Saturday, August 19, 2017

A world of knowledge out there

Occasionally ….. just occasionally I chastise myself for all the time spend on the computer reading up on quilting but really there are just so much knowledge, so much to take in and so much to learn from.  So I will keep reading until I’ve taken in all my little brain can handle.

Sometimes however I read something seemingly “simply said” and a light bulb would go off in my head.  We have a lovely 2 x 2 meter marble table basically two steps from my kitchen door.  The only time we don’t sit there is during winter as it is simply too cold, otherwise I’d be at and use this table DAILY. 
When I however need to baste a quilt, I went through so much trouble, either on my knees on a floor or setting up metal tables in our garage, meaning the cars had to be pulled out and the tables in storage, cleaned.  Then I read THIS blog post describing how this quilter uses an outside table to baste her quilts.

Voila….. the light bulb worked, why I never thought of using this table for basting, heaven only knows.  Quick-quick I had everything needed to start.
So I got going and not two ticks later, my quilt was layered and after spray basting a little I used Pinmoors to secure all, should I not get to quilting immediately.
Now this too turned out to be a good lesson learnt on the internet.  I bought my Pinmoors years ago from and thought these were rather pricey but blamed it to the pathetic performance of our currency against the Dollar and Euro.

However I read that quilters from the States and Canada also complained about the price and one quilter said she used Baxter’s Rod (if I remember correctly) used in plumbing and waterproofing.  So off I went to the hardware store but everyone just stared at me when I asked for Baxter’s Rod, no-one had a clue what I referred to no matter how hard I tried to explain until I lost it and said okay just leave me I’ll do my own searching through your shop.  Isles and isles later, another light bulb…. Not quite round but it serves the same purpose, I found this..
And this is how I use it (exactly the same as Pinmoors) at a fraction of the price.

Someone else on the WWW asked what quilters do with their off cuts batting and backing after basting and got a myriad of answers.  Mine is I keep the batt and back glue basted together add a scrap as the top whenever I need to do a practise free motion stitching.  So no waste here.

Now my last tip I think I simply experimented by myself after the WURTH representative visited our shop one day showing what they have on offer and I saw this.
I use any and every thread to quilt with, I have even used embroidery and metallic thread and I only make bed quilts washed in a washing machine and can really not report major problems with any of the thread ever used (apart from ONE INCIDENT where I pieced with wash-away thread).  

However I do occasionally struggle with frequent thread breakage and Sewer’s Aid is not only hard to come by in darkest Africa but also rather pricey, so I figured silicon is silicon be it aerosol or liquid, if one works, the other should too, so ever since I’ve been using this WURTH brand and I am as chuffed as can be.

Now I seriously have to try and bake a Savoury biltong (jerked beef or jerky) cake for my son’s birthday.  Although I enjoy cooking, baking is a real struggle …… should I try WURTH silicon spray or Sealing strip, I wonder?  This is what the cake should look like, whether I’d post my photo will have to be seen.

A wonderful weekend to all and on Monday my newest EQ course starts!  So looking forward to this.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

And then I got side-tracked OR Snowflake splendour OBW quilt based on a panel – 1

As busy as my life occasionally gets (this includes socialising with friends and family) I somehow always think I have time for yet another adventure or project and after finishing my EQ course “Catch the Waves”, I’ve enrolled for another course starting 21 August with daily lessons and homework for 6 weeks, I received my Westalee ruler quilting starter pack and would love to try it out and I’ve started THIS new quilt!

A while ago I asked our local Pfaff dealer to order me 7 repeats of this panel fabric and she always goes the extra mile when I need something.
I kept one panel intact, layered the other six, cut these stacked panels into strips and the strips into 60ยบ triangles.

Then the fun of sewing the half hexagons started, trying to find the “nicest” combination from the 3 options I have.  Once done I sorted according to most obvious colour just to make the arrangement on the design wall easier.
Deciding on the layout was the hardest part for me.  The packing, stepping back to stare, changing and repeating the process several times almost got to me. Then the disappointment when I started sewing the strips together to see how much the total top actually shrunk after stitching. It meant I would have to cut away from my centre panel way more than I wanted to.
Well at least I am trying things on my own, struggling more than I would have liked to but I had no manual, guide or rule book to go by and I think with all the little mishaps, I am doing good.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

All stacked up – 4

I attended a hilarious but very motivational Woman’s Day talk along with fellow quilter, Wilna, DIL and one of her friends this morning and had a way too big slice of chocolate cake, which now just made me lazy.

I got home and finished the last lesson of the current EQ course I did and can report that I have 5 rows of my All stacked up quilt sewn together and I am really proud as I had heaps of interruptions and little quilting time.
Just before I stitched the last of the 5 rows together, I noticed a wee bit of a mistake and for a moment there I pondered whether I should not just leave it as is and afterwards claim that it was the Amish way of deliberately making a mistake.  Knowing myself though, I thought I better fix this as should I make another mistake; my Amish story will sound somewhat far-fetched!
On the cleaning front I can also proudly say that I am still keeping my sewing room in impeccable condition, tidying it up before heading to bed at night.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

All stacked up – 3

We had the big kids over for supper on Friday and granddaughter slept over.  Our pets enjoy the family activity being in one room where they can be present too.
After granddaughter left on Saturday we were invited by Karin and her hubby for snacks, drinks and watching rugby on TV and they even gave us “take-aways” so that I didn’t have to cook on Sunday while the men played golf. 

I am doing an Electric Quilt course via internet presented by Kari Schell and boy, is this interesting?  After having had EQ for years I realised I actually knew nothing.  After work I sit at this computer waiting for my new lesson to arrive via e-mail and then I do my homework, so work on the actual sewing side has been really SLOW…..
I however made a little progress and started from the centre and sewn the two centre rows together, the layout still confuses me terribly and I frequently call hubby to see if what I do is according to the quilt layout I printed with EQ. Two down and 14 more rows to go but long before that I still need to finish a whole lot of blocks!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

All stacked up – 2

I went sale shopping with my youngest yesterday and found a pants and gown at really good prices but for my undies I had to pay full price.  My daughter however, being of a smaller size than the average person, had a ball with all the items on sale. I did not dress in appropriate shoes for a shopping spree and back home my feet were killing me, so I didn’t do much apart from taking these photos.

Unfortunately my design wall is in the passage right opposite my sewing room.  Unfortunately for the simple reason that I can’t get enough distance being inside the sewing room to take a photo of the full width of the design wall, so I had to take this photo from an angle.  I have finished one whole row from left to right and can now join these and take out the pins.

I can also not just use flannel to adhere the blocks to as our 3 huge dogs loves playing in the passage and with the wind caused by them running up and down, my blocks simply comes flying down.  So pins I will have to use.  With having a row sewn together I need fewer pins though.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

All stacked up - 1

I downloaded this free pattern over HERE 
It was designed by Linda and Carl Sullivan. You can find their website over HERE 

I immediately knew this would qualify as a quilt to bust my scraps even though the designers used Kaffe Fasset fabric (Collective Spring 2017) and I didn’t have too many scraps of these as I tend to rather use them for fussy cutting BUT (and there is somehow always a ‘but’ with my quilting) I wanted it bigger…. much bigger.

Now with most patterns simply enlarging the blocks or making more blocks will do the job but this one baffled me especially with the layout but I eventually got the hang of it.

This is the very beginning of my current project but now I have to get ready for a 60th birthday party tonight.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ever after kids’ panel – Completed

I didn’t get much quilting done last week, life happened. I had a nice birthday though with lovely gifts from family and friends.  I will share my quilty gift from Karin at a later stage.  After the Port Elizabeth quilt festival my head is absolutely brimming with ideas and it is as if time disappears in the mist. To make matters worse I had a quilt being free-motioned on my table and 3 design walls stuffed with projects in the making, so not fair to start yet another project.

Hubby has not been feeling well for 2 weeks and on Friday it reached a climax when he started getting the chills, overdressing and refusing to move away from the heater.  Best time to make a doctors’ appointment for a stubborn man and without resisting he went and got into bed just after 2pm.  So I had the house and my time to myself alas only at 8pm after seeing that all the pets were sorted, hubby was fed and drugged, the kitchen tidy and my face cleaned could I pour myself a decent glass of wine and get in behind my Grand Quilter.

I finished the free motion, cut the binding strips with my newly acquired 2½” GO strip cutter and left the binding to do while watching the men’s final on Wimbledon.
Again no fabric purchased for this quilt, all came from my stash or scrap drawers.

Monday, July 10, 2017

2017 Siyadala (we create) – Port Elizabeth quilt festival

As I imagined going on this trip with Karin turned out to be every bit as much fun as all the other trips we’ve done.
Even though not beginner quilters anymore, we shopped as if it was the first time we’ve ever been to a festival.
I took a couple of EPP blocks along and worked in the car on our way there, in the hotel room at night and even on our way back again.
We stayed in a hotel one street away from the beach and if the traffic subsided we could hear the waves.
Way too much alcohol was consumed….. but by then we mostly were in our PJ’s in our room, so safe as can be.
And on the last day we even had time to stroll along the beach and see what the beachfront had to offer.
Thanks Karin for an amazing time and your hubby being so kind to take and fetch us again.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Looking forward to our trip

Friend Karin and I are going to the Siyadala Quilt Festivalin Port Elizabeth and I am so excited.  We always have so much fun and stories to tell after one of these trips. Fortunately Karin’s husband is driving us down, so no scissors being taken off by airline security or paying fines for overweight luggage.  We’ve decided to treat ourselves by staying in a hotel with all the glitz and glamour that comes along with it.

I am however positive about being productive and plan to quilt in the hotel room at night as the two of us have no hangovers about going to our room at 8 pm.  Anyway my handwork is all prepped and bagged…. Feeling ever so eager to get things done!

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Block 30

I sure am in no hurry to finish this but slowly I am getting there.  This is Debbie the 30th block.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Ever after kids’ panel – Part 7

I’ve been rather lost for applique ideas on the last border and opted to go with stems and leaves, printed and fuzzy cut from fabric.  I don’t think it looks too bad.
I started the quilting and found the centre panel extremely satisfying to do seeing that I could simply outline the pictures and just added some cloud shapes at the top.  For the border I used a technique I read about on another blog where the quilter traced a quilting motif onto Glad Press ‘n Seal, stuck this to the fabric and stitched through it.  Although removing the plastic afterwards was a major pain, it did give me the result I hoped for.  One should just remember to keep your stitch lengths extremely short otherwise these might pull when removing the press ‘n seal.
We are looking after our almost 6 month old grandson while mom and dad took our granddaughter to the Disney on Ice show in a another city, so I don’t think any quilting will take place this weekend.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ever after kids’ panel – Part 6

It has been a very cold weekend in central South Africa so cold that even our furriest cat couldn’t resist being covered with a blanket.
Knowing hubby has a golf game planned for Sunday I got up early Saturday morning, did the household chores, went shopping and then got into my quilting.

I decided to tackle the next round of this quilt which entailed satin stitch applique again….. I just cannot force myself to like this but occasionally it is needed to finish a quilt off. The stems of the flowers are chenille strips but not brushed or washed yet.   So I am this far and I still haven’t found a perfect spot for taking a good picture….. Basically trying every spot in the house now.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Scrappy strips 11 – Completed

We’ve had a long weekend in South Africa with Friday being Youth Day, so granddaughter came to stay over and she always says or does something to make us laugh.  So Thursday granddad could sleep with her and then on Friday she chose me to sleep with her.  Now winning the contest is really not a happy occasion as she kicks you all night long but we do pretend.  Got into bed with her to wake up later and find that I was all alone.  Checked and saw the youngster fast asleep with granddad in the main bedroom and this was what apparently happened.

She must have gone to the toilet and saw granddad’s light still on, walked to him and proudly said:  “Okay grandma is asleep, you can go switch off her TV and light, I’m sleeping by you.”  Never thought I would grow old enough for my grandchildren to put me to bed!

I’ve been rather slow in getting the second quilt done; it was just as if I didn’t have my quilt mojo with me last week.  It is however finally done.  I still however need to find a spot in my house/garden where I can take proper photos.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Scrappy strips 10

Our wine auction on Friday evening was wonderful with a 3 course meal and a young host making sure the wine on the table was ample.  Hubby bid on a golden oldie and we have no intention of letting these become any older.
I started quilting my first of the two quilts and got that done however with the cold weather, a heater, 2 sewing machines, a computer, an iron, TV and light table I overused the electricity for my sewing room, so I had to seriously rethink what I really needed to have on at the same time.

This is what the quilting on the fleece, used for the back, looks like.  The bad part about making two similar quilts is that I now have to repeat this process AGAIN!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Scrappy strips 9

To everyone in the north enjoying warmer weather, it is freezing cold in central South Africa and along the coast our cities are burning with people and animals losing lives and possessions.

With my two single bed tops done, my mind started wandering to another new project, in fact 2 new projects.  These too will be part of working through my stash and scraps to make it less.
The one will be done with foundation piecing and I take a block pattern to the office and copy a couple every day and I also try to sew a couple daily.

For the next one I will only be using strips.  Whenever done with the foundation piecing pattern and I have fabric left, I cut these into 2,5” strips ready to use when I start the other strip project.

First and foremost though is that I have to get my Scrappy Strips quilted and I think apart from attending a wine auction tonight, I should stay indoors and quilt!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Scrappy strips 8

I finally have enough strip sets to finish these two quilts and even though the strips are not sewn into place yet, I feel like the end is nearing.  I also realised that I will never be able to work on only one quilt at a time.  I get bored with the same pattern or colour scheme fairly easy and then I need to take a break from it and do something else.

So with this up against the wall and ready for when the next scrappy strip mood hits me, off to do something else…. eating with friends.
Found a fish soup recipe and seeing that friend Karin’s husband supplies us with fish, they would be the perfect guests to invite.  I made us a fish soup with orange and baked peel and a stuffed cheesy mushroom with prawns as a starter.  Karin supplied the ciabatta and good company.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Dinosaur rag quilt completed

There is just something about a Sunday that makes it extra special for me.  Whether I have people over for lunch or having an extremely quiet day like yesterday, it just feels like the only day for regrouping my thoughts, planning my week and just getting organised in general.  

To have a completed quilt along with this makes it even more special. This is my completed Dinosaur quilt for little grandson, Logan.  I am pleased with the outcome although my pictures aren’t that good.

Again I used most of what I have in my stash.  I only bought the flannel and the dinosaur print.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Dinosaur rag quilt – 4

I had my first appointment at 10 am on Saturday morning visiting a French market held locally.  This gave me enough time to ready myself, run through the house to tidy, start the laundry and I got a little quilting done too.
Then to the another side of town for a brunch at a local art gallery/restaurant and they even exhibited a quilt from someone I know but being an art gallery I was not allowed to take any photos.  Stuffed to the brim I tackled my third appointment...… sale shopping for fleece at an annual fabric (non- quilting) vendor.  The service was poor but the prices good and I use these as backing for kids- or winters’ quilts for either extra softness and/or heat.  I think I did well.
Had a little of what was left of the late afternoon and rest of the evening to quilt and I now know why won’t ever ONLY make rag quilts.  All went by so quickly until I got to snip the seam allowances.  What a job and I ended up with a blister where the scissors repeatedly pressed down on my finger
Laid the quilt down on the table and tried to double-check that I’ve clipped all the seams.  After a while staring at these at night, you do not really see anything anymore.
Then dearest Dinosaur rag quilt went right to the washing machine.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Dinosaur rag quilt – 3

I had a lovely Friday afternoon; lunch with my daughter at a local cake & coffee shop with the weird name of Koekela.  There were several vendors set up but apart from a bib for grandson and a bottle of pure honey, we didn’t buy anything else.  The food was however amazing and I so enjoyed my salmon and avocado sandwich with fresh pineapple, apple and mandarin in the salad.
Back to quilting after lunch and this must have been the fastest I’ve ever cut and quilted 70 blocks.  I now wonder why I ever made any other quilt instead of a rag quilt.
Then the joining according to my EQ layout stated and I used a ¾” seam allowance to join the blocks.