Friday, November 29, 2019

Odyssey House Visit.

Today I was privileged to visit Odyssey House which is a residential rehabilitation centre on the outskirts of Melbourne. AQA supply them with quilts for their clients when they reach the "transition" stage where they are ready to return to their communities.
      I attended a meeting where a client was presented with a quilt as was his young daughter. It just happened to be the quilt above which I had quilted. It was very moving to hear from some of the clients as they acknowledged how the person had helped them with their recovery and then from the client who was transitioning as he acknowledged everyone who had helped him with his recovery. His daughter wrapped herself in her quilt and she was obviously happy that her father was returning home again. The quilt is a tangible symbol of how far they had come on their journey and a reminder that they don't want to go back to their previous life. The counselor who was showing me around said that he still has his quilt in pride of place at home.
   Odyssey House has been operational now for 40 years and they offer residential care for 120 at a time, including some families . They provide a much needed service and it was lovely to hear first hand how our quilts are so well received. One of the clients told us that he's due to graduate through the transition stage next year and he's hoping for a red quilt. 
     There was a real positive vibe about the place and a real feeling of hope for the future. I enjoyed my visit very much and hope to return again while in the meantime it has spurred me on to make more quilts to donate. AQA supply the majority of the quilts but I donate any needed at short notice and I plan on making some with reference to the aboriginal heritage of some of the clients, as they are highly prized by those clients.
It's always rewarding to see how much our quilts are appreciated by so many people and the warm hug of a quilt is a lovely way to support our local community members in need. I  can't believe that we are almost at the start of December and need to get some more sewing done for the Peter Mac auxiliary shop .
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, November 25, 2019

UFO Monday - 30th and 31st UFO Finishes.

 Some sewing at night and a couple of child free days meant that I have finished 2 more UFOs and almost finished a third. This first one resulted from some half square triangles I had sewn and put away so when I had some more left over from a donated top, it was time to get them put together and finished. I have lots more signature squares as well as boxes and boxes of 6 inch squares so I can see lots more of these in my future.
 This lovely quilt was a UFO  as it was from a quilt which was too large for donation and I took it apart and finished one quilt but still had these blocks leftover. Finally they were put together,  borders added and then quilted and bound.
 This top is ready for quilting and resulted from these Chinese Coins strips leftover from another project. I used hand dyed fabric to add sashing and borders and it came together well. Now I  need to find backing and get it finished .
Jake's parents had a wedding yesterday and they took Aidan so we didn't have to try bottle feeding him again. He was refusing to even drink breast milk in the bottle so we're abandoning that for a few months before we try again. I had a lovely day again with Jake, playing tea parties, trains and reading lots of books. He's such a loving little boy and now that he's sleeping well I even had some time to sew a little.
I'm also thrilled to get more UFOs finished and as they will all be donated, I have started getting quilts ready for another donation to Peter Mac .
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Weekly Catch Up.

I've been doing some sewing at night again so I can get more quilts finished and donated soon and it's surprising how much I can get done if I use any spare time to pin baste tops.
  These first 4 quilts were all made by members of AQA, my quilting group, and I quilted them. The first one was a donated orphan block and a clever member used some of our donated fabric, and her stash, to finish it off with 2.5 inch squares . She's made a beautiful quilt with her clever use of colour.

This last quilt was made from a donated top and I have finally finished it. I have started another pile of quilts to deliver to Peter Mac and hope to have lots more finishes soon, including more UFOs.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Oh Dear. Hopefully It's Not Another UFO.

On Monday I had my quilting group's Sit and Sew when the Gift Quilt team work on prepping kits for quilts, cutting batting and backings for kits as well. Members take home kits of their choice and they might stitch blocks together and then return the top for quilting. Some members take the kits which need tops quilting. We have a great team and we've increased our output by about 50% in the past year, with most of the quilts being large enough for teens and adults, and not just cot sized.
  We're having a big presentation of quilts at our December meeting so we had to count and sort all of the quilts we have on hand. There are 125 to be given to 4 groups and we will have donated 338 for the year which is a fabulous amount.
We'd also received some fabric donations which we sorted into colours and amongst the fabric I found all if these pre-cut diamonds. Some of them already had the seam allowance drawn. They were going to go in the UFO box but I decided to take them for another hand stitching project as my large La Passion project is now to big to take with me for Sit and Sews. These stars will give me some stitching to do at meetings and will be another quilt for donation.

 They were obviously someone else's UFO  so I hope they don't become another one of mine. They will be a long term project but that's OK as they will eventually be finished and I'm really happy that I rescued them.
My first star is finished and I need to mark more stitching lines and keep going with them when I need portable hand stitching.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, November 18, 2019

UFO Monday.

 I can't believe that I found enough evening time to finish the last diamond piece for the large part of this quilt. Below you can see my start on it last Monday and I not only finished the diamond but also stitched it into the main section.
 Now I have to finish adding small hexagon flowers around the diamond shape as well as finishing those around the circular section of hexies.
 It's a very long term project with something like 17,500 half inch hexagons, but by focusing on stitching these most evenings, I am really making good progress.
This is another long term UFO  which resulted from my collection of 5.5 inch half square triangles. I have been making them for some time to use up my large collection of signed cream squares from one of my online groups. By cutting them in half I am able to remove identifying information. If it's still visible then I use the reverse of the fabric. I have also included half square triangles which I removed from Jenny H's (New Zealand) large quilt and these will all help to make another lovely quilt.
    No finish to report this week but lots of progress happening.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Weekly Catch Up.

 This week was fairly productive with 6 more quilts finished. This first lovely quiot was a top donated by Jo B. and it's a fabulous scrappy quilt which will give someone a warm hug.
 The next 3 QAYG quilts were made from donated QAYG blocks from my wonderful blog readers, the last one is a lovely variation with half the blocks being dolphin fabric, and it will be a great quilt for a child.

These 4 quilts shown above will all be donated to Peter Mac for their clients .
These 2 lovely quilts were made by members of my quilting group and now will be donated through their Gift Quilt Program .
 I also made a drawstring bag for Jake's train set. He's obsessed with playing with it and he loves to pack it up and then set the tracks up again.
Tomorrow I will be delivering 43 quilts to Peter Mac as well as 2 large bags of items to  be sold in Peter Mac's auxiliary shop. I was surprised to find that I had 43 quilts to donate as I thought I only had 30 finished. I also have 5 more finished to be donated to kids in foster care but I will wait on their delivery until I have more finished to donate.
     It's only 5 weeks until Christmas so it's good to have so many quilts donated and now I can spend some time on my own sewing projects.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, November 11, 2019

UFO Finish.

 The first photo was last week's progress and below you can see that I am still adding small flowers around the circular piece. I'm still prepping hexagons as I go so sone nights that's all that happens, but I am making progress.
 I have also started stitching the last diamond piece for this round and it's going together quickly so I hope to join it to the main part next week.
Now that I have re-commenced stitching this long term UFO I'm enjoying the process again and will keep going but I also need to find some more which will be finished sooner.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Weekly Catch Up.

 Wow!! It's been a more productive week than I'd realized with 9 quilts finished. The first top was donated by Jo B. last Monday and it's now finished and ready to be donated to Peter Mac.
 This lovely Bow Tie top was made by a member of my quilting group and now that I have quilted it, will be donated through our Gift Quilt Program .
 This string pieced top was donated by one of my blog readers and it will also be going to Peter Mac now that it's finished .
 Another beautiful donated top which will brighten the days for another Peter Mac patient.
 This lovely top was also donated and will be going to Peter Mac too.
 As will this donated top now that it's finished.
 Another large donated top for Peter Mac. As I haven't had time to drop them off to Peter Mac yet I thought I may as well keep adding to the number being donated. I must have over 30 now.
 This panel is the back of the pieced top below and will be gifted to a child via Anglicare for Christmas.
 This was a cot panel which I used as a backing for the pieced squares below and will be gifted to a child via Anglicare for Christmas  too.

I have also found more donated tops to finish as well as more QAYG blocks to join,  so I'm going to keep working hard to get more finished and donated for Christmas as well as finishing a few more of my own UFOs too before the year ends. I had a couple of child free days so I made the most of some free time and it's great to clear some tubs of donated tops.
  Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Many Thanks Jo B.

 On Monday, I had the opportunity to catch up with Jo B. , a member of my online quilting group, Southern Cross Quilters, and she very generously donated lots of tops, blocks  and fabric to my quilt projects as well as this beautiful quilt. It will be much loved by the child who receives it at Peter Mac and give the parents and child lots to look at and chat about while they are receiving treatment.
 Jo donated 2 large tops she'd made from kits she'd purchased from the Sth Australian ladies who were raising money for the Bedford Foundation and they will be beautiful quilts to donate when finished.
 This smaller red and green top has a Christmas theme so I think I will make it a reversible quilt by using another quilt top or feature panel as a backing.
 This lovely small Christmas piece might become a table topper for sale in the Peter Mac auxiliary shop or I might make it into a larger quilt . Stay tuned. Lol.
 These beautiful blocks were made using Bonnie Hunter's free sew along pattern, Ringo Lake. There are 12 of each type of blocks and I haven't yet decided whether or not to make a larger quilt by using sashing or borders.
 Jo also included fabric for backings, a large number of strips from jelly rolls, as well as wool to be used for baby jackets and crocheted blankets.
 Jo very kindly also gifted a fabulous wooden train set for Jake and Aidan. Ray set up the train set on Tuesday and it kept Jake occupied all day.
 It was lovely to see 2 year old Jake with his creative play, setting up the trains, cars and buses as well as building and rebuilding the little houses. I can see we're going to have hours of fun with this gift so many thanks Jo from Jake, Aidan, Ray and myself.
Jo said she has been reading my blog for years and it was lovely to meet again. A very heartfelt thank you for all of your support with my quilt projects, Jo. We're able to help and support so many with these quilt projects due to all the support from my generous blog readers.
    Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, November 4, 2019

UFO Monday.

 The large flower circle has been attached to the main section of the quilt top and I am currently adding the pale blue outer border with flowers. Slow and steady stitching most nights has got me to this stage.
 In this photo you can see how the next flower section will look. The piece I'm adding is in the bottom of the photo and the flower section in the top part of the photo shows how it looks when this part is finished. In between these flower sections I need to add a large diamond shape, as seen below.
This large diamond will also be surrounded by pale blue background and more small flower shapes. I haven't started this last diamond yet but I will be stitchinv this section soon.
      It's been rewarding to alternate between UFOs which were closer to being finished and this much larger and long term project. I plan to finish another UFO during the coming week, time and grandsons allowing. Lol.
     We're having some cold and wet weather again at the moment but I don't mind as we need the rain to fill water storages and it's good weather for quilting.
 Have a great week everyone.
Hugs, Jan Mac