My blog where I share my quilting experiences, and my group, Oz Comfort Quilts - quilts donated for those in need of comfort after floods, bushfires, earthquakes, and serious health challenges etc.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
It's just another nice way to bless others with our quilts and if they live in areas where they get snow (which we don't) then they will need them for warmth and not just decoration.
Not much time to report on my blogs this week as we've had visitors non-stop and then we had no internet access.
A couple of the family are going camping with friends for the New Year and I'll write when we return in a few days.
See you next year.
Hugs Jan Mac
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A Huge Honour
It's a huge honour and was totally unexpected so my family are thrilled. I was stunned but really pleased that the letter and certificate was signed by my hero, Adam Gilchrist, a former Aussie cricketer and current Chair of the National Australia Day Council.
I didn't make it to the finals but am very proud to be recognized for all the work I've been doing for others. How many times does a quilter get this recognition? Not very often I would think. I didn't need the award to encourage me to continue to make and donate quilts etc where others are in need but it's a lovely thing to do for someone. I asked the family if this means that living in a quilt factory makes it worth it. They said "almost"! I did manage to pack most of the quilting clutter away for Christmas and had planned to take a break from the donation quilts but managed to make another 2 QAYG quilts, from donated blocks, yesterday.
I don't know who nominated me but just wanted to say a very heart-felt thank you and Christmas blessings to all who have supported me to get the donated quilts where they are needed.
Hugs Jan Mac
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I've been spending time on more hand work and have finished my third block of the Civil War Bride quilt. I'm really enjoying my applique again and plan to prep another block tomorrow.
Our youngest DD has arrived home for the holidays and we've saved putting up and decorating the Christmas tree for her as it's her job each year. I did hang up this wall hanging which is about 15 years old. I won the blocks in a draw at a local quilt shop and am surprised at how my tastes have changed since then. Now I would have used a red and green print for a border and a different fabric for the setting triangles. Anyway it still says It's Christmas!!
Hugs Jan Mac
Thursday, December 17, 2009
More Hand Work
Thanks to all of your generous donations we have been able to make a difference to many others again this year. I'm working on a hexagon quilt which will also be donated. I was going to plan this one but decided to just stitch and allow the process to happen. I passed along a few of these happenstance hexagon quilts this year and they all looked lovely whether or not they were planned with flowers and colour or just done randomly. I also finsihed my second block for the Civil War Bride quilt from Threadbear. Now I need to prep another block.
Hugs Jan Mac
Friday, December 11, 2009
I'm finally up to date with the photos of donated quilts and will load them to my other blog.
In my down time this week I've also been working on my applique and have started a new project- "The Civil War Bride" quilt by Corliss at Threadbear. It's her pattern of the Bird of Paradise quilt and I'll give more details later. Here's the first block and they all have lots of pieces to applique so my fingers are a bit worn this week.
I'm almost ready for Christmas and I'm looking forward to getting together with my family and hoping the weather isn't too hot. The string quilt here was a donated top and I just quilted it.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I spend so much time making and donating quilts that I haven't finished off some of my old UFOs. After being in the company of other applique enthusiasts I've been encouraged to finish off a Baltimore quilt for me, but it will probably go to one of my daughters. Here's the blocks waiting to be trimmed and joined and I have decided to make new borders with a vine and rose pattern as I don't like the other borders I was working on. It's also unlikely that I'll be able to find the right fabric to match for the last 2 borders too so it's better to start them again.
I'm still working with donation quilts and have some more photos to show soon. I also met two lovely ladies from Colleambly with donations for the bush fire areas as well as receiving more boxes of quilts and sewing kits from Wauchope quilters as well as from Tasmania. I'm planning to do some hand sewing though now that the weather is so much warmer and I'll enjoy spending time on stitching the vines on my Baltmiore borders.
Hope you're all going to have some time for you during the festive season.
Hugs Jan Mac
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I use 8 ply yarn or a mixture of lighter weights to make up to 8 ply, and a hook sized 4.5mm. I work them in rounds of 10 and then double crochet them together with sqs set 5 x 7. I surprised myself when I put two together over the week as I found I had enough sqs to make another full blanket and I'm well on the way to having enough for a 4th.
These are all going in the next shipment for people affected by earthquakes in Asia. I'm still quilting and I'll post photos here again soon. Thanks for dropping by.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Deconstructing Quilt Tops
No I haven't taken leave of my senses but I have been taking some donated tops apart and making them bigger so they will be suitable for older children. These tops are really more lovely than the photo suggests and the kids prints are really bright and cute. I have several of these tops which are 32" x 37" and as they have been made by the same person, many of the fabrics are the same so it's not hard to make them look like they were supposed to be larger. I took the borders off 2 tops and then split one of the tops in half and then sewed a half to each end of the other top. Then I made new borders using part of each from the original tops. Clear as mud? Anyway I have made the 2 tops into one which measures 39" x 57" which will be more appropriate for an older child. I have also pieced a backing for it and now just need the weather to cool down a bit so I can get more quilting done.
I hope the donor isn't offended that I have reconstructed the tops but the child who receives it will be thrilled with the lovely prints and it's extra warmth.
Bye for now, Jan Mac
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I never get tired of working with the string blocks and have put a couple more together today so I'll have to post more photos soon. Hugs Jan Mac
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Parcel From Denmark
I'm also working night shift which is fine if I can sleep in the hot weather. At least I can sew near a fan as well to stay cool. I went to Melbourne yesterday for my AQA quilters meeting and it was very hot so I was glad to get home again but it was good to catch up with like-minded friends.
Back to the machine. Bye Jan Mac
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
They took me a month to make and I'm very happy to have them finished as it's getting too hot to have all that warmth on my lap now summer is on its way.
Here's some of them in a stack and they will be ideal for either Timor, Samoa or the hurricane devastated areas in the Phillipines.
I really wanted to get the blankets put together quickly as I want them shipped out where they will be used as soon as possible. I'm also quilting more tops and managed to finish off 8 over the weekend, but have more to get ready for the next shipment.
I also have crocheted blankets to finish off so I'd better get busy again.
Hugs Jan Mac
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Night Duty, Quilts and a Wedding
I did manage to get 12 larges boxes sent off for a shipment to the people affected by the tsunami in Samoa which has cleared my stack of quilts somewhat. They have asked me for as many quilts and blankets as I can send for the areas devastated by earthquakes as well as the tsunami so I've been busy putting together the blankets from the knitted strips shown in my previous blog. I sent off 21 blankets to Samoa and 132 quilts. Luckily I had a lot of quilt tops made from simple squares, which a workmate had sewn together for me so I'm finishing off these to be shipped off for the tsunami and earthquake areas.
I also managed to make another trip down to Kinglake last week and delivered a carload and trailer load of 96 quilts, two sewing machines as well as the remaining sewing supplies and magazines that have been donated. A Kinglake church group is also collecting books for their community to borrow so I cleared out quite a few paperback novels which has helped with my downsizing efforts at home. I also delivered the last of the donated hexagon kits from Hexagons of Hope and the ladies are very happy to have some handwork to do.
I've sent off 305 quilts over the last month and I'm still getting more ready to ship off so I hope to be able to see the floor of our family room soon.
I'll try to get back into my blogging more often now so that you can see that all your generous donations are getting distributed.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Another busy week of getting quilts and knitted blankets finished. I donated 4 large quilts to the local women's refuge and the manager said that they are the envy of the other refuges in the state. The quilts are given to the ladies as they leave their care as a type of graduation gift and they are treasured because it is the first new item they own.
I also packed 132 quilts and sent them to be shipped off to Samoa for the tsunami relief appeal. I also sent off 21 knitted blankets that I've finished from the donated strips of scarves, I've put another 7 together this week and plan to get them sent off ASAP as another shipment will be going overseas to areas badly affected by earthquakes.
I'm uploading more photos on the other blog at Oz Comfort Quilts to show the beautiful quilts that have been donated to the bush fire appeal.
Hugs Jan Mac
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Natural Disaster Areas
I've also been asked to send as many quilts and blankets as I can to be shipped off to Samoa following their tusnami and to the earthquake affected areas in Indonesia. I'm getting at least 2 done a day so I'm hoping to get them finished quickly and given out to where they are needed. I feel blessed to have such a lovely donation of knitted scavres which I can turn into something so useful. They vary but are mostly at least 12" wide so too wide to be used as just scarves.
The disaster areas have affected so many people that it's good to be able to help in some small way. I'm still workign with quilts for the bush fire areas so life is busy.
Hugs Jan Mac
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Back From a Break
We also saw many whales frolicking and splashing off the coast and bascially just relaxed.
It was good for my DH to take a break and feel like he's recovering too.
Since we've been home for a week I've been busy getting another shipment of good ready to go in a shipping container to Timor. We took 15 boxes down on Thursday with crochted blankets, warm clothes school supplies, rice bags, cloth shopping bags and quilts. Many of the items have been donated and the Timorese people really appreciate all the support.
I've also been busy getting more quilts finished and will post more photos ASAP.
Hugs Jan Mac
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Busy Times and More Donations
So much for my blogging updates! As well as working night duty I've been busy with family illnesses. My Dad has lost half his vision in one eye so that involved a rush trip to Melbourne to The Eye and Ear Hospital. We were hoping it would be correctable with surgery but unfortunately there is nothing to be done so we came home again at 3am. Then I was up at 10am to drive back to Melbourne to look after my DD who had the flu. I've managed to finish off some quilts but no photos yet so I'll show you the beautiful queen sized quilt that a group from Henty (NSW) made for the bush fire survivors.
Juanita Eime organized the group and sent the photos which show how much fun they had while making this lovely quilt. They used Bonnie Hunter's (Quiltville) pattern.
Juanita wrote:"The quilt was displayed at the local school for a couple of days (they gave us free access to the school to use for our craft group to create the quilt) and then it will go on Sunday to our local church so that the members who contributed fabric and their time in the early stages can see the finished product, then will spend some time at our local craft shop that gave us the queen sized batting to put into the quilt, and then it will go on display at the local casserole luncheon. There are so many people who have been involved with this quilt and we thought that this would be the best way for most of them to get to see it before it goes off to it’s new family.
I’m excited. The quilt is scrappy, but is very lovingly made and has been an amazing community effort including contributions of sewing by a 9yr old girl (my daughter), artistic input to arrange the blocks from a 12yr old boy (who also had lots of fun with the sample sandwiches for the machine quilting workshop that I ran one night to teach the ladies how to use their ordinary sewing machine to quilt a block. He actually can machine quilt now!), and we have had contributions of fabric from a wide range of people and sewing from others. It has really brought people together, and has helped to take the focus of our small community away from the drought and focus on helping others in need. We’ve been surprised by how this design came together and actually all love the quilt ~ so it will be given with much love. There was one lady involved who has sewn most of her life, but this is her first quilt and she has been involved in the process from beginning to end. I am so pleased for her. It has taken our group 5 get togethers at various times. I’ve been coordinating the quilt, and studying full time externally this year and have 4 children (9,7,5,2) to chase after! Completing the quilt has been a wonderful way to unwind after my exams this past semester.
As you can see, making quilts has brought many communities together to help the bush fire survivors and they love to read the stories about their quilts' history.
Thank you for all your many donations.
Hugs Jan mac
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Over a Week
I can't believe that it's been over a week since I last posted here. The time is going quickly with work and family commitments as well as putting more quilts together.
I'm mainly working with the donated QAYG blocks and have been very surprised that so many of you have been able to find their blocks in the quilts that are finished. I've made so many that I often can't remember which ones I've done.
I received a lovely phone call yesterday from a lady at Kinglake who had received one of the quilts. She wanted you all to know that your generous donations have helped with their recovery.
I think I have almost reached all the people who are still living in the area when I deliver the last lot of quilts to one of the schools for the parents who lost their homes. Then it will be harder to reach those who have moved and won't be returning to the area. I'm relying on hearing about them from other community members so we can get the quilts out to those who still need them.
On a family note, I did have a chuckle last night as our DS was talking about starting a vegetable garden and growing the vegetables that he and his housemates enjoy eating. He also loves using lemons in a lot of his cooking and suggested that he grow a lemon tree in a pot so he could take it with him if he moves. He didn't want to commit to waiting a few years until it bears fruit, so I suggested that he not get a pet if he thinks a lemon tree is too big a commitment.
I think it's a generational thing and I'm sure that many of you can relate.
Hugs until next time. Jan Mac
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Another 14 Quilts
I posted off another 14 quilts last week as well as more knitted beanies that had just arrived. I know the people will really appreciate them as they are still in a state of shock in some ways and are not always able to make decisions about what they need. You can still see the effects of post- traumatic stress and some are becoming worried about facing another summer of bush fires and they can even tell you how long before summer is here again.
I've been busy with extra shifts at work again thanks to the flu season and have been putting quilts together in any spare moments.
Just after our last trip to deliver quilts we heard about many more families who haven't received quilts yet so I am getting more ready for another delivery ASAP.
Many thanks for all your help and donations.
Hugs Jan Mac
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
220 Quilts Delivered
We visited Kinglake again last Friday and delivered 220 quilts. We had to pack them on the roof rack as well as taking a trailer to hold all the boxes. Luckily it was a beautiful sunny day and no sign of rain so the quilts stayed dry.
The photo shows one of the beautiful quilts made by the quilters of Alice Springs (NT) and they have all been delivered to their new homes now. We also took down sewing supplies as well as all the lovely knitted and crocheted garments and the people are very appreciative of all your generous donations.
When we got home I heard of more people who are returning to the areas, who haven't yet received quilts so I'm busy getting the next delivery ready. I've been busy with paid work as well so I plan to sit and rest tonight and start again tomorrow.
Hugs and thanks for all your help and donations. Jan Mac
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
An Explosion of Quilts
I've been busy getting them photographed as we are taking more quilts and sewing supplies, as well as donated warm garments, down to Kinglake on Friday. This is the first time we've been able to go out for a quilt delivery since Ray's surgery and I have found homes for the next shipment of quilts we're taking and also a church who can help with storage for a short time while they contact people to select a quilt.
It takes time to find people who have lost their homes and some have moved away so I'm posting off quilts to them as I obtain their addresses. I also want to say a very big thank you to the lovely quilters who have made this possible and also to those who have donated money which has helped with postage costs.
As you can see there has been an explosion of quilts and I need to get them sorted and boxed up ready for delivery.
Thank you all for making this possible.
Hugs Jan Mac
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Oh When The Saints
The other QAYG quilt was made for a young man who lost his girlfriend in the fires. Anne Bennett from Melbourne had donated QAYG blocks suitable for a male. I needed some with an ocean theme and she had used the ocean fabric as the back of some of her QAYG blocks so I used them and made a reversible quilt. I think he'll love it and I've been making QAYG quilts larger with sets of 6 x 8 for the men.
Time for work again.
Hugs Jan Mac
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Time to be Creative
I didn't have enough black strips for joining the blocks together but did find a large piece of gold fabric with celestial figures on it. Luckily the gold seemed to be painted on the black fabric and when I used the wrong side of the fabric it read as "black" so it was perfect to finish off the binding and you can't tell the difference from the black homespun I also used. I love the finished quilt as the colours are really striking and thanks to Kaite we got another one finished for a Kinglake family of St Kilda supporters.
Now to get another queen sized one finished. Hugs Jan Mac
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Hopefully I'll stay flu-free as well and get back to my quilting when I catch up on sleep.
The photo is of the most used quilt we have. It's made in the style of an old-fashioned wagga, using flannel for the backing and I bought woolen shirts and a sweater from the op shop. I pieced them together in a simple pattern of strips and it's about 15 years old. It's the quilt I used for the kids when they were sick as it was fairly indestructible. It became their favourite and it's still nice and cuddly so I slept under it after my tooth extraction last week.
I'm working again tonight and probably tomorrow night so I'll have more photos to post after that.
Take care, Jan Mac
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Please don't be offended too if I've added borders or made the tops larger by adding more blocks as it isn't because anything was wrong with the top but just so I can get more large quilts made and donated as that is what we are needing at the moment. It's easier to make a top larger and I've been working on those as well as more queen sized quilts from the QAYG blocks.
I really appreciate all the very generous donations which has made it possible to distribute so many quilts to date and I'm working hard to get more finished and donated, especially as winter is really upon us here.
Stay warm and I hope to show all the tops as they are finished so you can see what happens to the donations.
Hugs Jan Mac
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
A Quieter Day
I'll get photos of the quilts posted on my other blog ASAP and in the meantime here's a photo of one of the quilts I finished from donated blocks from the USA members of Heartstrings.
I plan to get back to sewing later today all being well.
Take care and thanks to all of you for your ongoing support.
Hugs Jan Mac
Saturday, June 20, 2009
A Surprise Find
I bought the New Zealand Quilter magazine last week and was very pleased to find an article about the wonderful response of New Zealand's quilters to making quilts for the Victorian bushfire appeal. They have made and sent quilts to the Victorian Quilters' Guild in Melbourne, to be distributed by them.
I was very surprised to find my name and blog details at http://ozcomfortquilts.blogspot.com listed at the end of the article as a contact to also send quilts to be distributed to the people affected by the tragic bush fires.
I wasn't aware that this news had also reached New Zealand but I do want to sincerely thank whoever wrote the article and reached more quilters about the ongoing need for more quilts. Yes we have given out a lot already but there are still many more who have yet to receive a quilt. I've spent today putting a queen sized quilt together from the blocks sent by the Heartstrings members from the USA and have taken a break to give my shoulders and neck a rest. Tomorrow I'll try to show a photo of more finished quilts on the other blog.
Once again a big thank you to everyone who has passed the word along via blogs and the internet, as the huge response is as a result of this information getting out to people who care enough to help.
Hugs to all.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I was given a panel of whales and dolphins but decided to make it bigger by making a "piano keys" border in blues. I wanted them to be a bit more special and I need to make another one which will be similar but different as the men they I am making them for are brothers.
I hope they appreciate my attempt to make them a quilt which is specific for their interests. I'll work on the other one tomorrow and then get them quilted. I have less panels for the next quilt so I plan to piece more blocks to match with them. I also have been sorting through my fabric scraps for more blues to make the next quilt and it's surprising how many blues I have which were suitable for males. Luckily many of them were donated so I was able to get a lot of variety for the strings.
Hugs, Jan Mac
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Generous Donation from Heartstrings
I am just overwhelmed at such a generous donation from quilters in the US. It will make it so much easier to make quilts for the bush fire survivors.
I have just spoken to one of the teachers in Kinglake who appeared in the TV interview with me, and she said that the weather has been very cold and the people are very grateful for the quilts. She is also giving out knitted hats and scarves I've had donated and she said that despite everything she is able to stay positive because she has been able to help us to give out quilts to her community. I think that people are more receptive to Chris as she also lost everything and people are suspicious of strangers as there have been looters on the burned out properties.
I'm very grateful for her help as well as all the help I've received from around the world with donations of quilts, tops and blocks. Together we can make a difference.
Hugs Jan Mac
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Snow at Kinglake
We've been hit with a sudden onset of cold weather and they've even had snow at Kinglake. I can't imagine how they are managing while living in tents and caravans. Many are determined to live on the site of their burned out homes so they can focus on rebuilding as well as protect the little they have managed to accumulate again.
There have been some lovely donations of knitted and crocheted hats, scarves and gloves so I sent off a large box to a new found friend at Kinglake and she will give them out with the quilts she's distributing.
We had a big day yesterday with a Doctor's appointment in Melbourne. The area of cancer was greater than originally thought but the professor was confident that he'd removed it all. Now it's just a matter of Ray slowly returning to his normal good health. He won't need chemo which is a relief and we are very grateful for all your lovely messages of support and prayers.
I have still been putting QAYG blocks togther into quilts and hope to get my production back into full swing again soon when my home nursing duties lessen. There were more parcels to pick up today and I'll post more photos on the other blog site soon.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Ray wasn't well after going over to see the devastation and moving around so much wasn't good for him so he's having a quiet day today and hope that things settle down again. I was intending to make him a red and black QAYG quilt before his surgery as he's a keen Essendon supporter. I'm planning on making him one of blocks set 6 x8 and need to get busy making more blocks. I've been working on bushfire quilts instead. My brother is also a keen Essendon supporter so it looks like I'll have to make another one for him.
I know that we need to learn from life's challenges but the lesson from all of this is yet to come to me. I guess we already knew to value our health and we're hoping that Ray will be able to return to good health again. As for the fire, at the moment I think I need to remember to forgive when people make stupid mistakes. I'm not there yet but I'll try.
Back to putting another QAYG set together to keep me focused on others.
Hugs Jan mac