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)

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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:

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

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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!

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

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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.

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

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

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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

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

Holiday Mode

Wednesday is cancelled. Well not the whole day, obviously. As many of you know I am jetting off on Wednesday morning to the other side of the world to help Luvvy celebrate a significant birthday. The world’s-best-right-hand-woman Jan will be ensuring that the Apatcheez continue their classes and will look after the four legged Apatcheez, the house, and, well, just about everything really. BUT she is not available on Wednesday morning and I will be flat out like a lizard drinking working out whether to take the extra t-shirt/jeans/coat. This means that there will be no Wednesday morning class but normal service will be resumed for the evening class and you hardly notice that I’ve gone.

The Bowie post last week resonated with many of you and it was the 100th blog post so that’s a milestone.  I was asked what else we saw in Melbourne. The Facebook followers were treated to some of these photos at the time but here they are some more for you.

Melbourne is….

The old and the new side by side

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Melbourne is…. a chocolate shop at every turn

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Melbourne is… bad for your waistline

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Melbourne is… trams and history and St Kilda Pier and Luna Park

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And Melbourne is….Flinders Street station and wonderful restaurants and funny laneways

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That one was for the teenager-in-residence. And while we’re on that subject…Melbourne is…the excitement when your Mum finds a patchwork shop…

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Say no more.

Last week the Apatcheez finished more projects. Here’s some show-and-tell

Di's bespoke sashiko by the pool

Di’s bespoke sashiko by the pool

Elaine's great hack where she changed a softie kit into a cushion

Elaine’s great hack where she changed a softie kit into a cushion

And the back....is the back

And the back….is the back

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Isn’t that lovely? This is Lesa’s beautifully embroidered ring-bearer’s cushion for her daughter’s wedding. This wedding has been all about the special touches that only handmade can bring – from this cushion to the beads embroidered on the veil. I’m sure it will be very special and all my best wishes for the wedding on 10th October. I’ll be thinking of you while I watch the Australia v Wales rugby match.

The postie did bring lots of new Kaffe Fassett Collective fabric as well as another range Letter Stitch – very graphic. Also a big bundle of loveliness from Tilda..

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Have a look on the website under Tilda fabric, kits, Tilda Club and embellishments to see what all the fuss is about.

And we had lots to see in class last week. Everyone was very focused…

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Until next time happy quilting

Kaye

 

 

 

Ooh la la I see owls

The French Festival was held this weekend at Southbank in Brisbane and, as a devout Francophile, it was important to be there and be surrounded in all-things-French. From can-can dancers to crepes and an occasional glimpse of Marie Antoinette it was a lovely way to spend a Saturday (apart from the queue for the crepes).

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Naturally it was essential to bring some joie de vivre home and that came in the form of macarons. Since I had a solo weekend (Luvvy and the teenager-in-residence were away visiting) that evening and the next were spent sewing more one-inch squares together for the “My Small World” project. Put it down to the lack of company but I may have spent a little while trying to incorporate the two – fabric and macarons that is. What do you think?

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It was almost as much fun finding fabric to ‘stage’ them as it was eating them. Actually, no, it wasn’t.

The Apatcheez were also busy this week. The glory for most finishes this week went to Chris. She brought these two quilts for show-and-tell, both of which featured rather wonderful owls.

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We were all very impressed with these and the quilting that Chris has been perfecting. Well one of the group was just cold and preferred to take advantage of the chair quilt – literally!

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Hope your week was productive too. Let me know what you did. Until next time happy quilting.

Kaye

Bridges, Butterflies and Blue Skies

After seeing the ‘My Small World’ Quilt project in Quilt Mania and on the verykerryberry blog thought it would be a good pieced project to do. Generally I prefer appliqué but like to diversify a little. Also I thought it would be an interesting project to show the Apatcheez, especially those doing the beginner sampler quilt. It was rather tricky finding additional copies of the magazine, however, there are now several of us underway (or at least the project now appears on serval UFO lists).

I’ll keep you up to date with the progress as we go along. So far I managed to find twenty different fabrics for the sky, yes twenty!

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The original quilt has a cream-coloured sky, however, I wanted a little higher contrast. It took a couple of days to decide what look I wanted. Was it going to be a night sky of navy blues and black? What about shades of light blues? A real estate advertisement arrived in the mailbox showing the suburb at sunset – with a sky of pink, soft oranges and deep purples. It was a dilemma until I was driving home from the shops last week and saw the most wonderful winter sky – of the brightest blue with clouds that were so white.

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And so it was decided. I drew the design on paper and coloured it accordingly. It was then that I had to start cutting one inch squares – dozens of them! I sewed the first two rows of the first part and….it was dreadful. Trying to control the squares was difficult as they weren’t long enough to hold and I had to let them go when they went under the foot of the machine. I gave up at that point and slept on it. The answer was there in the morning – paper piecing (or foundation piecing if you prefer). The first two rows came together much better and then a few more.

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The above is only a small section of the first part of the project but I was quite satisfied with the results. The project is quite time-consuming but I think it will be quite pleasant. I’ll post more photos as we go along because others are using very different colours so it should be interesting. Let me know if you would like to do it too and we’ll talk skies.

No time to see any more today because I was walking across the Story Bridge to commemorate the 75th anniversary. I walked the bridge with the children on the 50th anniversary so it is like a  tradition now. How many people does it take to celebrate a bridge? Approximately 74,000 apparently. That’s how many walked the bridge today – and it did seem very crowded I must say. And hot. Winter in Brissie certainly isn’t cold, cold, cold.

The Apatcheez didn’t disappoint this week. Sue finished her row-by-row quilt that have been on the UFO list for a while. I think this pattern might be an inspiration to a few others who are keen to make an under-the-sea quilt because it turned out very well.

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Di has also had a UFO project on the go for a while and it is evolving into quite an amazing piece. What started as a series of Sashiko samplers has become a much larger piece with appliquéd hexagons. We can’t wait to see this one finished.

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So lots of blue projects so far but not for long. The queen of colour, Bec brought a brilliant swap that she received that day.

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This gave everyone ideas of course. Not to be outdone Bec has another fabulous project (or two) of her own including this paper-pieced beauty…

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So I am looking forward to another inspirational week. Hope to see you and hear more ideas. Until then happy quilting.

Kaye

 

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.

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

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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.

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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:

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

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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???

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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.

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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:

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

Until next time happy quilting

Kaye

Finally Facebook!

Over the past few months I have been trying to update myself with the world as it has become. This has meant coming to grips with the workings of Ipad and iphone as well as WordPress so that I can be clever and add links and videos for you all to enjoy.

Furthermore I have been hounded by my children over the past years to “stop being a dinosaur” and get into Facebook. Well finally I have succumbed and ……ta-da I now do have a Facebook page.

I would really appreciate it if you check it out and like it if you’re feeling that way inclined. The link is here.

While we’re on the subject of social media I currently have 97 followers on this blog. Being a competitive type I would love to go over the hundred. If you could refer the blog to someone else to follow I would really appreciate it.

So that’s what you can do for me – what can I do for you? How about show you the latest fabric arrival at Apatchy Quilting? This beautiful range is from Michael Miller and is called Petite Paris – being a lover of all things French AND having a penchant for the blue hue you can see why I like it can’t you?

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I have added a couple of photos of my own to the collage above to tempt you.

There is a free pattern here at Michael Miller Fabrics although I don’t think it does the range justice. What do you think?

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What would you make with this fabric? I would be interested to read your comments.

Until next time

Happy Quilting

Kaye