Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 Look what I found packed away in a box. My eldest DD stitched 5 blocks for me as a Christmas gift but ran out of time to finish the outline and add the decorative beads. I told her that I would finish them for her. They must be at least 12 to 15 years old, or maybe older and they mean a lot as she put a lot of time into stitching them. I think I will either frame them or make a quilted wall hanging.
     I'm excited to have found them again as they deserve to be displayed and enjoyed rather than be stored in a box. I'm going to really enjoy finishing them off and maybe stitching the remaining blocks too as they are a set of 12. They are stitched on 18 count Aida so fairly delicate and the beading adds a nice touch.
This block is finished and I think I must have stitched the outer frame and added beads 7 or 8 years ago. I'm sure that blogging my weekly progress will keep me motivated and get them finished.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

UFO Monday.

 I've decided to regularly post on my progress on finishing my UFOs this year as I found that it was very motivating in completing Jake's Christmas stocking.  I need to get more UFOs finished but I won't start listing them as I don't even know where lots of them are packed away. Instead, as I find them I plan to work on them to a finish. Ì spend so much time finishing other people's UFOs, quilting tops etc and my own get left unfinished .
  This first one was a doll quilt I started in June last year when I attended a quilt study weekend run by Leah Zieber. She designed the pattern based on an antique doll's quilt from her collection. I had completed the first 3 rounds and half of the 4th round when I found it yesterday. The hexagons are half inch and I hope to have more progress to share next week.
The other UFO I found is the Insanity Quilt a design by Rhonda Pearce. I started this in 2014 but stalled with it as at the same time, I started another large hand pieced project, also using half inch hexagons. I even started a Facebook group for other quilters to encourage each other's progress. The other reason this quilt had stalled is because we sold our farm and needed to downsize into a smaller home. Making large quilts seemed less of a priority as they require larger storage space. I've decided to keep stitching and get it finished but I am considering not making it as large as the original design. I have been stitching it on most evenings this week and have made 6 or 7 more large flower hexie shapes as well as stitching about 6 onto the main piece.
   I'm still enjoying stitching the small hexies and will be very happy to cut down on my UFOs. Some were just small pieces, a block or half a top etc. and they may be repurposed but the main achievement will be removing lots of these bits and pieces.
     Thanks for reading dear blogging friends as I am sure that posting about mh progress will help me keep my focus on my own UFO finishes.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Busy Times.

 Despite the hot weather we've been having I have been busy basting tops and getting them finished. This first quilt was made from a set of 7 donated blocks which I added to by making another 5 blocks to make the top large enough. I don't think you can pick the different blocks I added and I'm pleased with the result.
 I finished another QAYG quilt thanks to generous quilters making these lovely blocks.
 This top was donated and is a great I Spy quilt for a child. It's great to have another finished quilt to donate.

These star blocks were donated by quilters from around the world and I am very happy to be able to use up more donated blocks. It was worth melting under the quilts to get more finishes. This last quilt was made from blocks donated by Sue McP.  from Victoria and it looks better in real life than in the photo. We were a bit rushed getting the photos taken. Lol
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Quilting Time.

 These 3 tops were made by members of AQA and I quilted them for our Gift Quilt Program. Luckily I pin basted them last week before we had these extremely hot days. I have one more to quilt and then I'm hoping to gef some more basted and ready for quilting when the weather cools over the weekend.

There's another couple of my finished quilts to share very soon. In the meantime I'm doing some hand stitching or reading to avoid the heat.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

We're having very hot weather at the moment so I haven't been exploring the boxes of cross stitch UFOS as I had hoped. I finished the little needle kit I was stitching and now have to make it up for a finish. Hopefully I will uncover another UFO soon as I'm finding that having a weekly report on my cross stitching is enabling me to work towards getting some UFOs finished.
    In fact, I think I will also start it for one of my long term hand stitching UFOs too.
We've enjoyed some lovely time with Jake and our DD as we have been to the beach and enjoyed a few picnic lunches. Our precious grandson is taking my time from my stitching and I don't mind a bit.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Slow Sewing.

 My daughters keep telling me that I need to do some sewing for me for once so I found a couple of antique treasures I  had bought to rescue and repair. The first one is a 16 patch Utility quilt top which was never used. It had been divided into 3 pieces for some reason, mainly pieced by machine, but not very accurately. It had a few 4 patch blocks stitched by hand and it seems to gave been pueced by several people as some were accurately pieced and well pressed but others were possibly made by children. A small amount of fabric had deteriorated so I removed that and replaced it with genuine antique fabric from that time.
 The top was from the late 1800s to 1900 and consists of lots of mourning prints, probably leftovers from dressmaking, as well as lots of gingham fabric leftover from shirts. I am planning to hand quilt this one and it's a nice representation of fabric post Civil War.
 I bought this set of antique blocks which vary in size and I am remaking them to be the same size. It's a bit challenging as there is limited fabric and there are very, very small seams to work with.
I'm enjoying doing some more antique quilt restoration to preserve the past.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 Well Jake's Christmas stocking still isn't constructed as the excessively hot weather we've been having has stifled my creativity. There's been more quiet reading happening than stitching too.
   I have been going through my cross stitch boxes looking for more UFOs and haven't found many of them yet but the one piece I found no longer appeals to me. I had only stitched about 1 inch square of a large piece and realized that I no longer wanted to stitch it. It's been quite freeing to assess my cross stitch stash and sell off or donate kits and charts that have been waiting too long for me to start stitching them. Selling them on has been rewarding too. Not necessarily financially, but sending them on to others to enjoy has made me much happier than having boxes of stuff I have no time for.
        I have other UFOs that I do want to finish when I find them so I will gave to jeep looking. In the meantime I found a Lizzie Kate needlecase kit which I decided to stitch. Like many others, I have been watching Marie Kondo's Netflix show Tidying Up, and it is inspiring me to downsize my craft things again. I'm also going through stored boxes and donating or tossing paperwork etc. We moved here 12 months ago and the boxes which didn't get unpacked are mainly quilting and craft items so I need to sort through what I have so I can use it and reduce the amount of boxes that I have stored in the garage.
   All of this week is going to be hot but it's still not as hot as where we lived on the farm so I will just keep working my way through the boxes.
Stay cool in the Southern Hemisphere and enjoy your cooler weather if you are in the North.
Hugs,Jan Mac

Saturday, January 12, 2019

New Year, New Finishes.

 I couldn't start the year without my old faithful, go to quilts, the QAYG quilts as they go together fairly quickly and always look good,  even when combining blocks from many different quilters.
 This was another donated top which is finally finished. The alternate blocks are lovely jungle prints and will cheer a child.
This is another donated top which was made by dividing a larger quilt into 2 and then adding borders. It's great to have more finishes and I have been busy pin basting more tops to quilt as well as downsizing my cross stitch supplies in storage tubs.
  Hugs, Jan Mac 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

I have finished all the stitching on Jake's stocking and now just have to wash it and make it up now. He loves it and lays his Thomas quilt down and then puts the stocking on top of it, then gathering his Thomas book, plate etc. He loves all things "train" and I am pleased that I finished the piece instead of adding to my UFO collection.
  My next stitching piece is a small kit I had in my stash and I will share my progress next week. While searching for my next  cross stitch UFO to finish,  I gave found lots of kits, patterns, linen and some threads,  which I know that I will never have time to stitch so I am having a serious destash, selling what I can and donating the rest. I'm not tryjng to recoup my money spent on them but hope that someone else can enjoy stitching them instead.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Back To Work.

 I've been playing with scraps and making extra blocks to go with orphan blocks I have on hand but also found some time to get back to work quiltinb toos for my quilting group's Gift Quilt program.  I love this first one and it will be ideal for a male patient at Peter Mac Cancer Centre.
 This is a pretty little top made from pink scraps and the use of an alternate block helps to tie them all together . I added borders to make it larger and it will be pretty for a little girl.
This last top is a pretty ond for a female patient at Peter Mac.  It's good to get some of the many tops quilted and I plan to get more done soon. I'm also having a clear out of some of my cross stitch kits, patterns and fabrics and plan to destash and sell them on. Busy days ahead of me.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Friday, January 4, 2019

A Wonderful Timely Delivery.

 I received a huge parcel of QAYG blocks from Stephanie D. in Western Australia on Friday and imagine my surprise when I received another large parcel of blocks from Stephanie D. a few days later.  Stephanie has given me a huge gift of time by making 160 QAYG blocks, as well as cutting 3 sets of joining strips for the blocks.
 Stephanie has made these beautiful blocks very quickly and was able to use up lots of batting and fabric scraps,  as well as using some old orphan blocks for the back of some of the QAYG blocks. 
     Making the blocks takes quite a lot of time and Stephanie has gifted me with hours of time which means that I can spend more time finishing the blocks into donation quilts . I plan to get lots more finishes to share soon.
I hope you are all enjoying some time planning your projects and finishes for 2019.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Beginnings.

The start of a new year gives us time to consider what we have achieved in the past year as well as what we hope to achieve in the coming year. I have lots of scraps of fabric needing to be cut into usable sizes. The boxes of pre-cut squares are also full and I have collected lots of good used men's shirts from Thrift shops, as recommended by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville.
       I'm happy with what I achieved quilt-wise last year, although I think I forgot to add the tops I had made from blocks. Lol.  As well as sorting my scraps I need to use up the pre-cut squares before cutting more from the scraps.
    To use up the men's shirts I've been acquiring  I decided to start making blocks or they will take over my storage area. Bonnie's web page has lots of examples of hef use of thrift shirts and they are ideal for quilts for males.
   I have chosen a 12 inch block of Jacob's Ladder , as shown on the web page of Quilters Cache. It's an easy block to make and it looks great in any colours. It's also quite a graphic block which also appeals to men.
   If anyone wants to join in and make a couple of blocks I would be happy to put them together into quilts. I think I will also make some in feminine colours to use up some of that fabric.
       Of course I will still be making and using QAYG blocks and quilts,  finishing donated tops and blocks, as well as finishing more of my UFOs to donate. I finished 6 last year so hope to do at least as well this year. In the meantime I hope that this will help me to tidy up my sewing room but I think I will also need to cull more magazines etc and do a general tidy up. That should take care of this year! Lol.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

I have almost finished the back stitching this week which surprised me as I thought it would take a lot longer. I had a night where I didn't stitch on this and I think I only have a few hours of stitching left to do so I probably could have finished it otherwise. There's only a small amount of the back stitching left to do as well as Jake's name. Then there's the challenge of putting it all together as a stocking.
      I want to get it completely finished before I put it away so I hope to share a finish next week. Blogging my weekly progress has kept me focused as I only started it at the end of October and I plan to select another cross stitch UFO and continue to keep stitching to another finish.
   It was lovely to hear that Maria W. has started some UFO cross stitching again.
Hugs, Jan Mac