playing

I’ve just had a great weekend, especially with taking my lovely daughter to a pasta-making class in Brisbane. I had given the tickets to her for her birthday which was back in July, but this week was the first class vacancy they had. We had such a great time- it was held at Angelo’s Fresh Pasta, and they truly treated us very well.

I'm learning to roll the pasta

I’m learning to roll the pasta


We learnt how to first make the pasta dough and then roll it out on those nifty rolling machines- who knew there was an electric version?!- but also cut and roll into shapes or cut into ribbons for fettucine.
I so need to get one of these!

I so need to get one of these!


After the class we were treated to a 3-course lunch which was fantastic- fresh pasta is so much better than the packet dried version!
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My daughter mastering the roller

My daughter mastering the roller


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pasta1
In last week’s post I showed my small quilt that I made for the ‘Orange & Purple’ challenge. I also have some photos of some of the other group members’ 6in quilt to show you here.
This is a group photo, followed by a few close-ups.:
Top row, L-R: Helen H, Lyn, Jan M,Karen; Row 2: Marg, Jan K, Meryl, Marilyn; Row 3: Shirley, Helen S, Trish

Top row, L-R: Helen H, Lyn, Jan M,Karen; Row 2: Marg, Jan K, Meryl, Marilyn; Row 3: Shirley, Helen S, Trish


Marg

Marg


Shirley

Shirley


Trish

Trish


Plus, here are some other works by the group members:
Jan K

Jan K


helenh Helen H

Enjoy your quilting week!

quilted strata

This month’s two-colour challenge for the Art Quilt group I belong to, was purple and orange. We could do anything within the general theme of flora and fauna, using only the two colours of orange and purple. This is my final result.

Orange & purple challenge: 6 * 6 inches

Orange & purple challenge: 6 * 6 inches


I want to use these challenges to try out different techniques and different media, as I figure it’s an excellent opportunity to play and experiment. So therefore my approach in creating this month’s task was not to think about what could I depict using only those two colours, but instead to consider what method or materials I wanted to try out this month. I started off by deciding to use paper as the base. Using paper, I wanted something with up-and-down texture on the surface by manipulating the paper.
Who knows what mysterious paths the brain takes as it mulls things over, considers all the options and factors, discards this idea and that before settling on something. For some reason, the image of strata popped in my head, as well as a fossil. That would do- a fossil fits in the flora and fauna scheme?!
I then remembered I had some ‘Modelling Compound’ that I’d once bought but not yet used: using that could achieve the rough texture to resemble layers of strata. So I started.
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I used some hand-made paper and painted it with some purple ink. I stirred up the modelling compound, which has the texture of really thick white goop, and to that mixed in some orange acrylic paint.
op4
I traced a shape of a fossil onto some freezer paper and stuck it in the centre where I wanted the fossil to appear. This was just to act as a mask and stop the paste flowing over it, as well as allowing that circle to be indented with the strata edges rising around it, like a fossil would have.
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I then spread the orange paste over it all , putting lines and heavier bits in some sections, and digging some back out to reveal little glimpses of the purple. I then left it to dry.
orangepurple2
Taking off the freezer paper mask in the middle, I had smeared just a little colour over that centre circle. It set with a rubbery texture so I was able to then do free-motion stitching all over it to (attempt to) resemble strata lines. I also stitched the fossil shape. The needle went through the orange ridges and stitched easily enough, although I did have to experiment with the thread to find one which could resist being ‘cut’ or breaking on the fine edges of the strata.
op-close
I think it sort of looked how I envisaged! although the paper I originally wanted to utilise ended up being an under-layer and not a feature. The orange appears a little too intense, so it could have been toned down a little. In fact, I would even say it is a little ugly, but it was fun experimenting!
orangepurple1

Spring

September is a beautiful month isn’t it? The start of Spring and perfect weather- warm days and cool nights, nothing too extreme. I thought I would indulge a little and give you a photo essay this week- our garden, and a few furry children thrown in!

Hayley

Hayley – 4 years


garden7
garden5
garden6
garden3
garden4
garden1
garden2
Little Chloe- the matriarch, ~14 years

Little Chloe- the matriarch, ~14 years


garden9
garden8-cropgarden10
Lemons

Lemons


garden12-crop
garden13-lime
This was my mother's fern- >13 years old.

This was my mother’s fern- >13 years old.


Dublin 4.5 yrs; acting smoochy

Dublin 4.5 yrs; acting smoochy


Hope you are having a good week!

some more splendid sampler

The blocks I’m making as part of the Splendid Sampler, hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, are coming along surely and steadily, even if I’m a little behind!
I’m still making them with mainly Japanese taupes, linens, some indigo patterns and whatever else fits within that scheme. I usually make quilts that are bright and with as many fabrics as I can, so it feels a little strange to restrict myself with this palette; I’m still having second thoughts whenever I look at these blocks that appear so ‘traditional’ to me! But, its’s giving me practise at working with values and putting more thought into colour.
Here’s a little catch-up since the last time I showed some blocks on here, with their name and block designer’s name:

#30-Simple Surprises by Amy Ellis

#30-Simple Surprises by Amy Ellis


#32 The Constat Needle by Laurie Simpson

#32 The Constant Needle by Laurie Simpson


This next one provided a good opportunity to use some of the selvedges that I’ve been saving for ages:
#33 Selvedge Saver by Pat Sloan

#33 Selvedge Saver by Pat Sloan


Block 34 - Lemonade by Amy Gibson

Block 34 – Lemonade by Amy Gibson


This block originally had hand-stitching along the ‘garden paths’ but I decided to try out some of the decorative stitches on my machine which also don’t get used that often! In the centre, I put a little square of braid from a piece I bought in New York last year.
#35 The Wishful Garden by Kristyne Czepuryk

#35 The Wishful Garden by Kristyne Czepuryk


Block 36 gave me the chance to do some little hexagons. Aren’t they cute! Each of the larger hexagon is made of tiny little hexies.
#36 Inchy Hexagon Club designed by Jane Davidson

#36 Inchy Hexagon Club designed by Jane Davidson


I like making hexagons- I might have to think about making a hexagon quilt (some day).
So, back to the sewing machine!

the weekend

Weekends are what we all look forward to. Ah, the promise of it- all that time to do ‘other stuff’ – besides work! Last week we had a weekend in Brisbane. We had a night out, and of course I took some photos.

Brisbane- August 2016

Brisbane- August 2016


There’s something about city skylines and cityscapes that I love, and often a theme in my art quilts.
This was Brisbane at night…
Brisbane - August 2016

Brisbane – August 2016


just as impressive as New York at night- don’t you think?…
Karen Mundt  NYC- from the Empire State Building; October 2015

Karen Mundt NYC- from the Empire State Building; October 2015


We even had a steam train ride in and around the city. It got me thinking. We live about an hour from Brisbane and even though I visit Brisbane fairly regularly I don’t know it overly well as I mainly just go into the city. There is a lot about it that I haven’t seen so there is always lots to look at and investigate if you put your mind to it.
And I have a couple of photos from the recent Gatton Quilters meeting day. Kaye finished this quilt top that she was working on at our Coolum retreat, using the Grandmother’s Fan block:
Kaye

Kaye


This was Cornelia’s blue and green block from last month’s challenge- note the ‘banana hair’ in the centre that she made and dyed that beautiful blue:
Cornelia

Cornelia


Cornelia

Cornelia


and another one from Cornelia- she was catching up!:
Cornelia- Batik fabric challenge

Cornelia- Batik fabric challenge


Makes you want to just get in there and create!

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:
thistle2
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.
improv4
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.
improv3
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!
improv2
improv1
improv5
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!
retreat10
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,
retreat1
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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retreat2
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…
retreat11
and Amanda making great progress on her fresh colourful quilt for someone special….
retreat9
reteat6
Sharon

Sharon


There’s lots of consulting and advice given…
retreat8
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.
retreat-group-crop
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.
giraffe2
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.
giraffe3
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!
Georgie5
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!