bright lights, big city- a finish

You might remember me mentioning my progress on this quilt top over previous months- Bright lights, big city. I have finally finished the quilt top- not quilted yet, but I will hopefully get to that soon!
bigcity3
The pattern is by Victoria Findlay-Wolfe from her book Double Wedding Ring Quilts. It is just an over-sized DWR, with big pieced points to form the large arcs or ‘rings’. It measures 90″ square, so it was a little tricky for my trusty quilt holder out in the breeze last weekend! I don’t really have a good flat photo of the whole top just yet.
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I showed some pictures of its progress back here and here. It started with foundation-piecing the arcs, all 72 of them…
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I made it in a completely scrappy-style trying to use as many fabrics from my stash as possible…
bigcity1
Once the arcs were pieced, I had to then assemble them with the little melon pieces in between two arcs and the square pieces at the end. Choosing the fabrics for them took some thought, because even though I wanted scrappy, I didn’t want it to look like a big jumbled mess! I decided to use various greens for the little melon centres.
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Laying all the blocks out and playing around with what would be their final position was fun for all…
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I used all reds for the large centre pieces, to bring some order to this bright multi-coloured quilt..
bigcity4
Even though I had made that decision, I still had second thoughts about it. Some of the red fabrics I initially bought to use, because of course I didn’t have enough of them in my stash!, were too busy or loud, so I used fabrics that had a small print at most.
bigcity2
Now that it’s finished, I can say I am happy with it, it’s just while you are putting together a quilt with so many different fabrics while working and looking at it close up, it can seem too much. Standing back and looking at it as a whole, I think it’s okay!

Splendid Sampler blocks

Only a few things to show this week. I’m working on a few different projects all over the place – a couple of them are challenges so I want to get them finished before showing their final photos!
I’ve been continuing with the blocks for the Splendid Sampler. There are two blocks released each week for this quilt-along and it’s easy to get behind! I try to do one or two each week so I’m almost keeping in sight of the front runners.
This block is Block #28 called ‘Stitching Fashion’, a foundation-pieced block, designed by Charise Randell.. I didn’t include a little sewing reel and needle which was on the original pattern.

Block 28 Splendid Sampler

Block 28 Splendid Sampler


Quite a few of the blocks have a sewing theme to them which I think tends to make them too ‘folk art’ for what I would like my quilt to look like, so I have been changing some blocks just slightly to suit my own purposes. That’s the good thing about blocks like these- it is our own quilt so we can use and adapt as we see fit. I’m using taupes and creams and Japanese-type fabrics as well, which makes them a lot different to those using bright colours or making them scrappy-style, which is what I would normally do!
This next block is called Scrappy Happy Heart, designed by Christa Watson, and also foundation pieced:
Block 29 Splendid Sampler

Block 29 Splendid Sampler


We’ve had some lovely cold days to sew by- hope you are getting lots done- here is my sewing inspector who keeps me company:
Dublin

Dublin

weekend away

I was fortunate to be able to have a quick weekend away last week, combining a visit with my son and visiting the Sydney Quilt Show. Needless to say, I had a great weekend!

with my son and a beautiful backdrop!

me with my son and a beautiful backdrop!


My son and his fiancee took me for a drive to Katoomba for a day, on what had been forecast to be extra cold with possibility of snow! We didnt see any snow, but caught some lovely views of the Blue Mountains, and enjoyed a cosy lunch at the Boiler House Cafe.
The three sisters- Blue Mountains

The three sisters- Blue Mountains


The Sydney Quilt Show was a great experience- certainly a lot to see, and I could have easily filled another day! They had a special guest from France- Cecile Franconie, an embroiderer. I wasn’t aware of her work before, but will now be looking for more examples of her beautiful stitching.
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franconie2
franconie3
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There were quite a few displays within the quilt show. One special display was of Japanese Boro works. I love these pieces, where scraps are sewn to scraps and over-laid with lots of big stitching.
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boro2
boro1
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And the display of quilts – so many beautiful quilts. Here are a few that caught my eye:
Deborah Louie - a Secret Garden

Deborah Louie


New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt  - Novacastrian Quilters

New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt – Novacastrian Quilters


millefiore2
hoops

Hope you are all doing lots of quilting!

progressing along

I’m still continuing on with some blocks each month for the do.Good stitches Charity. This month’s blocks were string-pieced blocks in bright colours- any would do! The strips could be any width and were each sewn on to each other successively one-by-one. This is the first block:
KarenM-June1
and the second:
KarenM-June2
The person who is the designated quilter for this project will be cutting large leaf-shapes out of these foundation blocks to put together for the quilt.
I’ve also got a few more blocks finished for the Splendid Sampler quilt. I’m continuing on with using Japanese taupes and creams for most of these blocks.
This first one below is Block #20. I changed it from the original, and instead of embroidering a sewing-themed picture, I added some Japanese characters, which I’m hoping mean ‘peace’!
Block20_Splendid Sampler
This next block is called Hand-in-Hand, designed by Kari Carr. I really like this block so I’m sorry the photo is a little out of focus. The points of the star are formed by folding the fabric so they have a slight 3D-effect.
Block23-Splendid_sampler
This is Block 24, called Inspector Sidekick, designed by Michele Foster
Block24-Splendid_sampler
Block 26 is called Dreaming of Dresdens, and is designed by an Australian quilter Jane Davidson
Block26_SplendidSampler.
I’m not always doing all the blocks in order that they are released, and plus I’m a little behind now, but that’s okay – I’ll get them done sometime! Hope you have a good quilting week!

Tula in Toowoomba

Lots of colour to show you this week! The following quilt is one that I did not make, but I did do the quilting.
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Meryl made this and asked me to quilt it. It’s a bargello-style quilt that makes the most out of the multi-coloured batik fabric.
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I quilted it in an overall design with long horizontal looped lines which highlighted the colour changes in the fabric, in a dark gold thread.
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It’s a beautiful and brightly coloured quilt.
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Last week, fabric and quilt designer Tula Pink visited Toowoomba to give a talk on how she came to do what she does so very well, and to show some of her quilts.

Tula Pink

Tula Pink


Tula is a very entertaining speaker, naturally funny and quick-witted. She spoke at the Precious Time quilt shop in Toowoomba and everyone there had a great time, both listening to her and getting a peek at some fabulous quilts. Tula said that all the quilting on her quilts is done by Angela Walters, so I was very interested to have a close-up look at the quilting- just fantastic work.
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We also got a sneak peek at her newest fabric line, Slow and Steady, which is about to b ereleased. All her fabric lines feature animals, and this new one will be a play on the tortoise and the hare fable.
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She made this quilt out of that new fabric:
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A lot of the people there brought along the quilts they have made with her fabric, and some even got Tula to sign their quilt. This first one below is some hexie quilt!
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tula8
It was a great day to get some injection of inspiration to get sewing!

a workshop

I went to a quilting workshop recently. We all had to take our sewing machines, our irons and ironing boards, a cutting board…
K1
a random pick of fabrics, including old blocks left from previous projects and sewing tools, but no rulers.
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The day was spent playing with fabric, making free-form cuts in fabric and adding them to any other bits of fabric that your hand might fall on.
I decided to use a lighter colour scheme than I usually work with- some creams, whites, browns and muted colours. These blocks I’m showing here haven’t been trimmed yet.
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I also took some old blocks left from a previous project and split them up, then added some slivers of hand-dyed colour.
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K2
Our tutor, Peggy Phelps, started us off with some ideas of blocks to start with using lots of techniques such as strip-piecing, wonky flying geese, chequerboard units and uneven log cabin blocks.
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A few workshop participants took a little time to get used to ‘not being neat’ but soon got into the swing of it!
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And Peggy showed us some of her quilts where she has used lots of lovely bright colour!

Peggy Phelps

Peggy Phelps


Peggy Phelps

Peggy Phelps


Cornelia's blocks

Cornelia’s blocks


Alison

Alison


Meryl

Meryl


Marilyn

Marilyn


I find that any workshop you can do is worth spending the time to do it- there’s always something you pick up along the way- whether it be a new technique or even some inspiration to try something different of your own.

morning tea time

The month of May is usually the month of the Biggest Morning Tea- a fund raiser for the Cancer Council in Australia. At our monthly get together for Gatton Quilters, we set a theme for our May meeting to somehow echo the time-honoured tradition of morning tea. This May, the theme was tablecloths, so members were invited to bring along one of their tablecloths. It could be the oldest cloth they owned, or the most well-used, the ugliest cloth or the one with beautiful hand-stitched embroidery. While I didn’t take this one along on the day, I thought I would show you here a tablecloth that was my Mum’s.
2016-05-30 17.32.08
She made this back in the day when Hobbytex was all the rage. Do you remember the range of pens that could ‘paint’ on any fabric and you would colour in a pre-printed design? I think they are actually still available. Mum made quite a few things at the time, and us kids were always wanting to have a turn. Looking back at them now, I have a bit of a giggle at their ‘naive’ charm!
There were lots of lovely tablecloths brought in by the Gatton Quilters’ members- here’s a selection:
-cloths

Pam

Pam


The quilters have also been busy working on quilts to donate to charitable organisations, from mainly donated fabric. Dulcie showed this half-square triangle block quilttop that she has made in blues and creams:
Dulcie
The whole club is pitching in to make these quilts to give to those in the community that may need a little help.
Hope you are having a good week!

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.
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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…
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and this little girl at the window…
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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.
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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.
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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