Sunday, August 30, 2015

"Quilt As You Go" Block Tutorial - Updated.

I've had some requests for the details of how to make the QAYG blocks so I thought I'd post an update of the information.
 These quilts are very easy for me to put together and cost very little as they all use up scraps of fabric as well as batting scraps. You don't even need to join the batting strips before you stitch them down as long as they are pinned well, as stitching the narrow strips of fabric over them will secure them very well.
 I cut a background fabric to 11" and place batting on it so that it covers the fabric. I overlap the batting slightly if I'm using strips. Then I place a long strip of fabric diagonally across the middle of the block and pin it in place. I use strips which vary in size from
3/4" in width up to 2.5" or 3 " in width. I use narrower strips of fabric if there are a lot of thin strips of batting being used so they will all be well secured by the stitching.
   Then I sew a strip each side of the first strip and sew them down and then press them open, continuing until
the entire block is covered. I trim the blocks to 10.5" before joining them.
 If anyone would like to donate even a few QAYG blocks then I'm happy to join them together into a
quilt. The only rules are that I don't use the same string more than once in each block. I also try to make unisex blocks which are suitable for either gender and separate blocks suitable for females. I try to limit the florals, pinks and pastel colours to just those for females but I've also heard back that most of the males aren't too worried about whether or not it is too girly if there are just a few of those elements in each block.  
   There's no need to join the blocks together just send any blocks you can get made and I'll do the rest.
For the teens I have also started to make blocks which trim back to 12.5 inches when finished as I need to make less joins with those blocks, so I'm happy with any size as I can always make more to go with them.
My address is 35 Trevaskis Rd
Kialla East
Vic 3631
Many thanks for any you care to donate. I was trying to cut back on making donation quilts and focus on my own but the ongoing need is too great to be ignored. My DH was getting sick of living in a quilt factory but when he saw and heard how much the recipients appreciated them, he realized that I need to continue with the donated quilt project.
Much love and hugs to you all for your support,
Love, Jan Mac

Friday, August 28, 2015

Blessing Others.

This afternoon I delivered six more QAYG quilts and two cushions to the organization which works with homeless teens. They were thrilled with them and the counselor told me she had given a quilt each to two girls who had just moved into supported accommodation. She said the girls were so happy with their lovely quilts that they were a bit overwhelmed and in tears. The counselor wanted me to know how much it meant to them.
   They also love the crocheted blankets to brighten up the group's rec room and the cushions will also make their surroundings more like home. The manager said that they had been trying to think of ways to make the teens feel at home and the donations were just what they needed.
  It's always good to hear that using up scraps of fabric and batting can bring warmth and comfort to others. I came home and made 8 more QAYG blocks as I've promised more quilts will be coming so they can have some on hand for emergencies.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Only Two.

 I've been busy with family commitments so have had a few days break from quilting. Today there was time to quilt and bind two more donated tops. The first one was set as a square top so I took one row of blocks off the side and added them to the length so the quilt would suit an adult male.
    The second quilt was also made in adult colors but in a child's size so I took the borders off, then took a row of blocks off each side and added them to the length. Then I added an extra border in green and then added an extra square of fabric to each border so that the borders would fit. Adding dark green and gold corner blocks tied in with the quilt colors.
      It takes a little time to alter some of these tops but I think it's worth it if the quilt is a more appropriate size as I find square tops just aren't practical in the sizes which are donated. I have also been busy piecing backings and making bindings so hope to have a few more finishes to share soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, August 21, 2015

Three Quilts and a Cushion.

 The last two days have been productive and I have made two quilt backings and quilted the two donated tops. I also added borders to the first one to make it a better size for an adult male. These first two quilts will be donated through AQA to Peter Mac hospital.
    The next quilt was made from 12 inch QAYG blocks. I had a third of them and made the rest to fit them. This is the tenth quilt for the group which helps homeless teens. I also make cushions from all the small scraps of batting which are too small for the QAYG blocks and this cushion is one which will brighten the Rec room for the teens. I have another cushion insert filled and just need to make another cover.
    Now it's time to take a break from the sewing machine and do some hand stitching of my hexie project.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's Almost Spring.

 Time for another QAYG quilt for homeless teens and I only have one more to make before I can deliver them. They needed 10 and I have 9 finished. I've been making more QAYG blocks as well as the pile is almost depleted.
   It's been a cold winter by our standards and it was a severe frost and minus 3 C this morning.  We're still lighting our log fire so today we had to cut some more wood. It's good exercise but thankfully this should be the last cut for this winter. We don't like to stockpile too much as it can become a good hiding place for snakes in summer.
     You can see we've had quite a wet winter and our water tanks are almost full and we are surrounded by green grass. Now it's time to put my feet up and stitch some hexies if I can stay awake.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday's Two.

 Yesterday I was finally well enough to travel to Melbourne to see our youngest DD and her fiancé. I was lucky as it was also the Sit and Sew meeting for my Melbourne quilt group so I called in to drop off 8 quilts for donation as well as picking up more tops to finish. I was also looking for some green fabric to use as binding for this first quilt. Greens are hard to match as there are so many variations. In the end I didn't find one so settled on a darker coral pink. So I bound that one when we returned home this afternoon.
   I also quilted this cute girl's top donated to AQA. I happened to find a good match for the binding from some I had one hand, and I had just enough to finish it. Very happy with another finish. I'm hoping to quilt a few more tops in the next few days and also make time to finish some of my appliquéd blocks.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Time For Two.

 I wasn't planning on quilting today as I am trying to find fabric for backings and bindings to match some tops. While I was working on piecing backings I thought I may as well quilt another couple of donated tops. They have both been made by members of AQA, my Melbourne quilting group. We've had a backlog of tops accumulating so it's been very rewarding to get some of them finished so they can bring some warmth and comfort to people in need.
   The first one is a hand appliquéd cot sized quilt and the next one is suitable for an adolescent. I'm sure they will be loved and appreciated.
I really should be finishing off some more of my UFOs but it's also good to clear the stack of tops and there is always tomorrow.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Stitching on Saturday.

 I slept better last night and finished binding two more quilts for Peter Mac patients. I also quilted the floral top and finished the binding. I still have one quilt to bind but I'm looking for a suitable fabric for it.
  I also found some more donated tops in the cupboard and made some more backings so they are next in line for quilting and donation. I also found a couple which are too big for the organizations I am currently supplying with quilts so I am re-fashioning them into two smaller quilts. I am very happy with my quilting machine as it's running as well as when I bought it. I've had numerous problems with it in the past twelve months but I have finally sorted the problems and it's running smoothly again. That encourages me to get some more tops finished now.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, August 14, 2015

Still Quilting.

 I'm still coughing and not getting much sleep, but have decided to keep quilting anyway. It's better than getting behind with my quilting donation quilts and it doesn't seem to be affecting my recovery. I've heard from others that they have been really sick with a nasty chest infection after having the flu vaccination too. It's the first time I've been vaccinated and I don't know if I would have it again as I have been sick ever since. There's not much I can do but soldier on and cough a lot. Lol
    The first quilt was a donated top using Bonnie Hunter's String X free pattern, found at Quiltville. I also pieced the backing from some fabric I want to use up. This one will go to Peter Mac for kids with cancer. I'm trying to cull some fabric and make room for new fabric that appeals to me more.
I've also quilted another donated top which will go to Quilts of Valour, Australia. The last quilt is another one for the homeless teen group.
    I'm still piecing backings and have another couple of quilts needing binding from today's session. Hopefully I'll get a better sleep tonight as I have plans for more finishes tomorrow.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Soldiering On.

 After three days of antibiotics I am finally starting to feel a little better. The proof will be whether or not I can get a good night's sleep without being awake and coughing for most of the night.
    I'm sick of being sick so decided to just soldier on today and get some quilt tops quilted. Now I have to bind them and make some more backings to match the other tops waiting to be finished.
   I also received 14 lovely QAYG blocks from Stephanie D. of Perth, WA and they will soon be added to the diminishing pile of QAYG blocks I'm working with at the moment. I'm also starting to make some larger 12 inch QAYG blocks to make more quilts for the homeless teens.
   I'm hoping to get a good night's sleep and get busy with the quilts again tomorrow.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Altering Quilt Tops and Babies.

 This top was made in fabric suitable for a man but not large enough so I added two more rows after removing the border from one end. Luckily I found some more of the border fabric so it was easy to make the alterations. It was a donated top and now measures 52 x 72 inches so it's suitable for Peter Mac or QOV? I don't think you can tell which are the new blocks, can you? It's finished and ready to be donated.
   Yesterday I met up with the mothers and their new babies and it was lovely to be able to give them their new quilts. They loved them which makes it all worthwhile.
    The rest of the day was spent doing some hand stitching and relaxing while I try to get over this nagging cough. I finally went to the Dr for antibiotics so hope I start to improve soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Four More Finishes.

 I'm still working my way through Bev's QAYG blocks and it makes it so much quicker to make them when I have a pile of ready-made blocks. I still have another 3 to make for the homeless teens and I've  started making some more blocks with my scraps.
  The next quilt was made by an AQA member when they had a class on using jelly rolls. It was a bit garish so I trimmed some off the side, and added that to the backing to make it large enough. I also added borders and that has improved the look of the quilt.
    The cot quilt was beautifully button hole stitched by another AQA member and she does a lovely job. She also made the following lovely heart and none patch quilt, with the hearts being button hole stitched as well. She was so happy to see her quilts finished at the last meeting that she is keen to make some more. There will be some very happy kids being kept warm by her quilts. These four quilts will all be donated and I'm enjoying working my way through some of the tops our quilting group has accumulated. Hopefully there will be time for some more tomorrow before I'm back working nights again.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Productive Day.

 I had an early start on quilting today and was lucky enough to be able to sew all day. Our DD even cooked our evening meal for us which meant more time for sewing. I have been altering some donated tops to make them more appropriate for specific organizations. The first quilt was in colors which are appropriate for men but not large enough so I took off one part of the border and I'm making enough blocks to add two more rows before I add the border again. This one will probably go to the Quilts of Valour program.
     I finished little Henry's quilt last night and have started cutting more kid's prints for a couple more baby quilts.  I also quilted two more quilts and will get them bound tomorrow. The weather continues to be cold so it's good weather for quilting. I think I'll get back to the sewing machine again tonight and make a start on another QAYG quilt.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Busy, Busy.

 We've had a busy time over the past couple of days with a trip to Melbourne on Sunday to stay overnight with our DD. It was great to catch up with her again and on Monday I attended my Melbourne Quilting Group's meeting. It was a lovely day of catching up with friends, lots of chat and some lovely quilts were shown during Show and Tell. We also donated 60 quilts to three different organizations which was very rewarding. Hearing how much the quilts are appreciated by the recipients always inspires us to keep making more and the members all seemed to go home happy afterwards. We were also very fortunate to have two guest speakers from the National Gallery of Victoria and they spoke about the recent embroidery exhibition and conserving pieces for display.
     As soon as we reached home I went to bed as I worked night shift that night. Then I slept for 4 hours on Tuesday before getting up and putting another QAYG quilt together. I have another 4 to finish for the group working with homeless teens so I hope I have enough blocks here for them.
    Today I was determined to make the baby quilt for my niece's baby. I finished it and will share those photos tomorrow. I have two more baby quilts due by January so I'm going to start the next one soon so I only have to appliqué the names on and quilt them and I hope to gift them just after the birth.
    I'll sleep well tonight after all the activity and hope to deliver the baby quilts tomorrow. I also plan on putting another QAYG quilt together too.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Baby and a Block.

 One of my nieces' had a baby girl last week and she told me she loves pink for girls so I hope she likes the quilt. I make a large cot sized quilt for the new babies in the family and they use them as a play mat when the baby is little and then a cot quilt or cuddle blanket as they grow. I also appliqué the baby's name on their quilt as a nice keepsake. This little girl was going to be named Charlotte and then known as Charley but Prince William and Kate calling their baby Charlotte made the parents change their mind. They decided to name her Charley Rose and I also added lots of pink rose prints.
    It's the quickest one I've made as they will be coming up here next week. I still have another one to finish for Charley's cousin so I need to get that one done now. At least I have a plan! My sister has four children and they have each welcomed new babies in the last nine months, so there's been lots of baby quilts to be made.
    I also had to make a 12 inch block for my Melbourne Quilting Group's challenge and, as I am going to Melbourne tomorrow for the meeting on Monday, I wanted to get it finished too. We've enjoyed some much needed rain which has helped to fill our water tanks and it's been good quilting weather.
Hugs, Jan Mac