21 June 2017

2017!

I have my tail between my legs and paws over my eyes.  My first blog post this year - shameful.....
Well we have had a move back to Kwa-Zulu Natal (it was Natal when we left 31 years ago) and while extremely traumatic, I can call us settled; well that is myself.  Dave drives down to Waterfall every weekend as he is still very involved with our business in Harrismith, in fact really does not see the need to retire just yet, so living apart during the week it must be for the moment.  I miss beautiful Harrismith and farm life with dogs, cats, chickens, pigs and horses but I definitely do not miss the bitterly cold winters!  Harrismith provided an ideal country town where our 4 children grew up enjoying the outdoors and a close family environment.  All good things must come to an end as there are better opportunities that lie ahead.  This brings me to the next stage in my life which has led me to update my blog!

As many of my readers and friends know, I have been a passionate quilter for 30 years and in particular, free motion quilting.  Last year in 2016 I completed the Teachers' Accreditation course run by the South African Quilters' Guild.  While I have been teaching quilting for a few years, this now enables me to teach at the National Quilt Festivals should I so desire.  I love to teach and spread the word about quilting and free-motion quilting encouraging others to jump in and just "do it"!  The local Village Quilters Guild have welcomed me and made me feel so at home; both new friends and "old" friends from waaaay back when!

Entering quilts into competitions for judging is not really my thing, however, one of my quilts won 3rd place in the last National Quilt Festival which is held bi-annually.  I blogged about it here if you would like to read it.  Last year was a heavy year with studying so not much leisure quilting was done as those who have done the course will know!  Come the National Quilt Festival to be held in Port Elizabeth this year, through encouragement from students, I thought that I would enter one of my quilts on which I had worked for over a year.  But alas, it was too big!!!!  The restriction of 2.5m measurement for one side did not allow for my 2.7m square quilt.  So, a long story short, I was invited to enter it in the World Quilt Competition.  It is called "My Journey in Free Motion" and has been selected to be judged at the competition and will hang on display during the event from 17-19 August 2017 in Manchester, New Hampshire.  The quilts will also tour the United States and will be displayed at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza (Greater Philadelphia Area) in September, in October at the Pacific International Quilt Festival (San Francisco Bay Area) and at World Quilt Florida in Orlando, Florida in January 2018.  

I received this yesterday to be used in my profile on Facebook, Instagram and any social media I choose.  So it is with a humble attitude, yet great pride....


I have a few photos of it.  It is a cream quilt quilted with a "goldy" colour shiney thread and needless to say, because of its colour, extremely difficult to photograph.  It is a King size quilt and will be known by my Harrismith friends as my "Issey" quilt!!!!  






I have tried to add a few close-ups to show the stitching.  It was quilted on my domestic sewing machine (I do not have a long arm machine) with the feed-dogs lowered and very tiny free-hand stitches. 



This bottom photo is taken with the early morning sun trying to pick up the gold thread colour.  

Please forgive me for this long post but it is easier to do it this way as there are some "nosy" people who shall remain un-named who require the ins-and-outs!!!!  You know who you are!!!   Love you I do........

Thanks for visiting and thank you for all your comments on Facebook.

Yours in quilting,

 



10 August 2016

Second Post of 2016!

Eish, I'm really not a great blogger so it seems.  My excuse is that I am studying at the moment - doing the Quilt Teachers Accreditation Course - and writing assignments is really stretching my brain and my nerves!  I've now completed my second round of written assignments and am busy with the two practicals, machine applique and hand applique.

Apologies to my followers but will try and blog a little more often.  I'm preparing for a fabric postcard talk and demo for guild on Friday.  Here's what I made today.



 There is a tutorial for making Fabric Postcards under "Tutorials" on my blog. 

Happy quilting,



17 February 2016

First post of 2016!

Hello everyone,  so it is five months since last I blogged (hanging head in shame).  Anyway a quick update.  Unfortunately we had to cancel our long awaited trip to Meryl, my cousin in Brussels for Christmas and New Year.  Life happens.......  My hubby was not well, ending the year with 2 diagnosed melanomas which needed surgery.   They were caught early so all is well now.

I am devoting this year to studying (at the age of 67)!!! and in view of all the teaching I have been doing for the past two years, I've decided to take the plunge and do the Teachers' Accreditation Course.  I'm not sure what this makes me in the end but it will allow me to teach at the National Quilt Festivals etc and as free motion quilting is my absolute passion and my love of teaching it and encouraging others to do it,  I've decided to do the course.  I'm sure it will make me a better and more informed teacher in the end!  The course entails a great amount of research, answering assignments and of course some practical work as well.  I have limited my teaching this year and only have two local quilt festival engagements - Indaba in May and Quilt in Clarens in July.  They both involve a whole week so I'm putting in a lot of work now to make up for these two weeks!  There won't be a lot from me this year on my blog.

A girl cannot cut herself off completely from quilting for a whole year, so I have joined in with Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson in the Splendid Sampler quilt-a-long (see the badge on the right side bar).  There will be 2 x 6½ inch blocks a week which started on Sunday 14 February.  Everyone is welcome to join in; there are something like 17,000 already who have made the pledge, so hopefully I will be able to keep up!  Here is my first block, it should be fun.  A simple little heart for Valentines Day!

Hearts a flutter!

Thank you for visiting.  I will occasionally post throughout the year, perhaps even some results as my assignments are returned to me!!!

Happy quilting,





11 September 2015

Elna Bethlehem Class

What a fun day we had yesterday at Dalien and Hennie's friendly Elna shop in Bethlehem.  They have a superb range of beautiful quilt cotton fabric and all the necessary extras that us quilters need for stitching and finishing our quilts including lovely threads for free motion quilting.  They also have knitting wool, embroidery threads and patterns, beads, silk ribbon and all manner of interesting haberdashery that caters for many different crafts.  Of course, the full range of Elna machines that they are very happy to demonstrate.  You can have your machine serviced there under Hennie's watchful eye while you are shopping for fabrics! 

It is one of my favourite venues for holding free motion quilting classes and yesterday's class was no exception.  Here we all are looking rather exhausted after a very busy day.



I think they look quite pleased!


The class in action


              
I like to give individual attention

 




Bertha helping with machine settings


Dalien admiring Sonia's work


Ai Stompie jy teken so mooi!


More of the class in action


Thank you Dalien for letting us disturb your busy shop for a day and for the lovely cookies you provided for tea.  We look forward to the Intermediate class next year!

Happy quilting everyone and to my lovely students - practice, practice, practice!!!









 

11 August 2015

Whole Cloth Quilt

Well it's not exactly "tomorrow" but soon after anyway!

I am very excited to at last add my whole cloth quilt to my blog.  It is from a class I did with Issie Steenberg about a year ago and I've worked on it intermittently as my fmq teaching has allowed.  The 16 inch squares are divided diagonally and each one has a different pattern quilted within the diagonal lines.  It was a mammoth task trying to think of different fmq patterns to quilt in each quarter.  I think there is one repeat which I had obviously forgotten about having stitched it a few months previously.

Whole cloth King Size Quilt

 

The quilted squares were trimmed to 16 inches and joined together using the quilt-as-you-go method.
Here are a few more close-ups of some of the quilting.





I quilted loose feathers around the entire border and then joined it also with quilt-as-you-go after the 36 squares had been joined together.  There was a lot of hand stitching in the joining but the finish is far nicer than machine stitching.

I was delighted to see this quilt displayed at the Clarens Quilt Festival.  It drew quite a bit of attention and inspired many people to take my Free Motion Quilting class.  It is not a very good photo as there was a lot of light in the room.


Whole cloth quilt in Clarens

Thank you for visiting my blog once again.  I hope this has inspired you to start one of these whole cloth quilts.  It is so very rewarding once the quilt is finished!!

Happy quilting,


 

7 August 2015

National Quilt Festival

So many months have passed since my last blog post; where does the time go!  There are surely not enough hours in the day to get everything done.  My free motion quilting classes have really kept me busy the past few months with a full program coming up in September and October which will now be involving me in a few road trips in South Africa.  But I am not complaining as I absolutely love teaching and sharing what I know and what I have done with so many people.

Back to what this blog is about - our National Quilt Festival held in July at Kearsney College near the beautiful Valley of a Thousand Hills in Natal.  I decided to enter my "Swoon" Quilt, a pattern from Camille Roskelley which I had been making for a few months and where I had free motion quilted in the negative spaces.  The fabrics I used were from Kaffe Fassett's collection and I used Aurifil thread to do the quilting. I was very happy with the result and really did not expect to win a 3rd place ribbon for my effort.  Here is a pic of the quilt hanging in the exhibition.

Swoon
 











And of course yours truly!













A few close-ups of the quilting.






My sister Barbara and I attended three classes at the festival.  Oh my word, I now have to find time to complete what we started in these classes but they will get done and I'll put them on my blog!

Here are a few photos in the beautiful grounds of Kearsney College in Botha's Hill, Kwa-Zulu Natal .
 

Lunch tables

Many vendors selling tasty treats

Barbara enjoying her Crunchie!




















Thank you for visiting today.  Please come back tomorrow and see pics of my wholecloth quilt which I have now at last finished!

Happy quilting,


19 March 2015

Classes at Cotton Tale

Well what a wonderful time we all had over the two days!  It was fun and exciting to see how the ladies managed and couldn't believe the difference in their stitching from the beginning of the classes and when we finished in the afternoon.  I'm not sure if it was quite what they were expecting but nevertheless every single lady very quickly managed to execute the different stitches, each in their own way and style.

Here are a few photos of our exciting days; the time went so quickly and I only managed three photos!









 A huge thank you goes to Judy and Chantal at Cotton Tale and for the delicious eats they served at tea time!

I look forward to sharing more of what I have learned of this fascinating art in the near future. We will hold follow-on classes with these ladies in a few months time.  I can't wait to see what they have achieved over the next few months!  Well done all of you!







Happy quilting,



11 March 2015

Quilting Classes.

My free motion quilting classes have kept me extremely busy over the last few months and even a bit of traveling to out-lying areas.  What started off teaching friends how to piece a quilt, led to acquaintances hearing about it and wanting other classes organized, to complete strangers approaching me to learn this exciting hobby.  But my love and passion for free motion quilting steered me into many more opportunities and so life has become far more hectic.  Added to that, we have our National Quilt Festival coming up in July 2015 and I am trying to complete a quilt for the festival as well as making up samples for the classes.  Two classes at Cotton Tale on 16 and 17 March, Bethlehem on 26 March and I am teaching at Quilt in Clarens in July.

Here are some photos of my two dear friends Joan and Corrie who started off quilting classes in my little sewing room last year.  This was actually their third class where they are learning Paper Piecing. 



Busy concentrating!

And here they are with their finished blocks.  Aren't they beautiful, umm the blocks as well!


A finish!  Well done girls.


I have enjoyed the quilting classes and we have had a lot of fun and laughter, and not too many ripped out seams!!

One of my free motion quilting classes was held at Lalis, a lovely guest house in Harrismith.  We were so busy that this is the only photo I managed to take.  It doesn't look like it, but we had a lot of fun in this class!  I must have just captured the concentration!  Poor Emmie was really battling with her old Bernina which led to her buying a brand new Elna.  Way to go Emmie. 


Riana taking a break to check on the other ladies.




Helping the ladies


At about this time we had a visit from Issie Steenberg, a lovely lady from Bloemfontein who came to give us all a class on the "quilt as you go" method.  Fortunately the girls had all had a bit of practice with free motion quilting as Issie's class was not a beginners class.  Now six months later, two of the ladies have finished the quilts they started in the class.  Here they are, aren't they stunning!


Gerda's beautifully quilted quilt

Alta's lovely quilt


I have yet to finish mine but will post when it's done.  Too much to do; too little time!

Thank you for stopping by,



6 September 2014

5 Finishes!

I always seem to begin a blog post with "it's been a long time" or apologizing one way or another about the lack of keeping up to date with blogging but it has been en extremely busy year for me having decided to make each of our grandchildren a quilt for Christmas and also having started teaching.  When I decide to do something or set myself a target (mainly for quilting) haha, I do tend to stick with it no matter how long it takes.  I have achieved my goal for the year having now completed my last quilt for the grandies.  In fact I made 6 (no not another one on the way or at least I hope not) and decided that one of them was not really suitable.  So it will sit in the cupboard - waiting!!!

I will give you just a little peak as it really wouldn't be right to have the big display until the children have received them; so here they are...


A quilt for each grandchild



This has been a labour of love and I have enjoyed every minute of making them and I'm sure they will be enjoyed by each one - 3 boys and 2 girls.  Guesses which are boys and which are girls!!

My teaching schedule began in about April of this year kicking off with the very basics ie straightening of fabric and rotary cutting and making very basic Disappearing 9 patch table toppers.  Paper piecing was a fun class and the ladies who completed their projects were really thrilled with how they turned out.  In another class I had to give one of the ladies a lesson on how to use her sewing machine first, so there is always a surprise starting a new class!

Fee motion quilting is my absolute passion as I have mentioned in earlier posts back in 2012 and these are the classes I most enjoy teaching.  It is so exciting to see someone who has never attempted fmq before becoming quite comfortable with moving her quilt sandwich around under the needle by the completion of the lesson.  But of course the bottom line being practice, practice, practice and more practice!

Well it's the first week in September and the children's quilts are done which gives me a bit of breathing space before starting on my next project.  Hmm I wonder what it will be as I have so many ideas and so many things on my bucket list that I can't wait to make.  But first I need to make a postcard, in fact two, for our fabric postcard swap group and also a birthday block, another group to which I belong.  See here for my tutorial on how to make a fabric postcard.

Thank you for stopping by and I will really try to post more regularly now.

As usual, happy quilting,