Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 I finished the border for the 5th block that my DD stitched for me and I really like the effect with the borders "framing" the fairies. There are 7 more to stitch to complete the set.
 This is the July block and I'm making good progress on this one now I have found most of my threads and bought those extras I needed.
These are the 5 finished blocks stitched on 18 count Aida as I like the fine stitches but it's easier for me than counting stitches on Linen fabric. My DD mustn't have stitched the "May" block as I haven't found that with the others. I will go back and stitch that soon. In the meantime I am stitching the July block .
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, February 25, 2019

UFO Monday - 2nd Finish for 2019.

 I'm very happy to have my second UFO finish for the year and feel encouraged to get more of mine finished. 
 This half inch hexagon project was at this stage at the end of January and it was made as a reproduction of an antique doll's quilt.  I have a few half inch UFOs on the list so, although it's a small one, it's great to get another finish.
 As part of my plan to work on larger UFOs I'm also making these half inch hexie flowers for the centre of my Insanity quilt. I started it in 2014 when we traveled to Europe but I foolishly also started another large half inch quilt, La Passion, at the same time and I should have focused on one at a time. I'm also not sure if I will follow the original pattern now with the mosaic border of hexies, so I am going to work on the centre first and then make decisions about the borders as I complete each section.
Here is the light of our lives. I will probably have more time for quilting in a couple of months time when his mum is on maternity leave but we will miss seeing him every day.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Antique Quilt Restoration Finish #1.

 I bought this 16 patch utility quilt a few years ago with the intention of restoring it and as I posted in mid January, I decided it was time for me to not only finish off my UFOs but also work on restoring my antique quilts and quilt tops.
 This top from the late 1800s was in 3 pieces when I bought it and some of the blocks were in poor shape. I took apart the damaged blocks and then joined them together again.
 The other factor that has been delaying my progress with restoring these quilts is whether or not I should hand quilt them. I have quite a few to restore and really I don't think it's practical to hand quilt all of them, especially if it is a utility quilt like this one, as it would most likely have been machine quilted if the quilter had that option. So I decided to machine quilt it in a simple design that was often used at that time. This was an unfinished top and hadn't been quilted and was made from leftover fabric from work shirts and dressmaking, most likely to create bedding for family members or people working for the family.
You can see that blocks have been constructed as fabric became available and all scraps were used, even to the extent of creating fabric by joining light and dark pieces to create squares. I find it interesting to see that some fabrics were used as "light" in some squares and as "dark" when paired with other fabrics.
   Now that it's finished I'm so happy that I decided to restore this top and complete it so it can be displayed instead of in pieces in a cupboard. I have another restoration in progress too and hope to have that finished soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

This Week's Finishes.

 Actually these were primarily  this morning's finishes. I quilted one of the tops during the week while Jake slept but I haven't been able to quilt since as he has started to wake if I use the industrial sewing machine.  Instead I pin basted a couple of tops and this morning I quilted those and bound all 3. That left me free this afternoon to work on my UFOs which I hope to have finished soon.
 These 3 tops were all made by AQA members and I quiltedthem for our Gift Quilt Program . That makes 8 quilts finished this month for AQA so I'm planning to work on more of my own finishes now.
I hope to have more to share tomorrow .
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 Of the 5 blocks my DD had stitched I have completed the outlining back stitch on 4 of them and I really like the way the floral border enhances them.
 This is the 5th block update from last week when I started the outlining.
 I had hoped to have finished this block but there is still the dress outline and the "month" left to stitch. Hopefully I will get that completed tonight. At least I have found almost all of my thread supplies and I have started gathering thd thread for the next block .
I started this block when I was getting too tired to back stitch and will proceed with this block throughout the week. Getting cross stitch UFOs finished has been as pleasing as finishing off my quilting UFOs. Hopefully I will have more progress to share next week.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, February 18, 2019

UFO Monday.

 I'm so pleased that I decided to focus on finishing off my UFOs and blogging about it once a week. Unbelievably this UFO was only at this stage 2 weeks ago and with some steady focus it is now a finished top.

 These are half inch hexagons and I really enjoyed stitching them into a replica of an antique doll quilt. I plan on quilting it and having it finished by next Monday.

 This is the next UFO I'm planning on finishing and it is a quilt for Jake. His Mum wanted a Woodland theme quilt for him with appliqued animals. He already has 2 quilts that I made and one his Mum made but I had really stalled with this one. I was paralyzed by perfection as I had to make up the design myself and I don't feel that I'm very artistic. However I  thought I just need to Do It! Jake will love it regardless and that's what matters.
 I was able to trace a design for the deer and bear but had to free hand draw the owl. I added the owl and tree branches on Thursday on my child-free day, and I still have to add a fox, leaves and birds.
 I wish I had used a contrast fabric for the owl's wings but otherwise I am happy to have moved this project along.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping my UFO progress on track.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Weekend Fun.

 Posting about finishing my UFOs has meant that I have been working on getting more finishes when I have time, but I will share my progress on UFO Monday. In the meantime I finished off these 3 quilt tops on Thursday as we didn't have Jake here that day.
 These tops were all made by AQA members for our Gift Quilt Program and as I had already pin basted them, it only took a few hours to quilt and bind them. I used my domestic sewing machine to apply the binding and it's walking foot does a much better job than my industrial machine.
 We had Jake stay overnight last night and had a disturbed sleep as he is teething again,  but he is still a delight to spend our time with. He's just left now and I can see a Nanna nap in my very near future. At least his parents had a lovely celebration in the city. I really hope to share another of my UFO finishes very soon too.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 I'm steaming ahead with this cross stitch UFO of 5 pieces and I really think that blogging my progress is what is pushing me to finish it. Only the January square was completely finished when I started working on them again.
 Now I have completed February, March and April blocks which I am really happy about.
 This is the June block before I started the outer floral border, beading and back stitching. I thought my DD  had stitched 6 blocks for me but I have only found 5 so far. As the blocks are looking so good I'm going to stitch the rest of the blocks in the book. If I can't find the May block that DD might have stitched then I will stitch another. I don't want to ask her how many she stitched for me as I'm stitching them as a surprise. Despite being stitched on 18 count Aida, the blocks are fun to stitch and they don't take too long to finish. It's taken me 2 to 3 nights to stitch each floral border around the fairies so I hope that tye remaining 7 blocks don't take too long so I can move onto finishing another UFO. On the other hand, I'm enjoying the stitching anyway.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

UFO Monday - First Finish for 2019.

 It's funny how finishing off one of your own UFOs can be so rewarding, even though I finish off lots of UFOs during the year it's always a good feeling to finish some of my own.
 This one started as a block of hexagons with an online group. There was a new block every month and I only made a couple before I either list interest or ran out of time. Or both. The blocks were large at about 18 inches and the hexies measured 1 inch.
 I thought it would make a good donation quilt for a baby so I appliqued more hexagons on alternate blocks to make a larger top. Last week I stitched 3 more hexagons to squares and had enough for the pieced border,  finishing it off over the weekend .

I'm very happy to have a finish of one of my UFOs so early in the year and hope to have a second one done very soon. This one turned out better than I'd hoped and was all made from stash, even the backing, so there is a little space on the shelves.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Keeping It Real With Quilts.

 Finishing UFOs is a priority at the moment in the hope that it will clear out the cupboards and boxes as well as fabric I have had too long. I can't complain about the fabric though as it's very handy to have a large stash to select from for borders, bindings and backings etc. Not only my UFOs need to be finished but also all the donated bits and pieces. Actually I'm always working on these but I really need to make more room to unpack my special reproduction fabric. I haven't  bought any fabric for ages apart from some kids prints for baby quilts for family.
   This lovely first log cabin quilt was donated as blocks with extra fabric so I  added a border to make it large enough and the extra fabric will go into another quilt.
 The snowman blocks were donated by Maria W. from W.A. and I made extra blocks and added a border to make it large enough for a child.the snowmen are really cute and a child will love it.
   The quilt below was a donated top and I was very happy to find backing and binding in my stash to finish it off. It will be ideal for Peter Mac.
 This lovely red and tan quilt is a AQA top made by a member and I quilted it for the Gift Quilt Program.  The colours are brighter than the photo.
 I showed this quilt last week but I wasn't happy with how it was hanging as the binding was too tight. I've found that it has been happening too often when I use the industrial sewing machine to stitch the binding on. I've worn out 3 domestic sewing machines so I use the industrial machine for all my donation quilts. Lately though, I've found that it is pulling the binding too tight. They look fine on a bed but I like them to hang straight too so I took the binding off and reapplied it with my domestic sewing machine.
It wasn't that obvious when the quilt was laying down but you can see I had to add about 4 inches to make it long enough to lie flat. I'm using my domestic sewing machine to apply all the bindings now and I am much happier with them. You can see the difference in the previous photo below .
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, February 8, 2019

Feeling Very Blessed.

 It's my birthday on the 7th and had to share as I was very spoilt. My DH brought home beautiful flowers as a lovely surprise and it was a huge surprise.  The first time I've received flowers without having to go into labour. Lol.  They look and smell incredible and he did very well.
 More beautiful flowers from little Jake and his parents. He really wanted to explore and deconstruct them. I also received many lovely phone calls, PMs and FB messages and it was lovely to hear from friends I hadn't been in touch with for a while.
There were also lots of cuddles with this little cutie.  
Many thanks for thinking of me and helping me to have a special day.
Hugs, Jan Mac