a little progress

I’ve been keeping some of my projects ticking along, in between quilting a few quilts on my long-arm machine. I have always usually liked working on a few projects at the same time, because of the variety. You can switch between them when you might be getting bored with one, or if you have come to a part where you may be stuck and not sure how to progress. Sometimes I like to switch between machine-piecing and hand-work, or applique and quilting.
But sometimes I feel like I may have too many pieces on the go, like now! When that happens, I know I have to stop and evaluate what I am doing and look at what I want to get finished, and what I need to have finished for whatever reason.
One of the things I am doing is the monthly blocks for the do.Good Stitches Charity quilts. I got the block finished this week for the May challenge – a single-wedding ring block which had to be made in bright pinks and low-volume backgrounds:
Karen-May-doGoodblock
My other big project I have still motoring along is the Bright Lights Big City quilt. I blogged about it in January back here, where I talked about making the pieced arcs, all 72 of them! I’ve now finished all the arcs, and am putting them together with the little melon pieces in the middle. As is my favourite way of making quilts, I am making it scrappy-style, so using lots of different fabrics and crossing-fingers that it will all come together in the end!
Here are some of the blocks:
bright_lights-1
I’ve decided to try for various greens in the melon pieces and for the end square pieces I’m using – well, trying to use- prints with small-scale patterns so they don’t clash with the arcs, where I used anything and everything.
bright_lights-2
Once I have all these blocks together, they will then be pieced with the large centre bits to make the ‘double-wedding-rings’.
bright_lights-3
That might be awhile yet though!

some more sampler blocks

The Splendid Sampler quilt blocks are rolling along merrily. I first mentioned them here
If you’ve been interested to go and have a look at the Splendid Sampler site, you’ll see that two blocks are released weekly. Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson are the coordinators of the project with lots of quilt designers contributing the block patterns.
Block 15 was paper foundation-pieced. Even though I have done a fair bit of foundation piecing I found myself unpicking parts of this a few times over- not paying attention to my colour placements!

Block 15

Block 15


Block 16

Block 16


Block 17

Block 17


I am staying with my theme of using Japanese fabrics and linens, aiming for a more muted-look than I normally sew with. It makes me have to think a little more about the fabrics I choose so that I’m still able to maintain contrast within the block, even if it is using creams, light blues and pinks, greys and greens.
Block 18

Block 18


This next one, Block 19, is called ‘Measure Twice, Cut Once’.
Block19
In the original pattern some printed tape-measure braid is used so that the block looks like the tape goes across the block, doubles back on itself at the end and across to the other side. Using that type of trimmimg wouldn’t suit the theme I’m working with so I decided to use some lovely braid I bought from the famous M&J Trimmings in New York last year (ok, I’m name dropping but I still look back on that trip with fondness! and I’m glad I have bits and pieces like this to use to remind me of it). That shop had so much to choose from.
m&jtrimms1
m&jtrims2
However, I’m not sure whether it’s working in this block, only because it’s a different concept to the original.

Block 21: Sweet Candy (I’ve skipped Block 20 for now.)

Block 21

Block 21


Block 22 Goose on the Loose- another foundation-pieced block
Block 22

Block 22


That’s it for now- have a good week!

my small world quilt

I started this art quilt last year. My Small World Quilt is made from a pattern by Jane Kingwell, and was featured in the Quiltmania magazine.

Karen Mundt- My Small World

Karen Mundt- My Small World


It combines my loves of lots of different fabrics- the ‘scrappy look’- with the theme of buildings and houses. Of course, how you choose what fabrics to use is entirely an individual choice. At the time there was an online Quilt-Along and accompanying Instagram groups, so it was fun to check them out to see how others interpreted it.
msw7
I used only fabrics that I already had, and it was a chance to use some different little bits and pieces. Like this little doggy…
msw4
and this little girl at the window…
msw5
I used light low-volume fabrics for the sky area, some with text, some with spots or self-patterns. I started with some pale blues and pinks close to the skyline, fading them to lighter colours as it went higher.
msw6
msw8
I also made one little change. In place of the little Pisa tower block, I instead added in a little hand-embroidered block of the Statue of Liberty. That was to reflect my trip to the States, taken during the time I was making it.
It also took me a long time to decide on how to quilt it. I actually put the needle in at an arbitrary place, grabbed the ruler and decided to quilt first one line, then another, turned that into a diamond. Echoed that, did another diamond further across, repeat. That was for the top half- the sky. When I got to the lower half, I just quilted all over in an irregular grid about 2 inches apart.
msw2
I backed it with a white and brown stripe, which I also used for the binding.
msw3
I really enjoyed making this quilt. With all the different blocks and fabric choices to make, you don’t get bored with it and its fun to see what the next section will look like! I enjoyed it so much, I may even make another version some day!
Karen Mundt- My Small World

Karen Mundt- My Small World

weekend trips

When I was young, my mum and dad liked to go on picnics. My sister and I have many memories of picnics at parks, at lakes and dams, at picnic areas near waterfalls or at the beach. As I grew older and had children myself, we still went on picnics with Granny and Grandpa coming along. However, in recent years as my children have grown up and all but left home, and sadly my parents are no longer with us, the frequency of our picnics has dropped right down.
So, our little day trip a few weeks ago, out to Queen Mary Falls, near Warwick, proved to be a lovely day evoking lots of memories.
day-trip7-crop
My photos are of whatever took my eye- the colours, the textures and the lines.
day-trip3
day-trip8-crop
day-trip6
… and even some beautiful birds..
day-trip4
parrot
cropped_on_pc
day-trip9
At the end of the day we landed here for a meal- a little pub with lots of character and big meals!!
day-trip2
day-trip1
I also recently attended a weaving workshop that was held at Palm Beach at the Gold Coast. The workshop was given by Ellie Beck (she instagrams under @petalplum) and I had seen the workshop promoted on Instagram with such beautiful photos of woven creations using lots of varying yarns and threads. This is my loom with my first foray into weaving:
weaving1
weaving3
The workshop was held at a little place called The Craft Parlour where lots of crafty workshops are offered.
weaving-page1
At the end of the morning, I had grown my weaving and had experimented adding some tassels to one end, but I’m not sure if I’ll keep them. I’ve placed them where they are until I weave that whole empty area with lots more wool rovings or threads.
loom1
loom2

giving and receiving

This is a recent ‘finish’- a cushion cover I made for a local community group for their upcoming multiple-draw raffle.
cushion1
I made it in colours of blue and red so it’s nice and vibrant- should look nice in someone’s rumpus room or a children’s bedroom!
cushion2
The pattern I followed was by Lynne Goldsworthy (of Lily’s Quilts blog) and was published in Issue #22 of the Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. That magazine often has lots of patterns for small quilts and cushion covers- ideal for quick turn-around projects!
cushion-pattern
I used a red print for the back and some bright blue for binding.
cushion-page
I also have some photos to show of some lovely quilts and projects made by the members of Gatton Quilts.

Marilyn- some gifted embroideries from Vietnam

Marilyn- some gifted embroideries from Vietnam


This next photo is of some Margaret Hopkins’ Swedish embroidery that Jan M won in a raffle- she doesn’t know its history but is very thankful to now be its owner- such precise and perfect hand-stitching, and the back was as good as the front!
JanM
Jeanette recently turned 80, so the GQ members made her this little quilt to celebrate.
Jeanette

Jeanette


Each member that contributed had a square of pale fabric and we chose our own fabrics to add the little kimino applique using whichever method we wanted.
Jean80-2
This next one is my little kimono square. I fused the applique on then raw-edge stitched with a black thread:
Apr16KM
Jan Knight also had some of her beautiful stitching, beadwork and ribbon embroidery there to show us:
JanK1
Jan K

Jan K


Taking photos of works under glass is always a little tricky so please forgive the reflections you can see! especially in this next close-up, which- because it wasn’t a really good photo- …
JanK3
…I decided to have a little play around and applied two different effects to it from photo-editing software. The first one was a filter which brightened up the colours a little:
JanK3-filter
and this one is an effect called ‘crystallised':
JanK3-crystallised
Imagine the possibilities and inspiration that photo could provide Jan!

splendid sampler blocks et al

I’m working on a few different things lately, so today’s post is a ‘progress report’ on where I am up to.
First up are the blocks for the Splendid Sampler.

Block 13 Splendid Sampler

Block 13 Splendid Sampler

Block 14 Splendid Sampler

Block 14 Splendid Sampler


For this block, called ‘Flying High’, I decided to cut the bird shapes out of wool felt and appliqued them down by free-motion sewing. Luckily I had a few scraps of suitable colours to mix in with my theme of using Japanese-taupe as inspiration.
Next up, I have made the two blocks for April’s do.Good Stitches quilting bee. These had to be a house block using bright colours and a pale ‘sky’.
Apr-do-good-stitches1-
Apr-do-good-stitches2
I also had a sewing day with some friends where we each had a few finished projects to show and tell. Mine was just a cute little pouch, made from a Studio Mio pattern.
Karen1
I made it in some lovely fabric given to me by a friend, and lined it with a blue and white spot.
Karen2
It even has birdies on it!
This next one was Barb’s little bag with handles; it has a French-style look about it, yes?
Barb
And this was Trudy’s shoulder bag in that great colour combination of blues and browns:
Trudy
Hope you are all having a lovely productive week!

splendid sampler

I have been collecting fabric to one day use for a Japanese-themed quilt. In particular, I love Japanese taupes, so I have lots of fabrics in that colour range along with linens and others that aren’t necessarily taupe but still originating from Japan. I also have some pieces of kimono silk, brought home for me by my son from his overseas travels.
fabrics
The goal was to use them in a quilt, but I had no specific design in mind. I just kept collecting and drooling over books and patterns for inspiration. When I heard about the Splendid Sampler quiltalong, where we are given different blocks to make on a weekly basis, it popped into my mind that this would be a good use of those linens and Japanese fabrics.

Blocks 1 & 2

Blocks 1 & 2


So far we are about 7 weeks in. There are many famous quilters designing the blocks, utilising all different methods and styles. You choose your own fabrics, and the instructions are published for two 6.5″ blocks every week for you to follow. You can make the blocks exactly as given or put your own interpretations on them, as I have done for a couple of mine.
Block 3

Block 3


Blocks4-5-6
Block 7

Block 7


This Block #7 is a lot different to the pattern provided- I thought this wonky 9-patch would suit my overall quilt better than the children’s themed block provided. You can choose your own method to use for each block- for example, you might like to embroider a design instead of applique, etc.
Sure, a lot of the blocks might be simple or very familiar to you, but I saw it as a chance to try a lot of blocks that I hadn’t come across before, and to take part in something where I get to see what everyone else has done with the same instructions. I love seeing that variety!
Block 8

Block 8


Block 9

Block 9


Obviously, not all my fabrics are classic Japanese taupe fabrics- I’m utilising some pieces that I’ve picked up here and there in a variety of colours. When all the blocks are finished what you do with them or how you arrange them is all up to you.
Block 10

Block 10


Block 11

Block 11


If you haven’t heard about it go here for a look and see if you are tempted!
Block 12

Block 12

longarm quilting

The instructions for the March block in the do. Good Stitches quilting bee ( I showed the February block here) were to make two quarter log cabin blocks, using blues and greys. So I have finished these and they are on to the quilt ‘assembler’ today.

March blocks

March blocks


I also recently finished quilting this quilt for Jan Knight:
Jan Knight

Jan Knight


I didn’t have a handy tall person around at the time to hold it up, so apologies for the ‘bend’ in the middle!
Jan wanted to do some hand quilting around and between the applique so I had to leave some space for that. It has a mixture of free-hand designs …
JanK4
zig-zagging in the inner border and straight lines on the house blocks…
JanK5
JanK3
Don’t those plaids and checks all play well together?
JanK1
It is a lovely quilt, thank you Jan for letting me quilt it for you.
Have a good quilting week!

playing with colour

Well now, what can we do with these pieces of fabric? I had a day with my sister recently where we played with the Liquid Radiance colours bought in a workshop last year.
We wanted to explore further the different effects that can be achieved with these pure pigment colours.
dyeing2
We got all the little bottles out and measured the liquid out into separate bottles and topped up with water. These colours are used at approximately 1/3 ratio. If it is mixed too strongly, then the extra colour will often ‘sit’ on top of the fabric and just isn’t absorbed properly anyway.
Then came the experimentation with applying the colour to the fabric. We sprayed some on cotton and then tied them around bottles with string:
bottles
I used red and yellow sprinkled with salt crystals to produce this effect:
dyeing-salt
Amanda played with some bright colours on these little singlets for her grandson:
page
Both are pictured while still drying- the feather was left until the colour had dried to leave its outline behind. Little Oscar won’t be missed playing on the beach in that multi-coloured singlet!
We folded and scrunched!
dyeing4
I tried mixing some colour, by adding some black to blue and hoping to get a dark denim or indigo colour. I didn’t measure the quantities so of course the result was a little unpredictable. I used it on this previously-white top, and it looked the right colour when wet but once it dried the colour more resembles a mottled ‘petrol’ colour, which is still good. It hasn’t been pressed in this photo.
dyeing-top
The rest of these are just experiments.

Leaves placed on top while drying

Leaves placed on top while drying


This piece was placed in the sun on top of small stones to make a mottled effect:
pebbles-page
left-over colour on batting- use this for felting!

left-over colour on batting- use this for felting!


'drop cloths' from cleaning up

‘drop cloths’ from cleaning up


These bits of cloth were used for cleaning up afterwards- I’m sure they will come in handy for a project somewhere along the line!

Longarm quilting

Just a few photos of a recent quilt I finished on my longarm machine for Lyn.
2016-03-08 21.24.03
This was a quilt embellished with crocheted doileys, lace and bits and pieces that all have sentimental memories.
2016-03-08 21.23.25
I didnt take many photos to show, but you get the idea. I have done a few of these quilts now, and always the tricky part is deciding how to quilt it. There’s not a lot of open area so the quilting has to go in and around the embellishments. But, the areas that are covered by the doileys and lace are too big to leave unquilted so they still have to be quilted as well.
2016-03-08 21.22.43
I did some ruler-work in this one for something different- a curving ‘border’ of 1/4″ lines around the edge and a large diamond of ‘background’ lines in the centre.
2016-02-19 16.32.10
Onto the next quilt!