Boonah Show wrap up

Thanks to everyone who came to Boonah to say hello at the quilt show on the weekend. Jan and I had a great time and were really inspired with many of the quilts in the show. Of course I did take a photo or two so prepare to be quilt-bombed!!



Wonderful aren’t they? Lots of colour this year which seems to be the trend in the quilting world.

And in the Apatcheez world there was also colour and inspiration over he past couple of weeks –

Margaret made these placemats and tablerunner


And while she was on a roll these evolved from the Australian floral stacks (that were also a big hit at Boonah)


Suzanne finished her Sashiko cushion-


Chris finished another small quilt with her wonderful free motion quilting-


Dee finished one the “boy version” of her Aussie stitchery quilt –


And Pat really got stuck into the February project-of-the-month and managed to finish four aprons! Don’t the vibrant colours of the Kaffe Fasset Collective fabric pop?


I wonder what we’ll see this week to impress? Until next time….happy quilting


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)


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:


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


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!


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


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.


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


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

lynettes quilt for a wedding pressie

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



5 fabric ranges you won’t want to miss

The Apatcheez were right back in the saddle when classes started last week. The postman has been busy over the holidays and there were several new fabric ranges to tempt them. The most popular was probably Melba –
Melba collage

Melba was designed by Emma Jean Jansen from Ella Blue and she used her memories of living in Melbourne when she was Textile Design Student, as the inspiration for her designs. The collection includes the iconic Melbourne tram on which she travelled daily, and fabrics listing Melbourne suburbs that she lived in and visited regularly. Old Public Transport Tickets and a fabulous Magpie print are included in the range giving it an overall very Melbourne feel. Beautifully designed Native Australian flora, Banksia and Gum nuts are also part of the fabric range. We used it to make the frilly apron above and it was very soft and easy to use.

Another range from the same stable is Ella Blue Basics. We have curated a small collection to start and had fun making the kangaroo. These go beautifully with the Melba range.

ella basics collage

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

Lovebugs collage

Lovebugs is a Riley Blake Design fabric range and the ‘love’ text fabric would be great as a backing for that special quilt and we had fun making fabric envelopes out of the envelope fabric.

Another Riley Blake Designs range is Extravaganza.

extravaganza collage

This is another pretty range with greens, pinks and lilacs taking centre stage.

Finally, now that we have some cooler weather here in Brisbane after the high temperatures/high humidity of last week it’s a great time to sew – and why not make something for your newly revamped craft room? How about a mug rug or sewing machine organiser with Thimble Pleasures

thimble pleasures collage

or maybe you could use the free pattern here and make a whole quilt with this quirky fabric.

Of course the holidays meant that there were several projects finished and other progressed. Here are some of the Apatcheez’ work –

Janes dolly quilt

Jane finished her dolly quilt in December but I was walking Hadrian’s wall and missed it – maybe you did too.


Lynette surprised everyone by making this sewing basket. As she’s away for six months this will no doubt be useful – and beautiful.


Maureen finished this quilt and gave it to her granddaughter who has run away to the circus – not really but she was chosen to learn to be a member of Circus Oz – way to go! Hope we’ll be seeing her on the high wire soon.


Robyne wowed everyone with her magnificent rendition of this Kim Maclean design. Her use of colour is exquisite. And she did it again with this quilt called Mon Ami – another crowd favourite:-


Not content with those two masterpieces we saw another – made from French General fabrics and embellished with lace –


June has been busy over the holidays too –


This whimsical piece has a place in her craft room and this bespoke peg bag is almost too good to use –


Bev also finished a UFO that’s been hanging around for a while – and she did it beautifully – this is the Japanese log cabin quilt that Hiroe taught us –


The Wednesday ladies were not to be outdone and Margaret finished a couple of minor pieces – just kidding – there’s this eye spy quilt –


Oh and did I mention she finished Fiesta! Congratulations Margaret this is wonderful and the quilting is excellent – all her own work –


Not to be outdone Sharyn slipped in a few finished projects –


And finally Robyn showed us this piece which came together very quickly –


Ir was lovely to see all the ladies again and catch up on tales of holidays and other exciting events. This year looks to be very promising and there are still more wonderful projects to come. Stay tuned.

Until next time, happy quilting


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


Melbourne is…. a chocolate shop at every turn


Melbourne is… bad for your waistline


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


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


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…


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 the back

And the back….is the back


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..


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…


Until next time happy quilting





Weekly pow wow

The Apatcheez have been as productive as ever this week with several completed projects. Some are a little shy at first at being photographed for the blog but eventually they see the funny side.

imageWho can this be?


Yes it’s Chris with her lovely scrappy quilt. Surprisingly Chris didn’t like the way this turned out at first. We thought it looked wonderful and her quilting is extremely good. That’s what practice does for you girls.


This stunner was worked by Bev – a lady who always tries lots of different techniques and isn’t frightened to try something new. This quilt was difficult to photograph because it was so large but you can see the impact even with the poor photographic technique. It shows the effectiveness of the humble log cabin block, the force of the large block and of course the optical strength of the colour against the greys.

Elaine brought her Harry Potter quilt in for show-and-tell.

imageThis machine-embroidered beauty makes great use of the fabric and is also an excellent example of how asymmetry can work well in a design.

Margaret has been a bit quiet lately in terms of finished projects. She has still been sewing, but set the bar high earlier in the year when she would bring several items every week. This week she had a very striking version of one of the Appliqué Club projects – love the bright colours…


Lynette finished this quilt which is to be a gift for her friend.


Lynette quilted this in class by tackling one long section at a time before joining the three sections together. This quilt-as-you-go method is a great way to approach a large quilt and complete the quilting on your domestic machine.

Finally, there is news of another Apatcheez victory. Lesa has taken out the  Hangers’ Award (akin to the Packing Room Prize for the Archibald) at the EKKA for her entry “Laura’s Garden”. You will have seen this quilt before when she won her section at the Brookfield Show. Well done Lesa. It is a beautiful quilt and a well-deserved win. Look at all those fussy-cut hexies people and be amazed!


Until next time happy quilting


Thursday pow wow (belated)

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


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.



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-


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.


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


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


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…


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

Until next time happy quilting


Thursday Pow Wow

Another busy week for the Apatcheez and a couple of catch-up photos for you to enjoy.

Last week Lynette finished this beauty and I omitted to put it in the blog:

Lynette's finished this oriental extravaganza

Also Cheryl, who is relatively new to Apatchy (welcome again Cheryl) sent me photos of her UFO conquests so far this year (Sharyn are you getting worried?). This lady is a steam engine when it comes to finishing projects – and they’re not small ones:

Cheryl 1

Cheryl 2

Cheryl 3

Cheryl 4

Cheryl 5

Now that’s quite a haul isn’t it! I really like Cheryl’s work – it has definite modern influences and her choice of colour is always interesting.

Speaking of colour how’s this for bright? Sharyn didn’t disappoint and arrived with another finished project or two –


Are they vibrant colours? And speaking of colour how is this for a treat? It’s Robyne’s thread box – such delicious colours and such order! Very impressive.


Meanwhile, not to be outdone Margaret has finished this project that has been on the UFO list for a while-


And in a week of finishes Tracey finally finished this bed runner for her daughter. Ooh la la I think she’ll like it-


And Heather has been playing with some yo yo’s, some fibres and some red fabric and she came up with these wonderful creations – right on time for Anzac Day


I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what my clever ladies have achieved this week. Why don’t you come and join us for classes and you could be crossing your projects off that UFO list!

On that positive note I’ll leave you but just wanted to tell you that Arthur (No. 1 son) is scheduled for brain surgery tomorrow so if you could send positive thoughts our way I would be grateful.

Until next time happy quilting














Thursday pow wow

We had a lot of fun this week in the classes and managed to share tips from pinning to plumbing – now that’s quite a range of topics. And of course as usual the Apatcheez have been very busy again this week creating beautiful things.  Some have been ‘upcycled’ from the leftovers of other projects (I don’t like the term ‘scraps’ as it has connotations of discarded waste and fabric is never that.) One such example are the purses that Sharyn has been making. I showed you a whole bunch of them last week here. And here’s another;


Now we are always impressed with Sharyn’s rate of output. She generally has at least one finished project for ‘show and tell’ and lately there have been several each week. Now we think we know how she’s been able to be so prolific;


Nice one Johnny! And what a great label. Do you label your projects? If not why not? You know you should. Lately I’ve been a fan of the free motion written label where you use free motion quilting to ‘write’ a label in your own handwriting. I find that your hands already know where to go because you are so used to writing whereas patterns are more difficult. Try doing a unique label next time and send it to me so I can share it with everyone.

Unfortunately I don’t have too many photos of this week’s projects because I forgot to take them. I know I’m supposed to be mindful of this weekly post and not be in this position but sometimes I just get carried away with the chat and the sewing and forget to document it – photographically anyway. Let’s just say that there are still many many hexagons being produced as well as some very nice embroidery work and Sashiko, not to mention the appliqué that is transforming Kaffe Fasset cottons into exotic blooms and imaginary animals.

I did manage to photograph the  handover of our group quilt ‘Flowers for Trudy’ to Susan Seeney, the lucky winner of last year’s raffle. She is thrilled with her new acquisition and knows the meaning behind this quilt  – that it was a memorial for our friend Trudy and that 31 Apatcheez worked on it. Although Susan lives in Sydney she actually met Trudy and knows how special we all thought her so that is especially nice.


It’s been a very red post today hasn’t it? All the photos are predominantly red. Does that inspire you to make something warm?

I feel there’s an excursion coming on so I’ll have to tell you more about that next time.

Until then happy quilting


Thursday pow wow

Ok well it’s actually Friday but let’s not be pedantic. The Apatcheez have been very busy this week – here’s what they’ve been up to:


June made these purses as gifts for her travels when she jets off next week. Hope the recipients appreciate all that work! The purple fabric was the result of a long search and was eventually found in the surprise box when June won the lucky door prize – how’s that for good timing?


This week those who took part in the first round of the Fiesta block of the month received their last block. There was a lot of comparing notes especially  between those who used machine sewing and those who worked their blocks by hand. Both methods are producing striking results.


Spring came to Apatchy this week when Margaret showed us these daffodils. We decided a class in the near future would be a good idea.


While we were enjoying the spring bouquet of daffodils Margaret showed us the whole garden! This is just one block in a quilt pattern by McKenna Ryan called “In Full Bloom” and it certainly was!


Sharyn, who always has something for ‘show and tell’ used up some of her scraps wisely and made these great purses. Love her bespoke labelling.


We’ve had bling lanyards for sale for a while now. Suzanne conjured hers into this decorative hanger that sparkles in the sunshine.


Thinking outside the square again she also came up with this creation during a week when the quilting muses weren’t calling.


Maureen spent a lot of time smocking this dress for her doll that was repaired at the doll hospital. She has had this doll since she was 12 and it now has a new lease of life.

And if you’re wondering why this is late – last night, when I should have been writing this, I was with Mum and Dad and the teenager-in-residence at QPAC watching Nana Mouskouri in concert. The tickets were bought as a gift for Dad who has always loved Nana. As children we did not really care for her music and used to complain about having to watch her show every week.

Now she’s 80 and on a world tour to celebrate her musical life. And while I was never really a fan I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was she good – she was magnificent! Absolutely professional, still a wonderful voice and looking at least 20 years younger than her years. And 2nd row seats made it very special.


Another great performer – today Mum has been working away on a little project for us using the petite Paris range but I’ll tell you more about that next time.

Until then

Happy quilting


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.


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


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.

image image

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:


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

Nursery quilt kits bunting kit2

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???

image  imageimage

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.


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:

caths apples caths plum image (16) image (8)

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

Until next time happy quilting