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.
We managed to find a few sewing and quilting-related shops on our recent trip to France & England. It was handy to have looked them up before we went so we had a list of possibles to try and find. While we didn’t get to all of them, we enjoyed the ones we did!
This little Mercerie in Paris, called “Ultramod” was just a beautiful little old shop- which I know doesn’t seem so from its name!
We found it in a little side road, with a relatively unassuming exterior. It was like stepping into a treasure trove. It still used original wooden fixtures and cardboard boxes. It had a huge assortment of buttons…
and laces and trims…
some lovelies to just look at…
And on another note, Gatton Quilters’ new monthly quilt art challenge is to create a quilted or mixed-media postcard. The first month was…. Paris!
Here is my little postcard: a map quilt created with bits of fabric, some embellishment and hand stitching to top it off.
Top: Marilyn, Karen, Helen S; Row 2: Trish, Jan M, Marg; Row 3: Helen H, Shirley, Lyn
And some other works that were shown at the meeting:
Kaye C- sashiko table runner
Marilyn- table runners
And on another another Note!: I will be taking a break from my long-arm quilting business. I have a number of clients’s quilts to finish off by the end of the year, but won’t be taking in any new business after that. I hope to spend more time to do some of my own sewing and quilting, and creating some new things. But you never know what the future holds- I may change my mind and come back to it at some stage! I’ll keep you updated
Have a lovely week quilting!
Well, I’ve been away from this blog for about a month now while on holiday. I’ve been over to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK, as well as lots of other sights in England and France. If I can get back into a routine and a bit organised, I might show you some photos on here over the next few weeks!
‘House’ by Irina Voronina
The Festival was fantastic; lots to see of course but I also enjoyed seeing quite a few of the quilt artists themselves demonstrating in their booths and giving us an insight into how they work. There were a lot of quilts on display but unfortunately I only got to see a fraction of them. The quilts I’m showing here today are ones that caught my eye and that I especially loved. Some were just included in one of the many exhibitions, some were entered in competition.
‘Corinth Canal, Horizon’ by Fenella Davies
‘Home/Less’ by Eszter Bornemisza
‘My Place’ by Susan Denton
‘Woman and Thoughts of 3′ by Alison Garrett (entered in the Contemporary Quilts comp)
‘Woodpecker’ by Noriko Endo, Japan (Contemporary Quilts)
‘Betula’ by Liz Howlett (Contemporary Quilts)
‘Applique Alphabet’ by Sue Trevor (Contemporary Quilts)
‘Coastal Drift’ by Liz Heywood (Contemporary Quilts)
‘The Art of Integration’ by Moniek Hulsebos (Contemporary Quilts)
‘Bark’ Group quilt category by the Exe Valley CQ Group; 3rd Prize Winner
I recently finished this baby quilt as a gift for a recipient that likes lots of bright colours! I first spotted the fabric with the black and white animals- the owl, the bear and fox, and bought a length of it to play with.
Karen Mundt-Little Owl
I thought it might look good to cut the animal squares out into separate pieces and put together with improv-pieced blocks, some coloured accents and some black and white diamond print fabric which I already had- it fitted in perfectly!
I think the little fox is my favourite..
I also quilted it myself on the long-arm and added the label on the back, and it’s all done!
I’m going away soon to visit the UK Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, so my posting on here may be a little erratic! But I’ll have lots of photos to show you of what we see and do while we are there.
I have this desire to re-create a textile version of a close-up picture of a flower. I’ve tried a few times with varying levels of success. I love to take macro photos of flowers, to show the detail of those beautiful petals and the way they fold and layer in and around each other. So for this month’s sinchies challenge with my quilt group, and the last in this series, I had another try using just two colours of red and purple.
Karen Mundt- red and purple challenge
This was the photo I used as my inspiration:
My version is made with just two layers of fabric, the purple on top of the red. I first traced around the purple petals onto paper and lay that drawing on top of the 2 pieces. I stitched around the outlines of the purple parts and then cut away where I wanted the red to show through. I then started to draw with some Inktense water colour pencils:
I kept the picture near me to use for reference.
It took a lot of shading with the pencils to be able to get that illusion of the petals. I did a few layers, dampening the fabric first then colouring with the pencils.
The last step was then to do lots of top-stitching with purple thread- free-motion stitching to embellish just the purple petals.
When I look at the final picture up close I’m not convinced that it’s turned out as good as I would like, but to look at photos of it, the shading with the pencils does seem to give a realistic interpretation.
Karen Mundt- red and purple challenge
The rest of the quilt group also had their sinchie challenge pieces to show at our recent meeting day- we could use any two colours this month:
Row 1: me (Karen), Trish, Jan K, Helen S
Row 2: Meryl, Marilyn, Lyn, Shirley
Isn’t that little bird by Trish so cute- she has been learning to make hand-made lace:
Also at the meeting we saw this marvellous quilt by Kaye:
I’ve been playing with some photos and the photo-editing program I have on my computer- I use PhotoScape, which is a free online program and has a lot of scope for editing and creating different effects. It’s also good to use if a photo you have taken isn’t as good as you would like it- use a filter or special effect and make something else out of it!
As you can see, this photo is not the best- fuzzy and out of focus. So instead of abandoning it altogether, maybe it can be utilised in other ways. I played with it…
Gave it its own reflection…
Then cropped it to just use the large bloom in the middle:
Used the ‘crystallise” effect
These next photos are some I’ve taken in the past:
Left: original. Right- use filter called ‘colour engraving’
Clockwise from top left: original, fishbowl filter, graduated tint, vignetting.
I think this next one might be my favourite:
Left: original photo. Right: antique filter
Such great effects, and the possibilities for use within your textile art is limitless!
So it’s July and we are half-way through the year. The stitching project I embarked on in January- ‘1 Year of Stitches’ is now also 6-months old. I stitch a little every day, sometimes only a few stitches, sometimes a little more. Looking at the latest progress photo, I’m wondering whether I’ve used up more than half of the available background?!
Karen M- Year of Stitches
There is still a lot of filling of gaps to do yet, so I shouldn’t run out before year’s end. (I post a progress photo on Instagram every few days if you want to see more.) It’s turning into a little community. See the waves of the beach over to the right with the friendly whale! There’s also a ship with the Aussie flag- a little nod to my son in the Navy.
I’ve also completed the block for June for the do.Good. stitches charity quilt group: our instructions were to use only shades of green, yellow and white with a pink centre.
June- Cherish group- do.Good
And apart from that, I’ve also been busy with client’s quilts on the longarm. Here’s a couple of recent finishes:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!