Wednesday, August 1, 2012


YAY my quilt is going to France :)
What an exciting event IQCAfrica was. I did not realize until I was there that I don't get to go to a quilt shop and have a little spree.......I AM THE ONLY QUILT SHOP hahaha. What fun it was to go and see all the other fabrics and notions that my small (albeit fun) quilt shop does not have as demand is still small. I cant wait to have more demand and therefore have more selections. We are working on that, classes, new teachers and generally finding all those closet quilters.
I have to say I went a bit nutty when I saw the stall selling recycled sari silk. WOW what fun I will have with that embellishing quilts. Well that's it for now, my trip was cut short as my daughter got quite sick and then was nice enough to share it with me. Bless her. Back to bed to cozy on down and smile at the thought of MY QUILT GOING TO FRANCE YAY:)

Monday, July 16, 2012


Our Etsy shop is now open, come and have a look:)

What a fun Quilt to work on. We had a young lady of 6years old come in with her grandma a few months back. Her Grandma lives in The States and wanted her to have a quilt of her own when she comes to visit. This lovely little girl loved Orange and rainbows. Well as a quilt lasts so long I wanted to make it a bit more timeless than a plain "Rainbow" which she would outgrow in a few years. I thought for a while and came up with this idea. I have to say we were not sure it would come out this well but we started to get quite excited by it. We had to put it aside for a few weeks while we moved but now that is done and we were happy to get back to this quilt. Only problem is I cant get hold of the lady who commissioned it. So if by any chance you read this blog please contact me. We so want to give it to the owners and see a lovely little girl smile :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

New store at Kgale View Shopping Mall

Well we have done it...WE ARE OPEN. What an experience opening a shop like this in Botswana. Full of fun and many painful sleepless nights. Getting a license...WOW now there is a challenge for anyone let alone someone who faints at the sight of paperwork. The wait alone will tear you to shreds. I had booked the Health inspector to come in on a Tuesday, plenty of time to get the paper work in by Wednesday afternoon. Now keep in mind, in Botswana you have to be mostly in your new store before he can come, this means first and last months rent, construction, moving costs etc before you even know if you will for sure get your license (have not heard of anyone not getting it but I have heard of 4 week delays.) Well he arrived on Thursday morning, too late to get the papers in that week which meant SEVEN more days closed (Rent, security, insurance and salaries must be paid with or without license) This Thursday I went before the board and with my wit and charm talked my way through 18 grueling minuets which felt like an hour of questions. I though I would leave knowing the result but NO, another restless night and Friday morning we called in and YAYAYA WE ARE OPEN :):):) I must lay more respect on my wit and charm from now on. Well here are some pictures of our new space which is 3 times bigger than the old one. BTW The health inspection for my kind of store entails 1. Do you have bathrooms? YES 2. Do you have Band aids? YES
Puni's Dolls
Setting up the fabric wall
Baby corner with baby quilts, slings, balls and stuffed Zebra and Giraffes

My favorite the thread Baobab tree hanging upside down from the ceiling with fairy lights :)

Within moments we had guests. Me with my back to the camera of course (sly Marlie taking pictures without me knowing haha)

View from outside between the coffee shop and KQ

Wow this space is HUGE...lots of room for expansion

 Our new range of T-shirts with some of our quilts on them. Coffee mugs (good big ones) with our new phrase "No Matatta Sew Easy. Kalahari Quilts (No Matatta means no problem :))

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ahhh lovely Kasane
About to teach quilting at my old high school :) Not that this has anything to do with the picture but I was looking over some older pictures of my quilts when I came across this. It seems unreal but actually in Kasane this is not hard to find. Early morning sun, all the lovely little baby animals and the protective parents around the shade of an acacia tree.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Other tid bits

Cell Phone connection!!!!
One of our ladies is getting married :) She has had to go up north to her home village to retrieve her birth certificate....all sounds good yes? well in order to keep in contact with her and know all is going well we have made arrangements for her to CLIMB A TREE at a certain time just so she can get phone reception hahahaha. What a funny life we lead here. I should say all our ladies are related one way or the other so we are a familly. Therefor knowing she is safe and well on a bad road is quite important to climbing a tree is a must :)
Here are some other things KQ does like our lovely ornaments and hot water bottle covers. (Yes its cold enough in Botswana for a hot water bottle....just)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Again, I am a quilter with fun experiences....not a writer, so dont mind the spelling or grammar. Just enjoy :)

Lion on the loose

Yup you got it. I am so happy to live in this wild land. There is a lion walking around the town somewhere, no one knows where so trust me when I say the kids are inside the gate. Two years ago it was a leopard. This is unusual, not an everyday occurrence at all, but it reminds me of when I first arrived in the States for collage and knew nothing of REAL city life. Then again no one knew anything of my life in Botswana either. I remember sitting at a table with a few new friends and when they found out I was from Botswana they asked in awe "so do you have Elephants wandering around town?" In the beginning I said no, they are out of town, but after a few of these I would just say yes, all around my mud hut. I was a bit of a party trick those days. People would want to invite the African haha (I should point out I am white so quite a few people were shocked back then)
Another story of being an African moving to America. When I arrived for the first time without my parents I filled out the immigration forms. I had never heard the word Caucasian, in Botswana we were called Lackoa. So of course I checked the box that said African American (because thats what I am) Well the immigration officer (who was African American) was not amused. I was confused, I am not Asian, Indian etc what else could I be? When he explained to me what Caucasian was I asked him if he was African. No, well I was born and raised there with an American passport..therefor a TRUE African American, so does colour in America mean something? Because where I came from it didn't. Well that got a good chuckle out of him and a friend he had called over (I think for support in case I was trouble) I cant remember the outcome but they let me go with a smile and apologies (from them to me)
SNOW TIRES how would I know about snow tires? I bought a car at the end of winter, a real scorro scorro (beat up car) well in June I got pulled over by a cop for my tires. I always wondered why they made such a sound but so did my car. When he told me about SNOW TIRES I could not believe people would have two sets of tires, one for summer and one for winter (I had moved to Oregon where it snows maybe one week of the year) I showed him my blue cardboard Botswana drivers licence and told him I came from a desert and had no idea ( my roommate who was with me never told me either) Again some laughter and he let me go but I had to get them changed immediatly.
Well all this makes me sound silly and stupid but who did they call when going camping? ME. who did they call when there was an emergency? ME. and again and again I would come to the rescue when things got tough because I had parents and a country that made me that way. I should also note I never took drugs which many of my friends did and I always was there when a friend needed me. My nickname "McGyver, or African Queen" haha. Ok. Enough of my rambling down memory lane...there are many more stories, but back to quilting with my daughter (8) who is learning all about Steam a seam and how to iron.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kasane Trip and IQC Challenge

 Elles, warthogs, drives, new store, quilt challenge......yup. The life of Jenny continues.

Its done and submitted. WOW what a year this has been already. This quilt is for the IQCAfrica Challenge. I had made a quilt only to realize that I had done one with inches in mind not cm haha oh the life of me lol. In the mean time I have been to Chobe Game park, one of my FAVORITE places in the world. I visited all the lodges with the kids in to and a friend from "Passion Monkey" to sell our goods. I was so happy to see people loved them and we left everything we had up there. YAY. We came across an Elephant or two you might say, one of who was HUGE and scared the bageezers out of me. He popped out from behind a tree, Elles on all side we had no where to go but go around him and FAST lol.......Warthogs on the lawn outside one of the lodges, playing in the mud and not worried we were 2 feet away. I love this country I live in. All of this and two days drive (not me behind the wheel) with a very bad back and lovely muscle relaxing meds. I hope I was coherent when talking to people. I dont remember much haha. 
We have also decided to move the store to a much better location and pray it works for us. It has much more foot traffic as well as being closer to home for me. Kgale Shopping Center here I come :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

TAFA list

Firstly if you have not heard about TAFA (Textile and Fiber Art) you MUST go see the site. I am blown away by all the extraordinary talent on there. KQ is a new member so check out our member list as well. Secondly what a deal if you have a business. Half off advertising till MARCH 20th not miss this.  ( The site is creating a wonderful place for Textile and Fiber art people like myself. If you are a possible member contact them for submission too. Just love this site.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I BEG of you to read this post about "art on bed covers". If you dont crack a smile then I truely appologise.

Please note the prices of the Quilts range from P200 to P2000 with the most expensive one being Kgosi Tau at P6280 :) and it was a larger quilt (NOPE it is on the smaller side just very detailed and framed)

Let me explain, we are having an Art Quilt exhibition to which I have posted about. WELL we get most of the newspapers in town come to things like this. It is a smallish City in a country of just over 2million so news like this is kind of hard to come by. Now, I understand not knowing what a Quilt is. I understand therfore not knowing what an ART Quilt is....but as a reporter if I was to say report on the local Kalahari Desert Race I would Google about it. Check what kind of things they do and what they are about before I go so I know what to ask. Well as you can read this did not happen before OR after.
I must say that I was profoundly happy that during this interview I had a witness or no one would believe me how bad it was (well now they will haha). We both could not believe what she was asking. This I forgave as I was in a great mood and even gave her ideas of what to Google like Art Quilts, Kalahari Quilts, Fiber Revolution....even my blog. None of this was written down as she said she knows how to google and what to look up. OK :)
We have had other good articles but this one was soooooo worth sharing under my experiences of quilting in Botswana. Please read it and have fun. Here is Kgosi Tau again (yes he is King Lion)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Kalahari Quilts International Exhibition 2012

Here is just a sampling of what we have on show. Unfortunately I do not yet have the good pictures and I am not sure when I will get them so for the other quilts you will just have to wait :)
Mmago Kalahadi

Miss Botswana


Emerald Africa




Kalahari Quilts International Exhibition 2012

@ Linaeus
This is the site of our 2012 International exhibition. What a lovely venue for a show, nestled in a garden nursery with a lovely tea house and such a lot of Character. The nursery name is Sanitas. I have been going there since I was a young kid with my dad who loved gardening. Now I take my kids regularly as I love to garden and have the occasional cup of coffee haha. So lovely to see the place flourish like this over the years

Monday, February 13, 2012

Here is the poster for the Exhibition :) Kalahari Quilts joins up with Fiber Art Revolution for the fourth year. This is usually a fun event and people here are amazed at what you can do with fabric. I have to say I am this year amazed too. I love my new portrait series (Lion, Zebra, Elephant etc) I will be in panic mode VERY soon so going to try and get as much done to keep it away for as long as possible. Happy stitching everyone, will post more as I get them done:)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Kgosi Tau

KGOSI TAU (not finished yet but could not wait to share him and my Bursary fund story)
 click here for more information.

Let me tell you about my passion to help the Maru-a-Pula Bursary fund. Founded in 1972 Maru-a-Pula is a world-class, non-racial, education school in Botswana. They currently offer 28 scholarships to orphans and vulnerable children, aiming for 60 scholarships by 2014. Not only do they pay the school fees but feed, clothe and pay for medical aid for each child. You have to understand here in Botswana poverty is bad enough but cripple it with AIDS and we have horror on these poor kids lives, MAP blends them in to "regular middle class" society and you would never know they were orphaned unless told so. MAP has such a wonderful scholastic record that these kids can get scholarships and bursary's to the BEST Universities in the world. GO MAP.

What does this have to do with Quilting?
Well.....I always assume the beginning of the year will be slow, again I am wrong.
  • Jan 14th my birthday
  • Jan 26th my daughters 8th birthday (my Moon)
  • Jan 31st my sons 11 birthday (my Sun)
  • Feb 4th we have a family fun day to kick of MAPs 40th birthday celebration. Of course there will be a craft/art fair and 10% of the sales go to the fund as well as a lovely quilt for the auction.
  • Feb 18th is the opening of the new wing of the MAP library where my HUGE 3 meter by 5 meter quilt hangs. I cant wait to see it up (tomorrow I hope)
  • March 3rd my Botswana exhibition in conjunction with Fiber Arts Revolution (USA) So much to do for this I feel exhausted just thinking of it. Kgosi Tau or King Lion is one of my new pieces, I have decided to do a set of portraits this year. Lion, Elephant, Zebra, San bushman lady, Herero lady etc. All started around mid Jan as I first had to restock my store from Christmas (at least get something up on the walls hahaha)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Botswana U-Pen quilt is my birthday :)

Just to have a note of what my Birthday looks like. It is 1:12am and I have just finnished work on one of my pieces for my next exhibition. I need at least 25 from me and Fiber Arts Revolution brings about 15 peices, one from each member. Quite a big thing to take on, half the quilts in one show from me......lots of work to do. Tomorrow I must mannage the store, my daughters new asthma medication, my son and get at least half a quilt done for the Exhibition before I can relax for dinner with two really good friends. This on my day off. Ahhh the life of an entrepreneur quilt shop owner in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. I love what I do and the people I work with. It is HARD work but also well worth it. At least being my own boss means I do not have to work 9 to 5, I can take time off with my daughter when she needs it and make up the time later (my son too has sensory deprivation and has needed a lot of mommy time). I have to say I must work about 70hrs a week, but it is times I pick, and that, as a widowed working mother means all the world to me. So what I realy want to say is Thank you lord for giving me the oppertunity to be my own boss (for now) and allowing me the opportunity to do something I love, work with people I admire, and giving me the strength to do what I have to do.
Happy Happy Quilting people :)