Thursday, May 31, 2012

Being bossed around

I didn't get any quilting done yesterday.  Had a couple of my own things to do in town and then shopped for clothing for the mister.  This morning I will have to return to the shops to exchange the clothing that didn't fit.  In my next life I SO want a wife too!

So these DJ blocks were then hand quilted on Tuesday while watching tennis but the last match of the day (Serena Williams) was so tense that a couple of my stitches went totally awkward.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DJ is coming along again

I finished the top of my little wax crayon project but had a visitor yesterday evening so I couldn't do the binding.

I did however do hand quilting on 6 yellow Dear Jane blocks so it seems DJ is not totally forgotten.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

First day of Roland Garros

The mister traveled back from Port Elizabeth this morning after his 5 day golf tournament and things changed slightly in the Pringle mansion.  It is only a mansion when he is not around.  Then I feel rich not having anyone to boss me around doing whatever I want when I want.  This morning however I had to quickly deal with the pile of un-ironed laundry I so neatly hid behind the closed door of a guest bedroom, vacuum the passage carpet which serves as a catch all when I exit my sewing room and just in general run through the house swishing and swiping to remove any traces of neglect.

Luckily he keeps me updated on his travel progress and I had plenty of last minute leisure time before he finally got home.  So I did what I do best twice a year - park myself at the TV to watch tennis and while doing that (day 1 is always somewhat of a given about who would win) I kept myself busy making these.

Wondering where these would be used?  Watch this space as I see the tennis is already starting at 9am tomorrow so I'll be sitting by the TV from early morning and might just be able to make good progress.

She's back!!

O what a feeling when you're dancing on the ceiling..... okay not quite but it describes how I feel with my PFAFF Grand Quilter back from the beauty parlor.  I missed her terribly but she's back in her designated spot where she should be.

I've been playing around with her all evening and it felt great.  The mister is away participating in a national golf tournament in Port Elizabeth so I can just go on and on without any guilt trips.

You guessed it; progress on the Dear Jane has come to an abrupt stop!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Venue for a 21st

I noticed how I've been moving through different phases of life these last two weeks.  First it was an old age home for a life fully lived, then earlier this week I had to help plan a Stork party for a life yet to begin and later in the week my blonde and I went venue hunting for her 21st birthday party.

I think we found the perfect venue for the younger generation.  A hall with couches instead of tables and chairs, platters instead of a formal dinner and a magnificent view on a wildlife waterhole on the outside deck.

Another option was the Boma - outdoor fire, table and chair settings BUT it had stuffed animal heads against the walls and according to my dear blonde went against everything she believed, so the Boma was out.

Here the young lady with her planning hat on can be seen in action - files in one hand, torn denim and all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

DJ Purple blocks - second group

I started quilting my yellow blocks earlier this week while sitting with DH in the evenings and realized if I keep it up I might end up without hand work for the tennis again.  So I stopped the hand quilting and continued with making my next cycle of purple blocks.

I don't want to talk too soon but my circles are spiraling downwards and the blocks become less with every round.  I only had to make 16 purple blocks instead of the 20 for the yellow.  This might just motivate me to get the center of Dear Jane done.

To those who wonder about my sudden love of piecing - faking it all the way, sorry.  My PFAFF Grand Quilter is still enjoying her stay at the beauty parlor and I am beginning to suffer from serious withdrawal now.

Monday, May 21, 2012

DJ second group of yellowish blocks

My sister and I last week had to make the awful decision to put my mom (84) in a frail care facility.  Somehow we believed that between the 2 of us we'd be able to take care of her during her last days.  With her dementia deteriorating, loss of control over her bodily functions but still having a rather strong will of her own we realized that somewhere something is going to give.  So last week has been one of lengthy phone conversations between 4 children trying to reach some agreement and once at least 3 agreed the digging for the necessary paperwork started.  I found papers dating 1945 amongst my mom's stuff!!  And then in the end my soft hearted sister just couldn't do it and decided to give taking care of mom just one more try.

My hands were however not idle when I did get the odd break and after finishing the Twisted Log Cabin UFO, I dug up another in the form of Dear Jane.  Knowing that the French Open tennis will start on 27 May, I realized I needed hand work rather fast and this UFO is just that.

I do my Dear Jane in a TATW fashion and luckily marked every color sequence as a separate UFO otherwise it might just be too overwhelming.  So next up was the second yellowish set of 20 blocks.  I tried to do most using foundation piecing but anyone who already did this will realize some of these blocks simply cannot be done by machine alone.

With the blocks done I then quilt by hand before trimming them back to size and use the QAYG method to add the new blocks to the previous ones.  This quilting will be my hand work during the French Open. Tennis.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Now this would be what fellow quilter Ninor calls a FFUFO - a finally finished UFO.  I have no idea when I started this.  I do know DH bought me the fabric one Christmas and I almost immediately designed the layout in EQ.  However I've upgraded my computer so many times and had no idea in which backup folder the original was but luckily printed a picture which actually yellowed inside a cupboard door in my sewing room.

I don't know why I didn't finish it right away either.  Could be the one block repeat that got to me or the fact that it was done using foundation piecing.  Whatever it is done!

I mostly make large quilts fit for double or queen sized beds and always have a problem taking photos of these.  I'll have to wait for enough family members to be at home, in the mood to hold the quilt and listen to there moans while trying to take a picture.

Today however while sewing the label on I looked through the front window and saw our front gate and there...... I had the perfect hanging space for any huge quilt I might want to photograph.  We surely must have the biggest gate for any standard household in our city but now I will put it to good use.  Here the full gate can be seen compared to the quilt measuring 2.20 x 2.20 meters.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hand work prepared

We went to see a comedy at our local theater on Friday evening and you have to agree friend Karin cleans up really nicely if the occasion calls for it.

When we got home at 11 pm I had to start cooking corn as bait for our men's fishing trip the weekend and this kept me up until 02:30 while the mister slept like a baby to be ready for action the next day.  Does it now make sense why I get so excited when he does his own thing and leave me alone some days?

The men barely left Saturday morning or I shot out of bed like a bullet from a pistol and started joining binding strips for my Twisted Log Cabin.  Yip, the free motion quilting is done and my Grand Quilter is visiting the Machine Spa for the week to get rejuvenated.

The binding was sewn to one side but I am leaving the other side to be done by hand until a time that I am forced to sit in one spot.  I find it hard to sit still for very long but occasionally it is simply polite to sit with the family.  These times a little hand work always comes in handy.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Getting a little extra done

The mister came home unexpectedly one morning to fetch his golfing gear.  He had an invite to play in a charity golf day with snoek (fish) barbecue and wine tasting afterwards.  Even I would consider playing golf with that promise. In my life however, this meant..... no cooking!  O I do dislike the kitchen, no wait; I have a pretty kitchen, so I dislike cooking!  Whenever I don't have to cook it is as if the day just has so many more hours..... to quilt!

It turned out exactly what I did.  Usually I hardly ever quilt in the morning as the household routine takes up all my daytime hours.  So I only quilt late afternoon or in the evening.  I had a couple of errands to run but suddenly none of these seemed all that important anymore so they were simply moved to another day.

Before I had to take the parrot to bed for her afternoon nap I had half my Twisted Log Cabin done.  I didn't do quite as well the later afternoon as there was one mean game of tennis between Nadal and Verdasco going and I had a hard time tearing myself away from the television.

I only had a tiny section and the border to do when the mister finally got home with these goodies.  Now who wouldn't mind a day off with this as a reward?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Quilted Tote

My Twisted Log Cabin has moved to under the PFAFF Grand Quilter and will stay there for a while.

To fool myself into thinking that I do more than I really do, I found this tote bag tutorial over HERE and decided this could be a quick finish which it was.

I have more than enough bags as is and as fellow quilter DalĂ©ne said when she saw this (and my other UFO's) "it's like writing exam, you'll do anything else but study".  Very true words.

However..... it is the finish that counts isn't it?

Completed:  May 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Scherenschnitte - Part 3

With everything secured to the background the free motion quilting could start.  I decided to stitch feathers and echo these with a mother of pearl thread.  I uses the applique shapes as the spine of the feathers and created the plumes around these.

Here 2 of the 3 colorful butterflies can be seen up close.

Finally done with just the binding to do.

I finished the project up to the point where I could take it along to our Saturday group meeting to sit there and do the back of the binding by hand.  Now I know taste differs and I don't expect everyone to like this but heck you have to give me credit for the binding with black to match the black applique shape and white to match the white background.  And with that I am ready for the fourth term's challenge.

Completed:  May 2012

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Scherenschnitte - Part 2

If I ever used the right tool for the job, this was it.  I've tried every scissors I own but this little Fiskars with the big handle, short blades and sharp tip was just it.  The big handles ensured a good grip and full control of the cutting direction, the sharp tip pierced through the fabric and paper like a dream and the blades just had to round the delicate action off.

... and this was the mess I was left with after the cutting was done.

Once detangled, I could fuse the design to the background but decided to add just a tiny bit of color by adding 3 multi-colored butterflies.

The butterflies were secured with satin stitch and the rest of the design with a straight free motion stitch.

Sorry but I just can't stop bragging about my new space.  Here the Scherenschnitte can be seen under the quilting machine while another project (Twisted Log Cabin) could be cut, ironed and sewn on the other side of the table.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Scherenschnitte - Part 1

Our guild (roughly 200 members) meets once a term and a challenge for every term is given.  Now even though I write the blog for our guild and am supposed to be clued up about the dates; time just seems to fly by me.  I would still think about participating in a challenge and before I know it is meeting day and I haven't even given the challenge a second thought.

Then I decided to be kind to myself and select the challenge for the very last term and see if I then can't finish it in time.  The problem was when I read the word I didn't even know what it meant; let alone how to make anything of it!

Off to trusted old Google I went and it turned out to be a German term translating to 'paper cutting'.  Remember those squares we folded and refolded in school art class before we'd start snipping shapes and corners from it and once folded open it resembled a snowflake of sorts?

This is exactly what our challenge 'Scherenschnitte' was however the crafters practicing this art form nowadays stepped it up a couple of notches.  Snowflakes...... so yesterday!

I however too tried my hand at the original snowflake idea with disastrous results as can be seen on this photo.

I then decided to try something else but it soon dawned on me that there is a huge difference between clipping paper and trying to do the same with fabric.  So after deciding on my design I thought that there would just be no way that I'll do all of this on fabric folded twice.  Not that the folding would be a problem but the cutting sure seemed daunting just looking at the picture.

First the applique paper design had to be ironed onto black fabric.  I used fairly cheap but rather stiff applique paper hoping the stiffness would count in my favor when cutting.  However the 'fairly cheap' counted against me as the paper didn't adhere to the fabric properly but so we learn.

Then the tedious process of cutting the applique shape started and believe me this was no quick job for one evening only.

Monday, May 07, 2012

I think it is time to let go

I have a new group of beginner quilters that started last week so now I basically have 2 beginner groups overlapping.  I'll just have to remember who has to do what.  That however means my own work came somewhat to a standstill.

Fortunately taking photos do not take that much time and it is something I do spontaneously without even thinking about it.

When I saw these while I sat printing class patterns I realized it is surely time for them to retire now.

They are filthy and to think they only get used on supposed clean fabric and quilts!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

A good Saturday

While DH started fitting shelves in the garage cupboards I found time to attach the border to my Twisted Log Cabin.

Done with that it was time for our Saturday monthly group meeting and these ladies don't waste time finishing quilts and bringing them to Show and Tell.  It is absolutely amazing considering that all of them are working gals.

The evening we went to watch the rugby game between the local Cheetahs and the Western Force and I even took hand work along to do before the game started.  Karin wanted to prove that she does more than quilting and didn't sew at all.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

I have proof!!

In the city where I live, right in the center of South Africa, no matter to which fabric, sewing or quilting shop you go, they sell only ONE brand of cutting boards.  Now for the first time in my life I wish someone would phone and contradict me.

So ever since I did a formal quilting class I had one of these (before then I used scissors).

During a PFAFF sew-away I bought another cutting board and at that stage I didn't even realize it was a different brand.  All I noticed was the difference in color.

Since then (2010) I occasionally felt that whenever I cut on the old (green) board I would go through cutting blades like crazy but when I used the newer white board my blades seemed to last longer.  I however didn't quite have proof as I use both equally.

While stitching the Twisted Log Cabin blocks I had a green cutting board nearest to me and then I got the proof. I had to sharpen or change the blade after every 2 blocks.  Each block has 25 pieces, so plenty of cutting per block.  When sharpening the blades became a chore I changed cutting mats, changed the blade and there with the white cutting board I cut the last 12 blocks with the same blade and it was still good for more cutting.

So newest mission....  find another brand of cutting board for my white one will unfortunately not last forever.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Second quarterly guild meeting

We had our second meeting on Thursday, 3 May and I always take photos of the food table which makes me wonder whether I go for the quilts or the food.

The challenge for this term was Inchies/Twinchies and even though I did not participate some of these entries took my breath away.  So much love going into something this tiny.

I did however take the quilt I wrote about in THIS POST along for show and tell.

I also entered 2 quilts for our annual Bloem Show and won 3 prizes for these.  Two first prizes and a special trophy prize.These were the quilts entered, the one on the left won for the best free motion quilted item and the one on the right for the best group quilt.

Here is my three envelopes containing monetary prizes and me receiving these.

The nicest surprise on the meeting was seeing a student quilt completed from the free motion class I taught.  Nice work Lenie!

The evening we had yet another prize giving this time at the Bloem Show and the venue was to say the least, beautiful.

This is the trophy I received.

Karin and I sadly did not stay for dinner as we had a date with our men and where did they take us?  An open air bar at the Bloem Show.  Fortunately good company made up for the loss of the looks of the venue.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

A lovely sunny day

and the little ones came out to play.

and I am off to our quarterly guild meeting.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Visiting the Bloem Show

We also took a little family time over the long weekend and visited the Bloem Show.  Just leisurely strolling through all the exhibition halls and looking at the goods sold by the vendors.

I didn't take too many photos; I suppose being a quilter aware of copyright I was scared I'll get charged with something illegal.  So I only took photos of those whom I knew won't sue me.

This was the reason why we had to take the blonde to the show year after year when she was little.  She enjoyed a camel ride more than any other of the rides at the fair.

Then I snapped the PFAFF ladies in their booth.  Marie (owner) left and Marlene (saleslady) right.  They were totally unaware of me taking this photo.

Remember my post about Marlene's grand babies HERE?  Well Marlene brought a nappy these little ones wore when born to the shop one day to show me.  Unbelievable to think that any human can be this tiny.

My DH showed real interest in buying ma a brand new machine but it seems Marie thought it to be a big joke, so now I'll just have to continue with what I have.  Darn!!

Done shopping we enjoyed lunch before going home.  Here the blonde and DH enjoy their platters.