making quilts for others

My local quilt group, Gatton Quilters, is going to work on some quilts to donate for charity this year. It’s nice to be able to make something for others that will make both the recipient feel good as well as the giver. We will choose a worthwhile group to receive the quilts, perhaps someone who has battled adversity or loss in some way. The quilts will be made either in group sewing days or by individual contributions.
KarenM-Jan1
I have also joined an online group to make quilts for charity. The charity bee is called do.Good Stitches and there are a number of circles of people making quilts. My circle is the Cherish group made up of people in Australia. The original do. Good Stitches bee was devised by Rachel of Stitched in Color and most of the other groups are in her home country, USA. These blocks are the first ones I’ve made for the year.
KarenM-Jan2
This first month’s direction was to make a ‘wonky’ star block – the star is to be white and the rest of the block either greens/blues or pinks & purples. So, I have made these two 12 1/2″ blocks and sent them off to our group organiser based in South Australia who will put them all together. A different person is designated to perform the role of assembling the quilt each month. I’m just one of the block makers! On to the next month!

creating with bias strips

This mini quilt top was created by using bias strips- brightly coloured strips on texty backgrounds.

Karen Mundt- Symbols

Karen Mundt- Symbols


I used one of those little bias maker tools, where you feed in the strips of fabric cut on the bias and it turns over the edges so you can iron them down as it comes out the other end. Do you have one of those sitting in your drawer, not used for a long time, like me?!

I joined the Mighty Lucky club which is going to highlight some new methods and techniques each month. I thought it would be good to get me thinking about new things and to just have a play. The first month was about using bias strips to create a modern quilt.
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For some reason these symbols popped into my head so I decided to try and make a few of them. I used a 3/4″ strip because I thought I would need it to be a bit on the thinner side to get it to curve how I needed.
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However in retrospect I think wider strips might have looked a bit better- the symbols look a bit ‘spindly’ to my eyes- what do you think? I’m not over-pleased with it, but it’s okay!

It was fairly easy to do- I arranged the strips into the shapes and then used some glue to hold them in place while I sewed them down by machine. Using the Edgestitch foot (#10C on my Bernina) made that easy.
bias1
The instructions that were given included the use of iron-on adhesive which I didn’t have any of, so the Roxanne glue did a good job instead. I used a monofilament thread but of course you can use any coloured threads to make the stitching a feature.
Not sure what I will do with this now though- it may even end up being slashed and re-assembled for another modern quilt along the way!

long-arm quilting

By the very act of quilting other people’s quilts, I get to see a lot more quilts than I possibly would otherwise. I can look at the design they’ve used, the colour choices they’ve made and the fabrics they have chosen. This client’s quilt that I recently quilted is a beautiful big quilt, made to cover a queen-sized bed with enough to hang over and cover the edge of the bed. It was also made in one of my favourite colour combinations- blue and brown.
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It had a lovely range of fabrics in it, ranging from creams to browns to blues which made the surface a fairly ‘busy’ one…
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… so the quilting didn’t have to be too elaborate. I decided to use straight lines at an angle around the border area of the quilt and in between the on-point blocks. Those blocks had a curly feathery/paisley type radiating out from the centre.
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bev1
This is the back:
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I used a cream thread for the quilting.
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And here is the quilt already bound and on its bed!
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This next quilt was a completely different quilt altogether. This client made a bargello-style quilt using self-striping fabric. Completely opposite in its colours and style..
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It was quilted very simply with wavy lines echoing the peaks and troughs produced by the arrangement of the coloured strips, and the borders in a free-motion loopy pattern.
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It was quilted with a charcoal-coloured thread which also suited the back:
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Have a good quilting week everyone!

neighbourhood watch- slow cloth

I have a small project that is actually finished! I don’t feel like I get to say that often enough- an actual finish, yay! This is a little story cloth, stitched over quite a long while. I probably started it about 2 years ago, just working slowly and enjoying the process.
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It is a stitched piece utilising re-purposed cloth and scraps, torn little bits from here and there. It has raw edges and loose threads…
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…bits saved from here and there just added where they looked to fit. There was no plan- I would add one piece then stop and look before adding something else. I guess you could call it an improv cloth! Lots of hand-stitching was added to the top. Its title is Neighbourhood Watch.
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It was enjoyable and comforting to work on; the feel of the cloth soft in my hands. I cut up one of my mum’s old pillow-cases, that must have been washed a thousand times in its life, to use as the background. My original inspiration for it was from following Jude Hill on Spirit Cloth, both on her blog and various online classes I’ve taken. I so love her work, and while mine doesn’t look anything like hers, I use her techniques and the inspiration she provides.
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I bound it by using strips from fabric left over from the days of sewing my clothes; the frayed selvedges turned to the front and running stitches with perle cotton to keep them in place. I also lightly hand quilted, using the same thread with big stitches.
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Truth be told, I’m a little sad it’s actually finished! I guess I’ll have to start another one….

bright lights, big city

I’ve started making a quilt, using a pattern from Victoria Findlay Wolfe‘s book on Double Wedding Ring quilts. It’s called Bright Lights, Big City. So far I’m still only making the arc pieces.
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I was attracted to this pattern because of the New York Beauty-style arcs, that being my most favourite block! I actually started making them some months ago, but they were put on hold while I was away and busy with the lead-up to Christmas.
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The arcs are paper-pieced and I am tracing copies of the template from the pattern onto fairly thin paper for sewing. All those sharp little points!
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I wanted to have a scrappy-style quilt, because I am still trying to use up fabrics I’ve had in my stash for awhile.
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So, I don’t have a colour scheme at the moment- just all colours in together! I am thinking of employing red for the centre squares which will them provide a link across the quilt for the eye to travel between all that colour.
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The only problem is that there are so many of these arcs to do! The pattern calls for 72 in total, and I’m currently only up to about 30. Maybe I could cut it down to a smaller quilt? This one makes a 90″ * 90″ quilt. Mmmm…. thinking on that.
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What have you been working on? :)

checking in…

Holiday time – I’m spending mine like most others, I guess. Little bit of this, little bit of that. I recently visited my sister and brother-in-law and took some photos of their lovely garden. Look at the beautiful rich colour of these dahlias….
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Their garden is beautiful and testament to the time Mark spends on it…
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And they still have some Christmas things around too, its hard to pack it away!
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Since coming back from my trip I have also been busy with longarm quilting. This quilt was completed just before Christmas for the client’s grand-daughter:
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It was quilted with cream thread in an all-over design with a few butterflies and loops and flowers. There was a a lot of applique and hand-stitching, so we wanted the quilting to be a little unobtrusive.
Hope you have a good week with lots of quilting!

ten things for 2015

I was reading an article in a magazine recently that asked a number of creative people what ten things they did over the past year. So it got me thinking on what I would add to such a list. Not counting the quilts I worked on during the year or those I finished (which weren’t that many) …

Karen Mundt- medallion quilt

Karen Mundt- medallion quilt


Here is my list:
1. I spent the very first days of 2015 on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria visiting with my son and his fiance.
2. I read this book:
#fmsphotoaday [currently reading..] Christmas gift from my daughter -great book!
3. I tried a tangello for the first time- very nice!
4. Went to Byron Bay for my niece’s beautiful boho-style wedding
5. What has to be a highlight of the year: my trip to America, which in itself included so many highlights, e.g. Visited the 911 Memorial in downtown Manhattan- a very moving experience; visited a number of museums and shops and Central Park, walked down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, went on a submarine- toured the real one at Pearl Harbour, and went on a reef visit off Honolulu in the tourist-version.
911mem The 911 Memorial in New York

6. I got to go to the International Quilt Festival in Houston – amazing!

Victoria Findlay Wolfe talking about her quilts at Houston

Victoria Findlay Wolfe talking about her quilts at Houston


7. I went to Brisbane on a night in the week before Christmas to watch the parade with my daughter and do some late-night shopping in the city- another first!
8. Had my daughter home for a week recovering from her second knee reconstruction in 12 months.
9. Saw my youngest son finish high school, prepare for his formal and watch with pride as he graduated. The last of my children to go through school, so another end of an era!
10. Took part in a mini quilt swap- it was exciting to see who would be making a quilt for me and what it would look like, and hoping that the recipient of my quilt liked what I made!
Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt


mini-swap-quilt1 Made by Aylin

What ten things did you do in the past year- it’s a little hard to condense it down! I hope you have a wonderful New Year, filled with lots of quilting.

oh, Christmas tree….

I love Christmas, I love Christmas trees and I love families coming together at Christmas. There’s a real festive spirit when all the shops have Christmas trees and decorations. So, when I was away recently, the last leg of our trip was a stop in Hawaii and we did a spot of shopping- well, more looking than actual shopping! But, I couldn’t resist taking some photos of the Christmas trees that were all through Macy’s department store.
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They didn’t just have trees trimmed with the same colour scheme on all the store levels as normally happens here, but each tree I saw in this one store was different!
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They were all decorated so beautifully.
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So cute and sparkly and colourful!
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You can’t have Christmas without a Christmas party or year-end break-up, and Gatton Quilters was no exception. In addition to the gathering together we also bring along any ‘Show and Tell’ that may have been finished since last we met.
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Meryl- White Challenge square

Meryl- White Challenge square


Lyn- Orange Challenge square

Lyn- Orange Challenge square


Jan M- Black colour challenge square

Jan M- Black colour challenge square


Marilyn- Red colour challenge block

Marilyn- Red colour challenge block


Meryl- workshop with Robyn Christoffel

Meryl- workshop with Robyn Christoffel


More of Meryl's work, originating from the Robyn Christoffel workshop

More of Meryl’s work, originating from the Robyn Christoffel workshop


We have lots of talented and creative people in our Quilting Group!
Happy Christmas to everyone :)
Myer- Toowoomba

Myer- Toowoomba

stitch a white Christmas

We’re getting to the end of the year and I’m sure everyone is busy finishing off lots of quilt projects and challenges. The challenge that my local quilt group worked on was to do a small art quilt each month to a different colour- using only that colour, or at least predominantly that colour. I’ve shown on here throughout the year the results of the challenge- both mine and some of the other group members. Coming back from my trip, I had to catch up on the last two months of black and white. This is the complete set of all of my little quilts for this challenge:

Karen- colour challenge 2015

Karen- colour challenge 2015

The black challenge was a little hard- I tried to think of something that would use contrasts with texture or you wouldn’t be able to discern anything when looking at it. I did buy some trimming when shopping in New York that I thought I could use…
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..but then changed my mind. I got some old black poly-silk taffeta out of my cupboard and pleated it by sewing rows of 1/4inch tucks.I then sewed across it, allowing some tucks to lay one direction, then the other- trying for a 3-D sort-of look to it.Then what to do next….
black-pleats
I thought of using reverse-applique so that you could see the pleated fabric through a star-shaped hole in the top fabric.
I drew out the star shape in two halves and sewed them together, then lay them under the prepared top piece for which I had used a star drawn on paper for a template. I used that to cut the star out of the top fabric, turned the edges under and hand-sewed around the inside edges.
black-cutting star
After sewing that together, I damp-stretched it on a cork board over-night to stretch back into place, before sandwiching with the backing and then quilting with lines only 1/4inch apart. You might also be able to see a little piece of the black trimming that I slipped into some of the folds.
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Sort of a modern quilting appraoch!

Karen-black

Karen-black


When approaching the last challenge, I made a little winter wonderland for my ‘white’ project- a scene about as far removed from my local environment as you can get!
Karen-white

Karen-white


I had a couple of little pieces I made years ago in a class- the tree and the star, so started with them and created some more shapes to add to them. They were made with wash away solvy, stitching down the outside trim first then the grid of interlocking rows of stitching.
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When I ran out of the trim I crocheted a length of chain with No.8 cotton and used that for the outside edges. You then stitch across from side to side: I used a small zigzag stitch or a straight stitch would work also. As long as the stitching all connects with each other then it all stays together when you rinse it in water to remove the plastic solvy. I made some extra trees of varying sizes, and also made some ‘machine-lace’- just stitching allover with a swirly pattern all on top of each other, back and forth. I wasn’t sure what this would be for but liked the look of it. I ended up putting it on top of one of the hills, so it looked like a snow-capped mountain.
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For the background, I used some pieces of old and re-purposed fabric and remnants cut into shapes to resemble a landscape with hills and valleys. This was just trial and error, arranging and re-arranging, trimming a bit here and there until it looked ‘right’.
Those pieces were backed with some iron-on adhesive and ironed in place. I top-stitched the hills and then free-motion quilted a tree-pattern all over it before adding the backing fabric. I arranged the little lacy pieces on top and free-motion stitched them down through all 3 layers. I just bound it as normal. Because it was all machine-sewn it really didn’t take too long at all.
Karen- colour challenge 2015

Karen- colour challenge 2015


Challenges such as these are designed to make you think, to try out methods and techniques and experiment. For all of these little quilts, I used only what fabric and resources (except a small piece of black trim!) I already had at home. In the collage above, I think my favourite is the yellow one- you can see how I made it here, with the red square a close second, but then I also liked the orange one….. and the blue birds which was my own design, mmm…

long-arm quilting…

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I so love Christmas! I love the trees, all decorated with tinsel and lights, baubles and hand-made ornaments..
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I love families coming together, sharing food and laughs and good times. And I especially love getting out all my hand-made Christmas hangings and stitcheries that have been hidden away for 12 months. So far I have the tree up, the rest will follow soon!
I have been very busy since getting back from my holiday, with lots of long-arm quilting to do. Here are a couple of quilts just recently finished. The first one is made by Lyn, using some unusual fabric that resembles the glaciers.

Lyn

Lyn


The quilting only had to be very simple to echo the ‘mountain-tops’ created by the piecing of the wide strips.
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And this next one is similar to another that I quilted a couple of months ago. It’s an heirloom quilt, made with treasured doileys and lace handkerchiefs..
Wyn

Wyn


This was a tricky quilt to do, with lots of bits and bobs to maneuver around. I tried to avoid stitching on the lace and crocheted pieces but did have to put a few lines through them to avoid having large areas with no quilting. That was probably the trickiest because its hard to see what you are stitching through the crocheted doileys, and even though it doesn’t really show on the top, it still has to look good on the backing.
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It was custom-quilted- each block was different so each quilted to reflect its design.. this one above is the centre block with its lace collar. There were bits of lace and braid and crocheted edges..
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.. feathers and swirls..
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more feathers..
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I still have some more quilts to finish before Christmas, so I better get a move on!
How are your Christmas plans coming about?
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