Thursday, March 25, 2010

Another ending

This morning I made my Facebook status: “The end… so diverse, happy that it’s done with, sad that it is over” – with this referring to a very special beginner quilter I taught. Rachel came all the way from Botswana to do a quilting course and only had limited time in South Africa, so after officially starting her course on 17 February, we had to work like crazy to complete a 15 week course in 8 lessons. The poor lady must have thought she stepped right into the lion’s den starting her lessons at 07:30 in the morning, getting only a couple of hours break in the afternoon (with homework!!!) and having to return at 6pm and work until 9pm but in the end it was all worthwhile.

Today we could officially get into my car with her completed quilt in hand to have her certificate of completion signed by Marie, our local PFAFF dealer and what a proud moment it was for Rachel, showing off her perfect freemotion quilting done as a beginner.

Afterwards we celebrated by going to a local museum and enjoyed a well deserved morning off with a good, healthy breakfast. I will surely miss having her around most mornings, quietly working on her own after an instruction was given with me still being able to do my duties as a housewife. Not many of these students around. Rachel may you light the quilting fires in Botswana!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

PFAFF sew-away Yzerfontein

On Saturday, 6 March, quilting friend Karin and I left for a week long sew-away to Yzerfontein, a coastal town, some 10 hours’ drive away, organized by PFAFF. We met up with the rest of the ladies from Bloemfontein (our hometown) halfway in a town, called Beaufort-West. Did some gambling, I am never successful with this, had a great dinner, slept well before we set off for the second stretch of the way. Needless to say, the fun already started in the car as we borrowed hubby’s car for the trip and we had a hard time keeping track of which buttons to press when.

Our hostess treated us with seafood meals all week long but the PFAFF organizers, as usual had very little sympathy for us and our late nights, and kept us busy with way too little breaks in between. As with all these sew-aways, even if they are not totally quilting orientated, we have so much fun and need a couple of days for recovering afterwards.

The fun however is over and tomorrow it is back to reality.

Oversized hexagons continue

Unfortunately I did not get too much leisure time during our PFAFF sew-away but this is the second step in my “no-pins” technique (I do believe I got this from Beth Ferrier’s blog, however I am not sure and wouldn’t like to offend the person coming up with this ingenious idea). Once all the pieces are cut, I would paint spray-starch over the seam allowances and while wet, iron the seam allowances over to the non-glossy side of the freezer paper. This gives me neat, crisp edges and the freezer paper can still be removed easily after the stitching has been done.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Preparing for next week with the girls

I’ve been working on these oversized hexagons since………….. forever. For once I’m extremely grateful for my bad memory as, remembering the date I started this, would have put me on a terrible guilt trip, which I really don’t need today. Being a huge fan of freezer paper (very rare & expensive in South Africa – so all foreigners and South Africans travelling abroad; for my birthday, mother’s day, Valentine’s day, Christmas, Easter, Youth Day, etc… I would like freezer paper as a gift, thanks!!) I make my templates using these.

At first I tried to print the Hexagon templates found free on the internet (in any size you want) onto the freezer paper directly but my printer doesn’t take kindly to this waxy paper, so I made one template and traced around this on freezer paper and cut it out.

Then the paper gets pressed onto the wrong side of the fabric and I roughly cut a quarter inch seam allowance around the template on fabric. No pins, no pain and I can carry meters of fabric done this way most anywhere to cut.

I needed something for any leisure time I might have next week when I am going away on a PFAFF sew-away to a coastal town, Yzerfontein, somewhere on the west coast. So upon opening the cupboard storing the PIP’s (Projects in Progress) this little jumped towards me when the door was opened and I could hear it shout “finish me please!!”

Kitchen renovations completed

I have been so busy lately with my quilt classes and group projects that I've totally forgotten to post photos of the completed kitchen and it turned out fine, works like a dream and somehow always looks neat (we would rather not mention the fact that I am not all that fond of kitchens) - one of my mottos "I don't do kitchens or gardens".  One can only have that many talents hey?!!

This is the "wet" area where all the cleaning gets done and can safely be hidden behind a door.  Another reason for the main kitchen always looking tidy.
The new back door going out to the breakfast patio.  I just loved the words "breakfast patio" - sounds so glamorous however in REAL life breakfast comes from a box IF it comes.  I still believe in the whole nine yards for breakfast.... bacon, eggs, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, onion rings and sausages - alas if I had to make all of this; no-one would be in time for work or class - so let if be suffice to at least have the patio even if not used for the purpose.

Seen from another angle and even though I love it I do believe that I've had my fair share of renovations for a while now.