Welcome to the blogsite of the Tollgate Quilters Guild based in Durban KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

We are a diverse group with a variety of experience and quilting related interests and it is hoped that this will come through in the postings. This blog will feature different guild members commenting on their favourite quilty subjects and we hope that you will enjoy the variety of opinions expressed.

We encourage comment and debate but please note that this blog is moderated.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Frixon Pens and Quilty Happenings in KZN in October

You may have heard of Frixion pens for marking quilts.They are available here in South Africa- probably from a stationers like Waltons.
Here is an  investigation of these pens by a quilter. http://quiltingclimber.blogspot.com/2011/07/frixion-pens-evaluated.html
s-0-0- be it on your own head.  I think they probably have their uses but there is no way I would use them to mark a quilt.

On to a message from Mandy Kirk from KZN Quilters Guild: 

1. This weekend: Midlands Quilters will be at the annual Garden Show in the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds (PMB) from Friday 30th Sept to Sunday 2 October.

2. Voortrekker / Msundisi Museum will be having the quilt display with theme "Architecture". This will open on Monday 3 Oct and run until the end of the year.

2. Meander Quilters:  "Hooked on Quilts"  Friday 7 th October (10:00 to 15:00)  &  Saturday  8th October  (09:00 to 13:00) at the Dave Mayo Centre, Howick High School. Directions: take the Howick North / Tweedie offramp off the N3 highway and turn to go into Howick.  At the first traffic light (Sunfield Home is on the intersection), turn into Amber Avenue, go about 100 metres and you will see a gate into the school next to the tennis courts.  Keep going until you hit the Dave Mayo Centre. contact: Lindy 083-735-5088  There will be 116 quilts on show!

3. KZNQG Open Day. Saturday 22 October. Speaker Fee Helstead from Aardmore Ceramics. Lots of demos, quilt show, vendors, refreshments.

4. Pleasuretime Quilters hosts "Quilts in a Scottburgh Garden". Saturday 29 October. 9am to 3pm.  Entrance R10. (funds in aid of 2015 Festival). 32 Adam Street Scottburgh Central. Raindate: 5th November.

I don't know about you, but I'm going to make an effort to go to at least one of these exhibitions.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Here are two more quilts/wallhangings (as yet not complete) but I am not sure who the quilters are.


Earlier this year, Glenda Kirkiridis of Amafu Fabrics
http://www.amafu.co.za/ instigated a Block Swop amongst the Tollgate members.
It started off with  9 quilters  and then Glenda added another 9 quilters in a second group - and then a third group was formed with another 9 quilters.

These are some of the quilts that came from the Flower Power Project run at Tollgate Quilters Guild.

 This wall hanging was made by Janet Subban. It was hand stitched in blanket stitch and then machine quilted by Amafu Studio.

This quilt was made by Nazeema Noor Mahomed
This quilt was made by Nazeema Noor Mahomed

This quilt was made by Sally Pollard
This is a different take on the block that was originally designed. Made and quilted by Mandy Kirk.

Watch this space for more Flower Power Project quilts as they are finished.
We had fun making them, we hope you enjoy seeing these photos.
Please leave a comment if you like what you see.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Hi Ladies
Here is the picture of the technique I tried last weekend. It was great fun! My kind of technique where points don't to meet but you still end up with something beautiful.
By the way Glenda, Prem is interested- she is going to become a blogger!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tutorial: Using Applique Paper

This is a short tutorial on how to use applique paper.

Applique paper is not the same as iron-on vilene and the two are not interchangeable.

1.Trace or print out your templates on the PAPER side of the product.
    If using a printer, make sure that its an INKJET printer and NOT A
    LAZER if  you dont want to  create a serious mess in your printer.
    Check to see if the tracing or print needs to be reversed in order to have
    the  design facing the same way as the original.
     When tracing, I use an Artliner .7 permanent marker.


2. Cut out the pieces, leaving a small margin around each.This will give you a
     better edge when you get to cutting out the fabric patch.

3.Iron onto your chosen fabric, using a dry iron - and a teflon sheet if you don't want to get glue on your iron- and cut out with a pair of sharp embroidery scissors.You get a much more accurate result using small sharp embroidery scissors than you do using a huge pair of shears.
Peel off the backing paper and iron into position onto your background.

Thats it, you are done!
 Ready to sew around the edges.

If you have multiple patches to position, then a useful tip is to dab a spot of glue stick glue onto the back of each piece and place it in position. I use the Pritt glue stick ( in South Africa) as the glue washes out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hi Glenda, Hope this is working - Great buzz at the Meeting last night - hope Judy will post photos.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekend quilting

Prem and I will be doing curved piecing tomorrow as demonstrated in a video by Alicia Merret on youtube. I tried the method and it works. It is similar to the technique glenda showed us at Eston.
Here is the link to this video:http://youtu.be/HUQ38BOAJMH
Enjoy watching this video, I did.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


IF you are interested in keeping your creative brain going, consider signing in to QUILTING DAILY. This is a daily email article/page/few paragraphs/"newsletter" edited by Pokey Bolton, editor of QUILTING ARTS. There are ideas about anything and everything to do with contemporary quilting and sewing, ideas which could inspire and "enthuse" you. Even if you are a conservative quilter, you may just find some new ideas which can stretch you. If you are having a bad day and cannot face the page of inspiration, you can just ignore it or delete it. It need not become an intrusion, but can remain a few minutes of creative challenge and inspiration during a tedious day/night of work, chores, etc, when there is no time to get down to quilting itself. There is no charge whatsoever for this daily email service and you are not obliged in any way to order the books, magazines etc which are sometimes advertised. To get a taste of what is on offer, google QUILTING DAILY. Should you choose to subscribe, you can click on subscribe and follow on from there.

Dena Crain's " How PAtchwork Quilting Changes Women's Lives

If you want a good read, you HAVE to read Dena Crain's thesis for her S.A.Q.G. Judges exam.Here is the link :   http://www.denacrain.com/blog/

Its a really good read and although she has had to base most of her research in the States, soo-o-o much of what she found is relevant to South African quilters as well.
I think we are all the same under the skin.

Dena has asked for comments on the thesis on her blog so feel free to tell her how you feel.Do you agree with what she says about us quilters or disagree? In some instances I do agree with her comments but in others ? Mmmm, I'm not so sure...........

For those of you who dont know Dena Crain, she is a quilter who lives in Kenya and who creates art quilts as well as teaching through Quilt University. Dont know what Quilt University is ? Go to http://www.quiltuniversity.com/ to find out more.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Houston Prize Winner

I have been a fan of Maria Elkins work since I first came across it a couple of years ago.
Maria is an American quilt artist whose speciality is portraits and what she can do with a piece of fabric makes the mind boggle.

Well, its been worth the wait as Maria's quilt " Windblown" has been chosen as one of the winners at Houston.

If you want to see the quilt, go to  http://mariaelkins.com/

I can but dream!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Perfect Quarter Inch Seam Allowance

Ever had a problem with your pieced blocks not comming out at the right size? Its probably because you are not using a scant 1/4 seam allowance.
Take a look at this video on You Tube:

 I learned a lot from them and I am sure you will too.
There are other piecing videos on this site which are equally interesting and informative.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

On Line Quilt MAgazine

Have you seen this on-line quilter's magazine? www.OnlineQuiltMagazine.com
It's free and it's worth subscribing to.There is an article on free motion quilting in this issue as well as an article on piecing with denim. The latter is not my idea of fun, but, hey, maybe some people out there would like to try it.
There is also a sister site with bags, bags, bags s-o-o-o if you are into bags, this is for you.  www.OnlineQuiltMagazine.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Welcome to the new blog site of the Tollgate Quilters Guild, based in Durban Kwa-Zulu Natal South Africa

.We are a diverse group with a variety of experience and quilting related interests and it is hoped that this will come through in the postings.This blog will have different guild members commenting on their favourite quilty subjects and we hope you will enjoy the variety of opinions expressed.

We encourage comment and debate but please note that this blog is moderated.