Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Quieter Week.

 A nasty head cold meant that there was less sewing this week and although I managed to clean out 5 cupboards, I spent a few days doing not much while I recovered. I also managed to finish the baby quilt up to the last borders. I added a large border in white for the top of the quilt and that is where I will applique the child's name when he arrives. I chose a bright aqua for the final border and I found a lovely aqua chevron pattern for the binding but might use a darker teal instead of the aqua. It will depend on the colours chosen for the nursery and this one will be for our expected grandson if his mother approves. LOL. Otherwise I'm sure one of the other expected babies will be a boy and I will have one ready to go.
 My DD had requested a "cat" quilt about 7 years ago after her beloved cat, Tiger, passed. I have been collecting cat fabric and really should have made the quilt long ago but kept collecting and puzzling over how to make it. She also wants a photo on fabric of her beloved pet as one of the central blocks. My indecision probably stemmed from worrying about how to do that too.
    Luckily when I packed away most of my fabric I kept the pile of cat fabric and decided it was finally time to get it done. Even if it's not exactly what she had in mind at least it will be finished.
I had already made 8 of the 30 blocks needed and I remember there was also a worry that I didn't have enough of the blue for the whole quilt. I must have found some more because I have enough and hopefully enough of the cream too. I spent a couple of hours working on it last night and should be able to get the blocks finished soon and then try to find a place to copy a photo onto fabric. I used alternate blocks to add more interest and I think I'll add a wide border too in a darker blue.
  It will be good to have it finished and gifted so I can focus on finishing more UFOs. I haven't put myself under too much pressure with UFOs this year as we have so many other things happening.
Linda, the Square in a Square pattern used 6.5" central sqs and 5.75" sqs cut on the diagonal for the outer pieces. I always start with them larger than I need and then trim to size. A couple of the central sqs were only 6" but with adding the outer triangles, it's not obvious.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Change of Pace.

As I had to pack up my quilting things for house inspections I decided it was time to work on a few things which don't create so much mess. LOL
   I finished the first baby quilt top I'd started and have put it away for now. It will be for one of my nieces or nephews' babies and I will add borders and the baby's name when the baby arrives.
  I also found a half jelly roll which has a Woodlands theme which is what my DD is having for their nursery. I didn't want to cut the fabric up too much and lose the designs on the fabric so I made it up like a jelly race quilt then cut 6.5 inches off twice and reversed one panel. I'll border the inner panel with white and then add borders so almost finished that one too.
 They are also talking about eliminating plastic bags for shoppers here, and some states already do this so I thought I'd make some more cloth bags. I started by covering eco bags I already had but will also make some without as I think that might be quicker. I will have very stylish grocery bags now.
  I also needed to start on more baby sewing as my DD is already half way to delivery. I made these little pants in newborn size but I think I will add to make the waist band higher on the next pair I make with this pattern as they don't seem to be big enough to cover a nappy. I'm also knitting baby jackets now that the weather here is cooler. I will return to finishing more quilts but it's nice not to have too much stuff to tidy away for house inspections. More decluttering will happen over the weekend too.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It Never Gets Old.

 As you can see I have been very busy finishing off more QAYG quilts from donated blocks. I still love putting them together and it is so easy when I receive donated blocks. I've even had bindings donated at times and that speeds up the process even more. These quilts will be going to clients at the Peter Mac Cancer Centre and kids in Foster Care.

 There was no sewing yesterday as we had 2 house inspections but I have quite a few finished quilts to donate now and these finishes have depleted my stash a bit as I used that for the backings and bindings. I still have more QAYG blocks to put together and will get back to it soon.
   Many thanks for your kind comments. Margaret, we live 2 and a half hours from Melbourne in the country, and we are moving to the outskirts of Melbourne to be closer to our DD, her lovely husband and our expected grandson. Marijke, if only we were close to emptying the house. LOL A large house and living here for 27 years, means that there is a lot to declutter and move, but we will get there.
   All of the house inspections have been very positive so far so fingers crossed.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Quilting Frenzy.

It's surprising how much quilting you can finish when you have downsized the house and need to get some finished quilts donated before you sell and move. The first 4 quilts were tops made by members of my Melbourne quilting group and I volunteer to quilt tops for the group. It's always fun to work with new fabric and designs without having to store the finished quilts.

 These last 3 quilts were made from donated tops from my lovely blog readers.  It's fun to search my stash of fabrics for backings and bindings and again the cupboards are being emptied for a good cause. All of these quilts will be donated to Peter Mac Cancer Centre or to kids in Foster Care.

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated QAYG blocks, tops or fabric. They are all being used to make quilts for the needy and it's only been possible to donate so many due to all my wonderful helpers.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, April 17, 2017

Time For QAYG.

 Thanks to the lovely quilters who have used up their scraps by making QAYG blocks I have a ready supply of blocks to finish off donation quilts quickly. I have made thousands of quilts from QAYG blocks and I never tire of them. While packing up my fabric I found more bags of blocks I had stored when life was too busy to finish them into quilts so I have been busy getting more finished now.

 I've been making more QAYG quilts and have another pile ready to photograph. My pile of fabric that has been in the cupboard is also being used up for the sashing and binding strips so I am emptying cupboards as well as getting quilts finished for donation. A win-win!
I hope you all enjoyed a happy and peaceful Easter break and thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, April 15, 2017

So Far.

 It hasn't taken me long to take the blocks apart, repiece them and get them ready to be joined together again. I think I've done about 2/3rds of the top but I will probably make it larger using similar fabrics.
I also started making a baby quilt as I have 4 due between July and Oct, 3 of them will be within 4 weeks or so. I usually wait to see what gender the baby is but this time I am going to piece enough tops for boys and girls, maybe 3 of each, add borders and then I will only have to applique the baby's name and quilt it. Hopefully I will be able to get them done before June as it looks like the rest of the year is gouing to be very busy with moving etc.
  I have also been busy quilting tops and finishing QAYG quilts so I will have more to share soon. Many thanks for your words of comfort, as it means a lot to me.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Labour of Love.

 Now that our home is ready for sale we are busy sorting through all of those belongings we have had stored in our shed. You know, all of those things you couldn't part with but didn't need, so they were put away for a decision at a later time. As well I have received a lot of donated tops and orphan blocks over the years and they have been carefully stored until I had time to complete them for donation.
  Now we have time for more decluttering I am gathering some tops and blocks from storage, as well as more QAYG blocks, to finish. This top was donated and I was going to quilt it but found it had been hand pieced by a beginner (that's OK we all have to start somewhere) but lots of the seams had blown as the stitching was too far apart. The fabric was good quilt shop quality and quilting it as is would mean it wouldn't stand up to much use without more seams coming apart.
  I've started to take the blocks apart and resew them so they will be able to become a much loved treasure as a donation quilt. The blocks were originally cut by scissors and the shapes varied, as well as varying seam allowances,so I am trimming the blocks a bit smaller than the originals so I have adequate seam allowances and the seams won't fray.

 It's a labour of love but I think it's worth it to remake the top and I know it will be treasured. As the stitching was done by hand it is relatively quick to unpick the stitches in the evening when I am taking a break from the sewing machine.
 As you can see they will look really nice when they are remade and I might add a few more fabrics to make it a bit bigger. I will keep going with this in between other finishes and hope to share its finish with you soon.
  Many thanks for all of your kind messages re my dad's passing. We had another memorial service yesterday at the care centre where he has lived for the last 3 years, so his friends there could say their goodbyes too. His biggest regret was not living long enough to see one of his friends celebarte his 100th birthday in September this year. It was lovely to meet his friends and hear how much he had meant to them and how they were missing him. Many people who had known us as children came to extend their condolences and I have realized that it has affected me more than I realized.
 Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

QAYG Support.

 I'm late in acknowledging but I have been very lucky to receive more beautiful QAYG blocks from Linda A. who lives in NZ and the UK. Linda very kindly made more QAYG blocks and posted them from NZ before she flew back to the UK. The blocks are a great way to clear out your older scraps but my scrap pile doesn't seem to be getting any smaller.
 I also received another 3 bags of QAYG blocks made by Bev K. from Bendigo, and delivered by Lesley L. of Rochester. Bev does a great job using up scraps of batting and lots of string scraps from the Rochester and Ky Valley quilters.
 I have been busy getting more QAYG quilts finished from the donated blocks so I will have some more finished quilts to share soon.
Thanks you so much for your kind words on my Dad's passing. I really appreciate your comments and I also appreciate all of you who have supplied me with QAYG blocks to make quilts for the needy. We've been lucky to have some much needed rain over the past week and our resident kangaroos came up close to the house to feed on some new green shoots. I will miss them when we move but that means we will have to go camping more often to enjoy the bush.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Monday, April 10, 2017

The End of an Era.

     My Dad died 10 days ago after a short illness. He would have been 92 in June and he is the last of his siblings and relatives of that generation. He has missed Mum every day for the last 10 years and we know he will be happily reunited with her again now. The funeral was last week in the middle of house inspections etc and life continues to be busy here but things have changed and I am still getting my head around the fact that he is gone as Ray and I had taken him to Drs appointments, coffee dates, shopping etc for the last 10 years.
    The packing and sorting will continue now after taking some time with family to reflect on Dad's life. We will continue to celebrate his birthday on June 22nd as a family gathering and will continue to get together with the extended family for an early Christmas gathering too. At the funeral we received exciting news that 2 more nieces are expecting babies this year so I now have 4 baby quilts to make which reminds us all that life continues despite our ups and downs.
Hugs, Jan Mac