Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 2014 - Newsletter from Elsa Brits - President SAQG

Newsletter # 3/2014
20 August 2014
I would like to begin by thanking you all for a very productive meeting. Your positive input makes my life a breeze and keeps SAQG as vibrant as it should be.

This letter will be a long one as I would like all the Country Group and Individual members to properly informed regarding all matters SAQG.

This photo is to inspire those of you who were not fortunate enough to see this wonderful array of knitted and crocheted blankets displayed at the Voortrekker Museum in Pretoria during the Yarn Indaba

1. Guild Reports
As promised, here follows a short report on what the different Guilds in alphabetical order have done during the past year. I would like to invite all Groups and Individual members to please send any quilt related information, in English or Afrikaans to share: 

1. Dias: 
Their goal, according to the Constitution, is to develop and enhance patchwork, applique and quilting, and it was this current committee’s aim to do just that by raising the game in every possible way.  With Guild members constantly in our minds, they decided to “up-skill’ themselves and the guild members, they decided to learn new techniques, and do things differently.
They introduced Video clips of Free Motion Quilting by Leah Day, Blocks of the Month with multiple variations, and fascinating stories like Sara Christina Dreyer’s 1805 quilt to name just a few.  Some of the blocks that were covered were the Drunkards Path, the Log Cabin, William Morris, Crazy Patch, Miniatures, and so on.
Each monthly meeting revolved around a theme, which also focused on calling for quilts or challenges to support that idea – thus bringing them to some superb “Show and Tell” displays.  

2. East Coast:
As a Committee they set out to bring the members a Guild to be proud of. The committee decided that the theme for the year would be “Unity and Friendship”. It all sounds very easy, but if the Committee do not reflect the theme it cannot not rub off onto and spread among the members.  There have been some rough edges, but by and large, the chairperson is of the opinion that the committee and Guild have succeeded.

3. Golden Rand:
They are in the process of forming their Committee for the Festival in 2019 and GRG and Jacaranda will be hosting the Festival together. They have started fund raising for the festival.
They had a successful Brown Bag Challenge last year. The theme was “Block a Poacher” The quilts were auctioned and the money raised was given to Rhino Force for their worthy cause of saving the Rhino.
They have a teacher’s accreditation process in place and have drawn up a “Teachers Code of Conduct” which will be distributed to all accredited teachers as well as to the sewing machine shops that allow teachers to teach at their facilities.  GRG teachers do 2 teachers workshops a year, and demos at the Friendship Gatherings and this keep their accreditation valid.

4. Good Hope:
At their AGM in May last year, honourary membership was given to Pat Mostert, Rosemary Lewis, Annette Miller and the late Sylvia Castle and a special Service Award was given to Pat Mostert. The meeting had an Eastern theme and Jasu gave us a short talk and demonstration on saris.  Carool Johnson demonstrated folded flowers using the Clover products.  Sheila Walwyn was our guest speaker and she spoke about her experience of taking on commissions for quilts. 
Concerning Community Projects, they operate with 2 visions in mind. The first is where volunteers are promoting the art of patchwork and quilting. Although there are many small Outreach groups in our guild, we support 5 of the largest groups. They are Ravensmead in Parow, Sarepta at Kuilsriver, the well-known Dorkas group in Mitchells Plain, ladies at Zuurbraak near Swellendam, and Pniel near Stellenbosch.  In doing so, we encourage empowerment where possible. 
The 2nd leg of our Outreach is that of a ‘caring’ nature.  Here we also support a few worthy causes. We do not only make quilts to give away, but knit jerseys, beanies and scarves for the needy. Warm pyjamas and tracksuits are made, and women are taught to make bags and clothes at the Imizamo Yethu projects. And we don’t forget the animals in need; we fill pillow cases with scraps to make cushions for a Dog centre.

5. Golden West:
Their Charity Project for 2013 was three picnic blankets. The finished quilts will be raffled during their Retreat in August 2014 and the money will be donated to a charity organization. 
Their new charity project for 2014 is to make a quilt made from of Ricky Tims blocks. The committee members decided on a project to enhance togetherness amongst them. Their project for 2014 is to make 10 similar paper-pieced blocks – then swop these blocks between the committee members and the challenge is to make it in an innovative article to be shown at the last meeting of the year

6. Jacaranda:
The Youth Quilt Block Challenge competition was being held by another Group and sponsored by SAQG and Stitches but they had to cancel. Jacaranda guild decided to carry on with the challenge since most entries were from their guild. It went very well. There were 21 entries from children from Grade 1 to Grade 10. Each child received a certificate, first 3 prizes in each of the 3 categories won money. Each child received the judge’s comments on a typed sheet, and a goody bag. The two mentors also received a gift each.
Some community projects engaged in by guild groups:
Creative Hands filled Shoeboxes for Santa
Lyttel quilters made a quilt for the Lyttleton Methodist church to raffle for funds
Centurion Quilters had a competition to make quilts for children and they were given to the Christelike Maatskaplike Raad (CMR) in Wierda Park
The Frangipani Quilters made a quilt to hang in the room where Bible study takes place in the Pretoria Central Prison.
The Working Girls are using all their orphan blocks and changing them into charity quilts
Many of the groups worked together to make Blankets of Love that go to the maternity ward at the Wilgers hospital to show the quilters’ support for mothers who have lost a baby.
The groups in The Moot Quilters donated toiletries to the Retirement village in Bronkhorstspruit

7. Kouga Quilters:
They  were very proud to hand over a an amount of R7000 to Marilyn Pretorius, chairperson of the Festival Fundraising Committee, in aid of hosting the National Festival in PE in 2017.
A very nice touch to their report was: Apart from the meetings and events, I can also report with great pride that the Kouga Quilters formally joined the South African Quilters Guild as a Country Group, with Kristien van Schalkwyk serving as our representative.

8. Kwa-Zulu Natal:
Digital Newsletter: Members can access the newsletter via their website, they can print off single pages and they can forward the newsletter to anyone and everyone!
KZN guild has taken over the running of Quilt Academy from the festival committee. QA has proved to be a major source of funds for the festival and they hope to keep the costs at R100 per class, unless there are kits to be purchased. 
QA has also drawn in many NEW quilters from all over KZN, all of whom get added onto our data base.
Our local teachers have been very generous in donating their time and expertise to the students, thus helping us to keep down the cost to individuals.
Regarding the National Quilt Festival in 2015: they need to focus on the following:
Fund raising need to be increased
Sponsors need to be found
Each guild member must make a quilt

9. Lowveld:
They are a small Guild, covering a large area, and do their best to encourage, new members, which they did on the National Quilt Day in March & to share new ideas and technics. 
They have had 2 meeting already this year, both with vendors and Jeannette Botha gave them a talk on her travels to India.
On National Quilt Day they got together at Valencia Fabric Store and made a total of 10 scrappy quilts, some have been donated to Hospice, GRIP and one to be raffled by the Guild to build up their coffers.

10. Oranje:
Fees 2013  -  Dit is  baie suksesvol afgehandel. Ons kon die bedrag van R30 000.00 aan Kwa Zulu Natal oorbetaal en die res van ons fondse word  tans belê  ( ABSA)  sodat ons die hoogste moontlike groei kan kry en sodoende ons fondse kan versterk vir die volgende Fees wat deur die Gilde aangebied moet word.
Nasionale Kwiltdag:  Die 8 ste Maart 2014  was Nasionale Kwiltdag gevier met `n heerlike dag by die Oorlogsmuseum tydens die opening van `n  uitstalling.  Demonstrasies is aangebied vir die maak  van `n “crazy patch” beer, `n materiaal bakkie  en die aanbring van foto`s op lap. Daar was ook vendors en `n teetuin beskikbaar
Die Bloemskou is `n hoogtepunt op ons jaarlikse kwiltkalender. Hierdie jaar is 60 kwilte ingeskryf. Die beoordeling het geskied deur Ina Meyer en Frances van Schalkwyk.  Iessie Steenberg is ons Skouverteenwoordiger en onder haar bekwame leiding word die skou inskrywings baie professioneel hanteer. Dit is  vir baie lede  die eerste stap om te leer hoe kwilte afgewerk behoort te wees,  voordat jy kan inskryf vir `n kwiltkompetisie en moedig ons die lede deurtentyd aan om  deel te neem en sodoende ook die standaard van hul kwiltwerk te verbeter. 

11. Outeniqua:
The Guild ended last year with adopting the Knysna /Sedgefield Hospice and made 45 wash bags, filled it with toothpaste, soap etc. and donated the filled bags for them to use for their Christmas gifts.  
They celebrated National Quilters Day with a Quilt-a-thon.  Teams entered and raced against each other to see who could make the most blocks in one day. This was also a huge success with members stitching at breakneck speed with lots of laughter.  Each group has to finish their quilt, display it at the September meeting and can then donate it to the charity of their choice. 
The Guild is extremely proud of their member, Roma Dunn, who co-wrote with Aneen Brokett and self- published the book “ A Guide to Successful Quilt Design”.  This is really a must –have on every quilter’s bookshelf.

12. Vaal Triangle:
Some very enjoyable and informative meetings were held during the past year, with guest speakers being Elsa Brits, Wendy Burtenshaw, Suzen Bornman and Leslie Pahl.  Willim Kotze from Quiltsew, our Pfaff dealer in the Vaal Triangle, gave demonstrations and sharpened scissors at some of the meetings, Trienie Krugel taught Tunisian Crochet to everyone interested, and Amanda Hartman gave guild members a workshop based on Mari Strydom’s “Kruise” class. (with permission!) At their meetings they always have 2 raffles, which is a favourite amongst the members.  They also have a lucky draw for participants in Show and Tell.  At their last meeting of the year each member present received a gift voucher which could be redeemed at Quiltec, the shop for the day.
They once again have the honour to have Elsa Brits elected as President of SAQG, and the Vaal Quilters feel privileged to have such an accomplished leader in our midst.  Elsa Brits and Trienie Krugel were part of the group that took SA quilts to the 19th European Patchwork meeting in France. 
The Vaal Triangle annual quilt exhibition took place in the Sasolburg Public Library in September and positive feedback was received from the public. This exhibition is a highlight in their quilting year.  

2. New Portfolios on the SAQG committee
With many new representatives on the SAQG committee, I thought that I would explain something that has recently come to my attention.
Every Guild with representation on the SAQG committee has a portfolio to fulfill. The work she/ he does belongs to SAQG and not to a person/ Guild. Therefore, if SAQG takes on a project, it will always be under the auspices of the National Guild and the Intellectual property of this project will always reside with the National Guild.
The Executive committee for 2014 -15 will consist of the President, 
Vice-President and representatives from Jacaranda, Good Hope, Golden Rand and KZN Quilters’ Guilds

That being said, portfolios were allocated to the different Guilds as follows:


3. Teachers’ and Judges’ Accreditation programme

The QTAC is well on its way with ± 78 students who are hard at work. Students, and tutors may I add, didn’t realize how much work this course would be but the end result will be that South Africa will have well trained quilt teachers and that is all we are aiming for: to raise the standard of quilting in South Africa.
A letter from Sue Prins will be sent to all the Guilds regarding being recognized as a quilt teacher by SAQG. (Teachers not enrolled in the QTAC) If anyone needs information regarding the process, please contact your Guild representative or the President.

Teachers’ Forum: At the recent SAQG Committee meeting it was decided to re-establish the National Teachers Forum, but this time under the leadership of the SAQG.  It is felt that the channels of communication are already in place between SAQG and the Guilds, which will give the Teachers Forum a better chance of success.
A Quilt Teachers Forum is especially important now that all the Guilds at the SAQG meeting decided that from 2017 only Nationally Accredited or Nationally Recognized quilt teachers will be used as local teachers at National Quilt Festivals.

A letter regarding the forum was sent by Sue Prins on 12 August 2014 and we ask that individual teachers please indicate to me or Sue ( if they need this letter to be sent to them personally especially where our Individual members do not always receive such important correspondence.

4. SAQG Membership numbers:

The committee decided to allocate SAQG Membership numbers to all quilters who belong to the National Guild. Each member will receive a unique number as from 2015 and these numbers will come into play after the NQF 2015 to be held in KwaZulu-Natal.
The East Coast Quilters’ Guild has been tasked with this portfolio and Melinda Meyer will shortly be in contact with the Guilds regarding the procedures to be followed.
This system should be functional by the NQF 2017.

5. SAQG Name badges:

The committee has received many requests for individual name badges with the SAQG logo and we can definitely comply with this request.
The cost involved will be R50 for a badge excluding postage where applicable.
Barbara Robb will be in charge of the logistics concerned with this and badges will be made as soon as she has received a reasonable number of requests.
Payment of the R50 must be made into the SAQG bank account with your name and POP sent to Barbara. 
SAQG Bank account: ABSA Savings account
Remember to give a reference to what money is paid in by whom and for what!
Barbara can be contacted on

6. Website
Please visit our website for news and photographs. 
Encourage shops in your vicinity to advertise on the SAQG website @ R120 per annum. Application forms are downloadable on the website.
Don’t forget to visit the 2015 Festival website to keep you up to date with what KZN is planning.

7. Competition categories
SAQG now has a pdf document explaining, by means of text and photos of quilts, what is expected in the different categories.  
This document has been put on the Festival page of the SAQG website. Any one may download this document for easy reference and Guilds, Groups and Individual members are encouraged to please use it
A DVD with the document on was given to all the Representatives for use in their respective Guilds but if anyone needs a personal copy, you are welcome to contact me.

Festival Manual

A very comprehensive guide on the administration of a National Quilt Festival has been completed and is being formatted as I write this letter.
SAQG thanks Marilyn Pretorius for taking on this mammoth task and Sue Prins for formatting it. A number of people helped Marilyn and she thanks them in the manual.
The Manual will be printed and sent to the 5 Festival Hosting Guilds. It will also be loaded onto the SAQG website as a pdf document for use by anyone who needs direction on how to host a Quilting event.

8. Travelling Exhibition
This exhibition will form part of the annual Vaal Triangle quilt exhibition in the Sasolburg Library which will run from 1 – 13 September 2014.

Representatives are reminded to send 2 possible exhibition dates for 2015-2017 to Doreen Crause. The next Travelling Exhibition will be chosen at the NQF 2015 in Kwa-Zulu Natal and will launch in George.

9. Important documents

While we are living in technologically advanced times, keeping hard copies of important documents such as minutes of meetings, the category document, Festival manual and the such is not a bad idea as computers crash and important documents are lost, some forever! Please keep a file which can then be passed on to the next representative when you step down.
Always have an SAQG insert in your Regional newsletters.
Always wear your SAQG badges at any quilt related event.
Copy the SAQG President in all e-mails; most important

Much love till next time

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