Friday, June 30, 2017

An Insanity Break.

 Tomorrow we are off to cross the Simpson Desert, in the middle of Australia (for our overseas readers). We will be away for 2 weeks and I hope to be able to post some blog notes but we will be without internet access for a lot of the time.
   This week has been busy with cutting firewood for our DD who is house sitting for us, as well as packing and making lists of food etc we need to take. We haven't been away since this time last year when we crossed the Simpson but this time we are traveling with DD and her DH, and the prospective parents wanted to make the trip before the baby arrives. She is 31.5 weeks so hopefully all will be well. They are taking a camper trailer so she has extra comfort for sleeping and they are looking forward to the trip with us.
    I did manage to quilt a cot sized quilt without too many problems with my wrists but carrying the firewood probably didn't help. It won't hurt to be away from the quilting for another 2 weeks to make sure they are rested.
    I have been stitching my La Passion together and joining the smaller elements to the Mother Ship. It makes it an easy way to stitch when traveling without carrying too large a piece. I have prepped smaller elements to stitch while we are away and I have also decided to take my Insanity Quilt with us. It is also made from half inch hexagons and although it looks like I haven't done much,. I have stitched lots of the smaller elements and need to join them together. Hopefully there will be some time for stitching but I also find that I mainly have time for crocheting squares for blankets for the homeless, as I can do that while we are driving.
   I started a Facebook group called, The Insanity Quilt by Rhonda Pearce, with Rhonda's permission, about 3 years ago. I thought I might have 6 others interested but we have just reached 1,804 members internationally and here in Australia. I think it might be time to get more stitching done on my Insanity quilt and will see how much I can do in the next 2 weeks. Probably not a lot!
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Restore and Repurpose.

 One of my great loves is restoring antique quilts and this lovely old beauty has just arrived. It was made for a four poster bed and was probably cut down to fit as one side is longer than the other. She is well faded but still a lovely piece of history. Some of the fabrics are shredded from prolonged exposure to sunlight so I will take off the extra half row and use those fabrics to make repairs. Even these old quilts deserve a second chance.
 There are some beautiful fabrics in this top and the faded parts are in strange places so perhaps it was under a window which received dappled light.
 Some of the 9 patches have 2 different fabrics and some are a mixture of scraps.
 These beautiful madders still shine brightly.
 This is a second cutter piece I am restoring. The Chinese Coins have been foundation pieced to old sheeting and the weight of the foundation pieces has placed added strain on the thinner sashing fabric. It was in sections as the sashing had given way on most pieces.

 I have taken all the sashing off and have soaked the pieces 7 times, with very muddy water draining away after each soaking. Below you can see the top piece hasn't been washed yet compared with the bottom piece which, although faded, is very clean. There were quite bad pieces of staining on some of the pieces, and not all have come out. I also have quite a few pieces of shredded fabric to replace and then put them back together again, so it's a labour of love.
 While I was in Melbourne for a few days I finally had time to paint some furniture before setting up my sewing room. I have 2 book cases to paint and 2 small cupboards. They are all going to be painted white for a fresh look and I have still got quite a bit to do but I'm making progress.

We're off to the Simpson Desert for 2 weeks, leaving at the weekend so we're busy packing and making sure we have our supplies ready. I'm hoping to get some more tops quilted soon too.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Fabulous Gift.

 I received another fabulous parcel from Western Australia and it was such a blessing for the current quilt project for Peter Mac Cancer Centre. It came from Sandra W-C, Maria W's DD,  and they have both been very busy making 25 QAYG blocks as well as including the binding.

 Sandra also included 2 beautiful cot sized quilts and the backs are as lovely as the fronts so I  have included photos of them as well.

 Sandra also sent more lovely blocks as well which will play nicely with some I gave on hand. Sorry the photos are out of order, as I am trying a new way of loading them onto my blog when we travel, and it's not as easy as on my computer.
     We're having more house inspections at the moment and I have still been resting my wrists, so no quilting, but I hope to have more to show soon. There's also been lots of trips to Melbourne and DD2 and I  saw the stage show, Aladdin, which was excellent,  with great sets and costumes, and the Magic Carpet ride was spectacular. Therecwere lots of kids in the audience and it was wonderful to see them so enthralled with a live show.
   Now that we have the farm ready for sale,  it's  back to work for me and hopefully more time and health to quilt.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Finish and Hand Piecing.

 My arms and wrists are improving so I hope to be quilting again very soon. In the meantime I have counted the quilts I already have finished for Peter Mac and there are 39 which is a good number so far. I might only get 50 delivered before Christmas as we have a busier time coming up but there will still be 50 people experiencing a warm hug and I'm sure the rest will be appreciated when they are delivered too.
   I had a few days in Melbourne over the weekend but I did manage to finish my Shimmering Triangles top before we left home. It came together much more quickly when I had plenty of room to lay out the blocks before sewing them and I would make a few changes next time. This top will be quilted soon and most likely go to Peter Mac as well. I'd like to make one for our bed but I would like to use different colours next time.
     I have also been doing some hand stitching and have started work on my La Passion quilt top again, using half inch hexies. I started this one when we flew to Europe for holidays and it's hard to believe that was 3 years ago. I still love the pattern but it gets put away for 6 months or so at a time while I focus on the donation quilts. I need to have it finished before May 2019 for an exhibition in Germany so I need to keep working on it.
  I'm making it in sections and I have just joined another circle piece to the "mothership". I have 2 more diamonds to join on as well and then only two more circle sections and 1 more diamond piece before I have finished this part. I've also started stitching the next border around the outside too so it won't be too boring working on 4 rows of border.
  I'd still love to make one in red and white but need to get this one finished first. I hope to get quilting again soon as the pile of tops is mounting up.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, June 9, 2017

Jenny Bowker's Shimmering Triangles.

 There's been a few big days of travel in the last week, with a trip to Melbourne on Sunday to see family, then my Melbourne quilting group meeting Monday. I left the meeting early as I had signed up for a 2 day class with Jenny Bowker at Heather's Quilting Emporium in Moama (NSW) and needed to go home to collect all my bits and pieces for class then drive to Moama.
   It was a spur of the moment decision to take the classes as I had always wanted to take a class with Jenny and she is retiring from teaching at the end of the year, and I heard there were a couple of vacancies so signed up on the Friday.
 I was so pleased that I did take the class as Jenny is a fabulous teacher and shares all sorts of techniques and information, more than just the design we were working on in class. She showed her first Shimmering Triangles quilt and how the design has evolved from there.
 I loved this one in reds, orange, yellow contrasting with blacks and greys, to represent the bush fires we've experienced. I didn't have the right fabrics for this one as I wanted to use my stash of Kaffe Fassett fabrics I'd been collecting so that might be a future project. I love the fabric with the very large floral prints, especially the large grey roses.
 Jenny also talked about free motion quilting floral designs to enhance the floral fabric on the white background quilt and her work was lovely.
 This Shimmering Triangles quilt represents a flower garden with the green borders and I loved this one too. It is an ideal size for a gift quilt too.
 This is my progress at the end of day 1 and below is what I had joined after a day and a half.
These are the rest of the fabrics I am using and there isn't actually too much left to do to finish the top. I had such a great time and Heather's hospitality was fantastic with beautiful home cooked meals, good company and a lovely large room for sewing. I can highly recommend Heather workshop days and retreats and she is starting to run some at Beechworth (Vic) too.
   It was a fun class to take with Jenny and it's sad that she is retiring from teaching but she wants to make and design more quilts so I'm looking forward to seeing her new designs too. I was also very happy to have a design which is ideal to showcase my Kaffe Fassett fabric instead of having it stored away as Fat Quarters. This will probably be finished and donated to Peter Mac too as I think it will cheer someone up in need of a hug.
   I'm hoping to get back into quilting more tops soon but in the meantime I am able to do some more piecing. Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Quieter Weekend.

I'm still resting from quilting while my arms recover so I have spent some time piecing instead. This top was made for the 70273 Project and was made from blocks donated by AQA friends. The crosses are to represent the number of disabled people who were murdered by the Nazis during an 18 month time period.
   There are several internet sites which give more information and there is possibly going to be an exhibition of these quilts at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this year. They needed the top by the end of June so it's good to have another finish crossed off my long list.
    My wrists are still aching at times, especially the left one, so I will postpone quilting for a bit longer and do some more piecing instead.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Donation Quilts From Western Australia

 Maria W. from WA has been a long time supporter of Oz Comfort Quilts and she has very kindly donated these beautiful quilts for Peter Mac. I love the border treatment in the top quilt and it's the right colours and size for a male patient which is wonderful as they are hard to come by.
 This beautiful quilt will be loved by a lady and it has many different sewing tools appliqued on it. I love the Braid border too.
I make my own labels and always add the quilter's name unless it is an anonymous donation. Thanks so much Maria for your continued support and I know that your beautiful quilts will bring much comfort to patients at Peter Mac.
   I've eased back on the quilting for a few days to rest my arms and also as we've had house inspections so I've had to stash and dash all my sewing things away.
Hugs, Jan Mac