Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Back To Basics.

 While Ray is installing our new pool fence and deck fencing my pinning area has been out of bounds so I have used my sewing time piecing more QAYG blocks. I  have also been making up more quilts from QAYG blocks that I had on hand.
      These lovely quilts will be going to Anglicare to be distributed to children in foster care. Although our Christmas is in summer, kids can always use a warm hug from a quilt.
   Thank you so much to those generous quilters who have made and donated QAYG blocks over the years. They have been invaluable in getting more quilts donated to those in need. Hopefully I will be able to donate a big pile of quilts for Christmas.

Cutting up stash fabric for binding and sashing strips is also using up lots of stash too.
Also the question about the Post Stamp quilt- the size of the squares was 1.5 inches, so 1 inch when stitched together.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 I'm making good progress with Jake's cross stitched Christmas stocking, despite only stitching most nights.  I plan on finishing it in time for this Christmas so showing my weekly progress is helping me to maintain my focus.
  I also have a stocking to make for my son in law and that is a few years overdue so I would like to have that finished this year as well. It's going to be a patchwork one and it's been delayed with our moving house etc so I really want to get it done this year.
  How are you all going with your Christmas sewing?
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Four More.

 With Christmas approaching rapidly my quilting group is also working hard to get quilts finished for donation to various organizations we support, such as Peter Mac Cancer Centre,  Anglicare and Vic Foster Kids.
    The first quilt was part of a larger quilt that I split to make 2 smaller quilts. I showed on in an earlier blog post. This one was the smaller of the 2 so I added borders.

This last quilt was also a larger quilt which I split into 2. I cut the side borders in half and now have enough for all sides of both quilts.
       We are also busy doing some home renovations such as putting glass fencing around the pool and using the existing wooden fence to surround the back deck so Jake can play out there without falling off the edge. It's almost summer and pool time so it will be good to have the work done so we can relax when it's hot.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 I used to show my cross stitching on Tuesdays and thought I would establish it again now that I have started cross stitching again. Jake loves trains and I wanted to make an heirloom Christmas stocking for him. I thought that I had better get busy stitching as Christmas will be here in 7 more Tuesdays.
I started a couple of weeks ago and I am progressing nicely so I am pleased with it. My last finished piece of  cross stitching  was a wedding piece for Jake's parents and I enjoyed the process again.
I still have more cross stitch UFOs to finish as well as more I would like to start but in the meantime I plan to finish this one in time for this Christmas and not have another UFO.

 This delughtful young man is now 14 months old and has started walking. He has just had 3 molars descend and is also producing his lower eye teeth. He is remarkedly good natured despite all these teeth coming at once.
He loves reading books and his favourite trick now is now to climb up into Pa Pa's chair and have me sit next to him. Jake certainly brightens our days with his antics and he is sleeping for a couple of hours most days which has helped give me some time to quilt during most days.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Block Party.

 This week it was time to get busy with some blocks and get more quilts finished in time for Christmas donations. The first blocks were stitched and donated by Sue McP from Victoria.  The blocks are really cute with lots of trains, boats cars etc and will be loved by a young boy.
 These 12 blocks were also stitched by Sue and are really intricate designs of houses and flowers. They will make a lovely quilt for a little girl.
 Sue also included these lovely stitched blocks of hearts and I will make 2 more to add to this 18. Many thanks for all of your beautiful donations, Sue.
 These blocks were from a damaged quilt and I rescued those which were undamaged and reset them with new sashing. It should look good with new batting.
This quilt top was donated by Jo from Qld and I have divided it in half as Jo's original top was much larger. It is in the pile to be quilted and will be finished soon.
    My night cough has finally gone and it's good to be back into quilting again.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Australian Quilters Association.

 I have devoted this week's sewing time to quilting 6 more quilt tops for AQA, my quilting group. Our members make lots of blocks and tops and I am more than happy to be one of the quilters who finish them off as quilts. We had quite a few older tops languishing in the group's storage space so I am trying to get those finished to make room for newer tops. We've donated 240 quilts in the past 12 months as we get lots of help from our members.
 We encourage members to assist with the sewing tasks that they enjoy and we have at least 2 ladies who are very skilled at putting together kits for members to stitch at home, as well as makjng up blocks and kits for blocks from the fabric we have received as donations. Sometimes a skill share day is organized and a new pattern or technique is taught. A Jelly Roll Race day meant we received lots of jelly roll quilts.  Some of them were too big for gift quilts so we have been making the tops smaller prior to quilting them.

 I love the scrappy nature of the first quilt I shared in this post and when I examined it more closely I could see that it was constructed from donated 9 patch blocks, combined with 9 patch blocks made from random squares. The borders are a lovely addition and this is one of my favourite tops I have quilted.
I'm still coughing at night but I am grateful that I am improving and able to get back to some quilting too.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, October 15, 2018

A Change of Pace.

 The stress of our trip must have had some effect as I came down with a nasty head cold and lost my voice.  Plenty of fluids, aspirin and early nights means that it's passing quickly thankfully and I am managing to look after Jake as long as I have a nap in the afternoons.
       My DD wanted some baby hurp cloths made as gifts for friends so I did get some sewing done. I made some for baby Jake too and they are very useful and relatively quick and easy to make. Both friends are having girls so almost all if the scraps were used up. I still have lots of scraps left over from Jake's too so it mighf be a good idea to get a head start on some for future gifts.
     I have also made time to pin baste more tops for AQA so will have more quilt finishes to share soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Not What We Expected.

 We were worried about how well little Jake would travel and how long it would take to get to Fraser Island in Queensland but he was really no problem and travelled well with breaks every 2 to 3 hours. We enjoyed the trip up and the warmer weather as well as playing with Jake in parks when we took a break.
     However the trip did not go as planned when we were only 10kms from taking the ferry across to the Island.
 The camper trailer our DD and her husband were towing lost a wheel which almost caused the car to overturn. Luckily Jake was asleep at the time, and even more importantly no one was injured.  It caused a small grass fire and Paul's skilled driving got them off the road without collision. We were a few kms ahead and they phoned us to return. After a few hours of waiting,  a tow truck picked up the camper and took it to the nearest town of Rainbow Beach. Their car was not damaged but their accommodation was no longer available until the trailer was repaired and no parts were immediately available. After a couple of days of trying to make arrangements to repair or return the camper to Melbourne, we decided to have it repaired locally when the parts arrived and we continued on down the coast with the use of cabins and motels.
 We tried to make the best of the time we had and travelled as far as Coffs Harbour, in News South Wales.  The weather was lovely and warmer than Melbourne and we enjoyed a few days at the GlassHouse mountains and Australia Zoo.

 We travelled back to Rainbow Beach to wait for the camper trailer to be repaired and our DD, her DH and Jake made their way back to Melbourne in time to get back to start work. We were lucky to be only held up by 1 day and it was a relief to have the repairs done and return home without further problems.
   It wasn't the holiday we'd hoped for but tried to make the best of it. Little Jake was a delight and it was lovely to see him enjoy his time at the beach.
 He took his first steps today, after gaining his confidence, and he will soon be racing around the house. Actually he's already racing around the house while he pushes his little toy train or toy walker around to help his balance. He can stand without holding onto anything but prefers to push his train around. We've spent this week catching up on the washing and unpacking and I hope to get more quilts finished soon.
     I ended up taking some hand sewing but I  didn't take a stitch so I will enjoy getting into my sewing again. It's good to be home and away from the sandflies too as we were bitten quite a bit while we were at Rainbow Beach. Thankfully the itching has almost stopped now.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Lost Momentum.

 It's been a struggle to get my quilting momentum back after we were all so sick. I did finish quilting these 2 tops for my quilting group's Gift Quilt program but haven't gotten back into my previous speedy production. The first quilt was a jelly roll quilt top which was quite plain so I hand appliqued 3 orphan hexagon blocks to make it more modern.
 I'm also getting swamped with scraps of batting and fabric strips after so many quilt finishes so I think I need to make some QAYG blocks and get my sewing room tidied up and hopefully I will regain my momentum for more quilt finishes.
 Little Jake loves one of his birthday gifts of a retro rocker in the shape of a swan. He also spends lots of time pushing his toy train around and he can almost walk on his own.
We're off to Fraser Island for 2 weeks, at the end of the week,  and Jake and his parents are coming with us.  It will be lovely to enjoy some relaxing time in the sun and I plan on taking a break from quilting and come back refreshed. I always take my yarn and crochet blanket squares while we are away so I should be able to get another blanket finished to donate. The second shipment of beanies and blankets are on their way to New Guinea too and that was only possible thanks to the generous support of my blog readers.
  Jake is taking up more of my time now so there is less time and energy for quilting but he is such a delight that we are living being his grandparents.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, September 3, 2018

6th UFO Finish for 2018.

 After such a productive 2 weeks of quilting there was a real slump as time was limited and we were all sick with the Rotavirus, AKA the stomach flu. I did manage to finally finish my 6th UFO for the year.
  This quilt was completely hand stitched and started as a way to use some of the many 2.5 inch squares I swapped with international quilters as a Millennium swap.  So as you can see this UFO was started in 2000 so it's great to have it finally finished, although it was a very handy project when I wanted some hand sewing. I hand appliqued the stars to the borders but I did machine quilt it. I actually finished it a couple of weeks ago but the binding waited for a bit as other quilting had priority. 
   This quilt will also be donated to Peter Mac and will hopefully be loved. More to come as I get back into the swing of my routines after illness.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

That Was The Week.

 Last week was also productive with all of these tops being quilted.  They have all been made by members of the Australian Quilters Association, to be donated to various community groups we support.
 This postage stamp top was too big so I reduced the size and have enough left over to make a smaller quilt by adding borders.

 I also added borders to the Basket quilt to make it a more suitable size for an adult.

Most of my days are spent with this little man so I rely on every 10 minutes I can spare. I have a good set up on the back deck which makes it easier to pin baste tops and prepare them for quilting. Having tops already pinned means that I make time to quilt when Jake takes his nap.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Many Thanks Margo and Sue.

 Margo B. from Tasmania sent these 24 lovely crocheted squares for a blanket for New Guinea and it was very easy to finish them off as a blanket to donate. It will keep someone warm in the cooler highland area and be very welcome.
 The organization who are distributing the warm items in the New Guinea highlands were also asking for more beanies as they are easy to deliver to them and loved by the locals.  I have almost finished one, being busy with other things, so I was thrilled to hear  from Sue V. of Victoria,  asking if she could donate 30. What a blessing it is to have blog readers who support these projects and I am thrilled to know that, thanks to Sue, there will be a good number of beanies to send in September/October.

My grateful thanks to Margo and Sue for makjng and donating so many lovely items to keep others warm.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Busy Week.

 August is a very busy month for the family with 2 birthdays and a wedding anniversary to celebrate as well as battling winter colds. However, I had a very productive week with all of these quilt tops finished for AQA. I try to quilt 8 a month for them as well as my Oz Comfort Quilts but by just doing AQA tops I finished 7 in a week as well as one of mine.

 I also delivered another 20 of Oz Comfort Quilts to Peter Mac so it's been very busy but also very productive.  Finally a rare photo of a sleeping grandson. He is almost one and is an absolute delight with lots of Nan Nan and Pa Pa said all day. Unfortunately he has a cold and sore throat but continues to be is almost usual happy self.
I have also reinvigorated my love of dressmaking and I am having fun making more garments to wear. We are off to Queensland for 2 weeks in September, with our little grandson and his parents, so some new clothes will be fun to wear in the sun.
Hugs, Jan Mac