Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Change Has Arrived

Sorry that I've been MIA for the past week but there have been some big changes here. We delivered more quilts to a group which helps the needy in Melbourne and also took down a car load of knitted blankets, quilts, as well as toys and 3 large bags of donations of Christmas gifts for the homeless and various organizations. The three very large bags came from the Kyabram ladies and Lesley Lowe and they have done a wonderful job with all their donations to bring some joy to people who have very little.
I also received this fabulous big bag of QAYG blocks from Sandy L. and the Geelong Stitchers (Vic). The blocks are beautiful and will make some wonderful quilts which I'll get started on when time allows.
The change of circumstances which has taken up a lot of my time in the past week is that we have taken in a teenage boy who has been having a hard time due to his parent's recent breakup. He can't live with his father due to distance and lack of space and he won't live with his mother. He's a lovely lad and so grateful to have a quiet and peaceful place to live. We're taking it a day at a time but life is busy with making the arrangements with the various agencies, job seeking and just spending time together debriefing and counselling. He's more settled now and with Christmas approaching we are making sure that he is supported through this transition from his immediate family. He was so at a loss that he'd been walking aimlessly around the streets and had worn blisters on his feet.
I'm sorry that I missed my posts for cross stitch Tuesdays and the stars on Sunday but will try to get back on track with those when time allows. I guess that must have been the reason why I felt the need to pack away the donation quilts for a time, I just didn't know why then. We did deliver 52 more quilts and I'll do a tally for the year soon.
Hope all of you are nearly ready for Christmas because it will be here very soon.
Hugs Jan Mac

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

UFO Progress

I've decided to finish some of the many UFOs I have at the moment as well as choose one new kit or pattern to make up. The first one was a bag kit I bought from one of the Craft Shows. I can;t remember how long ago I bought this one but it could have been 10 to 15 years ago. It only took a bit over an hour to make the bag and I'm very happy with it.
I've also been making more stars for the Sunday Star project (UFO) I'm completing and I have really shrunk the pile of fabric for the stars so I must be making good progress there.
I also packed some more soft toys I'd found to be given to needy children and received 7 fabulous mini Christmas stockings from Gina Wilson (Vic). I was planning a trip to deliver the quilts and Christmas gifts today or tomorrow but I have another dental appointment tomorrow so I'll be making the delivery ASAP.
PS *The mini Xmas stockings measure 3" across the foot and 4.5" in length- the pattern is on the sidebar on the right.
*Also could the lady who wanted to purchase the Kate Greenaway pattern from me email me again please as I have lost your address in the computer crash last week.
Many thanks, Jan Mac

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cross Stitch Tuesday Part 6

I can't believe it but I finished the cross stitch Kate Greenaway Alphabet sampler that was published in 1979 and I bought it that year to make during my first pregnancy.
Well you know how that idea went as I was working full time until I was 42 weeks pregnant. I remember wanting to come into labour so I could get a break from work LOL.
I finished this piece during the week and I think I'll make it into a wall hanging as it will cost about $200 to have it framed and it's too large to frame it myself.
The next piece of cross stitching shown here are 7 pieces made for me by our eldest DD when she was recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She did them as a surprise for me and it was a wonderful gift as I know and appreciate how much work she put into these. They just need some outline stitching and some beading and I will frame these with a bought frame as they are fairly small on 18ct aida. I want to get them finished so she can see how much I love and appreciate her work on these.
I had root canal done today so I won;t be doing much tonight but I have found a few projects I'd bought and never even started so stay tuned for some new projects to appear here.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, November 21, 2011

My First Textile Art

I have finally finished a UFO of mine and it is my first piece of Textile Art. I took a class called Luminous Landscapes with Gloria Loughman at AQC in April this year and used her technique to represent the scene in my photo.
I took the photo last year and it was a happenstance photo where we were camped on the border between Sth Australia and Northern Territory. We were inside the camper and just happened to look out and saw this wonderful sunset. The photo looks a little dark here and I actually lightened it a bit more for my class piece.
My DH loves it so that's a bonus and if you get a chance to take a class with Gloria then take it. She's a lovely lady and an excellent teacher with lots of experience which she shares willingly. I'll take another class with her in the future just because I had fun and learned so much. I'm very pleased to have one of my UFOs finished and have finished the last donation quilt for the year (shown on the other blog). I say that but I'm sure I'll still work on them for a couple of days a week when I have time. I'm taking a break to concentrate on family commitments and Christmas and to have some fun working with my projects that have been pushed to the backburner for quite a few years while I worked on donation quilts..
It's time to get some on my UFOs finished too and I will be reporting on my cross stitching tomorrow. Don't worry this break probably won't last long. I'm delivering all the quilts and Christmas items for the needy on Weds this week so if you have any mini Xmas stockings please post them directly to Janice Bartlett and email me for her new address.
Judy Cooke sent these 12 fabulous Christmas stockings and they are so pretty with their feathery tops that they are sure to be a hit.
Thanks for all your support, Jan Mac

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stars on Sunday Part 5

Family commitments have kept me busy this week so I haven't sewn as many stars as I would have liked but I've still made progress so I'm happy with that.
This week I've stitched 38 stars together but I have made more stars and I've sewn in a lot of the beige diamonds around the edges.
I'm going to try to get more sewn this week but with all the quilt deliveries etc my time will be taken up and I'll hope to stitch some at night.
I'm also getting my Christmas shopping done now so I don't have a last minute rush. I read to day that there's only 35 sleeps until Christmas so I plan to deliver all the Christmas gifts and quilts for the needy this week and then concentrate on things I need to get done for the family. I'm also trying to resist starting a new quilt for me and am just planning the colours I want to use at this stage. I would like to have some hand applique to work on and I have a couple of projects that I could alternate with the stars. I'll have to see if my resolve to finsih the stars first holds.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Arrivals

Yesterday I met up with the lovely Lesley Lowe from Kyabram as she had lots of quilt tops and 2 quilts to donate as well as lots of donations for Needy Stitches.
Here is one of the quilts she donated and they will both be shown on my other blog.
The beautiful and bright QAYG blocks came from Leonie of Luv Lee Handknits (Vic) and she sent 4 lovely blocks to be made into quilts. The bright colours will be lovely in some kid's quilts.
Thanks you to everyone who continues to support these quilt projects with their donations.
Many thanks, Jan Mac

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cross Stitch Tuesday Part 5

I expected to have finished this cross stitch piece by now but I found that I had made a mistake by one stitch on the letter Z. I was using a photocopy of the pattern so I could cross off each row and the photocopy was a bit crooked so I was a stitch out and although it wouldn't have been detectable I decided to un-stitch the error.
I hadn't made any mistakes for the rest of the piece so I decided to get it finished correctly rather than quickly. I finished the last design of a girl reading a book and have almost finished the letter Z now.
I should have it finished and ready to show you next Tuesday. I'm not allowing myself to think of the next stitching UFO I want to finish until this is completely done. Oh I'm not usually this disciplined so I'm going with it while it lasts. LOL
Hugs Jan Mac

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Virus !

I've been absent again as I had an "off week" and just didn't feel well. I was aching and felt nauseated but nothing else eventuated so I had a quiet week.
We had our youngest DD back home for the weekend and had a lovely time catching up even though we talk on the phone every day LOL!
Her mischievous kitten was very happy to play with my knitting yarn while I crocheted more squares for blankets for the needy.
I have also been without a computer since the weekend as it had a virus as well. Luckily DH is a computer techie and he's spent lots of time sorting it out and I think it's finally right again now.
I missed posting on Sunday for the Star quilt update so here is my progress so far. I've joined 35 stars as well as joining more star pieces together. It's less than I'd hoped but still progress so I'm happy with that.
Hope all is well in your corner of the world. BTW There is still a need for more mini Xmas stockings if anyone still has some to send.
Many thanks, Jan Mac

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm Home

We are glad to be home again after our 4 WD trip. We started at the Border Track over on the Sth Australian and Victorian borders, and then traveled to Wentworth in NSW.
From there we did the "Darling River Run" which follows the Darling River from Wentworth where it joins the Murray River, up to Walgatt in NSW. We saw lots of emus and their chicks and traveled on many dusty and corrugated roads.
We had planned to be away for another week but the friend who was traveling with us blew up his engine just out of Walgatt so we had to tow him 140 kms (100 miles) back to civilization. It was a big ask as we also were towing our camper trailer and we had to tow his car and camper as well. Luckily we made it to Coonamble safely. From there we arranged for his car and camper to be taken to Dubbo and we brought him home with us.
I arrived home to find a lovely gift from Kaite M. who sent me a lovely broach made from a textile house. The fabric for the house looks like there are flowers twining across the house and it looks very cute.
Thank you so much Kaite- I will treasure it.
I also received two more lovely tops from Mary-anne R. (Vic) and they will be finished and donated soon. I missed an update on my cross stitch and Star progress so I hope to show a finish on the cross stitch piece next Tuesday. I took a break from stitching while we were away and it was too hot to do much knitting or crocheting so I'm back into the swing of it again now.
It's good to be home!
Hugs, Jan Mac