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



Queen’s birthday weekend

Having a lovely time this weekend doing all things quilty. After spending weeks trying to get my new website up and running I put that all aside this weekend.

A free evening on Friday (just me and the muts) inspired me to try to finish one of my UFOs – a souvenir from Strasbourg at Christmas – and indeed I did manage to complete the entire project – a sewing machine cover – by Sunday night.


An early morning call on Saturday to take the teenager-in-residence to soccer meant I was back in time to travel over to Mexico (the south side of Brisbane for those not in the know) to attend the Beenleigh Quilt Show.

These girls know how to put on a show and there was entertainment, lots of quilts, demonstrations, stalls and cake! The theme was military and everyone received one of the poppies when they entered. I tried to take photos of a selection of techniques including piecing, appliqué, stitcheries and so on so hope you enjoy:imageimageimageimageimageimage


imageHow was that for a visual feast? And yet there’s more…

Another early start on Sunday led to breakfast at Woody Point where it was a beautiful day. I took this photo of a windsurfer enjoying the sunshine and the wind of course. Can you see him on the board?


Bugger – just missed him

The Apatcheez were also busy last week and produced quite a few projects which they were happy to share…..


Jan finished her amazing three dimensional project and it caused quite a bit of interest in class. Here are some close-ups…image


Margaret wanted to try out printable fabric and turned her trial into this beauty…


Not content with that effort, she also finished bespoke table setting again with cats – is there a series developing I wonder?


But wait there’s more! She also showed us this beauty – what a great design and what great use of novelty fabric.


Does that woman ever sleep? Apparently not. It is always exciting to be around someone who has so much enthusiasm for quilting and wants to make EVERY quilt. I know how she feels.

Speaking of excitement we had a surprise last week when Cathy from Cathquilts Bits n Bobs came to visit. We have been following her sea change on her blog Cath@Home but it was great to hear her stories first hand.


If you want to read about a wonderful crafty lifestyle check out her blogs.

And now to indulge in a little more of my crafty lifestyle. 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

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


Thursday pow wow

The Apatcheez have been very busy this week with lots more projects finished. Prepare for photo-bombing…..

Estelle's exceptional cushion

Estelle’s exceptional cushion

Joananne's salute to Arsenal

Joananne’s salute to Arsenal


Terrible photo of Chris' fantastic tea cosy and latest work in progress

Terrible photo of Chris’ fantastic tea cosy and latest work in progress

Robyn made this as a souvenir of New York for a very lucky boy

Robyn made this as a souvenir of New York for a very lucky boy

The first completed project from the hexie club - well done Jan

The first completed project from the hexie club – well done Jan

And here's the back. Isn't it lovely

And here’s the back. Isn’t it lovely

As well as the above there are also some wonderful works in progress. Here’s a couple we saw around the table this week.

June's sashiko is progressing nicely

June’s sashiko is progressing nicely

Susanne's first day at Apatchy and she's right in the swing of things

Susanne’s first day at Apatchy and she’s right in the swing of things

What did the fox say? Hello to his woodland friends!

What did the fox say? Hello to his woodland friends!

Actually there’s lots more but I’ll save that until next time. Except to say that we had several people start with Apatchy this week. Some came to learn a new craft, some for the company. Whatever reason it’s great to expand the groups. Now we have even more inspiration to draw on.

After talking a few posts ago about the difficulty of the 1/4″ seam we did have a couple of issues on Wednesday when Sharon and Emma’s second block in their sampler quilts just wouldn’t sew straight. Unfortunately some reverse sewing was required. Those of us in attendance tried to explain that we all make mistakes and that no matter how long we’ve been sewing or how advanced we are at it, the unpicker is still a necessary part of our equipment. C’est la vie. I hope they’re not too discouraged.

Third time lucky Emma!

Third time lucky Emma!

Looking good this time Sharon. It's definitely the right measurement now.

Looking good this time Sharon. It’s definitely the right measurement now.

Nice one Apatcheez – you’ve done well!

Festival of Broken Needles

Today women in Japan are celebrating Hari-Kuyo: the Festival of Broken Needles. Those who rely on needles for their livelihood come together at shrines to acknowledge their tools and give thanks for the hard work they (the needles) have done during the year. Additionally the women pray that their skills will improve in the next year.


Source: Wikipedia

Traditionally seamstresses, embroiderers and the like take a day off from their work and bring their bent and broken needles and pins to their temple or shrine. As they pay their respects (which is similar to a memorial service), they stick the needles and pins into a block of tofu. The soft tofu is supposed to soothe the needles after their year of hard labour.

While here in Australia we don’t tend to attribute inanimate objects with a ‘spirit’ (apart from Bernie Bernina and Jerry Janome of course) we can appreciate that we should look after our equipment and I would certainly welcome some intervention that would improve my skills! I have been given some lovely scissors and other ‘crafty’ gifts over the years that I really appreciate and try to look after. This Christmas, while we were in Strasbourg (which has the white stork as its symbol), Luvvy gave me this delightful needle case which I treasure.

image image

In fact I have already used it – and I have crossed one project off my UFO list! Hooray! I did find, and others agreed, that the mere action of writing down the UFO’s made them somehow more manageable. Anyway like you I have vowed to make this the year of finishing as many as I can. Number 1 off the list is this wall hanging I made with the ‘Perfectly Perched’ fabric range.


It was rather larger than I expected and was difficult to photograph. The image above was made with me perfectly perched on a chair above it. Obviously I wobbled a tad. In fact, this piece ended up being nothing like I had initially envisaged but that’s what often happens – our projects take on a life of their own – maybe there IS something to this idea that inanimate objects possess a spirit after all.

What about you? Do you have a much-loved or highly valued item in your sewing space?

Happy Quilting



8…UFO Sightings

Here’s the next in our countdown to classes at Apatchy Quilting


So now your sewing room is organised and you can see what’s in there – now I know the joy is in the journey not the destination BUT your job for today is to unearth your UFOs – all of them! Now I’m not talking about the magazine pages you marked with little Post-it notes while you were reading and decided to make-that-when-I-get-a-chance (or is that just me?).

I’m talking about the unopened kits that you bought at the last four Craft Shows – the ones in the basket under the spare bed (just me again?). Also the half-done quilt tops, tablerunners, bags and other major works buried at the back of the cupboard, in the to-be-done bag or in their own dedicated plastic tub (you know who you are).

U 1bl baskets

Oh and what about the quilt tops that are finished but just need the quilting, or the binding or the labeling? (My end-of-year challenge quilt is a candidate for that.)

Today get them all out and make a list – maybe it’s a big list – even better. Maybe you’ll have new projects that you don’t yet know about (even though you promised yourself you weren’t buying anything else from the Craft Show until you finished what you had). They won’t be on your list now but we can always add a supplementary list for newcomers.


I like the AllPeopleQuilt challenge here but there is only space for twelve projects and I might need more or maybe less. This challenge only works if there’s twelve exactly. So I’d like to be a little more flexible than that.


As I see it we should be celebrating every time we finish a UFO – even if it hasn’t yet been identified as unidentified! Sounds a bit existential doesn’t it? This is why I like to add your projects to the Gallery and mine too – so we can all celebrate when things are DONE.

Why don’t you just make a list of all your projects from the itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny to the oh-my-God-is-that-even-possible with the option of extending the aforementioned list should subsequent projects identify themselves during the course of the year? Much simpler. Then we can have a celebration at the end of the year. Maybe we should have an end-of-year prize for the most UFO’s – or maybe we just all give ourselves a pat on the back for finishing what we can?

So rifle through that organised sewing space of yours – right now – and get out your UFO’s. Make a list with the details of each UFO and where it’s up to then send me a copy too (send it to Use this 2015 UFO Challenge form if it helps. We’ll keep a tally of the number of projects my clever Apatchy people finish during 2015.

Teresa from the fabrictherapy blog has an excellent post on how to organise your UFOs if you want to have half a chance of actually finishing them. The pictures of the tubs above are from her page. Have a look if you are having trouble. She is almost as organised in real life as I would like to be in my mind. Until tomorrow

Happy Quilting (well not quilting as such but getting ready for quilting)