it’s finished!

What do you think of this quilt? It’s my improvisational medallion quilt that I started in a Gwen Marston workshop in mid-2013, and it’s finally finished!

Karen Mundt- medallion quilt

Karen Mundt- medallion quilt


I’ve written here a few times about the progress, and about how it proved to be a real challenge.
In the Gwen Marston class, we started with a centre block and then started adding onto it, a border at a time. I only got the hour-glass border on during the class, and made up the rest of it myself. Decisions had to be made for each border- what techniques to use, which fabrics, which colours. There are obvious borders out to the half-square triangle border, but then after that it was made up as I went. I wanted to make mine as scrappy as possible, and while I did buy a lot of the fabric to use for it, I also used a lot of left-over fabric from past projects.
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I experimented with lots of different block designs, made up some of my own and made wonky versions of blocks. As I made endless blocks, I would put them up on my design wall and move them around. It was this middle stage where I often felt that I wasn’t moving along, so I started to make decisions on a section at a time. I would work out which blocks could go together to make up a large section and piece them all together.
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I had started with thinking that I would use a pale green or cream as the calming fabric and filler in between the colourful blocks, but soon realised that wasn’t going to work. So I switched to using red as the filler and that became the constant colour to draw the eye around the quilt. The filler strips and pieces were necessary to ‘fill in’ where some blocks were a little shorter than others or not quite fitting together and made it much easier to piece the sections.
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I would work on just making decisions on one section at a time, put that up on the design board and move onto the next. Eventually it got there, after countless re-arranging, contemplation and fiddling!
But once the quilt top was together, I then had to work out how to quilt it. As there weren’t any regular seam lines going all through the top, no large spaces to fill in with a quilting design but lots of seams everywhere, and the fact that it was so busy to look at anyway meant I had to keep the quilting fairly minimal.
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I ended up just quilting a quarter-inch echo around most of the blocks and seams.
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For the back I used some pink striped fabric and pieced it with bits left from the front..
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Isn’t it good when it all comes together!
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a small world in a quilt

Progress on my newest quilt “My Small World”, first mentioned here, has slowed down a little owing to some quilting on my long-arm for a client. However, I have got some updated photos to show of where I am up to in this little quilt.
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I have now finished Parts 1,2 & 3- there are 5 parts in all. There is a Quilt-Along happening on some other blogs- such as: the Very Kerry Berry blog. It’s handy to check on there for hints and tips and see how others are coming along in their quilt tops.
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There’s lots of choices and decisions to make with which fabrics to use and lots of different blocks and techniques to use:
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.. you have to think about which pieces look nice next to each other, how does a particular piece fit in the wider section, and then, in turn, how does that section play along with the next larger piece of the top.
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But you also get to have fun by placing fussy-cut pieces in hand-picked spots. Like my little red bus here?
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This quilt ticks two large boxes for me: the cityscape theme and lots of fabrics to use- essentially the scrappy look, my favourite type of quilt!

And another thing…
Gatton Quilters’ Exhibition of quilts and hand-worked pieces is now open at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre Art Gallery. Hope you can get along and have a look! We had the official opening on Friday night, with Ali George doing the honours as our guest speaker. A lovely night. I hope to show some photos of the works on display in coming weeks.
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Linking in here to Freshly Pieced’s Work In Progress Wednesday!

exhibition of Gatton Quilters

Anyone looking for a showing of quilts and textiles are welcome to visit the exhibition on display in Gatton over the next month. ‘New Directions’ is the name of the exhibition, as it is highlighting this local quilt group’s growth in skills and techniques. There will be quilts of all sizes…

Karen M- Flying 9-patch

Karen M- Flying 9-patch


and projects made with many different processes…
Meryl B

Meryl B


quilts from our various challenges….
Marilyn

Marilyn


and results from a quilter extending herself and exploring the ‘What If’s’, but also quilts from those that aren’t into the art-quilt side of things but the more traditional quilts with beautiful craftsmanship and design.
Dulcie

Dulcie


The display will be at the Lockyer Valley Art Gallery in Gatton from 20 July until 16 August.
Hope you can find time to visit!
Lyn

Lyn

yellow quilt

This is my little quilt made for last month’s ‘Yellow’ challenge.
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I happened to have some Gerberas in a vase at the time which got me to thinking on a reproduction of a version of that. I took a close-up photo of the flowers and focused on one section of it. I had to divide the photo in to two halves to make it into a picture that was big enough. Using some ink jet printable fabric, I printed out the two photos onto the paper-backed sheets of fabric.
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The two pieces were then sewn together, and I then backed it with some iron-on thin batting. I put that on for the stability but the fluffy side underneath did make it a bit tricky when moving it round for free-motion stitching.
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It took lots of free-range stitching, using my domestic sewing machine. Around 7 or 8 different shades of yellow thread were used.
In particular, I needed to stitch over the centre to cover up the green, because it was supposed to be predominantly yellow!
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I then added a narrow gold border with a facing finish.
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fun with colour

My quilting group recently had a visit from Ann Mitchell of Genesis Creations. Ann held a small workshop on the use of these pure pigment colours called Liquid Radiance and we had great fun in playing around with various fabrics and techniques.

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These were some of the colours we tried out, rolling the fabric up to create lines in its surface. The colour pigments are diluted with water which are then sprayed or squirmed or brushed on. I tried the orange which wasn’t a strong mixture-below is my piece after it has dried and been pressed. Not quite as successful as others….
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This next one had yellow, orange and purple and although not much orange has shown up the result is still beautiful! You can see one half where I sprinkled some salt, which has the effect of drawing the moisture up and creating spots:
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This last one is my favourite:using yellow, magenta and blue and all scrunched up and left to dry:
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Quite a few of us are very excited at further trying these colours- a lot quicker than normal dyeing. Her website is genesiscreations.com.au
Some quilters also had some finished projects for display. Lyn had her quilt for our monthly colour challenge:

Lyn-yellow

Lyn-yellow


likewise with Jan:
Jan K - yellow

Jan K – yellow


Dulcie has finished her Crazy Patch quilt which she said she had been working on for about 3 or 4 years but for which she had been collecting bits and pieces for many years. She has made such a beautiful quilt:
Dulcie

Dulcie


There is so much to look at on this magnificent quilt…
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Such beautiful stitching and embellishing.
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Looks like everyone had a busy month :)

seasons

I made this little quilt recently, to the theme of “Seasons”. Seasons could have meant anything from portraying a particular season, or all 4 seasons, or anything at all related to seasons in some way. My quilt is called ‘Winter Winds’.
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I haven’t been able to get a good photo of it, so hope these will do. The white is a little hard to see too, so it would be better seeing it in person!
My idea was to do a whole-cloth quilt in white, with free-hand quilted writing to give it texture. I came up with the idea of writing a poem on it so went searching for one to fit my criteria of being an Australian poem, on the topic of a season, only a few lines long, and which I could add a little hand-sewn embellishment of some sort.
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This poem by the renowned Australian poet Les Murray fit the bill exactly. The poem was published in 2006 in the book ‘The Biplane Houses’. It talks of bougainvillea petals scattering in the wind:

Like applique on nothingness
like adjectives in hype
fallen bracts of the bougain-
magenta-and-faded- villea
eddy round the lee verandah
like flowers still partying
when their dress has gone home.

I drew the bougainvillea flowers myself after studying them for quite awhile to get the shape of their petals, and made little freezer paper templates to cut them and the leaves from silk, to applique. I then free-hand machine-sketched an outline with black thread, using my domestic sewing machine. I was looking for the effect of a water-colour drawing.
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The quilted writing was done on my long-arm machine. I bound the edges with silk sari ribbon- lengths joined together to make a continuous piece and sewn on like regular binding but without turning it over, intead leaving the raw edges on show.
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It has turned out how I planned it, but in hindsight I probably would have made it a little smaller, and therefore the writing a little closer. I only used a soft cotton batting, which is what I like to use in regular quilts. However, because of its size I think this would have benefitted from a thicker batting to give it a little more firmness for hanging.
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This one is finished just in time for our (Gatton Quilters) quilt exhibition we have coming up in July. Quilts from the group will be on display at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre Art Gallery from 19 July for one month. Lots of lovely work will be on displa, including other’s interpretation of Seasons!
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Scrappy trip around the world

I finished this quilt a little while ago but haven’t actually shown it here on the blog in its finished state. It’s a Trip-Around-The-World quilt done in a scrappy style.

Scrappy Trip Around The World- Karen Mundt

Scrappy Trip Around The World- Karen Mundt


I actually started it about 2 years ago, and worked on it in between other quilts and projects. These quilts were all the rage on the ‘net about then, and their scrappy style really caught my eye. The traditional version of the pattern, using maybe just 2 colours, has been around for a long time but this scrappy version uses as many different fabrics as you want.
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You are still able to see the pattern of the diamond shapes as the eye travels around the quilt picking up the darker fabrics and and imagining the patterns.
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It’s really easy to make too; just cutting 2.5″ strips, sewing them together into a big ‘loop’, then cross-cutting that into 2.5″ loops. You then open the stitching on each of the made loops at a different spot each time and re-assemble the strips into a square block. It’s really fun to see the patterns created by the strips, and once you get a few blocks made you can start placing them together how you like.
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Playing with the arrangements.
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Here is an excellent website that shows you how to cut the strips and sew them back together to get the effect: the instructions are by Bonnie K. Hunter on the Quiltville website.
I ended up adding another column to the original batch that I made to make it a bigger quilt, and also because I couldn’t decide on what to use as a border. Nothing seemed to suit it, so I went without a border and just bound the edges with binding made from the same strips.
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I quilted it with an all-over loopy pattern. As it is such a busy-looking quilt, there’s no need for anything more than a simple quilting pattern, because you won’t really notice it on the top anyway.
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I want to try and use up a lot of my stash fabric, so this was a good project for that, but also my favourite type of quilt is a scrappy quilt. I just love using as many fabrics as possible in a quilt. I’m now on the lookout for other quilt ideas to use up some more!

between the bush and the city

A lot of my favourite blogs that I read are from quilters overseas- in the UK or America, for example. It’s always interesting to see the references they make to the weather and the landscape in their part of the world, for their seasons are the exact opposite to ours.
The difference was brought home to me on this long weekend we had here in Aus, when I went on a picnic with my sister and brother-in-law to Crows Nest Falls, just north of Toowoomba. Under a sky of brilliant blue and lots of bright colours, our landscape can also be full of these beautiful muted grey-greens of the leaves, the greys and browns of the bush and the greys and taupes of the rocks.

Crows Nest Falls 2015

Crows Nest Falls 2015


I also had the chance to start a new quilt. This is the quilt called ‘My Small World’, designed by Jen Kingwell and printed in the Spring issue of QuiltMania.
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I have a thing for using the cityscape and buildings theme in quilts so this appealed to me straight away. There is also a Quilt-Along for this little quilt, hosted by a few other blog sites like this. It will be interesting to see how others interpret the pattern and put their own spin on the design. I’ve just started the first part, cutting up lots of squares for the sky and putting together a few of the buildings.
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I’m mainly using fabrics I already have with just a few extra neutrals to use in the sky. Lots of little squares!
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Dear Jane quilt
Here’s another of the blocks for this long-term project of mine: Block K7 called “Rose of Sharing”. I used reverse applique to construct it with two contrasting batik fabrics.

K7 Rose of Sharing

K7 Rose of Sharing

how to… add a mitred border

When I made my little quilt ‘Blue Birds’ last month, I decided to add a mitred border on it.

Blue Birds- Karen Mundt

Blue Birds- Karen Mundt


Here’s how I went about it- I’m sure there are lots of different ways to do it and this is probably a mix of all of them! First, cut four strips the width of the required border plus 1/2″ for seam allowances, and in the length of each side plus at least 4″. So if the quilt is 10″ wide and 14″ long, I would cut two lengths 14″ long and two lengths at 18″long.
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Sew each length to each side and top and bottom, stopping the stitching 1/4″ from the end each time. Mark the stopping point with a pencil before you stitch- it needs to be accurate. There will be about 2″ of the strip hanging off each end. Press it open.
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With the top facing up, arrange it so one strip is laying straight with its end extending out to the side, and then fold the other strip so that it makes a 45* angle. I used a pin in the corner to just keep it still on my padded surface while folding it. side
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Use a ruler with a 45*angle marked on it to line it up with the folded corner and make sure you have the fold exact. Press.
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Put a piece of tape over the fold- this is to keep it in place while you turn the quilt over.
When it’s turned over to the other side and the two strips are lined up parallel together, you will easily see the crease that was pressed into it.
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Sew from the corner point (where the previous lines of stitching ended) straight out along that crease to the edge. Lining up the two strips like this also means that there will be a tiny gap along the crease in the tape on the other side, so when sewing along this diagonal line your needle won’t sew through the tape. If it does, you can easily remove it.
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Turn the quilt over and press again- voila! a perfectly-sewn mitred corner! You can then trim the seam.

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challenges and competitions

I showed my little purple challenge quilt here last week.

Purple Circles- Karen Mundt

Purple Circles- Karen Mundt


At our monthly meeting of Gatton Quilters, some other members also brought along their quilts. There were some great ideas and inspired thinking to create a quilt using only the one colour.
Jan M has been using this challenge to try out some pieced mini quilt blocks. This is her purple block, in which I think she has used the varying fabrics to great effect:
JanM
These little quilts were by: Tricia K,
tricia
Rene,
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and Jan K:
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Lyn’s is a work in progress:
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Aren’t they all beautiful in their purple lusciousness!!

We also had Jan K showing us how to use various products like lutrador, heat distressable tissue, angelina fibres and a heat gun to make some beads:
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And another thing- voting has started over on the Bloggers Quilt festival. I mentioned last week about entering two quilts into it. The Lollipop Trees quilt is in the Applique section- you can click on here to vote. Once you decide on the quilt you like, click on the little heart in the corner to vote. Easy!

Karen Mundt-Lollipop Trees

Karen Mundt-Lollipop Trees


and this one in the Modern category. Go here to vote. ;)
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Have a good week!