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

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fire Again

Last night my brother's family home was burned down. This is the second time we've been touched by fire as my sister's business, a supermarket in Murchison, was also burned down on May 8th 2003. Both times the fire had not been caused by my family members and yet the devastation still has affected the family.
My brother had tenants in as he had bought a cottage on the coast and they were living there for twelve months and renting their home out to help meet their costs. Most of their possessions had been removed but the result is still horrible as my parents had given him a lot of help to build his mud brick home, and we'd also had some family working bees to construct the first part of the building. The tenant apparently used a fuel container to start the internal wood fire heater. No one was injured but the home is completely destroyed. In a strange act of fate my other brother and his son were returning from umpiring a local football match and they were first on the scene.
No photos to show and we haven't seen the damage yet as Ray wasn't well enough to leave the home yesterday. Like all families we'll give support to my brother and his family and pray that no more fires touch our lives. In the meantime I'm still putting quilts together for Kinglake families.
Hugs Jan Mac

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Home Again

We are home from Melbourne after Ray's surgery and slowly picking up the pieces again. The surgery went well but post-op was a bit harder than we thought it would be and he had to stay in hospital longer than expected. He's very weak and tired but will gradually get better and is sleeping a lot. We really appreciate all your prayers, heart hugs and good wishes and feel very blessed to have had so much support.
Some of you have written to my blog with questions and I have been unable to reply as the email address hasn't worked. If you want to ask me a question please email me at so I can respond.
Carol from Kinglake, can you please email me too so I can get in touch about the scarves and quilts for you. I have been getting some lovely donated hats, gloves and scarves and will be taking them down to Kinglake very soon. I did get some hand sewing done while waiting at the hospital and also have managed to knit 3 scarves. Now I'm putting togther a QAYG quilt using blocks for males. I've started making them 6 x 8 or 60"x 80" to cater for the men and older boys.
The photo is of the ferns which have regenerated on our friend's block in Kinglake and remind me that life may have some major hurdles but we can get over them.
Take care
Hugs Jan Mac

Monday, June 1, 2009

Suitcase Packed

Yes I've packed my case ready for our trip to Melbourne early in the morning. No this isn't for my clothes, like all quilters I have packed my hand sewing first. I bought this little case when I was at the Southern Cross Quilters retreat in Adelaide last month. I couldn't resist it and it's an ideal size for hand sewing and scissors. The hexagons are a new project I've started to use up all the 2.5" squares I swapped for the millennium quilt I was going to make. I enjoy hand piecing so much that it's been a lovely project to work on and I plan to get lots done while I wait for Ray to get out of surgery.
We're off to the Epworth hospital early tomorrow as Ray's surgery will be at 1pm and we'd just like to ask if you could all keep us in your thoughts and prayers for a good outcome. I'll still be working on the quilts for the bush fire appeal and we'll only be away for 1 or 2 nights and then I'll be doing some home nursing.
Just a note for those who are knitting hats and scarves for Kinglake people, their football team wears green and gold so hats in that colour would probably be popular too, as well as using the colours of the AFL teams.
Take care. Jan Mac