Creative articles about quilting

Introducing the BERNINA Ambassador for Quilting in South Africa

Hi all the lovely quilters! I thought I will give you a bit of background about myself and my quilting practice and then show you some of my work. I have been a quilter for over 25 years and I have tried all different kinds of quilting techniques. I started off with hand-quilting but as all of you know, life can be quite rushed. Today I only do machine quilting and I have my domestic machine, Bernina 770 as well as a Bernina Q24 to work on. I regularly compete in National as well as International quilt competitions and I have won a couple of prizes which put me in the Master class category. The reason I enter these competitions is mostly to inspire my fellow quilters to enter and learn from the experience.

What an honour it was when Bernina asked me to be their ambassador for quilting in South Africa at the beginning of this year! It has been and still is a very strange year but luckily we quilters have our passion, quilting, that keeps us not only busy but also sane!

Tilly de Harde Ambassador for Quilting in South Africa

When we went into total lockdown at the end of March, my fabric stash cupboard and my machine embroidery stash were full and I was ready for the three weeks that lay ahead. Little did I know that the three weeks of total lockdown would stretch over a couple of months! What always seemed to other people, a bit of excess buying of fabric, turned out to be me, being totally prepared for this time of isolation! On days when I did not have a project lined up, I spent practicing my free motion quilting on the longarm machine. I also tried to use the longarm machine for various other purposes and not necessarily for free motion quilting, which is really what it is designed for. More about this in future blogs!

I discovered certain facts about myself and living in isolation. It was not half as bad as it could have been if I didn’t have my quilting to keep my mind occupied! It gave me the time that I needed to think ‘through’ a project without interruptions. It gave me ample time to practice, practice, practice whenever I felt like it. I also found time to get to know a bit more about social media and how that can help us quilters to share our work and inspire more people all over the world!

I will show you a couple of photographs of some of my work and I hope you will leave comments in the comment section. Keep watching as I will post short clips of me in action in front of my machine in the near future. There will also be a short tutorial on my experience with machine couching on the Bernina Q24 and various other interesting things you can use your longarm and your domestic machine for.


This is a quilt that I created a while ago where I protested against the senseless killing of our beautiful Rhinoceros. I call it   No More…. Bushfire! below was my entry in the 2013 National Quilt Festival held in Bloemfontein (RSA)

Awakening was a challenge quilt where I tried to express the depression an artist feels with the loss of creativity and then the spiraling effect when inspiration takes place. It was entered into the 2015 National Quilt Festival in Kwazulu Natal

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