Go off like a frog in a sock

The title of this post is Aussie slang for “to be very excited”. It’s what my number 1 son said I should be doing (in the context of “if I were you I would be going off” etc – like the aforementioned imprisoned amphibian)!

Now I know you’ve probably had your fill of seeing my David Bowie quilt….

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and you’re probably sick of hearing about the prizes won at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair last week

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and I know you probably think I’ll need a bigger hat soon but, guess what……….

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this morning, at Queensland Quilters meeting, I received the Viewer’s Choice Award (thanks to Logans Patchwork Fabrics).

So I’m still doing a happy dance – and will be for some time….boom boom shake the room!

Kaye

The Starman Evolves

Just in case you’re one of the three people in the world that haven’t been told…..my Bowie quilt won 2nd prize in the Open Pictorial category as well as Judge’s Choice award at Brisbane Quilt and Craft Show today. Many thanks to the Apatcheez who were there as the cheer squad, to the class who sent me the victory photo and to everyone else who sent their good wishes. I really appreciate your kind words.

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This is what was written on the attachment to the quilt:

“Bowie was unpredictable, theatrical, cutting-edge, genius. Colour here reflects his flamboyance. The quilting reflects his stage personas: Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Thin white Duke – as ghosts. Beyond them no quilting signifying the void that his passing has left.” I would have said more but I was only allowed 40 words!

Thanks again

Kaye

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. 

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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’

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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 –

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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 –

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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’.

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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

Kaye

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

 

The Best Way to Sort Your Stash

The second time it happened I knew I had to do something. I’d been looking for a particular fabric in my sewing room and couldn’t find it. Earlier a pattern had gone astray. I can’t understand how this could happen. Hadn’t I spent much of the Christmas holidays sorting out this room so it could become my personal creative space?  How had the ‘summer of the great de-cluttering’ possibly resulted in lost supplies? Clearly something was not right. I can’t find things easily, sometimes not at all and I don’t really use the space (that’s what architects call rooms now). New year new look? Not so much. So something has to change.

The arrival of ‘Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter: An Illustrated Guide to the Space of Your Dreams’ was promising. Although the author Carolyn Woods was not minimalist when it came to the title, her book guaranteed a system that could actually be maintained. It is just a matter of working through the chapters in an orderly fashion.

And so it was decided. But things are usually more fun in a group (or should that be ‘misery loves company’) and I was thinking that maybe you have the same problems. Maybe you can’t find things easily either. Or maybe you’re room/studio/cupboard isn’t working for you. Perhaps you have too much stuff(as unlikely as that sounds).

How would you like to get organised and back on track with new projects? It is a perfect time for a ‘spring clean’ after all. We could meet once a week/fortnight/month (or maybe base this whole thing online or via emails or Facebook) and work through the mess. Firstly we need a name. Let’s call our group ‘Focus’ (Finally Organising Chaos Using Support).  To join Focus you will have to buy Carolyn’s book from us and this will serve as our textbook. Together with the book though, there will be extra notes, tips and ideas and special deals. We can share our experiences and suggestions. Photos would be nice (we promise we won’t judge you). Before and afters will be mandatory! Let me know if you would like to participate and how you would like to receive your information.

Some things at Apatchy are already organised. Here’s a few:-

The Christmas party will be held at Scot’s Presbyterian Church Hall on Saturday 3rd December from 10am to 2pm. This will be the event to celebrate our achievements this year, see old friends and view the entries for this year’s challenge. (I told you about it here – the theme is ‘Nature’. No I haven’t worked out what I’m doing yet either – I can’t find the damn fabric. It’s lost in my sewing room somewhere!. All entries must be in to me by 2nd December so we can display them correctly.

As well as the challenge we will also be having a ‘Secret Santa’ again this year. This time the ‘rules’ are a little different. The gift should be a handmade Christmas decoration. You are welcome to buy one if you don’t think you have the time/talent/inclination to make one. Just keep the spending under $20. As well as providing the gift we want to know who’s who so this year would you note on a card that it is from you i.e. “To my Secret Santa from xxx (xxx being your name. I mean actually write your real name not just x’s) . Many people wanted to thank those who have been their secret Santa’s in the past but there was never any evidence as to who that was. This time there will be.

Some Apatcheez have been getting ready for Christmas already. Here’s two sets of tableware that Margaret finished –

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Now that’s great use of the Christmas postcard fabric.

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Sorry about the background green in that photo – I should have used something a bit more muted.

Estelle finished another large quilt – yes that was her with two finishes last blog post.

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This one looks much better in person when it’s not dragging on the ground. I think we need taller photographer’s assistants!

Now Faith was never going to let Estelle win the ‘UFO’s finished’ race without a fight and she brought two beauties to show us:-

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That last one is her version of the farmer’s wife quilt. It really needs to be seen to be appreciated. If you came to the classes you would see these beautiful projects. just saying…

Speaking of farmers, last blog post I also told you about our impending visit to Laidley for the Spring Festival. As always we had great fun at this event and we managed to sneak away for a few moments to photograph some of the beautiful quilts in the church. Here is just a taste:-

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That green quilt on the wall would be our Jan’s creation!

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This lady had multiple entries in the show – and they were all spectacular.

The Royal Australian Navy band played for us –

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And anyone who is anyone was there –

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Next time make sure you come along too.

To finish off I thought I’d leave you with a picture of spring at Apatchy. These birds were made by our own bird lady Chris. Aren’t they so sweet!

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Until next time happy quilting

Kaye

 

 

 

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’.

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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 ….

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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.

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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…..

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Congratulations to you both.

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

Kaye

 

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

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

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

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

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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:

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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!

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

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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.

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

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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

Kaye

 

 

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…

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and a small one…

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Suzanne’s sashiko proved difficult to photograph at its best

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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 –

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and Robyne treated us to another award-winning quilt –

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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…

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

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

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

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

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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…

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

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

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

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Faith wowed us with her magical Faraway Tree

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

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Debbie tried to hide from her latest finished masterpiece

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

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

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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..

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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.

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

Happy quilting

Kaye