Thursday, July 31, 2014

Travelling Through NSW to Queensland.

 Our first night's camp was on the outskirts of Hillston in NSW and the sunset was spectacular. Being on the road gives us the time to appreciate the natural beauty around us. We've been enjoying bush camping every night as we are completely self-sufficient and enjoy being out on our own. We are traveling with two other frinds at the moment and meet up with my brother next week in Cooktown.
  Some of the road trains are very long and could have 3 trailers and carry huge loads. We stop at some of the small towns along the way and enjoy seeing the local historical places. Not much time for stitching yet but I hope to get some free time soon.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, July 27, 2014


DH has thankfully passed the kidney stone and we are leaving on our next trip tomorrow. It's been a big week with lots of stress and now we're rushing to get ready. It wouldn't matter if it was just us but we are traveling with other people and don't want to delay them. I did manage to stitch a few more pieces on my Insanity Quilt and will take it with me.
   We still have packing to do and had lots of visitors today so we would be better to have another day to get ready. It's going to be a rush and I hope we don't forget things so there are lists being checked as we pack. It will be good to be on the road and able to take our time and enjoy the journey. We are certainly looking forward to some much warmer weather as we travel up to Queensland.
 I'll update my blog if and when we get internet access.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Somethings Old, Something New.

 I've been getting things ready for our next trip as well as finishing off more night shifts. I'd love to take some applique with me but I haven't had time to do the prep. I did manage to finish the needle turn applique on another Chester County Criswell block and will hopefully have time to get another one done soon.
  We spent the night at the local hospital as DH's kidney stone was on the move again. The oral analgesic, although strong, wasn't working so he needed injections and also a CT. We won't be able to leave until the stone passes and as we were planning on leaving Sunday, it may mean we have to delay for a few days.
 This is another block for my Patchwork of the Crosses project. I have completed 6 now and I'm hand-piecing them, although I also have papers for these shapes and could use the English paper piecing method. I find it's a nice change to hand piece instead of stitching over papers as I have several other projects using papers.
 I also saw a really nice quilt using these honeycomb shapes and I'm using the leftovers from the Patchwork of the Crosses blocks. The pattern has different names but I have seen it as Kansas Dugout and it's another good way to use up scraps. The edges of the honeycombs are 1 inch and the neutral squares are also 1 inch in size along the edge. This will be a good project to take- along while we travel as well.
  Hopefully DH will soon be well again and we will be able to head for warmer weather up north.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Not Quite Quilting.

 There's been a bit of time to stitch some more hexies and my first Insanity Quilt is progressing nicely. I've joined 35 diamonds together and have made 49 diamonds of 158 needed. The totals for flowers, red borders and multi-coloured borders remain unchanged and I have stitched 289 of the required 5389 neutral hexies. I have stitched a total of 981 hexies of 10,339 which is 9.5% of the quilt. I'd better get busy stitching some more now.
 I also prepped another applique block for my Chester County Criswell Quilt and this is Block 21. I started it last night and it's more than half finished so I plan to start another one as soon as this one is done. I'm still behind and as I don't plan on taking the blocks with me on our next trip, I still have quite a few to catch up with before the next blocks are posted by Sharon of Two Bits Patches. Of course, if I make/find time to prep more blocks I could take them with me and get more done.
I also stitched new covers for cushions for our camper as we leave for cape York in 8 day's time. We are getting our supplies sorted and I have more night shifts to work first so I was pleased to have finished the two cushion covers as well as two curtains. I'll be able to make up the bed tomorrow and then will make out the menus and work out how much food to take. It's been very cold and wet here so we're looking forward to some warmer weather. It's been 8 years since our last trip there and we are going with 3 other vehicles this time so we are sure to have fun.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Quiet Week.

 A second visit to the Doctor and more antibiotics were in order and it's been a quiet week with not even any stitching tasking place for a few days. Thankfully I seem to be finally getting over this illness and, although not back to normal yet, I can see that I will soon be able to get back to normal activities.
 Prior to the break in stitching I did manage to finish off another block for my Chester County Criswell Quilt. I am still catching up but you can see I have finished 13 now and will keep going when time allows. I'd be stitching them more quickly if I had taken more time to prepare blocks for stitching but they will be done eventually.

 I also stitched 4 more diamonds in half inch hexies for my "Norma Mary" Insanity Quilt, using 1930s repro fabric and I also stitched a few more neutral hexagons and another diamond for my scrappy Insanity Quilt. Even small amounts of time can be productive as long as I have enough papers and fabric cut.
 I hope those of you in winter are staying well and that our friends in the northern hemisphere are enjoying some sunny days of stitching.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Progress of Sorts.

 I have lots to do at home before we head off on our next trip in a few weeks time. Unfortunately I have had a bad head cold since the end of last week and it has now progressed to pneumonia. It's been a nuisance as I haven't been able to work and haven't been well enough to do much at home either. I could really do with a good night's sleep too as the constant coughing doesn't make for a restful sleep. Hopefully the antibiotics will "kick in" quickly and I'll soon be getting things done.
  In the meantime I've been trying to distract myself by prepping and stitching a few more diamonds for my Insanity Quilts. The 5 diamonds in the top photo, are for my 1930s reproduction quilt and this quilt will be named "Norma Mary", named after my much loved Mum who passed away 7 years ago now. Maybe I've started collecting these fabrics as they remind me of the dresses she wore while we were growing up. The centres and plain borders will all be in yellow and I will use plain white for the neutral fabrics to join the diamonds.
I've also pieced another 6 diamonds and 1 flower for my other Insanity quilt. It remains un-named at present and it's always gratifying to see progress even when I haven't devoted much time to this stitching project.
 Hopefully I can get busy again in a few days time when I start to improve. There's some very nasty infections around this winter so i hope you are managing to avoid them wherever you are.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Progress and a Finish.

 Today it's the turn of La Passion to be in the stitching queue and I am very pleased with my progress. Currently I am working on parts 2 and 3.  I'm not getting as much done as on our travels as I am also stitching other projects but it is still coming along nicely and the main thing is that I am loving this project.
 I have also started back with my applique and have half finished this Chester County Criswell block. I did manage a finish though and this wool blanket was crocheted for our youngest DD, using variegated shades of blues, her favourite colour. It's a large blanket and I had almost finished it before we went overseas and mainly just needed to join all the squares together. It's always good to have a finish to celebrate and this one will be off to Melbourne next week when we go down to visit and help her get settled into her new home.
 I have a head cold so there will be a bit more stitching done before I start back at work again tomorrow night. DH even cut all the firewood without me so I could rest inside in the warmth.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Something Old and Something New

 I have been busy with work but also going through some of my current projects as well as getting ready for our next trip to cape York in 4 weeks time. For my international readers, Cape York is the very tip of the pointy bit of  Australia at the top of Queensland. We had been on our way there last year when my Dad became very sick so we have unfinished business and are doing the trip again at the end of the month. This time we have one of my brothers and some friends joining us as well. There will be 4 vehicles and we have 5 or 6 weeks which will give us plenty of time. Most of the roads around Cape York are best tackled by 4 WD and there will be lots of red dust, corrugated roads, river crossing and salt water crocodiles. It is safe if you are careful and we love the beautiful isolation up there. We took the trip 8 years ago and loved it so we are looking forward to going again and it will be very different to our trip to Europe. I will be taking my hexagon projects but I have also prepped another hand applique block for my Chester County Criswell quilt BOM and plan to get it started this week.
 It's also a good time to go through some of my winter projects. I pulled out my tub of yarn as I am still crocheting squares for blankets for the homeless. For some time, I have also wanted to make a ripple blanket in crochet and I have decided to use some of my yarn stash to finally start one. I'm using the pattern on Attic 24's blog and the ripple will be more obvious as the rows grow. I usually take my crochet when we travel as it is a good project to work on in the car. I wanted to make a start on the ripple blanket to see if it will be a good take-along project. I'm not sure if I want to take that many balls of yarn with me so I may just take my usual yarn to make the squares for my blankets for the needy and I can post a blanket if I finish one and save on space in the camper.
I haven't forgotten my hexagons and I'm still prepping and stitching them and will update my progress soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac