Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hexagons in SALT

Last weekend we were so fortunate to visit Sutherland and the new telescope SALT. We went with Wellington's ATKV on an organized bus tour. Willie Koorts, an engineer working at Cape Town's Observatory and involved in projects at the Astronomy centre in Sutherland was our guide.
On our way we visited the historical little town, Matjiesfontein. The hotel is very busy in the "bridal season" - from September to March. Now it was very quiet and peaceful there.

At Sutherland everyone had a chance to experience the donkey car. Our driver was the minister from Wellington. The donkeys was just as stubborn as I presume his "flock" at home sometimes is.

An old building method

The Saturday evening we could look through the very strong telescopes of the SAAO. What a wonderful experience to see Saturn with it's ring around it. Although it is with a telescope it feel far more "real" than seeing a picture.
On Sunday we visited the new big Telescope that was built with Partners in 5 other countries. The photo's I took inside unfortunately did not came out well. You will have to take my word for it that the mirrors that is part of the telescope, is hexagons- 91 of them. Some is a darker colour and the arrangement look very much like a Grandmothers Flower Garden. (Wonder if the designer of the telescope is a quilter? )

What I can show you is the lovely tapestry that covered the pillows on the chairs in the old church in Matjiesfontein

Monday, July 18, 2011

Where to start

I firmly believe that I should never become so busy with the organization of quilting that I have no time for doing real quilting. Unfortunately the last month before Festival was a difficult time to do real work. I have been quilting a machine embroidered quilt (My Integrated Sampler) but have not done any piecing. My work room was halfway buried under fabric- I pulled out fabric for several different projects.

So before I could start working, I first have to dig my ironing board and cutting table out from under these fabrics. I decided to get organized with my Civil War blocks and tackled them. Except for block no 3 which is applique I can proudly announced that I completed the other 28 blocks. I had 6 done previously, but last week finished the other 22.

Today I have tackled my quilt in the frame. This will be my third quilt in the frame and after a 2 month absence, I had to relearn a few things. But after 15 minutes I felt confident again. I am now halfway with the quilt and hope to complete it by the end of the week.

Our chair lady is nagging us for our reports on Festival so I guess I need to give this priority. I have washed the fabrics I bought at Festival. I do not always wash the lighter fabrics, but I deliberately bought some darker fabrics and there was also darker batiks that I could not resist. I had a lot of colour bleeding from these fabrics. This just reminded me that it is safer to wash my fabrics than to have it ruin my projects. I love to wash my quilts, so pre-shrinking is also important. (I read from a clever blogger-sorry cannot remember who- that starching and pressing fabrics before using it in a project take care of shrinking. That was wonderful advise, because one cannot really wash precuts?)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

National Festival 2011

I meant to write this post on the 28th of June when we were getting ready for Festival. This was the last chance I had to take photo's because we were running the whole time. I need to write a report and it is difficult to recall what kept us so busy. We is me, Rita Loubser and my daughter Hedwig.

Although Rita's portfolio was Stores and Needs she also took responsibility for the Goodie bags. The Goodie bags was filled with treasures. A velvet bag with a hole was turned into a beautiful Crazy patch kit with embroidery floss- that she and helpers create from special "trimmings" and beads that were also parceled in interesting combinations. This took several weeks before the rest of the pre-packing of the contents of the bags could began.
Crazypatch kits
Rita was also the driving force and designer of the quilters journal. This is an inspiring journal with calender pages but also white paper and graph paper to draw designs. Photo's of quilts and quilting tips are also spread through the journal.

It took a day to get all the tables in the classrooms. Here we had the help of the school's very willing and able workers.

Alta Wagenaar is an organiser par excellance! without her help the preparations would have been very stressful and tiring. (I cannot get the photo of Alta in the correct orientation and cannot picture her sideways-she seldom sit, so laying her on her side will not do!).

On the second day we tape plastic waste bags to the sewing stations, lay multi-plugs and leads in every room and took irons and ironing boards to all the classrooms.

In spite of the fact that we had many signs all over the school, delegates would stop to ask where the toilets are while standing in front of a sign. Throughout the Festival we created more signs. Signs to arrange the traffic and make sure that the correct exit route was followed, had to be increased everyday to hopefully make it visible and noticeable by all.

Then we finally packed all the bags with the crazy patch kits and pre packed plasic bags. It was a whole colourful heap calling our theme: Alive with colour, in all its glory.

The cafeteria was ready to recieve all the visitors and Pat Mostert our treasurer's quilts was displayed to make sure that visitors enjoy quilts everywhere.

Pat, in the purple is worried about our finances!
The Good Hope Quilters Guild's email and website boffin, Karen Nicole got a special hairdo for Festival.

Marijke Weitzs was responsible for advertising the show and was so successful that the crowds the show drawn make it difficult to have a good look at all the quilts. Here she is at the registration table where she spend the week to help any one with registration or other problems.
The trainee judges had a last opportunity to hone their skills.

It was exciting to walk through the hall while the quilts were hung. Every time there was more quilts up and in the three days of preparation we could enjoy the quilts little by little. We were so busy during Festival that this bit was almost the only real view we had of the show. We got up early on the day that they were to break up the show and have a private view from 6 o'clock in the morning- real quilt addicts, me and Rita!

My quilt side ways

Our Chair lady Wanda Carmichael and Ina Meyer the Hostel Queen are discussing last minute details.

Simmy Schofield, GHQG President was the Vendor's liason for Festival and is busy getting everything ready for the Vendors to have a profitable Festival.

Now we all look back on two weeks of hard work but it was worth the effort we put in and enjoyed by many. We surely achieve the goal to introduce quilting to a big audience and provide further development to quilters. Our teachers was wonderful. We had two international teachers: Ineke Berlyn of UK and Pam Holland (check her website for more Festival photos) from Australia. Their classes introduce new and exciting methods and open a world of possibilities to local quilters.
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