Sunday, July 31, 2016

Block 8 done

For a moment there early this morning I thought this would be my second Sunday not taking my PJ’s off with DH being out of town again.  However with my phone diary safely transferred to the new phone I got a reminder of a Holistic fair later this morning and I promised my youngest that I would go with her.

So with an icy wind outside it turned into a get up and go day

It was interesting but all so new to me, this Holistic stuff.  Crystals, a psychic (my daughter took his card and wants to make contact with her dead dog???), marijuana creams, lotions and even a base that you can take orally (legal, I wonder?), dream catchers, organic food, vegan food but I can add much better organised than the Arts & Crafts market we attended recently.

I finished block 8 (Marena) from the “Katja Marek’s Quiltwith me” project and I am rather chuffed with having completed 8 blocks in one month.

Not sewing at all tonight.  I will get my laundry updated and might trace a couple of block patterns onto freezer paper for future use but I do think I just need a break from needle and thread.  Maybe I’ll even watch a downloaded movie or part of a series.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Maureen completed

This is block number 7 from the “Katja Marek’s Quilt withme” project and the saying “practise makes perfect” has proven to be so valid.  I can actually see my blocks improve the more I make them.

On Friday I had the last of my treats for my “be good to yourself” week and went for a pedicure which was a birthday gift from DH.  With free Wi-Fi (not a given in Southern Africa) I could update all my apps on my brand new cellular phone while having my feet pampered.

Decided to give the tablet I got for free with my new cellular phone to dearest granddaughter, Lleia for use when visiting us.  So I went shopping for a ‘secure me from being dropped’ cover and afterwards wrecked my brain to find a vegetarian dish to prepare for dinner as my youngest planned to come over to visit tonight.  Decided on an asparagus quiche but simply stuff the filling in a red pepper and bake these (mine however will have smoked ham).  Then she couldn’t come because someone who had to work for her simply didn’t pitch and she had to go to work tonight.

However still had the big kids and our granddaughter over.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Block 6 – Dolores

I dropped my cell phone just as I entered the house yesterday afternoon.  An amazing feeling of ‘now no-on can bother me’ quickly turned into a less cool feeling knowing that I too can’t contact anyone and the worst part….. I don’t have the foggiest to what happens in my diary.  Some you hit, some you miss, I guess.

So MIL needed to go to physio today, she couldn’t get hold of me and phoned my daughter who too couldn’t get hold of me and after phoning DH (the only one informed about my phone simply because I know his number by heart) and he then told them about my little mishap.  Clever kid that my daughter is, she decided that mom without a phone is totally worthless and organised to fetch grandma and sort her physio…… something just makes me think I should not replace this phone??

With Block 6 I tried THIS TECHNIQUE by Tonya Owens but used Freezer paper instead of glue.  I think it worked great for fussy cutting and I didn’t need transparent templates or cut my paper shapes different than normal.

The biggest part of my afternoon was spent getting a new phone and even got a tablet included.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Block 5 (Caroline) done

People who think they know us will tell you that I am the tantrum thrower and DH the calm, cool and collective one which mostly is true but with a little twist.  When DH reaches breaking point he’ll gladly applaud and appreciate my tantrum throwing as long as I get his point across and I do the dirty work.  Well guess what, I will gladly oblige.

So last night, DH knowing that he’ll be leaving early  this morning spilled the beans about any and every unhappiness he has with staff and office situations and I better sort the crap out before he returns.

So I started this freezing cold Wednesday early.  Been at the office at 06:30 as I am somewhat of a routine freak needing to do certain tasks in a set routine and I wanted to get these out of the way before turning into the wicked witch of central South Africa.  When DH left at 4 am I was up and about typing notes on what to say to which staff member.  So a couple of very disillusioned members in our business today but I think they got my drift.

Still part of my “be good to yourself” week, I had yet another treat to a facial this afternoon and yes, another BD gift from a friend.

Furthermore I am really having so much fun with these “quiltlets “ and having that weekly ‘I have accomplished something’ feeling.

Anyone joining me?

I only recently learnt about the EPP projects and patterns of the Hillbilly Quilt Shop and needless to say, bought all the patterns (PDF instant downloads) and now follow Tonya’s blog.

She has a new EPP mystery starting on 1 August and even though I have so many other projects going, I am just SO tempted.  Check this out over HERE.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Funky Wildlife Baby quilt

Very proud of myself for the speed in which I finished the Funky Wildlife baby quilt, I started the binding today, just to find a huge chunk still not quilted!  The cold really causes me to suffer from brain freeze or something, so the last bit of quilting had to be done after the binding was sewn on. 

The very white pillowcase contrasted way too much and I tried to change this by adding a couple of wax crayon stripes and heat setting these but it didn’t make much of a difference.

Not being an artist I don’t want to add more and in the end make it worse, so DIL will just have to add more white elements to the cot…. Bumper rails, teddies or whatever tickles her fancy.

Decided to make this week my “be good to yourself” week and ordered home cooked meals to be delivered to my door every evening and last night we had white rice, creamy chicken a la king, spinach and a pasta salad.  Tonight’s’ Steakhouse basted pork chops, mash, gravy, green beans and coleslaw was equally as good.

For my birthday my son and DIL gave me a 30 minute foot massage and scrub voucher and I had an appointment at 3 pm this afternoon.  What an amazing Thai experience.  I never knew a foot massage included having your arms pulled behind your head, stretching your back out and even massaging pressure points in your neck and shoulders! Truly lovely, thanks kids.

Monday, July 25, 2016


I can handle rain and to a certain extent cold but both simultaneously…… definitely not!  This must be the coldest we’ve been in central South Africa this winter and then I am basically a pathetic being just merely existing, not up to anything at all.

So all I did today was to decorate the pillowcase to go with my funky wildlife baby quilt.  Amazing accomplishment I’d say.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

An early start to my Saturday

One thing I just don’t seem to like when sewing or quilting is satin stitching around an applique shape.  I do realise this is the safest way to applique especially for a baby or kids’ quilt but I just can’t get myself to enjoy this.

Making a new funky wildlife cot quilt for our second grandchild (to be born in January 2017) I just had to do this and even though I only had 6 shapes to applique it took me almost forever!

I don’t sleep well lately but it does have its advantages as I had the baby quilt under the quilting machine at 05:30 Saturday morning, with the dogs' dinner cooking in the pressure cooker and the second load of laundry going. 

Other than this I didn’t really do much.  Had a morning birthday tea, got home just in time to put the parrot to bed and then went to a local Art & Craft exhibition but sadly not worth the effort. This was a real disappointment to me.  This has been done a couple of years now and one would think it would keep growing but to me it seems to deteriorate. 

The rest of the evening I kept myself busy watching videos of Hillbilly Handiworks starting with THIS ONE and then just let the videos play one after the other as I struggled to keep my eyes open to focus on quilting.

Fearing that I would have another almost sleepless night I took some hand sewing and my bright light with magnifying glass along to bed and it helped...... I slept right through the night!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Another weekend without DH

DH left Friday around lunch time and won’t be back until Sunday (after a game of golf I should add for those who would think they should feel too sorry for this hard working man).  Now with me being alone on a weekend it is my license to disinfect the kitchen counters and keep them in that pristine condition for the whole weekend.  I know the only dirty dish in this house would be my wine glass.
That done I did all the chores and awful trips and then went fabric and batting shopping, walked the dogs, locked myself in the house and retreated to my sewing room to start another amazing weekend of play and productivity.

Pretty soon I had a neat old mess and very little of the fabric on the table will actually be used for the projects I am working on now.  These are my future plans waiting to form shape in my head!

And all in a day’s ‘work but being not completed I can only show the back of the projects that happened yesterday.

As if I don’t have enough plans running around in this little head I downloaded even more hexagon patterns form The Hillbilly QuiltShop but missed out on one pattern and contacted the shop via FB.  What an amazing experience.  Soon had the owner Tonya Owens message me and we chatted until 10 pm last night.  I really need service like that over here in darkest Africa and someone as motivational as Tonya in my life.  What an amazing person, going through really bad times and simply never giving up.  Read all about Tonya on her blog over HERE.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Block 4 done

My baby turned 25 on Monday and we had the privilege of tasting her very first home baked cake and for some ridiculous reason she decided to bake it in her rice cooker… but shame the poor child was never too sure which was the oven and which was the stove top, just didn’t get the hang of it.

Anyhow, her cake turned our rather thin, apparently she had to cut off the burnt parts but really not bad at all.

I had to stay longer at the office yesterday because my car had to go in for a service and I had nothing or no-one to transport me home.

I did however finish Block 4 once home.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Block 3 done

Busy day at the office today with one co-worker having become a grandmother yesterday and took two days’ leave to assist her daughter.  Only left the office at 13:30 to put the parrot to bed, rush off to the dry cleaners, find a nearby shop selling embroidery thread, shopping for dinner veggies, getting these started before charging for my doctor’s appointment at 15:30 just to get there and find out my appointment was actually 14:30.  So I’ll try again tomorrow at 15:15.

Having stocked up on new colours of embroidery floss for the big stitch quilting, I could finish Block 3

Sunday, July 17, 2016

My design wall

DH made me a design wall in the passage opposite the entrance to my sewing room which used to be my son’s bedroom.  I knew I simply had to occupy this space the moment he moved out of the house to send out a very clear message…… once you leave the nest, there’s no turning back.

The bad part about this is even though I can see the whole design wall, I can never take a photo of it when standing right in front of it (i o w in the door of the sewing room).  So I took this photo at an angle.

 Somehow my design wall always seems to be much busier than the end results I am able to produce.

DH is back in town and tonight we’re watching a movie so I don’t expect to do much more.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Clam Shell completed

It seems our neighbourhood is plagued with water problems late mornings and early afternoons.  I don’t work with huge quantities of water every single day but this week I noticed the fact that we didn’t have water twice.  It can be rather frustrating especially when you’ve planned this amazing cleaning ritual while DH is out of town and then your bubble bursts.

So it was up early for me this morning to get the waterworks going and before 8 am I had most of my chores done.  What a feeling!

Joined my daughter later visiting the Free State Arts Festival and we shopped well, both ending up with sore shoulders due to the heavy bags we carried.

The rest of the day I spent hand stitching the binding onto the Clam Shell quilt.

I looked back on FB and saw that I started this quilt with BFF Karin de Villiers while visiting their house at the dam and the first freezer paper templates were cut on 24 January 2014.

I really only started the process because Karin wanted to and didn’t like it at all.  Mentioned this to anyone prepared to listen and when a co-worker heard me, she said she’ll be more than willing to take the quilt when done.

The longer I worked, the prettier it became but a promise is a promise and with the double bed sized quilt completed, I can hand over her gift on Monday.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Been busy

The auditors decided I am bored enough for them to start doing our 2016 financial statements and needs 101 documents with information.  Digging through the archives, I am…..

Then MIL had to be taken to the doctor complaining about a sore arm.  Turned out to be a torn ligament and physio will start on 28 July.  Until then she’ll be on painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication.  I suspect she’s part of the secret basketball team at the old age home (how else can an 85 year old tear a ligament?)

I went for a mammogram today and this should serve as a friendly reminder to all my fellow quilters and lady friends….. Seriously, you NEED to do this annually.

I did however buy the batting and backing for my Clam shell quilt and started that with the two cats eagerly taking turns to monitor my progress.

Venison pie, pumpkin fritters with caramel sauce and a Greek salad for DH on the menu tonight as he will be out of town again from tomorrow…. Which means, no more cooking until next week or maybe Sunday?

And by the time DH came home at 19:45 I had the Clam Shell quilted!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Another year done and dusted

As much as I dislike the cooking/baking part that goes along with having a birthday I do like trying the odd new or different recipe and I think the snacks for last night came out rather nice.

Had only family and best friends over but still got so many gifts that I am still counting my blessings.

My niece had a bouquet of flowers delivered to my door which made my day rather special seeing that DH was still out of town.

No quilting done however.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A somewhat blue Monday

Nope, nothing bad happened, just have been slightly too busy to do actual quilting.  Been at the office this morning and after work had to do shopping.  Being my birthday I had to make something for my co-workers.  Bacon and cheese wheels and a baked condensed milk tart will have to suffice.

DH worked late and I had to take the dogs for a walk but early evening I did find a little time to prepare block number four.

Hurt my shoulder somewhere along the line today, can’t really remember that I did anything dangerous or strenuous but it is not the shoulder I am used to.  Old age is not for sissies!

Monday, July 11, 2016

High tea and quilt selection on a Sunday

I finished the last row of my Clam shell quilt top, now just need to shop for back and batting. Then I started working on Block 3 from “KatjaMarek’s Quilt with me

DIL came over to choose fabric and play with ideas for a new baby quilt and luckily for me she chose a printed panel of which I have matching blocks to go along with it.  So hopefully just a little planning around the size and not too much maths!  She is expecting our second grandchild (sex will remain unknown until birth) early January 2017.

Granddaughter, Lleia, had her nails professionally done for the first time while DIL did her salon treatment and with nails in every colour of the rainbow came to invite me for high tea and cake at a nearby tea garden.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Block 1 done from the “Katja Marek’s Quilt with me” project

My joining on this block sucks and is really of very bad quality and I only noticed it when I started with the quilting.  Am I going to unpick and redo?  Nope…. Don’t think so!

I joined my daughter and went to the opening of a new Rehab Camp for pets by one of our rescue organisations (New Beginnings) on Saturday morning and it is amazing to see with how much passion volunteers work towards animals in need.

 Then baked some telegrams and made cocktails sausages for a quilting friend coming over for a glass of wine and what a nice visit this was and guess which topic was discussed…… hexagons.  So I can’t wait to hear whether Sonja too will be falling for KatjaMarek’s Quilt with me.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Semi-finals on Wimbledon

As the heading suggests…. Not much actual sewing happening as the tennis was simply way too tense to take my eyes off the screen for long periods of time.

I did however manage to trace another of Katja Marek’s Quilt with me blocks on freezer paper for later use.

Then I added what I believe to be the very last row on my Clam-shell hand quilt.  This however is still just glue basted and needs to be hand-sewn down.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Owl wall haning

I’ve been working on this Owl project for a couple of months.  I can’t really remember whether I found it on a Mandala or Colouring pages for adults site on Google but liked it immediately and wanted to turn the sketch into a quilt.

I started by enlarging the picture and had an A1 copy made, traced this copy onto freezer paper and then started cutting out section by section to adhere to fabric and join together.

I had no plan or colour scheme beforehand and wanted to use fabric from my scrap pile, so even now I select fabric as I go along.  I started with the eyes.

Yesterday evening while DH went to our business to check out a burglar alarm that went off, I labelled the Bargello with a twist quilt and worked some more on the eyes of the Owl.

DH returned later with a photo of the intruder that set off the alarm.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Twisted Bargello Completed

Not too shabby, complete this almost 120” x 120” quilt in less than two months and it served its purpose as being busy with several hand projects, I needed something, I could start, see daily progress and finish quickly.

This quilt comes from a one block pattern by Maggie Ball from her book “Bargello Quilts with a Twist”.  This block just leans itself to so many possibilities and is one of a very few blocks that I might just make a second time.

DH returned yesterday afternoon and I made us a creamy oyster and tomato pasta for dinner and even pickled some fish for the weekend.

Didn’t do any other quilting as I had to take DH for X-rays on his foot and he was not impressed with the verdict our daughter (she took the X-ray) delivered via What’s App “just bruising of the soft tissue, it only looks that bad because the foot is already 60 years old.”  For once his dearly beloved daughter was not very popular.  It seems men have an issue with age as well!

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

An evening off

DH landed a rather big contract out of town and for the rest of this year will have to travel frequently, not sleeping at home for a night or so.  Today is the very first of his travels which meant I have yet another evening off of cooking.

I made the absolute most of the extra couple of hours.  Went wedding planning with my baby, feeling so much more relaxed knowing we have a pro taking care of most of the nitty gritty.  Got home and updated all the laundry, finished quilting my machine project, took the dogs for a walk, shared my left-over lamb’s head with them for dinner.

I joined binding strips and stitched one side of the binding to the quilt.  Now I am off to bed and taking the quilt with me to do at least a part of the hand stitching of the binding while snugly covered against the winter cold.  Needless to say, as usual I quilted while fighting the weight of a cat…..this time, black beauty our dear,  Sasky.

Monday, July 04, 2016

And then I got side-tracked

I truly hate it when I start something new while having enough to keep me occupied for years on end but I do believe I am not the only one with this disorder (it can’t be normal now, can it?).

BFF Karin came over and showed me 2 books she purchased on Millefiore Quilts.  At first glance I told her that it “just was not me”…… famous last words?  The “millefiore” word appeared all the more in the blogs I follow, the quilting friends I have on FB and in general Google searches and the one day, someone, somewhere mentioned the name Katja Marek.

Now the amazing part is that I can’t remember the name of our biggest supplier, our best client and I even occasionally have to think about the names of our neighbours but hell…. Trust me to remember a name like Katja Marek!

So I Googled her and voila, the more I read, the more the ideas grew and soon I joined a FB group called Katja Marek’s ‘Quilt with me’.  Now TRUE participants make a block a week but I guess I’ll simply just be a participant…… not making a block EVERY week.

Another disorder I struggle with is starting something, not really reading through all the instructions and not really paying attention to the fine print, so obviously I made Block number 2 first.

Tonight I am having date night with DH and he is treating me to my all-time favourite “skaapkop” (translated head of a sheep).  I know it might sound freaky to some but hell with all my quilting disorders; I might just have some others can’t I?  The photo here was when I taught future son-in-law about the amazing food in life.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Weekend activities

Saturday turned out bitterly cold in sunny central South Africa and with having the older kids kindly asking if they could visit the evening and then just as an afterthought mentioned that they’d appreciate dinner, I started the planning and prepping process early morning.

While having to face my extremely cold kitchen I thought to do as much as I can while having to be there.  Soon I had almost every electrical appliance including washing machine and tumble dryer going making the room much warmer.

My stove-top beef, bacon and beer pot turned out rather nice and even the parrot, Meeko appreciated her share.

I was clever enough to invite the younger couple too ensuring that I don’t have to cook two big meals over the weekend.  So very little quilting done especially after our granddaughter decided she’s not going home with her parents and stayed the night.

With the little one sleeping rather late on Sunday morning (a first for us; I even checked her breathing several times!) I cleaned my Grand Quilter, replaced the needle, oiled and threaded it, ready for action.

The quilt is massive and I knew I had a mammoth task ahead but one has to start somewhere.