I was reading an article in a magazine recently that asked a number of creative people what ten things they did over the past year. So it got me thinking on what I would add to such a list. Not counting the quilts I worked on during the year or those I finished (which weren’t that many) …
Karen Mundt- medallion quilt
Here is my list:
1. I spent the very first days of 2015 on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria visiting with my son and his fiance.
2. I read this book:
3. I tried a tangello for the first time- very nice!
4. Went to Byron Bay for my niece’s beautiful boho-style wedding
5. What has to be a highlight of the year: my trip to America, which in itself included so many highlights, e.g. Visited the 911 Memorial in downtown Manhattan- a very moving experience; visited a number of museums and shops and Central Park, walked down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, went on a submarine- toured the real one at Pearl Harbour, and went on a reef visit off Honolulu in the tourist-version.
The 911 Memorial in New York
6. I got to go to the International Quilt Festival in Houston – amazing!
Victoria Findlay Wolfe talking about her quilts at Houston
7. I went to Brisbane on a night in the week before Christmas to watch the parade with my daughter and do some late-night shopping in the city- another first!
8. Had my daughter home for a week recovering from her second knee reconstruction in 12 months.
9. Saw my youngest son finish high school, prepare for his formal and watch with pride as he graduated. The last of my children to go through school, so another end of an era!
10. Took part in a mini quilt swap- it was exciting to see who would be making a quilt for me and what it would look like, and hoping that the recipient of my quilt liked what I made!
I love Christmas, I love Christmas trees and I love families coming together at Christmas. There’s a real festive spirit when all the shops have Christmas trees and decorations. So, when I was away recently, the last leg of our trip was a stop in Hawaii and we did a spot of shopping- well, more looking than actual shopping! But, I couldn’t resist taking some photos of the Christmas trees that were all through Macy’s department store.
They didn’t just have trees trimmed with the same colour scheme on all the store levels as normally happens here, but each tree I saw in this one store was different!
They were all decorated so beautifully.
So cute and sparkly and colourful!
You can’t have Christmas without a Christmas party or year-end break-up, and Gatton Quilters was no exception. In addition to the gathering together we also bring along any ‘Show and Tell’ that may have been finished since last we met.
Meryl- White Challenge square
Lyn- Orange Challenge square
Jan M- Black colour challenge square
Marilyn- Red colour challenge block
Meryl- workshop with Robyn Christoffel
More of Meryl’s work, originating from the Robyn Christoffel workshop
We have lots of talented and creative people in our Quilting Group!
Happy Christmas to everyone
We’re getting to the end of the year and I’m sure everyone is busy finishing off lots of quilt projects and challenges. The challenge that my local quilt group worked on was to do a small art quilt each month to a different colour- using only that colour, or at least predominantly that colour. I’ve shown on here throughout the year the results of the challenge- both mine and some of the other group members. Coming back from my trip, I had to catch up on the last two months of black and white. This is the complete set of all of my little quilts for this challenge:
Karen- colour challenge 2015
The black challenge was a little hard- I tried to think of something that would use contrasts with texture or you wouldn’t be able to discern anything when looking at it. I did buy some trimming when shopping in New York that I thought I could use…
..but then changed my mind. I got some old black poly-silk taffeta out of my cupboard and pleated it by sewing rows of 1/4inch tucks.I then sewed across it, allowing some tucks to lay one direction, then the other- trying for a 3-D sort-of look to it.Then what to do next….
I thought of using reverse-applique so that you could see the pleated fabric through a star-shaped hole in the top fabric.
I drew out the star shape in two halves and sewed them together, then lay them under the prepared top piece for which I had used a star drawn on paper for a template. I used that to cut the star out of the top fabric, turned the edges under and hand-sewed around the inside edges.
After sewing that together, I damp-stretched it on a cork board over-night to stretch back into place, before sandwiching with the backing and then quilting with lines only 1/4inch apart. You might also be able to see a little piece of the black trimming that I slipped into some of the folds.
Sort of a modern quilting appraoch!
When approaching the last challenge, I made a little winter wonderland for my ‘white’ project- a scene about as far removed from my local environment as you can get!
I had a couple of little pieces I made years ago in a class- the tree and the star, so started with them and created some more shapes to add to them. They were made with wash away solvy, stitching down the outside trim first then the grid of interlocking rows of stitching.
When I ran out of the trim I crocheted a length of chain with No.8 cotton and used that for the outside edges. You then stitch across from side to side: I used a small zigzag stitch or a straight stitch would work also. As long as the stitching all connects with each other then it all stays together when you rinse it in water to remove the plastic solvy. I made some extra trees of varying sizes, and also made some ‘machine-lace’- just stitching allover with a swirly pattern all on top of each other, back and forth. I wasn’t sure what this would be for but liked the look of it. I ended up putting it on top of one of the hills, so it looked like a snow-capped mountain.
For the background, I used some pieces of old and re-purposed fabric and remnants cut into shapes to resemble a landscape with hills and valleys. This was just trial and error, arranging and re-arranging, trimming a bit here and there until it looked ‘right’.
Those pieces were backed with some iron-on adhesive and ironed in place. I top-stitched the hills and then free-motion quilted a tree-pattern all over it before adding the backing fabric. I arranged the little lacy pieces on top and free-motion stitched them down through all 3 layers. I just bound it as normal. Because it was all machine-sewn it really didn’t take too long at all.
Karen- colour challenge 2015
Challenges such as these are designed to make you think, to try out methods and techniques and experiment. For all of these little quilts, I used only what fabric and resources (except a small piece of black trim!) I already had at home. In the collage above, I think my favourite is the yellow one- you can see how I made it here, with the red square a close second, but then I also liked the orange one….. and the blue birds which was my own design, mmm…
I so love Christmas! I love the trees, all decorated with tinsel and lights, baubles and hand-made ornaments..
I love families coming together, sharing food and laughs and good times. And I especially love getting out all my hand-made Christmas hangings and stitcheries that have been hidden away for 12 months. So far I have the tree up, the rest will follow soon!
I have been very busy since getting back from my holiday, with lots of long-arm quilting to do. Here are a couple of quilts just recently finished. The first one is made by Lyn, using some unusual fabric that resembles the glaciers.
The quilting only had to be very simple to echo the ‘mountain-tops’ created by the piecing of the wide strips.
And this next one is similar to another that I quilted a couple of months ago. It’s an heirloom quilt, made with treasured doileys and lace handkerchiefs..
This was a tricky quilt to do, with lots of bits and bobs to maneuver around. I tried to avoid stitching on the lace and crocheted pieces but did have to put a few lines through them to avoid having large areas with no quilting. That was probably the trickiest because its hard to see what you are stitching through the crocheted doileys, and even though it doesn’t really show on the top, it still has to look good on the backing.
It was custom-quilted- each block was different so each quilted to reflect its design.. this one above is the centre block with its lace collar. There were bits of lace and braid and crocheted edges..
.. feathers and swirls..
I still have some more quilts to finish before Christmas, so I better get a move on!
How are your Christmas plans coming about?