Monday, 25 May 2015

Finished quilts, photos and bad designs

Finally I've managed to finish some quilts - some with a help of a friend but at least they are getting done.  We made about 7 cot quilts using TwigaDudu's pastel and grey range of fabrics. The fabrics were hand-dyed especially for these quilts. This photo is of the blue and grey quilt we made. According to some people the pattern looks like the Nazi symbol. However, it was never our intention to create such a quilt. It's a simple rail fence pattern and I really apologise if I have offended anyone.

Many of you now know that, in another "life", I am the co-owner of TwigaDudu, a new startup in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, KZN, South Africa. My business partner and I hand-dye 100% cotton fabric suitable for patchwork quilting. Our fabric is different and interesting in that we buy loomstate fabric i.e. fabric directly off the weaving looms. The fabric has not been through the chemical scouring processes which makes it slightly rougher and thicker than what I would call "processed" fabric. It also absorbs up the dye like a very dry sponge in water. The hot African sun acts as a catalyst between the fabric and the dye. Wow - what interesting results... Intense, vibrant colours that are amazing. The photo below is one of our browns and yellows and greens batching. The batch of dye and fabric 2nd from the left right at the back of the photo was the binding for the double bed quilt that I made - the one Sir Sprocket approves of.

I also made my first attempt at sewing a double bed quilt in blocks and then using the "sew as you go" method to put the blocks together. This is the worst quilt I have ever designed. The blocks aren't fitting together like they should and, I'm still manhandling big sections of quilts under my machine. Needless to say, I'll never design a quilt like this again.... There is nothing wrong with the sew as you go method - I just designed my quilt badly using this method.

The photo below is of the quilt on my bed and Sir Sprocket, the red Burmese boy approves of my handiwork - he noted that he would actually like the quilt but understood when I told him it's a gift.  He did however try and persuade me to make him one.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Meet a great Quilting Friend

I've decided to showcase some of my quilting friends and their work. They are all truly inspirational.

First up is Kathy Stadler, a very good friend who lives in Germany.  She summarizes her passion in this quote: "Quilting is a passion that has brought me great comfort and many, many friendships along the way. I wouldn't trade this way of life for anything!!!"

Enjoy reading about herself and her quilting journey... 

"My passion with sewing and quilting started when I was in Junior High. My mother taught me clothing construction after taking the required Home Economics class. I started out as most girls do, making my own clothes. It wasn't until my Senior year in High School that I discovered quilting. I wanted  to make a quilt for my bed in college. I started out with a “bang” and made a King-sized quilt. That passion stayed with me during college. After college and newly married, I began my true journey into quilting. I have celebrated many of my cherished occasions by making quilts. I made sure that all three of my newborn sons came home to quilts made by me. As my sons reached important milestones in their lives (graduations, marriages and new homes), they are always gifted with a “Mom quilt”. That way, I am part of their new lives even though I am not geographically near them.

Quilting is a source of comfort during those times when I need to go 'inside” for a while. It gives me the solace and a place to heal. Quilting also gives me the opportunity to create and enjoy the times where I expand as a person and creator.

After many years of sewing and quilting, I had relocated to a place where fabrics were not as available and affordable. I had been looking into fabric dyeing and finally joined an online education group and took a class in order to learn how to dye. I was hooked from the very first piece of fabric that came out of the bucket! I had discovered the fun of dyeing one's own fabric and getting the feeling of accomplishment and artisty. This was simply meant to be!!!

Out of this new passion, my business was formed. I am now a supplier of affordable dyes, PFD (Prepared for Dyeing) fabrics, dye accessories, dye chemicals, patchwork accessories and all sizes of rotary cutter blades. I also sell hand-dyed Jelly Rolls and other hand dyed items.  I have a computerized Long Arm machine and quilt for myself and others. I also have a professional Embroidery machine and again, do work for myself and others. I combine the embroidery work with the quilting.  One of my options for service is making embroidered quilt labels for the quilts I have quilted or for someone who just wants a label. 

You can check out my website at:

What a wonderful story Kathy. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much I have.