Personally, the most terrifying was that I would be the official voice of the Guild and had to do most of the talking at the Guild meetings. It took me straight back to my school days where I found it so difficult to participate in debating evenings - I would generally have a serious case of jitters alongside with an upset stomach. The other was that I had to address the meetings in my second language which was not really a problem, but when in a stressful situation, sometimes the vocabulary did strange things.....! Somehow, humour got me through tricky situations and nobody really cared when I slipped some Afrikaans words in..........
I realized a few things right from the start - the voice of the Guild had to sound positive, informative and entertaining to keep them interested enough to attend meetings regularly. Another was that although members shared an interest of quilting, they were from all walks of life and educational levels. It was
therefore important to listen to each and every one with respect and treat them equally. I made the most wonderful, special friends during this time and am still blessed to have them part of my life.......
But all was not just paperwork and running meetings. After the 1998 National Quilt Festival, we decided to run a mini festival to coincide with the 1999 Annual Spring Show to keep the excitement levels high in the Guild! I prepared a workshop to teach which I called Picture Perfect - students had to bring a landscape picture which I would teach them to make a pattern, enlarge it without mechnical means and to transform it from paper to fabric and stitching. This proved quite an exciting workshop. I made a landscape sample of the Amphitheatre at the Royal National Park in the Drakensberg with the Tugela River in the front for which I had quite a lot of photographs taken during a stay there in 1985.
The techniques to create texture of the animal quilt, Woodville (1998) was very experimental and I took the ideas further. I made lots of needlelace from pieces of fabric which I unravelled and cut into smaller bits, sandwiched between two layers of Avalon and stitched untill it was secured. These I used for trees and bushes. For the reeds, I used long threads of fabric which I also sandwiched between two layers of Avalon and stitched with a very slim zig-zag to hold the individual threads. It worked very well and I was so excited as it looked very realistic. I also used some fabric paint for shading on the mountain, foot hills and boulders in the river. Doing this landscape quilt, took me right back to the exhibition in Harrismith where I learnt so much from the artist, Eduard Wium painting landscapes..... I kept on remembering what he taught me about creating depth......! He was a very good teacher....!
|Amphitheatre - Source of the Tugela 1999|
During this time, I also prepared a Protea Workshop which I taught locally, at Fynbos Quilt In in Stellenbosch and in George.
|Protea Workshop # 1|