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 –

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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’.

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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 –

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The sweetest Tilda bunny;

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

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Jan finished this quilt with its whimsical embroidered details;

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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?

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

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

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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?

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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?

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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.

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And then there was this Dresden plate runner;

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

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But wait there’s more;

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

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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

Kaye

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.
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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye April

Another month gone and you haven’t seen what the clever Apatcheez have been up to for a while now. So here’s what they’ve been doing….

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Faith finished this wonderful quilt – the flowers are entirely made from the fabric she won in the Apatchy Christmas lucky door prize – thanks XLN Fabrics! And thanks Faith for a wonderful job.

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Another surprise was Julia’s bespoke ‘beaded’ necklace – what a wonderful gift!

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Suzanne may have a Kanzashi-related problem – but we’re pleased because we get to see creations like this

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Sharyn spends her free time creating these little beauties – we especially like the fancy-pants signature.

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Dee is off travelling the world – and a very lucky girl on the other side of the world will be the recipient of this Smee designs stitchery/quilt combo

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And Bev isn’t one to shirk gift-giving either – here’s her very modern take on a baby quilt

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While we’re on the subject of gifts – I think Faith’s latest creation might be headed for someone else too – sorry about the deck lighting in this shot – not the best background.

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Angie finished her bag from our class a couple of weeks ago and she look very pleased with it – as she should!

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And Elaine finished her version – with her fancy embroidered bee!

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And Joananne finished hers – a chic navy blue version

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Jan was busy with the Tilda block of the month but still managed to finish this pretty Tilda Club stitched bag.

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Oh and while she was at it also finished this bag – made from hexies sewn from her leftover Fiesta project – see what you can do with scraps.

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Joan was the first to complete the project-of-the-month with this bright mesh bag made with Kaffe Fassett Collective fabric – way to go Joan!

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Chris took a break from quilting to create one of her amazing tea cosies

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Debbie finished one of her projects (!!) this lovely hexie purse

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Carol came to visit us a couple of times and impressed us with these picnic placemats – complete with cutlery (another project made from small pieces of fabric – I won’t say scraps because they look too good to be described like that)

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The youngest Apatchee, Baileigh finished this lunch bag for a school project – well done Baileigh!

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Bev finished her February project-of-the-month with Melba magpie fabrics – but we forgot to take a photo – here she is now

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Jane sent me a photo of her finished bag

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And finally, Joananne sent me a photo of another finished project – a very clever way of using bunting and soft toy fabric to make a child’s quilt – and the back of the quilt has the back of the owl – very clever too.

There’s lots more of course as well as AQC but that’s for another day.

Until then happy quilting

Kaye

 

 

And they’re racing……

Broadcast from the supplementary course – bag-making in the tropics – a short course to complete the project started two weeks ago in Gail McMahon’s class …….

And the field has gathered for the running of the supplementary bag-making course. There are two scratchings – Faith and Julia were unable to take the field and, as a result, Joan, previously on the reserves bench has been given a run.

So a great line up this morning with the field eager to start. But wait! Under starter’s orders and there has been a late suspension. Di has failed to bring her equipment so she is unable to participate today and has been relegated to the viewing enclosure. What an upset!

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The field is now down to seven but these are the thoroughbreds. Jane would have to be the favourite being the first to finish the zigzag quilting leg at the last start. Testing her will be Elaine who came up well after the last run and started today with a bespoke embroidered bee on one of the flowers on her bag which caused some anxiety among the other runners.

So Gail starts the class and they’re away. Jane has gone out strongly, Debbie also steaming forward, Angie settling down well and Elaine pressing on with Tracey not far away.

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The speed is on early on this track and the novice Joan appears to be hemmed in on the rails by the veteran Joananne. Both are two lengths back at the cutting table and appear to be struggling with the multiple strips required for the piping and handles.

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Jane is keeping Debbie out wide and Elaine has settled in nicely on the rails. Tracey, opposite the air conditioner, is nicely placed for the length of the race and Angie is striding along well, after an initial problem at the start of the race.

The officials have called for an early suspension to the race so tea and coffee can be dispensed and then the field settles in for the final leg. Joananne has tired badly and is well back as her sewing machine becomes affected and starts to sew by itself. Clearly there is a problem here and Joananne has had to retire from the field and consult the vet. She may well claim interference and lodge a protest but for today her race is over.

The remaining field are travelling well. Joan has overcome her initial problems and is now up with the leaders. Oh and here’s another upset! Jane has not followed the starter’s orders and has chopped the ends off her piping cord before sewing the pocket onto the bag. Can she recover at this late stage?

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Angie, the quiet achiever is in the clear and will start her home run soon. Elaine is assembling the lining and looks set to finish well. Debbie has pulled away and is two lengths away from the field.

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The starter has signalled the end of the course as the field take the last turn. Jane has the whip out and looks set to test the frontrunners but it’s Tracey! Here comes Tracey! This outsider has come through on the outside and is ahead two lengths. Debbie is trying everything to peg her back and may have taken a unwarranted detour that will cause problems at the end, Angie is out wide and is giving it her all. Elaine is putting on speed here at the end but Joan is tiring badly and it looks like she is packing up. But it’s Tracey a length in front and Tracey takes the ribbon for the first completed bag. What a win!

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Elaine and Jane in a photo for second, Angie not far off, Joan in next with a brave effort, Debbie disqualified for inappropriate pocket application. A very controversial win and another great course for the Apatcheez and we look forward to the next event.

Until then happy quilting.

Kaye

 

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

 

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