green and purple galore

I’ve had some fun thinking up a small quilt- 6″ square- for my quilter’s group monthly colour challenge. This month it was all about green and purple. We could create anything using any techniques and materials to the loose theme of flora and fauna, but we could only use the two colours of green and purple. This is my little thistle flower.

Karen -thistle flower

Karen -thistle flower


I did it as an exercise in thread painting. I started out with a photo of a thistle that I printed onto some inkjet printable fabric. I also had to choose some threads to use so pulled out all the green and purple threads I had!
thistle3
I certainly didn’t use all of these, but I did need to have a variety of darks, mediums and lights to choose from. It was then a matter of just starting somewhere, so I started in the middle, primarily with some colour that I knew would be behind, or underneath, other more prominent colours on top. This next photo was just after I started, with dark olive green in the middle and lighter highlights:
thistle1
That bright green was used in the middle and was later covered up to leave just little specks of it showing through. A close-up:
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It took lots of free-motion stitching back and forth to get the coverage. I just wanted the main flower to be stitched and to leave the printed photo as the rest of the background.
Karen

Karen


Here is a photo of the ‘sinchies’ made by the rest of our talented group:
L-R Bottom row: Jan M, Cornelia, Lyn, Jan K; middle row: Meryl, Helen S, mine, Helen H; Top row: Shirley, Trish, Marilyn

L-R Bottom row: Jan M, Cornelia, Lyn, Jan K; middle row: Meryl, Helen S, mine, Helen H; Top row: Shirley, Trish, Marilyn

The best part of these challenges is seeing what everyone else comes up with! Happy quilting!

building scraps

I’ve been playing with scraps lately. Cutting up lots of pieces and sewing them back together, as we do. I started making these pieces of improvisation a couple of months ago, just constructing blocks of no particular size or shape and no design in mind.
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When I got them back out again this weekend I put up on a board the bits I had already made, to get some ideas on how I want them to all be joined up together.
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A very favourite theme of mine is cityscapes, so it’s not surprising that I finally decided on building a quilt around that idea- a view of a city in a sort-of deconstructed way. I have some lop-sided flying geese blocks, triangles and log cabin blocks which when put together resemble houses and buildings. I like that idea, and I’m on my way!
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improv1
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I am using lots of white with pops of colour, some greens and blues, a little purple and brown spots. I want it to be a ‘modern’ style quilt, so the aim is to have lots of negative space.
I’ve also made this month’s blocks for the Cherish do.Good.Stitches charity quilt that I contribute to: these are the Delectable Mountain block, or sometimes known by a few different names like Mountain Majesties, in black, grey and white:
KarenM-August1
KarenM-August2
I’m off to put them in the post!

sewing retreat

What better way to spend a weekend- sewing and quilting to our heart’s content! This weekend was the annual sewing getaway for the Gatton Quilters group. We go up to Coolum on the lovely Sunshine Coast where we have a large room for everyone to spread out and do their own thing for the whole long weekend. We have our meals cooked for us, there’s no cleaning up or housework or interruptions. Yay!
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My sister and I went up together and we had a lovely trip visiting a couple of quilt shops on the way and a great lunch at the organic marketplace at Forest Glen.
I took a few different projects to work on. I caught up on quite a few Splendid Sampler blocks,
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and started piecing lots of bright squares together for a children’s charity quilt that I’m making with the group.
There’s plenty of room to spread out…
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and big tables to lay out quilts when putting them together or preparing to quilt…

Veronica

Veronica


We get to see each other’s projects that in progress…
Meryl

Meryl


and some that get finished…
Val

Val


Colleen- started in a curved-piecing workshop

Colleen- started in a curved-piecing workshop


and this one also by Colleen- such great colours together..
Colleen

Colleen


Here I am working intently on a block…
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and Amanda making great progress on her fresh colourful quilt for someone special….
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Sharon

Sharon


There’s lots of consulting and advice given…
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and we get to check out other’s sewing accessories and books and magazines..
Helen

Helen


Helen

Helen


and of course the group photo- I’m second from the left in the back row, and Amanda is in the front row, second from the left.
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But, all good things come to an end, so back to work we go. Hope you all have a great week ahead!

gorgeous georgie

I’d like you to meet my giraffe that I’ve named Gorgeous Georgie- cute, isn’t he!

Gorgeous Georgie- Karen Mundt

Gorgeous Georgie- Karen Mundt


He is a little art quilt I made in response to a challenge within my local art quilt group. We were all given a piece of fabric that had to be used in whichever way we wanted to make a quilted piece with irregular edges. This is the fabric we were given- a batik in browns and yellows and green:
Georgie9
To begin with, I couldn’t think what to do with it so I pinned it on the wall for a couple of weeks just looking at it and waiting for inspiration. One day, when I walked into my sewing room, it occurred to me that the fabric looked very much like it could be an animal, and as my favourite animal is a giraffe, I thought – that’s it! I decided I would create it by using a fabric collage method. First I had to find a picture of a giraffe that I could use just for the outline and shapes. That took some time, because I wanted one with the head looking directly at me- I didn’t want the whole animal. I found this one on Shutterstock (royalty-free) images:
Georgie6
I photocopied the picture to the size I wanted, then used a plain piece of white cotton to trace the giraffe head and neck- just the main lines and features. My plan was to create the collaged piece first, then cut it out and applique to a final background. I could place it so that the horns on the top of his head protruded from the background, as well as leaves from a tree over to one side, and this would satisfy the criteria for irregular edges.
Georgie7
The fabric had within it different areas of predominant colour, so I cut it apart and divided it up so I had a mainly dark group, mainly lights and a green group. I could add in a tree with leaves that would use the green pieces.
Georgie8
I then added to these fabrics other assorted scraps in the right colour-tones and cut them up into smaller pieces. I started placing all the pieces, taking careful note of where the darker sections were on the picture I used as my guide. It was important to carefully look at every scrap I picked up for its value; darker pieces can be used to indicate curves in his face, along his nose and jaw etc. I have followed the techniques that Susan Carlson teaches on her blog and in books.
giraffe1
Each piece had a dab of glue on the back so it would stay when placed, the edges were left free so other pieces could be placed under and around where needed. Many pieces were added and taken away and moved here and there.The eyes were assembled as little parts on their own before placing down, and building around them.
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As shown in the photos, I started at the top of the head and moved down. The long neck had darker pieces placed first with the large ‘spots’ in a lighter value added on top.
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Once I was finished with placing all the pieces I added a little more glue to the edges of the pieces to make them secure. I then free-motion quilted all over as well as adding a backing to the horns that would be sticking up past the edge in the final piece. For his little mane, I used the selvedge edge of a piece of black fabric which had been treated with bleach discharge so it had a mix of dark brown and black along its edge. I made the background out of some blue hand-dyed fabric with a brown homespun. The tree was made in a collage fashion with some of the leaves made as separate pieces as they would be attached to the tree but not completely sewn down. They also had to be double-sided as they were sticking out past the edge.
Georgie2
I did more machine-quilting over all of it to secure the various parts down and create the background of the landscape and a little perspective. I probably haven’t got it all completely accurate, but I’m using artistic license here! I added the backing in the pillow-case method after most of the quilting had been done, and then just added the final stitching to secure the layers and finish it off.
Georgie1
Georgie3
I like him- I think he looks cute!
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So, what do you think? What would you have made with the piece of batik fabric?
Here are some pictures of the pieces made by the other members in my group:
Marilyn

Marilyn


Lyn

Lyn


Meryl

Meryl


Helen H

Helen H


Jan K

Jan K


L- Shirley R-Allison

L- Shirley R-Allison


I really like this one by Trish- very clever I thought:
Trish K

Trish K


Trish

Trish


Hope you’ve enjoyed these- have a good week!

blue and green should be seen

This block is for the Cherish do.Good.Stitches group quilt that I am contributing to this year. It is an Octagon block, very easy to make using paper foundation, piecing a large triangle unit then joining them together into squares.
Octagon-Cherish
I can see that once you have a whole lot of these blocks and assemble them together they would make an excellent colourful ‘scrappy’ quilt. The corner triangles would form a secondary octagon as well.
Speaking of colour, the Gatton Quilters Art group has started a small monthly challenge. We have to produce a 6″ block using whatever methods we like, but only two colours. The colours for our first month were blue and green.

Karen Mundt- blue and green

Karen Mundt- blue and green


I had a beautiful piece of blue and green batik fabric that I thought would fit the bill, so decided I would just hand-stitch all over the batik, improvising as I went along.
G&B3
I echoed some lines that were suggested by the shapes in the colour swirls and played with a few stitch variations. I also used a variety of thread weights to contrast the texture. I then just finished the block with a small facing finish.
G&B2
Do you remember that old saying about blue and green should never be seen together? Rubbish- I think they look fantastic together!
These are the blocks produced by others in the group. The best part of such challenges is seeing the endless variations that can be produced by people expanding their imagination and having a play.
AllG&B2
L-R Row 1: Shirley, Marilyn, Helen H; Row 2: mine, Lyn, Trish; Row 3: Helen S, Jan K, Meryl
AllG&B3 Helen H and Trish
AllG&B4 Lyn and Jan K

Looking forward to seeing what next month’s blocks using green and purple will look like!

bright lights, big city- a finish

You might remember me mentioning my progress on this quilt top over previous months- Bright lights, big city. I have finally finished the quilt top- not quilted yet, but I will hopefully get to that soon!
bigcity3
The pattern is by Victoria Findlay-Wolfe from her book Double Wedding Ring Quilts. It is just an over-sized DWR, with big pieced points to form the large arcs or ‘rings’. It measures 90″ square, so it was a little tricky for my trusty quilt holder out in the breeze last weekend! I don’t really have a good flat photo of the whole top just yet.
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I showed some pictures of its progress back here and here. It started with foundation-piecing the arcs, all 72 of them…
bigcity1
I made it in a completely scrappy-style trying to use as many fabrics from my stash as possible…
bigcity1
Once the arcs were pieced, I had to then assemble them with the little melon pieces in between two arcs and the square pieces at the end. Choosing the fabrics for them took some thought, because even though I wanted scrappy, I didn’t want it to look like a big jumbled mess! I decided to use various greens for the little melon centres.
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Laying all the blocks out and playing around with what would be their final position was fun for all…
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I used all reds for the large centre pieces, to bring some order to this bright multi-coloured quilt..
bigcity4
Even though I had made that decision, I still had second thoughts about it. Some of the red fabrics I initially bought to use, because of course I didn’t have enough of them in my stash!, were too busy or loud, so I used fabrics that had a small print at most.
bigcity2
Now that it’s finished, I can say I am happy with it, it’s just while you are putting together a quilt with so many different fabrics while working and looking at it close up, it can seem too much. Standing back and looking at it as a whole, I think it’s okay!

Splendid Sampler blocks

Only a few things to show this week. I’m working on a few different projects all over the place – a couple of them are challenges so I want to get them finished before showing their final photos!
I’ve been continuing with the blocks for the Splendid Sampler. There are two blocks released each week for this quilt-along and it’s easy to get behind! I try to do one or two each week so I’m almost keeping in sight of the front runners.
This block is Block #28 called ‘Stitching Fashion’, a foundation-pieced block, designed by Charise Randell.. I didn’t include a little sewing reel and needle which was on the original pattern.

Block 28 Splendid Sampler

Block 28 Splendid Sampler


Quite a few of the blocks have a sewing theme to them which I think tends to make them too ‘folk art’ for what I would like my quilt to look like, so I have been changing some blocks just slightly to suit my own purposes. That’s the good thing about blocks like these- it is our own quilt so we can use and adapt as we see fit. I’m using taupes and creams and Japanese-type fabrics as well, which makes them a lot different to those using bright colours or making them scrappy-style, which is what I would normally do!
This next block is called Scrappy Happy Heart, designed by Christa Watson, and also foundation pieced:
Block 29 Splendid Sampler

Block 29 Splendid Sampler


We’ve had some lovely cold days to sew by- hope you are getting lots done- here is my sewing inspector who keeps me company:
Dublin

Dublin

weekend away

I was fortunate to be able to have a quick weekend away last week, combining a visit with my son and visiting the Sydney Quilt Show. Needless to say, I had a great weekend!

with my son and a beautiful backdrop!

me with my son and a beautiful backdrop!


My son and his fiancee took me for a drive to Katoomba for a day, on what had been forecast to be extra cold with possibility of snow! We didnt see any snow, but caught some lovely views of the Blue Mountains, and enjoyed a cosy lunch at the Boiler House Cafe.
The three sisters- Blue Mountains

The three sisters- Blue Mountains


The Sydney Quilt Show was a great experience- certainly a lot to see, and I could have easily filled another day! They had a special guest from France- Cecile Franconie, an embroiderer. I wasn’t aware of her work before, but will now be looking for more examples of her beautiful stitching.
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There were quite a few displays within the quilt show. One special display was of Japanese Boro works. I love these pieces, where scraps are sewn to scraps and over-laid with lots of big stitching.
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boro2
boro1
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And the display of quilts – so many beautiful quilts. Here are a few that caught my eye:
Deborah Louie - a Secret Garden

Deborah Louie


New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt  - Novacastrian Quilters

New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt – Novacastrian Quilters


millefiore2
hoops

Hope you are all doing lots of quilting!

progressing along

I’m still continuing on with some blocks each month for the do.Good stitches Charity. This month’s blocks were string-pieced blocks in bright colours- any would do! The strips could be any width and were each sewn on to each other successively one-by-one. This is the first block:
KarenM-June1
and the second:
KarenM-June2
The person who is the designated quilter for this project will be cutting large leaf-shapes out of these foundation blocks to put together for the quilt.
I’ve also got a few more blocks finished for the Splendid Sampler quilt. I’m continuing on with using Japanese taupes and creams for most of these blocks.
This first one below is Block #20. I changed it from the original, and instead of embroidering a sewing-themed picture, I added some Japanese characters, which I’m hoping mean ‘peace’!
Block20_Splendid Sampler
This next block is called Hand-in-Hand, designed by Kari Carr. I really like this block so I’m sorry the photo is a little out of focus. The points of the star are formed by folding the fabric so they have a slight 3D-effect.
Block23-Splendid_sampler
This is Block 24, called Inspector Sidekick, designed by Michele Foster
Block24-Splendid_sampler
Block 26 is called Dreaming of Dresdens, and is designed by an Australian quilter Jane Davidson
Block26_SplendidSampler.
I’m not always doing all the blocks in order that they are released, and plus I’m a little behind now, but that’s okay – I’ll get them done sometime! Hope you have a good quilting week!

Tula in Toowoomba

Lots of colour to show you this week! The following quilt is one that I did not make, but I did do the quilting.
Meryl1
Meryl made this and asked me to quilt it. It’s a bargello-style quilt that makes the most out of the multi-coloured batik fabric.
meryl2
I quilted it in an overall design with long horizontal looped lines which highlighted the colour changes in the fabric, in a dark gold thread.
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It’s a beautiful and brightly coloured quilt.
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Last week, fabric and quilt designer Tula Pink visited Toowoomba to give a talk on how she came to do what she does so very well, and to show some of her quilts.

Tula Pink

Tula Pink


Tula is a very entertaining speaker, naturally funny and quick-witted. She spoke at the Precious Time quilt shop in Toowoomba and everyone there had a great time, both listening to her and getting a peek at some fabulous quilts. Tula said that all the quilting on her quilts is done by Angela Walters, so I was very interested to have a close-up look at the quilting- just fantastic work.
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We also got a sneak peek at her newest fabric line, Slow and Steady, which is about to b ereleased. All her fabric lines feature animals, and this new one will be a play on the tortoise and the hare fable.
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She made this quilt out of that new fabric:
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A lot of the people there brought along the quilts they have made with her fabric, and some even got Tula to sign their quilt. This first one below is some hexie quilt!
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It was a great day to get some injection of inspiration to get sewing!