Thursday, November 28, 2013

Jaunts Around Jaipur

 Sorry the photos are jumbled but the internet was working and then it wasn't. I took my first hot air balloon ride over Jaipur. We took off just before sunrise and I loved it even though I am afraid of heights.
 After that we rode an elephant up to the Amber Fort

Amazing Agra

Agra is all about the Taj Mahal. It draws you to her and it's hard to leave again. Last time I was here was 38 years ago and the front of the building was covered in scaffolding which was very disappointing. This time she glistened and was a spectacular sight.

The Taj combined with lots of ladies in colourful saris was a real treat.

 It's very common to be asked to pose for photos with the locals and sometimes they stalk us and keep asking for more and more photos with extended members of their family. We've learned to say "Just one" so we can keep sight seeing.
 Do you like my "I'm a little teapot pose?"
The Taj had a soft pink sheen as the sun set and the reflections in the pool were worth capturing. It was a great day and one to remember.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Delights of Delhi

 The internet has been patchy so there has been no way to update my blog. We're in Jaipur for two nights and the internet is good here so I hope to share some photos of our trip until now.
Delhi is large, crowded, smoggy and dirty but there are many large streets and new buildings in New Delhi and beautiful old buildings in the old part of Delhi. The roads have 3 million vehiclesa day sharing the narrow roads and driving is an art in itself.
 We're havinbg a great time and loving the beautiful food. Off to bed now for an ealy start tomorrow.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Busy, Busy!

 The days seem to be shorter when there is so much to do. I have had some fabric set aside to make some small bags and managed to get one made with a zipper to contain small things for my trip. I'll be using clear bags for most small items so I can see what I have but a new bag is always nice to take.
 I had bought some new red shoes but not worn them so it was time to try them out and see if they are comfortable for traveling. Yes they are,so now I just have to click my heels and I'll be off to India.
 Of course I also wanted to prepare some fabric to piece in case there is some time for stitching in the evening. I really need to get busy on some applique projects but if the lighting isn't good I'd prefer to do some hand piecing. Last night I was cutting and preparing fabric to stitch into small Bow Tie blocks or more blocks for the Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC) quilt. I was going to piece the POTC using the English paper piecing method but I pieced one block by hand without the papers and decided it was easier that way. Now I just need lots of different fabrics to make the blocks. I hand pieced on the plane when I flew to Brisbane recently to visit the V & A Exhibition and it was very relaxing and I got a lot done. Also the pieces aren't too small to keep track of when using the plane's small passenger table.
Of course I may not get much stitching done but it won't take up much room in my suitcase. I'm also taking my kindle loaded with books and I'm still trying to load audiobooks and music on my ipod. I need to pack this morning and drive to Melbourne to stay overnight before we catch our flight tomorrow. I hope to be able to keep you up to date with photos of India while we are traveling so stay tuned!.
We're getting excited now!
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One Off The List

I know it's a terrible photo but time was of the essence as we were meeting my sister for coffee this afternoon and I had just finished stitching on the label. This morning I joined  the backing fabric and quilted the top with a simple free-hand loop design. The binding was stitched down by machine without any effort as I do all the donation quilts that way.
 It was a rush to get it finished but it's done, done! My sister loved it and I am relieved to have another "must do" quilt off my list. Now I can concentrate on getting ready for our flight on Friday. We have a 30kg luggage limit and I'm only taking about 11 or 12kg so I can see some shopping in my future!
  Tomorrow will be spent on taking my Dad shopping and getting organized with my packing. I need to check what medical supplies I am taking etc.
 Not long now and hopefully I will be able to share some lovely photos of our trip. I have a new camera on order so I'm crossing my fingers that it arrives tomorrow or Thursday. I know that I'll be reading the instruction booklet on the plane- that's if it arrives in time.
 Bye for now, Jan Mac

Monday, November 18, 2013

Go Me!

 I've worked full time on night duty this week and not much other than work and sleep has been happening. I didn't think I'd get time or energy to finish my sister's quilt but thought I'd just start making some more blocks and see how many I could get done. I got it finished to a top and then thought I'd just try and get the borders done.
 DH didn't like it until the borders were on and now he thinks it's OK but not his favourite! Hopefully my sister will like it as it has lots of fabric to remind her of our trip to the Alps for her 60th birthday.
 It's very hot here today so I've done enough sewing for today. I just have to make the backing large enough. Even the backing fabric has the zig zag of the mountain ranges. I hope to get the tops quilted and bound tomorrow before I meet up with my sister for coffee. I'm sure she will be surprised that it is finally finished and hopefully she will like it. I'm very happy that I kept going today and got the top finished. It will be good to have another project off my list of "Must Do Soon".
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, November 15, 2013

Comings and Goings

 In a week's time I will be overseas again in beautiful India. I spent 3 months traveling all around India when I was 23 ( a couple of years ago haha) and have wanted to return again to see how much it has changed now. My youngest DD is coming with me and we are only going for 2 weeks but we will be visiting places I haven't seen before. We will also be going to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and I hope the beautiful Taj doesn't have scaffolding this time so I can get some better photos. This was all arranged just 7 weeks ago so I have been very busy getting donation quilts finished for Christmas before we leave.
The beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra India.
 I met the lovely Lesley yesterday and handed over 45 quilts, 4 crocheted blankets, some baby knits and some Christmas gifts, which her son is very kindly taking down to Janice of Needy Stitches for me. They will then be distributed to the needy and hopefully will bring some cheer and comfort for Christmas.
 I really wanted to get my sister's quilt finished before I fly out next Friday but I have been called in to work night shift again tonight as someone is off sick. I've made good progress this afternoon and will have to wait until next week before I'm awake enough to work on it again.

 I've chosen Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesty pattern as we had a wonderful Eurail trip through the Swiss and Italian Alps to celebrate my sister's birthday. I've also added feature fabric like chocolates for Switzerland, trains, tortes from Vienna, scenes from Venice and fabric with words like "sister" "love" and "daughters".
I'm off to bed again now and before I know it I will be flying off again.
Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully I'll be able to share my trip if the internet is kind to me in India.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Melbourne Quilt Guild

 We had a lovely overnight visit to Melbourne to catch up with our youngest DD and our son. I also attended my Melbourne quilting guild meeting yesterday and managed to get a few photos of the lovely Show and Tell.

Today will be spent on family commitments and then night shift again for most of the week. Luckily I have the next shipment of quilts already packed for handover on Thursday. I'm also finalizing plans for my next trip and I'll give more details very soon.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I'm Home and Sewing Again

 We had a lovely trip and really enjoyed exploring some new 4 w-drive tracks. I had planned to finish a few more tops when I returned but when I counted the quilts I had finished recently I was amazed to find that I had 51 waiting to be donated. That was enough to motivate me to work on some of my outstanding projects instead. I owe my sister a quilt for her 60th and have been gathering suitable fabric for the past two years. I had already half made a top but wasn't really happy with it as I wanted to make something which would remind her of the wonderful trip we took to Europe to celebrate her special birthday.
 I was going to use fabrics which depict places we visited, food we ate etc. Then my original quilt idea didn't really work for this fabric, so I was going to piece a backing from the feature fabric instead. I also wanted to use another Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville) pattern Scrappy Mountain Majesty so thought I'd start a top using the feature fabric and see if that would work. I've started and will make more blocks before I decide which top to use.
 Here's a few more photos of our last camp spot up amongst the snow gums in the Victorian Alps.
 It was very cold and we thought it may have snowed the last time we stayed here but this time the weather was very mild.
You can see the snow on the nearby mountain tops. I'd better get back to my sewing while I have time as I'm off to Melbourne tomorrow to visit with our youngest DD and to attend my Melbourne quilting group on Monday. I'm raiding my stash of blues for this quilt so that I can have enough variation in fabrics.
Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment if you would like to.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I've Been Whisked...

...away for a quick 4 wheel drive trip over to the Victorian High Country. We waited until the end of the public holiday so we enjoyed the beautiful camping places on our own.

 We climbed the very extreme track of Billy Goat's Bluff Track. There are lots of rocky areas to climb and it took about 1 hour and a half each way. Ray had to stop and get out to try to pick his line before we tackled some sections. The photos don't really show how steep it is.
 We reahced The Pinnacles at the end of Billy Goat Bluff Track and the views are spectacular. We had the place to ourselves here too.

We also drove along the Haunted Stream Track and the Crooked River Track on Tuesday and Wednesday and we had lots of fun river crossings. We camped at Striling and Talbotville which were both old gold mining townships but little remains to be seen now.
 We're camped at the top of a huge mountain ridge with phone and internet access tonight- at the start of the Blue Rag Track. A storm is expected tonight or tomorrow so we need to be able to get out of the rough tracks easily. We'll be home tomorrow and I hope to have more to show you very soon. I hope you have enjoyed seeing some photos of our favourite places .
Hugs, Jan Mac