Monday, April 29, 2013

Almost There

 I have written down a list of four quilts I want to finish before I start any new projects and have been focusing on getting this top done as it is the closest to being completed. I have only 2 more half hexagons to make and then 6 of the quarter hexagons. I'm hoping to finish them in the next few days before I have more night shifts to take up my time.
  In the meantime I'm auditioning quilting patterns so I can free motion quilt this top while I am still enthused. I also need to prep more applique blocks so I can keep the momentum going by working on some of my own projects. I also have a special quilt to make for my sister's 60th and as she is almost 62 I'd better put that one at the top of the list.
 Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Whole Lot of Hats.

 Our weather is just beautiful at the moment with lovely sunny autumn days and it's so nice to have finished with the hot days of summer at last. I've been excavating the sewing room and sorting fabric again- not fun but necessary at times. When I took a break I worked on another hexagon flower and I can see the end in sight for the hexagon quilt which is encouraging.
 I also received a parcel absolutely stuffed with knitted beanies from Sharyn Caspar of Vic.  There were 24 and they are in lovely bright colours and will bring some warmth and cheer to the needy this winter.
  I plan in crocheting more squares tonight so progress is happening here and I have more sorting of projects to do again tomorrow. At least I can reward myself with some stitching too.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, April 26, 2013

Moving Forward

 I can't remember when I last shared my progress with this quilt top but I have added it to my list of four to be worked on until they are finished. I have added 3 more large hexagon flowers and only have 3 more to make as well as6 more half flowers and then some quarter flowers. I want to get this one done and practice my machine quilting so I'm stitching this on every small amount of time I get. That is when I'm not crocheting more blanket squares as I am working on another blanket for the needy.
 Of course that is when I'm not sleeping as I've done a lot of paid work over the past week and it has cut into my stitching too. Never mind it helps to pay for the projects. I have a few days break from work and I'm planning to get this one done ASAP.
 I'll be back to show my progress very soon. Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I've Got a Plan

 Today was a day of finishing as well as some sorting and planning. I took all my Civil War reproduction fabrics and put them together, sorting them into their different colours. They usually reside in a large tub which corrals them together but makes it hard for me to select when I need a particular colour. At the moment they are arranged on a spare bed but I do plan to put them into separate drawers so it will make it easier for me to prepare blocks for the applique projects on which I am currently working, or  should be working if I had prepped the blocks.
 I have also listed four projects I want to work on to completion. Actually there are five and that doesn't count a couple which just need to be quilted.I'm trying to stop myself starting new projects because it would be easier to do that than getting some finishes done. I'm hoping some forward planning will help me to focus on finishing some quilts for me. I wonder if anyone else has too many projects they are working on? Please let me know that I'm not the only one.
  With the donation quilts and blankets I don't have a problem at all and just focus on each one until they are done.I finished off another QAYG quilt and crocheted blanket today and hope I can share one of my own finishes very soon. Probably one reason they stall is because I don't have a deadline for them or else I want to try fancier quilting designs and "fear of messing it up" stops me from starting.
 Oh dear I just remembered another project I should add to the list! I'd better get one finished before I add any more or I might just think it's too hard and start something new- because you know I want to don't you?
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, April 19, 2013

AQC 2013

 I was lucky enough to attend the Australasian Quilt Convention yesterday and enjoyed seeing the quilts from the Best of each State as well as the quilts submitted by the tutors conducting classes. I have taken classes for the last 6 years but none of them appealed to me this year and I decided to focus on finishing off some of my current projects rather than starting something new in a class.
  I took some photos of the quilts that appealed to me and unfortunately I didn't always make a note of whom the quilter was, but I'll name them if I know them. The first quilt is by David Taylor from the US and he does fabulous art quilts of nature. I loved the cat quilt which was made by Susan Brubaker Knapp from the US. I also loved the quilt of the two children by Gillian Shearer, submitted in the competition "Free", and it took second place. The quilt of three horses was fabulous with metallic thread and won the "Free" competition  and was made by Helen Godden.

 The girl in a tulle dress was by one of the featured Korean quilters and the following photo shows a feature of the precision piecing of one of the quilts I liked. The last quilt is by Gloria Loughman and it is on the cover of her latest book- Radiant Landscapes.
 One of the parts of the convention I enjoyed the most was a talk by Todd Purcell from Superior Threads of the US. He spoke for almost an hour and it was a free seminar and well worth attending as he explains the differences between thread types and the appropriate needles and tension to use with them. He also gave out an excellent handout on the best needle types to use with each type of thread and I hope he is invited out again as we tend to focus on fabric and design and not as much on thread which will make the quilting experience a pleasure or a pain.
 My other favourite part of AQC was catching up with friends I hadn't seen for a while and although i didn;t buy any fabric I did buy some books as usual.
  Today I worked on putting another QAYG quilt together and will finish that tomorrow as well as another crochet blanket I'm finishing off before night shift again.
Thanks for stopping by again.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Fun Catch-up and Donations

 Yesterday was a fun day of catching up with a quilting friend I hadn't seen for a while. I'd been reading about her cycling travels in Europe and it was fun to hear about them firsthand. Kay C. was formerly from Bendigo and a member of one of my online groups and we used to meet about once a year but she's now retired to a lovely seaside town and she's been very busy traveling and not so much quilting. She very kindly brought a beautiful crocheted blanket, a piece of fleece as well as some QAYG blocks she'd made and these donations will all help make life a little easier for someone in need. It was lovely to share a cup of coffee and catch up on sharing our news. Then I had to rush off to a birthday party for a special 10 year old but didn;t have my camera so no photos to share.
  On reaching home again I found another lovely parcel of QAYG blocks and fabric donated by Anne Wasson of Vic. They are going to play very nicely with the blocks that Kay made and another quilt will soon be finished.
  I'm off to the Australasian Quilt Convention today for two days before I come back home to work more night shifts. Hopefully I'll see some familiar faces there and if you spot me please say hello.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Back on Schedule

 Thank you all for your best wishes. I was just so annoyed that I had cut myself when we all know how easy it would be and to take great care when using the rotary cutters. I soaked the bandages off and it is doing much better now and I was lucky not to cut down to the bone so antibiotics are not likely to be required. Now that the bleeding has stopped I've persevered  and finished off two more quilts so they can be posted off in time for the Melbourne Homeless Connect Day. I'm working night shift tonight so DH will post off the boxes of quilts and blankets for me. I'm sending off 2 more blankets and 20 quilts, ranging in size from single bed to cot sized. The quilt I've shown was made from a variety of scrap and crumb blocks and will help to warm someone this winter.
  While we were away I received 3 beautiful quilts donated by Maria Wilson of WA and they will be shown on my other blog along with the quilts I finished today. I also received a lovely large box of batting pieces from an anonymous donor and they will be a big help for me to get more tops finished into quilts. Gina W. from Vic also sent along a lovely parcel of yarn and it is getting made into crocheted blanket squares so I should have another blanket finished very soon.
  Many thanks for all of your support to help keep the needy warm this winter. I'm off to sleep now before I go to work and I have a few more sets of QAYG blocks ready to make into quilts so they will be completed ASAP.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Family Wedding and a Rogue Cutter

 Yesterday was a day of ups and downs but the best part was a family wedding. One of my beautiful nieces married the love of her life and it was a beautiful wedding and a lovely family occasion to celebrate. Unfortunately I was also trying to finish off a QAYG quilt before the wedding and managed to slice off the top of my middle finger and fingernail on my left hand. It is now more like the length of the two fingers either side. It took me several hours to get the bleeding to stop and when I tried to change the dressing for a smaller one it started up again so I had a large bandage on my finger for the wedding and was on strong medication to deal with the pain. It would have been better if there was a skin flap I could have put pressure on but I sliced it clean through so no sewing or much of anything at the moment.
 The Melbourne Homeless Connect Day is on April 17th and I was trying to get a few more quilts done for that. I'm just so annoyed that I fell into the trap of not taking enough care with the cutter so please don't do as I did and be careful.
   I guess I have to rest a bit more now. At least I can go to work but I wish I could sew or crochet too.
Hugs, Jan Mac
PS- I've managed to soak the bandage off and the bone wasn't involved luckily. It's feeling much better now and I hope to be able to start sewing again very soon.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Final Days of Our Trip

 We absolutely loved Tasmania and our only complaint was the patchy internet connection, even in the towns, despite having  Telstra as our internet provider. The weather was just perfect for our 3 days at Port Arthur and although we had a few days of showers it didn't spoil our trip at all. We finished with 2 days of camping overlooking a pristine beach with free camping, no other campers and phone and television coverage. On our drive back to catch the boat at Devonport we called into the little town of Sheffield, which is known as the town of murals. It has become a tourist attraction and we saw lots of other tourists walking around to see the lovely murals and it must bring much needed money into the town so it's a very clever idea to attract tourists there.
 After an early arrival back to Melbourne on the boat  this morning we have been very busy unpacking, washing clothes etc and tomorrow we have a family wedding and then night shift again for me so life is back to being busy. I did manage to complete two crocheted blankets while we were away so they will be donated to the Melbourne Homeless Connect Day.
 We loved Tasmania and will definitely be returning for another visit in the future. Sorry to be absent from the blog for a few weeks but now that I'm back I'll be posting more about events here.
Thanks for stopping by again.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, April 1, 2013

Somewhere in Tasmania

We are really enjoying our travels in Tasmania but have found the internet to be almost unworkable as the signal cuts in and out even in Hobart. We are back on the west of Tasmania, heading down through the lakes area and out to Strathgordon. I'll have to wait unbtilk we return home before I can blog about it though as it is extremely frustrating when the internet cuts out.
  We loved Richmond and this is the oldest bridge in Australia. We also saw some lovely quilts by Tasmanian quilters, at the Female Factory in Hobart. This one was made by Helen Ducker of Hobart and it is displayed at the Matron's Cottage at the Female Factory (Prison) Hobart.
 I'll check back when the internet connection allows.
Hugs, Jan Mac