CHALLENGE 2013: This was a non happening but will be part of my next years work as I work thru the year

CHALLENGE 2012 : Each month I will choose a picture from last years challenge and create a fibre art interpretation of it or piece of it using at least one new technique each time.

CHALLENGE: 2011: 365 days in picture.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

More muddling around for the moment!!

I think I mentioned we have our local Guild Quilt Show coming up (this coming Saturday) and so there has been a lot of other necessities to get done.

One of the demos I am doing is quick quarter-square triangles in various colourways hence the necessity to put together some examples.

I have also been playing around with coloured paper and pasting up mockups of various traditional blocks where these could be used.

Our theme for the show is 'Go Green' which is really quite an ambiguous theme .... hence this little wall hanging which has a double use as I need an example of various applique techniques for something else later in the year.

I now need to get onto all the notices and tickets which will be required so there will not be much sewing for the moment.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Muddling around

I have had a lot of interruptions and deadlines which have meant that the sewing machine is collecting dust at the moment.  My fingers and hands have been busy though.  These are felt cut outs that are going to be packaged and sold at out local quilt show at the end of the month.  They can be used to embellish book covers (one of the workshops I am doing)/ shopping bags (I have shown a pic before) or used for whatever you would like.

Otherwise at night I have been playing around with some crochet.  Amongst the teapot cosy and mug warmer is a pom-pom  beanie, a bit of fun.

These patterns are courtesy of the Simply Crochet Magazine, Issue Eleven which I purchased over the weekend. 

I also came across this pattern called the 'Catherine wheel stitch' which I fell in love with. The only 'wool' I had was some tapestry wool from somewhere so I have played around with it and hopefully it will end up long enough to turn into a cowl.  I love the effect and would like to do a blanket once I have finished the one I am working on at the moment. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My piece comes home!

After travelling almost all over the world my piece that I did for the three country challenge (Japan/France/South Africa) has finally come home. There were 30 participants in each country and one from each country was given the same Movie Director to draw inspiration from and to create a piece.  My Movie Director was Alain Resnais who I knew absolutely nothing about.

I chose the movie Hiroshima - mon  amour as It was the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima, movie made by a French Director and the piece made by a South African ,,,,, all the dots connected the three countries.  This challenge took place in 2010..

I have finally finished my Japanese Anemone piece.

I chose the spotty binding as I thought it softened the 'white' of the flowers, however, it 'dances' on the edge of the piece and is quite distracting.  I think a more regular pattern would have been better.  I may revisit this one.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An unexpected break !!

I have managed to get to the sewing machine and finally have been putting the 'Japanese Anenome' piece together which I started a while ago.

The background flower is drawn on as well as the buds with fabric oil pastels. At this point I have also just fused the stems and leaves in place. The stitched flowers are just placed.  How to quilt the background?

After stitching the leaves, buds and stems I used a mix of stippling around the leaves and then I changed to the very open pansy design around the rest of the piece. I now need to stitch in place the flowers and finish them off with hand stitches and beads. Sort of happy - I think this is one that will grow on me once finished.

I was given some young sprouting bulbs by a friend a while ago and they have been doing well. Look what I discovered a couple of days ago ........ one is about to flower, well, actually to my delight I have discovered a few more popping up in the other pot.  I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the plant!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Visitor to the garden

Apologies as he would not stop pecking away at the noo-noos on this dried up piece of palm casing, but what a special treat to see this golden tailed woodpecker foraging amongst  the trees at home yesterday.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Glorious bloom and night time activity

I just have to share the current protea bloom on my young plant.  Although not one of the prettiest varieties I still love it.

While relaxing and enjoying the now cooler evenings (they are quite magnificent) I like to keep my fingers busy.  This is what I am working on at the moment.  A very quick and easy crochet daisy pattern which is joined together when the outer pale olive green surround is done.

I still need to finish off the threads at the back and am a long way off from finishing as I am not sure the size I want it.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter surprise

We had a lovely surprise when my youngest and daughter-in-law decided at the last minute to visit us for this past Easter weekend and instead of hunting for Easter eggs ( really - actually no !) we had live 'bunnies' running around the garden.

Our neighbour across the road has two - this white one and a black.  I think as with most pet rabbits unless you have them in a concreted bottom enclosure they will escape.  They do also have two small dogs so I think they run the gauntlet and come to visit for some peace and quiet.

The final of the three challenges is now finished ..........

....... and I handed in the three yesterday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Past, present, future

The second challenge for my local guild, movie - The Great Escape, I finished a couple of weeks ago.  The last postings showed a work in progress.

This is the end of the real "Harry" tunnel (on the other side of the road) showing how it does not reach the cover of the trees.
We have been hearing the Kingfishers in the vicinity again and to our delight a pair have returned to nest in the weep holes of the retaining walls of our pool area. What alerted me to them was the on and off tapping on one of our windows only to discover that they can either see themselves in the window of my sewing room or there is some other fascination that makes them fly up to it and tap on the window pane.  

I managed to capture this one from the door entering the room and thru the window pane so not sharp but this is one of our lodgers

And this is the last one of the challenges, song - Rock around the Clock.

Painted, fused and in place to be stitched. You will notice the clock goes backwards!   This was not my intention. I was concentrating so hard and oops!  I left it as my other half gave me the idea of  'going back in time'  which I thought was nice and quirky.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

a little bit of this and a little bit of that .....

I have been back into the dye buckets.

One of my local guilds has a Quilt Show coming up in June and we offer mini workshops and demos during the course of the day.  These two pieces are for a Sashiko workshop, hence the blue, and for book covers using the felt flower cut outs that I showed earlier, hence the green and blue fabric.

I have also managed to get to the machine to work on my second challenge, Movies - the Great Escape.  

As you can see ... this is work in progress.  The idea was to keep it quite simple but as usual I have got a bot carried away with my favourite technique - just cannot help it. 

The size is A4  and forms part of the previous challenge I showed earlier - Charlotte's Web which was the 'book' challenge.  The final piece will be 'Song'!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Journey to the hinterland

This weekend was a long weekend for most and we took the opportunity to travel and see family.  The journey took us thru the Free State flats and the Cosmos was in flower - what a site!

..the bees were having a field day. This one is covered in pollen.

There were long stretches of Cosmos running alongside the road, along river beads, alongside farm roads and also surrounding fields of mealies and these wonderful fields of sunflowers.

We did a quick detour before hand thru Ladysmith for business for the other half and at both entrances/exits to the town they have these wonderful large 'pots' and below metal cut outs, I think, of  Mandela.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Having fun on my machine !!

I am giving a demo/talk at one of our guilds on designing your own Celtic inspired piece.  In putting all the examples together I came across this one which I has fused onto the fabric but needed stitching & quilting.  

Lesson:  Do not hold onto these examples for long, at all, and particularly in there flimsy state (the design cut out but not ironed in place).  They do stretch and distort, hence this piece is not absolutely perfect but it does give an idea of playing with a number of colours.

The whole piece

a close up.

I used a thread which for the quilting which I had bought in the UK at the Festival of Quilts - no name.  it really gave me a hard time getting the tension right - which I never did but in the long run I quite liked the effect.  I also managed to finish the top with about 2 meters left.

Monday, March 10, 2014


This time of year, after some lovely soaking rain, the bromeliads give a lovely showing.

Here they are just starting to push their brilliant red heads up ... some further than others.

The flowers are quite stunning .....

....... and a top view.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ruffling through my workshop samples!

My priorities over the last couple of weeks have been on things other than sitting at the machine.  One of them has been putting together a talk on borders and bindings for our local guild and has meant a visit to the cupboard for my samples and quilts.

Feathered Star has been one of those workshops that I have taught in the past and each time I did so I ended up with a completed 'star' which was then turned into a complete quilt.  Here are three examples .... all quite different.

This has been a real trip down memory lane!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I subscribed to a challenge to create an A4 piece based on a movie and no guesses what I was given.  In the envelope were some very strange bits and bobs that had to be included in the work even though they had no relevance.

I then have been playing around with the  GO! baby I invested in (yes - I did) and the one set of patterns using felt and adding a little bit of fun to our local shopping bags and making a book cover.  This will all hopefully do well at our guilds next  Quilt Show and help with our fundraising.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

This weekend !

We had a very welcome visitor to our pool on Friday ......

... and then yesterday while relaxing with family at our favourite club for Sunday lunch this huge container ship left the harbour.  You can get an idea of the size if you look at the pilot ship just visible between the two light poles on the north pier.

Not long after another ship entered the harbour, this one not nearly as big but capturing the catamaran and the sail boats gives you a taste of another beautiful day in Africa.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

the Results

All hatched and with some amazing results.  To answer a question asked ....... I used minimal agitation so I do have some marbling and also so funnies.  Every now and again when using a mix of colours and not agitating much I get some surprises as for whatever reason the colours split.  

This is such a result (apologies to the pic - should have charged camera battery!)

But what an amazing piece.  This is just half of the strip. It repeats itself at the other end.  A background piece in the waiting.

Otherwise I am very happy with the results.

This gives me enough to put together some very handy thank you packs.

The final piece is for a challenge due mid year (if accepted) and I cannot say any more as we have to keep it below wraps  - one of the conditions. This will only be revealed much later in the year.

Not the normal colour I would work in but it is just right for what I want it.


Another task ticked off.  I needed to dye up some fabric so this is what occupied me this morning and are resting in the kitchen for the moment.


I needed a good variety of colours to put together  as gift packs which I think I have achieved.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I have made headway on the next project after getting the threads sorted and pictures transferred onto cotton percale using TAP.

You definitely get rusty if you give a technique a break .........

...... you cannot see here as the light from the machine distorts the colours of the thread but I approached this one completely wrong by starting with the white and then working in the pale grey as you now can see.......

.... having said that, photographed on the black background it suddenly looks okay.  I then stitched the second one and personally I do prefer it.

Here is a picture of the two together, with the 'better' one in the background. I have also used a different fabric for the background.

The bits missing from the flowers will be done by hand at the end.

Getting there.  I need a few more flowers to play around with.  They are stitched surprisingly quickly so no problem.