Thursday, July 12, 2018

Very Happy Day.

 There's been a flurry of quilting over the last few days and I am very happy to report that I dropped off another 20 quilts to Anglicare today. They were thrilled with them and they will go to comfort and warm, kids in foster care. I was only able to get so many finished thanks to the many tops which have been donated by my blog readers.

 The quilts are all different and will be loved by the kids. I'm starting on the next lot for them and hope to have another 20 to donate to the kids for Christmas. I also have 17 ready for Peter Mac and plan to get another 3 done soon so I can deliver another 20 to them. So far, we have donated 97 there so we will pass our pledged 100 quilts and will keep making and donating to Peter Mac.
 I also heard today that the beanies, blankets and quilts have reached their destination in New Guinea. A family member delivered as many as they could fit in their luggage and the rest will go in September. Thanks to your help we made and sent 47 beanies for various ages, 6 blankets and 4 quilts. The boxes weighed 8.5kgs so not all went this time.
     They were very happy with everything we sent and have asked for more beanies and baby blankets, which will be taken up in September.  If you have time to knit beanies or crochet blanket squares, I  can join the squares into blankets.
   The last photo shows the latest UFO I am finishing now. I have finished hand stitching the appliqued pieces and have now started cutting fabric to make 12 blocks to surround the central block. This one will be donated to Peter Mac too and more importantly it will get another of my UFOs finished and into use.
   It's been a happy day to hear how much the quilts are appreciated so I will keep quilting as much as time allows.
Many thanks for your help and support.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Little Me Time.

 Taking a break from baby sitting has meant that I have had more time for quilting tops that I am finding in boxes with my UFOs. Although I haven't found those I was looking for at least I am making progress and emptying boxes.
  These were 4 donated tops I found and quilted last week. They will be going to Peter Mac or Anglicare  and are certainly needed now we are in the throws of winter.

 I also took a little "me time" with my seeing and made a loose top, using some William Morris fabric I had bought. I haven't sewn for myself for years and enjoyed it
again. I should make another top, using the same pattern, as I altered the pattern to have the neckline lower and making it again would be a lot easier the second time. Next time, I would make it more fitted too.
       This week will also be devoted to emptying more boxes and getting more tops quilted for donation. I have also been making good progress on my 5th UFO finish and have almost finished the hand applique, then I need to make enough blocks to make it into a quilt.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

4th UFO Finish For 2018.

 I'm feeling really happy about getting more of my UFOs finished, especially the very old ones I'm finding as I go through packing boxes. This one was madd from fabric I bought at a quilt shop sale and I chose an easy pattern to get it made quickly. However, the pattern mustn't have been too easy as it took me 25 years to make it. While looking for more recent UFOs to finish,  I found 3 blocks made and the rest of the fabric. At least I didn't have to search for the rest of the fabric, or something suitable, and it only took me a couple of days to finish it. I think the reason it sat for so long was that I had others which were being made for gifts etc. I guess it's another example of my quilter's distraction by newer more exciting projects.
   More importantly it's finished now and will be donated to Peter Mac for a male patient. Thanks to my lovely blogging supporters I have almost 20 more quilts to donate there.
       While searching boxes for a couple of tops I was hoping to quilt for our exhibition in September, I found this UFO too. I started it in a Robyn Falloon class at Dookie, I think at least 13 years ago. I took the class because it was needleturn applique but I didn't really like the design.  The first photo shows where it was after 2 days of stitching and the second shows how much I stitched in 3 hours last night. Since I started this class I have learned back basting so I used this technique ehich madd it go together quickly. I don't know where the pattern is so I found my light box and folded the fabric in half, tracing the design onto the back of the fabric. It was fortunate that  had used a variety of fabrics, especially greens, so I could use other fabric rather than wasting time looking for matching fabric.
I plan to finish the applique today and then make pieced blocks in pinks and mauves  to suit the applique. I will use the applique block as the central block and surround it by pieced blocks to finish it before donating it.
  So, although I haven't found the projects I was looking for, I have uncovered old UFOs and having fun getting them finished and donated. A bonus is that my skills have developed a lot since I started these old UFOs so I am getting them finished quickly. I  hope to have a 5th UFO finish to share soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, July 6, 2018

More Progress.

 This week I have been unpacking more boxes and searching for more of my WIPs and UFOs. I still haven't found the 2 tops I want to quilt and enter in my quilting group's exhibition but I did find some more UFOs I had forgotten about. I also more donated tops so got 2 more quilted this week.
      It's very satisfying to finally get them finished and donated where they will be appreciated. The first one is a cheater panel and will go to Anglicare while the 2nd will be ideal for a boy at the Peter Mac Cancer Centre.
 My stash is also constantly being raided for borders and bindings and it's great to be able to find what I want without wasting time at the shops. It's school holidays here for 2 weeks so we are not babysitting full time and trying to catch up on getting the boxes etc more organized, but we are missing seeing Jake every day.
  I'd better get back to quilting while I have time.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Quilt Finishes.

 We had our quilt group meeting on Monday and I took along 14 quilts that I had fonated for our Gift Quilt program. These 5 were some I finished last week. It's lovely to know that people who receive them will be warmer now that our winter is here. Our members are busy using their stashes of fabric and have donated many lovely tops so I can see that I will be busy getting more finished in the future.

We have enough to donate 20 more each to Anglicare, who help kids in foster cacre, as well as patients in the Peter Mac Cancer Centre.  It's always great to be able to use some of the fabrics that have been waiting for quilt projects and I am grateful that I can usually find fabrics for bindings etc from my own stash. The fabric stash doesn't seem to be diminishing in size but I have been donating so many of my quilts for Oz Comfort Quilts that I must be making a difference to the storage boxes of fabric.
     We are child free this week as it's school holidays so although I am getting more done, we are missing little Jake.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

20 Minutes At A Time.

 I'm making good use of my time to get quilting done at the weekends as well as even 20 minutes at a time. As well as getting the housework done, it's surprising how much you can achieve in spare minutes.
   The first 2 quilts were made for Peter Mac Cancer Centre, from donated QAYG blicks and a donated top.
 The last 3 quilts were all quilted for AQA, my quilting group as these will go to Anglicare for children in Foster Care, as part of our Gift Quilt program. I've also been finding lots of larger pieces of fabric in my stash and they have been very handy for making quilt backings. I have more tops ready to pin baste and then quilt so I plan to have more to share soon.

I hope you are all getting plenty of time for your creative past-times too.
Hugs, Jan Mac. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

My Super Hero.

 I was absolutely blown away when the postman delivered these 4 fabulous finished quilts from Maria W. in Western Australia. Maria is a prolific quilter and supports many good causes so I am blessed that she has sent finished quilts for my quilt project for the Peter Mac Cancer Centre. These lovely quilts will certainly lift the spirits of their recipients and keep them warm while they are having treatment.
 Maria has very kindly made 2 more Super Hero quilts, as requested by Peter Mac for their children, and she has backed them with a lovely warm and cudfly fleece.

 Thanks so much for your support for thus project, Maria.  You are very busy too and my Super Hero as, although I bought the fabric,  I still haven't made the hero quilts for them. They will be thrilled with them, as I am, and you will bring smiles to the parents as well as the kids.
Feeling blessed. Hugs, Jan Mac. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Long Time In The Making.

 While looking for fabric to finish off the previous ancient UFO, I found this one from that same time period. It's good quilt shop quality fabric and a fairly easy pattern to show off the African style focus fabric.  This is what I found- 3 pieced blocks finished and 1 almost finished, as well as 3 blocks of the focus fabric.  There are only 8 pieced blocks and 7 focus fabric blocks for the quilt, so not a lot of stitching required. I think it wasn't finished was because I wasn't making it with a specific purpose.
   It will make a nice quilt for a male at Peter Mac Cancer Centre.  The colours are a rust red/brown and dark purple in the stripes and 4 patches so the photos, taken at night, don't give a good indication of colour.
  This afternoon, while Jake slept, I  finished off the 4th block and made the 5th, as well as cutting and piecing for the remaining blocks. I'm hoping to finish piecing it tomorrow and then get it ready for quilting in the next few days.
      Twenty five years is a lonv time for it to remain as a UFO but it will soon be finished and making more room in the cupboards.  I'm feeling very excited to have such long-term UFOs being finished and resisting starting any new projects until I get a few more finished. Wish me luck!
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

3rd UFO Finish for 2018.

I finished this 25 year old UFO and it feels great to finally have it finished. I was helped with the selection of fabrics and never really felt there was enough contrast. I can see that my fabric choices are totally different now and I am much more confident in my selections now. I guess making hundreds or more quilts will do that for you. Lol.
This was also my first use of the needleturn applique technique and I  can see that the threads that are available now make it much easier to be able to hide the stitches.
I am so happy to finally have it finished and happy that it looks better with borders and quilted. This set of blocks has been to so many sewing meetings while I try to work out how to use them.  There were supposed to be alternate blocks the same as the top left and bottom right corner blocks but I only made 2 as I didn't like them.  I'm also fairly sure that there are more of these blocks hiding somewhere  but at least I found enough to make a nice lap quilt to donate to Peter Mac. 
Even better,  it gets a 25 year old UFO out of the cupboard.  Although it's only my 3rd UFO finish for the year,  it's a huge finish for me as it has languished for so long. I also found 2 more UFOs from those years and will start working on finishing on one of them, the other has been abandoned as it was the hand quilted cream vest which I won't wear, so the fabric has gone back into the stash.
I'm very excited to have an old project finished and plan to have another to share soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

UFO Excitement.

 While looking for fabric to make sashing and binding for QAYG blocks, I found an old UFO. It's probably my oldest one and I started in in the mid 1990s in a class. I loved the Hoffman sky fabric at the time but now I feel like there's too little contrast. I guess it shows how limited our fabric choices were then, and my tastes have certainly changed now.
   The project stalled because there was a large hand appliqued block of flowers, set on point, for the centre,  with more blocks around it. I liked most of the individual blocks, especially the appliqued ones, but I didn't like most of the pinwheel type blocks which were supposed to be alternate blocks as there wasn't enough contrast.
I think there are more blocks somewhere but I only found 8 so far. I decided to make another block and finish it as a lap quilt. Each block is 14 inches in size so it will be large enough without sashing.
I should have used a fabric with more contrast for the small star points but it looks ok with the others.
Today I added borders,  made a backing and binding and have it ready to quilt this week. I think it will look better when it's quilted and hopefully someone will appreciate it. Even better, it will be  long term UFO finished and out of the cupboard,  as well as using up more fabric.
While I was looking for some of the fabric I'd used, I found another 2 UFOs which was a real bonus. This one was a wholecloth quilted vest and I had started to hand quilt it. I had drawn feathers and cross hatching and I enjoy hand quilting but I won't be wearing a hand quilted vest so I have pulled it apart and will use the fabric for more quilt blocks.
I pin basted it so I must have thought I would quilt it quickly but it has sat in the cupboard for 25 years or so and it can come off my UFO list.
Another exciting find was another quilt top which I had started about 25 years ago too,  and even better,  I found the rest of the material so I can finish it. That will be my next project after I finish the pink and grey quilt.
     I'm so happy to have found some old UFOs which I can finish and donate as well as downsize and create more room in the cupboards.  Who knew thst finding old UFOs would be so exciting.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, June 11, 2018

Nearly Halfway.

 I can't believe that the year is slipping by so quickly that we are almost half way there. Going out during the week is more difficult now we are full time carers for our grandson but he is such a delight that it's a sacrifice we are happy to make. There isn't much time for anything else except when he is having a nap, and as long as I don't need one too. I have finished off these quilt tops for my quilting group's Gift Quilt program so I am making progress, even if it's not as much as I would like.

These quilts will all bring some joy to their recipients and Jake continues to bless us every day with his noise and chuckles. He's 9 months old, crawling, has 8 teeth and is growing up too quickly. How could you resist this smile. I spend less time online now too so he gets my full attention- one of the benefits of being grandparents is that I don't have to do anything other than focus on him while he is here.
I hope you are all enjoying some time for what you love too.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Five For Now.

 We've settled into a routine where I mainly quilt on the weekends now as time is limited during the week, especially as Jake is trying to drop his afternoon nap. These first 3 tops were all made and donated by Jo L. of Qld, and they will be donated to the Peter Mac Cancer Centre. Jo has nade some beautiful tops and some of the larger ones I divided into 2 so they are a more appropriate size to donate.

 I had some smaller donated QAYG blocks and made more to have enough to make them into a quilt. This one will go to Anglicare for kids in foster care.
  The last quilt was a donated top and now that it is quilted it will also be donated to Peter Mac.
Life is busy but rewarding as I am still managing to finish some quilts as well as devoting all of my week days to playing and caring for Jake.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs,Jan Mac