soon as the pile of tops is mounting up.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Jenny Bowker's Shimmering Triangles.

 There's been a few big days of travel in the last week, with a trip to Melbourne on Sunday to see family, then my Melbourne quilting group meeting Monday. I left the meeting early as I had signed up for a 2 day class with Jenny Bowker at Heather's Quilting Emporium in Moama (NSW) and needed to go home to collect all my bits and pieces for class then drive to Moama.
   It was a spur of the moment decision to take the classes as I had always wanted to take a class with Jenny and she is retiring from teaching at the end of the year, and I heard there were a couple of vacancies so signed up on the Friday.
 I was so pleased that I did take the class as Jenny is a fabulous teacher and shares all sorts of techniques and information, more than just the design we were working on in class. She showed her first Shimmering Triangles quilt and how the design has evolved from there.
 I loved this one in reds, orange, yellow contrasting with blacks and greys, to represent the bush fires we've experienced. I didn't have the right fabrics for this one as I wanted to use my stash of Kaffe Fassett fabrics I'd been collecting so that might be a future project. I love the fabric with the very large floral prints, especially the large grey roses.
 Jenny also talked about free motion quilting floral designs to enhance the floral fabric on the white background quilt and her work was lovely.
 This Shimmering Triangles quilt represents a flower garden with the green borders and I loved this one too. It is an ideal size for a gift quilt too.
 This is my progress at the end of day 1 and below is what I had joined after a day and a half.
These are the rest of the fabrics I am using and there isn't actually too much left to do to finish the top. I had such a great time and Heather's hospitality was fantastic with beautiful home cooked meals, good company and a lovely large room for sewing. I can highly recommend Heather workshop days and retreats and she is starting to run some at Beechworth (Vic) too.
   It was a fun class to take with Jenny and it's sad that she is retiring from teaching but she wants to make and design more quilts so I'm looking forward to seeing her new designs too. I was also very happy to have a design which is ideal to showcase my Kaffe Fassett fabric instead of having it stored away as Fat Quarters. This will probably be finished and donated to Peter Mac too as I think it will cheer someone up in need of a hug.
   I'm hoping to get back into quilting more tops soon but in the meantime I am able to do some more piecing. Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Quieter Weekend.

I'm still resting from quilting while my arms recover so I have spent some time piecing instead. This top was made for the 70273 Project and was made from blocks donated by AQA friends. The crosses are to represent the number of disabled people who were murdered by the Nazis during an 18 month time period.
   There are several internet sites which give more information and there is possibly going to be an exhibition of these quilts at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this year. They needed the top by the end of June so it's good to have another finish crossed off my long list.
    My wrists are still aching at times, especially the left one, so I will postpone quilting for a bit longer and do some more piecing instead.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Donation Quilts From Western Australia

 Maria W. from WA has been a long time supporter of Oz Comfort Quilts and she has very kindly donated these beautiful quilts for Peter Mac. I love the border treatment in the top quilt and it's the right colours and size for a male patient which is wonderful as they are hard to come by.
 This beautiful quilt will be loved by a lady and it has many different sewing tools appliqued on it. I love the Braid border too.
I make my own labels and always add the quilter's name unless it is an anonymous donation. Thanks so much Maria for your continued support and I know that your beautiful quilts will bring much comfort to patients at Peter Mac.
   I've eased back on the quilting for a few days to rest my arms and also as we've had house inspections so I've had to stash and dash all my sewing things away.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Slower Weekend.

 I've been having some pain in my lower arms, probably due to too much man-handling heavy quilts through the sewing machine so I had a quieter weekend to give them a rest. I finished these cute little toys- a puppy and a rabbit, which will be going to Peter Mac to be sold in their auxillary shop to raise funds and hopefully someone will want to buy them.
 I also finished another little baby jacket for our expected grandson but I think I'll have to change the ribbon for white as it is too green. The colour is a soft mint green and will look nice with his growsuits.
 We also had a visit from a couple of our resident kangaroos. These aren't our largest ones and the male was very curious and despite seeing me watching him from indoors, he came closer to the verandah so I had a good view. I had seen some signs of them in my garden beds but was surprised that they came so close to the house.
His female had a joey in her pouch and hopefully you'll be able to see it if you blow the photo up. She's just to the right of the bush in the middle of the photo but a bit shy because she had her baby with her.
   Marijke, any size baby quilts would be fine. I usually make them 43"-45" square but they will also take them if theya are 32" x 45". We had some heavy rain over the weekend so everything is starting to get green here now.
Back to work. Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Finish and Donations

 Actually all of these are donations from my lovely blogger friends who continue to support my quilt projects. The first quilt was donated as a top and it is such a pretty feminine quilt and will warm a young girl or lady at Peter Mac.
 This quilt was an anonymous donation and it is beautifully embroidered with butterflies and bugs and will be a treasure for a little girl.
Last, but not least, I received this lovely parcel of QAYG blocks from Delys R. of W.A. Delys has sent blocks regularly and as always they are very much appreciated and will help to make some more quilts to donate.
   The pile of quilts for donation is growing and I couldn't do it without you so your help is very gratefully received.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, May 25, 2017

UFOs.

 I have discovered some older UFOs and donated blocks while looking for fabric for backings for some of the tops I want to finish. I found these cat blocks and also a cat panel so I have added fabric borders to make them a uniform size and will make some filler squares to join the blocks so this one should be ready for quilting soon.
 I also found this little top that someone had donated. It was kept out of the sunlight but it had a couple of the places where the fabric had faded so I made the little cars to cover those areas. The hardest part was button hole stitching through the thick layers. This one will go to Life's Little Treasures which is a group which supports families who have premmie babies. They have asked for quilts to be given to the babies to celebrate those who reach their 100 day milestone and they can't keep up the number needed. they send them out all over Australia so i said I would make some smaller ones for them.
 This quilt was a collection of donated house blocks I found. They look like they were from a block swap but there were only 11 of them in the pile so I found a house block I had made for another project and used that to finish the top.
This house block was one I had on hand and I only had to add the windows and door before it could be used in the House quilt. It's great to get some more UFOs finished as well as clearing out more large pieces of fabric to be used for backings.
 I still need to work on more quilts for males, both men and boys so I hope to find some more in the UFO pile which will work for those. I've been putting in so many hours quilting that I am sleeping very well at night, so that's a bonus.
Hugs, Jan Mac

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

Gratitude.

 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