Tuesday, December 31, 2019

It's A Wrap For 2019.

 Today I took some time to review how many quilt tops I have quilted, how many quilts I made and how many baby jackets I knitted for Peter Mac  as these have been what I have focused on this year.
   I quilted 84 tops for my quilting group, Australian Quilters Association.
  I finished 38 of my UFOs - which I am thrilled about, and almost all of them were donated.
I made and finished 23 quilts for family or donation.
I quilted  61 donated tops.
I received 12 donated and finished quilts for Peter Mac made by my lovely blog readers.
I donated 2 crocheted blankets, which was less than usual. This is because I usually work in them when we are travelling and we didn't go away this year.
I knitted 14 baby jackets for sale in the Peter Mac auxiliary shop as well as other items such as table toppers, cushion covers and cloth bags.
I finished 31 quilts from QAYG blocks which were mostly donated by my lovely blog readers.
We donated 110 Oz Comfort Quilts throughout the year, with 78 going to Peter Mac Cancer Centre , 29 to Anglicare and 3 to Odyssey House.
I finished this baby jacket last night and you probably can't see it in the photo but I ran out of wool so I had to use another pink yarn and alternated the yarns in the top section so it was less obvious. I had already planned to donate this one to a group which receives donations for pregnant women who have escaped domestic violence. They said that there is also a big demand for cot and bassinet blankets so I will focus on a few of these too. They don't accept quilts as they can't be used for babies and toddlers. I will write a future post about their group in case anyone else wants to donate to them. They will also accept gently used baby clothes so I will sort through those I have on hand here which aren't  being used.
     So that's the end of 2019 and I'm very happy with finishing 98 quilts myself as well as quilting 84 for AQA. I aim at quilting 100 a year for AQA but baby sitting took up more time this year and that will also be the case in 2020. It's very rewarding to know that something I love to do such as quilting and knitting can help those in need in our communities and however many things I finish next year will make a difference to some people and I will have to be content with that. Looking after 2 very active grandsons is very rewarding and also very tiring and I can see that my output might be down next year but I will enjoy every moment of watching them grow. Seeing little Jake (not yet 2 1/2) sing Twinkle, twinkle little star with hand actions, is such a joy and little Aidan is now 7 months old and he's also found his voice with lots of noisy babbling.
I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year's Eve tonight and good health and happiness in the year to come.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, December 30, 2019

UFO Monday- 38th UFO Finish.

 Sadly a lot of Australians are experiencing life threatening bush fires and many people in several states have lost their homes. We're also having extremely hot weather conditions and we are happy that we no longer have to worry about floods or bushfires now we have moved to Melbourne . The enormity of giving support to those who lost their homes in the fires can be overwhelming with 1,200 homes lost so far and the fires are continuing. In 2009, Oz Comfort Quilts distributed 2,300 quilts to the people who lost their homes , family and friends in the Kinglake area, and this was only possible due to all the support we received from quilters here as well as internationally.  I have run many other quilt drives in the past but only initiate them if I have local contacts who can be relied on to help with distribution of quilts in their affected areas to ensure that the quilts reach the people where they are intended. There will be no immediate rush to decide on whether or not to run another quilt drive as the affected people won't be in a position to receive or use quilts for some time so I will continue to give it some serious thought and in the meantime keep making quilts.
       As a change of pace which allows me to sit under the air conditioning and try to stay cool, I've been working on another UFO of hexagons which I have started to stitch to background fabric.
 I'm also taking some time to sort through my craft and sewing supplies and I was very surprised to find this white baby jacket which I had finished knitting but put aside quite a few months ago without finishing it up. I didn't think there would be time for another UFO finish but this one has also been completed and makes the list for 38 UFO finishes this year.  I'm really happy with this and I still have quite a few UFOs I've recently found so I'm going to keep working on finishing more next year.
This little jacket will be donated to the Peter Mac auxiliary shop to raise funds for patient services and I plan on knitting a few more as time allows . Now I need to tally my finishes for 2019 and get ready for another productive year for 2020.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Weekly Catch Up.

 We're having some very hot weather and I'm still enjoying slowing down a bit but I did get 4 AQA quilt tops quilted for my quilting group's Gift Quilt program so that was a bonus.

 The photos aren't great but it was too hot to dally outside. The donated top below was also quilted and is going into the next shipment of quilts I'm getting ready for Peter Mac .
 I also knitted another baby jacket for sale in the Peter Mac auxiliary shop and it was a nice change to knit while enjoying watching the test cricket match against New Zealand .
It's going to be an even hotter day of 43 degrees C (109.4 F) so I might even spend the day reading but I probably need to take it eady for a bit before we get busy again.
I hope you're all enjoying some time to relax as well.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Never Idle.

 We had a lovely family Christmas lunch and will do it all again at the end of next week to catch up with family who had to work on Christmas Day. Now it's time to rest up a bit and watch Australia play New Zealand in the Boxing Day test match. It was also a good time to start crocheting a new lap blanket for Peter Mac's auxiliary shop.  I found a new pattern to make a rectangular blanket instead of a square and I'm using Caron Cakes which I bought earlier in the year. It's 80% acrylic and 20 % wool and crochets up easily and feels soft which I am really enjoying working with.
As a change for my hand muscles I'm also stitching more 6 pointed stars for AQA, my quilting group , and these will make a nice quilt for a male as I'm avoiding using more feminine colours .
    There's also been a few nanna naps happening and I know that I need to take it a bit easier before we get busy again in the new year. I hope you all had a lovely time with family and friends and now are enjoying a time of relaxation too. Soon I will look back over how much I achieved during the year with my quilting and decide on some plans for the coming year but in the meantime I'm enjoying a bit of a change in pace.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, December 23, 2019

UFO Monday.

No more UFO finishes this week but I did stitch down this large orphan block to background fabric.  Then I plan to make co-ordinating blocks using similar fabric and use this piece as a central block. It won't be finished soon but it will be another one to cross off the list for next year.
        I have loved finishing UFOs this year and think I will continue with this focus next year but I think I also need to start a new project to keep my interest.
  There probably won't be any sewing either over the next few days but time with family is always very precious.
   I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas with those you love and some quiet time to rest and recover. Even if I don't have time for the sewing machine I hope to do some hand stitching and I'm also knitting baby jackets to donate but that is more relaxing than wrangling quilts through the machine.
Take care everyone.
Hugs ,Jan Mac 

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Weekly Catch Up.

 No quilting happened this week but I did deliver another 14 quilts to Peter Mac (4 of them were from Maria W. from W.A.) as well as another box of table runners etc for sale in the Peter Mac auxiliary shop . December always seems to be a short month as I try to fit in more projects than time allows .
     On the weekend I did make these Santa sacks for our lovely grandsons and jyst need to thread drawstrings through the coloured strips of fabric .
 I also made a Christmas stocking for Aidan to match one I made Jake previously.  These will hang under their tree.
 Hand sewing these 6 pointed stars at night during the past couple of weeks meant that I finished 25 of them and appliqued them to background squares.   I've enjoyed stitching them so I will continue to make enough for another AQA quilt and these squares will be joined into a quilt by another member, before I quilt it.
 These two delightful boys were with us full time this week as our DD had to work for the last week if term. She will be back at work full time at the end of January . We had a very busy week with trying to get Aidan to try formula via teaspoon and taking him to our DD to breast feed at lunchtime, but we survived and the boys were happy.
I'm really sorry that I haven't sent out any Christmas cards but time just went too quickly. Thank you to everyone who sent me a card and best wishes which I really appreciated.
  December seems to be a shorter monty every year and I  now have a couple of days to prepare for Christmas cooking and family festivities so I will be back soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Weekly Catch Up.

 It's been a busy week but then again they all seem to be. We had family staying and I seemed to have a virus causing headaches,  excessive tiredness and nausea for most of the week. DH is worried I might be getting Chronic Fatigue again so I am trying to rest up a bit more.
    These 3 quilts were tops made by members of my quilting group and I am getting a head start for next year by getting a few finished now.

 My DD wanted to nake a quilt for Aidan so I cut and pressed while she sewed and we tried to get it done while the boys slept. Now we have to add sashing and borders before I quilt it.
I've also been stitching more 6 pointed stars and appliqueing them to background fabric which is nice and relaxing. I still have lots to do but this coming week will be busy with DD back at work fulltime for a week and, as she's still breastfeeding, I will have to take Aidan to her for feeds, hopefully only once a day.
      Every year I wish I had started preparing to make Christmas items earlier for Peter Mac but some finished is better than none and at least I got a lot of quilts finished. I'm also hoping to get more UFOs finished before the end of the year but spending time with family is also a priority so I will try not to worry if I don't get much sewing time.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Another Special Delivery.

 Yesterday a very large parcel arrived from Maria W. of Western Australia and it was packed full of quilts to donate to Peter Mac.  Maria is an ongoing supporter of Oz Comfort Quilts and these 4 fabulous quilts will bring so much joy this Christmas for those in need of a warm hug. The vibrant colours of the first 2 are both so cheerful and will be treasured.
 The quilt below is in lovely soft pastel colours and the applique is beautiful.
 The last quilt is also brightly coloured and has great kid's prints.

 Maria also very kindly added some more blocks to be added to some I have on hand here.
 This fabulous "happy birthday" bunting was made by Maria for my grandsons, Jake and Aidan, and it will be lovely to decorate with it for their birthdays.
Thank you so much for all of your support with these quilt projects Maria and I will drop them off to Peter Mac this week. Lots more people will enjoy our quilts this Christmas thanks to all of you and your support of Oz Comfort Quilts .
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Today's Happy Mail.

 Many, many thanks to Stephanie D. from Western Australia who sent 82 QAYG blocks and 2 sets of sashing to join the blocks. Stephanie you have gifted me with hours of time by supplying me with more QAYG blocks and they will be a great way to start off the next collection of quilts for Peter Mac .
 I also received a lovely Christmas card from Peter Mac to thank everyone who has donated  to Oz Comfort Quilts and contributed to the quilts we donated as well as all of the items we produced for their auxiliary shop .
They also included a letter which outlines all of the projects funded by sales from the Peter Mac auxiliary shop and it's wonderful to see how our donations play a small part in funding their wonderful work to provide assistance to their patients for extra services.
       Thank you all so much for your help with these ongoing projects which are making a difference in the wider community.
    Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, December 9, 2019

UFO Monday.

 As I finished another 3 UFOs on the weekend I thought I would tidy up my sewing room and I found another 3 to work on. Really I could work on UFOs non stop as I receive some as donations and lots are mine too. The first photo shows a quilt made from the diamonds that I am currently stitching. I stitch them together and then applique them to a background square of fabric.
 I found more of mine that I had started to piece years ago and they are similar in size to my recent acquisitions so I will integrate these into the new ones. I used to glue tye papers on but I changed back to stitching these onto the paper and I'm enjoying the process of some hand stitching.
 I also found this set of 9  donated blocks so will see if I can find some more which will play nicely with these.
 This large package contained some donated blocks and lots of matching fabric so I will create a top from these. It won't be as the original quilter intended but it will be finished.
 This mix of blocks was donated and as there's not enough for a quilt and they don't really match each other, I will take apart the blocks that have been joined together and see if I can either find some similar blocks to jojn them, or make some to match them.
Luckily I love working on finishing UFOs, both mine and those donated so I can see that I won't run out of things to work on for a while.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Weekly Catch Up.

 I had no quilts finished this week and less sewing time as DD badly sprained her ankle and had to rest it as much as possible so we enjoyed looking after our lovely grandsons. I had already decided to focus on getting some items made for sale in the Peter Mac auxiliary shop to help them raise funds for patient's services. This first table topper was made by Jo B. and I quilted it in time for sale for Christmas gift giving.
 These 2 table toppers were both UFOs and they are UFO finishes 35 and 36 for the year. They were fun to make and it's great to have more UFO finishes.
 The top table runner was also a UFO  and it's my 37th UFO finish for the year, and the one below was a panel piece I made into a table runner as it has a tea and coffee theme.
 I decorated 5 tea towels and 2 hand towels for sale as Christmas gifts.
 I made 3 small bags and the cushion below as well for gifts. Sue McP. had donated the lovely panel for the cushion.
 During the week I also pieced 10 of these stars and appliqued 9 of them to fabric. Some of these star pieces were donated and some were cut from donated fabric. As some of them came to me through my quilting group ,AQA , I am piecing them for use by AQA's Gift Quilt Program . It's a nice change of stitching while watching TV at night.
Jake has just decided to stop having his afternoon nap unfortunately so it looks like I will need to sew at night again. He loves copying what we do and had started to place plastic cakes in my CD Rom, turn on the computer and tell me he's cooking cakes. We decided to buy him a little kitchen and he loves it. He helps Pa to make cup cakes and  now he can pretend bake as much as he likes.
       It's been great to get so nany items ready to be donated to the Peter Mac auxiliary shop but I wish I had started earlier. Nevermind every bit helps and there will still be a need for more even after Christmas . Oh, and it's our 40th wedding anniversary today  and it has flashed past, and I would marry him again if we went back in time. Ray's been a wonderful life partner and husband.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Gail Pan Designs.

At my quilting group's  last quilt meeting for the year we presented quilts to Peter Mac, Foster Care of Vic and Anglicare with a total of 318 for the year.  After the Gift Quilt Show and Tell we have about 20 quilts ready for next year's donations.
     We shared a lovely morning tea and our guest speaker was Gail Pan. She entertained us with the story of her quilt journey to where she is currently as an author of 4 books, many patterns, fabric designer and international teacher. Gail specializes in stitcheries and needleturn applique and she shared many of her quilts and smaller stitchery projects.
      I always like to support local designers and I couldn't resist buying 2 of her books some of her fabric and a beautiful pattern. The pattern will be ideal for using a variety of my accumulated fat quarters and it's a mux of easy piecing as well as applique . It's tempting to start a new project by starting this pattern bug tye UFOs are still demanding attention. The question is how long can I resist the need to start something new.  Lol. Check out Gail's web page too as she has many lovely designs to tempt you.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, December 2, 2019

UFO Monday - 32nd, 33rd and 34th Finishes.

 When I decided to work on reducing my UFOs I never dreamt that I would be able to finish so many. There's still plenty to work on too but it's great to have so many finished , reducing the fabric stash and making room on the shelves.
   This first one was a pile of donated strips and I added brown hand dyed fabric donated by Maree St C. of Vic and it's going to be a lovely quilt for a male patient at Peter Mac Cancer Centre.
 This top was left over from a larger one of simple squares. I think I used the larger piece as a backing and was thinking of doing the same with this piece until I found this beautiful fabric for the border. Just adding the floral stripe added so much to the simple squares and it will also go to Peter Mac.
This last quilt was also the remains of a much larger top which I had made smaller to make it more appropriate for donation. I added borders and it will also be donated to Peter Mac . I still have more of these to finish off too.
      Whether the finished quilts were UFOs or not doesn't really matter as they are all donated but it's great to have more of the UFOs finished so they can be donated.
Hugs, Jan Mac