Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sugar & Spice

Another BOM by designer, teacher Iessie started in July 2005. Although I found repeating the same block, just changing the slicing and colors rather boring, I kept up.

The Da Gama fabrics also didn't do much for me and after I couldn't find the fabric of choice for the sashing, I improvised by stitching tiny pleats in the sashing which did something to the otherwise dull colors.

Completed: 29 August 2006

Mathematic triangle nightmare

In June 06 teacher Iessie decided that it was time to do revision of our beginners course and spesifically triangles - having to work out exactly how big 2 triangles should be to make up one square.

Maths like I last did in school. Not really having a place for this and it not being in any of my favorite colors, I experimented with the quilting using embroidery thread trying out any possible circle, triangle and doing plenty freehand stitching.

Completed: 7 Julie 2006

Chinese Twister

During our May 2006 class teacher, Iessie, explained this stack & slash technique but having 16 UFO's still waiting for me at home, I decided to make only 4 blocks to keep in my file of examples and used curtaining samples to take to class.

Back home, when I put the 4 blocks together, I liked it so much that I continued (still using curtaining) and just love this quilt.

The curtaining however was heavy and extremely difficult to work with in such a big quilt and after washing it, some of the fabrics frayed and I had to stitch over it again.

Completed: 5 July 2006

House quilt

Another design from teacher Iessie and being one of her older patterns, she decided not to print it anymore but gave a few of us the opportunity to buy the last patterns.

I worked on this in my own time and used all my scraps for the applique. Tried to repeat the wholecloth effect on the backing but this time doing it on my Hinterberg frame which wasn't all that successful and the backing puckered. However another lesson learnt.

It was however the longest any quilt has been on the frame and it almost got the better of me.

Completed: 6 June 2006

First wholecloth

During the April 06 class teacher, Iessie explained this wholecloth technique. I, however missed the class, seeing that I was fortunate enough to go on vacation to Mauritius. Iessie however offered to repeat the class one Saturday morning and I enrolled.

The Friday evening before class, we were invited to a art exhibition and what was to be a quick trip to look at the art turned into a long evening with far too much red wine and blue cheese and I got home just to late to do any preparations for the class.

Early the next morning, with one massive hangover, I had to do the preparations and the more I tried to square the sandwich, the smaller the quilt became. However made it to the class but took a long and serious nap afterwards.

Must admit the quilt came out much nicer than I felt when making it!

Completed: 27 April 2006

2005 Gift Surprise

When our group, The Quiltmakers, formed in January 2005, we all threw our names in a hat and picked a name. You were then responsibile to buy a small quilting related gift to give to this person monthly.

I received a small quilt/applique block every month and at the end of the year had all the pieces to complete this little wall hanging. It turned out that our teacher, Iessie, was the one to give me a gift monthly.

Completed: 24 January 2006

My favourite Blocks

This is the name of the quilt and not a reflection of my own personal favourites. This was another block of the month project running from Jan - Dec 2005 but nog compulsory for the whole group. At first I didn't start immediately but after seeing another group member's blocks I got going.

At one stage I enjoyed it so much that I almost begged our teacher/designer to give me my patterns in advance. I especially liked the use of both applique and paper piecing which kept the making of every block interesting.

This was one of the first quilts to end up in one of my own bedrooms.

Completed 22 January 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blue Monday

This small table cloth will never be a favorite of mine. I'm just not fond of light blue and a blue and yellow combination just doesn't work for me at all.

We had a special class on curved 9-patches and I used all the blue fabrics I got as gifts to make it. Although the making didn't take that long, I really just couldn't motivate myself to complete it and it was left as an UFO for several months.

Still stuck in a cupboard!

Completed: 22 January 2006

Decorated Baltimore

During 2005 our group, The Quiltmakers, all worked on this Baltimore quilt as a block per month project.

Although not a traditional Baltimore we all loved looking at each other's blocks the next month, seeing how each of us worked and combined different colors.

Orange and shades of it, has always been a favorite of mine and this color scheme works well in my passage at home.

Completed: 26 December 2006

Log cabin cats

When I started my quilting lessons in September 2004 my future daughter in law made it very clear that she didn't like quilts at all as she found all those tiny colored fabrics just too much.

As I continued quilting she however often gave her opinion on what she thought would work nicely and I found that she had a natural nack for combining colors.

In August 2005 I saw this cat-print fabric and knowing that Lianda (daughter in law) just loved cats, I bought a piece and decided to anyway make her a quilt using the cats. In a magazine I saw a similar quilt with horse pictures framed with log cabin blocks and decided to make my quilt in the exact same manner.

I planned to give the quilt to her as a Christmas gift and had to work in secrecy which meant I had to hide the quilt rather suddenly more than once. Luckily she never caught me. The day before Christmas I only had to finish the binding but then 2 of our dogs had a fight and the smallest was so badly bitten that I had to stop working and attend to the dog's needs. So the quilt could only be finished off on Christmas day and I handed it over to her on the 26th of December. She loved it.

Completed: 25 December 2005

Stained glass wall-hanging

Another of teacher, Iessie's, special classes where we were taught how to do stained glass applique. This is only a very small wall hanging but extremely enjoyable to make and definately a technique that I would like to do again on a bigger scale.

Completed: 22 October 2005

Freehand embroidery wall hanging

Another quilt group, The Needles & Pins, offered a workshop with different classes/techniques and I decided to do the freehand embroidery class.

I really enjoyed doing this, quick and easy, with no corners to match or any precise quarter inch seams.

Completed: 8 October 2005 (small wall hanging)

Raggedy Hearts

For my birthday my sister bought me 45 pieces of Da Gama quilting fabrics and in one of the Country Patchwork & Craft magazines I subscribe to, I saw this pattern.

Had a ball playing with all the colors, stacking and slicing and only when putting the blocks together I realized just how big this quilt was.

Used my newly purchases Hinterberg frame to quilt this slightly larger than normal quilt and eventually gave the quilt to one of my sister's daughters.

Completed 6 October 2005

Mystic Memories

This picture appeared on our quilting group's very first newsletter and some of the members demanded the pattern from our teacher which she gave to us and this quilt then became our group's logo.

I've only used remnants and scraps to complete this small wall hanging and it therefor was extremely cheap to make.

Completed: 30 June 2005

Iessie's cheat block

During one of our classes our teacher, Iessie, showed us how to make this quick & easy cheat block starting with a printed centre square. Not a week later, I found the perfect fabric for this specific block and started working almost immediately. It only took me 3 days to complete all the blocks.

With my mom in hospital and me having to visit her several times a day, I however decided to do blanket stitch around every picture in the centre and this took somewhat longer.

I also repeated the lessons learnt in the seminole class to make this border and I am very proud of this quilt although something went horribly wrong with the backing and I've stitched in several random pleats without noticing it!!

Completed: 17 July 2005

Monday, September 18, 2006

Blue Frost

Round about March 2005 by then very excited about all I knew, I decided to make my own quilt - in other words not using a pattern supplied by our teacher or from a magazine. After paging through several books & magazines I found one applique snowman picture and then the collection of snowmen pictures started. Did the applique blocks first and realized that the quilt would be rather small with only the little snowmen and I had to improvise.

Found a paper-piecing palm leave pattern and again made the mistake of repeating the same pattern over and over until I felt like screaming! However the once 'too small' quilt grew into a full-sized bed quilt of 2 by 2 metres.

Eventually gave this to one of my friends for her birthday.

Completed 18 June 2005

Beginner's sampler quilt

On 4 September 2004, I officially joined a quilting course for beginners at our local Bernina shop with Iessie Steenberg as our teacher. These classes were presented every second Saturday and although all of us made the same pattern, we could choose our own colors. Some days were better than others and I often felt like giving up but knowing that the other ladies had the same difficulties, kept me trying one more time and eventually finishing.

I never looked back on a completed block and simply filed it along with the notes given at a class and it was surely a lovely surprise when on our last class, 21 May 2005, we unpacked and arranged our blocks.

The quilting part was the most time consuming as our teacher expected us to use as many as possible different quilting techniques which included meandering, stitching in the ditch, motif stitching, echoes and hand quilting.

Completed 17 June 2005.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Seminole toiletry bag

Just finished the quilting course for beginners or out teacher decided that we were now wise enough to attend one of her special lessons and on Saturday, 28 May 2005, I attended this course. Being 1 of only 3 people attending the course and after again not really following the instructions, I felt rather lost but with such a small group, I couldn't simply disappear or hide and just had to shut my mouth and work along.

Couldn't finish during the class and afterwards my mom ended up by my with a bad knee and everything fell apart for a while. On Saturday, 11 June however I claimed some 'own time' for myself and completed the bag. I've always been one to follow the instructions of a pattern and remembering was never my strong point, therefor the completion of this bag was extra special seeing that I had no pattern and completed it from what I remembered from the class.

Completed 11 June 2005

Aliwal's trip around the world

As part of our annual national quilt day, we set off to a nearby town, Aliwal North, where some of our quilting group members reside, to make a quilt on a lovely farm. What started out as a nice outing turned into a nightmare as I didn't have a clue to what our teacher was trying to explain to us - I just didn't get it!!

Plenty of food, drinks and giggles later we returned home and much later on one of my braver days I gathered all the strips I cut on this day and tried again and it worked!

Very proud of my Trip around the world although I would have loved it to be bigger.

Started 21 March 2005 - Completed 28 April 2005

First miniature quilt

Officially a member of the Free State quilters guild, we were invited to participate in a competition for the first quarterly guild meeting. Our teacher, Iessie, was so kind to give us each a free pattern but still being a newbie, I wisely decided not to enter the competition but to participate anyway.

My blocks still way croocked and as our teacher said, this little quilt screams for mitered corners but at this stage I didn't know any better and was just greatful to finish it!

Completed February 2005.

Purple star for mom

After seeing the 7-single quilt I made for my daughter, my mom also insisted on wanting a quilt. Still a novice and after buying a 1 meter piece of purple fabric, I used Quilt-Pro to design this quilt using a star block as design.

I could never imagine how boring it would become using the same pattern over and over but a lesson well learnt. In one of the books by Porter & Fons they asked the question on 'why anyone would want to make the same block twice' and back then I didn't quite get it, but after this quilt it all made sense.

Not really my idea of a fun color combination but I am still getting there.

Completed this quit February 2005

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hélizca's 7-single quilt

December 2004 and our beginner's quilting course was rudely interrupted by the Christmas holidays and I couldn't imagine a day going by without being able to quilt. So with the knowledge built up during my first 3 month's of quilting and by buying a book on quilting I set out to make this quilt during the holidays. It started out to be a table cloth but once I laid the blocks out to see the bigger picture, my daughter, immediately claimed it as 'her' quilt.

My first big quilt, machine quilted myself, and although only stitched in the ditch, I felt as if I've won a world war!

Completed December 2004

Quilted carry bag

Still struggling through the beginner's course; we had to make this carry bag as we soon realized that attending quilt classes literally meant moving house every second week. The 9-patch was the first block we made and with this little knowledge it seemed only logical to make the bag using 9-patch blocks as well.

With this and the other projects made in my first 2 years, I just wanted to have many quilted projects and almost raced to complete as many as possible without paying attention to detail and neat fitting of corners and blocks.

This little bag served it's purpose for a while but as I learnt with what I was comfortable and what I needed when quilting, I've exchanged this for an ordinary plastic basket.

Completed November 2004.

Beginning the quilting experience

One day, while shopping for machine needless in the local Bernina shop I overheard a lady (Iessie Steenberg) talking about her quilting classes for beginners & immediately gave up my name. Then on 4 Septemeber 2004 armed with calico and 6 fat quarters I started my quilting journey by attending classes twice a month.

Needless to say these classes were so much fun with plenty of girl talk, giggles, coffee and I soon discovered that quilting was a rather expensive hobby but by then I was already hooked.

We started by making a Sampler quilt being taught a new technique with every block we made. This took almost a year to complete but in the mean while Iessie taught us to machine quilt a small item just to get the feeling and this potholder was my very first try. Paperpieced in the colors of my kitchen and quilted in the ditch.

Not much now but back then, one magnificent victory on the quilt front!

Complete 7 October 2004

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dutchman in Africa

After hosting an exchange student from The Netherlands for a year in 1999, she returned with her parents to visit our country in July 2001 and took heaps of photos which she shared with me. I decided to use and copy these photos with African printed fabrics and make her a quilt. Still not having been taught to do this quilting thing properly, I continued with the squares of paper but showed a little progress in that some squares were slashed to make triangles. Kept me busy for 3 years and along with my very first 'blue block' quilt, I had this professionally quilted.

Didn' come out too shabby and now I'm just waiting for Karin - the exchange student - to get married before giving this to her.

Completed August 2004

Before I knew.....

Long before quilter's guilds or templates had any meaning to me, a dear friend told me about these patchwork blankets she saw while being an exchange student in the US and said she was busy making one herself. No way in hell that I could understand what she talked about over the phone but after visiting her, I got the basic idea. So... using paper squares, all equal in size I set off to make my very own patchwork blanket using everything but 100% cottons. Someone must have seen me working on this blanket and told me about quilting - the word, the groups and the guild and I just had to find these people. Several phonecalls later, I got hold of a lady who invited me to come along to their group one day. O dear, what a terrible disappointment! There I was holding my patchwork and realized that what I made could not even remotely compare to what they've been doing. Mine looked like something from a pre-primary class while they were definately graduates and then I had to learn that they were only in the 'beginner's group'!

Needless to say, I never returned to this group and continued with my blanket after making peace with the fact that it will never be a showpiece and that I'll have to donate the completed blanket to one of my dogs, Varkie, who simply appreciated any blanket.

It took me 4 years to complete - in the end I couldn't manage the quilting (used the thickest batting) and gave it to professionals to do and unfortunately old Varkie died exactly 3 weeks before the blanket was returned to me.

Completed August 2004