Friday, March 27, 2020

Donations From Australia, the US and the UK.

 Today's online quilt show has been brought to you by quilters here and also the US and UK. Robin Walker from Tasmania sent the lovely string pieced blocks which I backing with cuddly flannelette, also donated by Robin and the Fishbowler Sewists from Launceston Tasmania.
 This next beautiful top for a teenager was donated by Carol Egan, a long time supporter of Oz Comfort Quilts in the US.
 Rosemary Kreun and Tracey Leonard collaborated on the next 2 quilts, with Rosemary doing the piecing, and Tracey doing the quilting  on these lovely kid's quilts.
 Kerry Moore from WA has been a very generous supporter and she has sent this lovely boy's I Spy top which I bound with fabric donated by Petra McLennan from Moe, so it was a real collaboration of quilters.
 Linda Ashworth from the UK has also been a very generous supporter and she has sent these 2 beautiful tops as well as 15 lovely QAYG blocks.

 Kathleen Appleton from Vic has made a very generous financial donation and has also dropped off a large bag stuffed with these large amounts of fabric which will be great for backings.
    Thank you all so much for your very generous support.  I hope you are all taking care of yourselves and staying well. Things will improve and we will be able to distribute your beautiful quilts to the bushfire affected areas and after all the troubling times we're currently experiencing everywhere,  they will bring comfort to lots of people.
  Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Beyond Meander Quilting.

 Today's  online quilt show comes to you from Sharon Siacci of Beyond Meander Quilting (Vic). Sharon has very kindly quilted 15 tops for Oz Comfort Quilts bushfire quilt appeal which has been very generous of her. Many of these beautiful tops were donated by Sharon's quilting friends in New Zealand and Sharon provided the backings and quilting.  I have finished the binding on all of them now so I  can share all of these fabulous quilts.  The first stunning quilt top was made by Sally Munro (NZ) .
 Tricia DuBern (NZ) made the quilt shown above as well as the 2 following and she also donated a large piece of blue backing.

 Lynnda Bauzaid (NZ) donated this beautiful quilt with lemon coloured borders.

Sharon Siacci of Beyond Meander Quilting made this beautiful masculine quilt and the fabric is beautiful.
Diane Muir (Tas) donated this beautiful flannel quilt with green and purple stars and it will keep someone toasty warm.
Anna Kok from Western Australia donated this beautiful jelly roll quilt which Sharon enhanced with her quilting.
     I'm very happy and grateful that our precious family were able to fly home yesterday and, after a very long day of travel, they are very happy to be home. I'm also grateful that my passion for making quilts for others is a wonderful way to stsy positive and productive while we are experiencing such troubling times.
 Stay safe and stay at home everyone. We will get through this and I pray that this finishes soon so we can cuddle our precioys grandsons soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Lots More Generous Donations.

 More wonderful donations arrived last week while we were away and they will bring lots of smiles when we can deliver them. Maria Wilson (WA) donated the first two lovely quilts for boys.
 Patricia Findlay (Qld) made this lovely unicorn quilt from a cot panel and added blocks and borders to make it appropriate for an older girl.
 Dianne Muir (Tas) made the next 2 fabulous quilts  and she has been a very generous supporter of our bushfire quilt drive.

 On our way home through Gippsland we last week, we called into Moe to see Petra McLennan and some of the "Quilters off the Green". They are a fairly small group who donated 10 fabulous quilts as well as some tops, backing etc.

There is such a variety of sizes, styles and colours for these quilts and they will be so treasured when we can start distribution again.  In the meantime, I am looking forward to our DD, her DH and our precious grandsons arriving back home tomorrow night,  even though they have to self isolate for 14 days. It will be hard not being able to give them kisses and cuddles but it will be a relief when they are safely home. We won't be baby sitting for some time now so I plan on quilting as many of the donated tops as possible. It will be good to focus on the positivity of making donation quilts and take a temporary mental break from the troubling times we're currently experiencing everywhere.
   Stay safe and take care.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

We're Home.

 After leaving Corryong we travelled across to Batemans Bay and continued on down the coast to Mallacoota and East Gippsland before coming home. When we left home the Covid-19 virus was in the early stages but things have escalated quickly to the point where we were becoming concerned about using public facilities, so it's a relief to be home again.
 We bush camped most of the time and enjoyed the solitude.
 The rain which followed after the bushfires has allowed the countryside to recover and it was lovely to see so many areas of green.
 There are still lots of reminders of the fires, such as burnt road signs.
 Prior to our trip I had heard that Cudgewa and Batlow were wiped out so it was good to visit them and see that this wasn't the case. About 4 of the 35 or so houses in Cudgewa were burnt so most of the homes lost must be surrounding farm properties. It was the same at Batlow as the town itself was relatively unscathed but there were homes burned down in the surrounding areas.
 Mallacoota township was probably the most visibly affected as Batemans Bay homes which burnt, while there were many, weren't readily visible in amongst the areas of bush.
 There are a lot of road crews clearing wider areas beside the highway and they are burning off destroyed trees to clear the areas for future fires.
     I had arranged to visit 2 more primary schools to deliver quilts but we will have to postpone those for now to comply with restrictions due to Covid-19.  Many of the fire affected areas still aren't ready to receive quilts and there is no urgency now as these are " comfort gifts" and not bedding. I had heard from Mallacoota school that they don't want quilts as they have nowhere to store them and I have told them I will contact them in some months time when they are further along in their recovery. I also heard from my contact there that they don't want quilts and they  had actually received some unsolicited quilts and  didn't know what to do with them, so put them in the Op Shop for sale. I asked a friend to check and she confirmed that the quilts were there for sale. We were unable to buy them back as they have closed the Op Shops because of the virus.
     I have also heard similar stories about other groups who donated quilts to the Red Cross for distribution and they were sold in Red Cross shops for $10 each. That is why I spend so much time making local contacts before distribution,  so I can be sure that the quilts go where we intend. I can guarantee that Oz Comfort Quilts will be distributing quilts to the bushfire affected areas as intended. However, sadly due to Covid-19 virus restrictions, we need to place the quilts in storage until things settle down.
     In the meantime I would request that you hold onto your finished quilts for now so we don't live in a quilt factory for months. I'm happy to accept tops needing quilting or blocks requiring finishing as our DD will be staying home to look after the boys and I will be able to devote my time to quilting full time again.
      We were relieved to be home but I feel more tired now than when we left,  probably due to trying to organize things so we can isolate at home and I am also trying to arrange grocery deliveries before the family return home. I'm planning on a few quieter days and then will be busy quilting again to clear some of the donated tops.
    It's a bit sad not to be able to continue distributing quilts but it would be irresponsible to continue at the moment. Please stay safe everyone and isolate at home as much as possible. Having had chronic fatigue syndrome for 9 years a while ago, as well as a predisposition to chest infections,  I am going to stay home and sew. If you have tops or blocks to donate, could you please post them or hold onto them for now.
    I will enjoy some time sewing and trying to take my mind off things that I have no control over.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Monday, March 16, 2020

We Started Quilt Distribution.

 We packed the camper yesterday and geaded 5 hours up the highway to visit Corryong Sacred Heart primary school this afternoon. It's a lovely school of 51 students and 14 staff and we were made very welcome.
   We took just over 100 quilts with the intention of giving out approximately  80.  I like everyone to be able to choose which one "speaks to them".
  We only had an hour abd it was pretty hectic. I'd asked the school for genders, ages and classes so I had packed the quilts according to which classroom we visited. I also took quilts for the staff as well as the student's younger siblings. Some of the students were away and the students and teachers chose quilts for them.  It was lovely to see, even the boys were looking intently at the quilts to make their choice. Ray took a wobbly photo of me with a few students and we didn't have time to try for another. Lol.
   They wanted me to thank you all for your beautiful quilts and they were bliwn away by tye work that goes into them. Some of the parents came in to thank us when they picked the kids up from school.
   They said it's getting cold at night now and the adults all chose thicker quilts with the ragged quilts being very popular.  I took lots of sizes and colours and now we really need more quilts for boys and girls. Sizes of about 40 x 50 or 45 x 60 inches would be good as even the young 3 year olds were too big for some of the small cot sized quilts.
  It's always good to start distribution and be reminded that people appreciate what we do. We're going to head over to Batemans Bay now, then down the coast to spend some money, take a break and see the bushfire damage.
     Thank you all so much for your donations as this wouldn't be posdible without you. We started with this school because they were ready to accept quilts. Some of the more badly affected areas won't be interested in them for quite a while as they have nowhere to keep them and haven't started to clear their blocks yet, let alone think of rebuilding.
    Stay safe and isolate yourself by quilting.
Hugs and grateful thanks from Corryong as well as from me.
Jan Mac

Friday, March 13, 2020

More Donations and Finishes.

 Jo-anne Starr donated tye first fabulous top and the professional quilting has been beautifully quilted by Sharon Siacci of Beyond Meander Quilting (Vic).
 I quilted the next lovely quilt top which was donated by Lyn Rootes from Tasmania.
 Wyn Roper, and Marilyn Wilson donated 5 quilts and 3 quilts respectively.

 Two more tops I quilted which a quilting friend pieced and will finish binding. I  also quilted the quilts shown below.
 Patty McNamara made a beautiful top from donated oriental squares.

Battery is nearly flat so that's all for tonight.
Hugs, Jan Mac