Sunday, February 20, 2011

Give- away

In "blogworld" it seems to me as a newbie one do not "stir" or speak your mind to clearly. If you want to voice an opinion do not be controversial. Well, seeing that I do have such a small audience I feel safe to voice my feelings here. Maybe it will only be for my own eyes and then I feel better that I have said it.

The give away's seems to attract many readers to a blog. One blogger wrote a piece about people not having manners and do not visit her blog unless she has a give away. I understand that manufacturers give products to popular bloggers to give away- this is free advertisement of their products to a new audience. It do attract many hopeful and excited responses- so the blogger and the manufacturers benefit. But what does it do to quilters and blog readers as a community?

Is it not eroding the moral of the eager participants. Are this phenomenon not culturing a "beggar" attitude. I was raised with the idea to earn my bread by working hard and do my bit every day. To get something for nothing and to trust "luck" to reward one, is something that Lotto games and other state lottery ticket schemes have fostered in the minds of many people.

I know we are all eager to enlarge our stash and it is nice to get some fabric or wonderful tools for free. I am just asking: Does it affect our moral and our attitude to life?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rip van Winkle

The other day at the Bernina shop, one youngish woman said to the other- she feel like Rip van Winkle, for not knowing about the program My Label and the embroidery capabilities of the new machines. I could identify with that. When I bought my Bernina 170 in 2001 I had the same feeling. Since then I made sure that I kept updated and was one of the first to bought the new 830 when it became available in South Africa.

One of my old Quilts
I never thought that I would be like Rip van Winkle in the quilting world, though. I have taken classes in 1984 from Nancy Halpern, Michael James and Katie Pasquini. I am a member of American Quilters Society since 1984 and the Quilt Show since it started in 2007. I only missed the first 3 copies of Art Quilt Magazine and are subscribed to 5 quilting magazines.
I regularly take workshops on the internet and buy 10-20 quilt and art related books a year. I surfed the net and visited many websites.

Lately I have been interested in quilt as part of interior decorating and started to study Interior decorating books and magazines- and still I missed IT. I have discovered blogs and found a whole community and many info and tutorials available in blogland.

Today I feel like Rip van Winckle. While reading many blogs I suddenly start to realise that a whole new world exist. Perhaps it is because so many quilt bloggers is young and that they as a group could make an impact?  The signs of "them" and their activities was there but I was just fast asleep. (En soos ons in Afrikaans sê: Ek is met my broek op die knieë gevang!)

I have seen the new fabric trends- but have dismissed these. (It is not the type of fabric that I am buying and are attracted to.) But just as listening to a song and the tune become catchy the fresh look of the new fabrics started to catch on. I was seeing it more and more and read the blogs of some of these designers.

I then thought about these fabrics and the quilts made from them and came to this conclusion: Modern quilts use a lighter palette where white play a dominant role and the darkest colours are the true hues. I am a Jinny Beyer colour user where deep darks is our zinger and busy fabrics are banned from our stash. In the modern pallette there is no deep darks and busy fabrics has become beautiful when added to white! I got hold of all that "banned" fabric that was the only fabrics available in South Africa 20 years ago and that I have eliminated from my stash. I have it stacked away in different cupboards- so it was like a treasure hunt to get them all together.

Heather Grant (She has  Modern quilt a day blog) said in a interview with Fat Quarterly: "It just happens to be in layouts, color palettes and designs that are not appealing to modern quilters." and also:On a color tangent, white used to be the major color element in modern quilts, but then grey has become huge. I'm going to go out on a limb and forecast to say that I think navy blue will be the next hot neutral/background in modern quilting.

So just when I thought: If I buy 5 meter of white fabric I will be able to join in- this young group is getting ahead of me once again.
Heather carry on in this interview to highlight the pioneers of this "Modern Quilt" movement. Denyse Schmidt and Yoshiko Jinzenji has both written books- way back in 2005. (And I have slept like Rip right through it with my eyes wide open?)
There is even a Flickr group and they accepted me! so now I can play with! 
I am preparing for a workshop that I will give in Phillipstown and hope to capture some of the feeling of the "Modern Quilt" movement. (I am making Stars and Mariners compass that I do not think fit in Modern day interiors (a worth while comment from Heather) but applying this new pallette give a surprising airy feel to this classic blocks.

What a wonderful exciting world have unfolded for me once again in my quilting life. Thankyou young quilters, what a wonderful fresh influence you are! (When I started quilting in 1984 at 27 I was one  of  very few young quilters.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

In Need of Paint

My house urgently need to be painted!

We have the paint already.

What colour to paint? This is a most difficult question specially if you do not have a wide choice. My husband wanted to paint it white. It took  3 months and a lot of arguments. We decided on a light grey called Cirus. I have studied the blog of Colour me Happy and hopefully I have the correct undertone! There was just one light grey to choose from!

Initially we decided on Heritage Green for the roof. I thought a darker roof would show the light coloured house off, better. We had a heatwave for nearly a month now and the house is getting terribly hot. Then my friend showed me a house with light grey walls and a white roof. This white paint reflect the sunlight and make a house significantly cooler. It took another week to try and convince my husband to change the delivered paint. Luckily Dennis, our paint consultant arrange for the exchange. (My husband was furious- then I realised he was never going to change the colour- so this was a good favour Dennis did . He was ranting and raving about the handling fee- which might be a few R100 but the paint cost nearly R5 000. So he would rather spent that amount of money on the wrong paint than to pay whatever handling fee is involved. My children say- my husband is unique. It is not possible to understand or explain his thoughts. Perhaps he is what one should call eccentric.)

This is the door to my sewing room/studio. I will show you once it is painted and with the "name" quilt on. (Do not know why the photo turned side ways and after three attemps of resizing and saving and uploading- please tilt your head to the right.)

I am eagerly waiting for the painters. My husband do not readily spent money on the farm on things that cannot be used in the farming enterprise. There is always things that is more urgent and need to get done on the farm. Maintenance is very low on his priority list. He has not learned that a "Stitch in time saves nine" The funny thing is that when we get on a farm where everything is as dilipidated as on our farm he often think the farmer is a "sukkelaar" (not really successful) I have used that argument but it seems that he is not able to see what is in front of his eyes.

This is one of the reasons that I like to quilt. I can go into my sewing room and forget about everything else. (The arguments the frustrations and the immediate surroundings.) Here I can create.

I started on the Carpenters' Wheel. I am convinced that blocks with more than 36 pieces should be made on a bigger scale. A lot of their beauty is lost when making them to small. As soon as I have figured out how to create a tutorial page, I would like to try and post a tutorial on this block. For now here is the center part of the block with the other pieces placed around it on the design wall.

A Treasure

The MSC Sinfonia took us to the bay of Maputo. We went in big rubber boats to  Portugese island. This is a tiny 2,5 km square island. From there we went with local boats to the nearby Inhaca island.

On Inhaca we enjoyed a show of local youngsters carrying out different dances in the café where we enjoyed a drink. They were dressed in there tribal clothes and was really very good. (We could also eat crayfish and prawns there- but were so well fed on the boat that we did not want to eat anything.)

I bought these two batiks from a saleman on Inhaca. I liked the batiks colours and the circular objects in the images.

The food on the boat was super and with 700 staff members for 2100 passengers the service was excellent!

I am preparing for a workshop in Phillipstown. These woman are ready for a challenge and want me to do Lover's knot, Carpenter's wheel and a Mariners Compass. For me this also present a challenge; to plan the workshop in such a way that they are not overwhelmed and can achieve this. (I think the Carpenters Wheel should wait till another time and be made as a wall hanging.)

I have realised something that might be quite obvious to many quilters. A new project energize me. Therefore I am always eager to start something new- but not so good with finishing it. Once I have worked out all the details of the new project and it is just down to sewing everything slow down.

So I have decided to do just little bits of the new stuff and hopefully will complete some of the many old things in between. This new project is very interesting in many ways- but I will discuss that next time!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The MSC Sinfonia

We had a wonderful weekend trip on the MSC Sinfonia from Durban to the Portugese Island and Inhaca. It was organised as a family reunion with my husband's sisters. What we did not know, was that the boat was so big- our cabins was nearly 800m from each other!

The Family- Me and Stephanus on the right
Some of the people in our party was sea sick- I was "landsick" When I came home I noticed that I was walking like a drunk- just like on the boat when the sea was huge and the boat rocked from side to side. I also had a terrible headache. When I went to the dairy early on Wednesday morning I had to stop in the veld and was sick.

My husband at the end of our trip
I took some quilt magazine's with and  had time to study Judy Woodworth's book Freemotion Quilting from cover to cover. It was a relaxing time and we even had a Matisse print in our cabin!
   Inside our cabin

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What am I doing

I must confess- I do get so sidetracked by everything I see that I completely loose my direction. I am a good starter and a poor "finisher-upper" as Helen Kelly said. So I decided to tackle the duvet cover and finish it before I tackle another thing.

The advantage when one embroider, is that you can work on two things simultaneously. So while the machine embroider, I tackle the bags that I started. But let me first talk about the duvet cover. The square will be in the middle and I have added and appliqued with a digitized design the 3 circles. The idea is that there will be 8 circles around the middle square and a separate design in the 4 corners. I think I should move the 4 circles that will be on the diagonal, towards the middle so that they are not arranged in a ring. I am quite please with the applique and the shiny stretchy satin look nice on the background cotton sateen.

I was cleaning my cupboard and came across short 2 inch strips. I decided to make colourful bags for our National Quilt Festival- where I will be in charge of the classrooms and will look after teacher comfort. I have completed the patchwork for this bags. Now for the completion of the 34 bags.

If I sew a binding on the top edges I need to work the other side by hand. I don't mind the handwork- but it will take quite a time. Then I thought to overlock it. This do not look so neat but I think after I press it and add a nice button it might work.

I still have a zillion strips left. Inspired by Wanda's colour wash kaleidoscope I sewed these strips together. I could cut 2 wedges from a set. This take forever! I do need to finish a In the hoop project that will need my constant attention- so when I am finish with the duvet these things will have to wait again.

O yes and then I was lured to make this quilt. I saw this on two blogs and made my own version. I used a lot of flower prints in purple. (I took the process pledge today so I had to confess about all my transgressions!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

That's what friends are for

I had a good day working on my duvet cover. I must say it is quite difficult to work with such a big sheet- perhaps working block style would have been easier. I am very happy with the look- will hopefully be able to show something by tomorrow.

My friend Rita sent me this pictures. Last week we were working on a baby quilt for her new grand child soon to come. It was great working together. Me calculating and cutting and Rita sewing, with me pressing. She now just have to decide on a final arrangement and sew the blocks together.

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