26 May 2012

Reunion Class of '62

Check that waistcoat!

May 2012 saw the reunion of DH's matric class of '62.  What a great event this was with a visit to Westville Boys High where we were shown around the school and attended assembly with 1300 students and 79 staff members.  This also had a special meaning for me as well as I was also at the school in the days when it was co-ed.

All of us present at the school tour

After a scrumptious tea served to us in the old "quadrangle", we set off for Cathedral Peak Hotel in the Natal Drakensberg for two nights, meeting up with "old" school friends.  Two days to catch up on 50 years!

A view of Cathedral Peak from the hotel verandah

Cathedral Peak Hotel is situated in the heart of the Drakensberg mountains and is probably the closest to the well-known peaks of all the hotels.  The approach to the hotel is through typical rural settlements and along pot-holed roads lined with goats, sheep and cattle, the latter often forcing cars to negotiate around them while lazing on the narrow roads in the sun!  After signing in through two boomed entrances, we arrived in the magnificient surroundings of the hotel. 

The next few hours were spent introducing spouses and renewing friendships and acquaintances...... followed by a delicious buffet dinner in the diningroom.  Oh the food!  What a beautiful spread, not only at dinner; breakfast was quite amazing as well.

The highlight of our stay in the 'Berg was hearing "The Savages" playing together for the first time in 50 years.   During their latter high school years, Dave, Pete, Derrick and Jeff formed a band, calling themselves "The Savages".  They played at various venues including the Westville Hotel, local "socials" and private parties as well as a gig during the Christmas holidays at Drakensberg Gardens Hotel.  (This is another story)!  Considering the fact that they spent an afternoon practicing and another hour or so before the Thursday evening "event", one found it hard to believe it had been 50 years since the band had played together last!  Of course, the music and songs they played reflected what had been popular in the 1960s and everyone enjoyed the evening and sang along to songs we remembered from that time.

Dave, Keith, Pete H, Pete C, Derrick

"The Savages"

It was with very heavy hearts that we bade everyone a very fond farewell with promises to keep up the contact from here on!  Sadly, we had learned of classmates who were no longer with us and of others who were faced with ill health and fighting dreaded diseases.  There were messages sent by e-mail from those now living in far-off lands and who were unable to be there for the reunion.  It felt that 50 years had passed in a flash, but the memories from this reunion will stay with each one of us, not for 50 years, but for many years to come. 

Friends 50 years ago


Derrick and Dozy and ourselves

25 May 2012

FMQ - May

May's free motion quilting challenge was done by Leah Day who I have been following for quite a while and from whom I have learned so much.  Leah is a very self-assured young lady who has overcome challenges in her life that none of us would want to face.  She and her husband Josh, run a thriving and exciting business selling all things necessary for quilting and freely teaching many quilting techniques.  You will find a link to her website here.

She called her tutorial "Foundational Designs" and began with telling us about the essential equipment to use when doing free motion quilting.  The Supreme Slider and machiners' gloves, I feel, are absolutely necessary to produce excellent work - apart from a lot of practice of course!

The first of the two foundational designs she did was "Double Stippling".  This entailed sewing a wiggily line and then sewing another wiggily line crossing backwards and forwards over the first line.  This did not come easy to me as I always try to avoid crossing over lines when stippling.  But anyway, this is what we were to do, getting me out of my comfort zone!  The second foundational design was "Railroad Tracks."  Much the same as the first design, but the lines were squared off.  A video of  both of the foundational designs can be found here.

Here is my usual doodle page, quite simple really!

Then comes my practice sandwich....

 And finally my attempt.... oops I've photographed it upside down!!  Haha.  But you get what I was trying to do!  I used Seralon in the bobbin and Gutermann Sulky Cotton in my 80/12 needle.

This was not my favourite quilting design but it was great to learn something new anyway.  I feel that we have progressed 5 months down the line and look forward to something more challenging next month; I think it is pebbling!  Thank you Leah Day and SewCalGal for giving us the opportunity to add another design to our sample quilt.