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.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pleasure Time Quilters Guild Exhibition

So who went to the Pleasure Time Quilters Guild exhibition on Saturday? I saw a couple of Tollgate members there- as well as Marline Turner from Pietermaritzburg, Pauline Law and Phil Fisher.
I did- and took lots of photos.

Pleasure Time is based in Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast  and other pass times include whale watching , surfing, baking in the sun , fishing and scuba diving.The quilters , of course, quilt- prolifically and one can see this in the exhibition they held this  year.

These lovely ladies were able to get the public to
part with the money for entrance tickets,
raffle tickets and lucky draw tickets.
We could learn a thing or three from them!

There were quilts everywhere. Some on stands like these, some on fences, hung from windows and doors , washlines and under shade awnings.

OOH LOOK! Someone younger than 50 admiring a quilt!

This quilt was special, though. It was a bow tie design and made from men's ties.

See what I mean about quilts hanging from anywhere and everywhere?

On the washlines, on the fence and under cover.

AMAFU was there too and I met many lovely quilters and members of the public.

A great day out for me -  I even got a few stitches into an embroidery that has been lying around for a while.

There is another invisible group of members of Pleasure Time Quilters Guild  without whom this exhibition could not have taken place and that is the group of HUSBANDS who lend their strength and support to the guild for events like these. They, uncomplainingly, put up washlines, put out tables, hung quilts, moved, carried and just helped. I know you are very much fish out of water in these situations but THANK YOU, GUYS! You did a great job, given, I am sure, that you would rather have been out on the golf course or fishing or doing what ever you enjoy doing.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Patchwork bag

Ladies, did you see Phil's bag on Tuesday? It is a lovely patchwork evening bag.
Prem and I met this morning and we started making the bag. Hopefully it will be complete by our Christmas meeting for Show and tell.
You will definitely make more than one if you see the bag and the technique used.
The link for the video is:

 or you can type
Colouricious Christmas - Talking Threads with Mary Gamester
in the Search engine.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pleasure Time Quilters Guild Exhibition on Saturday


Pleasure Time Quilters Guild is having their quilt exhibition on Saturday.
Here are the details :


29TH OCTOBER 2011  9am -3pm






Oranje Quilter's Guild Quilt Exhibition

Oranje Quilters Guild have just had an exhibition at Tolbosse, Bultfontein and its on their blog.
Go take a peek :  http://www.oranjequilters.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Leah Day's "Matrix " Concept in Free Motion Quilting

I started watching Leah Day when she first started her blog on free motion quilting quite a while ago and she has always had some interesting videos.
Here is a link to her latest: Free Motion Quilting Project I find it much easier these days to quilt on my long arm rather than using my domestic machine but every once in a while I have to do something on my DSM- and have to get psyched up for it with a bit of practice before hand.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Post Card Tutorial

Remember Beth and her post card demonstration at Natal Quilters?

Here is a video tutorial  for you to look at.
Its by Michelle Gellar.



Monday, October 24, 2011

Down Under Quilts Free Digital Subscription

I've been a subscriber to the digital edition of Down Under Quilts for about a year - and best of all its FREE!

Here is the link for a free subscription.Down Under Quilts

This magazine is available from CNA but cut the paper and save the environment and read the thing on line!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Making Your Own Machine Quilting Table

Need a nice big table for your machine quilting but a bit stretched for cash?
Take a look at this you tube video. It DOES WORK!

I' ve done the same thing with cardboard boxes in a pinch.

How to build a cheap quilting table.

The other option is to talk VERY nicely to Ann Flannagan from Tollgate Quilters Guild whose husband made my quilting table and several for other Tollgate members. My table is a permanent fixture to my machine now and I wouldn't be without it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fabric Postcards

Beth Barkus demonstrated how to make fabric postcards at the KZNQG meeting today. Beth has been making , sending and receiving these lovely keepsakes from quilters around the world. She has quite a collection. Many ladies were inspired to make their own.
Fabric postcards were used on the quilt made for the "Images Of Sport" exhibition last year by members of Tollgate Quilters Guild.

Peppajo Patterns

I was talking to Erica from Pepperjo Patterns this morning and she tells me she has launched a blog where you can see her patterns- and some of her ideas. IF you haven't seen her patterns before now is the time to take a look. Here it is


I have put it into the links as well so that its easy to find.


The KZN Quilters Guild launched the KZNQG Quilt Academy at this October meeting.

This value for money academy will be presenting  simple quilt workshops aimed at the beginner quilter.
The first workshop will be a Striped Pieced Sampler with Marline Turner and will be held at the Frere Road Presbytarian Church on 19th November from 9.00 am till 3.00 pm.
The cost is R100.00.

To book : contact Twigg at  twigg@telkomsa.net

This is a great class for beginners or anyone who wants to revitalise their quilting, so please tell your friends, relatives, grannies, uncles and aunts as well as your co-workers, bosses, secretaries and anyone else.

Of course, watch out for other workshops which will be presented by various teachers during 2012.

Kwa Zulu Natal Quilters Guild- October meeting

OK, so who went??!!

If you did go you probably saw the wonderful  display of over 100 quilts- and stayed to listen to Fee Halstead's riveting talk on how Ardmore Ceramics came into being and where Ardmore is going now.

If you didn't, I'll bet you are kicking yourself now.

Here are some photos of some of the quilts which included the current travelling exhibition.

Mary Chapman put in an appearance.I dont think Mary has missed a meeting in 20 years.
Good on you, Mary!

The beginning of the exhibition. Some of the quilts on the exhibition were from the Travelling Exhibition.

Some more traditional quilts from some KZNQG members.

I wouldn't mind one of those quilts on MY bed!

The KZNQG Teachers Forum was launched by MArline Turner at this meeting and if you are a member of KZNQG and teaching then it would be to your benefit to contact MArline and put your name down on the teacher's list.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kantha Embroidery- Surayia Rahman

Thanks to Janet Subban and Phil Fisher's introduction to the vast subject of kantha embroidery, I did a little research myself and came across an interesting site devoted to Surayia Rahman.

Surayia Rahman is a kantha artist from East Pakistan , working for some years both as an artist and a trainer.
Her work is in museums across the world and encompasses not only traditional pieces but some amazing modern pieces.

S-o-o-o take a look and enjoy a beautiful art form.

Kantha Quilting

I would like to thank Phil, our chairlady, for giving me the opportunity to research Kantha quilting. I must admit when she asked me about the Kantha stitch , I was totally clueless. When I saw images of the Kantha stitch , I realised I had seen this work before on Indian garments,I just didn't know what the stitch was called.
Kantha quilting is also known as Nakshi Kantha in India and Bangladesh. It dates back to the times of Gautama Buddha who used to cover himself in garments made from discarded rags that were patched and sewn.
Tha art of Kantha ( pronounced Kaatha in the north, Kontha in the east and Kantha in the south) originated among the rural folks of India and literally means "rags".
This craft can be referred to as a recycling art form.
It was traditionally used to make simple quilts, light blankets, throws or bedspreads especially for children using old worn out clothing especially sarees. Bengalis were reluctant to throw away their fine quality muslin and cotton so they mended old clothes by taking a strand of thread from the colourful border of their sarees and making simple designs with them.
Kantha embroidery is used in the making of covers for pillows, boxes, mirrors and sarees, shirts , furnishings and bedding. The whole cloth is decorated with beautiful motifs portraying birds, animals, geometric shapes and other cultural visions from daily life in West Bengal.
Rural women worked at leisure and during rainy seasons taking months or even years to finish a kantha.
At least 5-7 sarees were used to make a standard size kantha. Today new cotton cloths are used instead of old clothing ( sarees or dhotis) .
To make a Kantha , the sarees are spread on the ground in layers. They are smoothed out leaving no folds or creases in between. Weights on the edges are used to keep it flat on the ground. The four edges are stitched and 2 or 3 rows of large running stitches are done to keep the kantha together. The Kantha can then be folded and stitched at leisure.
Kantha stitch is similar to the decorative running stitch of Japanese Sashiko quilting.
Thank you , Phil for the little kit you gave us to practise the kantha stitch . You are truly an inspiration!
Thank you to Deepa Balagopal for allowing me to use her information in my talk last night.

Tollgate Meeting October 2011

Tollgate Quilters Guild held its October meeting this evening at the Frere Road Presbytarian Church and,as always, it was a hive of activity.

Beth did her bit for Halloween with her bat wings and her pointy horn alice band, bringing a bit of light relieve to the meeting.

Phil Fisher, the Chair, opened the meeting - whistled through the business part and handed over to the chair of the Festival committee, Twig Hartwig and then Janet Subban.

Twig described the progress of the National Festival committee so far. A budget has been set and the committee is asking for suggestions for  overseas teachers and a name for the Festival.
Fund raising, as usual, will be a problem and it will be necessary to look outside the quilting community  for added funds.
Tote Bags and the contents thereof  was another issue that was raised. It appears that there are two schools of thought:- those for and those against.

Janet Subban did some research on the subject of Kantha embroidery which hails from the sub-continent of India and she shared this with us. Phil Fisher has also done some Kantha embroidery over the years and brought some of her work with her.Janet has promised that she will put this research up on the blog shortly.

Show and Tell had a line of quilters up with their various pieces- some finished and some to be finished.

Mary Chapman brought a new piece of work which she will be teaching at a later stage.

Ann Flanegan showed us her grand daughter's quilt with a Christmas theme.
 Prem Appalraju showed us what she did with her Rose of Sharon block swap blocks.
Can some one please let me have the name of the maker of this very pretty lavender quilt?

Quilter found! Nazeema Noormohamed made this quilt.

We now FINALLY have somewhere to  display our quilts after Show and Tell, giving members a chance to take a closer look. Thank you , Annette Lee, for getting permission to put up hooks and removable wire around the room. This is a very cost effective way of creating a removable hanging space.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Don"t Forget!

Tollgate's October meeting is on tonight at 7.00 pm at the Frere Road Presbytarian Church, Frere Road, Umbilo Durban.
Don't forget to bring quilts for Show and Tell.

If you have finished your Flower Power Quilts and we haven't seen them yet, please bring them along and share.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

International Quilt Associaltion (aka HOUSTON!!)

I have just come across the link to the IQA  summer newsletter and thought I would share it with you.

Its a really well put together magazine with nice clean lines, lots of space and easy to flip pages. Added to that, its REALLY easy to read.

There are now many digital quilting magazines on the Net and as people get more experienced at net publishing so the magazines are improving.

Maybe one day, South Africans will wake up to digital magazines- although I suspect that we will be a bit like Rip van Winkel.

Friday, October 14, 2011

First South African Pattern site

We have our very first South African quilt pattern site!

I think that this is so exciting for South African quilters!

Marietjie Joubert from Kroonstand has thought long and hard about putting her patterns up for sale on the web- and has now done so. Her website is  www.majas.co.za

I've seen her work over a number of years and she has an easy relaxed design style that comes from years of teaching both beginning and intermediate quilters. Her patterns are accurate and well written so take a look and support one of our own.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Altzheimers Art Quilt Initiative

Has anyone heard of this?

I have been aware of it for a while but have never gotten round to taking a look at what it is all about- even though we had a relative who ended up with this problem.
Today, I took a look and thought I would share the web address with you.

Here it is:    www.alzquilts.org/

There are some touching videos there as well as information about the quilts that have been made in memory of Altzheimers victims- and sometimes their carers.

All I can say is there but for the grace of God, go I - and hope that I never become a victim.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meander Quilters Guild Quilt Exhibition

If you didn't go to this exhibition, then you have REALLY missed something good!

Howick is only about 1 1/2 hours drive from Durban and the venue- at the Howick High School was really easy to find. Its just off the N3.

Four of us went - and shared the petrol so it didn't dent the pocket too much.

The guild members did a stirling job in a lovely venue with quilts that were a joy to see. I was very impressed with what I saw so CONGRATULATIONS, LADIES! What impressed me was the standard of workmanship and I am just a bit surprised that we don't see more of these quilters' work at the Royal Show and at Festivals.

I managed to track down some of the exhibitors for permission to feature their quilts on this blog so enjoy what I have so far.

Mary-Anne Smith's Triptych 1 " Leave only Footprints Kill only Time"

Anti trophy hunting sentiment. Based on a Tiffany stained glass window. Pattern adapted  with permission from a "Katie Lane Quilts " pattern.

Machine applique and machine quilted.
Mary-Anne Smith's Triptych 2  " Leave only Footprints Kill only Time"

Anti trophy hunting sentiment. Based on a Tiffany stained glass window. Pattern adapted  with permission from a "Katie Lane Quilts " pattern

Machine applique and machine quilted.

Mary-Anne Smith's Triptych 3  " Leave only Footprints Kill only Time"

Anti trophy hunting sentiment. Based on a Tiffany stained glass window. Pattern adapted  with permission from a "Katie Lane Quilts " pattern.

Machine applique and machine quilted.

Nicky Hunter Smith' "My Dream Garden"

Started a Baltimore Quilt in 2007, that stopped. Re-cut one block,unpicked another, changed the pattern and completed a new quilt in 2010. Machine pieced and appliqued. Quilted by Tonia Woodburn.
 Nicky Hunter Smith " Sheep in Shetland"
Machine Pieced with 3 D heads and tails. Machine embroidered eyes and grass flowers. Machine quilted by Tonia Woodburn. Inspired by Dawn Cameron Dick's invisible machine applique.
Lindy Briscoe " My Baltimore Garden"
Hand appliqued using blanket stitch, machine pieced and hand quilted. Inspired by designs from Faye Labanaris " Applique Rose Garden 2005.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pennants for the Olympics

Anyone making pennants for the participants of the 2012 Olympics in London.
Would love to see how they turned out.
I'm going to make one or two. All the instructions are on www.quilts4london.org.uk . There are videos showing how to make them and different patterns to choose from. It would be so nice to know that an Olympic participant somewhere in the world has a pennant made by you.
Ladies , please let me know if you are going to make one or have made one already.
These pictures were taken off that website from the inspiration tab.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meander Quilters' Guild Quilt Exhibition

So who is going up to the Meander Quilters Guild Quilt Exhibition at Howick tomorrow???

I'll be there and I know a couple of others from Tollgate are going so how about it?
They need support just as much as we do.

If you dont know where it is here are the directions:
Take the Tweedie turn off and turn right over the N3. Turn right when you get to the Sunfield home and you are at the school.

Oh, and there is a REALLY good French bakery on that road into Howick.He does the best chocolate croissants ever. Make sure you take cash as he doesn't have a card machine.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


This week I've learnt how to make bias binding and how to apply binding to corners neatly.
I have used straight binding before so using bias binding that I 've made is a new experience for me .

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blog for u!

Hi Ladies
I visited a new blog : www.jaybirdquilts.com .
It belongs to a young quilter who owns a shop.
There are free tutorials , patterns etc. on this site.
I'l be putting the binding on my quilt tomorrow.
Thank goodness for holidays!!!
Enjoy the week ahead!
Happy stitching!!