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,
rene
and Jan K:
JanK
Lyn’s is a work in progress:
lyn
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:
page

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. ;)
KarenMundt1
Have a good week!

blogger’s quilt festival

It’s the time of the year when the Blogger’s Quilt Festival is on over at Amy’s Creative Side blog. It’s a quilt festival for those who can’t get to the festivals in person, instead you can tour around the blogs of all the entrants looking at their amazing quilts. There are also opportunities for prizes so don’t forget to take a look.
I have entered two quilts. The first is this Lollipop Trees quilt, made to the pattern of Kim McLean and using mainly Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Karen Mundt-Lollipop Trees

Karen Mundt-Lollipop Trees


I first showed the quilt here.
I’m entering it in the applique section. It was a big quilt for me to make and the most applique I had ever done on a quilt.
lolly5
lolly4
My second entry is going in to the Modern category. It’s this quilt I made using one of the score’s from Sherri Lyn Wood’s Improvisational Quilts Handbook, shown on the blog here.
9patch1
I started with a flying geese block and experimented and improvised, using hand-dyed fabrics and stripes and raw-edged piecing.
9patch7
I’m not sure what exactly is modern- is anyone?! But it fits the commonly-accepted criteria, so that’s what I’m going with!
KarenMundt1

purple challenge

Purple Circles- Karen Mundt

Purple Circles- Karen Mundt


One of the common questions that people are often asked is ‘what is your favourite colour?’ Since I was little, my favourite colour has always been blue, and the colour I least liked was green. But I’ve noticed a funny thing happening over the years that I’ve been quilting.
You know how we work with so much colour when making our quilts and how we often need to use a variety of darks and lights to create the look we’re aiming for. Sometimes you need that contrast to really make one colour ‘pop’ from the quilt- each bright has a paler colour next to it for greater impact. So, I often reach for a green as the foil I’m using, and more often than not it will be a bright green, like an acid green or lime green. I’ve come to like green a lot more now! and I guess I follow the mantra of there never being a colour I won’t use or that I dislike.
I still like blue but the shade of blue has been morphing into shades of purple, so while I always went for a dark navy as my favourite I would say now that blue and purple are my equal favourites, or even that shade of blue that you can’t tell if it is blue or purple. Sort of like these colours:
Resene Paints-Bluebell, Decadence

Resene Paints-Bluebell, Decadence

Our monthly colour challenge for my art quilt group was purple, and I thought that would be great, no problems. But- not so! For some reason it proved more difficult than I thought it would. Only using the one colour means that you have to use all different shades and tones to create the work, and not rely on different colours. I went through my stash grabbing as many purples as I could, but just putting them all together wasn’t appealing to me. It just seemed too much purple!
I created Purple Circles by following an article by Jane la Fazio called Recycled Circles, found in a ‘Cloth, Paper, Scissors’ magazine from March/April 2009.It is a method of layering paper and scraps of fabric on four squares before sewing them together to make a slightly disjointed circle. I started with a base fabric of some hand-dyed fabric and added a layer of painted tissue paper, like this I painted with some inks a few weeks ago.
purple_paper
Fabric scraps went on next. By making the four quadrants separately, you ensure that you get a good mis-match of fabrics so they purposefully won’t join up! All the fabrics I used were shades of purple, from blue-purples to grey-purples to plums and violets and all shades in between, even though some of them look a little washed-out in these photos.
purple1
Once the fabrics are laid down I went crazy with free-motion quilting all over using different threads, but still all purple! The four pieces are butted up against each other, taped together on the back then more circles of sewing all around the piece. I then embellished it further with hand-stitching, beads and bits and bobs.
purple3
purple4 In some places I let the underneath layers show through.
purple5
I finished it up by cutting a curved edge and sewing the backing on, RST, and turning it through.
purple6
So that is my purple challenge- took a little work but got there in the end!

Purple Circles- Karen Mundt

Purple Circles- Karen Mundt


Linking up to “Off the Wall Friday” – have a look at some lovely art quilts!

a modern DWR on the long-arm

I recently quilted this quilt-top for a friend.
barb-1
She had made it as a wedding gift, using the pattern Metro Rings by Sew Kind of Wonderful.
It’s a modern take on the double wedding ring quilt pattern. Barb made it in blue, red and purple Kaffe Fassett fabrics with a white background, and she requested I quilt it as was modelled on the pattern.
barb-4
She made a lovely quilt and it was a little daunting for me to quilt it!- a fairly concentrated quilting design necessitating lots of measuring and straight line work as well as curved lines, using various rulers.
barb-2
This is the back- Barb used a pale batik fabric for the backing fabric.
barb-3
barb-6
When it was finished, I was very happy and a little relieved it turned out so well.
barb-5
Thank you Barb for allowing me to do your quilting!

blue birds- a tessellating pattern

This little quilt was made as my response to this month’s art quilt challenge with my local group, Gatton Quilters. Each month we are creating a quilt using only one colour, and as you can see this month it was blue!

Blue Birds- Karen Mundt

Blue Birds- Karen Mundt


Using only one colour can be quite a challenge. You need to create something that is appealing, still shows pattern and texture, variety, shade – all while not having a variety of colours at your disposal. I took the opportunity to try out something that had been stirring around in my mind for awhile.
I’m interested in tessellating patterns- where a repetitive shape can cover a surface without any gaps or overlapping. I had a play with some graph paper and drew up a bird shape. To see the bird shapes would require different fabrics or colours or darks/lights to distinguish between each bird.
I want to eventually make a large quilt using this pattern but saw this challenge as a way of practising it, or a trial run if you like.
birds4
Because this quilt only had to be 14″ square, the size of the individual squares had to be small enough to create a number of birds across the surface. I decided on each square measuring 3/4″ (finished) and was able to create the pattern using whole squares and half-square triangles.
birds5
I had some beautiful Reece Scannell shot cottons in a variety of blues which were ideal for this. These cottons are lovely and soft and their colours so lovely to look at in different lights or angles.
Blue Birds- Karen Mundt

Blue Birds- Karen Mundt


This is only the top finished at this stage. I’m thinking of adding a mitred border to finish it off.
Blue Birds- Karen Mundt

Blue Birds- Karen Mundt


Dear Jane quilt block: this is F12 Starburst (although it looks different to the one in the book!- I think I made the original design on point. Oh well, you wouldn’t have known if I didn’t tell you, right?!
F12

F12


Linking up to ‘WIP Wednesday’ on the Freshly Pieced blog.

how to… make a pineapple quilt block

Do you ever get an idea in your mind that you can’t get rid of- until you actually do something about it? I’ve been thinking about pineapple quilts lately. There seems to be a few on websites and Instagram and I’ve becme curious. I think they appeal to me because they are a block for a pieced quilt, as against an applique quilt. And my over-all favourite type of quilt is one with lots of pieces which allow you to play with different fabrics and placements and variations.
So today I had to scratch that itch and try one out. This is my finished block:

LittleBirdie- pineapple block

LittleBirdie- pineapple block


As you can see, I chose to use some of my made-up fabric that I’ve put together from scraps, and contrast that with a texty-type cream fabric. This fabric actually has a print resembling vintage dress patterns all over it, with little bits of green here and there.
I cut strips out of both to use with a paper foundation. I obtained the foundation paper from the Generations Quilt Patterns site, where you can print off either 6″ or 8″ blocks. The instructions are also there for how to make the block, as well as cutting instructions for the strips you need.
pine1
I didn’t actually follow those exactly, but instead used another method of paper-foundation piecing that I prefer. You first cut the middle square and a strip to add to that to start the first round. You then use a small card to help you fold the foundation paper back over against the straight edge of the card.
pine5
pine6
Take a ‘Add a quarter Inch’ ruler that has a little ridge along it at the 1/4″ mark and hold it against the folded fabric and card. It snuggles in nicely against the card. You can then cut the fabric pieces underneath with a quarter-inch seam allowance.
pine-page
When you go to add the next strip, you just have to line the edge of that strip against the cut edge of the partial block and flip it over and sew on the marked line.
pine9
Cut off the tail of the strip and use for the next piece. This also avoids having to cut exact lengths of the strips.
You then just go around the block in number order, sewing exactly on the lines of each piece. Use a smaller stitch length, e.g. 1.6, so it makes it easier to peel the paper away later.
pine10
This is what the back of the block looks like.
pine12
I also chose to only put the coloured pieces at diagonal corners. Usually, the coloured piece would alternate with the cream strips, and therefore there would be colour pieces going out to each corner like in a cross, but I had seen a picture somewhere with a striking pattern created when all the blocks are joined and just that diagonal colour stripe going through the quilt top.
LittleBirdie- pineapple block

LittleBirdie- pineapple block


Having said that though, I’m not sure if it was the right decision? or even if my choice of fabrics was the best? I like the finished block but you need to have a lot of blocks to put together so you can play around with the secondary patterns you might create. And, making this one block took me the better part of today! So the jury is still out on what I’ll do next with this- satisfied the itch though, for a little while :)

the local quilt group

We had a fun day on the weekend playing with our soldering irons and fabric- melting and fusing and experimenting with mark-making to try out lots of ‘What If?’ questions.
Last week I showed the piece I was preparing:
burn4
I used the iron to melt away all the areas of the top piece of organza in between the stitching lines, to reveal the randomly-placed bits and pieces underneath:
K2
K3
It now needs lots of stitching!
Everyone had fun playing with a myriad of fabrics and felts:
playing1playing2playing3
with some interesting results:

Alison

Alison


JanM2
Jan M

Jan M


L2 Lyn

I especially liked the charred-looking lines produced on this cream fabric:
K1
There were also some members sharing their recent finishes

Kay- stained glass quilt

Kay- stained glass quilt


Val

Val


Marilyn- the Sashiko queen!

Marilyn- the Sashiko queen!

Some more results from last month’s ‘Green’ challenge:

L-Lyn    R- Jan K

L-Lyn R- Jan K


and Meryl’s Recycled challenge piece:
Meryl

Meryl


Lots of busy people!

having a play..

I spent part of today playing with my solder iron, burning holes and marks into fabric scraps. We’re having an experimental play day on Saturday at Gatton Quilters, so I thought it would be a good idea reacquainting myself with this handy tool.
iron4
When working with this iron, some safety precautions are needed: a stand or a terracotta pot with its own drainage hole is good for standing the iron in between uses;I use a sheet of glass as my working space, and an old oven tray to rest it all on. It’s a good idea to use these irons outside or with a respirator mask in case you are sensitive to the fumes.
To work out what you can do with one of these is really a matter of just playing and experimenting. I’ve got lots of scraps of man-made materials as these will melt easily at the touch of the iron.
You can make marks on fabric and fuse some fabrics to felt such as seen here…
page1
make holes of all different shapes and sizes:
iron8
here I burned the flower out of this fabric, and then..
iron1
fused it to this piece of felt..
iron3
I burned along the edge of this piece which gives it a type of beaded edge:
iron7
and cut this piece of gauze and fused it to the white felt:
iron6
While thinking about what I might ‘play’ with on the weekend, I had a look through my copies of ‘Quilting Arts’ magazines and found an article by Fay Maxwell from the Spring 2005 issue:
burn2
It reminded me that I had some painted polyester pieces from another play day- I had experimented with some paints- DynaFlow by Jacquard and Liquitex Ink, to make these pieces:
paint1-crop
paint2
and thought I could put them to good use here.
I chopped up lots of fabric bits and pieces and placed them on some batting. The article advised to use a painted piece of wool but I didn’t have any of that and didn’t want to stop and paint some and then wait for it to dry.
burn1
I then covered that with a piece of the painted polyester..
burn3
and did some all-over random stitching to secure it down.
burn4
burn5
This piece is now ready to ‘attack’ with the soldering iron, melting and burning randomly over the surface, deeper in some parts than others to reveal a – hopefully- lovely colourful unique piece of fabric. I’ll let you know next week how it turns out!

some more Jane

Just a quick post this week- I don’t have a lot of new work to show because I’ve been long-arm quilting for a client the last week or so. Hopefully I can show that here next week.
I do have some more Dear Jane blocks to show you. In case I haven’t mentioned before, these blocks are all taken from the book of the same name by Brenda Manges Papadakis. The author named the blocks herself. The book includes a diagram of each block so you can trace each one, with its parts, and then use whichever method you prefer to construct it. Some blocks can be hand-pieced, some can be foundation-pieced, some have applique and some use reverse-applique. All of these below have used reverse-applique in some way.
E11
E11 Wagon Wheel

B1 Bachelor's Buttons

B1 Bachelor’s Buttons


F11 On Target

F11 On Target


( N.B. these haven’t been trimmed yet, and don’t mind the loose threads!)
I4-Stability

I4-Stability


Jane4
If you think block B1 looks a little smaller than the others, then you would be right. It was one of the very first I did, and at that time wasn’t aware of needing to include a seam allowance around the outside edge. I intend to add a narrow border around the couple of blocks that aren’t the right size when I put them all together.
Until next week, happy quilting!

my hardest quilt to make. ever.

Sometimes, working out the best way to quilt a quilt-top is a long process, fraught with indecision, double-guessing and accompanied by lots of sighs. Such was the case when I put this quilt of my own onto the longarm machine last week. This is the medallion quilt that I have mentioned quite a few times over the last year or so, here and here.
I started it in a workshop with Gwen Marston a couple of years ago, and the inspiration is a medallion quilt from her book Liberated Medallion Quilts. I didn’t use any pattern or instructions. It is made from lots of blocks, all made to different sizes and employing a variety of methods. Improv quilting indeed!
improv2
Once a large supply of blocks are in hand comes the difficult stage of working out how they can all fit together.
improv3
Many a time I was heard to say this is the hardest quilt I’ve ever made! Blocks were put together with strips added in here and there to make up gaps, extra little half-square triangles quickly put together to fill in a space and lots of re-arranging up on the design wall. I used Gwen’s method of ‘liberated quilting’, and made wonky star blocks, lop-sided log cabin blocks and unusual colours together in the hope it would all look okay in the end.
parts2
But once the top was all together, silly me thought it was all plain sailing from here. But how do you machine quilt such a top, with irregular seam lines and so many shapes and sizes?
I started with the decision that I didn’t want to do an all-over design or use my favoured method of free-hand quilting because it was so busy anyway and that style of quilting wouldn’t suit it.
I would use the same cream thread all over because otherwise changing threads would be a nightmare, but try to limit its visibility on darker coloured pieces.
So… I’m going to use straight-line quilting wherever possible, although there won’t be a regular 1/4″ around the blocks and some have strips which aren’t a constant width.
It’s in progress at the moment, so excuse the thread-ends in these photos:
medallion1
medallion4
Some blocks would be just out-line quilted, on some the quilting would be visible but not so on others, I’ll use in-the-ditch to move from one section to another, and as for the wonky blocks with irregular strip widths and star-points- sigh…..
improvblock7
medallion3
For the centre square, trying to avoid curvy lines for consistency restricts the options somewhat, so more thinking required here-
medallion2
This quilt is turning into the hardest one I’ve ever had to quilt.