Friday, December 30, 2011

End of The Year Report

I haven't been quilting for the past few days but I have been very busy getting ready for my trip to Hong Kong and China. We fly out tonight and will be away for 4 weeks. My DH will be at home to receive any parcels as I'm traveling with our youngest DD. We have 9 days in Hong Kong before we meet up with our tour and local guide for the 3 weeks trip across China.
I have managed to crochet almost enough squares for another blanket and will finish that when we return.
The total number of finished and donated quilts for Oz Comfort Quilts this year was 543 which I think is an amazing number. Thank to all of my very generous blogging friends for all their support and donations of fabric, QAYG blocks, quilt tops, fabric and money. We have managed to make a difference to many people affected by the natural disasters in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, as well as warming the needy and I'm very grateful for all the support.
I will be straight back into production when I return from my travels and I pray that we are spared the disasters that so many experienced this year. I wish you all the best for 2012 and I hope we can continue to work together to make life a little easier for those in need. I'll be updating my blog while I'm away as long as I can get internet access.
Stay safe. Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Featured Blogger- Giraffe Dreams

I've chosen Carol E. from Minneapolis, USA. Carol and I first met online when we were members of the online quilting group, Sunshine. The group continues on to this day and I made some lovely friends through my membership, including BJ who was the founder of the group, and also Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville.
Carol's father had just passed away and she challenged us to make and donate quilts in his honour. This was ten years ago and we are still donating to many groups, in our local communities and overseas. We've sent quilts all over the world, including some which were auctioned off at the Armenian Embassy in Paris (I think that's right) and we raised money to pay for heating for 3 orphanages.
Carol is a lovely lady and a very generous quilter, with very similar ideas to mine. She also believes that we serve God and our community by using our quilting gifts and talents.
I've added her photo with her latest quilt which she calls a Lego Quilt and it is such a masterpiece and made from 1 1/2" strips so I hope this is one which she will keep for her family.
So please check out Carol's blog, Giraffe Dreams, check out her lovely quilts and tell her I said Hi! She also loves to read and shares her latest book on Fridays which I think I may adopt too as it's a great way to find out about new authors to try and share with each other.
Thanks for stopping by. Do you have a favourite blog to share? If so I'd love to hear about it to expand my blogging world some more. You can also ask for your own blog to be featured if you would like to encourage more people to stop by your blog.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Out of The Box

I seem to be very organized and have even found/made time to get some more donation quilts finished. I have several boxes of fabric which has been cut into 6" squares and have decided that I need to get them made and out of the cupboard. I did sort them into colours but had a box of just all sorts of bits and pieces. I did start randomly piecing them together to make backings for quilts which is an excellent way to use them up. I've also been piecing them to add to fabric to make it wider for backings. I seem to have lots of tops which are just a bit too wide for the quilt shop fabric which varies from 40 to 43" wide, and adding a strip of these squares uses them up but also makes them into backings wide enough for some of the larger tops.
Having finished enough baking for Christmas and as I seem to have most other things up to date I decided to see how many more quilt tops I could finish to donate to the needy for Christmas. I quilted 4 yesterday and another 2 this morning, managing to get them packed off to the post office and they should arrive in time to be given out for Christmas.
Tomorrow I'm off to Melbourne to arrange our visas for China and I may get a few more quilts done before we leave but they will go onto next year's total. The new quilts are on my other blog at Oz Comfort Quilts and I'll do an update of the number donated for the year, very soon. I did enjoy my short break from the donation quilts but it was also fun to get some more done and ready to comfort their new owners very soon.
Many thanks for all your help,
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cross Stitch Tuesday Dutch Beauty

I'm loving working on this cross stitch piece again and have almost finished the first row. It was a bit daunting to start with as it's such a large piece and worked on linen but I'm really enjoying it now that I'm using glasses with an increased magnification which is making it much easier working on the linen fabric.
I've found that I'm getting more of my own UFOs worked on now that I'm just concentrating on one for quilting and one for cross stitching.
I must get busy with the Stars quilt again as I am well over 3/4 of the way done with piecing the stars together.
I've also been baking for Christmas and have made 2 batches of lemon slice, as we have plenty of lemons on the tree, as well as apricot balls, rum balls and hedgehog ( a chocolate slice). I also met up with my sister and sister-in-law to plan the meal for Christmas dinner as we all contribute to providing the food to make it easier on the host family. It will be the usual fun and noisy event as there will be 34 adults and 3 children, all talking and laughing.
I feel very blessed to have wonderful family and friends to celebrate Christmas with and make new family memories. The young adults have been in the habit of playing charades in teams, with much laughter and I'm guessing this year will see the tradition continue.
I feel that I've been neglecting my blog at bit for the past few weeks but plan to remedy that with some postings about my favourite blogs and websites so you may like to check back tomorrow to see who I'm recommending. I'm hoping that this may give you all some new blogs to read over the holidays as well as allowing us to share those blogs which interest and inspire me. I'd also love you to make your own recommendations too and I'm going to try to post more often again now that life seems to be settling down here again.
See you tomorrow.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, December 19, 2011

Are We There Yet?

Sorry friends but I missed posting an update on my stars quilt on Sunday. I have been working on my cross stitch more during the week and haven't found/made time to work on the Stars.
The time has just flashed past for the last 3 weeks and I have just checked the calender to see how many days I still have before Christmas. I don't think there will be enough to get everything done and I've been very busy with family commitments. The good news is that our house guest has been reunited with his Dad and now has support services etc in place.
I was very happy that I'd already delivered all the donation quilts and the last 4 were delivered to the local women's refuge for their clients for Christmas. I was also asked for a cot quilt for one of my DD's fiance's family and managed to get it finished before I start on today's Christmas baking. I've also been called into work so I'll have to get busy and get the baking done now.
I hope all of your Christmas plans are going smoothly. Luisa also asked if I need more QAYG blocks and of course I am happy to accept any donations of blocks and will get them made and donated as soon as I have time.
I'm off for all of January as I am going to Hong Kong and China with one of my DDs. so I'll be back into the donation quilts when I return.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cross Stitch Update

I'm still working on my Dutch Beauty cross stitch piece when time allows. I'm so glad that I delivered all the quilts and packed away the donation quilts for the rest of the year as there has been little time of late for anything other than family commitments and Christmas preparations.
I also have a couple of baby quilts to make before Christmas so I'm trying to get them done this week.
I hope you are all enjoying a break over Christmas too.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stars on Sunday Part 7

A little late but I did manage to work on some more stars for this quilt as well as stitching more to the top. I've now stitched 47 stars to the top and the pile of star pieces has decreased a lot. I need to make a decision about how to finish the edges and whether or not to make half stars to fill in the gaps on the sides.
It's been good to stay focused on just one project for a while and to get it finished.
I hope you're all ready for Christmas now. I still have a few gifts to buy and of course a lot of cooking to do. I always look forward to spending time with family and friends and it's a lovely time of year to count our blessings.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cross Stitch Tuesday

I didn't proceed with the small cross stitch pieces to finish off as I was excavating the sewing room and have mislaid the pattern LOL
I did find this piece and decided to get some more done while I had time.
This is a huge piece known as Dutch Beauty. It is a sampler made in 1790 by a 13 year old girl form the Low Countries (Holland). It measures about 1 metre across and is a very involved piece but the variety of the desgins makes it an easier one to keep my interest.
The first photo shows my progress to date and then next two photos show this week's progress on stitching the little men. I hope to keep working on this one for the next few weeks and will have more progress to show next week. I took a photo of the pattern so you can see how large the design is but will try to remember to scan it so it shows in more detail.
The days have been very busy lately so it's been a relief to have packed away the donation quilts and focus on family for a bit.
Take care, Jan Mac

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Stars on Sunday Part 6

I'm back into routine or at least a somewhat altered routine and have been working on my stars again this week. I now have 40 stars joined together and have less than 10 to stitch to finish the quilt.
Then I need to stitch half stars and add borders but the end is almost in sight. I was going to use the signature blocks for the backing but it will be much too large so I'll probably make another quilt from those.
Tonight I plan on doing some cross stitch too and will show that progress on Tuesday.
Thanks for stopping by.
PS Also just wondering if you think it is good to have lots of blogs listed on blog sights so it's easy to cross from one to another or do you prefer to have a less cluttered blog to read?
Hugs, Jan Mac