Sunday, January 31, 2010

Month End Total

I finished the month with a better stashbusting total than I'd thought. I had about a week away in total but still managed to make:
3 skirts
14 pillowcases
12 quilts
4 PJ pants and 1 PJ top
1 pr boxer shorts
7 bags
and overall I used up 118.35 yards of fabric from my stash. So I'm ahead at the moment as I'd only pledged to use up 100 yards for the year. Then I thought I'd try for 50 yards a month so I'm very happy with my progress.
Yesterday and today are work days but I still managed to make 7 more pillowcases to donate as well as cutting more out.
I made most of them today as yesterday I was surfing the net to find accommodation in Houston while the Quilt Show is on in early Nov. I'll have to use up much more stash before I go as I can see a big fabric buying exhibition ahead of me.
Better get off to work to pay for the trip.
Hugs Jan Mac

Friday, January 29, 2010

Maybe There Was...

Here I was saying that I don't have enough time but I did manage to quilt 3 tops yesterday before I went to work and today I bound 4 quilts, made a bag and also a large bag for some of our camping equipment. Altogether I used up 32.75 yards of fabric and here's one of the quilts which was made of simple squares of fabric.
I also bound the edges of a towel to give it a longer life and made 3 hand towels from a towel which was in good condition but had a stain on it. These will be used to make health kits to be donated.
So I guess you could say that I've made progress. I have work again over the weekend but I plan to make some pillowcases and then total my stash busted for this month. Despite going away for several days I think I will have almost reached my year's total of 100 yards already. If not, there's always next month.
Hugs Jan Mac

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not Enough Time

Yes I know we all have the same number of hours in our day but at times I wish for more.
We went camping with a great group of friends for 5 days and spent most of the time laughing.
Today was a day of catch up with the washing and sorting out of camping gear to be done.
My next week is going to be busy with work but I do hope to get some time for quilting as well. If not there's always another day for that.
I enjoy our camping trips and time to chat and catch up on my reading too so we are planning another trip soon.
I hope to have some finished quilts to show you soon.
Cheers, Jan Mac

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Still Sewing

Our youngest DD modelled two of the skirts I've made while she's been home on holidays. I made the red and white one yesterday in between attending to family things. I'm still planning on getting some quilts finished but other things have taken precedence this week. I did manage to bust another 2 yards of stash and I'm pleased with the overall result for this month. I do have some more scarves and hats to show in as future blog and another crocheted blanket is almost finished. I'm getting a scarf made each day at the moment and it's been a good portable project that I can work on while I'm waiting at appointments etc.
Tomorrow we're viewing a retirement unit for my Dad so I'd better get a quilt done tonight as tomorrow will be busy for most of the day.
Take care, Jan Mac

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Still Not Quilting

I was going to quilt but instead I made some tote bags for Pine Ridge Reservation. These will go to foster kids so they have something to carry their belongings in. I think one of the most demeaning things to do to someone is to have them carry their belongings in plastic bags.
It's a pet peeve of mine and I can remember seeing an elderly man interviewed after Hurricane Katrina and all he wanted was a carry bag for his few belongings instead of using the plastic bag they were handing out. I had a donation of furnishing fabric so I decided to use it up in tote bags for a good cause. I also made a couple of pencil cases with a zippered top and will send them all together with some kid's friendly pillowcases for kids in foster care.
I've also been making and donating tote bags for the Timorese as they only had very friable plastic bags to carry their items to market and if they got a hole in them then they lost their rice.
We take these small things for granted so if you have the time and some fabric just make some tote bags or draw string bags for one of these worthy causes and do a little to make life a little easier for other women and their kids. I look on it as a good way to bust more stash. I used up another 5 yards on the bags.
Bye for now, Jan Mac

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Not Just Quilting

I've managed to bust 38 yards of stash over the past few days. Yesterday I bound 5 quilts, and put a QAYG quilt together as well as making backings for 2 quilts. Today was very productive as I made 2 pairs of sleep pants in flannel material, as well as PJs for an 8 year old and a pair of cord pants for a toddler. They will all be donated to Pine Ridge Reservation for kids in foster care.
If you're interested check out
Luckily all of this fabric has come from my Magic Cupboard, but I think I'm out of flannel now and when I went to buy some on sale at Spotlight at $2 a Yard, they'd already sold out. If anyone has any they want to donate, I'm happy to sew the pants and pass them on to a good cause.
Back to quilts again tomorrow.
hugs Jan Mac

Friday, January 15, 2010

Heat Wave Over.. and Now Quilting

We had temps of 112F (44.5C) plus for four days at the start of the week and apart from my paid job I didn't get much done unless it could be done in front of air conditioning. Thank goodness that's gone for now and there were no bush fires here as we were warned it was a catastrophic fire warning day. I did manage to finish one crocheted blanket and I have almost made enough squares for another one, as well as crocheting 4 more scarves for Pine Ridge, with wool from my Magic Cupboard. I finally got 4 more quilts finished from tops and I started another UFO of mine which is shown here. When Ray had surgery for cancer in June, lovely quilters from my online group sent him hearts in balck and red for his favourite football team- Essendon. I've started to put them together and will show more photos soon.
I was also told that I had been nominated as a generous crafter on the blog- Sew Mama Sew. Fifteen of us were nominated by many blog readers so thank you to all who voted. Three of us in the final fifteen had all worked together to make quilts for the bush fire appeal here in Victoria. The other two lovely quilters are Tia, (Camp Follower Bags) who was based at Alice Springs at the time of the fires and she made quilts from hundreds of star blocks donated from around the world. Tia is now back in the US. Mary (Heartstrings) was also nominated and she organized and sent me 3 hugs boxes of QAYG blocks from quilters in the US.
So I was very happy that we were all able to work together for such a good cause. I'm now getting a shipment of quilts ready for areas devastated by earthquakes. Take care. Jan Mac

Sunday, January 10, 2010

One for me and one for ...

I finished off a UFO from April 2009 and used up 9 yds for this quilt. I also put another QAYG quilt together which used 11 yds and 2 pillowcases which was another 2 yards. So far this month I've used up 31.6 yds of stash which is a good start. It's an approximation as I weigh the items to calculate the yardage used as most of my quilts are made from scraps and it's not easy to keep track of what I've used. The UFO was a signature swap from my Aussie online group, Southern Cross Quilters, and the blocks were swapped at our Adelaide Retreat in April 2009. I have another retreat with them in May this year so I thought I'd better get last year's quilt finsihed first.
The previous retreat was in Perth 2008 and I finished that quilt a few days after I returned home but quilts for the bush fire appeal in 2009 have taken precedence for last year's quilting. I seem to do better with finishing off my own UFOs at the start of the year so I need to get anoither one done before I get more requests for donation quilts. The quilt was made no larger than 48" wide as I have a quilt hanger which takes that size. I usually have darker fabric foir borders as I like how it "frames" a quilt but this time I used a lighter batik as I wanted this one to have a summer feel to it. There were only 73 blocks so I made an extra 4 and scattered them throughout the quilt.
Today,I also made 2 pillowcases, one from poly cotton from the "magic" cupboard, and the other from the sea shell dress fabric, so that's another 2 yds used. If I keep this up I may get 100 yds used for January.
Check back and see how I'm progressing...
Hugs Jan Mac

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Friday Finish

I didn't get my quilt finished but I did put a pair of boxer shorts together. They are for a child and will go to Pine Ridge. I made them from scraps I found in my "magic Cupboard". I think I like that idea Kaite!
It used another .6 yds of stash so it counts as stash busting. Today I quilted my UFO that I mentioned before but I still have a hanging sleeve and the binding to do so that will be tomorrow's task.
I'm off to my paid job now but at least I managed to get some sewing done.
More tomorrow.
Hugs Jan Mac

Friday, January 8, 2010

What was I thinking...

Yesterday I put a top together from a signature swap I did at the Southern Cross Quilters Retreat in April 2009. I'll show a photo when it's finished and as I'm working for the next couple of days it probably won't be done until next week now.
However while I was searching through my cupboard for backing fabric for my UFO, I found this dress which was almost finished and just needed the skirt to be sewn on and facings done for the neckline.
I have no recollection of even making this dress and think it may be 20 years old. What were we thinking in the 80's? The fabric is cotton and I am de-constructing the dress to make it into something else. I may make pillowcases if there's enough fabric. Either way this is one old UFO that will be gone soon. I have more to excavate from that cupboard too. When the Kosovo refugees were brought here in the mid 90's I pulled all my fleecy fabric out of that cupboard and my lovely Mum made 80 pairs of tracksuits and PJs. It's time to empty that cupboard again now and then I'll realluy be busting some stash. LOL!
More later, Jan Mac

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Tuesday I made 4 more pillowcases so I've made 5 so far and used some Aussie fabric for some of them. Then yesterday I made my youngest DD two skirts for her to wear to work. I must take a photo when she's wearing them. It's a simple flared skirt pattern which makes up quickly and the pattern was originally one of my Mum's. It's her birthday today and she passed away 3 years ago on 11th Jan and she was a very good dressmaker and used to make the grand daughter's formal and evening dresses. That's the only dressmaking I've been doing lately too as I spend all my time on quilting. However I have a cupboard full of dressmaking fabric so I'm going to sew up some kids' clothes with it and donated them to Pine Ridge Reservation in the US. There is a drive on for PJs and I'm going to make some flannel pants for the teens and reduce my fabric stash.
So far I've used up 5 yds for the pillowcases and 4 yds for the skirts as well as a QAYG quilt so I'll have to calculate the fabric used for that as I'm on a mission to use up 100 yds of my stash. I'm actually hoping to use much more but wanted to set a goal to reach and then set another goal. I didn't want to over-reach as I won't be doing any sewing while we travel. Now I have some baby pants cut out and ready to sew as well as one of my UFOs to put together. I also bought6.5 yds of fabirc yesterday so I'm barely ahead with using the stash but plan to get all of that used ASAP, or at least I can try.
Hugs and see you later. Jan Mac

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The First of Many

There has been a challenge to make one million pillowcases and donate them to various charities. I think it was first mentioned on Better Homes and Gardens but that good be incorrect. Our lovely Heartstrings leader, Mary, put up a very good tutorial on how to make them on her blog at
I'm going to make some for Quilts of Valour which Alycia, another Heartstrings member, is co-ordinating, as well as some to donate to children at Pine Ridge Reservation.
The first one was so easy that it's going to be the first of many. I used some poly cotton I had and it will be a great way to use up some stash. I didn't add the contrasting strip mentioned in the pattern but I will if the fabrics are a bit plainer and a decorative stitch would also look good.
I've also pulled some fabric out to make tote bags to donate and I'm enjoying a change from the quilts although I did get another QAYG quilt finished today.
There has been so much positive talk about Kindles on one of my Aussie online lists that my DH has ordered one for my birthday so that will be fun to play with and I'll be able to go back to listening to books while I sew.
I'm catching up with my sister today for coffee as now that our lovely Mum has passed we try to make more time for each other and keep our families connected.
Hugs Jan Mac

Monday, January 4, 2010

A New Start

We had a lovely couple of days away camping with our group of 4 WD friends. It poured with rain and we had thunderstorms and lightening for 2 of the 3 nights we were away. We didn't mind as it mainly rained at night and we really need the rain, but the strength of the storm was more than we'd ever experienced before. Luckily our camper trailer stood up to it well and we didn't get wet at all. We came home yesterday and the weather was perfect but we'd decided to come home to watch Australia play Pakistan in the cricket.
I've also been putting more QAYG quilts together and have crocheted 4 scarves for Pine Ridge Reservation, while watching TV. I also plan to make some pillowcases for different charity groups and send a quilt to Alycia for Quilts of Valor for wounded soldiers.
I'm not making resolutions as I work at the donation things every chance I get so I know I'll be productive without putting too much pressure on myself.
Lets hope we don't have the devastation of bushfires and loss of life like 2009, and I hope we are blessed with a safe and happy year for 2010.
Hugs Jan Mac