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


The Week That Was

Late again this week but so much to show you.

The Hexie club is well underway and you saw the first two projects last week. This week we were able to see the first project from the sister program – the Appliqué Club – thanks to Sharyn’s efficiency.


Sharyn also had time to make another little project with the leftovers and we were all impressed by her interesting label


While we’re on the Sharyn Show let me tell you that she won the clever award of the week by taking a slap ruler from Smiggle and turning it into a bespoke wrist pincushion with a couple of strategically placed loops.

image image

Speaking of new fabric (well you were thinking about what fabric to make your pincushion weren’t you?) we have just received the very beautiful Glitz range from Michael Miller Fabrics. Here’s what you can do with it:


Also had delivered a batch of nursery quilt and bunting kits at a very special price – here are just two of the four designs –

Nursery quilt kits bunting kit2

You’ll have to call if you want one of these because they’re not on the website. In fact the website is almost finished – there is a new one just waiting for the green light (and a couple of things for me to do – like add all the fabric – manually!)

While we’re on the subject of nurseries – we had a very special visitor on Wednesday night when Sarah brought her lovely baby Sophie in to meet us all. Ever tried to make a 3-month old baby smile for the camera when all she really wants to do is anything else???

image  imageimage

Eventually you give up and just accept it.

Another visitor to the workroom was ‘the beast’ – Lesa’s current work in progress. This talented lady has already won several awards for her work and we all think this one will continue the run.


Isn’t it wonderful? It’s a clever use of Kaffe Fassett fabrics and also savvy fussy cutting. Those beautiful hexagon flowers didn’t make themselves – they evolved from imaginative and astute scissor work.

There are some more projects in the gallery from last week (mainly Sharyn’s because she clearly doesn’t sleep) and I finished a project myself – but it’s a gift for someone so you’ll have to wait until next time for the big reveal.

I also heard from Cathy – who used to be a Tuesday girl and sometimes a Wednesday girl – but who has now run off with her husband to the wilds of Tasmania. You can catch up with her at her blog here. Suffice to say that she is doing it tough – here’s what she has to cope with:

caths apples caths plum image (16) image (8)

Isn’t it dreadful – your heart goes out to her doesn’t it!

Until next time happy quilting


The new hexagon

The humble hexagon has evolved – you know I have gradually been seduced by this shape and so, it seems have the Apatcheez. Most of the work being done in class involves hexagons.

We have our own Hexie Club up and running. These projects have been designed by the very clever Helen Stubbings from Hugs n Kisses. Helen lives in Tasmania so she has lots of stitching time in the cool weather unlike us Brissie girls.

The first project was this pretty pouch – made from fabric pieces left from our Fiesta block of the month.


The second project is the pencil case – although we all think it is more aptly described as a universal tote – exactly the right size for your sewing supplies. This project shows how utilising different fabrics creates a totally different look.

Here’s the front:


and here’s the back:


Jan , who made this, did tweak the pattern slightly but didn’t change things too much. It’s a really versatile little bag.

Here are some more of the ladies working on hexagons:





See I told you they’re all at it!

Another hexagon-related project is based on the book ‘The New Hexagon’ by Katja Marek.


On her website she has runs ‘The New Hexagon Millefiore Quiltalong’ The idea is to make rosettes using patterns from Katja’s book (copies of which arrived at Apatchy last week) and you end up with a 78″square quilt. I have seen some of the rosettes on the Facebook group and they are spectacular.


Source: Elizabeth Eastmond

Source: Elizabeth Eastmond

Source: Suzanne Golden

Source: Suzanne Golden

See what I mean? Do I feel a new project coming on?

Hope you had a good week too. Have a look at the gallery – there’s more inspiration there.

Until next time – Happy Quilting






Top Tip – the best quilting tool

Before I divulge the secret of the best gadget in your quilting toolbox have a look at this:

Hexie club 1

The prolific Jan has already finished one of the Hexie Club projects (that she only started last week). Oh the joys of having unlimited sewing time. Jan tweaked the pattern slightly and added a fancy zipper pull. So it’s really a one-off.

There are more Hexie Club projects out there and we’ll bring you photos as soon as they’re finished. I’ll also talk to you more about hexagons and how they’re taking over the Apatcheez but now I have to tell you about the super-tool:

So this week we had some people working on their first sampler quilt. I mentioned it in the last post that some reverse sewing was required when Emma and Sharon’s blocks just wouldn’t come together as they should.

Third time lucky Emma!

Third time lucky Emma!

We always tell learners that they don’t have to worry about making a mistake, that we all did (and do) and that “it’s only fabric and what’s the worst thing that can happen?” The lovely thing about quilting is that you can always go back and fix a mistake or else make a new block if the one you’re working on is beyond repair.

Of course there is frustration in failing to sew the perfect 1/4″ seam, or from sewing two pieces together the wrong way round and sometimes you feel like Sisyphus – endlessly trying to create the perfect piece. (Note – at this point I asked the teenager-in-residence to name an amazingly creative person and he came up with Eddie Van Halen so the following example is his fault). But did Eddie Van Halen enjoy practising his chords until he got it right? Probably not. Sometimes things don’t go well and you want to give up – but wait – here is an wonderful tool to help – the seam ripper!

When seams do have to be unpicked the best quilting tool you’ll own comes into its own – the seam ripper. Sure you could use scissors or a needle or a stanley knife or some other sharp weapon but you’ll end up with a mess. Either you’ll pull the fabric out of shape or fray it to such an extent that it is unusable.

scissors 2

Don’t think that the humble seam ripper can be used willy-nilly – oh no – in untrained hands it will cause more damage than it fixes. If you actually try to position the seam ripper between the seams and rip it along you’ll find you may have unravelled more than you bargained for – and that block you just spent all morning sewing is now  – well – ripped!

My first suggestion would be that you buy yourself an ultra sharp good quality seam ripper. I would recommend Clover brand. They have two types – the brown handle and white handle models – and both are excellent. Cheap rippers will only end in tears – just saying…

clover seam ripper  small_463CV_01_01 (1)

So it just happens that I had cause to do some reverse sewing myself this weekend when I inadvertently sewed two triangles to the bottom left and top right of a piece rather than top left and bottom right. As the piece forms part of a flower bud leaving it was not an option (although I did consider it for a day or so).


So it had to go. Actually several had to go because I had continued on before I realised the extent of the mistake. Here’s the way to do it:


Slip the sharp end of the seam ripper through a stitch and press forward to break the stitch. I only needed to undo that part of the seam from the point of the seam ripper to the far right (not the whole seam) which is why the seam ripper is in the middle of the fabric.


Now keep going along the seam and break around every 4th stitch (in the example above I’ve actually ripped every 7th or 8th stitch but this is a case of do what I say not what I do!)


Now turn the piece over and pull the thread – you should be able to lift it clear with very little force. If it won’t come easily you probably ripped every 8th stitch like me instead of every 4th one like I told you!


Now turn the piece back over and just brush away the small pieces of thread you have left. Excellent now you can start to sew the seam again – and try to do it right this time!

Oh and one last thing – the teenager-in-residence thinks you should have a link to Eddie in action so here it is:

Until next time

Happy Quilting


I Hate Hexies!

The hexie craze has infected my ladies! Last time I looked there was the occasional person folding small pieces of fabric around six-sided cardboard cutouts but now every second project is a lesson in geometry.


Now if you say “hexagon quilt” I see a Grandmother’s Garden – a design that became synonymous for many people with the depression but which actually developed long before that – in the early 18th century in fact. What it became synonymous for me was with the shortie pyjamas that Nanna used to give my sister and I for Christmas and which I did not appreciate as much as I possibly should have. In fact these dreadful garments caused great angst, so ugly were they, that I was forever unable to appreciate reproduction fabrics – merely because they evoked the small floral patterns from which the offending articles were invariably made!


And now the hexie is back – and in a big way. Like many annoying crazes of the not-too-distant past I had hoped the hexie would be a short-lived folly like the Macarena, planking, the ice bucket challenge and the penchant for geriatric bands to tour again even though they haven’t released an album since I was in flares and had a perm). Alas no the madness has taken hold.

Now my classes are full of people with looks of concentration fabricating six-sided polygons. So it was that I unhappily wandered past each person’s chair at this week’s classes. I had noticed the precise folding and the meticulous hand sewing. I had noticed the manufacturers of these shapes seemed to be strangely ‘at one with the universe’ and perfectly content to watch the little pile in front of them slowly becoming taller as each new piece of the ultimate puzzle was completed.

As I looked closer I was overcome with what I can only describe was a revelation. I was surprised to find that I found here a particular colour scheme strangely pleasant, and there the  arrangement quite striking. There was not a faded, drab shape to be seen.



Brilliant scarlets complemented deepest indigos and the saturated colours of Kaffe Fasset fabrics became even more alive if that is possible. Surely I could not have been wrong about these honeycombs! But yes it was true. I found myself drawn to these creations.


After the classes I started looking at various projects that could extend the challenges associated with the humble shape. I thought about establishing a ‘Hexie Club’ at Apatchy. Projects came to life in my imagination as I contemplated what could be achieved with this artistic adventure.

I fear I am now infected too. And like ‘The Plague‘ ” I have no idea what’s awaiting me or what will happen when this all ends”. Stay tuned.