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.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
A Frosty Morning
Yesterday I delivered another 16 quilts to Rochester via Lesley Lowe who very kindly came over to pick them up. She also brought another lovely child's quilt (shown on my other blog) as well as lots of fleecy material, 20 knitted beanies, a scarf and more lovely cloth bags.
I had hoped to send lots of boxes up to Qld today but the truck broke down and won't be going this week. The good news is that this will give me more time to finish more quilts, blankets and scarves.
I also received a very large pile of more QAYG blocks and 3 beanies from Stephanie Driel (WA) and I also managed to finish another crocheted blanket (still some orange yarn left, LOL) as well as 4 more scarves.
Time to get some more things finished.
Hugs, Jan Mac
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Now Where Was I?
It's been a busy week with paid work intruding into my sewing time and I'm sorry that I've neglected my blog a bit. I've been working on sewing the flannel squares into 9 patches for backing blocks for QAYG blocks whenever I'd had some time and I've also managed to finish off a few more QAYG quilts and have shown more photos on my other blog.
I also received 13 more lovely beanies knitted by Jenni S. and Sophia F. (Vic) and they will be on their way this week to a group in Qld who are helping the homeless who have been displaced by the floods. I have also been busy getting quilts ready to send to them for distribution and will give an update of the numbers very soon.
I've also included a report from the group who have been distributing the items to the homeless in Brisbane (Qld) as I think it helps to know what is needed and can be used by those who need some help with quilts and warm garments. I'm also including another part of the report on my other blog.
I don't have many "special stories" to share but I helped one young man with a beautiful little boy in a pusher. Baby's name was William and he will be one next week. Dad has full custody of him, don't know why, but they are living in a car at present as he can't find any rental accommodation. all dad originally wanted was a blanket for William because "the car is getting colder and colder". Well William ended up with a couple of blankets, jumpers, some child's socks/bed socks; beanie, toys etc etc. Dad asked if he could keep a toy aside to give to William for his birthday next week as he couldn't afford to buy him anything "nice" for his birthday.
Dad brought William back to me later to show me that William had had his first ever haircut. So cute, but I noticed Dad had also had a haircut and was looking pretty good himself, and he was thrilled when I mentioned it! It was difficult to get Dad to take anything for himself, all he wanted was things for Will. He did tell me that since he has had William, he does not smoke, drink or do drugs, everything "has to be just perfect for William". He wasn't saying that because he thought that's what I wanted to hear, it was very obvious that he would walk over hot coals for his son. But I did get Dad to take a beanie, scarf for himself by telling him "if you get sick because you are cold, who is going to look after William"? He hadn't thought of that before!
My other "special" was a lady who told me she was 77. Had been on the streets for 9 months then got upset, so didn't ask her any questions as to why etc. She had a battered old pull along trolley with her, that held all her possessions. I did ask whether she had a "permanent" place in a park or whatever but she said No, because once she stayed 3 nights in the same place and the police moved her on and she was so upset because never had she been in trouble with the police before. So every day she just moves around the city/Valley area looking for something "with a roof" where she can stay, but even most of the hostels etc are full. I asked if she slept in parks mainly or what and she said she would normally find somewhere where there were lots of bushes and she slept in amongst the bushes! I thought as much as I had noticed some dead twigs sitting in her hair. But such a well spoken, very quietly spoken lady. I seriously think she was probably originally from a "well to do" background and whatever has happened to her has brought her to this stage.
She was so grateful for even a scarf...kept saying "are you sure, dear'? I loaded her up with a blanket, couple of beanies, scarves etc. Would have love to have given her a jumper but they were all gone by that stage!
The newspaper report yesterday said that on any night there are 45,000 young people who are homeless and 25,000 families. It's not usually seen by most of us and I think it's shameful that we give so much to other countries but fail to look after our own communities.
Sorry that's my rant for the day and I'm off to finish another crocheted blanket as the nights are cold and I'm grateful for my warm and comfortable chair, with a good light and food and a warm cup of tea whenever I need one.
I feel very grateful that so many of you feel the same and support these quilt appeals as well as with your lovely knitting.
Warm hugs, Jan Mac
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
More Bits and Pieces
I can't see any improvement in the amount of scraps yet though so I'd better keep at it. Surely eventually I'll make a difference.
Hugs Jan Mac
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Bits and Pieces
The last photo shows a 1940s star quilt top that I'm quilting. I love to finish off other people's UFOs and make them into something useful and this is one of the vintage tops I bought some years ago. I took the afternoon off from the Comfort quilts and have been working on quilting this top. I plan to finish it tomorrow and then will show a photo when it's bound. I have more QAYG quilts on the go too so will soon have more to show on my other blog.
In the meantime I'm crocheting another blanket from more bits and pieces of yarn and taking a break from the sewing machine tonight.
Hugs, Jan Mac
Friday, May 20, 2011
The End of the Week.
I also received a parcel of 8 lovely QAYG blocks from Wendy Cross (NSW) and they will all be used to make more quilts to donate on your behalf.
I've had a busy week with paid work too but I have managed to finish off more quilts and will show more photos on my other blog soon. I'm also working on another crocheted blanket for the homeless and it's a great way to use up lots of bits and pieces of yarn.
Once again thank you all for your help with these projects which are helping so many in need.
Love, Jan Mac
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I received a lovely box from Diny Negrijn-Peren of Holland and she sent 48 lovely string pieced blocks, some lovely head scarves and a beautiful card with a photo of Dutch clogs.
Lesley Cole from the UK sent some orphan blocks as well as 32 QAYG blocks.
Delys Rogers (WA) has again sent a lovely quilt top, backing and binding as well as a lovely knitted beanie.
Maureen Hume (UK) sent another parcel containing another lovely quilt top, backing and binding and the last photo shows another crocheted blanket I've finished and made from donated yarn. The blanket is folded in half but as you can see the "toxic" orange/yellow yarn lingers on but I think I've almost used it up now.
The weather is much colder here at night now and we've had quite a lot of rain so I'm enjoying the sun today while I finish off more bindings on quilts. You can see the recent finishes on my other blog and more will be posted there soon.
Many thanks for your help with this quilt appeal.
Love, Jan Mac
Sunday, May 15, 2011
A Day Off
There was also a speaker who shared her family's Welsh antique quilts and it was lovely to see them up close.
I also visited Threadbear, my favourite patchwork shop which just happens to be situated in Castlemaine and as we ate lunch there I just happened to fall in love with a few reproduction fabrics that just had to come home with me.
I spent the day hand stitching the 12 piece pie blocks and more feathered stars so I'll have more progress to share with you soon.
It was a lovely day and gave me a chance to work on my own projects which may or may not be donated in the future.
In the meantime I have a crocheted blanket to finish off.
More later, Hugs, Jan Mac
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I received more beautiful donations of crocheted blankets and draw string bags from Margo Barber (Tas) and she also sent 2 beautiful quilts which will be shown on my other blog. I also received a very large box containing a quilt and a large stack of QAYG blocks from Vireya Jacquard. She has been very busy working with the Sussex neighbourhood house and the Moreland City Council (Vic) as well as a Multi-cultural Women's sewing group from the Brunswick Baptist church to make a huge number of blocks again.
I also received 5 parcels from Maureen Hume and the Camberley U3A Patchwork Quilters from the UK and they have sent 2 lovely quilts as well as 2 lovely quilt tops, backing and bindings. Maureen read about the quilt appeal in the UK magazine Popular Patchwork and the quilts are wonderful and will be shown on my other blog.
I also received a letter containing fabric strips for more QAYG blocks from Fran Smith of Canada and a large parcel of fabric for bindings from Maria Goodwin of Qld.
I also sub-contracted again by sending Cat in New Zealand 5 quilt tops which she is quilting and donating to Christchurch. She received some backing fabric and batting and very kindly offered to quilt the tops which was a big save on postage for me. Please check out the quilts on Cat's blog as she has done a lovely job with them, despite having the flu.
Hearing about the great need for warm garments and blankets/quilts has encouraged me to keep working to get more finished so I haven't taken any time to work on my project this week and will have to make some time very soon, although as my project is a "nice to have done" and not a "will keep someone warm quilt" it is hard to put aside the more urgent quilts.
Time for bed,
Hugs, Jan Mac
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I received another 8 beanies from Jenni S. and Sophia F. (Vic) and they are very kindly knitting up a lot of the donated wool for the homeless. I also received another large bag of wool from Kaite Matilda and her friend from NSW and it will soon be knitted or crocheted into squares for blankets and then donated.
I also received a lovely parcel of 12 QAYG blocks and fabric for binding from Lynn White (WA) and all of these donations make it so much easier to donate more items.
I regard all these helpers as sub-contractors who make it possible to make use of all the donations as quickly as possible. There's no point in having quilts, or fabric and knitting yarn in the cupboard when it could be used for keeping someone warm. I even use left-over tapestry yarn to crochet into squares for blankets and the smallest amount is still useful. I also combine thinner yarns and unravelled wool for crocheting into blankets and as the weather is becoming colder, they will be especially welcomed by the homeless.
Thank you all for you help.
Hugs, Jan Mac
Monday, May 9, 2011
Happy Mother's Day
I also managed to finish off 4 more scarves and a beanie with a fancy cable, and they will all be going to Qld for the homeless.
I also received 21 beautiful QAYG blocks from Anne Brennan, S Edwards and the Morwell (Vic) quilters as well as 10 fabulous beanies made by Ann Birch (Vic).
These lovely donations will all be so welcomed by the people who are now homeless due to the floods in Qld and I'll be sending them on their way very soon.
The last photo shows our youngest DD's new kitten, Buffy. She certainly livens up the household and I've had to rescue quite a few balls of wool from her while I'm knitting. It was quite strange not to have a kitten pounce on the ball of wool today.
It was a lovely weekend and although I wasn't able to finish off any quilts while I was helping my DD make her quilt, I did manage to finish off a few more knitted items.
I hope you all had a lovely weekend too.
Hugs Jan Mac
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Backings and Bindings
I've included an article from the Sydney Morning Herald which discusses the causes of homelessness. The people who were affected by the floods in Brisbane and nearby suburbs have been doubly affected as the resultant lack of rental properties has caused more people to be homeless than prior to the floods, and this is especially true for families who can't find rental properties and are living in their car or staying with friends or family. I can't imagine how hard this would be for an extended period of time.
Families are the city's hidden homeless
Jessica IrvineMay 3, 2011
Women... just as likely to be homeless as men.
The number of homeless families in Sydney has risen alarmingly, says a report out today.
Families are the hidden face of homelessness, making up between a quarter and one-third of Australia's homeless population, says the Wesley Mission, which provides crisis accommodation to about 500 people each night.
Contrary to the popular image of homeless people as male, single and sleeping on the streets, the report, based on interviews with 50 homeless families, finds that just 7 per cent of Sydney's homeless sleep rough, with the rest in crisis accommodation or ''couch surfing'' with family or friends.Women are just as likely to be homeless as men, and mother with children make up more than half of all homeless families.
"Alarmingly, the population of homeless families is on the rise," Wesley Mission's chief executive, the Reverend Keith Garner, said.
''They are in our suburbs, sleeping on the floor in a relative or friend's house, sleeping in their car, living in a refuge after they've left a violent partner, sitting patiently at Centrelink trying to arrange emergency accommodation or living with their three kids in a motel room until a vacancy comes up on the long waiting list for public housing.''
Domestic violence is the No.1 cause of homelessness in families, followed by relationship breakdown or divorce.
"They're mostly young, more often than not women, and are almost always accompanied by young children,'' Dr Garner said.
This was worrying because there is a strong intergenerational link to homelessness: more than half of the adults in the 50 homeless families surveyed for the report had been homeless as children. Children raised in homeless families often became ''socialised'' by the experience, repeating the pattern as adults.
"It is clear from these results that having a parent who has been homeless is a significant predictor of being homeless as an adult," the report says.
''Poverty and alcohol are also common links, with more than half having had parents who had financial problems and issues with alcohol abuse."
Of children aged more than 10 in the families surveyed, six in 10 had been arrested or incarcerated, compared with just 1 per cent of all children aged 10 to 17.It's hard to believe that so many people are homeless and I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to try to raise a family without a permanent dwelling to live in. How would you provide a safe environment and good food when you haven't the means to cook or even keep your self clean while living on the streets or in a car?
I know we can't help everyone but even one quilt or one hat and scarf will keep someone warm tonight. I know that many people are living in difficult conditions in places like Christchurch, Japan and even here in Australia and the natural disasters have exacerbated the problems for them. Hopefully we can make life a little easier for them.
Hugs Jan Mac
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Donations and Piles of Quilts
I also received a lovely parcel of log cabin blocks and star blocks from Liz Mayock in the UK. They are lovely sets of blocks and will make some lovely quilts.
I also received another set of 35 QAYG blocks, fabric for sashing strips and some lovely yarn to make into beanies and blankets, from Penel Bigg (NSW). All of these donations make it easier for me to get quilts and blankets finished and people warm. I plan to quilt more tops tomorrow and will fit the binding in soon so I'll have more photos of quilts to show on my other blog very soon.
Many thanks for all your generous donations.
Hugs, Jan Mac
Monday, May 2, 2011
An Op Shop Rescue
It was great to be able to send off so many boxes of goods and make room for the next lot of donations which are finished and ready to donate.
I received some lovely yarn from Lesley Lowe and made a couple of scarves with it as well as using the smaller pieces to make crocheted squares for another blanket which will warm someone this winter. I was trying to get the blanket ready for yesterday's shipment and then ran out of room in the boxes so it will be going in the next delivery.
I make the crocheted blankets 50" x 70" from crocheted squares and often use small amounts if leftover yarn or even from a garment which I've pulled out. The bright colours of the blanket are from a "toxic" orange and yellow yarn which had been knitted into a child's jumper. I rescued this garment when on my recent trip to Mittagong in NSW and really I felt I was doing a public service by removing this from circulation so that no one would have to see a child dressed in these colours of a safety vest. LOL! I paid the high price of $1 and the lady was just happy that I'd removed it from the shop. On the bus shop hop trip back to Kiama, my friend, Anne, happily unpicked it and many other willing hands re-wound the yarn while I started crocheting it into squares. It hadn't been worn and unpulled really easily and when crocheted you can't tell that it was previously a knitted sweater. There were many comments about being able to read without a light as the colours were so bright and I assured them that by using other colours it would play down the overly bright yarn.
So the streets of Mittagong are now safe from a toxic sweater and a homeless person in Qld will be glad of it's warmth this winter. I love to check out the Op Shops for yarn and then turn it into something useful and have also done the same with cotton dresses and shirts by making them into quilts. I've started on another crocheted blanket while I take a break from the sewing machine and it's a great way to use up lots of small oddments of yarn.
I'm also turning some donated string pieced blocks without batting into QAYG blocks and will show some photos of the finished quilts on my other blog soon.
More to show you soon.
Hugs Jan Mac