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.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Runner

OK , so sometimes I DO make traditional stuff- but you will have to go on your knees to get it!

Here is a Christmas runner I've made for my DIL.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vanishing Design Wall

Unless we quilters are lucky enough to have a studio we can call our own- and a permanent design wall to go with it- we end up pinning flannel or felt to the curtains or figuring out some way to put up a temporary design wall.
I have just come across a really nifty solution - and something which is easily achievable.
Take a look at this design wall:

The components are easily obtainable in South Africa and someone handy with tools to make one very successfully.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Photographing your quilts

Do your quilt photos look like they were taken in an earthquake or are maybe so skew that the quilt looks like a diamond shape?

Maria Elkins has just posted a tutorial on her blog to help you fix those problems.
Take a look:
Photographing quilts

She has other nice things on that blog as well so feel free to investigate.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Buy Local for Christmas

Remember the post about buying local for Christmas instead of the mountains of "stuff" we don't need from the Far East and filling our local producers' pockets instead of some producer somewhere in China.  I've taken this to heart and, on looking around, have been amazed at what fantastic things are available locally.

I have also been seriously put off, however, by the number of stores springing up in resort towns selling imported craft items from the far east- and before you say" Oh but I don't like African Ethnic stuff" what about all the other crafters producing superb sophisticated South African arts and crafts?

When last did you visit the African Art Centre in Durban?They don't only sell African ethnic art but take really good art/craft from a wide variety of local artists and crafters and the prices won't break the bank!.Here is the website:

The embroidered pieces they have sourced are fantastic and range from tiny pieces to really large wall pieces.

My son and daughter in law are getting a hand blown glass bowl from Glamosa Glass in Estcourt which I have filled with a variety of candles from Kwazulu Weavers in Winterton and some fabulous marmalade from Tokoziza Deli and Wine- also in Winterton.Didn't know about them? They are possibly one of the best kept secrets in S,A- not to mention Grumpy Nuts biscotti from the Natal Midlands. You haven't lived until you have dunked one of their chocolate and almond biscotti in your morning coffee.Then there is a fellow quilter from Richmond who produces the most divine biscuits  to go with your coffee.Yum!

Glamosa Glass? You HAVE to go to the factory shop to get the really interesting pieces.
Kwazulu Weavers: http://www.kwazuluweavers.com

My daughter in law adores attractive candles and my son loves good marmalade. Oh, and my DIL is also getting some locally produced (grown, spun and dyed) wool for her knitting passion.

The grand daughter is getting a new quilt and a doll both of which are made from South African produced fabric and what is nice is that she will get years of pleasure from both BECAUSE THEY WONT BREAK AFTER A COUPLE OF HOURS!

The youngest DS is getting  a gift voucher for a 3 months of car washes at the local car wash and the girl friend is getting a shopping bag- also locally produced by a Durban crafter.

I have also come across a potter near Vrede who produces the most fabulous mugs and another in Swellendam with wonderful elegant tableware.Its all diswasher proof and a LOT more original than the mountains of stuff brought in by the chain stores.

Does anyone know of any locals producing good quality ceramics/pottery here in KZN?- or anything else interesting for that matter?

Oh- and what is the DH getting, you may ask? A selection of local cheeses and some wine and, if I can persuade the owner of the cheesery, a gift voucher for more- when he's got through the first lot.Oh- and some biltong from Manoli's around the corner from me who has the best biltong in town.


At least, Joburg has recognised that textile art has a place in the art world.

This link will take you to a comment about the new Fiberworks exhibition.


Its a pity more cities cant be persuaded to do the same.