Wednesday, April 29, 2020

A Change of Pace.

 I've added a few additions to my sewing projects so I don't get bored with just quilting tops. I also make items for Peter Mac auxiliary shop to raise funds for patient services and I have received quite a few donated kits for them so I need to get somd finished while we're in isolation.
 The stitching only took an evening or so of stitching time but I appliqued the heart instead of stitching it and also didn't satin stitch the dots.
 I finished the stitching piece into the front of a small bag and it was fairly easy as everything was included in the kit. It wasn't how I would have sewn the bag together but I am following the pattern for these projects as I might learn some new skills.
 I also stitched the second block for Di Ford Hall's Lyre design based on an antique top in her collection. 
I'm piecing the background blocks using Max and Louise Pattern Co's fabric and so far I'm happy with the result.  There are only 9 blocks to stitch and I am using needle turn applique which I find is very relaxing.
I hope you're all enjoying finishing some UFOs or stitching some different projects too.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

More Beautiful Donations.

 Linda Ashworth from the UK has again sent a lovely child's I Spy quilt as well as 6 QAYG blocks and 3 orphan blocks.
 Sally Swan (Vic) donated a beautiful large black and white quilt.
 Alison Marsh (Vic) donated a beautiful top for a girl and also included fabric for backing and binding as well as $50 to pay for batting.
 Sarah Williams (NSW) donated 2 beautiful quilt tops as well as fabric for backing.
 I quilted a beautiful butterfly top donated by Sandra Orszaczky from ACT.
 Fiona Lazenby from Vic has made another 150 labels for Oz Comfort Quilts.
 I finished another QAYG quilt from blocks donated by several quilters.
Many thanks for your support everyone.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

A Tribute to Di Ford Hall.

Like many in the quilting world, I was very sad to hear of Di Ford Hall's passing last Friday. Di was a very talented quilter and designer as well as being a lovely person. I had taken several classes with her just to enjoy her company and discuss our love of fabric. After a class with Di, I looked at fabric and it's possibilities in an entirely different way. She selected fabrics that others would overlook and her quilts were well known for lots of different elements and a style based on antique quilts.
     I even flew to Houston to attend the International Quilt Festival, at 2 weeks notice as she had been invited to speak about her designs and all of her fabulous quilts were displayed. It was a wonderful exhibit and her talk was very well received.
 Quiltmania published two books of her designs and I have both of them, full of fabulous patterns to make.
 I decided that rather than just feeling sad about her passing, I would stitch her quilt designs and remember her with gratitude for sharing her creativity with so many of us. I have a few of her designs which I had started and they are now UFOs so it's time to get them finished.
 The Poppies quilt was one of her early designs from 1998, when she was operating her quilt shop in Melbourne, Primarily Patchwork. I've decided to take things a bit slower this week with some hand stitching and I have finished hand appliqueing 5 of the 16 blocks. I'm really enjoying the slow stitching and selecting fabrics to be similar to what Di used but also to add my own fabric choices.
 I last saw Di and an exhibition of some of her quilts and fabrics at the fundraiser for Leukaemia research in October last year and it was a wonderful tribute to Di which raised $45,000. Andover dabric very generously donated a lot of Di's fabric lines as well as some by Max and Louise, as they were also friends with Di and designed their own fabric range which complimented Di's.
I bought fabric from both the designer's fabric ranges and decided to use it to stitch a new quilt from Di's second book. I'm piecing the blocks using Max and Louise's Nicholson Street shirting  fabric, as the quarter yard strips I bought were too small for the 18 inch blocks. The red fabric is Di's red pillar print fabric and one of my favourites so I am enjoying stitching it as well.
      Di left us many happy memories of quilting times spent together as well as a wealth of quilt knowledge, designs and fabrics, and although her passing is a great loss to the her family, friends and the quilting world, we were very lucky to have been left with many happy memories and skills she taught us.
      It's been good to have taken some time to work on quilts for me to treasure and keep rather than spending every moment on donation quilts, as well as remembering a lovely lady who shared so much of her talent and passion for quilts with many of us.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Almost a Stay-cation.

 Rather than trying to quilt as many tops as possible each day,  I have found that I needed to slow down a bit and take things a bit easier. A lovely supporter, Linda Rother, donated several Block of the Month kits and a couple of my sewing angels are stitching them to be donated to the bushfire quilt drive. I kept this set of blocks to hand applique and stitch and I am enjoying some slow stitching. This block is the 4th one I have finished and I changed it by appliqueing a teddy bear in the window as the pattern had a person viewed from the side and it didn't add much to the design and had lots of small fiddly parts to stitch.

 I will probably make 2 quilts from these blocks as they are quite large and will nake lovely kid's quilts.
I also finished knitting Aidan's jumper and I am knitting one for Jake now. The giwns and scrub hats have been delivered to the hospital and I am almost ready to post the masks off to MAF, so that's another job done. I also dropped off 30 AQA quilts for Peter Mac and have more of their tops to quilt so I  will be busy getting more of those and Oz Comfort Quilts tops quilted this coming week.
Peter Mac also receives quite a few donations of kits and patterns so I make them up for them to sell in their auxiliary shop to raise funds for patient services. Their shop us closed at the moment but when they open again it will be lovely to have some new stick for them. I have started stitching the panel today and will make it into a little girl's bag.
     There's also been a few nanna naps, sleep ins and reading happening here and it feels almost like we had a vacation at home so I feel refreshed and ready to finish more Oz Comfort Quilts in the coming week.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Time Well Spent.

 It's lovely to receive more donations for the Oz Comfort Quilts bushfire quilt appeal and obviously lots of our supporters are spending their time in isolation getting more donation quilts made.
  Waverley Patchworkers have very generously donated another 6 quilts and Norma Aitken and Wendy Cadby made the first lovely quilt especially for a quilter.
 They also made a beautiful bag and filled it with lots of useful things for a quilter who lost their home.
 They also made this lovely bright kid's quilt.
 Barbara Henderson donated 2 lovely large quilts.

 Barbara Henderson also worked with Annie Andrews to make another 2 lovely quilts as well as the brightly coloured crocheted blanket.

 Helen Stewart from Vic sent another parcel with another lovely top she made and also included 3 more tops donated by friends.

The restrictions and effects of Covid-19 means that the people affected by the devastating bush fires could feel like they have been forgotten so it's lovely to see so much support for the bushfire quilt drive and know that we will have lots of quilts to donate when travel restrictions are lifted.
   I hope you're all staying safe and enjoying some time on your stitching.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Quilts, Gowns, Masks and Scrub Hats.

 More donated tops I have quilted in the last couple of days and they will be lovely quilts to donate for our bushfire quilt drive.  The first 2 I Spy tops were made by Del Soden from NSW and the fabric she used is all different and very cute.
 I love the Hawaiian singing prawns and really enjoyed quilting them as it was fun seeing all the different fabrics.
 Robin Walker and the Fishbowler Sewists from Launceston Tasmania donated the next beautiful quilt top and I love the different blue fabrics.
 Sandra Still from NSW donated the last lovely top and it's a beautiful vibrant quilt.
This lovely Australiana top was made by Angela Silcock from the Northern Territory.
 Julie White and Rosemary Kreun (Vic) donated all of these masks which was a huge amount of work.
 The hospital has decided they will be able to use the gowns we donated and I am still waiting to hear if they still want the scrub hats. They provided the pattern fof the masks we made but have now changed their mind and want a different design so we won't be providing more. I'm guessing that all of these changes are due to their heavy workload and stress but I am bowing out of production other than quilts.
I have also been asked to provide 500 masks by Mission Aviation Fellowship who are an essential service and fly supplies and medical support to remote Aboriginal communities.  They have requested the masks for their pilots so they don't introduce infection to these isolated communities.
    I suggested we would provide them with 100 masks for now as they are also adking other groups for assistance. There is a box of masks already made so I will count them soon to see how many more are required.
   Many thanks for your help everyone.
Hugs, Jan Mac 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Finishes and Donations.

 Four more finished quilts from donated tops and blocks and the first bright jelly roll top in batiks was made by Anna Kok from Western Australia and it looks even brighter in person so it will certainly bring comfort.
 This fabulous dinosaur top was donated by Marg Coulthard from Vic and she is renowned for her fun kid's quilts.  This one will be loved by the little one who receives it.
 This lovely pastel top was donated by Diane Muir Tasmania and I added borders to make it larger.
 Another beautiful QAYG quilt made from a combination of donated blocks.
 I also received 4 more beautiful tops from Illene Tiziani (Vic)  and these will make more fabulous quilts to donate.
 Robin Walker and the Fishbowler Sewists from Launceston Tasmania sent another large parcel containing 6 small quilts,  a large quilt top and 6 flannelette baby wraps.

Today I pinned 3 tops and quilted 2 of them so tomorrow morning I will be finishing off the bindings. Although this virus has delayed distribution of the quilts,  at least we will have lots ready to donate when restrictions are lifted.
Stay safe everyone.
Hugs, Jan Mac