New Projects

Applique and trapunto

Guild challenge – Band Practice

Painting a Gazania

Mandala from Amafu

Why, you may ask, am I taking on a new project when I have SO MANY unfinished ones? A good question. Although I am always needing new samples for classes that I’ll be teaching; as well as challenges I have issued and/or accepted. But as I also sleep, drink, eat, think quilting constantly, a new idea for a project is never far from my mind.

So besides the 3 road trips planned for next year with class samples to be made, festival coming up and a quilt or more asking to be entered, our guild challenge which is due for January (almost finished I must say!), a friend offered to make me a tool roll.

Now I don’t do things simply! I have to complicate my life. I decided to quilt the roll using leather. I’ve never quilted on leather before. What fun it was, but a good lesson in remembering the basics. I thought I was so clever and knew so well how to do it. I broke and bent needles, snapped and shredded thread, my tension was out, and generally I was most frustrated.

Leather tool roll

Then! I remembered what I tell everyone I teach about needles! If the thread snaps or breaks, if your needle breaks, if the tension does not come right then CHANGE YOUR NEEDLE TO MATCH THE TASK, it is the easiest and cheapest thing to do!
What a difference it made once I did that. (I used a Leather needle 18/110.)
Bob of Superior Threads has a great video on needles
A YouTube video worth looking at regarding needles and thread
P.S. I’ll post a photo of the finished tool roll once it’s done!

There and back again! (with apologies to Bilbo Baggins)

Roads go ever on

Under clouds and under star,

Yet feet that wandering have gone

Turn at last to home afar

(The Hobbit, JRR Tolkein)


We have just returned home from a most wonderful road trip! 17 days, 10 towns and 4000km!

Hanlie from Amafu Fabrics and I toured our beautiful country. From the dry, harsh, beautiful plains of the Karoo  we dipped down to into the lush green valleys and ravines of the Garden Route.  We swooped from the mountains of the Drakensberg to the highveld of the Northern Cape and the fruit-filled valleys of the Western Cape.  I could continue waxing lyrical about the scenery of this magnificent country to the point of boring one half of you  and making the other violently  jealous!. Not only were the surroundings beautiful, but so too the wonderful, friendly and hospitable people we met along  the way. We’ve made new friends, reconnected with “old” ones and enjoyed the company of family too.

I taught classes in applique and trapunto, free-motion quilting and patchwork knitting to amazing students who appreciated their learning and showed it by producing wonderful samples. As a teacher, I can only hope that they enjoy and put into practice their newly acquired skills!

Hanlie brought some of her  fabrics and accessories along, and the pop-up shop was greeted enthusiastically by fellow quilters along the way.

Thank you to the people who participated, the  groups and guilds,  the students,  organizers and hosts who made our road trip such a success.

Thank you in particular to Hanlie, for having put the trip together, contacted people to host us, found us accommodation, and most important of all –  for putting up with me! Everyday there was something to laugh about, even at 4 in the morning!

Definitely something we will do again!

Watch this space as the next plans are afoot!

Look here for classes on offer and if you are interested in Hanlie’s fabrics: Amafu Fabrics

Jane’s tip:

Many of you have heard me say: If you want your work to be neat, start off neat!

I recommend a stitch starter, read the article on Craftsy; use the scrap of fabric at the end too. This keeps your beginning and ending threads under control.



Road trip – 27th September to 14 October

Road trip to Cape Town and back!

Hanlie Burger from Amafu, and myself will be on the road on Thursday 27th September for 17 days! We will be setting up pop-up shops and teaching in Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Beaufort West, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Hermanus, Mossel Bay, Jeffrey’s Bay, Grahamstown, and finally in Aliwal North before returning home on the 14 October.

A round trip of South Africa!

I will be teaching:

Applique and Trapunto in Bloemfontein on Friday 28 September and again on Saturday 29 September in Kimberley.




Patchwork knitting in Beaufort West on Monday 1 October

Jane Renton










Quilt it to Death in Hermanus on Wednesday 3 October and again on Thursday 4 October at Thimbles Quilt Shop, Durbanville.

Christmas Table runner on Saturday at Thimbles Quilt Shop, Durbanville

Applique and Trapunto in Mossel Bay on Tuesday 9 October and again in Jeffrey’s Bay on Thursday 11 October

The ladies in Grahamstown are still deciding….

Applique and trapunto in Aliwal North on Saturday 13 October

If you would like to join us at any of the venues please contact me on 082 558 1682 or email:




Ready for a new challenge?

Mystery Quilt-as-you-Go Challenge: Follow-up

Eighteen of the Mystery Quilt-as-you-Go Challenge quilts were displayed at the annual Pietermaritzburg Garden show at the beginning of  September this year! It was a fantastic array of gorgeous and innovative quilts. We involved the public in the challenge by having them choose a quilt they liked best. By popular vote, first and second choices went to each of the quilts Jean Hayler had made.

Well done Jean, both of your quilts were well made, with beautiful colours and design theme! Your grandchildren are going to be thrilled.

And a rousing “Well done”  to all those that took part in the challenge and completed their quilts for the show!

A big “Thank You” to all those who were involved and who took the challenge to heart


At the Garden Show our charity quilt was raffled and this raised a nice sum to be donated to the Jes Foord Foundation that offers counseling and support rape survivors.









So it’s September …………..with no challenge until January?


I have found a new challenge 🙂

Image result for magazines on display

  1. Find a  magazine that is NOT quilting related;  pick a number and turn to that page in the magazine.
  2. Make a quilt related to something on that page – it can be colour; a word or phrase; a picture  etc.
  3. The quilt can be any size – from cushion size to bed quilt or even a wall hanging
  4. The challenge finishes in January 2019
  5. In January submit your quilt with the page and a short story about how your quilt relates to the page.

Happy stitching just because there is nothing else worth doing!!!






Final Block!!!

Oh my word! What a busy time it’s been since the last post. House guests galore, teaching classes, quilts to finish for customers and quilts to complete for shows! Whew!

And so without further ado, here is the final block for the mystery quilt.

The Lone Star design is an old one sometimes used alone as a a quilt’s central motif , but also with smaller stars or as a single block.  If you are interested, there are some fascinating snippets about this design, as well as quilt history, in the two websites below:

I hope that you have all enjoyed the challenge as much as I have, and I can’t wait to see the final results of all those who participated.

Next month will be the final instructions on putting it all together! (You have had them already so it’ll be a recap only!)

(You can stop crying now Clementina!)


Block #14:

Method: Lone Star

No required: ONLY 1! The Final One!

Design size: 15 1/2″ x 15 1/2″

Final size including seam allowances: 16″ x 16″

Pattern: Lone star  This pattern is a recommendation only, you are welcome to change it as you please. Though the basic size given will need to be used in order that the star fits the square.


Revise and continue….

Image result for how exciting

Well, Clementina, we are almost there!

Can you believe we’ve had the shortest day and longest night already?  The year and the seasons are turning, and so too are we reaching the end of the Mystery Quilt. Image result for art nouveau wisteria

I thought that it would be a good idea, in our final stages of the Mystery Quilt-as-you-go, to give a recap of all we have done so far.

The pieces:

1:  4 x 8″x 8″ applique blocks – these are your corner stones

2: 1 x 4″x 24″ applique block

3: 1 x 16″x 4″ friendship braid

4: 2 x 12″x 12″ foundation piecing

5: 4 x 4″x 40″ strip/string piecing forming part of your borders

6: 4 x 4″x 40″ checkerboard – the second part of your borders

7: 2 x 8″x 8″ half square triangles

8: 1 x 8″x 8″ card trick

9: 1 x 4″x 12″ flying geese

10: 2 x 8″x 8″ kaleidoscope

11: 2 x 8″x 8″ cathedral window/crazy patch

12: 1 x 12″x 12″ (or 4 x 6″x 6″) drunkards path

13: 4 x 8″x 8″ Y-seams. (Nothing to do with underpants Clemintine! Contain yourself!). The Instructions and patterns for this are  below.

14: 1 x 16″x16″ to be announced……..……

15: Quilt-as-you-go final assembly and completion. To be handed in by Monday 3 September!

Keep in mind that the above measurements are all given with seam allowance included. Remember this is only a guide, if you have more or less blocks, or different size blocks so your quilt doesn’t “fit”, do  not worry, do some “tweaking”  by adding extra blocks 😉 and continue on your way to the end!

Block #13:

Method: Mastering Y-seams

No required: 4

Design size: 7 1/2″ x 7 1/2″

Final dimensions including seam allowances: 8″ x 8″

Patterns: (when printing these out please make sure you print to actual size and then check that the outer dimension is 8″ x 8″)

8-pointed star

Attic windows

Spiders web


There are many more available on google!

Use the pattern given;  as the dimensions given in this video will give you a bigger block!

So, it’s time to be catching up if you are behind. There is only one more block to go and then the final completing of your quilt.

Remember the deadline is 3 September 2018, in time for the Pietermaritzburg Garden Show or earlier if you will not be coming to help set up!

Penultimate instructions

As I mentioned last time, the next set  of instructions is being sent early so you will have time in August to put your pieces together.

The next block design is a traditional one, either named Drunkards Path- referring to its winding, curved motif or Solomon’s Puzzle – perhaps due to  the “challenge” of sewing the curves, or  because of its bold and decisive lines much like its namesake in the Bible.

Anyway, whatever you call it, I hope you will enjoy the making thereof!


Block #12:Method: Drunkards path

Final dimensions: 12″ x 12″

There are 2 options:

You can either make up 16 blocks each 3 3/8″ x 3 3/8″ sewn together to make up the 12″ x 12″ block


4 blocks each 6 1/4″ x 61/4″ blocks including seam allowances. These will be joined to make the 12″ x 12″ finished block

There are a multitude of ways of arranging the blocks and the more blocks you do the more variations there are.

The size of the circle is entirely up to you!

From Scribner’s Magazine 1887




Some YouTube instructions:

If you use this method then for the 16 blocks you will start with a 3 5/8″ x 3 5/8″ square; for the 4 blocks the size will be 6 1/2″ by 6 1/2″


And so, we are nearly there!!!!!!!

The great reveal

Almost half the year gone already…and winter is upon us! For some,  this means donning an extra layer or three of woolly warmers, but for others just a light cardi to complement our normal uniform of shorts and slops (No, Clementine, NOT everyone can say “Life’s a beach”!).

Bearing in mind that the Pietermaritzburg Garden Show is  early this year and there will only be 2 weeks to complete your quilt after the August meeting, instead of having a month, there is great incentive to stay indoors and quilt.

So with perfect timing – as the Mystery Quilt Challenge draws to a close, all is revealed.

These 2 blocks are simple,  though can be made more complicated if you so choose.

Crazy patch stitching

And, although these are not the last blocks to do I am including a link for the layout of the mystery quilt so the quilt-as-you-go can begin!

Block #11

Image result for Cathedral window patchwork

Cathedral window patchwork

Number required: 2

Method: Cathedral window or Crazy patch (Or you may do one of each)

Design size: 7 1/2″ x 7 1/2″

Final dimensions: 8″ x 8″

On page 14 of Online Quilt Magazine: oqm-2010-12  you will find instructions to make the cathedral window squares. The size of the blocks in the instructions are different to the size required for our mystery quilt.  You will need 4 x 8″ x 8″ blocks of background fabric and 4 x 3 5/8″ x 3 5/8″ of patterned fabric for the centre square. You may follow the rest of the instructions given for completing the block.

The block layout for the Mystery Quilt-as-you-go can be downloaded: Mystery QAYG block placement

This is only a guideline so feel free to arrange the blocks as you choose, particularly if you have made a bigger quilt than I have given instructions for.


#5 is here!

The best laid plans of mice and men….

Sometimes life gets in the way, unplanned and unexpected circumstances cause us to stop our busy-ness, reassess our focus and decide what is actually important, urgent, or absolutely necessary!

So my apologies. I am late with this email and set of instructions – hopefully it won’t happen again …..though no promises!;)

Block #9:

Number required: 1

Technique: Flying geese

Design size: 3 1/2″ x 11 1/2″

Final dimensions including seam allowances: 4″ x 12″

Method: Paper foundation piecing. I have attached a PDF doc which you can print out for your foundation. As the size is slightly irregular the first and last triangles are slightly larger then the rest.

Flying geese


I have attached a very simple process of making flying geese if you are need 4 or multiples of 4 – Sew Easy: Quick-pieced flying geese as shown in YouTube video below.

An alternative to flying geese: (You will need to work out the size of your squares to make it fit the required dimensions. Though you could use the process shown above to make your 4 units!))

For 3-dimensional flying geese:

Blocks #10:

Number required: 2

Technique: Kaleidoscope

Design size:  7 1/2″ x 7 1/2″

Final dimensions including seam allowances: 8″ x 8″

Method: Accurate cutting and piecing. The triangles are 45 degree angles.

Here are PDF files for both a 71/2″ kaleidoscope pattern (large) and a 13/4″ pattern (small) When you print please make sure the key is 1″ long – print actual size.

large kaleidoscope pattern

small kaleiscope pattern

The small kaleidoscope pattern is one of four that would need to be made to become the 71/2″ square.

Here is a link to a fussy cut kaleidoscope


Last month Mary-Ann spoke about Free-motion quilting. Here is the first of the series of YouTube videos that Leah Day does. She is really good!



Nearly half way!

Related image

…..and Autumn is upon us!  Here on the farm, the evenings are getting crisper, and each morning the mist lies upon the field and shrouds each hilltop with its own pale scarf.

It seems fitting then, as we stand on the cusp of the equinox, that with this set of blocks we will be half way through constructing the blocks for the Mystery Quilt!

Blocks #7:

Number required: 2

Technique: Half square triangles

Design size: 7 1/2″ x 7 1/2″

Final dimensions including seam allowances: 8″ x 8″

Method: You will start with squares that measure 4 3/4″ x 4 3/4″. Once sewn trim to 4 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ each if you are only making a block of 4 squares.

If you want to make a block of 16 squares you will need to cut 3″ x 3″ squares and once sewn trim them to 2 3/8″ x 2 3/8″

If you’ve done 4 squares then arrange in a pattern of your choice.

If you’ve done 16 squares, you may also arrange in a pattern

of your choice though here  are some options:

Block #8:

Number required: 1

Technique: Card trick

Design size: 7 1/2″ x 7 1/2″

Final dimensions including seam allowances: 8″ x 8″


From each of the 4 colours you are using,  cut 1 square  3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″

From the same 4 colours, cut 1 square  2 3/4″ x 2 3/4″

Cut 2   squares  in background fabric:  3 1/2″ x 31/2″

Cut 1  square in background fabric:  3 1/4″ x 3 1/4″

Then follow instructions in the video:

 And that is that for now. Unless you’re needing to catch up, then this is a good month to do so with only 3 blocks to do!