Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 4 @ Karin's Cabin

So proud of myself for staying awake ALL DAY yesterday and we didn’t even go to bed all that early.  However we didn’t quite work all the time – here the two of us are snapped taking one of our many mini breaks – just sitting back having coffee.
Karin finished 2 UFO tops and has every reason to feel proud.  By late afternoon the lounge looked like a warzone and we decided to start packing up and clean.
Before long the house was as clean as could be and no-one would even ever guess that we worked here and left the whole carpet covered with layers of thread.
After finishing the binding I worked on my Dear Jane blocks and finished 7
Clean house and plenty of quilting done – enough reason to celebrate our time here.
Thank you Karin, I had a wonderful time...... even though I had to do all the cooking (darn!!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 3 @ Karin's Cabin

O boy the fresh air got to me badly – I had a hard time staying awake even though I took naps every afternoon.  Why Karin bothered to invite me nobody knows as she might as well have come all on her own.  I slept the first 2 days away but did much better on day 3.  Today I even took some handwork downstairs and sat outside doing it obviously still dressed in PJ’s.
I still take plenty of time just staring at my surroundings doing nothing else than taking in the view and man nature is stunning, we should really take more time just to appreciate it.  This is what I got to look at while outside.  Notice the baby in the right bottom corner of the photo?
The lighting in the cabin was not quite planned to host a quilting event but watch 2 quilters not being bothered at all – quilting in almost total dark!!
Even Nordick, Karin’s African Grey, sat with us every step of the way, ever so talkative.

Day 2 @ Karin’s Cabin

After the men left we rearranged the furniture and set up our ideal quilting spot in the cabin’s lounge.
We decided beforehand that we were to stay in our PJ’s all day long as there is nobody around and we didn’t plan on driving to any shops – none nearby anyway.  So even though we did the shower thing daily, brushed our teeth and combed our hair we simply got dressed in our PJ’s again.
 After the storm the level of the dam’s water rose quite a bit and we were greeted with a much higher water level the next morning.

Day 1 @ Karin's Cabin

On Monday, 27 December DH brought me through to Karin and her husband’s cabin about an hour’s drive outside the city.  The 3-bedroomed cabin is built right on the edge of the dam with the balcony facing the dam – beautiful view!  The men spent the first day together going out on the boat and Karin’s husband barbecued for lunch. 

Afterwards the men left to go back to the city leaving us two girls all by ourselves to have a quiet week of quilting.  With the men still here I spent the day sewing the binding on my latest summer Bargello I did through Quilt University. The first evening we had a terrible electric storm which made it rather nice to be covered with a quilt.  
 I got Karin to hold my quilt while standing up on the balcony and I went downstairs to take this photo from the water’s edge.  I think I’ve found the perfect spot to display and take photos of future quilts.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Another Christmas done

The family left this morning so all back to relative normality. Today I tidied the house at the speed of lightning as this evening I need to pack for next week…………….. I’m looking forward to it SO much but more about that later. The blonde and her boyfriend are also leaving tomorrow for a week at the coast so DH will have the whole house to himself with plenty of peace and quiet. We’re giving him the opportunity to recharge for the New Year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Things are actually happening

I might not post any completed projects however that does not mean I am not working on projects. Another Bargello is on the quilting frame – not a long arm but an ordinary frame to use with your domestic frame. Even though I own one I am not really a fan as I hate the limitations it has but in order to show friend Karin what I am referring to, I had to put a quilt on it and now that it is there I am quilting it on the frame. Guess that’s why it is taking me forever to finish.

Then I’ve also watched Patsy Thompson’s video on spray basting instead of pinning or basting with thread and she convinced me. In the back on the top photo is my new spray basting wall DH especially put up for me and on it yet another almost done UFO. This one would however NOT be quilted on the frame.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Part 5 done

Referring to Quiltville’s mystery and this, my friends, is what 600 two- inch half square triangle units look like. I almost thought it would be impossible especially after quilting partner, Karin, nervously said “I can’t even count to 600!!”

Having my elderly mom (82) over for the week which means everything happening much slower than usual but at least I got this part done.

I must just mention that I have the BEST quilting buddy in the world. She along with her hubby treated my DH and I to a lovely dinner at a local restaurant yesterday evening and I got a huge hamper of quilting goodies for Christmas, one being a book by RaNae Merril called Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts. At this stage it still looks very Greek to me but I guess reading one sentence at a time will put the bigger picture together.

Free downloads - a Christmas gift to yourself

While scrolling through my blogs this morning I came across this and I have to admit that the following is a direct copy from the website but I couldn't put it better myself.

That's right, all the patterns at HomeSpun Threads Shoppe are FREE. You'll need to click the link to go there and begin ordering your free downloads.

29 Patterns and pattern combination's to choose

All I simply ask is that you become a follower of HomeSpun-Threads blog and help spread the word.

Tell your friends and I'll share the love.  So friends, I just did, enjoy!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back on track

Part 4 of Quiltville’s mystery done a full 4 days before part 5 will be posted but then this step was just so much faster. I think Bonnie must know that some of us are not saying all that nice things behind her back after step 3, so she had to save some face with step 4. Wonder how my friend Karin is coping seeing that she was just so eager and started making 2 mystery quilts.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Part 3 done

Now this was a tedious step and seemed to last forever and then ‘strip piecing’ is regarded as a ‘fast’ way of making a quilt!?? I am referring to Quiltville’s latest mystery quilt. Luckily friend Karin got a new PFAFF Grand Quilter and we just had to celebrate this with another ‘quilt-thru-the night’ session at her house.
See the new baby is still way too young to be taken anywhere, so I had to go to her. Her husband, bless his soul, served us with dinner and wine, so we could sit back and stitch until the wee hours of the morning.

Still………… I did not finish my 60 strip-pieced blocks then. I tried several methods to speed the process up but to no avail .Started off by doing it Bonnie’s way but used stitch-‘n-tear to sew the strips onto.
Then I thought stitching non-stop strips and simply cutting the squares out would go faster and tried this method.
It turned out 6 of the one and a half a dozen of the other, it stayed a LONG process but I finally finished today and however painful the process still not as painful as this!!

Note to DH – very bad idea to take your employees to paintball for a year-end function. Remember not everyone likes the boss!!

I think.......

……………… I should either start a new trend – stitching at least something upside down in a quilt or dedicate a whole blog to all my “quilts that went wrong” for I seem to have plenty of these!  Friend Sandra from Canada told me about the Mennonites and that leaves me with a third option…  join them but they are not active in South Africa.  So maybe I can be the founder member over here, wonder what else I’ll have to do apart from buggering up a quilt??  This is my latest QU Bargello and check out the lonely lost yellow strip there in the middle of nowhere!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It is not even Christmas yet.....

...... and I’ve started receiving gifts.  Karin gave me a vinyl year planner and I have 2011 planned up and until 13 December including a boat trip and an airplane flight.  This obviously does not include the “spur of the moment” trips that somehow arise during the year.  Thanks ‘Currin’!
Then a post office notification of a parcel arrived on Friday and my quilting friend all the way over in Canada, sent me a lovely quilting magazine.  Much appreciated Sandra!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Rotary Cutters year-end dinner

I had a lovely year-end dinner with the one Tuesday evening group, The Rotary Cutters, yesterday.  With the year coming to an end all the groups in our guild have some form of closing function, eating together, exchanging gifts and just start getting into the festive mood.  I got no less than 3 fat quarters to add to my stash and one of our group members, DalenĂ©, gave each of us the prettiest embroidered card.  No place like a quilting group to make the best friends.

FLTR: Marietjie, Dalené, Sonja, Estelle

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quilting Acronyms

Wow!! Look at this and I found this list on:

Why do the good ones, sound so bad???

•BOM=Block of the Month
•Candy Bars=Stacks of 2 1/2" x 5" fabric pack
•Charms=Small pieces of fabric, usually 5" squares or hexagons, all different fabrics in the pack
•Charm packs=package of pre-cut charm 5" squares: Mini's are 2 1/2"squares in a pack
•CQ=Crazy Quilting (traditional quilt pattern with embellishments)
•COC=Cream on Cream
•DJ=Dear Jane (a traditional quilt pattern)
•D4P=Double Four Patch
•DIC=Double Irish Chain
•Dimes=10" squares
•DIY=Do It Yourself
•DSM = Domestic Sewing Machine
EQ=Electric Quilting software, now EQ5,6, or 7
•F8=Fat 1/8th or 9"x 22"
FART = Fabric Acquisition Road Trip
•FIU=Finish It Up
•FLIMSY=pieced top
•FM=Free Motion, quilting technique w. random stippling, swirls, or patterns, w. or w/o dropped feeddogs, usually on a GSM
•FQ=Fat Quarter, 18" x 22" of fabric, sold by unit
•Frog Stitching=rip it, rip it....ripping stitches out
•FW=Featherweight (Singer) sewing machine
•FW=Fusible Web (take care to iron this one, sew with the above)
•Giterdone=Get 'er Done! Term most often used for ancient or dreaded projects
•GFG=Grandmother's Flower Garden, a traditional quilt pattern
•HP=Hand Piecing
•HQ=Hand Quilting
•HST=Half-Square Triangle
•HSY=Haven't Started Yet
•Jelly Rolls=pre-cut 21/2" x 42" fabric strips, rolled up and sold in a set
•LA=Long Armer, professional machine quilter
•LAQ=Long Arm Quilting machine
•LC=Layer Cakes, a pile of co-ordinating 10" squares
•LQ or LibQ=Liberated Quiltmaking, free form quilting without striving for precision or perfection
•LQS=Local Quilt Shop
•MAQ=Mid-Arm Quilter
•Nickles=5" squares
•NQR=Not Quilt Related, as in board or group off topic, topic and it's oppostie QR
•OBW=One-Block Wonder
•Orphans=as in Orphan blocks, in LQ, orphans happily co-exist with one another w/o prejudice of any kind and are highly valued and treasured members of one's STASH and Parts Dept.
•OSMG=old sewing machine guy, your go-to fellow for repairs
•Parts Department= a collaborative quilting term for orphans or other pre-made blocks, sashings, bindings or trim pieces that can be put together and live in harmony in new quilts. First used by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran in "Collaborative Quilting " and "Freddy & Gwen..."
•PFD=fabric that is Prepared For Dying
•PHD=Project Half Done
•PIGS=Projects in Grocery Sacks
•PIM=Project in Mind
•PIPs=Project in Progress
•PITs=Projects in Totes
•PIW=Project in Waiting (not yet a WIP)
•PP=Paper Piecing
•QAYG=Quilt As You Go-A quilting/piecing process which incorporates sewing together a block and quilting it at the same time.
•QUIMM=Quilt In My Mind
•QUTD=Question Of The Day: quilting group or board top for discussion that day
•QR=Quilt Related and NQR: it's opposite
•Quilt Candy=Small charm pieces of fabric, folded up to look like candy
•QST=Quarter Square Triangles
•RR=Round Robin (quilt exchange, passing around a group taking turns with it)
•SABLE=Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
•SAQM=Small Arm Quilting Machine
•SaS=Steam a Seam iron on double faced interfacing/non stitching product
•SEX=Stash Enhancing eXperience (or eXcursion)
•SID=Stitch In (the) Ditch, quilting technique
•Siggies=Squares of fabric with signatures and other info on them
•SnW=Stack 'n Whack, pile them up and cut them all at once block pattern
•SQ=Simply Quilts
•Squishy=Envelopes filled with swap fabric or gifts sent/received in the mail
•STASH=Special Treasures All Secretly Hidden
•SUI=Shopping Under Influence (usually with a friend) - this must be Karin!!
•SWAN=Swap Without a Name
•TBQ=To Be Quilted
•TGIF=Thank Goodness It’s Finished!
•TIC=Triple Irish Chain, a traditional quilt pattern
•TOAD=Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust
•TUFO=Tuesday UFO night, also WUFO etc.
•Turnovers=6"triangles fabrics in a pack
•UFO=UnFinished Object
•USO=UnStarted Object
•WHIM=Work Hidden In Mind
•WHIMM=Work Hidden In My Mind
•WIP=Work In Progress
•WISP=Work In Slow Progress
•WIVSP=Work In Very Slow Progress
•WIWMI=Wish It Would Make Itself
•WOA=Work Of Art
•WOF=Width of Fabric
•WOMBAT=Waste of Money, Batting, and Time
•WOW=White On White
•WWIT=What Was I Thinking
•VIP=Very Import Project
•YBR=Yellow Brick Road, a popular quilting pattern
•YoYo=a circle of fabric, gathered and sewn into a puffy circle; also one who makes them
•401 F=Fabric for Retirement
•401 P= Patterns for retirement

No followers??!!

On Tuesdays I can pretend to be rich (with the emphasis on ‘pretend’). I have a cleaning crew (5 ladies) coming in once a week and tackle my house from one end to the other dusting, buffing, scrubbing, wiping and vacuuming every inch. They unfortunately do not cook, do laundry or ironing but one day….. when I’m really rich, watch me. My biggest job is to collect my pets and move out of their way and then I have an hour and a half of pure heaven. Sitting outside under a huge old tree breathing in the fresh air, laptop fixed on all the blogs I follow and a little handwork in my hands. Speaking of followers, I changed my background and layout on blogger and wha-la suddenly all my followers disappeared. Shame I feel so lonely now. Care to follow me again please?

Got these little heart blogs done after reading Shirley’s request for help on her blog.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Part 2 done

Okay I’m still keeping up and managed to finish part 2 of Quiltville’s Mystery quilt but Bonnie warned that it will get tougher in future.  So if you don’t see any more posts regarding this in future………. I’ve obviously fallen behind.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fixed and finished

Remember my upside down block in the post here? Fixed…. but not in the way most other quilters would have done it. I did it my way. There was just no way that I would unpick the whole quilt from the border right down to the incorrect block. So…… I just unpicked the block, flipped it around and stitched it right back from where it came. For a moment there having the wrong block removed I thought to myself if I don’t get it back I’ll simply call it my “Hole-in-the-wall” quilt.

I used dense free-motion pebbles to fill my cubes leaving the cube sides un-quilted further enhancing the illusion of depth.

Completed:  28 November 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Online video course offer

I found an excellent 10 lesson online quilting course called “Quilting Quickly: Patterns, Techniques and Tips”. Any person who would like to do an intensive beginner course, using pre-cuts, in their own time and at their own pace, should consider doing this at a very reasonable price of $39. Even seasoned quilters can do this to refresh their memory, ‘get back to basics’ and learn many more options on making quick quilts from pre-cut fabrics.

While following lectures on video, for once, you will be in charge of the neat remote control on your screen. You can pause anytime to fix yourself a cup of tea or test any of the instructions you saw, skip to another chapter or even move forward to the next lecture. Not only is general quilting techniques shown and discussed but tools to make the job easier are demonstrated.

Before starting a new chapter you will be able to go to a link on the side of your screen allowing you do download a PDF document with all the materials needed for every lesson so you can buy your fabric in advance and make your project step-by-step along with Jenny’s instructions.

Jenny Doan, the presenter, has a clear voice and comes across relaxed showing examples of most everything she talks about. The really neat part of this course, to me, is that when you follow any of the lectures and quilt along with these, you will end up with a completed quilt top or project.

I’ve been quilting for 10 years now and even after having made heaps of quilts I found this course’s instructions for half square triangles the best and fastest method ever and I’ve never seen this anywhere else.

The other very nice feature of this course is the ability to post a comment, ask a question and Jenny and your fellow course mates will answer or give their take on a solution to a problem. Once you’ve signed up for the course you only need to remember your password and you can come back to the site and continue your course whenever you feel good and ready to do so.

I have been given the opportunity to give this course to my blog readers at a discounted price of ONLY $19!! So what are you waiting for? Copy and paste the link at the bottom to make use of this special deal.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scraps for a Bargllo - Method 1

Before going to bed yesterday evening I quickly cut and stitched the binding to this Bargello. I could then do the back by hand in bed and almost finished before sleeping. Today in between classes I managed to finish the binding and add the label. This is the scrappy version of the Bargello designed by a local quilter, Iessie Steenberg. This is a lovely pattern with 2 different versions and a total of 6 different layouts and went really fast.

Completed: 24 November 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Part One done!

With the first of 2 dinners going in the kitchen – I cook 2 dinners today seeing that I have 2 quilt groups coming over tomorrow, the first starting at 9 am and the last only leaving at 9 pm – I started cutting away on my first strips sets of the mystery quilt
Finished the dinners long before finishing the strips but I made a deliberate decision to work from my scrap drawers and then I put another obstacle in my way by deciding not to take another fabric unless there was REALLY not any 2 x 2” square left from those I already used. So towards the end I was joining 2” blocks instead of strips. No use however to try and make a dent in your scrap pile by putting more scraps back and for anything smaller than a 2” square, I don’t have use.

Only a little quilting on a Monday

I usually don’t quilt much or any on a Monday for it is my “rescue-this-house-after-the-weekend” day and I’ve been particularly busy having to do grocery shopping, get in a trip to the pharmacy for multi-vitamins for my burnt out family and a couple of other nitty-gritty errands, so on Monday evenings I am rather tired. Had to stay focused however as Frances, fellow quilter and soon to be quilt judge – the only one from our guild – came over to critique a block of mine for one of her assignments. She too had heaps to do and didn’t stay long but then DH couldn’t get home from the office early as the married kids had their very first brand new bed tailor made to their liking and dad offered his company driver to fetch their bed from a town called, Rustenburg, where the bed was made. He then waited for the driver to return and I waited for him to serve dinner, so I did some quilting simply to stay awake.

Friend Karin thought it would be a good idea if we did the mystery quilt currently running by Bonnie Hunter, called Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll. Unlike Terri from Threadtales, who decided to stick to Bonnie’s suggested fabric colors in fear of screwing it up, I reckoned by now I’m so used to screwing up, I might as well select different colors and at least feel at home with what I’m doing. The screwing up part started from the offset as first I cut my strips 3” instead of 2” and then I pressed the seam allowance to the wrong side and only read the instructions again after sub-cutting! See, I already feel right at home with this mystery. So here goes part one of the mystery and I luckily have until Friday to finish before part 2 will be unveiled.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Okay what does a quilter do when she gets tired of quilting?  She quilts something different!!  By Friday, after having had quilters for lessons over every day of the week and stitching one Bargello after another, I honestly was done with quilting for a while.  Well that idea lasted about one evening and then the little voices in my head started talking again.  So different from a Bargello would be a………………. and I grabbed my all time favorite books from Alicia’s Attic and before long I was stitching the day away on a quick weekend project.  All went well until Catsidy, our black cat, demanded his fair share of attention and having my blocks packed on my cutting table instead of my design well (never too old to learn hey?) a slight mishap happened.  Obviously…………….. I only saw this once the quilt had borders on and pinned to the design wall.  Check the marked block – it is upside down!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Trip to Kimberley

Karin and I drove all the way to Kimberley (city of diamonds) today to do what we promised we’d never do soon again....... shopping for fabric. We found this amazing fabric shop selling quilt fabric at less than a quarter of the price other shops do, making a trip of slightly more than an hour worth our while.

The owner, Mr Imtiaz Wookey, must be one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and one amazing shop owner greeting every customer by name and you can bet his shop was buzzing with clients. We even met quilters coming from Cape Town to shop here. Here Mr Wookey is cutting one of the 59 meters of fabric I bought just for personal use let alone the orders I took for fellow quilters.

After spending 2 solid hours in the shop we went for breakfast at the Big Hole, Open Mine Museum seeing that Karin hasn’t been there in ages. We ate at a place called the Occidental Bar and I’m still wondering what this word means.

Karin at the entrance

Me at a tavern from the days gone by

The shopping nearly killed Karin
so here she fits for a coffin

A hearse from those days
looking more like something
from a Cinderella story.

While in Mr Wookey’s shop, another customer told us about a quilt exhibition in the museum and we ended up at the wrong museum at first finding this memento from the ‘apartheids’ era.

Finally got to the right museum and saw these beauties. Then I made Karin pose at what must be one of Kimberley’s most famous landmarks – miners holding up a diamond digging pan with the water rinsing the stones.

A lovely day, nice trip, good company, so now I have to turn those fabrics into quilts.