Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 These are the 6 finished blocks and I am stitching the 7th now.
 I have only stitched for a couple of nights this week as I've been busy crocheting squares together into blankets to donate but there is progress from last week, shown below.
I've also been knitting baby jackets and holding Jake a lot as his sleeping pattern has been upset since he was sick, so although I 'm quilting less during the day, I will have more to share soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, March 25, 2019

UFO Monday.

 This is the Block of the Month donated to AQA and I am hand needleturn appliqueing them. Back basting the different pieces to the background has made it fairly quick to stitch up the blocks.
 The blocks in the first 2 photos are finished, unless I decide to add something more but I think some of the blocks need some negative space.
       The last block shown here is about 60% finished and I have the next block drawn on the fabric so I'm making good progress with this long term UFO. The BOM was issued in 1999 so it's about time it was finished and donated.
Hugs, Jan Mac
PS. Many thanks for your suggestions about using bulldog clips to anchor the backing to my basting table. I had bought some and had forgotten about them so I must find them and give them a try.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Three Finishes.

 Only 3 quilt tops were finished this week as Jake has been sick all week and not sleeping much. I've been doing some hand stitching at night but not getting as much done during the week. Hopefully next week I will get more done but  I will be happy with 3 this week. The first top was donated and it's great to get some of these finished to donate.

 The next 2 tops were made by my quilting group and I quilted them for our Gift Quilt Program.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Pin Basting Quilt Tops Easily.

 Jo B. from ButterZ  blog asked how I pin baste my quilt tops so I thought I would share some photos of my set up.
    I have used many different systems over the years and this current table is working very well at this home. Setting up in an area which keeps me cool in summer and the quilt tops clean is important for me.
  I use a $50 collapsible table from Officeworks and I leave it set up all the time on our back deck as it's also great for cutting large pieces of fabric. I lifted the legs onto bricks to make the table height better when pin basting.  I used to have a table tennis table for basting but found it put a strain on my back to reach across to the centre of the quilt. If a quilt is too large for the table,  I roll a section up and pin the first half and then roll or loosely fold the pinned section and pin the remainder. I did think that I might buy a second table to use with larger quilts but I'm finding that my current set up us working for me. You can buy table lifters and I use a set of 4 to raise the cutting table in my sewing room but the bricks work just as well.
I store a tub of backing fabric under the table and it's easy to measure the tops for sashing, backing and batting there as well. I don't close the pins when basting as I'm not transporting them far and it saves a lot of time,  although I sometimes get scratched by pins when quilting, it's not really a problem. The only thing that I am finding frustrating at the moment is the masking tape I use to hold the backing in place on the table while I pin the top, batting and backings doesn't hold as firmly as it used to. I like to have 4 or 5 basted tops ready to quilt when time allows and often baste one or two tops in the early evening if Jake hasn't slept for long during the day. Having tops basted and ready to quilt means that I can get them done quickly when I  have 20 or 30 minutes of spare time.
Hope this is of interest. I'm sure we all have our own way of working and adapt to suit our working area and age. Basting is the most tiring part of finishing tops for me so I try to do it without too much strain on my back and shoulders .
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Generous Donation from UK/NZ.

 Linda A. from the UK is a very generous quilter who has been supporting my quilt projects for some time and another large parcel has just arrived from her today. She is currently holidaying in New Zealand and has kept busy crocheting and making QAYG squares. Linda sent 18 of these lovely blocks which will make more quilts for Peter Mac or Anglicare.
Linda has also been very busy making crocheted squares for blankets and she has made 30 squares which is fabulous. I spoke with Anglicare staff today and they were very happy to hear that I would have more crocheted blankets for them as well as the quilts. They will also gratefully accept baby clothes and I can use up lits of my stashed baby wool for that purpose. I have some outfits knitted in pink and no one to give them to at the moment, as well as lots of white and cream yarn. My DD prefers to dress her boys in coloured jumpers and not with lacy patterns so I will make some for
new Mums supported by Anglicare, as time allows.
   This little cardigan is a 3 month size that I knitted for Jake. It's still in very good condition so it will be fine for the new baby boy when he arrives . It had a small moth hole in the cuff of one sleeve so I pulled it down and re-knitted the cuff so it's as good as new again. Just a little trick my lovely Mum had passed on but the first time I had done it, and it was a bit fiddly to pull it out but quick to re-knit, and I don't think you would know if I didn't tell you. It's the cuff of the sleeve on the left of the photo.
   Many thanks for your very generous donation, Linda A.,  the quilts and blankets really make a difference to the needy.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 I finished the 6th block and I'm really happy with it. This was one I stitched completely and not just the borders so it took longer but I'm really enjoying the process. Now I'm working on some of my hand stitched UFOs I'm not spending as much time on the cross stitching but I am still making progress .
 I have just started stitching the 7th block and don't have much to show yet but hooefully will next Tuesday.
The 6 finished blocks stitched on 18 count Aida. I like the 18 ct so the pieces aren't too large and will make a lovely size for a wall hanging. Hopefully it will also be another UFO finish for this year.
Hugs ,Jan Mac 

Monday, March 18, 2019

UFO Monday.

 After making lots of the diamond flowers with half inch hexagons I decided to add some more to the main piece. I added 7 diamonds and will continue to make more diamonds and add them to this piece. The 1930s reproduction diamonds have fitted in well with the others and don't stand out as being different, even though they all have a yellow centre hexagon.
 I also made more blocks to use up some floral fabric strips. I have had them for years and decided to use them for a centre of a Star block.  I'm not sure if I have any more of the string pieces left but will make a few more if I need to and then finish off another UFO  donation quilt.
 This is the hand appliqued Block of the Month donated to AQA, my quilting group. I'm enjoying hand stitching this piece in the evening and it's going together fairly quickly. I almost finished this block this week and just have a few more flowers to stitch and the stems to embroider.
I finished this block as well and I'm back basting the applique pieces down which I find is a quicker way to hand applique. It's been a fairly productive week working on UFOs and I plan to keep at it.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Very Generous Donation.

 I received a very large parcel from Delys R. of Western Australia and was very surprised to find so many goodies. Delys has generously supported these quilt projects before and this time she sent QAYG  blocks as well as a lovely quilt top, backing and also batting.
It is my honour to finish these donations into quilts and I am very grateful for the ongoing support of my blog readers. We can bring some joy and comfort to those in need when tragedies like the recent New Zealand events bring nothing but sadness. It's particularly sad that Christchurch was the scene of this event when they had already been through so much loss during their devastating earthquakes.
   Sending hugs and prayers to those in need, Jan Mac 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 I miscalculated the amount of stitching required and didn't get it finished in time for this week's blog post. I probably would have finished it last night but DD1 is visiting for a couple of days and it's going to be a surprise for her as she stitched the original 5 blocks. I only have a small amount of white to stitch, the name of the month and red beads to add so it should be finished in a night when I can stitch without giving away the surprise .
 This was last week's result and it doesn't look like much happened but there was a lot of back stitching done this week to outline various parts. I usually leave the white stitching until last so it doesn't get handled too much.
These are the finished blocks and I plan to have this one finished to join them by next Tuesday . I will be making them into a wall hanging when the 12 are finished.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, March 11, 2019

UFO Monday - 3rd Finish for 2019.

 This is a cheeky finish as I am taking this half inch hexagon project off the list and combining it with the half inch hexiesof my Insanity quilt. Believe it or not, I had started a second Insanity quilt in 1930s reproduction fabrics and had made 17 diamond hexagons. This was madness as I already had two large half inch hexagon projects on the go. I decided to forget making a second Insanity quilt and use them in my current Insanity quilt.

 I also made 17 diamonds for the centre of the quilt. There were already 62 of the required 158 diamonds and added to those repro diamonds and this week's finishes, I now only have to make 55 more.
 Suddenly this is looking achievable if I keep stitching these diamonds a few nights a week. Then I will start adding them with the white joining hexies to finish the centre piece.
Progress has been made with this hand appliqued UFO, needing only to hand embroider the flower stems, and I have traced 2 more designs on background so will get started on the next one.
      Now that I'm focused on getting more of these old donated UFOs finished as well as more of my UFOs finished, I'm finding that blogging about them too is helping me to stay focused.
       I don't know how many UFOs are on my list but any I can cross off as finishes is making me feel happy about my progress so I am going to combine some UFOs which were just blocks and get all sorts of odds and ends finished up as quilts to donate which uses up my stash as well as those orphan blocks or projects I started in a class and never got back to finishing.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Five More Finished.

 These 5 quilts are all tops made by members of my Melbourne quilting group, AQA, and they will all be donated. The first quilt is a lovely use of 5 inch charm squares and I love the aqua and white with it.

 This is another lovely use of scraps.
 An eady scrappy quilt using random squares.
 This one is a lovely scrap quilt too set in a "brick" pattern. The pieces are 4.5 x 8.5 inches with 4.5 inches square the size of the half bricks.
This larger quilt will be ideal for a male and will probably go to Odyssey House as they have requested some with Aboriginal fabric for some of their clients. They are presented when the client graduates thtough drug rehab and the quilts are really appreciated as a recognition of their success.
I quilted and bound 3 more tops today but they will be shown later in the week.

Getting UFO Tops Quilted.

 Lots of quilting happening here after a quiet week last week as we are starting a 3 day long weekend. I still have boxes of donated tops to quilt and it's a relief to finally get them finished and ready for donation. This lovely quilt in shades of blue and aqua will be ideal for a male patient at Peter Mac Cancer Centre.
 This lovely top was donated by Jo from Qld and it's the second part of a larger top that I divided into 2 as the original was too large for donation purposes.  Just adding a black border where I divided them has made 2 lovely tops to donate. This one will be going to Peter Mac as well.
 This lovely quilt was also a much larger top, as you can see in the photo below,  before I reduced it in size. The removed blocks will be made into another donation quilt too. Mostly I make, or remake, tops to about the largest size of 50 x 70 inches, which is a good lap size. I supply my own batting and usually the backing too, so I  prefer not to make them too large and the organizations we supply with donated quilts are happy with that size too. Quilts for women and children are usually smaller but I try to avoid making them too small for chikdren so they can grow into them as they age.
 The quilt below originally had a very dark border which I  replaced as the size was suitable for a child but the fabric wasn't.  Adding a lighter purple fabric will hopefully appeal to a young girl who loves purple.
 Of course the fabric from the original dark border will be used elsewhere. Jake is finally almost over the chest infection and diarrhoea, and more importantly his sleeping will hopefully improve.
I still have 2 more days to quilt but did so much yesterday that I might take it a bit easier today. I hope you're enjoying some time to stitch as well.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Cross Stitch Tuesday.

 I'm getting close to finishing this cross stitch block as I only have the white parts of the dress, back stitching to outline features and beads to add. The back stitchjng will take the longest but I hope to have it finished during the week and start on the next one.
 Progress one week ago and it's going together nicely now that I have found my threads.
The finished blocks so far. Hopefully I will have this one to add next week. I'm enjoying my cross stitching again as a change from patchwork and I am still going through my excess cross stitch supplies and sellinv them on to people who have time to usd them. I had no idea how much I had stashed away and it's good to empty the boxes.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, March 4, 2019

UFO Monday.

 I've had a quieter week with my quilting as Jake has been sick and wanting to be cuddled as he slept. Hopefully I will have more time soon but will probably be hand stitching while he sleeps as he has become aware of the noise from the sewing machine, and interrupting his sleep.
   Therefore I  decided to work on  hand applique UFO.  This kit was left in our AQA Gift Quilt supply cupboard and it appears that one of our members decided not to make it. A couple of blocks had been stitched and this block below was already prepared for stitching. It was designed by Robyn Ginn, called "On the 8th day, she quilted".
It's a large quilt and the kit would be worth a few hundred dollars so I thought it should be finished so it can be donated. I don't think I will applique the borders and will use just fabric for those. I enjoy hand applique so it will be an enjoyable UFO to finish while I continue to look for more of my hand applique UFOs I want to finish.
   It's a big project to finish so I am adding it to my own UFO list.
Hugs, Jan Mac