Monday, October 31, 2011

Fabric bowls

I did quite some sewing this weekend as I got to finish 33 goodie bag projects for our 2013 National Festival, bringing me up to date for October.

Then I fooled around with SOLVE aka Avalon (wash-away paper/plastic used by embroiderers).  I first saw these somewhere on the internet and when, on the PFAFF sew-away, we made a scarf in a similar manner, I decided to make these and share it with 2 quilt groups that I’m a member of as a pre-year end play-date.

I made my bowl using strips of fabric in browns, beige and orange and I think it turned out good.  I used Fabric Stiffener to make the bowl somewhat harder.

This seemed to look interesting as when DIL came over on Saturday, after dragging me to the shops for a 3-hour clothing shopping session, she used squares and packed a purple and red bowl.

Not to be outdone, the blonde wanted to do this as well and did hers in turquoise, yellow and pink and low and behold DH showed interest too but he was extremely demanding.  He only wanted black and white strips in exactly ¾” strips and then set off weaving his.

I still had to do all the stitching and we only went to bed after 1am on Sunday morning.  The last 3 bowls I finished with Tokreen (Clear) for stiffness but this made the fabric look somewhat dull.

Now at least I have enough examples to show to the groups.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trip to Pentzplaas, Bultfontein

On Wednesday Karin and I took a trip to a farm just outside the small town, Bultfontein, an hour's drive from us.  One of our guild quilt groups, The Tolbosse, arranged an exhibition for us and what a lovely day it turned out to be.

On our way, with the usual breakfast, just off the N1, we were caught by both STOP/GO road works and this kept us waiting a full 20 minutes the first time and somewhat shorter at the second stop.

Arriving at the farm with its tranquil surroundings all was forgotten.  Here MariĆ«tte welcomes Karin.

Live music gave an extra special vibe to the day and I thought this was a great idea.

Unfortunately I enjoyed it too much and was frowned upon when I made a couple of dance moves.

Seriously ladies, we don’t stop playing/dancing because we get old, in fact we get old BECAUSE we stop playing/dancing.

Needless to say Karin and I shopped for fabric we didn’t really need……….. so what’s new?

We got inspired by all the beautiful quilts on display and choosing a winner was not an easy task.

After shopping and looking at all the displays, we could sit back and enjoy the treats prepared for us.

Not as much fun returning home but we had to, however not before Karin could strike up a pose!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 5: PFAFF Sew-Away

And then our final day arrived, we could calmly get up instead of ‘jump up’ and sit down for a final breakfast with the group.  Annatjie left early morning or as Karin would put it ‘in the middle of the night’ as she feared she might become sleepy if she first had breakfast.

It is always sad to greet our friends, especially those coming from far, whom we don’t get to see frequently but that just make us look forward to the next time.

I wore custom made earrings for the duration of the week to match the sewing theme.

This is our whole group, hoping to see all again next year.

That then concluded our PFAFF sew-away for 2011 and I for one couldn’t wait to get home to see a doctor.  Feeling much better now, I am quite convinced Marie worked me into a fever!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 4: PFAFF Sew-Away

This was our last stitching day and not a moment too soon.  We were dead tired and if you read my previous posts, we simply NEVER got time off for a little socializing.  In fact my 3l box wine returned home unopened!  Marie must have been into slave driving in her previous life and still struggles to get rid of her former tendencies.

We played with Seminole piecing which I just love and made this lovely toiletry bag fitting neatly over an ice-cream container.

Here Karin fits her Seminole Strip to her head.  For some reason she fitted most everything around her head.  Standard size, Karin??????

We had so many lucky draws or hand-outs it almost felt like Christmas.  Here a couple of the draws I won or hand-outs I got can be seen.

We had somewhat of a break when Marie gave us time for show and tell and just take a look at some of the beauties that appeared this year.

All our completed projects on display and here you can see how Marie had to cope with keeping both quilters and embroiderers entertained.  Although we used the same patterns, the decorations differed dramatically.

All the ladies hard at work

The embroiderers made one additional project, this lampshade.  Pretty neat hey?

Having ample workspace in the venue.

Taking a well deserved break

And then I forced them into play.  Blindfolded custard feeding between myself and Marie.

We went to bed totally exhausted but at least knowing there won’t be any work done the next morning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 3: PFAFF Sew-Away

Without having to repeat myself constantly, I basically went to bed every night shivering just to wake up all sweaty every morning but on Day 2, Karin simply woke up in a foul mood.  The reason….. The 2 sisters, Sarie and Annetjie, who claim to have reached the age where they don’t need that much sleep anymore, woke up at 05:30 walking right up to Karin’s bedroom window, wondering out loud whether this was my room, our kitchen or what?  All the while with Karin, NOT a morning person, hearing every word!

O boy, did they get it when Karin appeared outside.  Remember Sarie (the more talkative sister) is a senior compared to Karin but this did not keep Karin from launching an attack, something similar to this:  “What is wrong with you woman?  Why do you get up in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT to stand talking at my bedroom window?”

Senior or not, they got the message.  I had a good giggle when I opened the front door the third morning to find both Annetjie and Sarie each quietly far apart and far away from Karin’s room in the garden.

The project for today wasn’t as difficult as uncomfortable having to work with plastic and canvas and yet another zipper.  I think Marie discovered a massive zipper clearance sale right before this Sew-Away.

When I stand and sew (including stepping on the foot pedal of my machine) you can bet I had a hard time managing the fabric and/or corners in the machine.

Rina taking a coffee break with Ruth in the foreground.  The only coffee breaks we got were those we took ourselves.

Ida also found it helpful to stand and work, Karin in the background busy with her favorite pastime; unpicking.

My completed fat quarter carry bag.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 2: PFAFF Sew-Away

Woke up on the second day in wet sheets, I ran a fever scared of nothing during the night!  However breakfast was served at 07:45, so not much time to feel sorry for myself.  Even though I took a bath the previous night, I felt so sticky I had to jump into the shower before starting the day.  Everybody seemed awake and eager to start their day at the breakfast table and all I felt like doing was crawling back into bed.

We had such a lovely spacious venue to work in with 2 long tables, placed in an L-shape for every person.  Here Nettie can be seen at her work station.

When we entered the venue on day 1, we found these neat gifts on our tables.

Rina too gave us a very special gift in the form of this engraved mug, showing all the years and places most of this group has been together previously.

The project for the day was somewhat more time consuming and I have to take my hat off to Marie who had to instruct and guide both the quilters and the embroiderers amongst us.  The two projects obviously looked totally different but both groups went through the same bad memory……………… piping!!!  If I ever wondered, I am now convinced I hate piping!!

Looking at the photo of my completed bag – lined with inner zipper pockets I should add (as if I would ever be able to do this again) – I honestly believe it would have looked just as good without piping or maybe twin needle top stitching.

I worked like crazy to finish just to quietly disappear and hit my bed around 4pm.  Woke up in cold shivers, still not feeling any better and don’t think this nap prevented me from sleeping that night, again waking up drenched in my own sweat!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 1: PFAFF Sew-Away

On Monday, 10 October, Karin and I left for Florisbad where our local PFAFF dealer, Marie, held this year’s Sew-Away.  It is only a 44 km drive from my house but we always stop along the road and this time would be no different when we pulled over at a Pit Stop next to the N1 to have breakfast.  We both felt tired (had a busy weekend) and bought ourselves something for energy.  Little did I know that I had some unknown inflammation launching an attack on my body.

After greeting our other ‘once-a-year-get-together’ friends, Marie showed us to our house.  Is this not the absolute ideal set-up?  This old restored house has 3 flats and apart from Ida, who had her own bungalow, we all stayed here.

Karin and I each had our own bedroom in our flat and this was mine.

Barely unpacked or sergeant major, Marie, wanted to start on our projects.  I think Marie somewhere along the line got lost and now just doesn’t know the difference between a relaxing Sew-Away with time to social and a Sewing Boot Camp, where she expects the impossible from us in the least amount of time.  We attended the latter.  Here she can clearly be seen contemplating her next move on how to make us suffer.

We started off by making a jewelry travel bag and don’t for a moment think that was the project for the day, no-no, we were frequently reminded to hurry up as we still had lots to do.  This caused Ida to check the air conditioner rather early as we all felt, this was going to be a long hot day.

This is my completed jewelry travel bag.

The only breaks we had were meal times and boy, were they good.  Already suffering today without my 3 huge meals per day.

Hardly had time to clean our tables or project 2 was introduced and we had to get going, again only taking a break for dinner.  Yes, you read it correctly, we even continued after dinner!!  Rina made the most of her meal breaks and even got a mini nap in during one of these breaks.

No wait, looking at the rest of the photos it seems something else tired Rina as this was what she and Annatjie were up to during dinner.  Some people…. Just can’t take them anywhere.  Check Marie’s face on the photo!!

We finished our scarves – not a knitting needle in sight, all done by sewing machine – just before 10pm and by then I was shivering from cold fever and was ready for bed.  My completed scarf.

Monday, October 17, 2011

O how I do miss you

Catsidy, our little black cat, died unexpectedly on Sunday, 9 October 2011 after a rather unfortunate incident.  I've lost many pets but never one so young and so suddenly.  I was not ready to let go and I miss this little body dearly.

We've been given another little black male cat but no other animal will every be able to replace this little wild 'Kentucky special' of ours.