Thursday, March 22, 2012

Expecting a new family member

I had a lovely relaxing public holiday yesterday and Karin and I went for dinner.  My final handing over of the projects for the goodie bags and both our hubbies were out of town, so a girls' night out was the thing to do.
My big kids finally decided they were grown up enough to have their own kids, so we are expecting this little 'baba' early August.
So a lot of this started today and I suppose it will keep me busy for quite a while.
Note to Marlene (PFAFF):  See I am NOT a bad grandmother-to-be!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A good, good public holiday

In our guild/province we celebrate National Quilt Day this coming Saturday but I was aware that this day in the USA was celebrated last Saturday.  So what's a girl to do?  Celebrate them both!!

Furthermore when I found out that The Quilt Show offers more than 100 episodes of their shows over 9 series to watch for FREE but only over the weekend from 16 to 18 March; my weekend was made.

My setup changed temporarily as I needed to watch ATP World Tour tennis, a little cricket highlights and obviously as many of the videos on The Quilt Show as I could.  So I needed the TV, laptop and my sewing machines...... this is what my space looked like.

I heard about quilters I never knew existed, some (Rob Appell) about as pleasing to the eye as his quilts and amazing women such as Lola Jenkins who surely turned my way of thinking when seeing novelty prints or panels.  I learnt about switching the right side of your brain on to turn creative, that perfect isn't always the norm, making butterfly seams instead of Y-seams............ too much to mention.

As if that wasn't enough I quickly jumped out at the Post Office on our way to dinner with the big kids to pick up a tutorial video - all the way from Paducah, Kentucky - and I watched this too.  So much information, such a little brain.

However my hands were never idle and I am proud to say that I have finished 650 projects for our goodie bags for the National Quilt Festival in 2013.  I am SO going to celebrate and tonight at dinner with Karin, I might actually kiss her and goodie bags goodbye.  These are my last projects done.

However..... the information overload did not stop.  I ordered Superior titanium coated top-stitch needles and Superior Bottom line thread from Amafu and one e-mail between Glenda and myself lead to another with her feeding me names, sites and things to see that I still don't know whether I am coming or going.  Did I mention my small brain?

So on this public holiday in South Africa I too will be taking time out.  Not touching my machines, not paging through any books, not watching any DVD's, not planning another quilt and when Karin asked what I would be doing all day, I answered "play with the tortoises" - enough excitement for me!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Tale of 3 Saturdays

My center 3-D square quilt turned out to be a tale of 3 Saturdays.

The first Saturday I bought the fabric.

On the second Saturday I started joining the blocks at our monthly group meeting.
And finally on the third Saturday I quilted it with this little face looking at me.

This is my second finish (no UFO yet) for the year.

Then the tortoises were just as active as 13 new babies hatched yesterday.  We are still searching the garden for more.
Mom, babies from 2 years ago and the new ones

Two-year old and the newborn babies

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Quilting with the birthday girl

Partner in crime, Karin, had her birthday (15th if you're dyslexic) on Monday and I got her this gift.
Needless to say Karin could since then not get near her ironing board as her oldest daughter (let's call her daughter A) now does all the ironing.  Then again this kid was always such a pristine example of what a good religious daughter should be like - no wonder!

Celebrated a little too much and got up rather tired on Tuesday but no, what would we do?  Quilt through the night on Tuesday evening.  We made such good progress but today we are totally good for nothing!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Centre 3-D square block

Our monthly Saturday group has decided that each of us should take turns to show the group something every month.  Towards the end of last year, Sonja, our guild treasurer, showed her group a center 3-D square block.  I offered to show something in March but then decided, even though this block is an oldie; there would still be some quilters in our group who haven't seen it.  I then asked Sonja if she would come demonstrate it at our group.  Occasionally having a new face and voice around can be nice.

Last year October during our PFAFF sew-away I won a layer cake in a lucky draw and when I saw it I knew I didn't want to break up the 'cake' but use it all in one project.  So I knew this would be the ideal opportunity to make use of these.  Aren't they pretty?
I then started cutting the blocks according to size.  One large and 4 small and added white to the mix.
I prefer making bed quilts that I can use opposed to smaller wall hangings or runners that I don't have much use for and I soon realized that one layer cake would not nearly make enough blocks.  So off to our local PFAFF I went to buy 50 more colors.  Sadly I couldn't get fabric in the same range and I therefore opted for matching colors.
I needed 255 blocks for a double bed quilt and realized that I won't be able to do all of these during our 3-hour group meeting and I then started stitching a couple of blocks.  Giving myself out as a teacher I also believe their is nothing worse than someone teaching without having a completed quilt to prove her abilities to make it.  Even though I asked Sonja to show the block, I am still the one responsible for this months' idea therefore my duty to have a good general knowledge of what should happen and what problems may arise.  Pretty soon I had a nice stack of blocks done.
I worked a little all week and pinned my blocks in units of 10 to keep track of my total.
Friday afternoon I gave my  completed blocks a decent press to make the squaring slightly easier.
While the cleaning crew went through my house to get it 'weekend ready' I took my blocks outside to start squaring.
My blocks were then pinned to a sheet to carry along to the group meeting - an array of colors!
The church hall where we gather was exceptionally hot on Saturday and having to work from the floor, gave me my weekly exercise.
Luckily with the help of fellow group members, Connie, Anida and Rina, who stitched some of my blocks into rows I got a quarter of the blocks joined during the group meeting.
Now to finish this baby!