traipsing around

Between a visit to Melbourne and then home for Easter with visiting relatives, I’ve had a very busy time of late.

Melbourne skyline from the 34th floor

a rainy Melbourne skyline from the 34th floor


Melbourne was a whirlwind of shopping and sight-seeing, as well as visiting the Australasian Quilt Conference. I saw some beautiful quilts on display…
top left: "Rings & Roses" by Janet Treen, NSW, winner National Quilt award

top left: “Rings & Roses” by Janet Treen, NSW, winner National Quilt award


(unfortunately I didn’t get the names of the other quilt makers in this photo).

…did a little shopping for fabrics and bits and pieces, and attended a talk by Reece Scannell on colour. I didn’t attend a workshop this time, but we certainly managed to fill in a whole day!

We went on a winery tour and tasted some beautiful Australian wines, and even found this giraffe in the middle of the city!
giraffe1
giraffe2
Deakin Building, Federation Square

Whenever I go away I always take a little sewing with me to fill in those odd spare spots of time, so this time I took the last of the little border blocks from the Lollipop Trees quilt that I have been working away at for some time. And I got them all finished!! so now the quilt top can be assembled. Can’t wait to see it all together. These are the last of those little blocks:
lollipop31
lollipop32
lollipop33
lollipop34
lollipop35
lollipop36
lollipop37

French braiding

The combinatin of blues and creams and that dark red that feature in many reproduction fabric ranges is just so pleasing to the eye. This quilt was made by Bev and she asked me to quilt it for her.
bev2
She utilised the French braid pattern to make a beautiful top, set off by a narrow blue ‘peeper’ around the border.
bev5
Because it had such a busy design, the quilting wouldn’t be taking centre-stage so Bev just wanted an all-over design.
I quilted it in a freehand curly loopy sort of design! avoiding the peeper so as not to pin it down.
bev3
I used a dark cream thread on top and bottom; the backing was a dark red with a cream design so the thread sank into it really well.
bev4
bev6
bev7
It was a lovely quilt to work on.

sewing day

I had a fun day sewing with some friends recently. Just sitting around, each working on our own things, with a little show-and-tell, a few cups of coffee, lots of chatting, the usual!
I was sewing down the binding on my spiderweb quilt, which I’ve shown here before. When it is finally finished I will show it on here, that’s if I can get it away from our smoochy cat…
karen1
Trudy was working on a little purse made with hexagons of blues, browns, reds and creams, also nearly finished with just the handle to add on:
tru1
Pauline has been making blocks for a ‘Dear Jane’ quilt, using reproduction-type fabrics. She has lovely neat work:
paul1
and Barbara is doing some redwork:
barb1
At the end of the day it was lovely to look across and see water back in the dam after some recent rain, so Dublin joined me for a little stroll:
dam1
dub1
Have a good week!

wonky blocks

I always have a few projects on the go so that I can just pick up whichever one I feel like progressing and do a little work on it. This weekend I felt like doing some straight machine piecing, which doesn’t take too much thinking and you can see some results quickly.
The Aurifil monthly block program which I have joined in with this year is due for March, so I decided to do that. The block is just a simple one called ‘Borders’ but really just a log cabin variation.
aur_mar-KM2
I’ve made mine a little differently by making it in an improvisational-style. I cut the strips free-hand without a ruler and made them all different widths.
aur_mar_KM3
The blocks have a wonky feel to them! and I’ve made them in the fabrics for the medallion quilt I started last year- my back-burner project that patiently waits for any new additions.
I also made them smaller than the provided pattern was for, so I actually made three of them:
aur_mar-KM1
I also have some more little lollipop border blocks to show- I’m knocking them off one-by-one and can see the end in sight!
lollipop30
lollipop31
lollipop32
lollipop33

works in progress and completed

This completed stitched “city scene” is one I’ve been working on for awhile, for the cover of my fabric journal.
cover1a
The journal was a project that my local art quilt groups worked on last year and is now at the stage of compiling and finishing off. I have shown pictures of this cover page here before in its various stages of completion, but now it is finally finished…
cover2
and I can now make it into the front cover by giving it a backing and some sort of stability to support it in its role as the cover.
cover3
It was made with lots of re-purposed scraps of fabric and bits and pieces, and
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rough edges and lots of hand stitching
cover5
I can now put all the pages of the journal together and work out what type of binding I’ll use.

What else I’ve been working on: some more little blocks for the border section of the Lollipop Trees quilt top:
lollipop20
lollipop21
lollipop22
lollipop23
And as a sort of Postscript to last week’s blog post of the bleach dyeing that we experimented with, here is an interesting effect that has shown itself over time… I used some “Discolourant” on one piece of fabric that was hand-dyed in a dark plum colour. I brushed some of it on the fabric with an old toothbrush and left it to dry as per the instructions. This was the result later that afternoon after it had dried: the brushed marks are a golden colour-
decolour1
and then the next day, this was what that same piece of fabric looked like:
decolour2
The brushed marks have turned to a green (while the rest is still a plum colour, which perhaps doesn’t show that well in this photo)
Now that’s cool!
I’m linking up here to Works In Progress Wednesday- lots of good projects to look at over there!

bleached effects

There was lots to show and tell about at the recent Gatton Quilters meeting. It looked like everyone had been very busy, turning out quilts big and small. I unfortunately didn’t have a finished quilt to show, but I can show you here some of their projects.
A lovely idea that the group has being doing lately is making a quilted runner as a special birthday gift for some of our members. This one was for Jeanette, with blocks contributed by other members and put together in secret by Marilyn:

page2
It’s lovely to see the variety of blocks, each one of them different and often indicative of their creator’s style.

Some of the finished projects on show:

c/w from top left: Marilyn, Margaret, Val, Renae

c/w fromn top left: Marilyn, Margaret, Val, Renae

But the fun part of the day was when the art quilting group had a play with bleach discharging. A simple enough process- using bleach to make a pattern on coloured cloth. Very unpredictable and inconsistent in the results- which is what made it fun!
bleach1
We never knew for sure what effect we would have or what colours would be revealed once the bleach did its work…
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we used stencils and bubble wrap and templates
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Now we have the fun of using them in our art quilts!

happenings

I recently found out about this great app for the iphone that enables you to turn your photos into watercolour pictures. It is so cool! It’s called “waterlogue”, available through apple apps. Take a look at these just messing around the other day:
the original photo of a beautiful rose from our garden:
rose1
and its watercolour version:
Painted in Waterlogue
a turkish bowl- the original photo:
bowl1
and its watercolour version ….
Preset Style = ?It's Technical? Format = Medium Format Margin = Small Format Border = Sm. Rounded Drawing = Technical Pen Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = High Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = Normal Water = Tap Water Wat
a photo I took in the Christmas store in DJ’s Sydney:
store1
and the same photo watercolourised…
Painted in Waterlogue
I can see great potential in using this to create lovely artworks that can be used as the basis for an art quilt. Don’t you think?

And here is my round-up of daily photos for February:
{childhood} my father made this rocking chair so it’s a lovely memento of childhood

{details} details of a little hand-stitched work I’ve done in the past:

{heart} to celebrate the lovely news of my son’s engagement. I made this when experimenting with machine stitching and utilising wash-away stabiliser:

{feet} we’ve had a new arrival in the family, his name is Dublin and has snowy little furry feet

{reflection} my long-arm machine, which gets a turn every now and then!

Hope you have a good weeK!

chairs and tea cozies

Do you have a space of your own, that when you enter it, you get this sense of well-being, or happiness, and you feel good inside? I have my own sewing room, my purpose-built room that is my own little haven in the world. When I enter it, I feel all the possibilities and potential that exists there and I can’t wait to get started!
In one corner of my sewing room is my comfy chair. For many years this has been my comfy chair:
studio2
it is where I sit and read my numerous quilting magazines, where I sit and hand sew, or where I just sit and look at some quilt blocks I might have stuck up on my wall for contemplation. This particular chair has special meaning though, because it is one I have had since all my babies were born. I used it as the chair for feeding little babies, cuddling them, playing with hem and comforting them, even sleeping through the night with them (or maybe just one or two of them- you know who you are!) in my arms.
So you can understand how hard it was when I recently decided to replace this chair with a newer model. After all, it was very old and with broken springs and didn’t match anything. But…. it’s my favourite chair!
Anyway, I did recently get a new chair, ta dah:
chair
this is one that rocks and reclines and is uber-comfortable. And even though I do like it, I was a little sad saying good-bye to the old one. How do we get so attached to inanimate objects? Or is that just me?!

Anyway, here is a cute little teapot cozy I recently made:
teacozy3
I think I will have to look for a bigger teapot to fit it..
teacozy
teacozy2
and some cute cozies made by some friends at our sewing get together: check the purple bead trim on the cozy on the left!
fay

flying pelicans

I recently quilted this quilt for Lyn on my long-arm machine. Lyn made the quilt, titled My Place, for her daughter, using a jelly-roll of blues, reds and cream, but she made it a little more special by adding applique pelicans to it. I think the added applique is so effective on the relatively simple background.
lyn1
We decided to quilt an all-over pattern of rolling clouds turning into waves as they move down the quilt.
lyn2
The appliqued pelicans were highlighted..
lyn5
and some extra pelican-shapes were added in to the background..
lyn6
lyn3
The quilting was done free-hand, using a variegated grey thread.

still quilting

Everyone’s busy quilting; the hot weather doesn’t stop us, because there’s always a way of carrying on! I look with envy to those on the other side of the world with the cold and the snow, just to be able to escape this heat; they are probably doing the same but instead wishing the snow would give up!
I have another block finished for the Aurifil BOM, which I started in January and mentioned here.
KarenMundt-FebAurifil
I’m continuing on in the fabrics that I’m using for this improvisational medallion quilt..
medallion1
so at least that is growing , even if it’s ever so slightly!

My local quilting group, Gatton Quilters, also had our first meeting for the year, and lots of lovely things were on show.
Marilyn had this quilt that she has been working on for awhile:
marilyn1
Lindy had two quilts which she said were also long-term projects, one of which was this one:
Lindy1
Shirley showed us a small fabric journal page she had created to the theme “roots”, which certainly got some ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’….
Shirley1
and a close-up of the textural stitching..
Shirley2
and Trish showed her journal page to the theme of ‘using a constant shape’ with a clever use of ric-rac:
Trish1
And last but not least, Shirley was celebrating a special birthday with a lovely quilted gift made by fellow club members:
shirley80
Shirley creates beautiful quilts and is very prolific, so I’m sure she’ll always find a way to keep quilting!