About LittleBirdie

I love to quilt - all types of quilting, but particularly contemporary, or modern, or artistic! I have a long-arm quilting machine on which I do hand-guided, or free-hand,quilting. This is the core of my new business Liitle Birdie Quilting.

red and blue

This month at Gatton Quilters’ monthly get together, there was a lot on show. Those of us in the Art Quilt group had our 6″ square in the colours of red and blue to show and tell. I decided to do a little bird, and picked a Crimson Rosella to portray.
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I firstly found a photo of the bird that I liked and traced it and then enlarged it, doing it the old-fashioned way using a grid and free-hand drawing it square by square.
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I traced each of the pieces off to make little paper pattern pieces, and placed them on the red and blue wool felt to cut each of them out.
June2
By using the felt, I didn’t have to worry about seam allowances, except those sections which overlapped, and also didn’t have to turn edges under. I stitched each of the pieces in to place on the background fabric. I used a small overcast stitch in matching thread.I then just had to do some further embellishment- I added some red braid and stitching down his chest, straight stitch on his wings and a little cross -stitch near his head. His legs are done with long bullion stitches in charcoal wool. I then sandwiched the piece with some backing and did some free-motion ‘scribbling’ to quilt it together.
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He was initially too big to fit on the sinchie so I had intended trimming off his tail once I had him in place, but then didn’t have the heart to! so I left that to hang out over the side.
Here are a few of the sinchies completed by other members of the group:

Top row: Helen S, Marg Y, Trish K; Row 2: Helen H, Marilyn, me; Row 3: Shirley.

Top row: Helen S, Marg Y, Trish K; Row 2: Helen H, Marilyn, me; Row 3: Shirley.


And some other work by the whole group:
Jeanette O

Jeanette O


Helen H

Helen H


Kaye C- prize-winning quit!

Kaye C- prize-winning quit!


Shirley- children's quilt

Shirley- children’s quilt

oldies but goodies

Old and vintage fabrics, stitcheries and embroideries, old cloth and linen- I love all of these and love to work with them when I can. I have various bits and pieces that I’ve been lucky enough to be given or have found in op shops or craft stalls etc. The rider is, of course, that I always say that I will probably be cutting it up or tearing into pieces to make something ‘new’, so as long as everyone is happy with that, I’ll take whatever I’m given!
Some years ago, I went shopping with my daughter in a second-hand shop and we came across a beautiful powder-blue dress which probably dated from the sixties. It was a short close-fitting sheaf, with a satin lining and lace overlay. It fit my daughter’s slim figure perfectly, so I just had to take the length up a little and she wore it to a race day. The strip of lace and fabric I had to cut off didn’t get thrown away- I kept it and just recently found a use for it.
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I’be been experimenting with stitching paper and cloth and laces etc. as part of an online course with Karen Ruane. We are experimenting and making little bits and pieces that can be attached to pages in an ‘artist book’, or a little journal if you like. I used the lace scrap to stitch onto some tracing paper.
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Using free-motion machine stitching, I stitched round and round in a random fashion. The tissue paper can then be torn off, leaving little paper scraps left behind, or leave it on as you wish.
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It can then be enhanced with further stitching including hand-stitching and embellished, as I did below. I cut off one section of th elace, removed the tissue paper from the middle part, and hand-stitched it onto some cream hand-made khadi paper.The little wooden beads are from an old necklace of mine that broke years ago.

Karen Mundt- artist book scrap

Karen Mundt- artist book scrap


Little pieces of loveliness!

quilt ideas

I often use a lot of text prints in my quilts- you know all those fabrics available in recent years that look like newspaper, or pages torn from a book, or random words, pictures of ticket stubs and maps, magazine ads etc. I like them for the background of blocks, or as the ‘neutral’ in a colour scheme. I can’t articulate what it is in particular I like about them- I just do. I think that also extends to my fondness for cityscapes and houses with the repetitive pattern of squares and rectangles, as well as stripes and other graphic elements. I have even incorporated some houses into my Year of Stitches piece- I’ve been doing at least one stitch a day, every day since January 1. I first mentioned it here.
This is a catch-up or progress photo for May:

Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt


I’m making it up as I go along, and I’ve noticed that it is turning into a little stitched ‘map’ of a community. On the one side I have the row of houses, there are some children skipping and their pet dog, and over on the other side there are some trees in a little area turning into a little country landscape.
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I’m interested in making a quilted ‘map’, a quilt which will use the elements of a map, but not necessarily be a geographically-correct map. It would use the elements of a map in its design, with the lines and curves and images here and there. I’ve had this book by Valerie Goodwin for some time which shows some beautiful quilts and ideas on how to go about it- the ideas are brewing!map-book
Happy quilting :)

orange marmalade

A few updates on what I’ve been sewing lately. This month’s colour sinchie challenge(Gatton Quilters Art Group) was to use the two colours orange and red. This is what I decided to do.

May- Orange and Red Sinchie Challenge

May- Orange and Red Sinchie Challenge


I used a piece of hand-dyed orange cotton I did in a workshop quite a few years ago -which I still have lots of and comes in handy quite often!- as the backing. I hand-sewed a cat to put on top- an orange and red striped tabby. I only used variations of orange and red in the block, but quite a few different values of those colours. It’s great fun to see what effect you can have but still only keep the limit to 2 colours.
orange-red2
I added a piece of silk sari ribbon scrap on the side and added more hand-sewn embellishment plus some hand-stitching to the right side. It was then finished off by just backing with some thin batting and zig-zagging around the edge. hence, Marmalade the cat!
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I also had a lovely weekend staying at the Bunya Mountains with a group of sewing & crafting ladies. It is a beautiful place up there in the Bunyas and we had an excellent house for the stay. Lots of wallabies visited us, including this youngster who, despite Mum’s encouragement, didn’t want to leave home!
Bunya wallaby

Bunya wallaby


I took along the makings of a baby quilt. I had found a lovely animal panel which i cut up into the individual blocks and my plan is to sew those into a quilt surroundered by coloured pices and strips. The colourful fabric I used was from the ‘Story Collection’ by Carrie Bllomston, which I had admired for some time and was happy to have something to use it for!
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I made some flying geese blocks and some quarter-square triangle blocks and cut strips and set about to put them altogether in a random fashion.
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That quilt top is about half-made now, so hopefully I can get stuck into it and finish it off in the next few weeks.
bunya-sewing
And one last thing- this is the block for May for the do.Good.Stitches quilt that I am taking part in. This block was made by sewing together randomly-sized wedges of fabric to make a sort-of starburst block. Our instructions were to use bright colours which I think I did!
May-do.Good Stitches- Cherish group

May-do.Good Stitches- Cherish group


Have a great week!

colour, colour and more colour

Today’s post is all about colour. Just a few random shots of the colourful things I’ve got happening in my sewing room at the moment.
colour1
I was rummaging around in this jar of silk sari strips looking for something in orange and red (the colours for this month’s sinchies challenge), and in the process, tipping it all out. The bright jewel colours of the scraps contrasted so beautifully with the little pile of blue fabrics I had lying on the table.bigcity1
On my longarm machine I am currently quilting this quilt of my own- this big Bright Lights, Big City quilt top that I actually finished some months ago. It certainly has lots of colour going on, with as many different fabrics as I could fit in it! I’m only just starting it, so still working out a quilting design for it.
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And I am currently working on a new quilt- another one with lots of piecing and making full advantage of colours playing with each other. The pattern is ‘Shimmer’ by Jenny Bowker. The image above shows the start of arranging the colour blocks and playing with placement. (The white spaces haven’t been filled in yet.) It has blocks of big patterns, interspersed with self-patterned blocks of colour and blocks of half-triangle squares which cause the colours to ‘shimmer’ into the surrounding blocks.
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These are some of the triangle blocks I’ve been sewing- more bright colours!
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And, if I’m talking about colour, it would be remiss of me not to include a shot of these beautiful perfectly-shaped roses from our garden!roses1
Hope you’re having a colourful week!

quilts connecting

The quilt show held in Brisbane on the last weekend of April by Queensland Quilters provided a look at the talents of quilters from all areas of Queensland. The show was called QuiltConnect and displayed a large number of beautiful quilts. Our local group, Gatton Quilters, submitted five quilts for display. I decided to enter my modern quilt ‘Urban Sprawl’- here is a picture of me standing next to it- it was smaller than the others from my group so it was hung underneath another!
sprawl2

Karen Mundt-Urban Sprawl

Karen Mundt-Urban Sprawl


This next picture shows all our group’s five quilts, including the quilt on the right end which won Best of Show! Congratulations to Kay Crapp for winning the award- her quilt “Not anywhere near Baltimore- a Prairie version” showcased her excellent applique skills. We are very proud that someone from our Gatton Quilters group came out the winner!
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quiltconnect2
This is my lovely daughter pictured with me again:
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quiltconnect4
Here’s a link to look at some of the other quilts that were on display: Quilt Connect

improv stitching

I started a stitching project this year, which was mentioned on Instagram. It’s called One Year of Stitches, with the idea being to do some hand-stitching every day. It can be as little as one stitch a day, or as much as you like, but by committing yourself to joining in you just have to do some every day. So far we are 16 weeks in, and this is where I am up to now:

Karen Mundt- One Year of Stitches 2017

Karen Mundt- One Year of Stitches 2017


I wanted to do a stitchery that was just made up as I went along with no theme, no playing by the rules with how you completed the stitches or worrying about producing a particular ‘picture’ at the end of it- an improvised piece of stitching!
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It has certainly worked in getting me to do some stitching every day- I wouldn’t have had this much done by now if I had given in to those thoughts of ‘I’m too tired/ or can’t be bothered today’. Some days I do only a few stitches, some days a whole element, such as the birdhouse or a flower.
stitch2
Here are a few photos to show the progress from the start of the year:
Karen - 9 Jan 2017

Karen – 9 Jan 2017


Karen - 25 Jan 2017

Karen – 25 Jan 2017


Karen - 21 Feb 2017

Karen – 21 Feb 2017


Karen - 25 Mar 2017

Karen – 25 Mar 2017


Karen - 10 Apr 2017

Karen – 10 Apr 2017


I’m using any stitches that I think of and playing with all my threads that I have bought over the years. Each day we are supposed to post a progress photo on Instagram (or other social media such as Facebook)- I changed that to posting every second day. If you are on Instagram do a search on #iyearofstitches and #iyearofstitches2017 to see images of all those taking part. My IG account name is littlebirdiequilting You’ll see all the different styles of stitching projects that people are doing- from cross-stitch to free-form to delicate silk embroideries.

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Now I’m off to do today’s stitching- don’t know what I’ll do but something will come to me!

gardens and dogs

Hi everyone. Thought I would show you a few photos of my sister’s garden from a recent visit. There’s something lovely to see there each time I go; my brother-in-law is the keen gardener and spends a lot of time working on his garden.
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When I go to visit I always go for a walking tour and can’t help but take some photos. I can’t pretend to know the names of many plants, because I am definitely not much of a gardener but I do like looking at them!
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garden2
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I also took the opportunity to take along our dog Hayley so she could have a ‘play’ with King, who is my sister’s Greyhound. King is a very big dog and has the loveliest nature. He likes to have a run around, but Hayley didn’t really want to run after him- her natural tendency to want to round him up kept coming to the fore so it was all a bit hit and miss!
dogs1
garden5
But we all had fun, so it’s all good!
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garden10

orange and green

A little quilted 6inch square, in colours of orange and green and depicting something from the theme of flora and fauna. This is my contribution to that challenge.

Karen Mundt- Orange & Green Challenge

Karen Mundt- Orange & Green Challenge


I really enjoy stitching more and more these days, so I look for the opportunity to incorporate it where I can. I also wanted to utilise fabrics that I coloured myself in hand-dye classes, so these factors were the starting points in creating this piece.
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I arranged pieces of hand-dyed fabric on a backing piece of scrap cotton. When they seemed to be in just the right position, I used a drop of glue to keep them in place before taking the piece to the machine and sewing them down.
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I just used a normal straight stitch with some clear thread. Because there was effectively a couple of layers of fabric there, I didn’t have to use any stabiliser so could start straight in with the hand-stitching.
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I used 2 strands of green cotton thread and mainly running or back stitch and some knots. I stitched these free-hand, without drawing any outlines first. I try to avoid marking where ever possible, mainly because I worry about getting rid of the lines afterwards, especially if I don’t sew exactly on top of any marks. I also prefer a slightly rugged or naive look to stitching
orange-green2
These are various weeds and grasses, sewn against the landscape-y backdrop. To finish it off, I added another piece of fabric as a backing, then hand-stitched around the edge in a big running stitch using a couple of different threads. I knotted them on the top side and also left the raw edges.
Karen Mundt- Orange & Green Challenge

Karen Mundt- Orange & Green Challenge


Hope you are having a good week.:)

urban sprawl

I made this quilt towards the end of last year but I don’t think I have shown it on here before. I call it Urban Sprawl and it is of my own design.

Karen Mundt-  Urban Sprawl

Karen Mundt- Urban Sprawl


I made it in the improv style; starting with lots of little pieces cut and joined in all manner of ways. It was fun to just play and experiment with putting together building blocks which were then joined with others to gradually make larger pieces of the quilt top.
Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt


I had always wanted to make a quilt that was mainly white, or off-white, and little pops of colour. My preference has always been for pieced quilts, so I pieced together wonky flying geese blocks, inserted narrow strips here and there, deliberately didn’t line things up and eschewed the use of a ruler in most cases.
sprawl-a
sprawl-b
The main theme I had in mind was a play on a cityscape. There are narrow buildings and structures in amongst rooflines of houses.
sprawl-c
Probably the hardest part was actually putting it all together at the end; making the pieces fit together with odd-shaped coping, or sashing, strips to put some order into it all. This is where a design wall comes in handy!
sprawl-d
I backed it with a white backing and faced it, instead of binding. I quilted it with straight and angled lines, some of which echoed the house and building shapes.
sprawl-e
If you are in Brisbane between 27 to 29 April, go along to a quilt display being held by Queensland Quilters, called Quilt Connect. This quilt will be hanging there, along with the quilts of 4 others from my local quilt group, and many others from groups across Queensland, all affiliated with Queensland Quilters. The details are:

QuiltConnect

Mt Gravatt Show Grounds

1644 Logan Rd Mt Gravatt

(best entrance via Broadwater Rd)

Thurs 27 to Sat 29 April 2017.

Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt