Friday, June 28, 2013

We're Off

 We are finally on the road again after delaying our trip to celebrate my dad's 88th birthday. We had a lovely family party and he enjoyed the day. One of my borthers flew in from Darwin to surprise him and almsot all of the grandchildren and great grand children were able to attend as well as Dad's four children. We had a lovely time chatting and laughing and it's always fin to get together.
We're now on our trip through the outback of NSW and Qld and then up to Cape York. Ray has asked me to start a travel blog for the trip and I'll post more photos there as internet connection allows. The blog is On The Road Again. Our first night was spent at a bush camp between Mildura (Vic) and Renmark (SA). More to come. I've also been crocheting while we are driving and have 10 sqs made in 2 days.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Taste of Things to Come

 It's been a very busy week with lots of night shifts, trip preparations and not a lot of time for stitching.
 I have started a new project to work on while we are away. The star blocks are stitched over paper in the English method. Yes I could have just hand stitched them but I think the paper will make it easier for me to be accurate when the lighting isn't as good as at home.
 The Seven Sisters stars are the other project I'm taking ans as they also use 1930s reproduction fabrics I can use the leftovers from the Blazing Star blocks to make the stars for the Seven Sisters as I am just using random pieces for those.

 I also made a few more Broken Dishes blocks but have packed them away now as we have a busy weekend with my Dad's 88th birthday party and then more nights to work before we leave.
The weather is lovely and sunny today after an early frost and we are keen to get on the road again. Only a few days left before we leave. DH has asked me to start a travel blog so I'll be posting photos and trip notes on that blog and will re-direct from here when we start.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Applique Fun

 Yesterday was the meeting day for my applique group which is always fun as it gives us a chance to catch up with applique- addicts from around the State. Of course there is always some stitching to be done as well as some eating and of course some shopping.
I took a few photos of Show and Tell and the first photo is of A Tribute to Mrs Williams. It is a lovely pattern and I'm looking forward to getting mine finished. I've packed it all away today as I need to focus on packing for our trip as well as a lot working a lot more nights before we leave.
 The second photo is of a New York Beauty quilt and the third is one of Kim McLean's Springs and Stars pattern. They were all much brighter than the photos indicate and it's always inspiring to see beautiful quilts finished by group members.
   No stitching today but I did get quite a lot done on my new project yesterday. I was going to take it with me on our travels but I have changed my mind yet again and will take some English Paper Piecing with 1930s repros instead. That should be my final decision but time will tell. lol!
Hugs, Jan Mac


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sorting Scraps and Stitching

 I couldn't resist making another of these Square in a Square tops to use up the very ordinary 9 patch blocks I had in a container. I've had to make some more 9 patches but the container is not overflowing now. I'm supposed to be sorting through all my scraps and putting them away before we go away but I couldn't resist starting a new scrap project. I was given a large box of 4.5 inch squares and there are numerous squares of the same fabric so I've been dithering about which pattern to use. I finally decided on Broken Dishes and am just working with greens and browns with a contrast light fabric with a pale yellow design as my main fabric to contrast with the browns and greens. They go together quickly and will be ideal for a male quilt. I really need to sort those scraps but I have been pulling out some of the FQ's to cut more squares for more variety.
 I also need to get back to working on my projects too so I should set aside time tomorrow for that. I guess I'll be tempted to stitch some more Broken Dishes blocks as well.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Still Scrapping and a Finish

 I only needed one more quilt finish for the kids' camp so I decided to finish off another QAYG quilt from donated blocks. I'd put aside all the blocks which were predominantly blue and thought this would be a good one to finish as I've been consciously trying to make more quilts which will be suitable for boys. It is actually a bit brighter than it appears in the photo and will warm a young boy when the cold winds blow.
 I'm still going through my scrap bins and have finished another top made from strings about 4.5" in length. It's a great pattern to use up those shorter strings which are too short for QAYG blocks.
  I have also started another set of 9 patch blocks surrounded by triangles for more Square in a Square blocks and hope to have a finished top to show tomorrow. I may get time to machine quilt them before we leave in our trip and that will give me a head start on some quilts to donate for Christmas.
 Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, June 10, 2013

Scrapping Along

 I only have a couple of weeks to finish off all the kid's quilts and in that time I still have paid work, family commitments and packing and trip organization to finish, so it was time to get another quilt finished and ready for donation. I'm really pleased with this one as it was based on some very ordinary nine patch blocks and I used the pink in the surrounding pieces to make them look a bit more appealing. I think this idea works well and I'll be doing it again when I use up some more of the remaining nine patch blocks.
 After quilting and binding this top I also worked on making more String X blocks and have almost completed enough for another top so I plan to finish that one this week and then I can get back to my projects. Paid work and sleeping as taken up the rest of my time for the last few days so I hope to stay awake long enough to do some stitching but I can hear my bed calling to me already. lol
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Scrap Happy and Forward Planning- or Being Sidetracked?

 We're busy getting things finalized before we head off on our 4WD trip and I've also been busy getting family things sorted before we leave, taking Dad clothes shopping, taking up his new trousers etc. I haven't had much time on the sewing machine as I have started to make lists of things to take and things to finish. I did have a bit if a play in the remaining scrap bins and have also found some templates that will be fun to use. I found some for a 4" Bow Tie block and have started making a couple to see if I want to make some of the scraps up into this pattern. I can see that it would make a good baby quilt in pinks or blues, or even a more scrappy one using light fabrics other than cream and mixing them with light or dark backgrounds.
 I'm also dithering over which project I want to take with me. I don't usually sew while we are away and I have sorted my wool and yarn scraps into a bag so I can crochet squares while we travel. Gina, that black yarn will be perfect for me to join the blocks together and crochet an edge on the blankets too, so many thanks for that donation.
  I have plenty of reproduction quilts I want to make but also have some more contemporary fabrics to use so I think I may kit up this design of Michelle Yeo's to take with me as it is a combination of applique and hand piecing. I have pulled out a selection of reds and think they will go well with the white fabric with small black circles for the background. I also want to add black with white as I know DH will love a red, black and white quilt. I'm not sure if I'll use the bright green with them but I think the reds will look great with the background. I may of course change my mind about which project to take but I'll kit this one up anyway as I have wanted to make it for some time. I am still piecing the China Plate blocks for Mrs Williams too.
  I know I could make the Bow Tie blocks much more quickly on the machine but I have really fallen in love with hand piecing as I spend so much time at the sewing machine that it is more relaxing to have some hand stitching to do as well, and if there is no rush for the project then I can enjoy the process. The baby quilts will most likely to be for any future grandchildren, or I can make them larger if needed.
 I'm back on night shift again tonight so I hope you are all getting some time for stitching while I am sleeping. I'm also getting some audio books ready to take on our trip as it relieves the days of long drives in the outback when you may not see a car for a few days.
 Take some time for stitching.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Slowly Progressing.

 Apart from working and family commitments I have been slowly working on the different sections for my Tribute to Mrs Williams quilt.I have pieced and hand appliqued the large sections for the centre block as well as hand piecing more China Plate blocks. I need to make 12 of these and I'm now reverse appliqueing the circles onto the background pieces.
 I've also been making more Square in a Square blocks and half of those done now so I am making progress but just not working the pieces in any particular order as determined by the pattern, instead I am working on the different pieces depending on whether or not I am doing some hand or machine stitching.
 I also finished off another crocheted blanket last night so that will be donated when I have some more things to donate. I'll start to set the different blocks together when I have a few more made and hopefully they will look good together.
Hugs, Jan Mac