Teaching in Johannesburg, August 2011

When this blog is published, I’ll be returning to Johannesburg to teach quilters who kindly provided accommodation for me and transportation to and from the 17th South African National Quilt Festival in Bloemfontein. I thought I’d write about my experiences teaching here two years ago when I stayed for a week with Grace Nobili and her husband, Enzo, in Roodepoort, the West Rand area of Johannesburg. Their beautiful home sits on the top a ridge with a commanding view all round.Here is Grace in the shop with one of her feline buddies.

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There was an indoor pool and a long-arm quilting machine that Enzo and his brother built for Grace from assorted parts they gathered from a variety of sources.

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Grace and her friends in the Quadrille Quilters planned a whole week of quilting and sight seeing for me and they made so welcome. I did a lecture for the guild and taught two workshops at Grace’s shop, Quiltec Fabrics. The shop is attached to Grace’s house and is spacious. We managed to pack in 14 students on both workshop days. I taught my Gateway to Mongolia class and the template-free Kaleidoscope Puzzle class.

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When it was time to design the Kaleidoscope Puzzle quilts after cutting the kite and wedge-shaped pieces, we spread out into Grace’s living room too.

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Grace decided to try a miniature Kaleidoscope Puzzle quilt using vibrant orange fabrics. I had traveled to South Africa on my birthday, arriving in Johannesburg late in the evening. One of the ladies baked me a birthday cake and we celebrated during class. They were so kind and good to me.

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One evening, we went to another lady’s home for a wonderful potluck and a show and tell of beautiful quilts. Here’s the group. The goodies on the plate are sweet and delicious koeksuster, deep-fried twists of batter soaked in syrup.

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Grace is unable to attend the Quilting Festival in Bloemfontein, but we are planning to get together when I return to Johannesburg towards the end of July. I’m looking forward to seeing her again.


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