Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Time Flies 2

Its been two years since I last wrote on this blog- mainly because I have been busy and its not exactly at the top of my to-do list.

Although I have made several quilts since "Topsy", this quilt STILL isn't finished- out of sight and out of mind I suppose. Hopefully, I will finish it sometime this year.This is a big piece and I don't get very much time for my own work  on my long arm so that is probably part of the problem.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Time Flies

It's almost a whole year since I last wrote on this blog- mainly because I have been too busy with my business to make any art at all.Pieces were started and became UFOs,unlike the more traditional quilts which had to be developed as patterns for classes and for the website.
If you want to see the traditional quilts, they are under "Patterns" on
Amafu Hand Dyed Fabrics

New collections and Colour Families had to be developed and we did a very big quilt show in Johannesburg, which required some very careful planning.We will be attending this show again in September 2013, which will be at the Emperor's Palace in Johannesburg.

Here is the link:


I have played around with a few things this year, but mostly small pieces. I took another look at what I learned from my workshop from Nancy Crow, improved my long arm quilting ( and added a camera and screen  to the long arm), made some Luscious Little Layerings for the KwaZulu Natal Quilters Guild fundraising venture. 
Here is the link to that as well:

Luscious Little Layerings

Hopefully, 2013 will give me more time to get into the studio to do my own thing, rather than work related quilts.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

T-o-o-o HOT to Quilt!

"Topsy" has come off the frame as its simply too-o-o hot and humid to quilt and I am currently ( like the last two weeks) sitting in my air-conditioned office trying to make out that I am working! Also, Sheeren, my assistant and quilter wouldn't be too happy if I kept her away from customer's quilts.

I am preparing for two trips to Gauteng- one to Pretoria( Jacaranda QG) via Secunda and the other to Johannesburg(GRG) via Bethlehem and Potchefstroom.Both are at least 5 days long as we will be visiting our wholesale customers along the way.

So "Topsy " will have to wait until I come back and it gets cooler anyway.Can't wait- for the cold to return!

I have been a little bit more active apart from sitting cogitating in front of my computer screen and have painted up the pages in my new drawing book. White pages intimidate me and I can't draw  but coloured pages become a invitation. My favourites are light sandy colours, sometimes blues and I have also painted over the colours just to make the backgrounds a little more interesting. Ever tried painting up the pages in your drawing book?  It makes life so much easier.

This drawing still has a bit more to be added to it and I might add some more colour.I like working in black and coloured inks and was lucky to pick up  a set of some rather nice Windsor and Newton inks in the U.k. the last time I was there.What was shocking though was that I paid something like 1/3 of the price I would pay for the same thing here.I suspect that it has something to do with the very small amount of product imported to S.A.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quilting "Topsy"

The fun of quilting "Topsy" has begun and I have done, I think the first 10th  at the top of the quilt.
Lots of colour changes and I am really trying hard to sew in the thread ends as I go along.

 It's s-o-o-o hot here in Durban at the moment that I am only quilting for a couple of hours early in the morning. I have given up trying to quit at night as the studio has heated up during the day and, even with the fans running full tilt, I can't concentrate.

Here is the first photo:

Detail of "windows"
Each "window" has to be stitched in the ditch around the outer edge before quilting the centre. The stitch in the ditch is done with a ruler and a fat foot and the centre is done free hand.

Some of the "windows" now quilted

The "sky" has been quilted and that was the easy bit! Now its stop and start and change thread colour every couple of inches. You might remember the individually hand printed fabric pieces which we did for the National Festival in July. I have used one in the construction of the "Windows" and found that the big print was just right. 

The top layer of "windows" are now completely quilted and I cant go on until I have completed the sashing in between and each side.That's to stop the entire quilt from waving when it comes off the frame.

I have the feeling that somewhere along the line, I will have to take this quilt off and turn it.

Let me know if you like what you see.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Immediate Challenge 2012

My immediate challenge is how to quilt my "Topsy " quilt.- it still doesn't have a name  but I can live with that.

I have found the backing- a glorious moody piece of dark blue with orange highlights and that is now sitting on the long arm. The top is currently pinned to the design wall for lining up and trimming.  Its really important to  make sure that the quilt is square before it goes onto the frame as it can be very easy to distort if one isn't meticulous.The last thing I need is a skew quilt! Oh, and before anyone wants to know what there is a great big gap at the bottom right hand corner, it has been filled.  I just didn't have a new photo handy.

I have marked in some of the quilting lines but I suspect that there will be a bit of " quilting by the seat of my pants"!

So-o-o-o its time I stopped procrastinating and just got on with it.

I'll up date with photos as I go along.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I have just had a note from Clara Wagenmeester from Tambani up in the Northern Province about their new blogsite .

For those of you who don't know about Tambani, its an embroidery project run in conjunction with Venda people, providing them with an income so please take a look at their blog and what they are doing to help establish (mostly) Venda women in viable income generating activities.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

International Quilt Association ( AKA HOUSTON!)

I have just come across the link to the IQA  summer newsletter and thought I would share it with you.

Its a really well put together magazine with nice clean lines, lots of space and easy to flip pages. Added to that, its REALLY easy to read.

There are now many digital quilting magazines on the Net and as people get more experienced at net publishing so the magazines are improving.

Eish! but Topsy- She is Growing!

I have now resolved my differences with this quilt- especially the bit in the top left hand corner.
After playing with 3 or 4 different treatments of this particular piece, I settled on using the charcoal I originally had but sewed in some "skinnies" using a very dark blue with a gold splatter. Its hard to see in the photograph but it works. The gold splatter on those skinnies shows up just enough to pique the interest.

Here is a photo of what I did:

What surprised me was that each section could have been a quilt on its own.

This is"Topsy"  with three sections joined. The one on the right hand side is currently loose as I still have to construct the bottom right hand corner and sew on the two pieces of fabric right at the bottom of the quilt.

I suppose I'll have to give it a name at some stage.