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