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.
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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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).

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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 –

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strange food –

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beautiful Christmas lights –

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

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

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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

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

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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

Kaye

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 –

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and these are Robin’s –

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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 –

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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!

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

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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 –

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

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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!

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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 –

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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 –

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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’

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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…

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

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

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

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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 –

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while Margaret whipped up a boro bag as well –

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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 –

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

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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.

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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

Kaye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Way to Sort Your Stash

The second time it happened I knew I had to do something. I’d been looking for a particular fabric in my sewing room and couldn’t find it. Earlier a pattern had gone astray. I can’t understand how this could happen. Hadn’t I spent much of the Christmas holidays sorting out this room so it could become my personal creative space?  How had the ‘summer of the great de-cluttering’ possibly resulted in lost supplies? Clearly something was not right. I can’t find things easily, sometimes not at all and I don’t really use the space (that’s what architects call rooms now). New year new look? Not so much. So something has to change.

The arrival of ‘Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter: An Illustrated Guide to the Space of Your Dreams’ was promising. Although the author Carolyn Woods was not minimalist when it came to the title, her book guaranteed a system that could actually be maintained. It is just a matter of working through the chapters in an orderly fashion.

And so it was decided. But things are usually more fun in a group (or should that be ‘misery loves company’) and I was thinking that maybe you have the same problems. Maybe you can’t find things easily either. Or maybe you’re room/studio/cupboard isn’t working for you. Perhaps you have too much stuff(as unlikely as that sounds).

How would you like to get organised and back on track with new projects? It is a perfect time for a ‘spring clean’ after all. We could meet once a week/fortnight/month (or maybe base this whole thing online or via emails or Facebook) and work through the mess. Firstly we need a name. Let’s call our group ‘Focus’ (Finally Organising Chaos Using Support).  To join Focus you will have to buy Carolyn’s book from us and this will serve as our textbook. Together with the book though, there will be extra notes, tips and ideas and special deals. We can share our experiences and suggestions. Photos would be nice (we promise we won’t judge you). Before and afters will be mandatory! Let me know if you would like to participate and how you would like to receive your information.

Some things at Apatchy are already organised. Here’s a few:-

The Christmas party will be held at Scot’s Presbyterian Church Hall on Saturday 3rd December from 10am to 2pm. This will be the event to celebrate our achievements this year, see old friends and view the entries for this year’s challenge. (I told you about it here – the theme is ‘Nature’. No I haven’t worked out what I’m doing yet either – I can’t find the damn fabric. It’s lost in my sewing room somewhere!. All entries must be in to me by 2nd December so we can display them correctly.

As well as the challenge we will also be having a ‘Secret Santa’ again this year. This time the ‘rules’ are a little different. The gift should be a handmade Christmas decoration. You are welcome to buy one if you don’t think you have the time/talent/inclination to make one. Just keep the spending under $20. As well as providing the gift we want to know who’s who so this year would you note on a card that it is from you i.e. “To my Secret Santa from xxx (xxx being your name. I mean actually write your real name not just x’s) . Many people wanted to thank those who have been their secret Santa’s in the past but there was never any evidence as to who that was. This time there will be.

Some Apatcheez have been getting ready for Christmas already. Here’s two sets of tableware that Margaret finished –

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Now that’s great use of the Christmas postcard fabric.

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Sorry about the background green in that photo – I should have used something a bit more muted.

Estelle finished another large quilt – yes that was her with two finishes last blog post.

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This one looks much better in person when it’s not dragging on the ground. I think we need taller photographer’s assistants!

Now Faith was never going to let Estelle win the ‘UFO’s finished’ race without a fight and she brought two beauties to show us:-

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That last one is her version of the farmer’s wife quilt. It really needs to be seen to be appreciated. If you came to the classes you would see these beautiful projects. just saying…

Speaking of farmers, last blog post I also told you about our impending visit to Laidley for the Spring Festival. As always we had great fun at this event and we managed to sneak away for a few moments to photograph some of the beautiful quilts in the church. Here is just a taste:-

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That green quilt on the wall would be our Jan’s creation!

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This lady had multiple entries in the show – and they were all spectacular.

The Royal Australian Navy band played for us –

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And anyone who is anyone was there –

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Next time make sure you come along too.

To finish off I thought I’d leave you with a picture of spring at Apatchy. These birds were made by our own bird lady Chris. Aren’t they so sweet!

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Until next time happy quilting

Kaye

 

 

 

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 –
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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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 –

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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

New Year new look

Hello and welcome to Apatchy’s 2016.

Are you sick of seeing blogs with free printable monthly planners (too late January’s almost gone)? Or advice on how to achieve your goals for this year?  What about ideas for organising your creative craft room (and what else would a craft room be if not creative?)? And then there’s the comprehensive storage ideas to maximise space (which means minimise your cash by buying ‘storage solutions’ to load up the beast that has become your stash).

Ok so I’m being sarcastic and I know it’s easy to be side-tracked from your goals – technology alone offers so many distractions (I’m talking about the hours you spend on Pinterest or surfing the net for inspiration). As it happens I have mapped out my goals for 2016. I thought about it very carefully and settled on a three-phase approach to improving life. The first aspect was ‘to create an orderly life’ (the others are health and creativity). I had broken those goals into manageable segments and wrote to do lists and so on.

Surprise, surprise an extreme makeover for the whole of the Apatchy space was on the cards. The first job was to clear the storeroom (junk room) which was at the point where, if you opened the door, something may have fallen on your head.

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So everything came out of the room (and the photo above is about halfway through the process so it was actually much worse).  Furniture was re-located, walls, ceiling and floor scrubbed and ta-da – a clean slate.

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Somehow in the clearing of this area a cunning plan suggested itself – why not make that room the craft room I had been complaining of not having for years? Indeed the light was adequate and the space was not huge but should be sufficient for a table, a couple of shelves and the odds and ends that come with this quilting life.

At this point I have spent three weeks going through my stash and have religiously culled, donated, tossed, filed and labelled all of it. Cupboards have been re-purposed and tubs are colour-coded. I wanted to have all my supplies together rather than spread through various rooms of the house. Unfortunately the metamorphosis of this room led to collateral damage to all the other rooms to the extent that even the garage was affected and we couldn’t park cars there for several days.

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Things are still not quite there yet but the light at the end of the tunnel is now a soft glow in the distance.

One of the problems with this exercise is that I needed assistance – and Luvvy was there. Now the problem with this is – the husband is the natural enemy of the stash. And while his help was appreciated he now knows the full extent of the stash. This can’t be good. There was some discussion about how several children could have been sent to private schools with the investment in fabric. And there were prophecies such as “if you live to be 95 years of age there’s no way you’ll even use half of this”. And then the teenager-in-residence assisted the discussion by suggesting that the television series ‘Hoarders’ may be interested in doing a show here. Unbelievers just don’t get the zen of stash building do they?

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Those of you who know me well will also know that the minimalist approach to life is not one to which I ascribe. As quilters, many of us are used to the wonderful pastime of collecting fabric and for some it is an obsession.  Imagine if you actually owned a quilt shop! For this activity though, I went through each tub – each fat quarter, each piece of yardage, each kit and each scrap. As Marie Kondo taught us in ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ I asked myself “Does this bring me joy?” If not out it went.

Now there may be one or two items that might well stay in the bottom of the bin until the next great de-cluttering and I’m not exactly sure when I will use all of those tubs of fabric and I may not immediately have a use for the multiple tape measures I found during the exercise but I was very virtuous and only used the tubs and shelves that I had. Most of the surfaces are now tidy but I have added so many items to my to-do list the simplified life is a long way off. Luvvy is still not convinced.

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Someone once suggested to me that if we spent as much time sewing as we did trying to organise our sewing supplies we would be a lot more productive (thanks Deb). That’s true and one casualty in this whole exercise has been creativity.

The creativity part of my 2016 goals has not yet had a chance to shine – in fact, apart from a craft room there hasn’t been any creativity whatsoever. I did toy with the idea of challenging myself to make handmade gifts for everyone this year but since No 1 son had his birthday last week it seemed to be a moot point. At least the health is a little better. With all that exercise re-arranging rooms surely I must be much fitter.

How are you going with your 2016 goals? And don’t forget to let me know the status of last year’s UFO list. And this year’s.

I’m looking forward to classes starting again on 2nd February and hope to have everything ‘just so’ by then. (Don’t forget that this year there is no Wednesday evening class.) I hope you’ll like the results when the ‘reveal’ shows the new space – well the old space re-arranged – because the fabric room and classroom also had a little mini-makeover too. Oh and there’s more fabric because there’s been parcels arriving this week. And some new ideas too. And even more fabric…bring me another tub!

Until then happy quilting

Kaye

Hit the Wall Tour – we march on Newcastle

The legion prepared itself for the final assault with the march to Newcastle. This would be a 12-mile walk – the longest yet but over mainly level ground. Petermus Maximus gathered his thoughts and resolved to ensure his Compeed blister packs were in readiness for this the final frontier.

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Dear old Hadrian had marked the way well and the company started with two good omens. – the first was a robin who had welcomed the legion to camp the night before with its sweet song. As we prepared to move out it returned to sing a song of adieu and to wish the group goodwill. The other was that the heavens shone blue again for the 15th time in the campaign.

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At first we saw the ghosts of industry long gone. There were many derelict buildings and large factories that related to lead works, tar works and other environmental benefactors.

This unnerved us a little but then the paths opened to a golden carpet, fitting for the victorious march on Newcastle.

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The mighty Tyne river accompanied us as we walked in the sunshine. The bridges of the Tyne are famous throughout the land and they were certainly a sight to behold as we marched along the river.

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A diversion into the centre of the city was necessary in order to pay our respects at the castle and procure provisions and railway tickets. The city was splendid in the bright light with the sandstone buildings contrasted against the vivid blue of the sky.

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We even found buildings that amused us…

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But in Newcastle it is the river that shines brightest and of course its bridges – recognise one of these? It was built by the same firm that built the Sydney Harbour Bridge…

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As we marched past the city centre and out into the outer areas of the city the inhabitants rejoiced. Flags flew…

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Flowers bloomed and decorated the way …

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and as we neared the end of the journey a great flock of seagulls (perhaps from Solway in the west?) welcomed us with cries of “hooray, hooray, hooray”…

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Finally, near dusk, the weary centurion made it to the fort called Segundunum at Wallsend and the heavens shone again…

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There was a great rejoicing and a feast of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding on our arrival and the moon rose over Tynemouth…

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But it was not quite over yet. As the sun rose on the morrow….

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the old centurion Petermus Maximus paid homage at the gates of Tynemouth Castle…

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and then thanked his faithful boots for getting him 84 miles across the country without needing medical assistance and walking the paths of soldiers and kings long past…

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And so that is the tale of Petermus Maximus and his legion’s journey. Long may it be remembered….

Kaye

Hit the Wall Tour – the campaign moves further east

Monday was a rest day for the legion – so naturally the company went walking! A reconnaissance mission around Chollerford discovered the following:-

1 the bridge has fantastic views of the trees mirrored in the water of the Tyne (that were not visible the next day due to higher winds).

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2 The town has the most beautiful range of trees and the autumn leaves are an inspiration

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Another reccy to Chester’s Fort was very valuable for the legion to see how a fort was set up as there were visible evidence of the barracks, the bath house and the other buildings in the compound. Further evidence came from the comprehensive collection of artifacts accumulated by Mr Clayton (the archaeologist you have when you’re not having an archaeologist).

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Petermus Maximus thought that more of the fort should be visible and that it should be built up again as it was during dear emperor Hadrian’s times. The English Heritage lady explained that it was their policy to leave things for future generations. A debate ensued which ended with Petermus casting aspersions on the quality of their tearoom’s carrot cake and the company was forced to make a retreat.

The next day orders came through that the legion was to advance another ten miles east to East Wallhouses and the Robin Hood pub where a chariot would be waiting to transport us to camp.

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Sunny skies saw the company move on. After leaving the small town we marched through a wooded area widely believed to be the source of fairy tales of wizards and tree spirits…

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After successfully navigating any sorcery the company was charged to climb St Oswald’s hill

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It was quite a steep climb but the company was now used to much steeper gradients and they were quite soon at the top to see the beautiful church …image

And of course the famous St Oswald’s tearoom run by the same lady for the past 18 years and soon to close forever. Naturally we were honour-bound to partake of the chocolate cake and date-and-walnut-scones on offer. Best not to show you those, better you should see the lavender in the garden…

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Did I mention it was a beautiful day? And oh the sights we saw – as we walked hills, field paths and farms…

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The camp that night was in the picturesque village of Wylam…

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home of many a steam train pioneer, including the late, great George Stephenson.

Today there was a westerly wind blowing which helped the legion progress and it was reported that the only sunshine in Britannia this day would be found right here.

And so it was – but not until late morning. The path was more level than previously but also muddier …

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The mud did slow the legion down and, on more than one occasion centurions became bogged. Petermus Maximus had to assist one of his fellow travellers out of a very sticky situation when she fell foul of the gravitational forces of the path. Since the importation of a large crane was not feasible, brute force was required. As both centurions were laughing hard this was made more difficult.

As the legion progressed eastwards the wind dropped and the path followed the road, thereby underlining the fact that each step brought them closer to the urban environment. Still though there were signs of the country – abandoned farm buildings …

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Strange and unusual wildlife…

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Wooded paths filled with dappled sunlight and softly falling leaves…

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Bucolic scenes of great beauty….

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And friendly natives – these little fellows were extremely tame and came up to us for a pat…

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All too soon though the countryside disappeared and we were on the edge of Tynemouth, although there were still some aspects of the countryside…

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So we are almost at the end of this campaign. Tomorrow we march on Newcastle. Until the next despatch…

Kaye