About Apatchy Kaye

Hi I'm Kaye and I own the best little quilt shop in Brisbane, Australia, and via the wonders of modern computing, throughout the world. Here in this blog I talk about my shop, my lovely customers and my world (well it's quite varied!)

Where are you?

Have you missed some blog posts? Are you wondering what’s been happening at Apatchy? Well we’ve missed you too. If you haven’t heard anything from us for ages it’s because we’re not here anymore. If you were a regular subscriber your email address was moved across and you will have received notice of a blog post just now. If not the blog is now over at the website. here’s the address


Come over and join us. You don’t know what you’ve been missing!

Happy quilting


Front page news

It’s been a big week at Apatchy Quilting. One of the major items to report is that I made the front page of the latest issue of Down Under quilts magazine! That is to say my quilt has made the front page – see there in the bottom left –


And not only that but inside there is a two page spread – yes two pages – on the making of what has become known as ‘the Bowie quilt’.


It was such a thrill to see this in print and I have to say, to quote one of Bowie’s songs, this quilt has “opened strange doors that we’d never close again”. It must have inspired me too because I did some work on Sunday on another smaller work. Well what else are you going to do when it’s a heatwave outside and the air con beckons?

Apart from my creations, last week marked the beginning of classes for this year. Rather than holidaying in exotic places or re-arranging their sewing rooms, many of the Apatcheez had finished projects to share. And here they are to share with you…

Debbie and Jan started off the run with these fabulous items –


The sweetest Tilda bunny;


A new project to hold other projects made by the untiring Debbie;


Jan finished this quilt with its whimsical embroidered details;


and then whipped this one up too. I think Jan is the first to finish her Foxley Village project or is there someone else out there that hasn’t been to show-and-tell yet?


Not content with finishing large projects Jan also made this very cute purse from fabric the Apatchy Santa gave her;


oh and managed to make these two bags as well! Does this woman never sleep? Apparently not.


Meanwhile Angie showed us how to model an apron in a very professional way and that was about it for the evening class – not a bad run was it?


And so now the gauntlet was thrown down for the Wednesday girls – and they did not flinch. Dee was up first and brought in her collection of beautifully embellished tape measures. These are destined to be gifts during the year to those lucky enough to be on Dee’s good list. By the way the bunny in the middle of the top row is surrounded by grub roses – isn’t he delightful? Then the pink one next to that is covered with tiny beads. Actually they are all divine. Which one is your favourite?


Now you knew Sharyn was always going to be a contender and she brought in a pile of finished work. She’s been practising her free motion quilting, which is something we should all be doing, and she’s getting quite good at it too.


And then there was this Dresden plate runner;


and another made from leftovers from a sampler quilt. See what you can do when you actually use your scraps rather than filing them!


But wait there’s more;


and even more. These runners really have a lot of movement with the swirls of the pattern don’t they?


Robyn has become very adept at making these hexie pouches and has been hounded by friends and family wanting one – you can see why can’t you?

I wonder what this week will bring – fame, glory, more quilting….

Until next time hope you have happy quilting


PS I do have some copies of the Down Under Quilts magazine in question if you’d like one. Apatchy Quilting will be selling them now – well you have to get behind a local product now don’t you?

The Perfect Quilter

If you’re perfect you will have re-arranged your sewing studio into the optimum ‘mission control for quilting’ by now. You will know where all your tools are and how to access them easily. All your fabric will not only be colour-coded but will also be systematically sorted into sizes and shapes based on an algorithm that you would have worked out in your scheduled downtime. Your embellishments will also be categorised according to colour and shape and items will never be found migrating throughout the house due to lack of space. Naturally there will be a place for everything and everything in it place will ensure that there is never any visual distraction from the project at hand. Dust will not be game to enter your space let alone settle. Spider webs will be unknown.
Instinctively you will have considered your strategic goals for 2017 in terms of quilting-project-completion-outcomes and will have already have established a template to record the status of these projects. Your inspiration board will be the inspirational embodiment of your workflow for this year and will communicate your ideas to your visitors.


Children, partners and work have no impact on your sewing time because you are so organised. Time in your personal studio space is scheduled regularly and often and there are never any obstacles to the full enjoyment of this time.

It is unlikely that you will actually have what the rest of us call ‘scraps’ because you are so efficient all materials will have been used to their optimum. At the end of each project you religiously cut and cross-cut any leftovers and file them accordingly in the ‘diminutive-resources-for-utilisation-in-future-manufacturing ‘ drawer.

It is also unlikely that you will have any UFO’s apart from the current project on which you work diligently during the allotted time for ‘Sewing – Domestic’. Should any have been located in the aforementioned studio re-arrangement they would have been allocated, catalogued or jettisoned. Similarly all your previous projects will have been perfectly quilted either on your state-of-the-art, turbo-charged sewing machine or else quilted by hand while you cooked a gourmet dinner for twelve guests.

Your quilts will all have personalised labels that elicit gasps when your perfect quilts are turned around to check on them. These labels may well be eligible for Judges’ Choice awards themselves.

All your family will own at least one of your masterpieces and of course your perfect house will be decorated with them in a “that’s filled with vintage charm” or else “it’s just like walking through an art gallery” kind of way. All new babies in the family will snuggle into one of those perfect quilts and close friends and family who have any kind of special occasion will know that there will be a perfect quilt for them just in time for the event (and never late).

That’s if you’re a perfect quilter.
If you’re like the rest of us everything above is probably the opposite. Which is perfectly fine . As Jane Kelly from Make Modern magazine says “Sometimes I worry that we’re all complicating our quilting processes by trying to be amazing and prolific and incredible all the time. It’s great to want to better yourself and do amazing work…but if that consumes you then the stress, pressure and deadlines begin to suck the joy out of the process.”


If that’s the case you will be pleased to hear that Apatchy classes start again next week on 31st January and here you will meet quilters who actually do enjoy the process and have a lot of fun getting to the end result.

As fabric accumulation will also be a joyous thing for you, you will also be delighted to hear that we are starting the year off with a super sale (that’s a normal sale but with exceptional qualities).


This week only, from Monday, you can enjoy 20% off all stock (apart from classes and other sale stock*) 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 – one week only – here’s your chance to grab that fabric that’s been calling to you over the past few weeks! *Oh and by other stock we mean the huge 50% off table that is groaning with fabrics, books, patterns and other goodies. 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.

I wanted to show you a couple of photos from our recent trip to Tokyo – where we decided to spend Christmas – away from the heat! It is a remarkable city and I would definitely like to return – maybe around this time of year when the quilt show is on. I thought you might like to see a few photos. We were only away for a week but we managed to see and do a lot. What we did see were beautiful costumes –


strange food –


beautiful Christmas lights –


the sun setting on Mt Fuji viewed from the Tokyo Skytree –


the very old and the very new….and maybe some fabric too –


So there’s another project for this year on my list.

And finally I wanted to show you a couple of photos of the teenager-in-residence who was commandeered in Guangzhou to help with a fashion shoot


and who has the first gig with his band (Vesper Green) coming up


And this week I’m off to Sydney to help the family celebrate Mum and Dad’s 65th wedding anniversary – now that’s an achievement!

Looks like it’s going to be a busy year.

Until next week – happy quilting


2016 – It’s a wrap

Well that was 2016 – went quickly didn’t it? Remember I promised to show you some of the projects the clever Apatcheez finished last year but which didn’t fit into the last post? Well here they are. Make yourself a cuppa and sit down because there’s quite a list –

First up are the Tasmanians. You might recall that two ladies in particular had taken to vinyl mesh and were sewing up a storm. There were so many individual photos I had to make a collage and even now I’m not exactly certain I’ve covered everything. These are Clare’s creations –


and these are Robin’s –


Now bear in mind this is the output of just two ladies in the group – beggars belief doesn’t it! img_5381

In the second last week Faith came armed with her latest undertaking – this was a very popular pattern last year and Faith made it her own with a very unique method of embellishment –


Does Santa’s beard look familiar? Well it was kindly donated by Faith’s cat! Don’t sit still too long at Faith’s place or you could end up as part of the project!


Never one to rest on her laurels Faith also brought in this beauty and another –


Faith certainly knows how to motivate a crowd and so it was necessary for me to travel to Melbourne for AQC – the wholesalers’ quilt show – to find new and exciting projects for 2017. What I really noticed was the flair for visual merchandising that has gripped the industry. Everything is very professional but the artistic side shines through too. Here are a couple of excellent stalls –


Well Tilda was always very pretty and their Honey Pot collection doesn’t disappoint.


And then there was the sheer genius of Cottage Garden Threads. This vignette was to advertise their new range called ‘Stitchers Palette’.  See what they did with the thread – brilliant!


Many of the Apatcheez are big fans of these threads and you can expect to see them ‘in store’ this year.

What is already in store is the ‘Mod Corsage’ fabric range by Anna Maria Horner. These fabrics are so hot I haven’t even put them on the website yet but here they are in a fabulous quilt –


While we were in Melbourne we took a trip to the Arts Centre to check out the Kylie costume exhibition. My sister is a big fan and I have to say I was very impressed to see the quality of garments and the famous designers Ms K had at her disposal. Imagine sewing this frock up on your deadly treadly –


We also stopped by the National Gallery to see the Victor and Rolf exhibition and wandered through the atelier which is supposed to be for kids but hey we’re all kids at heart.



The little number above is very similar to what I generally wear to the supermarket, maybe not.

Meanwhile, back at the salt mines things were heating up. It was the last week and finished projects were coming out the rafters. Bindings were being sewn on in front of the TV and hanging sleeves were being attached like there was no tomorrow. And because it was the festive season we had visitors…

One day we had a great treat when an Apatchee from long ago (around four years) came back to visit us. The Tuesday group welcomed Sue from UK/Canada back to the colony and we had a little party to celebrate. This involved eating a lot of chocolate which is never a bad thing.



You’ll notice that Mr Bowie photo-bombed the first picture and I should tell you that his successor – Elvis Presley – my next quilt – is finished and is now in the US awaiting his fate. Unfortunately I am bound not to show you any part of the quilt so you will have to wait a little to see the result. He was made entirely from Kaffe Fassett Collective fabric so he is quite bright – that is all I can tell you.

The Tuesday night group cheered when Tracey finished her very sweet baby quilt – aren’t polka dots the best!



When the human power station that is Faith turned up with this pile of ‘finished’ on the last Wednesday everyone else just quietly sighed ‘you win’


And we all thought her family, who are the recipients of all these beauties are just so lucky, lucky, lucky – ooh there’s Kylie again…



Everyone’s rellies are getting a set of these next year so I hope you like them! We did.









Thanks to Robyn for being the human quilt hangar for Faith.

Others did try to vye for the championship as you can see –


Lynda finished her magnificent sashiko quilt which really needs to be seen to be appreciated.

And Elaine zoomed through kilometres of thread to create a few last minute Christmas gifts –


while Margaret whipped up a boro bag as well –


not to mention three fabulous shoe bags for my Christmas gift which were immediately utilised!

Sharyn finished her kaleidoscope quilt which is made up of only one fabric in the centre –


and newcomer Jan showed us two of her creations which piqued everyone’s interest – img_5885


Finally probably the most Christmassy project was the culmination of several years work for Dee when she finished her magnificent Santa. Again this one has to be seen to be believed. It’s a masterpiece.




Another year down (the eighth) and I have been amazed by the Apatcheez creativity and productivity – and also by the fact that the classes are welcoming and a nice place to spend a morning or evening. Thanks to everyone for your support and I look forward to seeing what you can do in 2017.

Classes start again on Tuesday 31st January and I am looking forward to having lots of new things to show you. Of course if you need an emergency supply I am generally here and this week we had an unexpected visit from Carol and Bill from Canada. Carol runs her local guild and I am hoping we can exchange information to keep up with our northern hemisphere cousins.

As many of you know, Luvvy, the teenager-in-residence and I had Christmas in Tokyo this year. One of the nice things about being there was seeing my nephew who has lived in Kyoto for some time. He brought his girlfriend to visit us and, blow me down with a feather, it turns out her mother runs a quilt shop in Spain!

As I tell the teenager-in-residence, the quilting fraternity is international and we have contacts everywhere. Isn’t it marvellous!

Until next time – happy quilting













Double Gold!

All classes and some remote Apatcheez have been very busy making and finishing lots of projects but this post I wanted to show you the ‘Nature’ challenge entries. We had a record 17 entries and, since a picture paints a thousand words here are the photos of these wonderful entries. In no particular order:

Lynette’s butterflies –


Pat’s asymmetrical depiction of the four seasons –


Suzanne’s very amusing testament to the unfinished –


Robyne’s very sweet little Tilda birds –


Faith’s chair cover adorned with Dresden plates and native birds –


Bev’s French-braided rainbow fish –


Chris’ whimsical beaded garden –


Julia’s perfectly paper-pieced blue wren cushion –


Sharyn’s upper class chook cushion –


Joananne’s rhapsody of lilac and lavender –


Robyn’s attic-window-view of a garden –


Elaine’s thirsty magpie –


Jan’s quilted teabags –


Debbie’s vintage upcycling – sunshiny explosion – apologies that this quilt was draped over the piano so you can’t see the whole here –


Margaret’s beautiful tree of butterflies –


Teresa’s scene of Cradle Mountain – a wonderful souvenir of a recent holiday –


and finally June’s reminiscence of a holiday to New Zealand –


Oh and I made one too, which was only for display. I called it ‘middle Age’ –


It was great fun trying to guess who had made each piece and it was extremely difficult to vote for just one – which is why we have Viewer’s Choice and I don’t have to choose one! As it happened there was a tie and the winners were………..Elaine and Margaret with their very creative artworks –


Aren’t they amazing! these girls have certainly set the bar high for next year and it was mentioned that they are both Wednesday Apatcheez but we won’t go there now.

We had a great day with presents –


and lucky door prizes (thanks to XLN Fabrics for the bundles shown here) –


as well as the visual feast of the challenge quilts and some Christmas food – what else is there?

Until next time (when I’ll update you with some more finished projects) happy quilting






The Evening Class Strikes Back

Not so long ago in the Apatchy galaxy which is really quite close……………..

After the rebel evening class have been brutally overpowered by the sheer number of finished projects by the Wednesday-morning-class, a new threat arises. Sharyn has a new sewing table and is keen to create more quilts and Margaret is close to finishing several projects. As they and the rest of the Wednesdays attempt to rule the quilting galaxy, only a few can stop them.

Jan takes advanced finishing techniques training and manages to finish quite a large project. She strikes from a hidden base to reveal this beauty…


It is the rebels first victory for a long time over the Empire and with this project the rebels attempt to overcome the Wednesdays and bring Apatchy back from the dark side of the Force. But the Grand Army fight the fledgling resistance and Sharyn  comes armed with not one but three cushions.


The insurgents battle, but struggle to make headway as another Wednesday lady – Robyn – delivers a crushing blow with this beautiful quilt.


Meanwhile the Grand Army of the Republic battles with the dark side as the judges rule on the best hat at the Melbourne Cup morning. Master Maxie is almost swayed by the long dormant Sith overlord posing as the teenager-in-residence.


The rebels gather for a frontal attack


and Julia wins the day


Rebel spies have managed to steal the secret plans to the Death Star and pass them on to Master Maxie. He hands over the code that could bring the end of the Empire’s ultimate weapon to Julia but since Julia is from the Tuesday-morning-class this may well be another blow for the evening class.

The remnants of the Galactic Empire gather strength and attempt to destroy all hope of the evening class being recognised for finishing any project. Jan has made a valiant attempt but the resistance is in pieces and must now re-group if they are to defend their position.

After the bloodbath of the Melbourne Cup Master Maxie has gone into hiding. He was last seen at Christmas in the Country at Gatton.


Maxie’s fellow rebel Joan put in a sterling effort to complete a dozen projects but was not eligible as an evening-class-attendee since she attended all the sessions and the Wednesdays argued that she should count for their tally too.


His wookie sidekick Poz-E-Dog is overcome with exhaustion and has retired.


Can the evening class recover from this defeat to rescue their UFO’s and triumph at the next show-and-tell?

Until next time, happy quilting and may the (quilting) force be with you……………………


What’s On at Apatchy and an Episode of the Sharyn Show

Well the dust has settled and my 15 minutes of fame has passed so we can now get back to the business of creating beautiful things and having fun – not necessarily in that order.

First the fun – there are three events coming up. For those who have been in a cupboard for the past month – the Melbourne Cup will be run on Tuesday 1st November. To commemorate the event we will be having our annual hat competition judged by the world’s finest Apatchy-Melbourne-Cup-hat-competition judge – our visiting dignitary from south of the border. To add to the pleasure of the morning would you please bring a plate of food for us all to share for morning tea prior to the prize-giving ceremony.

The second event is the long-awaited ‘Christmas in the Country’ at Gatton on 4th and 5th November. We will have a stall at that show so pop in and say hello if you’re there. I might even give Dave an outing for the event.

Finally, the last event, which also requires you to bring a plate, is the annual Christmas party/Challenge unveiling to be held on 3rd December. No doubt you are full steam ahead with your challenge pieces based on the theme ‘Nature’ and remember that they are due in to me by 2nd December. And I’m sure you also remember that the secret Santa gift this year is to be a handmade Christmas decoration, the wrapping for which should include a card with your name. So I won’t remind you of that.

I knew that there would be a couple of show-and-tell photos to add to this blog but when I went through the list I realised that what we were about to see was an episode of the Sharyn show! Sharyn has consistently brought us all manner of beautiful projects and clever hacks that we all want to use (who could forget the slap band pincushion). In fact I forgot to take a photo of her latest effort which were very clever origami-like wine coasters – maybe next time. Anyway here’s what she’s been up to lately –

  • a very sweet Winnie-the-Pooh themed baby quilt;


and this great bag made around vinyl mesh (isn’t this a great photo!);


a coffee-machine cover for a very lucky person;


which, by the way, includes one of her famous d-i-y labels;


and a clever Christmas runner.


So there’s another challenge for you – see what you can create in the next couple of weeks to rival Sharyn’s output!

There were, of course, some other people who also finished a project or too. Here’s Robyn pretending she’s not the one who finished this;


and inspecting the seams here in this very, very cute baby’s quilt.


Meanwhile….I met Clare at the Maryborough Quilt Fair and she was quite taken with the vinyl mesh that I used to make my Doctor Who bag. So much so, that she went home to Tassie and told her sewing group about it. Nearly 40 rolls later these girls are whipping up mesh bags like there’s no tomorrow. And they haven’t just stuck to the rectangular tote version. Oh no – these girls have added all manner of curves and who knows what. Here’s one they prepared earlier (thanks to Robin for the photo)


So there you have it – the gauntlet has been thrown down for you to sew faster – remember Christmas is only weeks away – and there’s lots of fun to come before the end f the year. Until then

Happy Quilting