And the stars look very different today….

imageThere was less of a crowd than I had expected at the Bowie show in Melbourne today. Those of us there waited expectantly, as our tickets were checked and we were allocated headphones and a recording device. The crowd had grown during this process but filed quietly into the doorway that marked the beginning of this amazing retrospective. Almost reverently, with bowed heads, the assembled shuffled into the space, reading about the life and times of this amazing artist.


Had I closed  my eyes while I listened to Space Oddity I may have been 15 again, sitting in my bedroom with a cassette recorder listening for the first time. But I could not close my eyes as there was much to see – from the video of the song with the strange angular, thin man with crazy orange spiky hair and funny eyes to the sheet music from which it had all evolved to photos of the time – the moon landing and the photograph of earth from the moon. Maybe, because this had happened on my 10th birthday I was somehow more connected to the event and the song that had been (paradoxically) used at the time to underscore it. Maybe it just came at a time when I was most impressionable. Whatever the reason, ever since I heard that song I have been enamoured of Bowie’s music and art and his ability as a showman. How he managed to bring the avant garde to the masses and his ability to metamorphose himself into different characters, at a time when other artists took the easy road and repeated themselves until they lapsed from mediocrity to insignificance – well it beggared belief. His greatest design was and is himself and it it this design and his influence on culture that is presented at this show. And what a show it is – here is a taste.

imageMany of the costumes used in his music videos and on album covers were here – looking strangely still on faceless mannequins. He must be a small man – not very tall and quite a petite frame – I thought the same when I saw Admiral Nelson’s uniform at the museum in Greenwich but of course both men had no need of physical stature.image

Apparently there is a vast archive of his belongings – like Warhol (another person who needs only one name) he must have kept everything from the significant to the everyday. There are posters and rough notes for songs, costume designs and lighting plans for concerts. Such was his certainty that he would be famous he clearly kept it all. And good thing too.imageThe iconic Aladdin Sane woollen costume by Kanzai Yamamoto  looked vaguely sinister without the mannequin inside don’t you think?imageAnd what has this to do with quilting? Well Bowie was certainly an influence for many musicians but he also influenced modern culture. Was his interest in the Kabuki theatre, the fashion and the Japanese culture something that led to the popularity of Sashiko and Japanese textiles? Possibly. When he dressed in suits that had a female cut did that somehow lead us to the modern penchant for asymmetrical design? Maybe. And did his interest in the use of unusual cloth such as knitwear or sparkle lead us to innovations in the texture of art quilts and their ilk? I like to think so.

I think I feel a quilt coming on…commencing countdown engines on…

Until next time happy quilting


Massed Flowers and Quilts

After the Laidley show weekend you would have thought the next weekend would be quiet but no – we managed to pack quite a lot into the days. Friday night was the teenager-in-residence’s formal and I trust you enjoyed the photos in the last post. On Sunday we decided to take a very pleasant drive to Toowoomba and see what all the fuss was about with the Carnival of the Flowers. For those who haven’t seen this spectacular make sure you add it to your diaries next year because it was definitely worth the trip. In fact we all decided we should stay for a couple of days next time so we could see everything. One day just wasn’t enough.


Of course while we were there we had to check out the quilt show and see what the Toowoomba quilters had been busy doing all year. Like the massed flowers in the parks, the quilts were arranged en masse and they really were quite striking. With so many techniques on display there was something for everyone from intricate appliqué to avant garde art quilts. Here’s a few to whet your appetite:-


This one didn’t have the maker’s name anywhere I could see. It featured beautiful needleturn and sashiko in an interesting way.image

imageDorothy Cottee – Talking PointimageTrish Ostwald – StonefieldsimageSorry about the main photo – there was a breeze where this was hanging. This was a beautiful quilt with lovely needleturn and clever fussy cutting like the piece above.

imageimageJean Swincer – A Bug’s LifeimageimageNorelle White – New from Old What a great way to showcase doilies!imageimageLyn Crimp – AFGEPPABimage

Lyn did amazing quilting on this (no surprise there) and there were interesting angles on the borders.imageRobyn Ginn – Quilted Wallpaper The photo doesn’t do this one justice.imageKathy Adams – Hobart – What a Site! This was an amazing art quilt which utilised printable fabric in a clever way and texture too – each piece of the grid was separately bound.imageimageKerrie Klan – Graduation Quilt for MatthewimageDorothy Cottee – Memories of Notre Dame

Our own Apatcheez have also been busy as usual – here’s what they’ve been up to:-

Maureen's modern quilt made with multiple half square triangles -nice one Maureen

Maureen’s modern quilt made with multiple half square triangles -nice one Maureen

Tracey's finished the baby quilt just in time

Tracey’s finished the baby quilt just in time

Margaret manages to make Audrey even more magnificent

Margaret manages to make Audrey even more magnificent

Suzanne's tea cosy design goes medieval

Suzanne’s tea cosy design goes medieval

Don’t forget the Apatchy challenge for the end of the year – due on 4th December – and the theme ‘Home’.

After the success of the pincushion swap last year, we thought we’d try the same type of thing this year at the Christmas Party only this year we’ll make it a needle book. If you would like to participate just bring a needle book as a gift. We’ll mix them all up and call numbers. When we call your number you get to choose a gift et voila you’ll have a new addition to your sewing tool arsenal.

Also now’s the time to start thinking about a trip to Melbourne for the AQC (Aust Quilt Convention. It is on mid April and I’m sure accommodation will go quickly.

That’s about it this week – until next happy quilting


Formally yours

Last Friday it was the teenager-in-residence’s formal and we hosted the ‘pre’. I have been asked for some photos so here goes.

He scrubbed up quite well don’t you think?


Once the girls arrived and discovered the fabric room they decided it would make a great backdrop for photos – which it did. Aren’t they all beautiful?




Even the back view of their gowns were amazing:


The rain stopped just long enough for some photos around the pool:


and some fun:


And then the limo came to take them to City Hall for a lovely night


I’ll update you with quilting news soon but thought you might like to see how our apatchee has grown!

Picture 062

Until next time happy quilting


Lovely Laidley

I was chastised at Laidley Quilt show on the weekend for not keeping up with my blog posts. The lady in question was from Murwillambah and mentioned that she looked forward to my posts and noted that it had been a while….. Ok Apatcheez I’ve been a bit slack but here goes…..

Before we get to Laidley let’s recap what the ladies have been doing over the past couple of weeks. Margaret has been very productive and wowed us with this quilt for her friend…

Not to mention the pillowcases she made with printable fabric


Naturally her friend was very impressed.

Lynette also made a quilt and pillow for her friend and we have seen this coming together over the past few weeks – isn’t it lovely?


While on the subject of people making quilts to give away, Robyn, who is always very generous with her creations finished this striking quilt which she donated to be raffled for an organisation which provides medical aid to women in Uganda.

Robyns uganda quilt

Chris is still making quilts but had a little hiatus recently which produced this beauty –


Mum and Dad came up to help with the Laidley show and Mum brought a few of her recent pieces to show-and-tell. We didn’t know whether to be inspired or depressed when we saw what she’d been able to achieve in a couple of months. Here are just a few of the projects-


Impressive isn’t she??? Not bad for 85!

As I mentioned, the reason she was here was to help deliver the Apatchy experience to the good people of Laidley and their visitors. Dad lugged the boxes from the car (and back again when it was all over) and Jan and I arranged and re-arranged until we were happy with the stall. With Mum on customer service it was time for the show. The good people of Laidley put on a great show as usual and even ordered perfect weather. The little touches like the table decorations are just one sign that this is a special event.


Here are some of the quilts that were on display ….


The organisers made sure that each stall holder was also demonstrating their craft. We had Jan in charge of that department and she showed everyone how easy the hexies are to make into great projects. Speaking of great projects isn’t this lady’s necklace great?


Another demonstrator showed everyone how easy and satisfying hand quilting is to do. She certainly made it look easy…


You can see how neat her stitching is in the photo above. She said she hopes to finish the quilting by Christmas – which shows you that quilting isn’t fast (especially if you do it by hand) and that it involves lots of work.

Of course it wasn’t all work – there was the street parade to watch on Saturday, lots of craft stalls to wander through to see what treasures you could find to bring home or maybe to eat there (don’t ask me about the incident involving the coconut ice stall. Let’s just say they made record profits this year). And let’s not forget the strawberries and ice cream. Laidley is famous for this delicacy and many people enjoy a serving after a hard day’s festival-going. Here’s a couple of people who did just that.


Until next time, happy quilting