Teaching Philosophy

I feel successful when I teach people:

- to see what they look at!

- that it is ok to be different!

- to open a whole new world of creativity for them....

- that there is a solution for every problem (mostly with a quick-unpick!)

- that it is a joy to be creative......

The Creative Mind Plays with the Object it Loves -
Carl Jung

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The creative mind plays with the object it loves - Carl Jung

This heading is so apt for me as I was always intrigued by fabric.   Thanks to my friend Brenda who sent me this quote, I used it on a quilt of which I will tell you much later.....  

As an award winning quilt artist, I feel that it is important for my students to know that I did not start off by making award winning quilts!   This is why I feel it is important to share My Journey with you to give you hope when you battle to make the perfect quilt.....    I learnt by trial and error, lots of experimental work, loads of humour and patience.   Without the wonderful support of my Willem, our kids Elizabeth and Jopie as well as my wonderful quilting friends, this would have been difficult.    It is easy to create something of beauty when one is emotionally secure......    This blog is a tribute to all those who touched my life in some way......
As a child, I was always so interested when my mom was sewing and I always made clothes for my dolls of the leftover fabric.    It was the most wonderful day when she allowed me to sew on the old black Singer and by the time she got the green electric Singer, I was halfway to heaven......   I knew that I  had found my passion around the time that I went to High School.

Beginning 1984, a year after I had my first child Elizabeth, I was really getting bored as a stay at home mom and my cousin, Denise Opperman showed me a few patchwork techniques.   Needless to say, I was totally hooked and I have never stopped quilting since!   During this time, quilting supplies, books, classes etc were very scarce in Port Elizabeth and we made do with what we had.  We did not know about decent batting, we thought the thicker the better!   We had no idea of quilting thread, we used No 8 crochet cotton to quilt with and never heard of a quilters knot!   All of my initial work was hand pieced and hand quilted (with the crochet cotton).     In 1985 I tried my hand at machine applique and was so excited by the possibilities of this new technique.   Again, magic applique (for fusing) was not available and every piece was painstakingly tacked.   Now we are spoilt for choice with a wonderful array of supplies to make quilting so much easier.

I made my first big quilt in 1987 when I made a log cabin top which I promptly turned into a duvet cover for our bed.   This was before we knew of rotary cutters, cutting mats etc.   I used a 30cm school ruler, HB pencil and ordinary dressmaking scissors to painstakingly mark and cut the 1300 strips!   These strips were stitched onto the 100 calico blocks of which I also marked the grids with a HB pencil!    It was long before paperbased piecing.....

During this period 1984 - 1988, I stitched traditional blocks from patterns in magazines and my first patchwork book, Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.   This book gave me the freedom to use my geometry skills and understanding of mathematics as a whole new designing tool for my patchwork projects.

Next time:   We were transferred and I became a Quilting Teacher!

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