Coat of many colours and an event not to be missed

Although I’ve been absent from Smoke Signals for a couple of weeks the Apatcheez have been very busy as usual. I won’t show you all the lovely creations in one go but here are a few. Some girls are working on their challenge – don’t forget about that – details here. Others have new projects. Some are thinking about holidays and the star this week is Sharyn who is one of those – about to embark on a long trip to Europe. What does every traveller need for the continent? Why a quilted jacket of course. Sharyn made this beauty and brought it for show-and-tell this week:-


It was a big hit wit those of us at the class and many have plans to make one as their next project.  I shared this photo on Facebook, as Sharyn knows, and there were several ‘likes’. What Sharyn didn’t know was that I also shared it on a group I follow – the Kaffe Fassett Collective and you can see the response below. See how many people like it? And there were 22 comments – all of them complimentary. Many of the people who follow this group are American and they know a thing or two about quilted jackets.

Facebook Sharyn

Well done Sharyn – even the teenager-in-residence was impressed with those numbers!

Sharyn wasn’t the only one impressing us over the past two weeks. Chris finished this beauty


Chris is very precise in her work and it shows – all her seams are perfect! She has been concentrating on her free-motion quilting this year and is proof that practice-makes-perfect in that area too.

Our hexie projects continue to be popular and Margaret surprised us with this charmer last week


Not content with that she also finished her sashiko tablerunner. Sashiko is one method that has been extremely popular with the Apatcheez this year – I blame June who was converted when she travelled to Japan on a quilting tour – or was she struck before that? Anyway she has infected many of the girls with the sashiko bug.


Over the years there have been so many beautiful projects finished by the Apatcheez, it is difficult to believe we have been here for seven years this month. Of course such a milestone cannot go by unnoticed so earmark this coming week for some bargains with our annual

balloons2 sale sign

This week only, from Monday, you can enjoy 20% off all stock (apart from block of the month) and, if you’ve been clever enough to be a Geronimo Club member you will receive an additional 10% – so that’s a great big 30% off all stock – one week only – here’s your chance to grab that fabric that’s been calling to you over the past few weeks!

If you can’t make it to the store don’t despair – just mention SALE in your comments when you order online and you’ll receive the discount too.

Speaking of the website – we are pretty well up and running with the new website – a couple of tweaks to make it super dooper but most of the fabric is loaded onto the site. If you haven’t visited for a while go and have a look and let me know what you think. It is at 

See you next week. Until then, happy quilting





Weekly pow wow

The Apatcheez have been as productive as ever this week with several completed projects. Some are a little shy at first at being photographed for the blog but eventually they see the funny side.

imageWho can this be?


Yes it’s Chris with her lovely scrappy quilt. Surprisingly Chris didn’t like the way this turned out at first. We thought it looked wonderful and her quilting is extremely good. That’s what practice does for you girls.


This stunner was worked by Bev – a lady who always tries lots of different techniques and isn’t frightened to try something new. This quilt was difficult to photograph because it was so large but you can see the impact even with the poor photographic technique. It shows the effectiveness of the humble log cabin block, the force of the large block and of course the optical strength of the colour against the greys.

Elaine brought her Harry Potter quilt in for show-and-tell.

imageThis machine-embroidered beauty makes great use of the fabric and is also an excellent example of how asymmetry can work well in a design.

Margaret has been a bit quiet lately in terms of finished projects. She has still been sewing, but set the bar high earlier in the year when she would bring several items every week. This week she had a very striking version of one of the Appliqué Club projects – love the bright colours…


Lynette finished this quilt which is to be a gift for her friend.


Lynette quilted this in class by tackling one long section at a time before joining the three sections together. This quilt-as-you-go method is a great way to approach a large quilt and complete the quilting on your domestic machine.

Finally, there is news of another Apatcheez victory. Lesa has taken out the  Hangers’ Award (akin to the Packing Room Prize for the Archibald) at the EKKA for her entry “Laura’s Garden”. You will have seen this quilt before when she won her section at the Brookfield Show. Well done Lesa. It is a beautiful quilt and a well-deserved win. Look at all those fussy-cut hexies people and be amazed!


Until next time happy quilting


A Challenge is Announced

It’s time to announce the annual Apatchy challenge. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make an item that is inspired by the theme. All the entries will be displayed at the annual Christmas gathering – to be held this year on Saturday 5th December. This means that your entry must be in by the 4th December. And the theme…..well just hold on for a moment while we review things……

It has been QUITE a while since we last spoke and so now there is much to share including projects from the Apatcheez:-

Suzanne utilised some Apatchy fabric in a very creative way. 100% cotton is great for sewing clothes - here's proof

Suzanne utilised some Apatchy fabric in a very creative way. 100% cotton is great for sewing clothes – here’s proof

Debbie's 'if it isn't in here I don't need it' hold ALL bag

Debbie’s ‘if it isn’t in here I don’t need it’ hold ALL bag

Joan's remarkable 3D cushion using yoyo's and bias stems

Joan’s remarkable 3D cushion using yoyo’s and bias stems

Next there was a trip to the quilt show at Brookfield. These girls always have interesting challenges and this year was no exception. The challenge was over a period of around 18 months and involved adding borders or other embellishments to a centre on point. Here are two examples –


And here are two more –


Then they had some other amazing quilts to see like these two –


Anyone who is anyone was at the show and it was quite a sport spotting the rich and famous


A short trip to Sydney was a welcome break from the end of year BAS calculations and the like. It was a beautiful weekend and everyone, including the birds enjoyed the sunshine –


To add to the enjoyment the wattle was out


Back at the ranch we all enjoyed the finished Apatcheez projects last week

We've enjoyed watching Bev hand quilt this beauty for a while now and it was great to see it finished. An awesome example of reverse appliqué

We’ve enjoyed watching Bev hand quilt this beauty for a while now and it was great to see it finished. An awesome example of reverse appliqué

Pat nailed her version of the kid's quilt kit

Pat nailed her version of the kid’s quilt kit

And Pat also whipped up this bespoke eye spy quilt in a very short time

And Pat also whipped up this bespoke eye spy quilt in a very short time

And on the weekend it was time for the Sherwood quilters show. They too had some excellent entries –


The Sherwood group also had a very interesting challenge which involved each person drawing a number which corresponded to a page in a magazine. Whatever was on the page was the inspiration for the challenge. The Apatchy challenge is a bit broader than that ( or narrower depending on your perception) as it involves a word for the inspiration. And this year’s word is….’Home’.

So get your creative juices flowing  – maybe you’re thinking literally of your home, or a bird’s nest or a rabbit’s burrow. Maybe it’s a song like ‘Green Green Grass of Home’. The teenager-in-residence, who enjoyed a birthday last week came up with a Motley Crue song with home in the title. How you’d quilt that I can’t imagine, but I can imagine some other ideas coming to life on the fabric. Hope you can too.

I’m sure we’ll talk more about this and I’ll give you more information about the venue and so on as we get closer to the time of the unveiling. Until then, happy quilting