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.

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

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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.

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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:-

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

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June has been busy over the holidays too –

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

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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 –

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

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

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

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

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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

Kaye

Thursday pow wow (belated)

Here’s what’s been happening at Apatchy over the past couple of weeks-

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Sharyn thought ‘outside the square’ and upcycled some denim skirts into the quilt above which she intends to use for a picnic rug and also managed to make the other little projects above.

That was the week before last and this week Sharyn showed us another completed work – the sampler quilt she commenced when she first started at Apatchy and based around a family cross stitch.

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Margaret wasn’t to be outdone and brought these beauties in for show and tell. We are very impressed with the output of these two Apatcheez. They are zooming through their UFO lists. Hopefully you are as well.

If large projects seem to daunting then why not try a smaller one – maybe one of the Hexie club projects we’ve offered this year? Margaret finished one of these projects to show you how easy it is-

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Other Apatcheez have also been busy. Hexies are still very popular and appliqué is also something that’s easily portable. Here’s Julia’s appliqué/Sashiko project.

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Robyn was working on a hand-quilted design that is taking shape very nicely…

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Several ladies have been enthused about the new fabric range ‘Sew Vintage’ perhaps this sample, based on the free manufacturer’s pattern, inspired everyone…

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Give us a call if it inspires you.

You’ll please to know that it isn’t all work at Apatchy. We had time to savour the delights of Emma’s cooking…

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All in all a very satisfying end to a productive fortnight.

Until next time happy quilting

Kaye

The Importance of Quilting and how it saved the life of a Japanese grandmother

Recently my sister welcomed some visitors from Japan – the parents, sister and grandmother of an exchange student she had hosted some years before. All were impressed with the art quilts on the wall and the lovely quilts on the beds. One particular quilt struck them as it featured a Geisha with Japanese writing. They were all very complimentary about the quilts but it was the grandmother that said something profound.
She indicated via her grandson, who translated, that she had lived a full, happy and interesting life and was ready to meet her maker – that was until she saw the quilts. She said that she would now have to re-evaluate her sense of accomplishment as she saw that there was a lot more she could do yet.
This lovely lady was a teacher in the ancient Japanese tea ceremony and perhaps she was drawn by the simplicity of the quilts, or perhaps the imagination required. Whatever it was quilting managed to reinvigorate her and inspire her to create. What a great story!
If you need any more inspiration have a look at the comments that Trudy’s daughters left on the last post.
Quilting is such a great pastime – it allows you to be creative even if you’re not that artistic, it gives you a sense of accomplishment when you finish a project (and perhaps a sense of annoyance when those seams just won’t line up). Perhaps you view it as ‘therapy’ or you enjoy the sense of community from being with other quilters and sharing their stories. Maybe it connects you with history and memories of your childhood or connects you with the quilters that came before and becomes a living memorial.
Perhaps it is a practical way to keep your family warm or an artistic way to keep their memories alive.
It seems to me that quilting can be a lot of things – artistic, creative, practical and even controversial -look at the arguments for and against ‘modern’ quilts on social media sites. It can be frustrating and wonderful in equal measure. What does it mean to you? I’d love to know.
Have a happy Easter and travel safely.
Here are some free bunny-related patterns for you to enjoy. IMG_4155

Paradise Found

ParadiseIsland

Welcome to Paradise Island. This beautiful range from Michael Miller includes exotic flowers printed on the cotton couture combed cotton basecloth. Team it with solids of olive, mermaid and azure for a stunning project.

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kona1009 azureCotton couture sc5333_olivecotton couture sc5333_mermaid_3

There is a free pattern for this fabric range and you can find it here. Maybe you don’t want another quilt (is that possible) but still love this fabric – how about a beautiful skirt?

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Speaking of paradise, here in Brisbane it has been wonderful weather – not too hot not too cold – great quilting weather (isn’t it always). Our classes started off the year last week and Jan hit the ground running. She asked me to remind you about our class times. As last year, classes are on Tuesday and Wednesdays – the morning class is 9.30am to 12.30 and the evening class is 6.00pm to 9.00pm. If you are new to quilting we recommend all but the Tuesday morning class as it is so popular it is difficult to fit a machine on the worktables! You will have better chance at tuition at one of the other classes. Make sure you phone if you are planning on starting beginner classes this year so we have everything ready for you.

Thanks for making Jan feel right at home and stay tuned to next week’s blog – we will be announcing our block of the month for the year and may even give you a sneak peek. It’s related to paradise too and quite tropical – no more hints. Until next week……

New project, new fabric, new baby

Isn’t it strange that the things we like to do seem to be difficult to start? When I am sewing I am quite happy but there are always other things to do and sometimes I seem to fiddle around until it’s almost too late to start. The past two days have been a classic example of this. I have been hoping for a free weekend for a month now and when I finally have one I managed to find all manner of tasks to do rather than sitting down for a weekend of quilting – and I have two projects ‘on the go’ so there is no excuse. But no Poz E Dogg had a bath, shopping was done, a new book was read from cover to cover. Only a meagre amount of sewing was achieved and now the weekend is over and it went so quickly. Reminds me of ‘The Church’ song ‘Life Speeds Up’. That’s for sure! Do you ever have trouble getting started on something you actually enjoy?

Anyway this one of the current projects – the fabric version of a vintage travel poster that I found in an old diary. I did manage to sew it to the background but still lots of embellishing to do, not to mention the quilting………

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The other new thing this week was the fabric range ‘Salt Water’ by Tula Pink. I am really taken by this range – especially the aqua colour theme.

PicMonkey Collagesalt waterPicMonkey Collage coral

As usual the suppliers do not have the full range to send me but the fabrics above are in stock. They are sufficient to make one of the great cushions in the free pattern. This pattern features combi van cushions (Remember the 60’s?) Definitely have to have one of those. Have a look here for the pattern.

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Finally some other ‘new’ news – the lovely Nicole who has been with us on Wednesday evenings (and has the pink and grey sampler quilt in the gallery) has a new baby girl called Isla Rose and weighing in at only 6lb so quite a small bundle. It’s wonderful to have such good news and we all wish Nicola and her family the best. No photo yet but stay tuned.

Look What Postie Brought

Just finished tonight’s class and thought we’d unpack what the postie brought this morning.

PicMonkey Collage

How nice is this fabric – and fits perfectly with the pink theme for February. The fabric is by Timeless Treasures and is called ‘Flora’. There are several sizes of magnolias in this range from the very large scale luscious full-blown variety to small pink buds. A border fabric and coordinating textured ‘plains’ complete the range. This is perfect for quilting, home decor or apparel projects. Large graphic prints are on trend at the moment and they can be used for appliques or just as part of a pieced quilt as in the central photo. It is a quilt made from a free pattern here http://www.ttfabrics.com/projects/flora/ (well you all said you wanted free patterns so here’s one for starters – an interesting asymmetrical design. Let me know what you think.