Monday, July 29, 2013

IQCA - Newsletter Number 3

We have now hit the "40 days" mark and everything seems to be moving faster!
 The clock hands are spinning, the printing is stacking up and the emails are
arriving non-stop. Full pre-IQCAfrica 2013 mode.
This week we focus on Patti Hempen's workshops. Patti hails from Texas and specialises
 in Kaleidoscope techniques. She will be offering these three one-day workshops at IQCAfrica 2013:
Free-form Symmetry (Fri 6 Sept). Free-Form Symmetry is a new concept that lends itself to
beautiful self-design. It takes away the “fear factor” of creating an original piece and is
 time-efficient, uncomplicated and simple enough that anyone can do it with beautiful,
pleasing, self-gratifying results. The photo shown below is the premise for the class;
 however, each student's work will be unique. Great fun for the beginner to experienced quilters.
Join author of the book "Free-Form Symmetry" as she shows you how to create your own
 quilt using her fun method.
Floral Kaleidoscopes (Sat 7 Sept). Let Patti teach you to design, cut out, stitch, fuse, and machine
appliqué your OWN kaleidoscopic flower garden. Every “bloom” will be a wonderfully random
explosion of colour and surprise! There will be no two flowers alike!  You will also see other
 samples of her quilts and discuss the possibilities of using this technique for other sized quilts
if desired.  The ultimate goal of this workshop is for all students to have fun, enjoy the process
 and take home a wonderful piece of fabric art.
Serendipity Wedges (Sun 8 Sept). Indulge yourself in a fascinating learning experience which
will result in a maze of beautifully-collected octagonal kaleidoscopes. You will learn to turn a
 piece of fabric into this stunning and most colourful quilt. Patti also will show other examples
 to inspire you. The results are dazzling and addictive!
Then, in the Exhibition Hall we will have "Yesterday, today, tomorrow" - a collection of 35
competition quilts (32 entries plus 1 from each the judges) coming to us from the 18th European
Patchwork Meeting in Alsace, France. This international collection represents the work of some
 of the finest art quilters in the world, including Libby Lehman, Linda Colsch, and Linda Kemshall.
We have had many requests for directions to IQCAfrica. Here are all the possibilities:
  • AIR: Fly in to OR Tambo Airport. Walk through to the International Arrivals Hall,
         then cross the road and follow the directions to the BUS terminus. Catch a free       
         Emperors Palace shuttle bus which runs every 20 minutes.
  • GAUTRAIN: Change at Marlboro Station for the Rhodesfield line. Get off at Rhodesfield,
          then catch the RF2 bus to Emperors Palace.
  • ROAD: Take the R21 highway and exit at the Griffiths Rd off-ramp. Turn left into
          Jones Rd and then left again into Emperors Palace. 
  • GPS co-ordinates: S: 26° 08' 55.10" E: 28° 13' 20.17"
For more information about workshops and Ricky Tims seminars and also to book your seat, go to
We'll chat again next week about more things to do and see at IQCAfrica 2013!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

IQCA 2013 - News letter 2

As mentioned in our newsletter last week, the workshops and seminars this year are a full-day-package
affair. That includes snacks with every tea break plus a solid lunch. If you enroll for a workshop or
 Ricky Tims Seminar, the catering staff at Emperors palace will make sure that you are so well looked
after that you will not need to eat again for the next week!
_ _ _
This week we focus on the workshops presented by Lisa Walton from Australia.
This travelling teacher is continually on the move, presenting workshops all over
 the world. At this moment she is in Taupo , New Zealand, then before she heads
 our way in September she will first be teaching at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.  
A busy lady indeed!
Crystallization (Fri 6 Sept). You will use your coordinated scraps of interesting
 textures and colours.  This creative combination will easily turn from random strips
 into a beautiful work of art.
Cutout Magic (Sat 7 Sept). This workshop is designed to let you experiment with
 an expanded square technique. Paper versions will be trialed first and then fabric
 will be cut and fused to create a unique wall-hanging.  
NO SEWING WILL BE DONE DURING WORKSHOP as we will be concentrating
 on the design and layout. Simple machine piecing will be demonstrated to enable
 students to finish off the quilt at home.
Luscious Landscapes (Sun 8 Sept). Do you have that favourite landscape image
that you would love to turn into a tactile textile work of art? This workshop will give
 you the skills to recreate your image using a variety of textiles including cottons, silks,
 velvets and sheers sandwiched with water soluble stabiliser. Your stitching skills will be
enhanced with free motion quilting, couching and bobbin work.
Final embellishment with beads will create a small unique work of art.
In the Exhibition Hall you will find a very special exhibition which has been specially
 selected for us and sponsored by the Danish Patchwork Guild. These 27 quilts comprising
 the Scandinavian Collection which come to us from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland
and Iceland represent some of the finest quilting talent in these Scandinavian countries.
 The exhibition will be curated by Winnie Egefjord, who will be on hand to tell us more
 about quilting in Scandinavia.
For more information about workshops and Ricky Tims seminars and also to book
 your seat, go to
As promised, we'll chat again next week about more things to do and see!
The IQCAfrica Team

Friday, July 12, 2013

Spinning - Wheeeee!

While I was away at Quilt in Clarens and then at the National Quilt Festival in Bloemfontein, my new spinning wheels arrived at home. That's Murphy's idea of fun - I had to wait two weeks before I could get my hands on them! The little e-spinner is so that I can spin more quickly and easily without Dexta having a field day in the wool ;) it will sit on a counter with the tops next to it while I spin miles and miles of yarn.

But it's the Country Spinner 2 that I'm really excited about.
With a bobbin that a friend described as a rolling pin and 2 fish plates and a huge orifice, I am going to be spinning all manner of art yarn.
Here's the start of it :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

IQCA International Quilt Convention Africa 2013

ColourSpun will be at IQCA with Wool n Weave, Imcomparable Buttons and a huge range of
 books from the 3 leading South African distributors.
Looking forward to seeing you there :)
Until then, I'll be posting a copy of the IQCA weekly newsletter here on my blog. Here's the first one:
With less than 60 days to go to IQCAfrica 2013, you can look forward to weekly newsletters  to keep
 you fully informed of all the things to do and see at this year's event.
We are thrilled to confirm that
FIBER REVOLUTION, a group of professional
 fibre artists in the USA, has put together an
exhibition of 22 artworks specially for our event!
This exhibition will be one of NINE exhibitions
(containing more than 280 individual quilts and
 fibre artworks) on display at IQCAfrica this year.
More about the others in our next newsletter ...
This year our workshops are offered as FULL DAY PACKAGES, which means that you will be
 treated like royalty for the entire day! A six-hour workshop, 3 x tea/coffee/ snacks/refreshments,
a delicious sit-down lunch, plus free entry to the vendors and exhibition halls!  VIP treatment all the
Let's take a closer look at some of the workshops available.  International teacher Barbara Olson
from Montana, USA will be presenting three one-day workshops. Best known for her bold and vibrant
 award-winning quilts, Barbara will be teaching these fun-filled classes:
Prismatic Flowers (Fri 6 Sept). Create something beautiful as you learn a new technique! Play with
 colour, texture, depth and shading as you create an exquisite 3D flower filled with light and energy.
   Choosing from one of Barbara's flower drawings eliminates the drafting and allows you to go
 straight to designing with fabric. These gorgeous flowers can be used to enhance your own quilts.
Cosmic Spirals (Sat 7 Sept). Spirals can be a challenge for most of us. Learn the techniques Barbara
 uses in her award winning quilts for designing and constructing  magical spirals!  You will begin a
 small wall hanging containing one 18” block.  Foundation piecing is used to achieve precise points
 for the geometric black and white spiral.  Color is then added to the next round of the spiral with
 strips to complete the block.
Jump Start Your Creativity (Sun 8 Sept). Are you ready to break out of the box and experience a
 playful way of creating? Too much thinking or fear often stops quilters from trying new designs and
  fabrics. A simple flower pattern is the first ingredient, a wide array of wild, powerful & playful
novelty fabrics (polka dots, geometrics, florals, etc.) a few solid fabrics is the second ingredient and
willing spirit is the third ingredient. 
For more information about these and other workshops available and also to book your seat,
 go to
Kindly note that all workshops MUST be pre-booked.
We'll chat again next week about more things to do and see!
The IQCAfrica Team

Visit IQCAfrica at:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy Birthday TAFA

It's TAFA's (the Textile and Fibre Art List) 3rd birthday today and in honour of all of us, Rachel, who created TAFA, has made a video featuring work from all our members. It's well worth watching!

and when you're done, pop over to TAFA for more happiness!

Friday, January 11, 2013

African Animal Baby Mobile - take 2!

The pattern for the mobile was up on Craftsy and on Ravelry when I got a message from one of the editors at Ravelry to say that because the pattern had been published as a series in Stitches, it would have to be seperated into the same portions on Ravelry and the whole pattern would have to then be offered as an e-book. Well, I certainly didn't relish the thought of having to seperate it all into patterns that would each work seperately and then the thought of making an e-book - that was just plain scary! Cath was very supportive and sent me a link on Ravelry with instructions for making an e-book and offered to help. She was warned that she may be driven crazy and I set about making the changes.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, it turned out to be a walk in the park, a long walk but still definately not a hike uphill and I have now got seperate patterns for each of the animals, all with instructions for making the mobile and an e-book with all the patterns together on both Ravelry and Craftsy. The Elephant and Hippo patterns are there already as well as the e-books and the other patterns will be there soon.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

African Animal Baby Mobile

I've been really busy these last few days with yarn orders and working on projects for April's issue of Stitches. The project I was working on today reminded me of a project I did a while ago that is a perfect match to my Little Ellie Baby Blanket

it's the African Animal Baby Mobile.

and here's the Little Ellie Blanket

and so tonight I loaded the pattern instructions onto my Craftsy Pattern Store and Ravelry . The pattern can also be used to make lovely soft toys by using thicker yarn and larger needles and you'll find instructions for the Little Ellie Baby Blanket there too.

Happy knitting

Love Dana

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 - It's going to be a wonderful year!

WOW 2013! Who'd have thought!? ... and we're all still here :)  The Mayan calendar ended and life just carried on as usual - was anyone expecting anything different?

Nothing much has changed in my studio, except for moving some furniture around to accommodate extra guests over December and I've decided to leave the bed in there as it's a lovely cool escape to relax and read on hot summer afternoons. Hahaha... like there's time to spend afternoons reading, but I do intend trying to make some.

I've hit the ground running this year and feel very excited about all that lies ahead. My son, Ken and his fiance, Jackie, will be married in April, so we are all very involved with wedding arrangements. In March my father-in-law has his 80th birthday, so we're off to spend some time with him. Also in April the Wakkerstroom Natural Fibre Fair takes place on Saturday 13th and a new fair in Klerksdorp from the 18th to 20th April. Quilt in Clarens happens again in June and International Quilt Convention Africa in September. At the moment I am working on the April issue of Stitches and have some yarn dyeing.

My "Little Sheep" is featured on September's page of TAFA's first calendar which is available from and is a wonderfully inspiring way to keep track of your year.

So HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone, may 2013 give you all you wish for yourselves!