Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Just Do It.

There's been lots happening behind the scenes here, deconstructing vintage shredded blocks so I can use the fabric to repair some vintage quilts, and making plans for new projects. I also need to find time to finish some of my UFOs as well as more donation quilts.
    My niece had her baby six months ago and I had made the baby quilt for her sister's baby but was too slow getting this one finished. Finally I decided to just get it done and today was the day. It's such a relief to finally have it finished. Four of my nieces have had babies in the past nine months and I make a baby quilt for each new baby and appliqué the baby's name on it. I think I'm going to have to make some in advance as the babies seem to be coming much more quickly now. Anyway it might be time to get some more finishes now while I'm on a roll.
    That will depend on how much sleep I need as I'm working nights again this week.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Archeology Quilt Style.

I was very lucky to find an old quilt comforter for sale and have the opportunity. To observe at first hand that thrifty pioneers really did line their comforters with old worn out quilts. I'm not showing all of it yet as I have plans for future projects but as I started to peel back the layers I found three more quilts hiding. They had all been tied instead of quilted so freeing them was easy and it was so much fun to uncover each part of the layers and then to find even more. No wonder the comforter weighed an absolute ton. It would have immobilized the sleeper under all the layers.
 Am I having fun? You bet!
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Consumed By Quilts.

 Today was such a special day for lovers of antique quilts as Janette MacInnes shared some of the antique quilts from her collection. Her talk was really interesting and the quilts spanned the era of mid 1800s to mid 1960s. It was lovely to see original fabrics which have inspired the reproduction fabrics it's which we are familiar and the hand quilting was wonderful.
     Added to that was the opportunity to catch up with old friends and even a small amount of sewing was done. June of Lily Patches, in Boronia, organized the day with the help of Lisa and Louise, of the Max and Louise Pattern Company, and I enjoyed it so much that I do hope they arrange another one in the not too distant future.
    I hope you enjoy the photos of the lovely quilts we enjoyed seeing. Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gift Quilt Day.

 The week started with a great social day with my Melbourne quilting group as we held our day to make donation quilts. There was lots of chatting while we pinned quilts, cut quilt kits and stitched on bindings and labels. It's surprising how much 30 ladies can achieve while still having fun and catching up on news. I came home and went straight to bed because I had night shifts to work but it was a great start to a busy week.
     In the meantime, I'm catching up on sleep before my next trip to Melbourne to see some antique quilts.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wow! Another Very Special Donation.

 I received two huge postage bags stuffed full of tops, QAYG blocks and yarn from Jo L of Qld. Jo has been very busy sewing and has donated 9 quilt tops, of which some are shared here. She also sent 18 QAYG blocks as well as balls of yarn. Jo has requested that all of these be donated to groups which assist the needy from domestic violence situations and I know they will be thrilled to receive them for their clients. The beautiful top below has been stitched onto fabric foundations and it is a great way to use up lots of those smaller scraps and strings.
    Thank you so much for your very generous donations Jo as you have also given me a huge gift of time as I only have to quilt and bind these tops to get them donated. This past week has been busy with a work presentation for 30 years of continuous service for me, as well working more nights. I'm off to Melbourne to help with a sewing day for our Gift Quilt Program tomorrow and then back home again to work more nights so I hope to surface towards the end of next week.
    In the meantime, a very big thank you for all your generous donations and I'll post more finished quilts as soon as time and work allows.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, April 11, 2016

Let's Quilt.

 We have a Gift Quilt day coming up for my Melbourne group, and several of the ladies like to do some hand stitching while they chat, so I've quilted a couple of smaller quilts for them to stitch down the binding on. I'm hoping to get at least one more done before the weekend too. These two lovely tops were made by members of my group.
     I'm still machine quilting this Streak of Lightening vintage quilt as well. It's been a bit tedious because my machine doesn't seem to like the zig zag change of direction. It stitches the first part well and then I've been having trouble with tension. I've made a few adjustments and I'm sewing more slowly which has helped but I'll be happy to finish this one and get on to one which is more co-operative with my machine.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, April 8, 2016

It's Been A Busy Week.

 Lots of night shifts to work and lots of sleep required so not a lot happening on the quilting front. There's also been a few more purchases of vintage quilt tops and blocks. The Trip Around the World quilt top is from a deceased estate and it's made from poly knit offcuts that the quilter had left over from making clothes for her children. I knew it was a poly knit when I bought it and as I don't already own one, and the price was right, I thought I'd add it to my collection. They seem to be indestructible from all reports and the bright colours are fun.
     I also bought a set of star blocks, probably pieced from 1950s fabric and there is a needle still stuck into the fabric. The stars have all been made so it will be a fun project to tuck into my bag as a "carry along" WIP for those little increments of time.
       I also gad my Melbourne quilting group's meeting on Monday and we had a very informative talk by Kathy Kaplan, of Impact. Kathy spoke about the effects of domestic violence in our communities as well as the work that occurs to help the women and children affected. Our group made another large donation of toiletry bags, and you can see of those I made, as well as lots of pretty items to be distributed for their Mother's Day project. I took the opportunity to donate some more finished quilts and crocheted blankets.Kathy asked me to pass on her very sincere thanks for all of your donations. Delys R., could you also please thank your DD very much for her beautiful quilt which will be a treasured gift for someone in need. Kathy said that the ladies who received the quilts we have donated have been thrilled with them.
  Many thanks, Jan Mac

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Rescuing Humpty Dumpty.

 I bought this lovely 1880s quilt with a plan for a rescue. Probably rescue is not correct as this lovely quilt has been cut up and I only have four pieces of the original to work with and several missing sections. I laid out the sections, matching them to where they had been cut apart so I could see what was missing. The quilt was originally 30 squares in each direction and the squares measure 2.25 inches. They are a lovely selection of fabrics and the quilting is lovely.
     Rather than just piecing him together seamlessly I think I will add repro shirtings on the back so you can see how he has been reconstructed, but make the top back into a resemblance of his former glory, using antique fabrics which resemble the original.
     This process is more of a resurrection than a simple repair but I think he will be well worth the effort. Hopefully I can turn Humpty Dumpty into Lazarus and I'll share my finished quilt so you can see if the resurrection is a success or not.
     The last two photos show a rare occurrence for me- a finished quilt I've bought which doesn't require any restoration work. I think she's probably from the 1950s and she has been nicely quilted in a Baptist Fan design, using a relatively large stitch. I liked the design and she is in excellent condition but needs a soak to remove a couple of age spots. She's too large to easily hang on my design wall so will need to take better photos another time.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, April 1, 2016

100 QAYG Blocks.

 This huge pile of blocks is what Stephanie D, from Perth, managed to stuff into a postal bag. She apologized because she couldn't cram in the other 15 she'd made. Lol you certainly got value for money from the Post Office this time Stephanie. Unbelievably Stephanie  crammed 100 QAYG blocks into the bag and even more impressive is the fact that she made them all in such a short period of time. Now I need to get busy making them into quilts for the needy.
   Many thanks for your wonderful donation for my current quilt project.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Rescuing a Quilt.

 I love repairing old quilts, giving them new life and restoring their beauty. Even utility quilts are worthy of repair as I love their faded beauty. A friend asked if there are any quilts I wouldn't repair and I have to admit I haven't found one I would decline to work on, or at least not yet.
    This beautiful quilt was sandwiched between other fabric, it's padding provided warmth with new covers. There was a hole large enough for a basketball to pass through in the centre block of the quilt, probably chewed by a dog. The hole had been patched with a piece of toweling. Many of the stars' fabric has shredded leaving holes over most of the blocks.
     I decided she was pretty enough to get a second chance so I firstly unpicked all the quilting. It gad been done in a double Baptist Fan but varied in stitch length, leading me to believe that several people worked on the quilting. The seam allowances vary from 1/16th to 1/2 an inch and the pieces have all been cut by hand and vary in size. The quilt had been trimmed halfway through one of the rows of stars so I took that row off and I'm using those for repairs. So far I have created a new central block by hand stitching half stars to replace the holes. The last two photos show the new centre block in place. Now I am hand piecing or hand appliquéing new stars to replace the shredded ones. It's a labour of love and has only taken me a couple of weeks so far. I gave really loved working on some of my own projects but will also be finishing off a few more donation quilts soon.
     Although the stitching and unpicking can be tedious I find it to be very relaxing and I'm sure she will be worth it. Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac