Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fiesta BOM - Block 8

Done with the first month's goodie bag projects I could concentrate on some of my own quilting and before August ended I wanted to finish block 8 of this BOM by Fatcatpatterns and I think it came out pretty good.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Breakfast at Florisbad

Spent some quality time with DH this weekend (Karin’s idea of fun) and saw a show on Koos du Plessis’ songs Friday evening and took a breakfast trip to Florisbad Sunday morning.  Karin and her DH went to their cabin by the dam for the weekend.  We have to give our men credit for they are about as involved with our guild projects as we are (slightly undercover but still eager to help, or so they make us feel).  The only thing we still cannot get them to do is the actual cutting and stitching of quilts.
I finished 34 goodie bag project therefore leaving Karin to make 31 and then we’re on schedule until end September 2011.  We had to start slightly earlier than our counted months and try to get as much as possible done as the two of us, still have a couple of trips/outings planned for this year.
 The breakfast trip to Florisbad was a welcome break for my aching back.  DH and I toured the grounds as we will have a PFAFF sew-away at Florisbad early October and I can already see us ladies having major fun there.  One of the many advantages of owning a PFAFF sewing machine – their regular sew-aways with like-minded people.  This one is organized by our local PFAFF dealer, Marie and she is ever so patient with us lot.

Even though still dry after the cold Free State winter Florisbad turned out to be an excellent venue for a short vacation with lovely gathering spaces, a swimming pool, a conference room where we will obviously sew – the bar too close to this area with Karin around and a divine dining room.  I just loved the beautiful stoep at the restaurant.

 These last two photos were taken especially for Karin.  In the photo left I am standing in the door of the room where we’ll be sewing, give 6 BIG steps forward and we end up in the photo on the right.  Neat hey?  The best part is that the toilets are in between, so bathroom breaks and bladder infections here we come.  Think Marie will believe us?

Isn’t it terribly sad that weekends have to come to an end?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Final Stack ‘n Whack group for this year

Today I had a group of ladies all the way from Virginia to do the Stack ‘n Whack workshop.  They call themselves the Backyard Friends as they get together regularly in someone’s backyard to pursue their sewing.

A lovely bunch of people, arrived here with all their fabrics cut to order, stacked in place and ready to go.  After having coffee we could start the day and no slow movers in this group.  I said something ones and the needles on the machines started working and before long everyone had a couple of blocks done.

 I however made a rather BIG mistake in suggesting that they, seeing that they’ve driven all this way, QUICKLY go check out fabric at one of our local shops.  So at 12pm they took a lunch break and hit the shops.  I cleaned the coffee mugs from the morning’s session, fed my mom, unpacked the dishwasher; spoke to Karin on the phone…… no sign of the ladies….. started dinner, fed the animals, worked on my goodie bag project……. Still no sign of the ladies…… finished dinner, re-packed the dishwasher, did more quilting and finally they arrived.

 Lesson learnt….. never send any quilter for a QUICK trip to a fabric shop but then again they brought me much needed fabric for our project and saved me a trip to the city center.  Just kidding ladies, as long as you had fun, I am satisfied.

However a pity, my namesake and the lady who arranged this trip for the group could not make it.  Next time, Hettie??

At least I am having fun

Even though the amount of projects we have to finish for the goodie bags of our quilt festival in 2013 is a killer, it requires lots of free motion quilting, to me the fun part of the whole quilting process, so I am having a ball doing it.

 Karin too, enjoys herself on her side of town, so even though we might die from exhaustion we are enjoying it.  Sounds like an addict….. I am killing myself but enjoy doing it!!

My apologies to all the guild members who read my blog and came forward to offer to help.  Even though we wanted to keep the project a secret so that there would be at least one surprise in the bag for our own members, we simply cannot afford to turn down any help.

I don’t think I’ll be able to post any more photos without giving the project away, so I guess even though I would still be working like crazy, won’t be able to say much more.  Good news however is that I’ve finished 13 of these already and we only started counting from September as month 1.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Secret goodie bag project

We did it again – second week in a row, quilting all night long!!  Karin, the goodie bag coordinator of our planned quilt festival in 2013, and I started working on a new project for these goodie bags and having homes, husbands, kids, pets, cooking, cleaning, paperwork, teaching and what else to keep us occupied during the day, the night time was all that was left.

 In hindsight I however think that this was a matter of cut your nose to spite your face or the 2 of us are totally brain dead.  We got rather fed up with everybody having an opinion on what should or should not be in the goodie bags but o boy, don’t dare ask to donate or make, then you should hear the complaints.  My dad loved the saying “if you want something done, do it yourself” and this is what this night boiled down to.

All started out well, our pattern worked, our fabric matched and our project looked good and we were chuffed and then the cutting started.  We decided to do the harder (batting) part first and about here reality hit – we cut and cut and cut and cut even more and after what seemed like a lifetime, we haven’t even done a tenth of what is needed for every project.  I took a photo – this pile of batting will ONLY be enough for ONE tenth of the total of this project!!!!

 This photo was taken somewhere between 2 and 3 am and anyone who has ever stayed up a whole night (ask any nurse) will know that between 2 and 4 am your tiredness reach a peak and you start giggling about the most ridiculous nonsense.  We giggled so badly here that we almost could not sit still long enough to take this photo.

Just before 5 am Karin gave me the REALLY bad news.  In order for us to finish on time, we will have to make 65 of these per month between the two of us.  I even took out the calculator at that time of the morning to see if she didn’t make a mistake somewhere but no, she was dead right.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blocks in free motion – other participants

Remember my post about this over HERE?  Some of the ladies participating in this workshop sent me photos of themselves and their quilts.
Fiona her quilt and Marthie
Now remember when these ladies started they all believed they could not do free motion quilting.  Looking at these quilts I think they've proved themselves wrong.
Francis and Marthie
Congratulations Marthie, Fiona and Frances for persevering and completing a wonderful project based on the idea of Emma How.
Close-up of Marthie's quilt
I heard that Francis underwent a back operation and wish to send her my best wishes, hoping she recovers soon to take up her place behind her machine again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A huge old mess

This photo was specifically taken for all those quilters who seem to think and comment on me being so tidy.  I just wanted to show them that nobody’s perfect and occasionally the paw-paw hits the fan over at my place too.

 Got out of my room dressed at 7:30 this morning, dealt with the blonde fighting with her boyfriend on the phone, made coffee, checked e-mails, posted on the guild’s blog, accepted new Facebook friends for the guild, played my one Facebook game, wrote a LONG e-mail to a friend with an extremely exciting life but always wants my input on whatever she did or plans.  Fed mom breakfast, tidied the house, packed dishwasher, went shopping for ingredients, started baking for tomorrow’s guild meeting, sorted the pets, got mom’s nurse to work on a goodie bag project for our planned festival in 2013, unpack dishwasher, sort dinner, clean kitchen, repack dishwasher, another pet feeding session, gave mom lunch, take photo of my messy room, buy internet data for my speech at tomorrow’s meeting with the help of the internet, spoke to Karin on the phone planning another goodie bag project, booked a new beginner quilter for the next course, blonde back from writing a test – show interest, type this, fetch data projector, sound system & screen for speech, figure out how these are put together, pack snacks for tomorrow neatly in plates and wrap it, put Meeko (parrot )to sleep – this takes easily an hour, still teaches a class tonight from 6pm to 9pm.  And the bottom-line is……

This mess will still be here tomorrow as there is just no way that I will have time to continue with the quilt on the table or finish the financial statements of my Trust account; desperately needed by the auditors.

Tonight at 21:30, after all the quilters left, can I only sit back and have dinner and let me now say, “I’m tired” I can guarantee you one stupid family member will reply with “From doing what?”  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Simple Yet Elegant BOM – Block 8

With this block done I am actually up to date with this BOM from The Quilt Pattern Magazine and so chuffed with myself taking into account that I only started working on block two on 3 August.  Okay maybe I shouldn’t be all that chuffed - if I hadn’t fallen behind in the first place, I would not have had to make almost a block a day.

This last block was completed when Karin and I had another ‘quilt-thru-the-night’ session and once done I started with yet another New Years’ quilt that has fallen along the wayside but only got 2 rows done.

Karin arrived here with a quilt top, her batting and backing and we quickly sandwiched it (20 minutes exactly) and then she started the free motion on the quilt.

 Just after 5 am the next morning her quilt was done, binding on and ready to be photographed.  I am sensing competition for me in the speed that I complete a quilt and then she calls herself a friend.

 Bottom-line is she wanted this quilt for a baby shower at 11 am and got it done.  Nice work my PIC!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Simple Yet Elegant BOM – Block 7

Another late night/early morning finish.  After having the Stack and Whack group on Thursday I got stuck to this block until exactly 02:30 with 3 leaves undone, I simply couldn’t stay awake any longer.

Waking up Friday morning, knowing DH plays golf and will eat at the club afterwards I treated myself to a late morning in bed with several cups of coffee and finished the last bit.  I also started the next block.  Having all the appliqué pieces glued to the background fabric just makes it so much easier to simply start working when you have time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Simple Yet Elegant BOM – Block 6

Started this block from the BOM by The Quilt Pattern Magazine on Tuesday which was a public holiday over here (Women’s Day)and with all the appliqué pieces already glued down to the background I could just hand stitch whenever possible.

The big kids came over to visit and I made good use of them to help with a project in our goodie bags for our 17th National Quilt Festival
Socks (ginger cat) & Catsidy entertained themselves by playing in a breeding cage for parrots.  
 Just look at Socks’ face.  He is such a snob but o so sweet and for some reason thinks I have quilters over just for his entertainment.
No matter how much I tried to get done - with feeding the family and being social I only finished this block quarter past midnight the evening.  Just to, the next morning, see that my bird’s beak was hardly visible and I had to go back and stitch a line of black thread around it, to make it show up against the background fabric.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another fun Stack ‘n Whack group

My BOM blocks were interrupted when I had another group for the Stack ‘n Whack quilt today.  This time however this quilt is just the start to something bigger as this group will be continuing every second week to master their free motion skills once done with the top.  They have exactly 2 weeks to finish the top and return with their completed sandwich.  You can do it ladies!!!

Whenever I get to see this quilt in progress I wonder if it could ever turn out ugly for no matter which combination of fabrics and or colors are used, it simply works.

 On this block it even shows how a different color bias strip can change the quilt completely.

 Another lovely group of people and I am beginning to believe we only have nice people in our guild.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Simple Yet Elegant BOM – Block 5

Making slow but steady progress with this BOM from The Quilt Pattern Magazine and this block is somewhat more colourful.  Must admit the amount of leaves to be hand sewn  almost got to me for just as I would think I’m done, I’d find yet another one to do.

With hubby back from his golf trip it is back to routine for me, so I suppose my quilting time would be somewhat less but every bit helps and I hope to catch up completely with this BOM.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Simple Yet Elegant BOM – Block 4

While working on this block I got slightly worried about my selection of colours.  It is after all only the second time that I work with a dark printed background but once I finished this block and pressed it out I realized that even though the colours aren’t bold or striking, it doesn’t make it ugly.  In fact, this specific block suits the name of the quilt – Simple yet Elegant.

I got this pattern by subscribing to the e-magazine, The Quilt Pattern Magazine.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Simple Yet Elegant BOM – Block 3

With hubby away for the weekend I spent my Saturday afternoon with the quilt group I belong to, The Golden Threads, and took along some hand work to do.  The church hall where we get together was bitterly cold but luckily fellow group member, Rina, brought along a ‘flask’ (I suppose it would not look to good walking into the church with a bottle??) filled with sherry.  Two cups (again a church thing, no glasses but coffee cups) of these and I were good to go. 

Finished my third BOM block from The Quilt Pattern Magazine.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Simple Yet Elegant BOM – Block 2

Luckily this block only had to be done once but had many smaller appliqué pieces and that said I’ve enlarged the pattern from 12” square to 16” square, so my appliqué shapes weren’t all that small but it still took a while to do these.

 As I’m doing the hand applique I keep thinking this quilt should be hand quilted but I know I should only keep thinking it as it will never realize.  I've been trying to hand quilt a hexagon quilt for what seems like the last 15 years and it is still very far from done.

I got this pattern by subscribing to the e-magazine, The Quilt Pattern Magazine.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Stack ‘n Whack – First group workshop

I had the Rotary Cutters (one of our quilt guild groups) over yesterday evening for this workshop and what a lively, positive and fun group this is.  The only complaint I have against them is that I hardly got time to speak.  Fortunately I did the workshop on PowerPoint so I could simply move a slide back or forward as the need arose.

Here the ladies are hard at work. 
Between the gossip of the day the major topic of conversation was our planned National Quilt Festival in 2013 and what an eager bunch of people.  The goodie bag project is already underway with the one more eager to help than the other.  A rather sudden fundraising project was started when my DH challenged all of theirs to equal the amount he pledges towards paying the expenses of one judge for the event.  Thus meaning this fundraising is done and dusted – our men never disappoints us.  By 2013 we won’t even know what the fuzz about ‘working hard’ was all about.

Natasha – the master baker in the group – will forward us her dishes for sale and we all agreed that she should add a tiny amount towards the festival and we will support her.  One of the dishes mentioned that I can’t wait to order was Spring Rolls with butternut and feta; to be dipped in sweet chili sauce.  Now how good does that sound for a Friday evening meal??  Natasha also brought the chocolate cake (drenched in milk chocolate topped with nuts) for our coffee break.  I kept this in mind when I didn’t feel like getting up for my early morning walk and realized I just had to walk especially with the other goodies still to follow.

These are the blocks in progress made by the ladies.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Simple Yet Elegant BOM – Block 1

In January this year I subscribed to the brand new e-magazine, The Quilt Pattern Magazine,
and almost immediately knew I wanted to do their BOM ‘Simple Yet Elegant’ but all in hand appliqué.  Now this was about the same time I started the Fiesta BOM by Fatcatpatterns - what was I thinking????

When the first pattern turned out to be made 4 times I scolded myself for taking on too many things at the same time but do I learn….. oh no!  As they say, some mistakes are so good you have to make them over and over.

With scaling my teaching down every year in June and July I always hope to move mountains  in my own quilting but before I know it 2 month’s have gone by with me not having done much.  Then just as my ‘vacation’ time comes to an end I suddenly want to finish it all.

So yes, I’ve done the first 4 blocks and again decided on a dark background.

 Furthermore I am working until the wee hours of the morning on projects for our own National Quilt Festival in 2013, so very little idle time in my life but I am working with so many talented, eager and competent ladies that I am almost convinced it will be all worthwhile.