Saturday, 15 March 2014

Bushfire Quilts

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I host fabric swaps in Australia (postage costs makes OS participation impossible) where we swap FQ's, 5" squares and 2.5" strips WOF.  We were just getting organised to do some sewing with them in October last year when parts of Australia were ravaged by bushfires, leaving many homes destroyed and people left with nothing.

We decided that we would form another Facebook group, Nannycraft4u and Friends Charity Sew and use our squares and strips for blocks, to be made into  quilts for the victims.

I decided on a simple block, that ended up about 15" square and used 4 squares and 2 WOF strips:

I have never organised anything like this before and it could be said that it moved so fast, I could barely keep up!  I contacted 2 professional quilters to ask for help and was able to negotiate a greatly discounted deal on the backing and wadding with Sue, the owner of the local Quilting Shop Splash into Craft Ballina.  I also asked  for money donations  to sponsor the finishing of the quilts. 

To my amazement, I received blocks and donations of completed quilts, knitted rugs, wadding, finished quilt tops and money to finish quilts, from all over Australia . Australians are very good at working together after a disaster - as one of the contributors commented "It could be me next time!"

Our lounge room became a work station where my pinning tables stayed, mounted on their paint tins, for the duration.  I think the only time it looked this tidy was the day we set it up!!

I had blocks all over the house as I tried to organise them into 'like' groups, colours, ages etc

I received a total of 156 blocks and after a lot of sorting, I made another 35 blocks to 'balance' and finish the quilts.

One of the group members directed me to a blog, Cook Quilt Crochet.  This belongs to Tracey Greenaway, a resident of one of the areas affected by the fires.  I contacted Tracey and asked if we could send our quilts to her, to add to the drive she had organised Springwood Winmalee  Bushfire Quilt Appeal ,and she was happy to accept the offer.

Then it was time to get to work!!  I sorted, sewed, recorded and made many a trip to Splash into Craft Ballina for supplies.  Neither of the quilters was able to help as it had now drawn too close to Xmas and the end of the year - a very busy time for their businesses - so, with determination that I didn't realise I still possessed, I set to work. I received some help with 2 members of my real life quilting group offering to quilt a quilt for me and my dear friend Sue Weingarth, handstitched the binding on all the big quilts (the smaller ones were completed on the machine)

During this time, PJ and I attended a small rally of our chapter of the CMCA, the Crocodile Wheelers.  At each get together we select a charity to receive any money that we collect over the days from fines, auctions etc and I was thrilled when the group decided that our quilts deserved support.  I came home armed with the necessary funds to complete the quilts!

On the 2nd March, I completed the last quilt, making a total of 22 quilts from our blocks and 3 from the donated quilt tops.  Add to them the 5 donated quilts and 2 knitted rugs and we have a grand total of 32 to send to the Blue Mountains.

One of the girls wanted to see what that many quilts looked like, so I posted this photo:

I can't show you all of the quilts but this is a sample (you can see them all in this album at Nannycraft4u)

We had  13 small:     3 blocks x 3 blocks

5 medium size :  4 blocks x 3 blocks

4 Large size 4 blocks x 4 blocks

I packed them into 2 boxes and labelled them well:


and handed them over to Fastway Couriers for prompt, safe delivery to their destination.  I want to add here, that Rod from Fastway Couriers, Goonellabah offered to deliver them all the way down to Tracey for FREE - so if you need anything delivered, you know who to give your custom to!  Thanks Rod it was very much appreciated!!

I want to acknowledge and thank all of the contributors to the quilts, for without them, this result would not have been achievable:

Amanda Bellis
Angella Partridge
Bron Ronalds
Carmel Henry
Carol Smith
Cath Pearce
Coral Potter
Fastway Couriers Northern Rivers ph:66242669
Janet Reale
Jen Fischer
Jill Curtain
Julie Lieshout
Kelly Nash
Margie Perkins
Mary Ann McGregor
Megan Weingarth
Melynda Made
Michelle Irving
Nanny - Margie Burke
Pam Olney
Shari Mead      
Sharon Betts
Shona Jones
Splash into Craft Ballina
Sue Wallis
Sue Weingarth
The Crocodile Wheelers - Chap 92 CMCA
Vicki Williams
Wendy Gontier

This has been a HUGE experience for me and I have been blown away by the generosity and support that I have received.  I am truly grateful and humbled by the whole experience.  I am sure that even though our quilts are 'simple' in design,  they will be received well and I hope that the children especially, enjoy snuggling up under them.

If you would like to see just what happens here in Australia, take a look at the Appeal blog page - last count they have received over 800 quilts!  Isn't that fantastic!!  Congratulations to Tracey and her team on a superb job!

Until next time
Nanny xx

Friday, 22 November 2013

A Little Bit of Sunshine

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Hi!  I haven't been around much of late but I will tell you about that another time.  Today I am sharing a wonderful surprise that I received a couple of days ago - it is called a 'Sunshine Award'


The Sunshine Award is a 'blogger to blogger' award and is
awarded to bloggers who "positively & creatively inspire
others in the blogosphere".

Wow! This Nanny was very excited - I didn't even know these awards existed and to be considered worthy just blew me away.

I was nominated by another Aussie blogger that you have seen me mention before - Pam from Threading My Way. Now Pam not only has a fantastic blog, but just happens to be a wonderful, supportive blogger who is just sooo generous with her knowledge and so patient when explaining things to 'newbies' like me.

Thank you Pam, not just for the nomination, but for being you!!

Now of course this is a serious business and there are 'rules' to accepting this award:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. 
  2. Post the award image in your blog
  3. Tell 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5-10 other blogs and let them know about their nominations.
The first two, I have covered but now to think of 7 things about me that I could share.......

  • I grew up in a small Australian village with both lots of Grandparents living within easy walking distance. Is it any wonder I love having family around!!!
  • I went crayfishing as a child with a piece of string tied to a piece of meat.
  • As a child I wished I had a horse and that I could play piano. Funny how watercolour painting and sewing were not on that list!!
  • I went to Sydney when I left school to be a nurse at the Mater Hospital in Crows Nest.
  • A scholarship for teacher training saw me leave nursing and become a teacher - a career that I loved but that was unfortunately cut short following a motor vehicle accident.
  • I have been married to my best friend for nearly 42 years - guess that makes us 'lifers'
  • I have 2 children, 2 other children (husband and wife to my children) and 6 grandchildren and I am one lucky Nanny!!
Now to the best part -  I get to nominate some other bloggers!!

These are all bloggers that I follow and enjoy, that have been very supportive of my efforts, who remind me of 'fun things' in my life, and who inspire me with their special kind of Sunshine!  Thank you to each and every one of you!

VickiLorraine from Lefthanded Notions

Cass from Cass Can Sew

Roslyn at Sew Delicious

I hope you will pop on over to visit all of the blogs - you won't regret it!!

Until next time
Nanny xx

Friday, 18 October 2013

Cord Chaos

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When you start off in the Motorhome, you seem to have heaps of room and it doesn't take long for things to become shall we say a little messy??


You have so many cords -  Charger for mobile 1, charger for mobile 2, charger for I-pad, charger for Kindle, battery charger, laptop cords, etc etc

On our very first trip as members of  'tag-along' , we were given a set of velcro straps that the group leader suggested were the best thing for the cords;

They were Ok but they still all managed to get entangled as the velcro straps were often left off by Mr Nobody!  We needed another solution!!

Enter the humble toilet roll, some contact paper and a pair of scissors:

Place a toilet roll on the contact and cut to fit - have to love the lines already there for you!!!

Roll onto the roll and tuck the ends in

Roll cord around your fingers

Place it in the toilet roll and label

Now how much better is that!!  I just have to find some more contact - don't think I can handle too much of that shiny blue!!

Until next time
Nanny xx

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Vintage views!

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Just recently I  joined a page on FB where we share our love of 'vintage'!  I'm not going to ramble on talk about it but rather, I will let you: absorb the beauty; wonder about the history; and rejoice at the memories, of things 'vintage'!!

Until next time
Nanny xx

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Potato Bag Test

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Today is test time for the Microwave Potato Bag so PJ and I are going to have a 'spud'!  It is so long since we have had potato, I am quite looking forward to it!

Now Nanny is no Master Chef but this is what I decided on:

1. Wash the potatoes

2. Without drying, pop them into the Potato Bag - no need to pierce them either!

3. Depending on your microwave cook on high - I had 4 small potatoes and I cooked them for 10 mins.

4. While they are cooking, brown off onion and garlic, add meat and brown, added diced tomatoes, tomato paste then some ginger and some bean mix.


5.  Remove potatoes - they look perfect!!

6. Split and top with meat mixture, grated cheese and sour cream.  Serve with a salad.

The potatoes were cooked to perfection!  Yayyy the Microwave Potato Bag is a great success!!
The meal looks OK too  - and it tasted fantastic!!

Nanny and PJ both  rate the Microwave Potato Bag - guess I'll be making more of these for family when they see this!

You could even take it to the table to serve - it would look fun on the BBQ table!!  What do you think - will you give it a try?

Until next time
Nanny xx

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Pillowcases For Oncology Kids - FQ's

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Today I will be making a another pillowcase for the Pillowcase For Oncology Kids Sew Along.

When I went searching for fabrics, I could only get some in FQ's so today I will show you what I did with the FQ.

Let's Sew!

1. Take your fat quarter and 1m piece of co-ordinating print.

2.  Cut the metre piece in half and from the  two 1/2m cut a piece 94cms long - this will give you 2 pillocase backs and 2 small pieces.

3.  Stitch the two left over pieces to each  end of the FQ, finish seam and topstitch.  

4. Now hem and finish pillowcase as with the standard pillowcase.  You can use the spare back piece on another!

If the FQ is printed so that the length goes along the length of the pillow, you only need to add one piece. I cut the striped piece by cutting a FQ in half.

In this one, using the fabric that was donated by Sue from Splash into Craft, I joined on each end, finished the seam, top stitched to keep the seam tidy and then covered the seam by sewing down both sides of bias binding.
I chose white to highlight the bumper bars!

I thought this fabric was the perfect match for the Flower Power Kombis...

Groovy !  Peace! Outa Sight!  Far Out!  Love!

I hope you will search your FQ's now and think of what you can add to them to make some more pillowcases - don't be afraid to mix and match - have fun!

Please share a photo with me of your finished pillowcases - I would love to put them in the album!

Until next time
Nanny xx

Monday, 14 October 2013

Microwave Potato Bag

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Remember the Microwave Bowl Holder that I made some time back?  Well, the 100% cotton wadding I used was called 'Warm Tater' and on the paper wrap was  a Free Pattern for a Potato Bag.  I checked my Pins and sure enough, I had pinned a potato bag (so obviously thought it a great idea!!)

I purchased my 'Warm Tater' from our local Quilt Shop, Splash Into Craft, and of course I talked with the owner, Sue, about what I was doing with it, and together we checked the free pattern.  When I went shopping on Sunday, Sue had a surprise for me - she had managed to find this fabric, especially for me!!

I was so excited I just had to get it done so I could share it with you!

What you need:

Firstly, you need to measure your microwave.  The bag must be a full inch away from all the sides so that it can rotate freely.  I will make mine 9" square.

So, take your measurement, double it and add 2"  ( mine will be 9"x 2 + 2" = 20")
Cut a piece of 'Warm Tater' the same size.
Cut a cotton fabric for the lining, the same size

I am not following the sewing instructions given because it won't give the finish I want.

Let's sew!

1.  Layer the lining fabric, right side up , main fabric , right    side down, and then the 'Warm Tater'.

2.  Sew across the two narrow ends and turn to the right side.
3.  Topstitch each of the seams 1/4" from the edge and then another row 1/8" away.
4.  Quilt as desired -  I just did straight lines.

5.  Fold the strip lengthwise, right sides together to form your square (mine is 9") - you will have some left over...

6.  Lift the top away and fold the bottom piece inwards so that it too is 9".

7.  Lay the top piece back down and sew the seams starting and finishing with some reverse stitches to secure.

8. Finish and trim the seams and turn to the right side.

How cute is that!!

Here it is after being washed and dried - all ready to cook some potatoes for tea!  Yum!

Thank you Sue  and Splash into Craft - I love it!!

Now I happen to know, that if Sue has some requests, she will be happy to kit this up for you!!

Contact Sue   and tell her: you want to make a Potato Bag; your microwave measurements; and tell her Nanny sent you!

Until next time
Nanny xx