On the Modern Mystery

That’s what I have called my newly completed mystery quilt. I have twice before mentioned the mystery quilt along offered by the Good Hope Quilters’ Guild when I posted photographs of the progress. Well the quilt top is now complete, after 12 weeks. Here it is, ta dah…

Modern Mystery. 185 cm square (73 inches square)

The instructions are apparently going to remain on the website for a while, so if you are tempted you can download the 12 sets of instructions (click on the link in the opening paragraph). I cannot sing high enough praises about how clear and easy to follow those instructions are. Not to mention the stunning design. So thank you again to Diana Vandeyar for generously sharing her expertise. Her largesse continued on an Instagram post where she offers further border designs to make the quilt larger, after receiving requests for ideas on how to do this. Click here to see the post.

My good friend Karen Davies also took part. She used a William Morris print as one of her fabrics and made this stunning quilt:

At our regular QUOGs (Quilters of Grahamstown) gathering this week there were many hands to hold up the quilts and so we had a photograph session. Here are the quilt tops, side by side:

Can you spot the differences? Karen followed the instructions exactly and produced a perfect quilt. I was in too much of a hurry (as usual) and so made two mistakes. Firstly I made my first blocks over a weekend and used what I had in my stash, thinking that I would be able to match the fabrics for the extra yardage. Ha. While the local fabric shop still had plenty of the purple, there was no more bright lilac and I had to make do with a lighter shade, therefore using three colours instead of the designated two. Then later in the process I got my background and main fabrics mixed up, so the colour sequence is incorrect, or does not follow the design. I decided to view this as a happy mistake and to make a second quilt in order to get it right.

I repeat myself from a blog post a few weeks back when I said that in making this mystery quilt I had learnt the joy of precision piecing. As you can see, there are many angles and corners in this quilt and it became a point of honour for me to get my corners to meet exactly. Even though I didn’t quite manage this every time, I am still pleased with the level of precision I achieved. (And, I realise now why I have avoided sewing triangular designs in the past — there is only one way to get perfect points and that is to sew carefully and slowly.)

I decided to include these rather personal shots because they say something about the companionship that quilting brings. At left are Karen and I with our quilts and (right) our sewing companions.

For me, the Modern and Postmodern movements are a bit of a mystery. I grappled with the concept while studying literature and decided that it is difficult to define something when one is right in the middle of it. This is probably self-indulgent problematising. When it comes to modern quilts I relish the clear, bright lines. The Modern Quilt Guild answers the question What is Modern Quilting? clearly and simply:

Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work.

And, in the words of Diana Vandeyar the GHQG mystery quilt explores a few “modern quilt” elements such as large minimalist blocks, some negative space and high contrast between the units. This quilt is designed as a two colour (two fabric) quilt with a dark background fabric and a light, high contrast main fabric.

On Seminole Patchwork

There is nothing new under the sun. I was reminded of this fact when I realised that a quilt I made years ago was not a unique discovery but rather a homespun version of the Seminole patchwork method. I had set out to copy the diamond pattern of an ancient mosaic floor that I had seen in an art book by making long strips of fabric “tiles” and sewing them together on point. It involved a lot of unpicking to get the fabric tiles to match the pattern of the floor in the book.

African Mosaic (123 x 64 cm)

It was tricky to arrange the rust and black tiles in the square format around a central black block, which is why the bottom panel of the quilt is simple straight rows of diamonds. At the time I started another piece of “titled floor” and this morning decided to unearth the unfinished quilt top from a storage box marked “unfinished”. It was neatly packed with the unused fabric. (Perhaps the time has come to finish it.)

When I tackled the third challenge in the Bernina Round Robin this month I realised that the above pieces are in fact Seminole patchwork and that I would have saved myself a lot of unpicking if I had done some research before starting to stitch the mosaic floor. But I was new to quilting, had not yet built up a little library of quilting manuals, and there was no internet for quick and easy reference.

The brief for the Bernina Round Robin was to make a Seminole patchwork border. The introduction to the set of instructions notes that Seminole patchwork is created by joining a series of horizontal strips to produce repetitive geometric designs and gives the following background: “This intricate technique was developed by the Seminole tribe from Florida in the 1800s as a necessity for clothing which had to be made from scraps of material. The style developed into distinct designs made of tribal motifs with significant meanings. As sewing machines replaced hand-stitching, the designs became even more intricate.”

A most useful book The Quilters’ Ultimate Visual Guide, edited by Ellen Pahl (Rodale Press, 1997) not only gives clear instructions on how to construct Seminole patterns, but also includes this interesting folklore:

Without the facts of a written historical records, there are a variety of theories about the origins of Seminole patchwork. Some say the Seminoles, driven deep into the swamp by pressure from farming settlers, were reduced to using even scrap strips of fabric for their clothing. Others say the tartans of Scottish settlers in southern Florida inspired the Seminole tribe to create complex and colorful patterns. We know that runaway slaves found protection with the Seminole people, and perhaps one of them carried the concept of strip patchwork into the Everglades.

Whatever its origins, Seminole patchwork is an ingenious technique for creativing machine sewn patchwork designs the appear deceptively complex.

p. 217. “Seminole Patchwork” by Cheryl Greider Bradkin
The addition of the Seminole border to my Bernina Round Robin block

I am not really happy with this border but was running out of time to meet the end of the month deadline for the Round Robin challenge. The initial plan was to make smaller blocks (three-quarter inch finished size) in a random set of plain colours that are echoes of the main Kaffe Fassett fabric called “Row Flowers”. This requires a lot of stitching and I had not left myself enough time to complete the project. But all is not lost as I am in fact making two pieces simultaneously, one that follows the instructions to the T, and a second one that stretches the rules a little.

I will not bore you with a step by step explanation of how to make this design. Bernina asks that we post process photographs on its Round Robin challenge site. Here they are for anyone who may be interested.

Finishing Line

The ending of the month also brought the submission date for the #areyoubookenough challenge that runs on Instagram. The theme for April was body language and here are photographs of the cloth concertina book that I made. It developed organically and is hand-stitched.

Welcome to my Sewing Space

With too many projects on the go and nothing to show that is completed, I wasn’t going to write a post this week. But it felt wrong to miss a deadline — even if it is a self-imposed one. So, when I noticed the soft autumn light in my workroom this morning an idea popped into my head.

I have a voyeuristic fascination with other people’s studios when watching online interviews with textile artists and assume I am not the only one! Recently I was entranced by posts by blogging friends that offered “tours” of their studio and sewing spaces through a set of photographs and am unashamedly copying Tierney (https://tierneycreates.com/2020/12/19/in-the-studio/) and Emmely (https://infectiousstitches.wordpress.com/2021/03/27/sewing-room-tour/). So here follows a set of snapshots of my workspace. It comes with a viewers’ warning that I did not tidy up before I took the photographs. This is what greets you when you open the front door to our house. A cupboard full of fabric (!) and, behind that, signs of sewing activity.

My work space is in the entrance room to our house. While it is a fairly large room, it also houses the staircase and the front section of the room acts as a passageway. It was therefore quite a tight fit to get the worktables and storage units into the remaining floor space of about 5 square metres. The only option for the cupboard holding my fabric stash was facing the front door (behind it is a large map cabinet in which I store finished quilts, etc.) I am embarrassed that the prominent position has not encouraged me to be more tidy. But, as quilters will know, fabric has a way of disarranging itself while one is looking for that particular piece you know is stashed somewhere in the pile of red (or blue, or black, etc.) materials.

Once you are inside and the door is closed there is a little more space. The following photographs were taken in an anti-clockwise direction.

From this view, the screen blocks off the array of fabrics, rulers, cutters, works in progress, clutter, etc. on the work surfaces.

The screen was made for the practical purpose of screening off the untidyness but it does also give me pleasure when I see the light shining through the fairly translucent Island Batik fabrics. If I am working on a large project or pinning a quilt on the cutting table (also made by The Woodworker) I move the screen aside.

So what is behind the screen? Here goes, and please remember that you have been warned:

Then we move to work surfaces for sewing and ironing. My ancient workhorse Bernina is under cover in front of the ironing station, waiting for the next heavy duty project. The desk I use daily holds the younger 1008 Bernina. Alongside is the map cabinet and various inspirations pinned onto a pegboard and the back of the fabric cupboard.

The textile works on the walls and pinboards are part of my inspirational pieces and were not made by me. Here are some close ups.

And now it remains to show some photographs of the top of cutting table. It is customised to my height and easy to move and is an absolute pleasure to work at it.

On Refashioning Dolls’ Clothes

For years a collection of dolls in national dress from around the world adorned a shelf in the children’s bedroom. Then the girls grew up and left home and the dolls collected dust. During a spring cleaning spree these dolls were packed into a box and nearly discarded. Luckily nostalgia stopped me and the box of dolls was stored in the attic, to gather more dust. Then along came COVID and lockdown and the community stitch challenge (thank you TextileArtist.org) where I was inspired by textile artists who have repurposed old linens and vintage stitch work into new and exciting pieces. Then I remembered this collection of dolls in folk costumes, and retrieved the box, undressed the dolls and washed the clothes with the idea of using them to make similar textile pieces.

It took a while to decide how to repurpose the traditional costumes. At times it seemed like a silly thing to do, but the idea kept percolating and, when I saw how Jennifer Collier uses old postage stamps in her paper-based collages something clicked into place. Why not use a particular country’s stamps as markers for the origin of its folk costume, I thought. So I unearthed my childhood stamp collection, dusted it off, and started assembling the collages pictured above.

I laid the clothes onto a calico background and hand stitched or pinned them into place. The calico is backed with a thin layer of flannel followed by a piece of sturdy canvas, to make up the three layers traditionally used by quilters. Once I was satisfied with the layout of the clothes that make up the outfit, I added postage stamps. [I confess to some ironic and quirky choices. As I examined the images on these old stamps I realised that they tell a (not the) story of a country’s history that can be uncomfortable. I wonder if academic theses have been written about this.] The stamps were lightly glued into place. Then I overstitched the whole assemblage.

A full view of the piece (25 x 33 cm)

The size of the works is based on the A4 or A3 format and the black stitched line in the above photograph matches the A4 size (21 x 30 cm).

Once I had decided on the layout of the piece, the stitching went quickly and smoothly. The background stitch is done in rows and I use the wavy zigzag setting on my Bernina, with the stitch length set to 1 and the stitch width to 5 (the maximum). After finishing the Dutch costume I decided to stitch down the Native American folk costume as it also fitted neatly into the A4 format. I inserted a leather needle into my trusty Bernina, held my breath, and started stitching. The needle went through the leather and the fabric layers like butter and, despite the extra thickness of the needle, did not tear the comparatively fragile paper of the postage stamps.

I was not happy with the way this turned out and was all set to unpick the bottom section (the leggings) after the overstitching was done. My friend the artist suggested I could save it by turning the legs into a more abstract design by overlaying black strips and adding a central strip of leather. Thank heavens for friends with a good eye.

Then I tackled the South African based costume of a long dress, apron, shawl and doek [head scarf] sometimes worn by African women. The outfit would not fit into the A4 format, hence the expansion to an A3 size. I also had a large collection of this country’s stamps that I could use.

A quick snap taken at the early stages of laying out the collage. Below is the finished work, to show the effect of the overstitching. It measures 35 x 45 cm.

There are still quite a number of traditional costumes from the doll collection and I will slowly stitch them down. At this stage, I am not sure if I will make one large piece or frame each of the outfits separately.

When I began writing this post I did not know what collective term to use for these clothes and so, of course, checked on google where I found the terms traditional dress, national dress, folk costume, and national costumes are all used. I also came across this informative article, if anyone wants to have a look at it.

Solving the mystery

Slowly but surely my blocks for the Good Hope Quilters Guild mystery quilt are taking shape. Every Friday a new tutorial becomes available and the photograph below is the result of nine weeks of following the instructions. Only three more to go. The quilt is designed by Diana Vandeyar as an introduction to modern quilting. Her instruction sheets are crystal clear and I have learnt a lot about the joy of precision piecing from her. I am very glad I took that step into the dark (as it were) and started this project (see this previous post for a blog on the beginning of the process).

The Good Hope Quilters’ Guild has an Instagram page where one can see what other followers of the mystery challenge have produced.

In Memoriam

This quilt of stars was made to celebrate the life of Augusta de Jager (1 October 1957 — 9 December 2020). How does one begin to write a post about the loss of a quilting companion and a vibrant member of our small town community? With difficulty. To help deal with the harsh fact of her death, the QUOGs (Quilters of Grahamstown) made a quilt in her memory and gave it to her husband, Strauss, with our love and the hope that it would bring some comfort. This post is about the making of the quilt.

First I wish to bid Augusta farewell and thank her for the convivial memories of stitching and supping together, for the fascinating conversations and the laughter. The QUOGs have been meeting for nearly 30 years and it is ironic that COVID-19 took one of the younger members of the group. But Augusta was a determined and intrepid educator who did not hide herself away.

During Christmas time the thought to make a quilt of stars to celebrate Augusta’s life settled itself in my head and refused to go away. The group agreed that it was a good idea and we talked about where to start. The Crazy Star has long been a favourite of the group and, at a workshop some years ago, Augusta had made very large stars so that she would be able to quickly finish a quilt for a gift. The pattern lends itself to making stars of different sizes in a free and easy way by using the stack, slash, and swop method. One ends with a set of wonky stars of more or less the same width which can be trimmed and stitched into rows.

Of course there was discussion about the size of the blocks and the colour palette. But the crazy aspect won out and we all made stars from fabrics that reminded us of her, or which she had given as gifts in the past. There were no instructions to make them a set size. The contributors kindly stitched them into rows, which made the final assembly quick and easy.

We held a Saturday workshop during February where we made stars. Some members opted to make their stars at home and deliver them, others found that they already had some in their UFO stashes, and others puzzled over the instructions that had been emailed to everyone. It was remarkable how quickly the quilt grew and how much fun we had, despite the underlying sadness. It was also good to share memories about Augusta as we spent the day stitching.

The next step was to turn the strips of stars into a square quilt. Again, this happened remarkably easily. Three of us gathered for a morning and set about joining rows of the same width. Once we had strips of more or less equal length we joined the strips and, hey presto, we had a queen sized bed quilt top. I had never thought it would end up being so big. Everyone contributed with gusto.

Busy bees assembling the quilt and the final composition.

We left the quilt top in two sections so that it would be easier to quilt on my domestic sewing machine, in straight lines, with a walking foot. I volunteered to do this and Karen then bound it quickly and efficiently. We got it done in record time — just as well as autumn is drawing in and the nights are getting colder.

And so life continues. When I asked Strauss for permission to publish a blog about his quilt he sent me the text of a forthcoming column he had written for the local newspaper’s Soul Food section. His piece is about Easter and autumn and is titled “Dear Lord, may all these days be sanctified” (Guy Butler’s translation of the opening line of the Afrikaans poem “Vroegherfs” [Early Autumn] by N.P. van Wyk Louw). In the article he writes about coming to terms with loss:

As the glorious green remnants of summer fall around us during these days of autumn, may the showy and vain leaves of pride also fall from our lives. And so may all these days indeed be sanctified. In my personal walk I have come to regard the season of losing my wife, Augusta, to COVID-19, also as holy days. From the time at the end of November when I intensely prayed for her healing, up to the present time of dealing with her death, it has been one, longer than usual, autumn season in my life. The season of loss of precious, but temporary, things, also brings with it growth though, and ripening and becoming stronger.

Strauss de Jager, Dominee, NG Kerk


This word makes one think of being constrained, hemmed in, even imprisoned. So, when it came to thinking of ideas for the March theme of ‘fenced’ for the #areyoubookenough challenge on Instagram I was stumped. Then it dawned on me that a fence also offers protection and solace, especially if it encloses a garden.

A representation of my garden in a seven-page accordion fabric book. 6 x 5″ (15 x 12.5 cm) per page

It took a while to arrive at the idea of using my own garden as the source material for the images in the book. I began by stitching a silver fence from lame (with umlaut). Thank you Asta for suggesting this. The intention was to applique (with umlaut) floral fabric behind and in front of the fence and so create a garden on the inside pages of the book. I first painted the book’s blank canvas green (using acrylic ink), then fused floral fabric and, on top of this, the fence posts along the opened up book. The fabric is Kaffe Fassett’s “Row Flowers”, my current favourite.

After stitching down the fence I decided I preferred what was originally meant to have been the outside of the book as the backdrop for the garden. The outline of the fence in closely stitched grey lines was more appealing and less obtrusive than the heavy silver lame. Turn the book around, I told myself, it’s quicker than unpicking (ha ha) or starting again. But I did not know where to begin with a new design for the enclosed garden. The skeleton of the book lay fallow for a couple of weeks while I pondered on what to do.

Then I decided that an enclosed garden needs a gate so began there, by first drawing a rickety old wire gate inside our garden, then tracing the drawing and then machine stitching it (through the tracing paper) onto the first page of the concertina book.

It was probably at this point that I decided to use scenes from our garden to illustrate the three double page spreads in the book. And here I must pay tribute to Johanna Basford, whose adult colouring book Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book also sparked ideas. On the first double spread I used fabric and applique to copy the pots of herbs on the patio. Luckily I have a box of fabric bits with fusible web backings, left over from previous projects. When I became tired of cutting out tiny chillies and tomatoes and leaves I got out my Inktense pencils, took a deep breath, and drew some of the leaves and fruit.

From left, green beans in full leaf; Habanero chillies in full fruit, sweet Basil going to seed, baby tomatoes, and a Tamarillo or tree tomato (Solanum betaceum). [Just in case you had trouble identifying the herbs and vegetables !!]

After making the first double page I began to play in earnest and pulled out the pencil crayons, koki pens, ink and paint brushes. I did struggle a bit to copy the very ornate birdbath in the garden. Until recently it was surrounded by tall garlic chives in full flower.

The final set of pages depicts the stone paved enzo in the herb and vegetable garden. There really is a bay tree with a bird house in that section of the garden (but it is planted in the ground, not a pot).

The final step in the making of the book was the overstitching. I hesitated before setting my sewing machine to the wavy zigzag stitch and then sewing all over my drawings. After practising on a sample I decided the patterning would add to the fenced theme and would also unify the images. Here I acknowledge Anne Kelly, from whom I learnt this trick.

And so I have a record of the garden in its late summer abundance. I started work on the new inside pages with three days to spare until the month ended and the deadline for the #areyoubookenough_fenced March challenge. It pretty much took up all of the three days to make this little book. Here are a set of photographs of the process and various arrangements of the finished book:

Round and round the garden

Still on the garden theme, but jumping to a different project — the Bernina South Africa round robin challenge, which runs monthly for six month. I wrote about starting this in a previous post. The instruction for the second round was to surround the central appliqued motif with joined strips of fabric. I made a garden path using plain greys alternated with the flower fabric.

On Market Days

For a while it seemed that the Saturday market days at Hogsback had come to an end. COVID restrictions caused the closing of the Butterfly’s Bistro that used to graciously provide space for the local stall holders. Towards the end of last year Peter Colyvas of The Edge Mountain Retreat offered a new venue, and the market has moved from the green grass of the bistro to the shade under the oak trees at The Edge.

FABRICATIONS and Nonsuch Woodware take full advantage of this whenever we are on the mountain for a weekend.

Some of The Woodworker’s fine woodware

Maggie Verster, a Hogsback resident, wrote a piece about the market that vividly captures the spirit and ambiance of the Under the Oaks Saturday morning market. If you can’t get to this fairly remote spot in the mountains of the Eastern Cape, then at least Maggie can take you there through her words and photographs. (Just click on the highlighted words for the link to the article.)

Meanwhile, back in my workroom, I have been experimenting with a new style of pincushion. (For us stitchers, pincushions are very important). I have been selling pincushions made from the African print called ShweShwe for some time now.

A few weeks again Tierney posted photographs of her precise, paper pieced pincushions on her blog Tierneycreates. I think they are perfect and of course wanted to copy them. When scraps of Kaffee Fassett fabrics fell onto my worktable I put more than two and two together and came up with this:

This is a prototype and can be improved by a narrower side strip (that bridges the top and bottom pieced circles). I am however not going to go as far as paper piecing in order to reach perfection! The stitching is also not up to scratch as one of the joining seams was done by hand. We have had a week of load shedding (scheduled power cuts) and the electricity went off just before I had finished stitching the pincushion. Of course I could not wait for two hours to see how it would turn out, and so I stitched the final seam by hand.

The side strip comes from a Fassett fabric that was in my stash, but the remainder are all from one of my quilting companions. She gave me a bag of her offcuts after I asked for throwaway scraps for the stuffing of the draught excluders that I make to sell at the market. I could not bear to consign these beautiful fabrics to the innards of a draught excluder. They are quite small bits, so I pieced them together to make larger bits and these seemed just the thing for pretty pincushions.

If anyone knows of a less cumbersome word than draught excluder to name the heavy fabric sausage one puts at the base of a door to stop the draught from creeping in, please let me know. I made the first one for personal use and then included them amongst my FABRICATIONS market wares as a bit of a joke. They have proved to be popular and here is my latest batch.

The casing is from African ShweShwe, which now comes in a range of bright colours and attractive designs. The innards are tightly stuffed with small fabric offcuts. Surprisingly this give the draught excluder enough weight to rest firmly at the bottom of the door.

Because circles of fabric are used at either end of the tube, there is always some left over fabric. I used this to make a new set of card holders.

There won’t be a post from me next week as I will be retreating to the Karoo for a bit.

Outstanding Blogger Award

FABRICATIONS has twice been nominated for the said award. Thank you Helen, creator of Paddy & Plunkett, of crawcrafstbeasties and Shirley of Handmade Habit for nominating me. I am proud and pleased to accept this award from two outstanding crafters. Thank you also for faithfully following and reading my blog about quiltmaking.

Acceptance of the award means I have to answer the sets of questions posed by Helen and Shirley. Then I compile a set of questions to pass on to a further set of bloggers that I have the pleasure of nominating.

So, here goes. Helen got Paddy and Plunkett (two of her incorrigible Beasties) to ask the questions.

The interview panel, who are also keen gardeners (photograph from crawcraftsbeasties.com)

Coffee or tea? (Or no hot beverages at all?)

That’s a hard one. Couldn’t do without either the caffeine of a good strong mug of plunger coffee or the refreshing taste of Rooibos [red bush] tea. I enjoy both coffee and this tea without milk or sugar. Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is a member of the plant family Fabaceae that grows in South Africa’s fynbos. The leaves are used to make a herbal tea (Wikipedia).

Where in the world would you most like to visit, and why?

London. To see our daughter and because there is so much to see and do there.

What is the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten, and where did you have it?

Braaied (barbecued) fresh Kabbeljou (Cape Salmon), a line fish, eaten at our kitchen table and cooked by The Woodworker.

What have you made that you’re most proud of, and why?

That’s also a hard question. I would like to think that the work I am most proud of is yet to be made. The quilt called A Full Bed of Roses, which hangs above our bed and is used as the signature photograph for this blog, marks the moment when I became an art quilter.

What’s your plan for today?

It’s Friday afternoon. I plan to spend the evening watching a Netlfix series and stitching the joining seam of a very large quilt that I finished machine quilting this morning.

Handmade Habit and FABRICATIONS were nominated simultaneously. Shirely was less tardy in responding and you can read her answers to Paddy & Plunkett’s questions here. This is a photograph of Shirley’s little doe dolls, her proudest creation.

Photograph from handmadehabit.com

These are the questions that Shirley asked.

What are 3 creative tools or supplies that you can’t live without these days?

My hands, needle and thread (as one item!) and my Bernina 1008.

When did you first start working with your art or craft medium? Why did you choose it?

I began to make quilts at the turn of the century (ha!). I was drawn to the beauty and calmness of quilt making after I finished my studies.

If you had all the resources you needed, what would your dream project be?

To make a very large piece, that I could pin up on a very large pinboard (about four metres wide and ceiling height) as I was constructing it.

What is your favourite season, and why?

Summertime. That’s when my garden grows and I do not have to wear lots of clothes to keep warm. And I can walk barefoot.

Name a place that inspires you to create.

My workspace, which has a view of the herb garden and is situated below the house’s handmade staircase.

Despite Helen and Shirley’s clear explanations I confess to being a bit perplexed until I read that the nomination and the award are the same thing (unlike the Oscars!). Back in 2014 Michelle Weber wrote a post subtitled Understanding Blog Awards.

She asks: Is there a nomination or voting process? and answers: “Not really, no. You’ll often see bloggers posting about awards and “nominating” other bloggers, but in this case “nominating” means the same thing as “giving” — there’s no real nomination process, and no voting at all. If another blogger wants to give you an award, they simply post about it.”

In short, these bloggers awards (and there are quite a few) are a way for bloggers to support and acknowledge one another. Isn’t it Lovely? says Michelle. And yes, it is.

Now it is my turn to nominate and ask a few questions. I would like to nominate the following because I learn from and am delighted by their writings. (To the people I have nominated: please don’t feel obliged or intimidated. There is no obligation to take up the challenge of answering and asking the questions.)

letting nature back in — nature and nurture in suburban spaces

tierneycreates — a fusion of textiles and smiles

Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life

Laura Bruno Lilly — The road ends, but the journey continues

Chela’s Colchas y Mas — Quilting, embroidery and more

Claudia McGill and Her Art World

Zippy Quilts — modern quilts with a twist

The questions:

  1. For how long have you been writing a blog?
  2. What made you start?
  3. Why do you continue to blog?
  4. Have you ever met any of your fellow bloggers face to face? If so, how did it feel?
  5. Do you write regularly? If so, why?

If you do decide to pass on The Outstanding Blogger Award, this is the drill:

  1. Answer the questions
  2. Nominate up to ten other writers of blogs
  3. Compile a set of up to ten questions (the hardest part!)