Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Best Laid Plans.

 I had such big plans for finishing quilts, unpacking and decluttering as I unpacked. Instead very little sewing and quilting has occurred in the past 3 weeks. Instead I've been busy being Nanna to our dear little grandson as he hasn't been well but is improving now and thankfully we are all catching up on sleep again.
   In the meantime 3 more babies arrived in the family and there was a race to get a quilt finished for Clementine before the family returns to New Guinea. Last time they had a baby they left Australia before I finished Spencer's quilt so I wanted to make sure I had one done in time for this baby so I made one for a girl and one for a boy. I still have another boy quilt to finish off but will have that done very soon. Two of the babies arrived early and one was a girl and one a boy so I got lucky and just had to add borders and applique the babies' names.
Little Riley is a cousin to the new babies, 3 in the same family in 3 months, and poor little man had to wait for his quilt as we were so busy with Jake. Jake doesn't have a cot quilt yet but he will have one before he's large enough for his cot.
   I still have 2 more nieces expecting babies in the next 4 to 6 weeks so I'm planning to get a start on the blocks soon before we get busy with Christmas. Of course we are still moving stuff from the farm and have cleared out our large shed which was a huge job, so now we have just the house to go. Even that is a big enough job. We have until the end of November but we just want it done now so we can take life a little easier and enjoy more time quilting.
   I hope life is treating you well wherever you are.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Catching Up.

 While unpacking boxes and washing fabric I have also been matching backings to tops and finally get some more finishes. These will all be donated to Anglicare for kids in Foster Care and will give them a big warm hug from everyone who has sent tops, blocks or fabric.
 To deal with lots of scrappy pieces I cut them into squares and a friend pieced them into tops a few years ago so it's good to have them quilted for donation.



 This is the back of the Winnie the Pooh quilt and I pieced a back from some of the 6.5inch squares I have accumulated. I quilted it from the back, using the squares as reference points which saved me from marking the top for quilting.
The sewing machine is running hot as is the washing machine, so there will be more finishes to share very soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, September 24, 2017

My Sincere Apologies.

 As I am spending most of my time in our new home in Melbourne now life has been very busy with little time for quilting or sewing. I also burned through $100 in 2 weeks of using a dongle for internet access as loading photos  uses up a lot. Thankfully we now have the internet connected and I will be able to load photos etc easily again.
    I did manage to get home to the farm for 2 days and madly packed boxes and sorted through things in the back of the shed. I knew there were more donated QAYG blocks in storage and thought the remaining boxes held donated fabric, so I was astounded to find 2 finished quilts there, leftover from the donations for the bushfire appeal for Kinglake in 2009.
    I am so very sorry that I missed distributing these on your behalf. We did distribute enough quilts for their community, as well as to other areas, but I was so disappointed to know that these two lovely quilts could have been bringing comfort to someone in need.
 The first Flying Geese quilt was donated by Sue N. from NSW and the second lovely quilt was made and donated by Mandurah quilters in WA. I have washed them both to freshen them from storage and they will be donated to the Peter Mac Cancer Centre to give a warm hug to 2 patients. I do hope that this is OK with those who put all their time and money into making them.
  I have cleared almost all of the stored blocks and tops etc and now have a very busy time ahead as I get them finished. Hopefully DH will be able to bring down my industrial sewing machine on his next trip down so I can get more QAYG blocks made into quilts.
 This little laundry hamper was one I bought and then machine appliqued the little deer to match the nursery's Woodland theme. This little blue cardigan was another one I've just finished and it's one of his favourites as it's small enough to fit him.

I plan to blog more frequently again now we are connected and will have some more finishes to share very soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Fabulous Donation Quilts.

 Wow time has got away from me and my blogging time has been put to one side while I play at being a grandmother. These beautiful quilts have all been donated by my lovely blogging readers and they will all be donated to Peter Mac Cancer Centre on your behalf.
The first 2 quilts were made and donated by Ann G. from NSW  and will bring comfort and brighten up the rooms of the recipients. I'm so sorry that it took me so long to post the photos and thank you for your generous donation, Ann.

 The following 3 quilts were made and donated by Sandra McL. and Ramona H. Ramona dropped off a big bag of the quilts, some tops, blocks and fabric and they will all help to make more donation quilts so thanks very much ladies.
 I am not getting to sew or quilt at the moment as we are busy packing, decluttering and moving boxes to our new home. It's a huge job but it will all be worth it when it is over. I really want to get back to quilting tops but hope to get plenty done when we are finally moved and settled in here.
   Many thanks for your congratulations and well wishes. We babysat little Jake for almost 8 hours on Saturday as the new parents had a wedding to attend and he was a delight so we can see that we have made the right decision to move to be closer to give support and also just to enjoy being grandparents.
Hopefully my blogging will get back on track soon too.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Besotted? Moi?

 I am loving being a grandmother!! I do none of the work, have all of the fun and only give advice when asked- like an overpaid consultant, and an investment in our future.
Little Jake brings us so much joy already.
 Excuse the paint on my fingers. LOL The kids call me the "baby whisperer" and I am relaxing him here as he has wind pains.
 He is learning to settle himself and sleeps well. He's smaller than he looks here but so cute.
 Being a grandmother is a reward after all the years of motherhood, having 3 kids in 3 years, and on purpose. LOL
I will get back to posting quilt news but couldn't resist some more of Jake.They are off home today and life has they know it has changed forever, but what a journey ahead for all of us.
Many thanks to everyone who sent congratulations and well wishes.I can't claim any credit but I am very happy with the outcome.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, August 25, 2017

Many Blessings.

 We are absolutely thrilled to welcome our first grandchild into our family. He arrived at 11.47pm Thurs night on 24th Aug at 38 weeks and 2 days. He is only 5lb 10 oz and is small but perfectly formed.
 He's wearing 5 zero clothes which are a bit big on him. Bless him.
 He's wearing one of the singlets I stitched a motif on. It's a 4 zero and huge on him. LOL
He's doing very well now he's maintaining his temperature and it is so wonderful to watch your DD and her lovely husband with their new son. They have named him Jake William and Ray and I are besotted with him.
 As well as this exciting news, we accepted a good offer on the farm on Monday and are just waiting for the building inspection so we can sign the contracts and start to plan the move. We can see many fun family times ahead and we're feeling very blessed that we will be living nearer to family and can be involved in our grandson's life.
Hugs and much love, Jan Mac

AQA Symposium Day 2.

 The second day of the Symposium was a class with Di Ford Hall, making her new design. The class was focused around playing with different fabrics, fussy cutting and using paisleys etc to get unusual effects. I always love Di's class as it's fun to see how her work looks complicated because of the way she is able to use unusual fabrics.
 Di shared some of her quilts from her second Quiltmania book and it is every bit as fabulous as her first book. She has designed the fabrics she is using as well so her fabric ranges always have interesting fabric which is great for fussy cutting as well as broderie perse.

 Di's quilts are beautifully quilted by Helen Hayes, an award winning quilter.
 Using stripes and serpentine fabric adds a nice illusion to plain blocks.
 Fussy cutting medallion border fabric adds a lovely dimension to a border surrounding broderie perse.
I didn't have a lot to show for the day of stitching but I had a lovely relaxing day with like minded quilters. What could be better.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

AQA Symposium Day 1.

  At the weekend I had two days of classes which are always great fun- playing with fabric, catching up with old and new friends and taking some time to stitch. I prefer to hand stitch at classes as I find it very relaxing and it's hard to take my large machine out of the house. I probably need to buy a smaller one.
The first day was a class with Michelle Yeo, using her Georgetown Circles design. It's a lovely block and I will probably just make one block and then design a medallion quilt around that.
 Michelle also brought her New York Beauty quilt to share and it is a lovely study in colour and fine piecing.
I got this much done for the day which I was pretty happy with and which was about as much as most of the machine stitchers finished too. Now I need to decide which fabrics to use for the next ring. That's one of the fun things of taking a class where you can discuss and share which fabrics look best. I started with the toile fabric which was 17 years old so it was time to use it. The next row is one of Di Ford Hall's Ballyhall range which was lovely for fussy cutting.
   I don't have any pink and brown quilts so that was the theme I decided on for this quilt, even though the brown looks greenish in this photo. I'd better get busy making more baby quilts for family too as we still have 5 due before Christmas.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I Think We're Ready.

 I'm spending all of my time in Melbourne now as the a baby countdown is on. We thought he might make an early appearance so it's been a rush for me to finish off all the baby sewing and knitting.
I made a simple minkee bassinet quilt and backed it with flannelette. The piece on the right is a waterproof fabric which I lined with toweling for use as a portable change mat. Foxes feature a lot as they have chosen a Woodlands theme for the nursery.
 I made 3 sets of bassinet sets consisting of fitted and flat sheets and had fun decorating the flat sheets with trim.
 I also made 3 sets of cot sheets with fitted and flat sheets as it was so much cheaper than buying and I could add special touches with trim. I still have to make a few sheets for the cot we have here and I need to do that while I still remember how. LOL . It's so much easier to make things in multiples as the first one is always the slowest.
 Another newborn knitted hat and jacket. He's a small baby so I have made newborn size as well as larger sizes.
 Another little cardigan in new born size. I should have made more in blue and I have one that I just need to finish off.
Now that I have finished most of the baby sewing- oh I just remembered I still have to applique a deer on a laundry hamper- I am busy painting cupboards to get my sewing room set up. I'm hoping to find things I packed away ages ago. It's a big job but it will be like Christmas as I reconnect with my treasures.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, August 11, 2017

My Latest Rescue.

 I bought this old treasure with the intention of restoring her. Someone had made an attempt at a rescue in the 1950s by machine stitching circles over all the worn circles, as well as machine stitching a new and wider binding over the original one.
 You can see one of the 'new circles' either side of one of the original circles. The circles are all pieced and not appliqued and it is nicely quilted in cream on the blocks, and in brown along the sashing.

 She is very worn, stained and tattered so I am looking forward to seeing how much I can improve her and bring her back to life.


There is a large number written twice on the backing so it looks like it originally came from an auction house. The backing is a light loosely woven fabric through from that era and the batting is carded cotton. I haven't had time yet to definitely date this quilt so I will give more info as I find it.
 I love working to restore these old quilts as you can learn so much about how quilters made them in eras past.
Hugs, Jan Mac