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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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This is what the back of the block looks like.
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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:
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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:
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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.
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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:
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here I burned the flower out of this fabric, and then..
iron1
fused it to this piece of felt..
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I burned along the edge of this piece which gives it a type of beaded edge:
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and cut this piece of gauze and fused it to the white felt:
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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:
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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..
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and did some all-over random stitching to secure it down.
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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!