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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Annette Lee and Marline Turner

Lia setting up . Joan working on her blocks.

Saras and Jill at the irons.
Busy Bees!

The first workshop hosted by the Quilt Academy was held on 19 November 2011 at the Frere Road Presbyterian Church from 9am - 3pm.
It rained so heavily but the ladies didn't let that stop them from attending this workshop. We came into the church, carrying our machines and other quilting tools, looking a bit bedraggled.

Marline Turner taught the ladies how to make a Stripped Pieced Sampler using 3 fabrics of contrasting colours and a background fabric.

We set up our work stations and began the workshop. We learnt many new techniques. the ladies were so busy cutting and sewing , they decided to eat on the run. Tea was provided with the help of Pauline Law who tirelessly set up the cups and saucers, made sure there was enough cake and WASHED up afterwards while we rushed backed to our machines to continue sewing- what a wonderful person!!!

Marline and her helpers - Annette, Twigg, Mandy Kirk, Mary Chapman , Jill Duck and Pauline Law(in between tea breaks) kindly helped the ladies to cut fabric , iron and explain easier methods. QUILTING ANGELS!
THANK YOU , LADIES ! YOU were so kind and patient. We are so grateful for your help.

Marline , You are a treasure! You so willingly shared your knowledge and guided the new quilters and a few of us who have been quilting for a while.

Lucky draw prizes were provided by Bernina- I won one of them!Lucky Me!!

Looking forward to the next workshop which will be on a quilt called "Where is the nine patch?"/ Disappearing nine patch by Mary Chapman and Thalia Griffin.


Someone sent this to me and I think we should all take note- and pass it on to everyone you know.

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant overseas factories are kicking into high gear to provide us with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of South African labour. This year will be different. This year South Africans will give the gift of genuine concern for other South Africans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by South African hands. Yes, there is plenty.

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in mass produced wrapping paper from abroad?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car valet’ d? Small, South African owned car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the cash on an overseas made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway fixed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or roof waterproofed and painted. 

There are a Gazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town South African with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorbike, done at a shop run by a South African working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could do with an upgrade, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people are great. They make jewellery, pottery, knitted stuff, Teddy Bears, paintings and home preserves etc.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand mass produced overseas lights for the house?   When you buy a R50 string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community.   If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining South African pockets so that foreign countries can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about us, encouraging small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other South Africans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS should be the new South African Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion groups -- throw up a post in your local newspaper in the Rants and Raves section -- your radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?

BUY SOUTH AFRICAN - BE  SOUTH AFRICAN - The job you save might be your own 


André Winkler
@126 Group

(ph)        +49 22169035505
(f)            +49 2211791522
(m)          +49 16097086737

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Tollgate Guild Christmas Party

I should have done this after the meeting  last week but the Net was too slow to upload anything.

It's that time of year once again- and of course, Tollgate's annual Christmas party was great fun.

Organising a Christmas party for 50 people takes some doing and the Tollgate committee rose to the task with enthusiasm. Setting up was easy: put out the tables and cloths and decorations and the contributions of food rolled in.

Many people brought out their Christmas quilts for the rest of us to enjoy and here are some of them:

It was also time for the guild to recognise all the effort and work Annette Lee put in as both Chair and Secretary over the past few years. Current chair, Phil Fisher, presented Annette with a present from all of us and a bouquet of flowers to say thank you.

Show and Tell produced members with quilts in various stages of completion as well as some stories:

Miranda Fennel brought the Westville Lions Club raffle quilt made by herself and volunteers from the Westville Lions Club and quilted by Amafu Studio.It was a double bed string quilt and it just shows what you can do with enthusiastic volunteers. This quilt should raise around R6000 to R10 000 for the Westville Lions charities.
Sue Watkin and friends also had quilts to show- some of which still have to be completed.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Free Downloadable Beading Book

I tried to post this last week with no luck as the Net was too slow to upload anything- never mind blog posts and photos.

Someone posted about Robin Atkins beading book on one of the lists I belong to so I did a bit of investigating:

Robin Atkins wrote a book a while ago called One Bead at a Time  on beading. Its been reprinted a number of times but there is still a demand for it so Robin has now put it into a PDF format and you can download it for free.

She has a number of other books available- all on beading - and all just as yummy as the original.

I know there are a lot of Tollgate members who enjoy beading so this is right up your street. ENJOY!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pennants for London

Here are the pennants I made. They are simple applique patterns on a background. I didn't embellish the pennant as I would have liked to.

I ironed applique paper onto a piece of fabric and I printed the label onto the fabric using my inkjet printer. I wrote my details on the label and heat set it.

Hope it puts a smile on one of the Olympic participants face.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fabric Postcard Challenge

Great news!!!
ClothPaper Scissors is challenging their readers to make a fabric postcard and send it to them.

Barbara Delaney,who is the Assistant Editor of the magazine, gave me permission to inform you about this challenge.

Please make a postcard and enter the challenge!!! Who knows, your postcard may be published in the magazine.
If you would like more information visit the website: www.clothpaperscissors.com or let me know and I will send you a copy of the rules.

Beth, I know you will take up the challenge. You always have such wonderful ideas.

Happy Stitching!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Houston Festival

You have just GOT to visit the Houston Festival site!
The winners have just been posted - along with photos, so live vicariously and visit the Festival.

Here is the link:

Houston Festival

The winning quilts are wonderful and something for us to think about.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wonderful Embriodery Landscapes

This is Sizacele Cele - ironing the hand-dyed fabric strips that make up the background for the Landscapes.

Here are Maurean Whitfield & Jagu Khuzwayo working together on sewing the hand-dyed fabric strips together to form the background block.

This is Ruth Seipp & Sibongile Mhlongo discussing just where the colours should go for the next Landscape.

This is Elsie Khomo - hard at work stitching the details on the Landscape.

From left to right: Elsie Khomo, Sizacele Cele, Beth Barkus, Sibongile Mhlongo & Jagu Khuzwayo.
Once the Landscape Blocks are complete we then stitch them to Shopping Bags to sell, which helps support their families who are infected or effected by HIV & Aids.
 These ladies are all from Amandawe on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal, They have developed their sewing skills to enable them to depict rural Zulu scenes.
All the hand-dyed fabric is supplied by Amafu Fabrics of Durban.
Some of the Landscapes are sent to the USA for sale - please see this link 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Patchwork evening bag!!

Here is the completed bag! Would love to make one with shiny fabric like Mary Gamester used to make her one. It's the zinger fabric that really makes the bag look special. I didn't see the tutorial until after I sewed the strips together. I wanted the floral strip to be the zinger.I will get it right the next time I make another one of these bags.

Another Flower Power Quilt!

Here is another Flower Power Quilt top that's ready for quilting.
This one was made by Saras Subban.

Janome Website

This website popped up on one of my lists this morning- this time to do with machine quilting.
Free Motion Quilting by Sarah Ann Smith

There are three parts to it and a whole lot more on the Janome site.
Since the Janome machines are not well known here, its not a site I would visit on a regular basis but, you know, I have changed my mind! There is some interesting stuff there.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Needle Wallet Patterns

Needle cases or wallets are not something I use to any great degree but they are probably fun to make and give so here is a link to a set of tutorials on needle wallets- more than you will ever need!

Needle Case Tutorial

The Great Izotsha Christian Escape presented by Cottage Patch Quilters Guild - (I know this is a little dated but thought you might like to see the photos anyway)

Here are two members of Tollgate Lynda Estment & Annette Lee helping out at ourTollgate table on the Friday Night Market.

Our, new Chairlady, Phil Fisher looking at some wonderful wares to buy.

This is the busy Friday Night Market.

Here are some more Tollgate Quilters "Girls": Mary Chapman, Annette Lee, Shelia Rice, Beth Barkus, Gail Leeuw & Margi Wilcox all having a great time.

Thalia Griffin & Mary Chapman who were my teachers of the amazing class of " Beautiful Birds", having a welcome early morning cup of coffee.
Pictures to follow when wall hanging is finished.

Annette Lee with her WIP ( Work-In-Progress) - her grand-daughter is going to love the fairies.
I can recomend the weekend away at Izotsha you will find "old" & "new" quilting friends to have a wonderful time with & the food is great.

Stole made by Ruth Seipp & Beth Barkus

We made this Stole for the National Quilt Festival in Cape Town but could not entry it as the Festival did not have a Wearable Section, so we entered it on the Royal Show in Pietermartizburg in the Group Section & we won a "Special Prize". It is hand appliqued & hand quilted. We were inspired after a visit to the Mariannhill Monastery where the ladies make the most wonderful religious garments.