Sunday, August 17, 2014

Windy August

We had an earthquake on august 5th, a 5.5 magnitude in Orkney Johannesburg sending tremors as far as Botswana and here in Durban. The biggest earthquake in South Africa since 1969. Scary!
I have been enjoying the beautiful winter sun, reading instead of sewing. I feel guilty.. well not really hehe.  I have finished  Market day, quilted and bound the nine patch churns quilt and actually labeled it, ha! 
We have been busy with our annual house/garden maintenance, cleaning, resealing, painting gutters,gatepost, roof, pruning etc. Today is windy, the garden is bone dry and the grass crunches underfoot. 
Roll on Spring!

                                          Blocks all done

                                       With the first border

                                         And the second border.

                                          Nine patch churns - done!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Market Day Sew - Along

Here are the fabrics that I have chosen to use in Pam Burda's Market Day Sal.

 Blocks that I have made so far - not long to go - pinwheels up next.

This is a first. I'm quilting two quilts. I really need to finish The Wish quilt.

Simple straight lines - now ready for binding.

I have a backlog of blog reading to catch up on.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Walked The Boomslang

I was recently in the Western Cape visiting my children and nearly froze my tootsies off. It was so cold. One of our favourite places to visit when in Cape Town is the Kirstenbosch national botanical gardens, a living display of the floral riches of southern Africa and internationally acclaimed as one of the great botanical gardens of the world. Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, it was opened in 1913, on 528 hectares, it includes a cultivated garden and nature reserve. The developed garden is 36 hectares and displays a collection of southern African plants including rare and endangered species. Then there are the theme gardens, they include the useful plants garden, water wise garden, the fynbos garden, forest braille trail, and fragrance garden. The conservatory displays succulents, bulbs, ferns and cliff plants. There is a bookshop, library, restaurants, tea rooms, education centre, research centre and the centre for biodiversity conservation.The garden is huge - buy a map when you visit, there is so much to see. Popular summer sunset outdoor concerts, beautiful picnic spots, guided tours, walks, and trails.
So, to celebrate its centenary and opened to the public in May this year, is a raised walkway called the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway - informally called the Boomslang... (in English, the tree snake.) as it was inspired on the form of a snake skeleton. It is situated in the Abortium part of the garden, also known as the Enchanted Forest. A lovely snaking meander through the trees to the canopy with stunning panoramic views overlooking 450 southern African tree species, the mountain, and Cape flats in the distance. And it moves. Its designed to gently flex back and forth to mimic the movement of a snake I guess. Not an unpleasant feeling. We loved the motion and views, and walked up and down its 130 metres several times.

I forgot my camera at home,  these were taken with my phone camera.

Here are some photos of the boomslang courtesy of Adam Harrower, horticulturist at Kirstenbosch 

AH 1975

AH 1765

After that long walk, we were parched... it was tea time anyway so we went to the tearoom at gate 2. They always have delicious cakes. Here's what we had - I had the baked cheesecake, yum! 

 I found a fabric shop and happily added these to my stash

More about Kirstenbosch here

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Nine-Patch Churns - Done!

Its a glorious day in Durban today.Sunny, with a beautiful clear blue sky -a perfect Autumn day. My favourite season. Its also Voters day. I cast my vote very early this morning. They were so organised this year - in and out in 10 minutes unlike previous years when we stood queuing for hours in the hot sun. With Easter and the public holidays I have managed to finish my quilt top.

83 churn blocks
 2 1/2" squares for the outer border

 Excuse the creases, I was in a hurry to take the photo and it was getting dark. 
I would like to get this quilted before Winter arrives. Early mornings already feel cold.

 166 x 214 cm   ( 62 1/2 x 80 1/2 " )

My next project is smaller 30" x 30" . and the block sizes are 3". there is also a smaller version - the blocks finish at 1 1/2 " - I might do both.
I am joining Pam Buda's Pocket Patchwork Sew-along,  its called Market Day. Its free and if you would like to sew along go here

Thursday, March 20, 2014


What a lovely inspiring weekend!... thanks to The Quilt Show. They allowed access to all their shows in honour of International Quilting Day. Love that show!!  My EPP project I had planned to sew while in Cape Town didn't even get a look at. I was too busy having a good time with my children, visiting friends, shopping, and the Santana concert was just fantastic!! The weather was perfect too, no humidity, that's what I love about the Western Cape. Ten days just flew by so quickly.
I have since sewn all 38 stars while watching the Oscar Pistorius trial. Paging through the Quiltmania magazine I found a lovely pattern.

                 I have 80 of these little churn dash blocks to make

Here are some that I have made so far. Lots of cutting and little pieces to sew. Chain piecing and loving it!

Tomorrow is a public holiday, Heritage Day, and the Durban Land, Sea and Air Festival takes place on the beach this weekend.
Looking forward to the Sky Grand Prix, with 5 international and 10 local pilots competing against each other. Should be fun.

Friday, February 21, 2014

An Evening With Santana

Its raining! Nice and cool. I found a lovely tutorial for a thread holder and had to make one.

                                   holds a reel of thread and needles


I have cut fabric for 38 stars and will be sewing them together over the next week.

So excited! We love Carlos Santana's music and when we heard he was coming to South Africa we were first inline for tickets. Most famous musicians bypass Durban and we have to fly either to Johannesburg or Cape Town for shows.  I'm off to Cape Town for the concert and can't wait to see my kids again.

Here is the link to the ready threader tutorial

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Its Too Hot!

The heat is unbearable!! I am home alone for the first time in months, it feels strange - too quiet. By 8am I close all doors and windows, call in the dogs and switch on the aircon, that's my morning ritual. I just feel sorry for my gardener. I don't know how he does it. I told him to work slowly.
My daughter skyped, wanting cushion covers, and sent me a link on how to make them. They were so easy to make and I made several for her. I sent them off with my son when he left for varsity on Sunday. The link to the tutorial is at the bottom of this post.
 Here are some finishes.       

                                          mug rug -  daschund love

                                          mug rug - leo symbol

                                          table topper
                 another table runner - this time I used a blue border

My hexi flowers have grown to 94 = 658 hexies

These hexie flowers are pretty much all the sewing I am doing at the moment.

Here is the link to the  10 minute cushion cover tutorial

Monday, December 23, 2013

Flowers and Stars

I have finished all my Christmas shopping, just have to wrap presents, then I'm done. I have family staying from overseas and my daughter arrives on Tuesday. Its been a few years since the whole family celebrated Christmas together. Looking forward to it.
I am still making stars. I only made 3 in this size.

2" papers

These are my Downton Abbey hexies... lol. that is the only time I make them and I cant wait for the new season to start in January.

Oh, and I have pin basted the Wish quilt but still have not started the quilting.

                               These are small stars 1" papers

This is the pattern I am using. Its from the Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazine Vol 9 No 4
An ongoing project, and I am using fabric from my scrap basket


                                14 stars and 26 hexies per strip     

 I crocheted a blanket for my girls, Suzi and Sasha, and made two blankets.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I am deeply saddened by the passing of the Father of our nation, Nelson Mandela. My prayers and sincere condolences to his wife Graca, and his family.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”


Friday, November 15, 2013

Its good to be home

I have been in the Western Cape since September, for my sons 21st Birthday party. Nice long break but had to be home for a family wedding tomorrow. I finished the happy scrappy spring top before I left for CT just did not have the time to post pics.

I quickly prepared a take along project - English paper piecing

There is always time for sewing!

I have bags to unpack, a funeral to attend this afternoon and tomorrow, the hairdresser and wedding. Sunday we are invited to a family braai - lamb on the spit. Phew! what a busy week!