29 May 2013

Guild Project

Decisions, decisions!  We received a ¼ meter of quilt fabric at our last guild meeting with very clear instructions.

Fabric to be used in border


1.   Use scraps no larger than 2 inches.
2.   Use your piece of fabric for the border.
3.   Finished project no smaller than 50cm x 50cm and no larger
      than 70cm x 70cm.  (Roughly 20" and 27½")
4.   Project to be shown at November meeting.
5.   R50 fine if project is not completed.

2 inch pieces!  Oh my goodness, this is going to take some time I suspect.  So out with some samples of fabric to use.  

Amafu hand dyed fabric

I could keep it plain with some hand dyed fabric.

Grand Finale

I could use a charm pack,  Grand Finale by Sandy Gervais for Moda, or....

Urban Couture

another charm pack I have, Urban Couture by Basic Grey for Moda.  I have two each of these charm packs cut into 4 would give me finished pieces of 2 inches but I doubt that I would have to use two charm packs if I also use a plain cream as well.

HSTs could work, hexies could work or umm.... I'll have to spend some time planning.  

Thank you for dropping by and any suggestions would be most welcome!

Happy quilting,


26 May 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Hi there everyone,

Amy at Amy's Creative Side is hosting a Blogger's Quilt Festival which runs until May 30 2013.  There are many categories that can be entered into and I have entered two of my quilts into two different categories.  The first one is in the category "Two Color Quilts" and can be found by clicking HERE.  It is number 26.  Here is a pic of it.

Entered in "Two Color Quilts"

The other is in the category "Home Machine Quilted Quilts" and can be found by clicking HERE.  It is number 24 and here it is.

Entered in "Home Machine Quilted Quilt"

These are my first ever quilt competition entries and I would really appreciate it if you would like to vote for me.  Enjoy looking over the entries in the other categories; there are some beautiful quilts out there and I've really had difficulty voting in the various categories.

Thank you for taking the time to vote.

Happy quilting,

Strips and Curves.

I have just completed a small table runner from the "Strips and Curves" book by Louisa L. Smith.

Strips & Curves Table Runner

Trying something small first made good sense before tackling a larger quilt with all those curved pieces.  Having said that, once I got the hang of it they weren't all that difficult!  First came the selection of the strip colours and putting them in a pleasing order running from dark to light to dark.  The fabrics used were from a selection of hand dyed fabrics from Amafu.

Choosing the order of the strips

Once the strips were joined and the shapes cut out with templates I made, then came the joining of the curved pieces.  I found the less pins I used the easier it was to sew, contrary to the many tutorials on curved piecing!

Joining the curved shape

Some of the strips were also cut in the curved shape and joined to the plain marbled fabric and then arranged in a pleasing design.

Do you see that little half moon shape?  Oh my word, I had at least 3 attempts at joining it on to the larger marbled fabric!  Definitely won't be doing that again in a hurry.


I then quilted the strip pieces in the ditch with monofilament thread in the needle and beautiful fine Bottom Line by Libby Lehman in the bobbin.  This is the first time I've have used Bottom Line and oh man, am I in love with this thread!  It is really beautiful to sew with.  I quilted pebbles, or rather circles on the marbled fabric using Colorful in a bronze colour in an 80/12 needle and of course Bottom Line in the bobbin!

I am pleased to have tried out this design on a small table runner before I attempt it in a larger quilt that I have in mind to make!  The colour choices are really important as there must be at least 16 to 18 different fabrics in the strips ranging from light to dark that will tone in with the background fabric.

Table Runner on Yellowwood Table

Thank you for taking a look at my latest quilt.  Now for the next project this week.....

Happy quilting,

18 May 2013

Mug Rugs

Over the past few weeks I have enjoyed doing some handwork and made some mug rugs.  They are not widely known about here in South Africa but such a fun idea.  

They are hand appliqued with a buttonhole stitch onto the background fabric and the background fabric in the two bottom ones are machine pieced.

They are fun and relaxing to make and I will definitely be making more.  The patterns are on the Craftsy website and can be found by clicking here.

Thank you for visiting my blog again.  Have a beautiful quilty weekend.


17 May 2013

Successful shopping day.

The mug rugs which I promised yesterday will have to wait another day I'm afraid as a wee bit of unexpected shopping happened across my path this morning!  I'd love to show you what I bought.  

Glenda from Amafu Fabrics made a stop in Harrismith on her way to Johannesburg with her gorgeous hand-dyed fabrics - a stationwagon FULL with the most gorgeous colours.  I photographed them once they were pressed before adding to my growing stash.  The fat quarters are 50cm square (about 20 inches) and fabric widths are 150cm (almost 60 inches).

Desert Sands

Zinkwazi Summer

Namib Neutrals

Peacock Blues

A selection of  "Clouds"

Superior threads, needles and Chaco Liner

Oh to have Superior Threads in South Africa.  What a treat!  The large spool is Egyptian Cotton, on the right is Libby Lehman's Bottom Line and in the middle is Rainbows, a quilting thread with a high sheen.  

Now to decide what to make.  So I will leave it here and join you back tomorrow with the promised mug rugs.

Here is a link to these gorgeous Amafu Fabrics.

Happy quilting,

16 May 2013

Table Runner

Happy Thursday to everyone, the weekend is almost here!  I would love to show you a newly completed table runner which has found it's place on our dining room table and of course Snowball whose place is definitely not on the dining room table!

Christmas Rose Table Topper

I used a charm pack plus yardage for the center and triangles on each end.  The pattern is from "That Patchwork Place" Charmed, I'm Sure by Lesley Chaisson.  I have enjoyed doing a bit of applique, which has not until recently been at the top of my interest list, but I think that I will attempt more in the near future!  I machine stitched the applique pieces to the background fabric using a buttonhole stitch and did a bit of quilting in the leaves and flowers to accentuate the shapes.


These close-ups show the quilted swirls around the borders and free form feathers in the triangles.

I hope you have enjoyed this post.  I'll be back tomorrow with some appliqued mug rugs.

Happy quilting,


15 May 2013

Update on completed projects

Well, it's quite a while since I updated my completed projects of which there have been quite a few!  Where does the time go?  We are already in the middle of May so here goes!  

Sailor's Delight

 This is a little table topper that I made for my sister Lesley.  It is called Sailor's Delight and it was made from Peggy Martin's Quick Strip Paper Piecing, a class on Craftsy.  This is a relatively easy class on paper piecing which is a method I really enjoy doing.

New York Beauty

 Another paper pieced quilt from Peggy's class is this New York Beauty.  I chose purple and yellow as I had never worked with these colours before.  They are quite striking and not at all compatible with the colour scheme in our home!  But still, it hangs proudly in my sewing room!

Mariner's Compass

This wall hanging is called Secret Garden (not very obvious in the fabrics I used as the original had flowers on the outer border).  It was made from one of the books I bought from C&T Publishers called Mariner's Compass Stars by Carol Doak.  It features 24 paper pieced blocks and 9 quilt projects - a really great book to have.

We are  now finished with paper piecing but there will be more to come in the near future!

Disappearing 9-patch
I was so fascinated by Jenny Doan's disappearing 9-patch tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company that I just had to make a few of them.  This one used a charm pack and extra yardage for the border.  Do you see that lovely plate, well it came to grief not long after I took this photo; the culprit, Big Boy, Heather's cat who still lives with us.  He decided to jump out of the window above the table.  

Who me, I didn't do anything!

Another Disappearing 9-patch.

See I told you I was fascinated by this pattern!  I used 6" square charms for this one.  It's quite a fun table topper that I use when we have bookclub here.  I added yardage for the border.

Sunflower Quilt

This quilt I made from a book called Vintage Quilts by Joanna Figueroa.  I really had fun choosing the fabrics as these are "my" colours.  I used a 100% cotton batting that I found on the internet in Alberton.  Why had I not discovered this source before?  It was so beautiful to quilt and drapes so much better than the Loomtex which we get locally here in SA.  I was able to use quite a variety of fmq stitches - one of my favourite quilts. The pillows were made from charm squares quite unrelated to the fabrics in the quilt and are not too bad together.

Now what else have I got?  Oh yes, the 2012 BOM!

2012 Block of the Month

This is the completed BOM I did with Craftsy in 2012.  Amy Gibson was the sweet lady who did the classes and Leah Day showed us how to quilt it.  I quite enjoy doing BOMs but they do tend to drag out over a whole year!  I'm now busy with the 2013 one which I'm doing in totally different colours!

Well, I think that I am up to date now save perhaps for one or two which will hopefully come to mind!

Thank you for visiting my blog.  You are welcome to return again.  Please follow me on bloglovin'.

Happy quilting,


iPhone Case

I enjoyed making this quick little project this morning I found on Erin Erickson's blog Dog Under my Desk.  I enjoy her blog and her patterns are so well written and illustrated.  I did not take pics of the making process as it really is such a simple pattern.

I did not use a very colourful fabric, I felt that the lighter the fabric the easier to see in my bag!


 Notice how snuggly the phone sits in the case.  The pattern actually has a metal ring through the tab to attach to a key ring but I decided against using one, but I might change my mind - isn't it a girl's prerogative?!!  Oh and by the way, do you like the metal cover I have on my phone?


Thank you for taking the time to look at today's little exercise.  If you would like to make one of these you can go over to Erin's blog here for the free tutorial.

Happy quilting

13 May 2013

Sheer Ribbon Illusions - 2013

How sad to hear the news about Libby Lehman's brain aneurism. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this difficult time.  We all wait for her to regain consciousness and start on her long recovery.  

Our first challenge set by SewCalGal this year is Sheer Ribbon Illusions set by Libby way back in January of this year.  I have only got around to attempting it now having watched the show on TQS.  A "splat" was drawn onto freezer paper and then sewn with a metalic thread onto my chosen piece of fabric.  The freezer paper was then removed, leaving the outline of the design on the fabric.  The square of fabric was then put into a hoop and pulled very tight.  I chose to scribble in red and green embroidery thread (bad choice) and then outlined the shape with a yellow metalic thread.  Mmm not like Libby's where she used a "highlight" metalic thread which certainly looked far better.  But being in SA and not having the beautiful Aurifil threads in our fabric shops, I had to settle for second (or third) best!  I then made up a quilt sandwich with backing and batting and quilted a loopy squiggle in the center and all around the ribbon design.  I did not find the soft satiny fabric the easiest to sew as it frayed terribly, so won't be using that again any time soon!

Here is a pic of the quilting almost done. 

I decided to made a cushion for want of something to use it for and to add piping to the edge.  Oh dear, my new machine has a crazy zipper foot which cannot be used to make piping; so off with the cover of my Bernina to find that the needle alignment is so "out" that the needle could not go far enough to the side.  So now, what do I do.  Let me try my 46 year old Elna automatic.  Hey presto!  It worked beautifully; my beautiful old baby did the job perfectly.

I happened to have a pillow form waiting to be used. 

Thank you Sewcalgal for this first tutorial.  I enjoyed doing it but can't say that I would do it again.  Libby's quilts are beautiful though and I hope she is able to return home to enjoy them.

I should have chosen my two colours differently to really get the effect of "sheer ribbon illusions", perhaps a paler shade of a colour would have worked better.  Oh well, we learn by our mistakes.