Coat of many colours and an event not to be missed

Although I’ve been absent from Smoke Signals for a couple of weeks the Apatcheez have been very busy as usual. I won’t show you all the lovely creations in one go but here are a few. Some girls are working on their challenge – don’t forget about that – details here. Others have new projects. Some are thinking about holidays and the star this week is Sharyn who is one of those – about to embark on a long trip to Europe. What does every traveller need for the continent? Why a quilted jacket of course. Sharyn made this beauty and brought it for show-and-tell this week:-

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It was a big hit wit those of us at the class and many have plans to make one as their next project.  I shared this photo on Facebook, as Sharyn knows, and there were several ‘likes’. What Sharyn didn’t know was that I also shared it on a group I follow – the Kaffe Fassett Collective and you can see the response below. See how many people like it? And there were 22 comments – all of them complimentary. Many of the people who follow this group are American and they know a thing or two about quilted jackets.

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Well done Sharyn – even the teenager-in-residence was impressed with those numbers!

Sharyn wasn’t the only one impressing us over the past two weeks. Chris finished this beauty

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Chris is very precise in her work and it shows – all her seams are perfect! She has been concentrating on her free-motion quilting this year and is proof that practice-makes-perfect in that area too.

Our hexie projects continue to be popular and Margaret surprised us with this charmer last week

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Not content with that she also finished her sashiko tablerunner. Sashiko is one method that has been extremely popular with the Apatcheez this year – I blame June who was converted when she travelled to Japan on a quilting tour – or was she struck before that? Anyway she has infected many of the girls with the sashiko bug.

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Over the years there have been so many beautiful projects finished by the Apatcheez, it is difficult to believe we have been here for seven years this month. Of course such a milestone cannot go by unnoticed so earmark this coming week for some bargains with our annual

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This week only, from Monday, you can enjoy 20% off all stock (apart from block of the month) 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 all stock – one week only – here’s your chance to grab that fabric that’s been calling to you over the past few weeks!

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.

Speaking of the website – we are pretty well up and running with the new website – a couple of tweaks to make it super dooper but most of the fabric is loaded onto the site. If you haven’t visited for a while go and have a look and let me know what you think. It is at www.apatchyquilting.com.au 

See you next week. Until then, 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

Can you claim quilting on Medicare?

Happiness is under a lot of pressure lately. Life is much faster and more complex. Not only that but almost every aspect of life has prescriptive standards from the way you arrange your furniture to what you eat for dinner.

Actually these days you don’t just ‘arrange’ your furniture – your home should be ‘styled’ and there is no room for Aunty Glad’s china cabinet in that exercise I can tell you!

We’re supposed to ‘de-clutter’ our home (and our life) – a process which apparently involves discarding anything that has sentimental value and replacing it all with ‘neutrals’ and three glass vases with necks too short to actually hold flowers!

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We don’t just cook anymore and serve meals to our loved ones – not since Master Chef and the like came along – oh no – now we have to ‘plate it up’ – and don’t forget the white-onion-and-cider-puree or the jus or the cornichons. And aren’t they just the gherkins that Mum used to skewer on a toothpick and shove into an orange with the coloured cocktail onions when we had visitors coming over? And if so you’re not actually supposed to eat them with normal food anyway.

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After dinner (or perhaps during) there are the distractions of Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and blogs of course. Google has answers to every question and your phone has an inbuilt servant called Siri who can get them for you. You can always communicate with the thousands of friends you have inside your computer. Or play a game with someone on the other side of the world. And it goes on and on……there’s so much to keep up with it can be quite stressful and can get you down.

Or maybe you could sew a little and make a quilt.

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Apparently there is evidence that creative activities cause our brain to release a neurotransmitter which makes us happy.

A psychologist with an impossible name described the phenomenon of losing track of time while you’re engrossed in a project as ‘flow’ and determined that it was the secret to happiness.

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Neuroscientists are now conducting research to determine if creative pursuits can help people who suffer from anxiety, depression and chronic pain and further whether the reduction in stress and increase in feeling happy could protect the brain from damage cause through aging. Now they might be clutching at straws there but you never know.

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Earlier this year an article “This is your brain on crafting” appeared on CNN and it upholds the idea that when we are engaged in a creative pursuit like quilting there are several areas of the brain involved – “our memory, attention-span, visual/spatial processing, problem solving and creative aspects”

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Now the Apatcheez have known about this for some time but it is apparently news to the uninformed. We have lots of fun in class and it can really lift your spirit. Maybe it’s getting help with a tricky block, maybe it’s hearing a funny story or maybe it’s just being part of a community.

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Several people over the past couple of weeks have commented that coming to quilting class makes them happy and one (Angie) asked if I was registered as a provider with Medicare.

You know what – I’m thinking about it.

Until next time. Happy quilting

Kaye

PS Have a look at the gallery and you will see more of the clever Apatcheez work and if you haven’t been to class lately then pop in next week -it’ll make you happy.

Thursday pow wow (belated)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Give us a call if it inspires you.

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

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

Until next time happy quilting

Kaye

The 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.

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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:

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and here’s the back:

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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:

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See I told you they’re all at it!

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

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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

Kaye

 

 

 

 

Top Quilting Tips No. 2 – A Class Act

In the ‘Countdown to classes‘ series here’s number –

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Today I want to talk about classes and why you should attend one on a regular basis. As far as Apatchy Quilting goes I always envisaged that it would be a haven away from the stresses of everyday life as well as a quilting venue that nurtures creativity and inspiration. This is why I try to encourage everyone to think positively and why I discourage negative talk at classes – because it discourages people.

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I was sad to hear that Rod McKuen died this week – I loved his poetry from the time I was a teenager. This portion of the poem ‘A Safe Place to Land‘ reflects what I feel about Apatchy:

“There should be some silence in this place so thought can harvest things it’s lately caught. I hope that you will take this as a resting space. A bench provided just before the clearing up ahead.”

Linda Steele is an award-winning quilter. She put together a list of 10 reasons to belong to a group. I couldn’t have put it better myself so here is her list:

1. Inspiration

Who cannot help but be inspired by other peoples quilts.

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2. Information

In our busy world it is impossible to keep up with everything going on.

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3. Camaraderie

Sewing and quilting can be a solitary activity. Of course we all need time alone to prepare, design and achieve but it’s good to show others what we are doing as well.

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4. Critique

Honest feedback is hard to find in the quilting world. Family and friends are too close and often don’t have the expertise. This is where a  group with the skill to articulate and use the principles of Art and Design as their base is invaluable.

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5. Insight

Everyone’s work is different and it is very interesting to see how other people  approach a theme or idea.

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6. Competition

Nothing spurs you on like a little bit of friendly competition.

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7. Support

Designing your own quilts and entering competitions can be tough and  rejection is common. This is where groups can offer understanding, commiseration and encouragement.

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8. Purpose

Self-esteem is often built on achievement and finishing a quilt or helping organise an activity is very rewarding.

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9. Confidence

Advising, listening, supporting and sharing with others have the advantage of boosting our own confidence.

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10. Friendship

I have met so many wonderful people including online friends through my quilting groups.

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Exactement! My thoughts too.

See you on Tuesday and Wednesday 9:30am to 12:30 for the day class or 6:00pm to 9:00pm for the evening class if you’re a night owl. Be there or be square.

Until tomorrow

Happy Quilting

Kaye

If you have missed any of the Countdown to Classes series here are the links:

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