Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I Think We're Ready.

 I'm spending all of my time in Melbourne now as the a baby countdown is on. We thought he might make an early appearance so it's been a rush for me to finish off all the baby sewing and knitting.
I made a simple minkee bassinet quilt and backed it with flannelette. The piece on the right is a waterproof fabric which I lined with toweling for use as a portable change mat. Foxes feature a lot as they have chosen a Woodlands theme for the nursery.
 I made 3 sets of bassinet sets consisting of fitted and flat sheets and had fun decorating the flat sheets with trim.
 I also made 3 sets of cot sheets with fitted and flat sheets as it was so much cheaper than buying and I could add special touches with trim. I still have to make a few sheets for the cot we have here and I need to do that while I still remember how. LOL . It's so much easier to make things in multiples as the first one is always the slowest.
 Another newborn knitted hat and jacket. He's a small baby so I have made newborn size as well as larger sizes.
 Another little cardigan in new born size. I should have made more in blue and I have one that I just need to finish off.
Now that I have finished most of the baby sewing- oh I just remembered I still have to applique a deer on a laundry hamper- I am busy painting cupboards to get my sewing room set up. I'm hoping to find things I packed away ages ago. It's a big job but it will be like Christmas as I reconnect with my treasures.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, August 11, 2017

My Latest Rescue.

 I bought this old treasure with the intention of restoring her. Someone had made an attempt at a rescue in the 1950s by machine stitching circles over all the worn circles, as well as machine stitching a new and wider binding over the original one.
 You can see one of the 'new circles' either side of one of the original circles. The circles are all pieced and not appliqued and it is nicely quilted in cream on the blocks, and in brown along the sashing.

 She is very worn, stained and tattered so I am looking forward to seeing how much I can improve her and bring her back to life.


There is a large number written twice on the backing so it looks like it originally came from an auction house. The backing is a light loosely woven fabric through from that era and the batting is carded cotton. I haven't had time yet to definitely date this quilt so I will give more info as I find it.
 I love working to restore these old quilts as you can learn so much about how quilters made them in eras past.
Hugs, Jan Mac

All Things Baby.

 I haven't been blogging as I have been in Melbourne and busy with all things baby. The baby shower went well and the cake was delicious.
 It was a busy and happy event with lots of family and friends stopping by. The Dr says that the baby might be early so I have been busy making cot sheet sets but forgot to take photos, Lol so will try to rectify that soon. Now I am making bassinet sheet sets and I'd better get a wriggle on as he could be here in a couple of weeks. There's lots of washing happening to prepare all the baby clothes for wearing and still lots of knitting happening. I have also been working in Melbourne at a home for younger people with Acquired Brain Injuries, and I have enjoyed the change in work.
 The new parents-to-be are very excited that their little man will soon be making his appearance and we are spending more time in Melbourne now apart from quick trips back to the farm to prepare the house for inspections. It appears we might be getting close to selling as we have 3 buyers who are interested and a couple of offers so far, so fingers crossed.
I don't have my computer here in Melbourne but luckily DH has just arrived and he has brought his down so I can add photos. I also dropped off 33 quilts for Peter Mac this week and they will be given out to patients needing a warm hug from a quilt. I also received 2 fabulous quilts from Ann G. in NSW and I will take photos and share ASAP.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Full Swing.

 After working nights again and painting furniture, it was time to get busy again with making quilts to donate to Peter Mac Cancer Centre. I found a couple of bags of QAYG blocks when I was moving boxes and sorting sewing things in the shed so it was timely that I could make more QAYG quilts.
  As they had been stored in the shed for a while and they will be donated to Peter Mac, I have washed the blocks before working with them to make sure they are suitable for the patients.


 I found a pile of random QAYG blocks which worked together nicely to make another quilt for a child.
Having a pile of ready to go QAYG blocks makes it much easier to get quilts finished quickly and I hope to get what I have on hand here to make room for the next production pile. I was happy that I had rested my hands for a while as it does take a strain on them when pushing them through the machine.
   We've had more house inspections and are off to Melbourne again for a week or so as our DD starts maternity leave next week and we still have lost of work to do to unpack things at our other home.
I still have cot sheet sets etc to make so I can see we will be busy up until the baby arrives.
   Thnaks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Our Last Day on the Simpson Desert.






 After our beautiful sunset on the previous day we also had a fabulous sunrise for our last day crossing the desert. We started early so we would have an easier time crossing the last day's dunes as they are higher on the Birdsville side of the Simpson, and the sand is firmer if you start before the day warms up when the sand becomes much softer.
. We reached Poeppel's Corner where the 3 States of Northern territory, South Australia and Queensland meet and I took a photo of the original marker as i had taken photos of the modern version on previous trip.
 As we crossed one large sand dune we met a car which was traveling West (opposite to us), and they were stuck on a sand dune.
 The men got the recovery gear out to tow them off where they were stuck.


 
 Finally we reached Big Red, the largest sand dune in the Simpson Desert and the last one the scale before we reach Birdsville. If you are unable to drive up it, there are alternate routes but all the men love to have a play tackling the steepest slopes of Big Red. DSIL took the trailer off and had a ball tackling the slopes, after taking his pregnant DW up a more sedate version first. DD2 and I had fun filming and cheering them on.


 Even the kids love the have a play rolling down the dunes while watching the cars attempt to make it to the top.

It's one of our favourite places and we're thinking we might do it again next year.
 Hugs Jan Mac

Simpson Desert Trip Continues

 Most people have a misconceived idea about the Simpson Desert and its landscape and expect all large sand dunes, like the Sahara. It varies a lot though with lots of sand dunes but also scrubby trees growing in between them and some areas of long grass. There are plenty of places to free camp and avoid other groups, despite being there at a busy time. This is a small hill which you can climb to overlook the surrounding area and salt lakes.
 There are quite a few salt lakes on the eastern side and they need to be crossed carefully as they can have an apparently hard layer but it soon sinks to mud.

 Our beautiful DD2  at 32 weeks pregnant. She handled the conditions well, although the track was much rougher than last year and on the rougher parts she rode in our car for a smoother ride. I'm a midwife and as she's had a very uneventful first pregnancy, and we had made the crossing 3 times, I was sure she would be fine. We were happy to have made the crossing though without any mishaps.
 A lot of the sand dunes are like this, bare on top but grass on the slopes and between the dunes.
 We brought our camper trailer so the expectant mother would have a comfortable bed.
 It did mean that we had to help them over 4 or 5 dunes, which was a lot less than we expected. LOL

 We saw some fabulous sunsets out in the desert.



We enjoyed it so much we are thinking of taking the trip again next year.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Crossing The Simpson Desert.

 It took us 4 days to reach the Simpson Desert which is at the top of South Australia and runs across just under the Northern Territory border.
 We swam in natural hot springs at Dalhousie Springs. It's a very large waterhole with plenty of room for tourists and we loved our time there.
We needed sand flags on our vehicles as the sand dunes are so high that you could be arriving at the top of a dune and not be able to see anyone coming from the other side. Radios are used to let oncoming traffic know that you are cresting a dune and we all keep a good look out for w=vehicles coming from the opposite direction.
 We camped out in the desert for 4 nights and really enjoyed the solitude.

It was school holidays when we were there and the tracks were more difficult and there were more people there than usual but as DD2 is a teacher we didn't have much choice on when we could travel and the area is so large out there that there is plenty of room for everyone.


A major part of crossing the Simpson Desert is crossing over a thousand sand dunes and we took the French line again as it's the hardest and most enjoyable for the challenge of crossing dunes. We wanted to give DD2 and her DH a chance to see what the challenge was all about and their car performed magnificently. Normally we wouldn't recommend towing a camping trailer but as DD2 was 32 weeks pregnant we thought it was worth it so she could have a good night's rest. If the dunes were too hard on the French Line we had the option of crossing down to one of the easier tracks, but they managed well and I swapped cars with her when the dunes became a bit too challenging as our car handled the dunes better without towing a trailer. As you can see we had lovely daytime weather.
Hugs, Jan Mac