What’s on your design wall?

After weekends filled with many distractions I did find a few hours to work on my next major project. This one is a tribute to a great artist and also a challenge. Personally I have tried life-like faces (some worked better than others but I learned about value and the importance of it in design)

Family Portrait for my sister's 50th

Family Portrait for my sister’s 50th

and then went on to see if I could produce recognisable faces that were quite small (again some worked some didn’t)


So now I want to make a face with really bright fabrics (think Kaffe Fassett Collective) that have lots of patterns – not normally what you would associate with face-making materials. Anyway here’s where we are – there’s no mouth or hair and the eyes are yet to be done and I’ll probably change quite a few things – but I can see him coming to life:


The Apatcheez have been busy too but unlike me they have actually finished projects – here are some of them:


I love this piece and OK well I did help my sister finish this one so I am biased but I think she did a brilliant job of her first art quilt!


Sharyn’s been very busy finishing the tablerunner and placemat set above as well as the quilt below – she is a machine!!


And many people have been working on the January apron project. Many have used the Melba fabrics or perhaps the Ella Basics range. Many used the turquoise or orange colours but Elaine wanted to be a little different and came up with this beauty from the greys of the range.


I neglected to show you some projects that I’d known about prior to last week so here they are now:


Suzanne made this zippered pouch – perfect for displaying her Geronimo jewellery.

lynettes quilt for a wedding pressie

Lynette made this beauty for a wedding present. I believe both Lynette and the bride cried when it was handed over – rightly so.

So that’s the week that was – what do you have on your design wall? I’d love to see.

Better get back to Bowie – I can hear him calling me

Until next time – happy quilting



The Chinese zodiac, quilting and you

This week the Apatcheez thoughts turned to the Chinese New Year and in one class we had fun reading through the personality traits of each zodiac sign. I thought you might like to see how they relate to your quilting. The following is totally fiction so don’t put too much weight on it – it’s just for fun!

Year of the Rat (1936,1948,1960,1972,1984,1996,2008)

So you’re a rat. Don’t be down-hearted. It means you’re resourceful (so you can whip up a project from the scraps in your stash). Trials and tribulations are temporary setbacks as you can see the possibilities for the future.  You have a positive outlook on life and you can see the big picture. So you’d be happy to start something HUGE made of intricate pieces. How about the Baltimore Christmas project? Do it needleturn to really make it difficult for yourself!


Year of the Ox (1937,1949,1961,1973,1985,1997,2009)

The Ox is engineered to endure and succeed. You are known for your hard work and persistence. The only UFO is the one you’re working on. You finish everything. You eliminate chaos by sticking with what you know. One day you will see the new Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics and you will wonder if they might produce a quilt as nice as your trusty reproduction fabrics. You will try them. And they will. And everyone will cheer.


Year of the Tiger (1938,1950,1962,1974,1986,1998,2010)

If you’re a tiger you’re brave and adventurous. You are confident but sometimes authoritative. Embrace your tigress (not the bossy part) and create another masterpiece. You know that you have all the latest rulers and other gadgets and you know who’s who in the designer world. In fact there’s not much you don’t know. Why don’t you whip something wonderful up with the new Extravaganza range. It’s new. And everyone will notice.

extravanganza collage

Year of the Rabbit (1939,1951,1963,1975,1987,1999,2011)

So you were born in the year of the rabbit – but you’re no bunny. You’re gentle and quiet but very alert. You’re very patient and you know what you’re doing. You’re well-liked and you’re kind and help other quilters who can’t seem to sew 1/4″ seams or make their points pointy. It’s fun to have you in the class. Although you can help others sometimes you don’t ask for help yourself. That means that you might have a few projects in the too-hard basket. I know you’re quiet but why not put some kick in your hop by coming to an extra class so you can work on that project you put aside hoping that it would fix itself?


Year of the Dragon (1940,1952,1964,1976,1988,2000,2012)

Dragons dominate the world with their confidence, intelligence and ambition. You experience the extremes of pure joy and absolute despair (like when you cut through the 64-piece hexagon medallion that was under the piece of fabric on the cutting board). You love a challenge and you can accomplish great quilts, maybe using colour palettes that others wouldn’t. We see a lot of Apatchy Quilting in your future but beware of annoying Pozzie Dog – he will fight you!


The Year of the Snake (1941,1953,1965,1977,1989,2001,2013)

As a snake you’re intuitive and wise, a great thinker who says little. You learn from your mistakes and you are sympathetic and determined. You have a tendency to be stressed because of your sensitive nature. To ease the stress you need to be organised this year. What about making the Tilda Sewing Kit so you know where all your supplies are stored?


Year of the Horse (1930,1942,1954,1966,1978,1990,2002,2014)

You’re enthusiastic and energetic and you like to be the centre of attention. You have a great sense of humour and a positive outlook on life. You want to dance like no-one is watching. So you do. But beware – they are! You need one of the club projects so you can stride with pride with your personalised pencil case or Kindle pouch or mini keyring pouch.

hexie pencil case

Year of the Goat/Ram (1931,1943,1955,1967,1979,1991,2003,2015)

We like you the most.  You’re shy and gentle even though you are strong on the inside. You like coming to classes and working in a group. You also like the nicer things in life.  You like repetition and like to have a plan. You need one of the Jungle Abstractions patterns to start you off on the climb to full blown paper piecing addiction.


Year of the Monkey (1932,1944,1956,1968,1980,1992,2004,2016)

So this is your year monkey. Paradoxically that may not bode well. You’re witty and clever but you can be cheeky and naughty too. You’re going to need a few gift certificates this year to make up for the trouble you’ve caused. No Ms Monkey, hiding people’s sashiko thread is not funny!

Gift certificate

Year of the Rooster (1933,1945,1957,1969,1981,1993,2005)

As a rooster you live life in a series of natural rhythms. After a hectic time last year your balance might be a little off. With the full moon in the seventh house you’ll be receptive to new ideas – how about the pre-cut, pre-fused Quilt Squad kit to realign those chakras?

Quilt Squad

Year of the Dog (1934,1946,1958,1970,1982,1994,2006)

You keep your thoughts to yourself and may find yourself day-dreaming or just lost in thought.  Like man’s best friend you are loyal and a great companion.You don’t worry about impressing others, you just get the job done. You give many of your quilts away. With Jupiter in the 6th arrondissement you’ll find the planets align and you’ll discover the Paula Storm Applique brush and there’ll be no stopping you as you starch your way to perfection.


Year of the Pig (1935,1947,1959,1971,1983,1995,2007)

If you’re born in the year of the pig you’re generous and compassionate. If you set a goal and focus on it you are usually successful. You don’t rely on others but like company. Generally you’re calm in the face of danger. We see you attending every Apatchy Quilting class this year and then starting a blog about patchwork in which you feature us extensively.

Until then happy quilting


5 fabric ranges you won’t want to miss

The Apatcheez were right back in the saddle when classes started last week. The postman has been busy over the holidays and there were several new fabric ranges to tempt them. The most popular was probably Melba –
Melba collage

Melba was designed by Emma Jean Jansen from Ella Blue and she used her memories of living in Melbourne when she was Textile Design Student, as the inspiration for her designs. The collection includes the iconic Melbourne tram on which she travelled daily, and fabrics listing Melbourne suburbs that she lived in and visited regularly. Old Public Transport Tickets and a fabulous Magpie print are included in the range giving it an overall very Melbourne feel. Beautifully designed Native Australian flora, Banksia and Gum nuts are also part of the fabric range. We used it to make the frilly apron above and it was very soft and easy to use.

Another range from the same stable is Ella Blue Basics. We have curated a small collection to start and had fun making the kangaroo. These go beautifully with the Melba range.

ella basics collage

Since it’s February and Valentine’s Day is close here is another love-ly range –

Lovebugs collage

Lovebugs is a Riley Blake Design fabric range and the ‘love’ text fabric would be great as a backing for that special quilt and we had fun making fabric envelopes out of the envelope fabric.

Another Riley Blake Designs range is Extravaganza.

extravaganza collage

This is another pretty range with greens, pinks and lilacs taking centre stage.

Finally, now that we have some cooler weather here in Brisbane after the high temperatures/high humidity of last week it’s a great time to sew – and why not make something for your newly revamped craft room? How about a mug rug or sewing machine organiser with Thimble Pleasures

thimble pleasures collage

or maybe you could use the free pattern here and make a whole quilt with this quirky fabric.

Of course the holidays meant that there were several projects finished and other progressed. Here are some of the Apatcheez’ work –

Janes dolly quilt

Jane finished her dolly quilt in December but I was walking Hadrian’s wall and missed it – maybe you did too.


Lynette surprised everyone by making this sewing basket. As she’s away for six months this will no doubt be useful – and beautiful.


Maureen finished this quilt and gave it to her granddaughter who has run away to the circus – not really but she was chosen to learn to be a member of Circus Oz – way to go! Hope we’ll be seeing her on the high wire soon.


Robyne wowed everyone with her magnificent rendition of this Kim Maclean design. Her use of colour is exquisite. And she did it again with this quilt called Mon Ami – another crowd favourite:-


Not content with those two masterpieces we saw another – made from French General fabrics and embellished with lace –


June has been busy over the holidays too –


This whimsical piece has a place in her craft room and this bespoke peg bag is almost too good to use –


Bev also finished a UFO that’s been hanging around for a while – and she did it beautifully – this is the Japanese log cabin quilt that Hiroe taught us –


The Wednesday ladies were not to be outdone and Margaret finished a couple of minor pieces – just kidding – there’s this eye spy quilt –


Oh and did I mention she finished Fiesta! Congratulations Margaret this is wonderful and the quilting is excellent – all her own work –


Not to be outdone Sharyn slipped in a few finished projects –


And finally Robyn showed us this piece which came together very quickly –


Ir was lovely to see all the ladies again and catch up on tales of holidays and other exciting events. This year looks to be very promising and there are still more wonderful projects to come. Stay tuned.

Until next time, happy quilting