Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cross Stitch Tuesday Part 4

I'm in a rush to post this today as I've just been called into work. I have completed 2 more letters and I'm working on the last one. Then I just have another girl to stitch and it is DONE!
I can't believe it after all this time.
I hope to show a finish very soon.
Bye for now,
Jan Mac

Fairy Dresses Monday

I have been busy sewing gifts to give to needy families for Christmas and here are two of the little fairy skirts I made for little girls to pretend they are princesses or fairies at their very own party.
They were easy to make- I just cut a piece of fabric 3" wide across the with of fabric. Then I doubled the tulle and cut it 4.5" wide across the width of fabric. I folded it so I had 4 layers and stitched them around the strip of fabric, overlapping them by half. I left about 10" of the support fabric to make ties so the skirts can be tied around a little waist and I used 8 pieces of overlapping tulle on each skirt. It's hard to see in the photos and I didn't have a little girl to pose in them but I hope you can see what I mean. I also made a headband to match the skirts.
Hopefully some little girls will have fun dressing up in their fairy dresses and twirling around playing make believe as little girls do.
I also finished off some more QAYG quilts and they are shown on my other blog. We're off camping for a week or so at the end of the week so I'm trying to get my Christmas donations finished and delivered before we leave.
I can't believe that it's only2 months until Christmas. Where has the year gone. I've traveled quite a bit this year but we have still donated over 430 quilts so far and more to deliver very soon.
Hugs Jan Mac
PS Don't forget to check back later for Cross Stitch Tuesday. LOL

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stars on Sunday Part 3

I've found that by committing to writing about working on my UFOs and posting about it once a week I am actually able to focus on getting them finished. Otherwise I get distracted by working on donation quilts first. I am still working on them but I'm also making time to work on finishing some of my projects and I'm really happy with my progress.
The first photo shows the star quilt top from last Sunday when I had attached 25 stars for the top. I also spent more time making star sets this week and the final photo shows that I now have 32 stars in place.
I must be almost half way now I think and the hardest part is trying to balance out the different colours. It probably won't matter in the long term as red shades seem to be predominant and I have red fabric for the border.
It's good to be able to see that I will be up to attaching a border in a few month's time.
I've also finished off more donation quilts shown on my other blog so the week finished more productively than it started. Yesterday I was going to attend the country meeting of my Vic Quilter's Guild but it was going to be a 5 1/2 hour drive so at the last moment I decided to stay home and use my time more usefully. Maybe I'll make it to a meeting when it is closer to me.
Back to sew some more stars as it is still Sunday here.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Christmas is Coming

I received seven beautiful quilt tops from a lovely supporter, Sue V. (Vic) and they will make some lovely Christmas gifts for the needy who most probably will not receive any other gifts. I know it will be too warm for the quilts to be used at Christmas time but I know they will be appreciated as a gift from the heart. I have quilted one of the tops already and it is shown on my other blog, Oz Comfort Quilts.
Margo Barber (Tas) has also been very busy knitting mini Christmas stockings and these are really lovely and will be much appreciated by the organizations who use them as small gifts for the needy. I have more sewing to do and Christmas will be here before we know it so I'd better get off the computer and back to work.
"Stars on Sunday" update will be posted later today.
Hugs Jan Mac

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Mixed Bag

This week has been a mixed bag health-wise. We had a rushed trip to hospital at 1.30am earlier this week, with DH having chest pains. Luckily he was fine so we were home again by 4am. At the same time I had toothache and persevered for a few days with codeine etc while I waited for a dentist appointment. I had the nerve removed today and go back for a root canal in 4 weeks time- I can't wait!
Not much else has been happening but I did manage to finish off 2 more QAYG quilts and they are shown on my other blog.
I also bought some frames for these lovely postcards I bought in Rome- my favourite city. I hope they don't look too kitsch but I plan to hang them where I can see them every day and relive the memories of walking around ancient Rome- all that history! The cards are much better than any photos I took as there were so many people in the foreground of all the photos that it's very hard to get a good view of the ancient buildings.
We've just watched the mini series of Rome in Caesar's time, and I now plan to read Colleen McCullough's books, the Men of Rome series, based on Julius Caesar, again.
I plan to resume normal operational routines tomorrow and hope to have more finished quilts to show soon after a good night's sleep.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cross Stitch Tuesday

Last week I was surprised at how much cross stitch I'd done for the week and this week I managed to do less but it's still progressing nicely.
I have finished the letters X and Y and have started the letter V. That's probably been less than last week as there were more children to be stitched, but I'll have to remind myself that even if I only completed one letter a week it is still more progress than I'd made from the last 10 years or so.
At this rate I should have the whole piece finished in another week or so and I'm really pleased with that. Of course I have the next piece chosen to work on but I'm sticking with my resolve to finish this one first.
I also finished quilting the rescued quilt that Gina W. (Vic) found in her local op shop and it's shown on my other blog. It will be a lovely gift to comfort someone in need of a warm hug, so thank you very much Gina for helping me to rescue this lovely quilt.
Hugs, Jan Mac.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stars on Sunday Part 2

It's time to report on my progress again on the UFO I've chosen to finish. Last Sunday I had 13 stars stitched together and today when I stopped for a photo I was surprised to find that I'd stitched 25 stars together.
I've also been making extra cream diamonds to join the stars as well as making more stars to add to the top.
I'm very happy with my progress and even our visiting little kitten gave them a Cat Scan of approval.
What is it about cats that if you put a quilt or quilt top on the floor to take a photo, they always go over to lie on it?
Spending more of my time cross stitching or hand stitching as cut into my knitting time but as the weather is rapidly warming here, the hats and warm garments won;t be needed for some time now and it's good to get some of my UFOs finished.
DH has been asking if I've started on a fabulous new quilt pattern that I bought recently but as I have an unexplained desire to finish off some projects I want to get these out of the way before I start a new one. Of course that feeling may change but at the moment I'm sticking to finishing off UFOs. I have another hand applique piece that I need to finish off too so that may join the current rotation of UFOs to work on.
Have a great week.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Friday's Outcome

I received yet another wonderful parcel of QAYG blocks and Lynne and Susan, blog readers from NSW, very generously made and donated 25 beautiful blocks. These are so pretty that they will make a lovely quilt for a needy person.
I also managed to finish making another pair of PJ pants for DD as well as quilting another donated top and that is shown on my other blog.
I'm also working away on my current cross stitch UFO and my patchwork UFO, the hand pieced stars top made from oriental fabric.
I'll post an update of the Stars top tomorrow and I'm busy preparing more star sections to piece together. I think I may be about a third of the way there or at least a quarter done so I'm happy with the progress.
More tomorrow.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More Wonderful Donations

I've received more wonderful donations from my very generous blog readers and these will be on their way to help the needy very soon. Kaite Matilda (NSW) has very kindly knitted 20 mini Christmas stockings and they are really cute and will be used to hold lollies and given as a gift to the homeless in Melbourne and surrounds. Thank you so much for making them Kaite as I have been busy quilting and not made as many as I'd intended.
Gina Wilson (Vic0 also has found this lovely half finished quilt at an op shop and very kindly sent it to me to finish off and donate on her behalf. It just needs to be quilted and then it will be very gratefully received by a needy person. It won't take me long to get it finished and then I'll wash it to freshen it up. The photo of the finished quilt will be on my other blog very soon and I have just uploaded photos of quilts I've finished this week. That's all for now as I'm off to my paid job.
Many thanks for all your help, readers.
hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cross Stitch Tuesday

Well so far the plan for finishing off UFOs is working as I've been able to focus on finishing just one cross stitch UFO at a time. I started 2 weeks ago and the first photo shows how much had been done before I put it away in the cupboard, many years ago.
The first week I managed to finish the letters E and J (shown in the 2nd photo) and I expected that it would take me a couple more months to finish as I had 12 letters to stitch and I thought 1 or 2 a week would be good progress.
I was very surprised to find that I've stitched letters O, P, T, U and I've started the letter X in the last week. I'm very pleased with my progress and I'm reminding myself to stay focused and get it finished.
I know some people find working on projects by using a rotation method works for them but I think that this time just working on one at a time is helping me to finish a UFO. I get enough variety by working on donation quilts during the week as well. Whatever the reason I'm happy to have been able to get this much done so quickly and I can certainly see the end is in sight. I'm now thinking of which cross stitch project I'll work on next but I'm determined to finish this one first.
Thanks for helping me to stay focused and accountable on the blog.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, October 10, 2011

Arrivals By Post

I've received more wonderful donations from very generous quilters and they will enable me to get more quilts finished and donated.
Gina Wilson (Vic) sent the beautiful quilt top as well as two very cute mini Christmas stockings. If you click on the photo the stockings will be much clearer.
Bev Dean, Linda Farley and the Wednesday Stitch and Bitch group in WA made 2 lovely QAYG blocks as well as 4 lovely jumpers for babies and 12 beautiful beanies which will help to warm some needy people.
The last photo shows some of the beautiful QAYG blocks donated by Robyn Roberts (Vic). Robyn has been very busy and sent 51 blocks which will make some lovely quilts for the needy.
Thank you all so much for your continued support for these quilt appeals.
Hugs and blessings, Jan Mac

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stars on Sunday

I'm not sure why but I've been feeling compelled to finish off some of my UFOs and I'm not going to fight the feeling. Instead I've chosen one cross stitch piece (and I'll post photos of my progress every Tuesday) and I have also chosen one patchwork piece to finish. Of course I'll still be making quilts to donate but the family are also looking forward to seeing some finished quilts for them.
I attended an Aussie quilting retreat about 5 years ago and we swapped 6.5" fabric with a theme of Oriental, as well as a signature square also measuring 6.5". As I swapped with about 123 people I had many squares to use up. I foolishly decided to make the oriental fabric into stars and with careful cutting I managed to get 3 pieces out of each 6.5" square. I'm setting them with a plain diamond between each star.
This project stalled as I haven't worked on them consistently after starting them this time last year. Then I thought I'd lost the constratsing background fabric so was worried about joining the stars in case I had to use a mixture of other cream fabrics for the background. Luckily I found the fabric while cleaning up my sewing room and rather than lose it again I thought it would be a good idea to get them finished.
I took the first photo on Friday and had joined 8 stars together and today I have joined 13 so far. I think there will be about 62 stars when it's finished and of course I have to make the stars as well but it's a start.
I'm going to commit to showing my progress every Sunday and hope that will keep me focused on finishing a UFO for me. I didn't consider how the fabric varied so much in each square and although each of the 3 star pieces are cut from one piece of fabric, they do look different in some of the stars. Hopefully it will look better when more is done.
Back soon,
Hugs Jan Mac

Saturday, October 8, 2011

More From the Magic Cupboard

I've been busy dressmaking this week and using up more fabric from the "Magic Cupboard". Two more pairs of PJ pants and a pair of shorts for one of my DD's. I did have more planned but had to spend a couple of days in sewing machine maintenance. Luckily DH is a techie and managed to fix the faults himself.
It was a good chance to do some basic cleaning etc and make sure they run smoothly. The over locker hadn't been used for some time and just seized up while I was using it. Some cleaning and oiling sorted out the problems luckily.
I also managed to put a top together from donated string pieced blocks from Holland. I think I'll add borders to make this top larger. I still have enough blocks for another top as well.
I also finished off another QAYG quilt and that is shown on my other blog.
It hasn't been as productive week as others but I'm also taking some time to work on my projects and have been doing more cross stitching and I'm keen to finish the Kate Greenaway sampler I'm working on at the moment.
I have decided to post about my cross stitching every Tuesday so it will encourage me to keep working on these cross stitch UFOs and get them finished. So far it's been a good plan and I have plenty of progress to show for next Tuesday so check back and see whether or not I have finished. LOL It grows slowly compared to quilting but I am getting there.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More Finishes

Although I haven't finished as many quilts in the past week I did manage to get some other items finished. The colourful blanket is large enough to fit a single (twin) bed and will be donated to an organization which helps the needy. I often crochet while I'm waiting for a meal to cook or while I'm watching TV so the blankets seem to make themselves without a lot of effort.
I also finished off a crocheted baby blanket as well as a pair of boxer shorts for an 8 year old girl and both will be donated too.
The boxer shorts were made from the fabric I had left over from making some PJ pants for my DD. I'm trying to avoid putting fabric back into the cupboard after it's been used for a project and I just cut the largest size of shorts I could get from the fabric. I'll get a top to match it and it will make a Christmas gift perhaps.
I also had a lovely phone call from the new mum who loved the quilt for Myles. She said it brought tears to her eyes that she had such a lovely quilt with her son's name on it. They are both doing well and it was a lovely surprise to receive her call as she certainly has enough to focus on at the moment. It's always lovely to hear that someone loves a quilt you've made for them and I hope I have made some quilts that their families will treasure for years to come.
I also finished a couple of quilts and the photos are shown on my other blog.
The weather has been beautiful so far this week and now I just have to adjust my sleeping pattern to fit in with daylight saving again. LOL
Hugs Jan Mac

Monday, October 3, 2011

This and That

I've had family here for the last week but I have made some progress on my cross stitch and have finished the letters E and J, so I'm pleased that I'm working my way through this UFO.
Today I also made a pair of PJ pants and another skirt for my DD and have a lot more fabric she has designated for more clothing. (LOL) which I'm hoping to make progress with this week.
I also found a donated set of QAYG blocks made in the rail fence pattern. There were 16 made blocks in the set as well as quite a lot of fabric for more blocks, so I made enough to finish a quilt with 24 blocks, set 4 x 6.
I should have that one finished tomorrow as well as more crocheted items so I've been happy with the finishes as well as spending time with family. There is more rain predicted so it should be good weather for quilting for some time yet and with air conditioning I can't say that the heat of summer slows down production too much.
Hope you're all enjoying some time working on Works in Progress (WIPs) and well as choosing a UnFinished Object (UFO) to complete. I plan to finish the current cross stitch sampler until it's finished and then select another stalled project to finish off.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We Are the Champions

A great game which was too close for comfort for most of the day.
Thankfully we won again!

Normal blogging will resume tomorrow- or maybe the next day ! LOL!

Hugs Jan Mac (Geelong supporter since 1961)

AFL Grand Final

Today is a big day for us as our AFL team is in the Grand Final against Collingwood. There will be no quilting done today while we wtach the big event on television.
Of course the day also involves eating barbequed sausages with onions in bread, some beverages and a celebration cake.
At least we hope it's a celebration cake and not a commiseration cake!
In the meantime I'm working on some more crochet squares for a blanket for the needy as I can do that while watching TV and I don't need to watch what I'm working on.
Anyway it's almost time for kickoff, so Go Cats!!
Back tomorrow.
Hugs, Jan Mac