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 –


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’.


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 –


The sweetest Tilda bunny;


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


Jan finished this quilt with its whimsical embroidered details;


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?


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


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


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?


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?


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.


And then there was this Dresden plate runner;


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


But wait there’s more;


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


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


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?

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 –


and these are Robin’s –


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 –


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!


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


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 –


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


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!


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 –


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 –


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.



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.



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!



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’


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…



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









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

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


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 –


while Margaret whipped up a boro bag as well –


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 –


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


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.




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













The Evening Class Strikes Back

Not so long ago in the Apatchy galaxy which is really quite close……………..

After the rebel evening class have been brutally overpowered by the sheer number of finished projects by the Wednesday-morning-class, a new threat arises. Sharyn has a new sewing table and is keen to create more quilts and Margaret is close to finishing several projects. As they and the rest of the Wednesdays attempt to rule the quilting galaxy, only a few can stop them.

Jan takes advanced finishing techniques training and manages to finish quite a large project. She strikes from a hidden base to reveal this beauty…


It is the rebels first victory for a long time over the Empire and with this project the rebels attempt to overcome the Wednesdays and bring Apatchy back from the dark side of the Force. But the Grand Army fight the fledgling resistance and Sharyn  comes armed with not one but three cushions.


The insurgents battle, but struggle to make headway as another Wednesday lady – Robyn – delivers a crushing blow with this beautiful quilt.


Meanwhile the Grand Army of the Republic battles with the dark side as the judges rule on the best hat at the Melbourne Cup morning. Master Maxie is almost swayed by the long dormant Sith overlord posing as the teenager-in-residence.


The rebels gather for a frontal attack


and Julia wins the day


Rebel spies have managed to steal the secret plans to the Death Star and pass them on to Master Maxie. He hands over the code that could bring the end of the Empire’s ultimate weapon to Julia but since Julia is from the Tuesday-morning-class this may well be another blow for the evening class.

The remnants of the Galactic Empire gather strength and attempt to destroy all hope of the evening class being recognised for finishing any project. Jan has made a valiant attempt but the resistance is in pieces and must now re-group if they are to defend their position.

After the bloodbath of the Melbourne Cup Master Maxie has gone into hiding. He was last seen at Christmas in the Country at Gatton.


Maxie’s fellow rebel Joan put in a sterling effort to complete a dozen projects but was not eligible as an evening-class-attendee since she attended all the sessions and the Wednesdays argued that she should count for their tally too.


His wookie sidekick Poz-E-Dog is overcome with exhaustion and has retired.


Can the evening class recover from this defeat to rescue their UFO’s and triumph at the next show-and-tell?

Until next time, happy quilting and may the (quilting) force be with you……………………


Planes, Flowers and Quilts

My brother visited overnight last week so I took the opportunity to grab a couple of items from his secret-pilot’s-attaché-case to use as props (no pun intended) for the latest fabric arrival – ‘Aviator’. Thanks bro’. Designed by Dan Morris this is a great collection that has a masculine feel. The range includes logos, maps and, of course, cloudy skies. We are just waiting to take flight and do something wonderful with these aircraft-inspired fabrics. 



Unfortunately that project had to take second place as I was working on my challenge quilt all weekend. No doubt you are too! Details of the Christmas extravaganza and challenge details are here towards the bottom of the post in case you missed it.

There are other new fabric ranges arriving, it seems daily. I will have to update you with photos next time or, even better, why not pop in and check them out in person. Just to tempt you here is one new range that hasn’t even made it to the website yet. It is Tanya Whelan’s ‘Sadie’s Dance Card’


This range is really the definition of pretty and there have been some lovely projects made with it. Here’s one idea from the designer –


While you’re adding projects to your list don’t forget about our FOCUS (Finally Organising Chaos Using Support). Last week’s blog here really struck a chord with you and I was overwhelmed with the response. It seems, after consultation with the inaugural FOCUS group and others, that this is a bigger problem than I first thought and will need more time to resolve. So… rather than the cursory spring clean I originally suggested we are going to embrace the principles of the book (‘Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter: An Illustrated Guide to the Space of Your Dreams’ ) that we are using as a kind of textbook and go the whole hog – think major re-structuring and alteration of your cupboard/studio/mansion wing – wherever you sew.

To be a part of the group you have to purchase the book from Apatchy Quilting. Apart from that you just need patience and vision. The hard part will be done over the Christmas holidays when sewing is probably not high on the agenda and there is time it sort it all out. There is still time to join – just send me an email and you’re in.

I did promise to show you a few of the quilts from the Coorparoo Quilters’ show. As usual these shows have quilts hanging on stands that are spaced nicely to see the quilts but not to photograph them properly. So here’s what I managed –


The quilt above was a fine example of needle turn appliqué from Cheryl Craig.imageVicki Carr made this beautiful sampler quilt and chose the perfect border.imageimage

I really like the shimmering quilt pattern and this is a fine example by Natalie Ravenswood.image

This quilt by Leith Woodall is called ‘African Dreams’.


The Coorparoo girls have discovered the twister rulers and made a challenge out of the process.

As our challenge is ‘Nature’ I thought I would leave you with some photos from Toowoomba’s Carnival of the Flowers. Enjoy.imageimageimageimageimageimage

Until next time – happy quilting


P.S. Wish me luck for this week’s Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair – my Bowie quilt is in the Queensland Quilt Show.


Welcome Spring

It has been a warm start to the season for those of us in Brisbane – perfect weather for a quilt show in fact and as it happens there is an excellent event on this Thursday, Friday and Saturday – the Laidley Spring Festival. The good people of Laidley will be out in force because the whole town gets behind this festival and there is lots to see – from the flower show to the street parade to the quilt show. Which is where we’ll be of course so pop in if you’d like to see the prize-winning quilts from the area.

And speaking of prize winners here are two of our own. As I mentioned in the last post, Robyne took out the third prize in her section and Lesa won Viewer’s choice at the recent EKKA  ‘Quilts Across Queensland’.


I hope these women inspire you to enter competitions yourself. Doing so will help you see your work in a new light, will add to the show (more is more) and who knows, you might be lucky enough to win a rosette as beautiful as Robyne’s and Lesa’s!

I was pleased to find out that my Bowie quilt has been accepted into the Queensland Quilters’ Show in October so you see I’m taking my own advice. It will be great to see it hanging in the convention centre at the exhibition.

Speaking of exhibitions I hope you took the opportunity to visit the exhibition of costumes from the ABC television show ‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’. It was delightful to see the couture garments as well as the inside information regarding fabrics and designs. Made you want to be a flapper ….


There’s something very artistic about a collection of thread don’t you think?

And on the subject of art – don’t forget the Apatchy challenge this year is to make a quilted item with the theme ‘Nature’. Better get designing….

Estelle was our designer this week. She managed to finish two major works.


The latter is an example of what you can do with a jelly roll and a little extra fabric. Great work Estelle.

And if you missed Robyne’s and Lesa’s quilts the first time round here they are again…..


Congratulations to you both.

Until next time happy quilting (and see you in Laidley)



Travel, Shows and Celebrations

A lot can happen in three weeks. Sometimes you stay put and sometimes you get out. It was that kind of time this month.  First there was a trip to Warwick for the Jumpers and Jazz Festival – where everything, whether it moves or not, is wrapped in wool



Then there was a visit to Vanuatu where the sun almost always shines and photos look like they’re fake (but aren’t)


Where the flowers are as bright as the ladies’ dresses:


And where there is time to relax and reflect on the meaning of it all:


And finally a quick trip to Melbourne. On arrival I found that the National Gallery was exhibiting ‘The Making of the Australian Quilt’ – an exhibition to showcase the rich heritage of Australian quiltmaking from the ‘Rajah’ quilt (made by female convicts on the voyage to Australia) to quilts from the 1950’s.  Here are some of the key works:

quilt 1

The hexagons that make up this quilt (by Prudence Jeffrey made around 1857) are only 1/2″ across – proving that some people were mad back then too!

quilt mary jane hannaford

This quilt was made by Mary Jane Hannaford and includes a little poem to remind the reader to do the right thing.

quilt misses hampsom

And this sampler quilt made by the Misses Hampson around the turn of the century shows Australian motifs.

I must say, even though I had seen many of the quilts before, they were certainly inspiring, especially some of the crazy quilted pieces that were made from the finest velvets, satins and silks.

While I have been gallivanting around, there have been several wonderful projects that the Apatcheez have finished – really it is like a factory here sometimes.

We also passed a bit of a milestone last week – it was Apatchy Quilting’s 8th birthday! But was there cake and streamers – oh no – the girls just kept working –

Pat finished this set as a gift for someone special. Apparently the origami folding at the top left was a little challenging.


While Margaret finished her set which includes sashiko – again a gift for a lucky someone.

Margarets fish 3

To celebrate the birthday though we will be having our annual birthday sale this week so come in and say hello and grab a bargain.

I have also been asked many times over the past few weeks about this year’s challenge. As you know we have a challenge every year and it’s time to announce the theme for this year. (See I hid it here so you had to read all the way through until you found it – tricky eh?) Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make a quilted item that is inspired by the theme. All the entries will be displayed at the annual Christmas gathering – to be held this year on Saturday 3rd December. This means that your entry must be in by the 2nd December.

As I mentioned this year the challenge will be to make a quilted item (it could be a quilt, wallhanging, bag, garment…..) that fits the theme. Again this year the theme is a word and the word this year is (drum roll please) ……’Nature’

So get your creative juices flowing  – if it’s animal, vegetable or mineral it will fit the theme. From a pebble to a mountain, a leaf to a forest, an insect to an elephant – all fit. I can imagine some ideas coming to life on the fabric. Hope you can too.

I’m sure we’ll talk more about this and I’ll give you more information about the venue and so on as we get closer to the time of the unveiling.

The other big news is that the world outside Apatchy has been taking notice of the Apatcheez. There are always quilt shows asking for entries and it is sometimes a little daunting deciding whether or not to enter – will my work be good enough? Will people criticize it? Will I win a ribbon? Personally I think you should go for it and as someone once said “sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”. It gives you a different perspective when you see you quilt hanging with others and it can be a useful exercise where you can see aspects that could be improved. If you do happen to win a ribbon well that’s a bonus. I have entered my latest quilt in the Queensland Quilters Show and will know next week whether or not it has been accepted.

Over the past couple of weeks the EKKA was held here in Brisbane and three of the Apatcheez were successful – Robyne won third with her Roseville Album, Christine won ‘Best Hand Quilting’ and Lesa took out the viewer’s choice prize for her ‘Roseville Album’. I’ll try to have photos for next week. Congratulations ladies you are champions!

Until next time, happy quilting




Breaking the drought

I gather you haven’t appreciated the silence over the past month. Sometimes you can either do things or write about it – this past month has been the former. And the Apatcheez haven’t been left behind. Here’s what they’ve been up to:

Teresa finished a large project…


and a small one…


Suzanne’s sashiko proved difficult to photograph at its best


Susan finished her magnificent hexagon quilt that has been slowly coming together this year. This one is so large that it was impossible to photograph without the ceiling and the floor getting in the way –


and Robyne treated us to another award-winning quilt –


Gail McMahon came back to Apatchy to teach us about our sewing machines – considering some of us, not looking at anyone in particular, didn’t necessarily know what foot did what.

On the day some listened to the teacher…


Some were a bit worried about the size of the problem…


Others turned off and tried to write fake sick notes from their Mums so they could go home at lunchtime…


while others lost it completely and tried to cut the legs off their trousers.


We all learnt about what to do with the strange things that lurk at the bottom of the sewing tool box


And we also found out the four things you can’t live without if you want to continue with this sewing lark. I will have to tell you about those another time. By the end Gail had taught everyone so much we all felt confident to go it alone…


A little later in the month…Joananne finished her bag from the last class..


and customised it by adding this cute dachshund instead of the two cats on the the original pattern


and then she turned her hand to felting with this beauty…


Faith wowed us with her magical Faraway Tree


and then added even more detail before handing it over to the lucky recipient.


Debbie tried to hide from her latest finished masterpiece


and Sue finished this delightful hexagon bag which everyone now wants to make…


Meanwhile Jan and I went off to the Maryborough Quilt show.


Jan objected to a photo – don’t know why. She says that everyone thinks she is me because I always photograph her at the shows. He he he

The quilt show had a competition and here are some of the entries. I can’t tell you who made them because they don’t have name tags..


Now don’t say I don’t take you anywhere nice!

And finally … I had a birthday and was overwhelmed and very grateful at the generosity and kind wishes from my lovely ladies.


Thank you very much and until next time (when I’ll show you some more pictures)

Happy quilting