Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Quilts

These are the only Christmas quilts I have now and one isn't really Christmassy but it is mostly red. I used to have one for every bed but when some of the Kosovo people were brought out to Australia for 4 or 5 months we befriended an extended family of 27 plus friends. An Aussie internet friend started a quilt drive from our online group, Southern Cross Quilters, to give a quilt to all 4,000 Kosovo people who came out to Australia. The family we befriended were returning to cold winter conditions and were unsure of whether or not their homes had been looted or damaged so I gave them all the red and green quilts I had made for Christmas quilts so they'd have extra bedding. These two are the only ones I've managed to make since then to replace the ones I gave away. I may make more in the future but I'm sure there will always be a need for more quilt donations so I may not keep these either.
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

Yesterday I was very surprised to receive a letter and certificate informing me that I was nominated for Australian of the Year Award 2010. I'm particularly surprised as if you nominate someone it's a very involved process which requires a lot of information about the person and is given to people well-known in the community for their work for others.
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

Getting Ready...

Well Christmas is fast approaching and I've managed to reclaim the house from the Quilt Invasion. We've sent off all the boxes of rice bags etc and I'm taking a break from making large quilts during the hot weather.
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

I spent most of last week packing boxes of rice bags, cloth shopping bags, school supplies and some extra quilts I've been finishing off. My BIL very kindly provided a truck and driver so I could get them delivered in time to be shipped off to East Timor as well as for the areas devastated by earthquakes. It's been a big job and I'm relieved to have them out of the house so I can reclaim some space before the family comes home for Christmas. We've finished our shopping and I'm enjoying some time to work on hand work while I watch the cricket. We decided to take it easy now that our weather has warmed up so much so the air con is making life comfortable. It's a stark difference between our living conditions and what I experienced in Timor last year where even running water and power were not standardly supplied.
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

Worn Out

I've had a good week with lots of work in taking photos of the quilts donated as well as finishing off many more tops. I've also sorted the two pallets of boxes of quilts, fabric and sewing kits which will be going to the bush fire areas.
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

Applique Anyone?

This time last week I attended my first meeting of an applique group and remembered why I love applique. I have made 3 Baltimore Album quilts and still don't own one as I have given them away. I have also had 25 blocks made and ready to be finished off into a quilt as well as 2 borders for the same quilt. Actually 3 of the blocks just needed a small amount of stitching to get them finished and I think they have been stalled for 10 or 15 years.
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

It's Surprising doing a little adds up to a lot. I've been making these crochet sqs every chance I have, especially when watching TV with DH as I don't have to look at them to get the pattern right.
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.
Hugs Janmac

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

String Quilts

The Danish QAYG blocks from Annette Wandler came together really well and I joined them with red strips. Annette used a floral fabric and strings on half of the squares and they made a very pretty quilt. The other quilt was made from donated squares from several different quilters. They were from sqs which are 15" in size so I didn't need as many to make a quilt and I just had enough so it was meant to be.
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 received a lovely parcel of QAYG blocks and a top for the bush fire areas and couldn't believe that it cam all the way from Denmark. A lady in Western Australia wrote an article about the bush fire appeal for a Danish magazine and as a result one of their readers has sent a parcel of blocks to help. The weather has become very hot lately which is far too early for our summer so I'm happy to be working in the air conditioning instead of being outside.
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

Finally Finished

I'm finally finished with joining the donated knitted scarf pieces and have made 54 blankets from the 240 metres.
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

Yes life rolls on faster than I can blog at the moment. We had a lovely family wedding to attend two weeks ago and it was a wonderful time for our family to get together and celebrate. I've also been on night duty which means sleeping is a priority but I've still managed to get more quilts finished.
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.
Hugs Janmac

Friday, October 16, 2009

Quilts Donated

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 delivered 73 quilts, crocheted blankets, cloth shopping bags and rice bags last week to be shipped off to East Timor. I also picked up large boxes of donated knitted scarves from the entry in the World's Longest Scarf competition. The lady said that there is about 240 yds of scarves. I've started joining them together in strips of 5 to make blankets which are about 42' x 70". They vary in width and length but I've managed to sort them into lengths and colours. So far I've finished 12 and I think I have enough pieces to make 50 blankets.
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 had a lovely time with friends on our recent trip to Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland. The first photo shows the highway which is the beach and we camped just behind the sand dunes so we could hear the waves at night.
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.

Anyway, I hope that you are excited as I am that you have another quilt coming your way."
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 had a knock on the door last night and found a man outside with a trailer- load of quilts. He'd driven down from Alice Springs and called in on his way to Melbourne so he could deliver the quilts that had been made by quilters in Alice Springs (NT). Tia put out a call on her blog campfollowerbags for wonky star blocks and had planned to make 3. The response was so great that she and the Alice Springs quilters made about 100 quilts as well as tops still needing quilting. Tia has flown back to the USA and arranged for this very nice man to deliver them to me.
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 red, black and white quilt was made for a St Kilda supporter from Kinglake and the team is known as "The Saints". This was a team effort by Kaite Matilda from Bathurst and my blocks. As Kaite said they looked like they were matched by us and yet we didn't see what the other person had made until they were put together. Great job Kaite as it looks even better when you see it up close.
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'm still jet lagged from night shift but wanted to get a few more QAYG quilts put together. Kaite M. from NSW had very kindly made half the blocks for a quilt in the St Kilda football team's colours of red, black and white. I made the remainder and finally got them all put together today.
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

Flu Season

It was a productive week with putting QAYG blocks into quilts but sadly the flu season has interrupted my sewing. No I don't have the flu but so many of my colleagues at work have succumbed to the flu that I've had to work extra shifts to help cover. I'm working night shifts this week as it's the hardest shift to cover.
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


I've been busy quilting some of the tops that have been donated for the bush fire appeal and thought I'd better explain what I do with them and hope that no one is disappointed with me. If you've donated a top then please know that I will finish them and they will be used for the bush fire survivors. However as I have had many tops donated without backings, I have had to use some of the simpler scrappy tops as backings. I've also added borders to some of the tops to make them larger. So if you have checked the blog to see if your top has been finished and donated please don't be disappointed if you haven't seen it yet. I've made some of the quilts reversible as shown here and that has made it easier for me to get more quilts made. By using the simpler scrappy tops as backs, it's meant that I haven't had to buy as many backings which has given me more money for batting. Some of the backings have been donated Christmas tops so by using these I'm making a reversible quilt which can be used all year.
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 had a quieter day yesterday as I had an abscess on a tooth and had it extracted yesterday. I slept a lot and feel much better today and DH was looking after me. We were both a couple of lame ducks so when we were visited by two lovely young ladies on their way down to Melbourne we weren't able to properly thank them. They are DDs of a generous lady from Queanbeyan and they brought more quilts and donated goods from the Queanbeyan Quilters in NSW.
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 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.
Jan Mac

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ocean Theme

I've spent the last few days putting more QAYG quilts together and I'll post photos on my other blog soon. Today I decided to get busy making a quilt with an ocean theme for two young men who survived the bush fires.
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.
More tomorrow.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Generous Donation from Heartstrings

These huge boxes containing approximately 900 QAYG blocks arrived from Heartstrings members.
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.
Take care,
Jan Mac

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Next?

It's been a trying week with Ray having major surgery and then my brother's home burning down. We under-estimated the degree to which he was affected too as he still had most of his household contents in his home for the tenants to use. We went to see him yesterday and it was a sad day as we've had many happy family gatherings there and have all been involved in the building process at different stages. There's not much he can do now until the insurance process begins.
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