Sunday, September 28, 2008

Block Party in Spring

My tulips are out just when the pansies are wilting in our unusually hot spring weather. I have some lovely smaller red tulips out now too.
I thought I'd get some photos before I go away as they probably won't last until I get back.
One of my groups- Heartstrings are having a block party so I joined in and made some more string blocks using the QAYG method and put them together into a quilt. It uses 9" blocks and put together in a 5x7 top. I broke 4 needles putting this quilt together when I was sewing the blocks together. Luckily I remembered that I had a needle for sewing denim and when I swapped to this one I had no more problems. I must remember to use this next time too.
I love these as they are quilts using scraps you'd normally throw away. I also use the batting scraps in this method so it really is a "Quilt for Nothing" which will keep a child warm.
My flight out was delayed until Monday so I'm using the time to get some more donation quilts finished.
Hugs JJ

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another finish

This is the finished quilt I put together from a donated kit of pieces. I sewed them together and added some more pieces to make the quilt bigger. I love how the yellow sashing ties the different colours together.
I must start weighing things now and start packing my bags. I've received some lovely donations of sewing things to take with me to East Timor and I'm hoping to be able to buy a sewing machine over there to leave for the women.
I've also found out that I'll be staying just opposite a new hospital and very near a medical clinic so I'm hoping to visit there too. I think I'll be helping to kit out and paint a new school. I don't mind what I do as it's a big adventure and the chance to learn more about a new culture.
Cheers, JJ

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More quilts finished

I've been busy finishing up some quilt tops to take on my trip to East Timor. I only have a luggage limit of 20kg so I won't have room for many but better to take some than take more clothes for me.
I'm also finishing off a crocheted blanket and have 3 of them to take with tote bags. They will probably be appreciated too as I will be staying in a cooler part of East Timor.
I hope to get my passport today and I'm still cutting sqs of fabric to take as well as getting some safety pins and buttons.
Better get busy again. Hugs JJ

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Plans Underway

Busy times here!
I spent yesterday with a "hurry up and wait" day while I got all my documentation for my passport. My last one was well out of date and now I have a new one I can see plenty of travel overseas in my future- after all I must get my money's worth mustn't I?
The departure date seems to be flexible as it has gone from 26th Sept to 24th Sept and now probably back to the 26th as 2 members of the group have withdrawn due to illness.
Today I got my vaccinations and I'm going to start weighing quilts to see how many I can take as I have a weight limit of 20kg. Luckily I don't plan on taking many clothes.
I think I'll be staying in the hills in East Timor and it gets cooler at night so I'm also finishing off some crocheted blankets to donate to the children. Also plan to get some sewing kits ready to donate. So much to do!!and so exciting!
Hugs JJ

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Very Exciting News

I have donated over 1,500 quilts to orphanages in East Timor, over the last 5 years. On Friday I was invited to visit East Timor, leaving in 12 days time. What an honour and what a rush to get ready! I have managed to get someone to replace me at work and tomorrow I'm going to Melbourne to get a passport as mine had expired. Then I need to get my innoculations etc this week.
I'm not sure what I'll be doing but I think Rotary are building more orphanages, and it was suggested that I could work with the local women and children, maybe teaching sewing, quilting etc. I have been told that over half the population of one million people is under the age of 15 due to years of civil war. I'm regarding this trip as a way to find out more about how I can help as they are a very new country and very poor.
I am a nurse as well so I need to get a medical kit to take in case I can be of use.
Also I have more quilts to take as well as sewing kits to get ready. So much to do and so exciting! I'll give more updates when I have more news.
Hugs JJ

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More finishes to share

These are the two finished quilts from the quilter's deceased estate as well as the UFO I put together from donated HST's. I seem to be on a roll with finsihing UFO's- both mine and donated ones, at the moment.The bottom one still needs quilting and I hope to get that done soon. Enjoy. Hugs JJ

Weight Loss Wednesday

I have a small brag- I have lost 14 kg (30.8lbs) since I started a weight loss program at the start of June. I am on a diet and go to the gym 3 times a week and feel so much better for the less weight to carry around. I still have about 10kg to go but I'm enjoying having less of me and I've dropped 2 dress sizes so far.
I was also lucky enough to attend a talk on antique quilts by Jan Gessin-Baker. She discussed how young girls were taught to sew and quilt to provide clothes and bedding for the large families they had as well as servants to provide for. They didn't get a doll until they could make a doll quilt and be able to make clothes for the doll. The quilts were lovely and I could have listened to her all day. I've included some photos of the quilts we were shown. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another UFO found

When I excavated the sewing room I found this fabric which had been cut into a kit for a kid's quilt. I started piecing a few sqs a day as I'm busy with my paid job at the moment.
I must get some more kits cut from my stash as it does make it easier to get some blocks sewn together quickly. I usually cut a few and then prepare some more later.
I guess that's a habit from my days of mainly hand appliqueing blocks.
I get inspiration from reading other blogs and see that some of you also prepare kits, so I think I'll get some made up when I get time.
This fabric was donated and will be made into a quilt for donation. Off to work again. Hugs JJ

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Spring At Last

I love this weather we're having as I seem to get so much done. After doing 3 loads of washing I managed to clean out some of my sewing room. Probably it would be more accurate to say that excavation took place. I did manage to unearth some donated UFOs to work on. I also quilted and bound the baby quilt for the family friend. My DD wanted it to be bright and I think this fits the bill!
I also finished another quilt for Quilts Of Love and now I'd better get a pink one done after donating 2 in blue.
The third photo is one of the donated UFOs I found. It's a package of 4.5" half sq triangles which I'm piecing into blocks. I'd only made one until today. I plan to get a top finished tonight and the fabric is lovely in muted colours with some reproduction prints. It will make a very nice donation quilt for a male. Better get back to the sewing. Hope you enjoy the photos.
Cheers, JJ.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A short week

It's hard to know how the week can go so quickly when I have so many things to get done. I've been pulling out UFOs and have managed to finish a knitting UFO- a pair of bed socks which will be sent with others to Pine Ridge Reservation.
I also have too many cross stitch UFOs as well as quilting UFOs. I really need to get busy and finish some off so I can get the shelves cleared for more projects.
I did manage to finish two quilts from the deceased estate donations of last week as well as a baby quilt "Quilts of Love", for neonatal stillborns for the local hospital. Today I'm working on putting a baby quilt together for a family friend in the disappearing nine patch pattern, as well as piecing more 4 patch blocks for another Quilts of Love quilt. As usual so many projects and too little time.
Cheers, JJ