knitting · Lifestyle · sewing

Starting Over

It’s been a funny old week.

Of course it goes without saying that with the end of term only four days away (whoop whoop!), the enormous job of writing and collating end of term reports is taking up much of my time.

I am still waiting for the delivery of navy fabric and so I can’t start on my “Catch a Falling Star” quilt.

I have finally cracked the pattern on the “Debbie Bliss Aran Tunic Dress” and now I don’t even need to look at the instructions. The back is finished and I am ploughing full steam ahead with the front.

Back finished and now I’ve started on the front.

Everything looks normal on the surface but underneath there is movement, a shift, a change. There is sadness and happiness at the same time. Is that even possible?

The cause of this shift is the fact that my youngest son Max, is leaving home. Just like Dick Whittington he is off to London to search for gold. Well not literally! It’s not that I am surprised by the news as I helped him tweak his CV and encouraged, dare I say pushed him into applying for work in the U.K.

Max, my youngest son.

You see the future for a young man in Zimbabwe is questionable. The opportunities in the U.K. for a well mannered, nicely turned out, intelligent young man who speaks and writes English fluently and has a British passport are far more encouraging. So I am sad that now both of my boys are living overseas, but at the same time I am happy that regardless of Brexit, they are still living in a land of opportunity.

Needless to say I needed to do something to take my mind off of his departure. So I decided to tackle a bit of foundation paper piecing that I had tried once before.

Happy Fall by Sugaridoo

It was actually the first pattern that I downloaded and I must be honest, the first time round I was completely baffled. I found it on Sew Mama Sew and it was designed by Sugaridoo. This time it has been a lot better as I have managed to make some of the blocks, however it is still a very challenging pattern.

Here are the blocks I have made so far:

Clouds ahead!
Umbrellas at the ready!
Umbrellas open!

Debbie Bliss Tunic Dress-A WIP

You may recall that I bought a whole bagful of delicious Merino wool on my recent trip to The Netherlands.



I have been excited about getting started on a Debbie Bliss Aran Tunic Dress pattern that I bought online. In the 1980’s I was the queen of cable and bobbles and I had a number of cardigans and jumpers to prove the fact. Unfortunately or perhaps thankfully, no photographic evidence remains. So although more recently I have knitted some quite straightforward garments (perhaps with the exception of the green flower cardigan), I didn’t feel that this Tunic would be too much of a challenge. How wrong can you be?

The pattern is made up of five different blocks over twenty rows, and as I had downloaded the pattern to my iPad it was brain boggling flicking from one page to the next to knit just one row.

Forget basic ribbing, this top starts of with a bang and I undid the rows at least three times!

Forget ribbing this is how the Debbie Bliss Aran Tunic Dress begins.


Then came the body of the Tunic. This was not for the faint hearted. There were two sections on the pattern that I just couldn’t get on with. I knew from looking at the Tunic that I had done one of the patterns incorrectly and that just irritated me. So I decided that I needed to change them. Bring out the old faithful.

Old faithful.


I’ve used this book before to change a pattern and I found a cable block which was the same number of stitches and seemed a whole lot easier. Off I went again with the amended pattern. I also photocopied the pattern and found that better (sometimes technology loses). I knitted about twelve rows and then realized I had omitted two cables. Ahhh! I was ready to throw in the towel!

But not quite. I undid the Tunic down to the ribbing equivalent made myself a cup of tea and started again.

Work in progress.

At last it’s going quite well and I have now done twenty two rows. I am almost at the stage where I don’t need the pattern but not quite yet. It takes ninety rows to make the back so I’m sure I’ll know it by then!








Light at the end of the tunnel .

In a life full of work, quilting, friends and blogging, sometimes, something has to give, and with me last week it was the blog!

The last ten days have been so busy, involving among other things, taking students for athletics training every day in preparation for the annual Interhouse Athletics. This took place last Saturday, in a particularly rainy, rainy season and under a particularly threatening sky. That was a full day, that left me totally drained and fit for nothing. However the thought of an entire Sunday in front of me, with a quilting project in mind, and a weeks worth of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers and Women’s Hour to listen to, soon brought me back to life. I wanted to start something that was (in my opinion) manageable. I also wanted it to be something that I could possibly enter for the Zimbabwe Patchwork and Quilting Show later on this year. I have two quilts that I would like to enter so I thought I had better get started.

Despite all the information available online through Pinterest, Instagram etc I have, this year taken the plunge and decided to subscribe to a couple of Quilting magazines. After some careful research I chose ” ❤️ Patchwork and Quilting” which is a U.K. magazine and “Make Modern Magazine“an Australian publication. Although they cover the same subject, they are both different in their own way.

One of the things I love about “Make Modern Magazine” is that they treat their subscribers so well, giving us free patterns and early releases of patterns prior to the magazine publication. That is what happened this month when they released “Catch a Falling Star” a foundation paper pieced 10″ x 10″design by one of my favourite designers Kristy Lea.


As soon as I saw the pattern I wanted to make it. Why? Well it involves a lot of choosing fabrics and I have had to get “very up close and personal” with my stash which is something I love doing, and then it involves paper piecing, another love, so it really wasn’t a difficult decision to make.

I decided to set myself the challenge of making one block a day and posting it on Instagram IG name Rimazimchick (I think it’s called self motivation!). The original pattern is made up as a mini quilt but I am going to make a bigger version, although I haven’t yet decided on the size.

Block 1 – Shades of teal/ grey
Block 2 -Shades of beige that I particularly like because my sister gave me some of the fabric that I used.
Block 3-Shades of Lime
Block 4-Shades of Olive
Block 5 – Shades of Petrol Blue

Then I had to take into consideration that having set myself this target, I had another very busy week ahead with a friends boozy birthday lunch, and a Model United Nations Conference taking up the best part of the week and the whole of this weekend (I am actually writing this while listening to 100+ students debating an emergency pandemic situation).

With this in mind and once I had recovered my sewjo I set to work on Sunday making a number of blocks so that I had some in reserve. In between times I also had to rustle up a nappy cake for a colleagues baby shower last Friday.

Nappy cake for Chipo

Then on Friday evening I thought I had better make a few more blocks to cover myself over this weekend as Saturday night we were due to finish at 8.00pm so I really wasn’t keen to start sewing once I got home. I also got an order for another nappy cake so sorted that as well.

Another nappy cake for my friend Kim’s sister in law.
Block 6-Shades of Orange
Block 7-Shades of Turquoise
Block 8-Shades of Dark Navy
Block 9-Shades of Royal/Bright Navy Blue

Now today as the Conference is drawing to a close, I know I have to get home and try and make a few more blocks in preparation for the coming week.

But as our Head told us last week, we only have two and a half weeks left until the end of term, there is light at the end of the tunnel. She forgot to mention the nearly 200 report comments that I need to write and the 120+ reports that I have to check before then!

But there is something about making a quilt that fires me up, it is my Kryptonite and I seem to find the energy for it even at times when I can’t face doing other things.




My Top Ten Favourites from Quiltcon 2017

There was a lot of activity in Savannah, Georgia from 23rd-26th February with the annual Quiltcon exhibition taking place. There were some spectacular exhibits and you can see them all on the Modern Quilt Guild page but I thought I would give you my top ten.  Truth be told it was difficult just to chose ten. In no particular order but I am saving the best till last.



Not Easy Being Green
Pieced and quilted by Mary Keasler
Chattanooga, TN, United States
Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild
40 x 54 inches
Use of Negative Space

“I decided to use bits of my leftover hand dyed fabrics and make small 4 patch blocks, not knowing what I would do with them. I decided to add strips in a log cabin effect. Still not sure of what I would do with them, I added the white fabric for negative space, then used a quilting design similar to the quilt blocks to complete the piece.”


9) APPLIQUÉ: 1st Place

Inside Out

Pieced and quilted by Susan Bleiweiss
Pepperell, MA, United States
Individual MQG Member
61 x 54 inches

“Original design, fused raw edge applique, cotton fabric and thread, machine quilted.”



Pieced by Aida Gates
Pieced with Aida’s grandmother Judy Moyer
Quilted by Laura Simmons of Pieceful Quilts
Binding by Aida’s mother, Julie Moyer
Parker, Colorado, United States
Individual MQG Member
52.5 x 52.5 inches

“My favorite part about this quilt is the explosion of color. The colors were chosen because my favorite color is orange, and blue contrasts really well with it. I like the story this quilt tells and that you can see movement throughout the pattern. This is by far my favorite quilt out of any I have made and I am excited to make many more like it.”



Finding The One
Pieced and quilted by Miriam Coffey
Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, United States
Asheville Modern Quilt Guild
39 x 48 inches

“This quilt is inspired by the notion of human companionship. I am interested in, how as humans we are always seeking the one to be our pair.”



Pieced and quilted by Elaine Poplin
Huntsville, Alabama, United States
Individual MQG Member
56 x 56 inches

“Dared by a friend, I reconstructed the 2002 Pinna illusion and made a quilt of it. Foundation paper pieced, hand-appliqued, and free-motion quilted. Permission to show the quilt graciously granted by Biangio Pinna, the original designer of the illusion.”




Direction Optional
Pieced by Stephanie Ruyle, Leanne Chahley, Karen Foster, Hillary Goodwin, Marci Debetaz, MR Charbonneau, Felicity Ronaghan, Debbie Jeske, Anne Sullivan, Kari Vojtechovsky
Quilted by Christine Perrigo
Denver, CO, United States
Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild
76 x 76 inches

“#Beesewcial January 2016 prompt: “Linear” using a palette of off whites, yellows, grays with pops of red/pink/orange. The prompt centered around the use of line as an element; whether curved or straight was up to the maker. The rich tapestry of shapes made this an amazing quilt to assemble.”



Pieced and quilted by Jeannie Jenkins
Willowdale, Ontario, Canada
Toronto Modern Quilt Guild
50 x 76 inches

“This quilt is the third and final in a series that I designed on EQ7 after quitting my day job. Not sure if I did the right thing, I filled my days with designing quilts and proceeded to piece and quilt them. Looking back, it was the best thing I ever did, and the only regret is I should have done it sooner!”



Pieced and quilted by Jess Frost
Mount Stuart, Tasmania, Australia
Tasmanian Modern Quilt Guild
65 x 68 inches

“Scattered is improvisationally pieced, and all cutting was done with a rotary cutter without the use of a ruler. As a result, all the lines through the quilt are quite organic. The dense free motion quilting is also intentionally organic, and features a variety of grids with pockets of curved designs. Big stitch hand quilting has been added in some areas to add another level of texture.”



Organic Mid-Century Mod
Pieced and quilted by Laura Bennett, Jessie Aller, Neva Asinari, Ashley Bander, Tracy Baird, Ruth Bass, Laura Bennett, Nicole Folino, Michelle Kochan, Jessica Levitt, Janet Schoenfeld, Robin Tillsworth, Colleen Wiest
Princeton, NJ, United States
Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild
60 x 60 inches

“This quilt was a progressive quilt at the Mid-Atlantic Mod quilting retreat. Jessica Levitt set the theme (Organic Mid-Century Modern) and color scheme, and a dozen quilters each prepared blocks. At the retreat, we worked together to develop these blocks into a cohesive quilt top, making the full design of this quilt top a truly collaborative effort. I then designed and constructed the quilt back, and quilted and bound the quilt.”



Pieced and quilted by Katherine Jones
Chigwell, Tasmania, Australia
Tasmanian Modern Quilt Guild
98 x 98 inches

“Foundation paper pieced from solid fabrics the inspiration for this quilt was a princess cut diamond.”

I love foundation paper piecing, but this quilt is almost incomprehensible, 98″ x 98″ what an amazing vision it looks just like a diamond.

No sewing for me this week except for play costumes. I am trying to make three wigs as well, which is not enjoyable. Will report back next week!





“Everyone Needs Deadlines- Walt Disney

Another week passes in the blink of an eye, and I like to think that I have used my time effectively. I work long hours and with the run up to the Interhouse Athletics Meet, this is not going to change before March 11th. So I get very little time in the evenings and then try and have a sewfest on the weekend.

I spent last Sunday cutting out clamshell shapes to make a quilt for a work colleague, Chipo, she is expecting her third child. The pattern I was using was for a mini quilt and so I cut more shapes than suggested as I wanted to make a crib size quilt. The cutting and pressing involved in a clamshell quilt is significant and I had a really stiff neck by last Sunday night. I was therefore a little despondent when I laid the quilt out to see that I really need to cut out the same amount of shapes again. My neck couldn’t take it! Then when I saw Chipo on Wednesday she told me she would be leaving for maternity leave two weeks earlier than I had anticipated. I had been hoping for more time to sort the pattern out, as it is the first time I have done the Clamshell Quilt.

Add to this the fact that it is School Play time again, and I am required to make some costumes. I knew something had to give, the deadlines were creeping up on me and I had to respond. But what to do?

I don’t know about you, but I work much more productively, when I have a deadline to work too.

I decided to make a different, simpler quilt for Chipo. Late last year I made some of the “1 Hour Baskets” designed by Kelly Bowser from Hearts and Bees, and with the pattern available for free on Craftsy. I took some into work and sold them and Chipo wanted me to make one for her. With her impending delivery I decided to make one to match her quilt and fill it with baby goodies.

At last years Black Friday sale, I bought some cute Jelly Bean fabric from Connecting Threads. As this had so many colours in it I decided to make this the basis for the quilt.

My fabric selection for the quilt which used 9 x 9 4 1/2″ squares.
I thought it looked pretty, the turquoise blue really pops.
Blocks stitched together ready for basting.
Beautifully bright colours to cheer a gloomy day.
I decided to make the “1 Hour Basket” using the same patchwork as the quilt.
I spray basted batting to the reverse of the fabric and then quilted it.
Having stitched along the two short sides and the bottom of the outside fabric, you need to cut a 3″ square out of the two bottom corners.
Like this. Notice that in the green lining I have left a gap so that the basket can be turned right sides out when finished.
Match the seams and sew 1/4″ from the edge. This will give a box like shape.
Here’s the basket before lining. Notice I have pinned the handles in place.
Right sides together stitch along the top seam and then pull everything through the gap in the green lining.
Here’s the finished basket full of goodies.

So in just two days I have managed to finish Chipo’s gift plus I have started on the play costumes.

Now I think I’ve been busy, but I’m not alone. My good friend and fellow quilter Ala had a huge challenge this week. She wanted to make a quilt as a wedding gift for a friend of her daughter’s who lives in Australia. The wedding is on April 15th so plenty of time right? Wrong, someone was flying to Australia on Saturday night and had volunteered to take it, and so Ala had to knuckle down and get on with it. In only seven days she produced the most beautiful quilt. Complete with a lovely label.

Ala shows off her beautiful quilt. What a lovely gift!
Even the label is spectacular.

So give me a deadline and I will try to meet it one way or the other. As they say here in Zimbabwe “We’ll make a plan”.


My First Mystery Quilt, not perfect, but finished!

One of my challenges for early 2017 was taking part in the Mitzie Schafer Mystery Sew Along . Mitzie is the designer behind Together Feather Studio and this was her first hosted Mystery Sew Along. I first came across Mitzie on Instagram, which if you are a quilter or any other sort of creative, and have not yet hooked up, then you have no idea what you’re missing out on, as it gives you the opportunity to connect with so many like minded people.

Mitzie announced the Mystery Sew Along towards the end of last year, with the first block being released on 14th January 2017. I was a bit nervous because I knew that with Form One Camp and my trip to The Netherlands I would be restricting the amount of time I had to work with. But I decided to live dangerously!

The fabrics that I bought in the U.K. at Christmas. What you don’t see in this photo is that the green is an ombré fabric, and what looks like plain navy is actually a purplish fabric.

I was able to do the first block before I went away to camp and was really pleased with it.

Week one’s block.

In between camp and my Netherlands trip, I squeezed in the next block.

Week two’s block.

I should add, that at the same time as doing this, I was making a mini quilt for one of my very creative, and dear friend, Mary Lou for her February birthday.

Mary Lou’s mini quilt. A design by Kristy Lea @Quietplay

When I returned from my trip I had some serious catching up to do. I was also feeling nervous about how the finished quilt was going to look. It is a serious thing to be giving up your time to make a quilt, not knowing if you will actually like the finished article. Anyway, I got block three and four done and then when I lined them all up I found that they were different sizes.

This is such a basic error. It always says check that your photocopy is set to 100% and I had assumed on the first two blocks that it was, obviously it wasn’t! So, I ended up having to remake blocks one and two. The only advantage of this was that by then I knew what the layout would look like and I decided to take the opportunity to change the colour of one of the blocks. Can you spot which one?

Top done, now just to baste and quilt.
How cute is this label? I will fold it in half and sew it into the binding of the quilt.

So the the quilt didn’t take too long to piece and baste. I then made the fatal decision to indulge my love of straight line quilting.

Wrong move?

Look its all subjective. Straight-line quilting can rarely be a wrong move, but its the ends that are the killer. I realise that I could have just cut off at the end of a line, but then what if it started to unravel, all my hard work would be for nothing.

I straight lined down the sides.
Then diagonally across the coloured blocks and centre panels.

Of course, I was wrong to sew the edges first, again another basic error, as it led to some minor puckering in the finished quilt.

Check out the threads on the front of  the quilt.
The back is no better and all these ends have to be threaded into the quilt.
After hours, and I mean hours, of tidying up the threads, the back looks almost as lovely as the front.
The finished quilt, not perfect, but finished.

So my first jaunt into the world of mystery sew alongs is over, and I am really pleased with the result, but I do think I now need to try a bit of free motion quilting. If only so I don’t have to tie up so many loose ends!




Double Dutch

Well it didn’t take long for one of my 2017 objectives to fall by the wayside did it?

Only a few short weeks ago I mentioned my “desire and determination ” to blog on a weekly basis and here we are only the second month in and I have missed two deadlines. It’s not  that I don’t have a valid excuse, it’s that time of year when my regular followers will recall, that I take students on a school trip to The Hague in The Netherlands to attend THIMUN a huge Model United Nations Conference.

This year my colleague, Mark and I had made the decision to make a few changes to our usual itinerary. We decided to change the venue that we usually stay in during the conference, and also to spend a couple of days in Amsterdam at the very beginning of the trip, prior to the Conference. In principle and in practice this was definitely an excellent decision, however, looking after eleven teenagers in one of the party capitals of Europe is never going to be easy. We had a very packed schedule planned already. So I was slightly taken aback when on the morning of the day that we were leaving for the Netherlands, I was approached by a couple of students who told me that they had been doing a bit of research, and had discovered that the Canadian rapper Drake was in concert in Amsterdam on the Saturday evening, could I try and get tickets!

Drake; the man himself-I had to admit that I had never knowingly heard any of his music. Then when I did he seems to have been influenced by Craig David.

I discussed this with my colleague and we decided that we would try and get tickets as there was some wiggle room in the budget. It was a very stressful experience as I wasn’t able to buy the tickets in one group and having managed to buy four tickets, I had to cross my fingers that I would be able to get the remaining seven. Luck was very much on my side and by the time we left for the airport I had eleven tickets, which to the students were the most valuable cargo of all, and I was the coolest teacher on earth (for 24 hrs anyway) .

This years group was the biggest I had taken to THIMUN and as soon as we arrived in Amsterdam, after freshening up, we hit the sights. Our first experience was to cross the river to A’DAM Lookout, it was really exciting but not for people who don’t really like heights (people like me!). A’DAM Lookout is a high rise building that houses a rotating restaurant (you must book in advance for this), a bar and restaurant and on the roof sits “Over the Edge”a swing, that swings out over the city. I’m not a fan of heights, but as some of the students were also a bit nervous, I felt I had to overcome my fears and take my seat along with everyone else. It was busy that afternoon and very cold on the roof, but we all took part and really enjoyed it.

This is not me on the swing, but a guy who looks a lot more comfortable than I felt, swinging out over the City.

We came down from this experience and everyone was feeling a bit peckish. One thing I already knew was that it would not be easy to feed so many people without a prior booking. Fortunately for use we went to The Eye Film Museum as we had heard that they had an excellent restaurant there and it was right opposite A’DAM Lookout.

The view across the City from outside The Eye.

The Maitre’de was so kind and told us that as long as we only ordered a main course and took no longer than 90 minutes he could accommodate us. We complied and ate a delicious meal in a really nice environment which also housed some pretty cool lighting, and you know how I love my lights.


We made our way back to our hotel “The Tulip Inn” via the Red Light District, which is always an eye opener (in more ways than one) to new visitors to Amsterdam.

The next day was very busy with a tour of the Rijks Museum. This has been an annual pilgrimage to the IAmsterdam sign for the group photo. This was the first year however, that we had stepped inside, and I sorely regretted that I hadn’t included it sooner. We had the most knowledgeable guide, Arnold, who helped all of us to understand Rembrandt and some of the other important artists displayed there.

Thanks to the era of “The Selfie”, one thing my students do know how to do, is pose!

Then we headed off to the Anne Frank Huis which is always on our itinerary. After a quick bite to eat at Wagamama, we headed back to the Museum Quarter to visit the Van Gogh Museum. I had been really looking forward to this and the guide was excellent. However, it became apparent to me that the work of his that I like the most, I had already seen in an exhibition in Paris, France, a few years ago. This museum contains a lot of his darker work. Of course Saturday evening was given up to Drake and his appearance at the Ziggo Dome. My colleague Mark and I decided not to go and see Drake and instead went to the movies (a bad decision it turned out) and then waited for the students at the end of the concert for the train ride home. That was a very noisy train ride with all of the students discussing various parts of the concert, and sharing their pictures. I was sure that it was going to be an experience they were not going to forget in a hurry.

Sunday morning and we had to be out of our rooms and at the coach stop by ten a.m. There was an element of excitement as we were about to experience the Room of Riddles. This is an escape room and something that we regularly include as it is so popular with the students. Unfortunately my team came second again, but we enjoyed it all the same. The coach trip to our hotel was a very quiet affair with the students taking advantage of the journey to have a quick nap.

This year we decided to change the place that we stayed in for the duration of the conference. I chose the Bilderberg Europa Hotel in Scheveningen, which also sits on the North Sea coast as our previous hotel at Kijkduin had done. But apparently a lot more of the conference delegates stayed there. I hoped that this would encourage my students to network more and for the majority of them this was certainly the case. We decided to travel into The Hague to register for the conference and then returned back to Scheveningen for dinner and an early night.

After a lovely breakfast for some, it became apparent that this group had difficulty with time management and I regret to say that it didn’t improve much over the course of the week!

Our group headed off by tram to the World Forum in The Hague where the students were the Delegation of Fiji.

Secretary General Pareen Bhagat was our Ambassador for the Delegation of Fiji.

It was a very exciting conference and the students did so well, with all of them managing to speak at some stage, this is no mean feat when you consider that there are about 3000 students taking part. It is very exhausting for the MUN Directors though, as we try and see all our students in their respective rooms and the more students that we take the more rooms we have to visit. this resulted in my Fitbit registering up to 15km a day.

The Wednesday of THIMUN week is always a half day and coach trips are arranged so that delegates can go and visit local tourist sites. I long ago learned, that a lot of time is wasted, waiting for other delegations to arrive at the coaches so that we can leave. I therefore now organise my own trip, and with a growing interest among our students on studying in the Netherlands we set off by train to Erasmus University College, Rotterdam. One of my students is keen to study Architecture and so this City was of great interest as most of it was bombed in World War Two and so the buildings are a mish mash of old and new. We took a tour of Erasmus University College and the main Erasmus campus.

Even inside the EUC building they have combined the old and the new. The light on the right is an original from the 1930’s .

We came back through the main market area where Markthal is situated. this is an iconic building which houses food stalls, but is also accommodation for some lucky people. I would love to see inside an apartment there as the windows are placed in very weird positions. The food stalls are superb and I could feel the pounds piling on just walking through the market.

This stall sold every type of pepper and olive that you are ever likely to need.
This stall sold the most beautifully decorated candy apples.
For cheese lovers this was heaven. Virtually every type of cheese you can imagine including camouflage cheese which was made using different coloured peppers and even coffee cheese!
Again in the market square these are the Cube Houses built in the 1970’s and available for rent.

Last year the THIMUN Board introduced an international photography competition and a student from my school attained second place. This year the theme was “Borders in a Globalised World”  three of my students entered, and all of them placed in the top four visitors choice. However, the much coveted judges choice also went to one of our students.

“The Boy Behind the Glass” taken by Sahnya Abdulla took First Prize in the Judges choice and was placed second in the visitors choice.

So I think you can say the conference was a resounding success.

On Saturday we took a really good tour with Segway Den Haag where we learned how to ride a Segway and then we did a tour of The Hague on the Segway. It was a lot of fun and I managed to stay on most of the time. We then had hot chocolate, and pancakes, and toasties at The Pavilion, Malieveld. Then it was back to the hotel to collect our backs and homeward bound.

Now you may be wondering if I was able to visit The Hague and not visit some of my favourite fabric and craft shops. Don’t be silly.

This selection is from Van Domburg Textiel in Thomsonlaan
This selection is from De Boerenbonthal in The Hague. I bought a bigger piece of the squared fabric as i though it could make a great quilt back or a lazy quilt top.
Pipoos is the most amazing craft shop in The Hague and they had a sale on! With so many little girls to knit for it would have been rude not to relieve them of all their wool stock!

So a lovely time was had by all and we have returned to school, tired but excited at the adventures we had.

I just need to find some time to quilt now! Phew!!




Pretty placemats.

December 2016 saw Natalie and Niamh’s first birthday. I wanted to make them something useful, and in my local supermarket I found some nice quality plastic cutlery. So I thought I would make them a placemat each.


I trawled through Pinterest but found the idea for the mats in an advert for the book “Quilt Petite” by Sedef Imer. I didn’t think for a moment that I would get the book for Christmas (but I did). However I made the mats using a regular placemat as a template and really just making it up as I went along.

I used a placemat that I already had as a template.
These were the fabrics I chose.
I sandwiched the piping between the two layers of fabric.
These were the cutlery pockets. I printed the girls names using a laser jet printer and stitched them on using black thread.
This was the backing fabric.
Spray basted and ready for quilting.
How cute do these look?

.Happy quilting.



Lifestyle · quilting

New Beginnings

Last Monday saw the arrival of 127 bug eyed children on their first day of High School. They had come to do try outs for the sports team, in preparation for the matches on Friday.

Then on Tuesday morning at 5.30am, I set off by coach with three other teachers and said children, to the Form One Camp which this year was being held at Antelope Park in Gweru. We had a fantastic but extremely tiring two days there, where one of the teachers commented that “spirits and humidity was high, and the students and mattresses were wet”. It really did rain and rain and rain. This is the first time in my five years of taking the camp that we had gotten well and truly soaked. But we mustn’t complain, we need the rain, its just a shame that we don’t have more commercial farmers in the country!

We saw Lions, Giraffe, Elephants, Warthogs, a Rock Python and even a baby Tortoise. There are not many students in the world, that go on school camp and see such a variety of animals.

School proper started on Friday, when those same 127 bug eyed children arrived at the Junior Gate. This time the confusing reality of life at “big school” hit home with some of the students getting lost or going to the wrong class. Nothing new, it happens every year!

My one day back at school on Friday was beyond hectic, and at one stage I really thought my head would explode. But my boss said “try and get some time for yourself this weekend”, so I did.

Finally finished the mini quilt for my first ever swap #MQG. This will soon be winging its way to someone in the Southern Hemisphere.

Saturday morning saw the January meeting of the Harare Chapter of the Zimbabwe Patchwork and Quilting Guild where we had a great presentation on the Drunkard’s Path Block.

Then today I gave myself up to quilting, finally binding my MQG mini quilt swap,starting the Mitzi Schafer Mystery Sewalong. Also starting a mini quilt that is a gift for a friend. I’ve even started a beret to go with those fingerless gloves that I showed you last week.

Blocks from the first week of the Mitzi Schafer Mystery Sew Along. I’m intrigued to see what the next set of blocks are like.

My cold has almost gone, only to be replaced by the most hideous sun burn, which I managed to get, through all the clouds in Gweru. You would think that after twenty years in Africa, I would remember sunscreen!

Till next week,