Monday, 4 March 2013

QAYG blocks for Australia

Well, I find it amazing that it is almost a month since I last blogged and that we are now in March!
I have definitely felt that Spring was on its way the past few days: it is getting noticeably lighter in the mornings and not becoming dark anywhere near as early, the birds are singing and the woodpecker has spent a long time pecking away at our lawn - a whole hour the other afternoon!  So, I am feeling lighter too. I really dislike the dark winter months and have to say I am not too keen on snow.  Good to look at from the window, to admire how pretty the trees look, and I enjoy snow scenes on Christmas cards but then reality sets in and I just think it's a nuisance.

So, what have I been doing on the sewing front?  Continuing hand quilting another cot quilt, a top I made a year ago when I was indoors a great deal during my chemotherapy.  I am hoping this will be suitable for one of the twins  expected in New Zealand next month.  Have an idea for the second quilt but not started yet! I think the twins are both expected to be boys so I am using strong colours.

Then I rediscovered Jan MacFadyen's blog. An amazing lady who makes quilts, crocheted blankets, hats etc for charity. How she finds the time and energy to create so many in such a short time is simply incredible. 
Check out her blog: Oz Comfort Quilts  where the posts are solely about her Charity Quilts, both ones she has made herself and blocks, quilts and other handmade items sent as donatations to her cause.
Jan's other blog is Sew Many Quilts - Too Little Time, very aptly named! Somehow she also makes time to sew for herself!
Both well worth a look, you will be blown away at what she achieves. Perhaps she never sleeps?

One of the quilts she makes over and over again is a QAYG String block which she sashes together into a fairly quick quilt. I used her method a couple of years ago when I made a String Quilt to send to the Christchurch earthquake quilts appeal. I found the instructions for the sashing a bit puzzling, but did it eventually and the finished quilt was good.

As I had a lot of strings left over from other projects and lots of small pieces of batting I decided to make 20 String blocks for Jan.  She relies a lot on donations: blocks of any kind, fabric, batting, backing, sashing, yarn etc.  I really enjoyed making them - I LOVE string blocks and get a kick out of 'making something out of nothing'.  I pieced batting, stitching bits together with a zigzag stitch on the machine so I used up lots of odds and ends which made my large plastic box for batting bits look a little less full.  All good.

Here are some photos of my finished blocks.  They are so bright and cheerful, lots to look at too as so many colours and fabric styles are used.

Last two photos show Close ups of some of the blocks.  They are even brighter than these photos show.

Whilst I was hunting around in my sewing room for more scraps of fabric I found 7 orphan blocks.
I cannot remember when or why I made them and know I won't use them myself.  I emailed Jan and asked if they would be useful to her and she said Yes, so these Pinwheel blocks went into the parcel along with the 20 QAYG blocks.

Again my photo doesn't do them justice, the fabrics are brighter than this.

Also, as always I have been stitching tiny scarps of fabric into Crumb blocks and, as a result of the trimmings from my QAYG blocks I have a HUGE stack of bits for 100s more Crumb blocks. I have a coule of ideas for more quilts using these, just need to find some time.

Hope you are having a great  time sewing.
Do let me know if you make some blocks for Jan.

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