catching up

The Splendid Sampler quiltalong is still coming along! I have been completing a block whenever I can, but I’m not up to the number that have been released to date. I did catch up on quite a few of them over the holidays. There will be 100 blocks in total and I think they are up to about Block 96. Here are my blocks 56 -61:

Block 56 "At Home Anywhere"

Block 56 “At Home Anywhere”


Block 57 "Starting Point"

Block 57 “Starting Point”


Block 58 "Homeward Bound"

Block 58 “Homeward Bound”


Block 59 "Circle of Friendship"

Block 59 “Circle of Friendship”


Block 61 "Traveler"

Block 61 “Traveler”

The holidays were also good for catching up on sewing with friends. A small group of us get together when we can and bring our own sewing to work on…
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We have a chat and a read through some books or magazines, just for inspiration mind you..
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And of course we have to have a snack to keep the energy levels up…
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Hope you have had a chance to ‘catch up’- we are already a month into the year!

cotton rope bowl

I had seen these lovely cotton rope baskets, bowls and coasters in various places on the internet and really wanted to give them a go.
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They are made the same as the coiled shoulder bags that many quilters have made, me included, where the rope is covered with a strip of fabric before coiling it around in a spiral and sewing the layers together as you shape the bag. This is mine I made a few years ago.
Karen-bag
The little bowls and coasters are made in the same way except the rope isn’t covered in fabric, and left au naturel. You can add little pieces here and there to give them an organic look. So I got some rope and tried it out.
coil2
For the bowl, I had to shape its curves with each rotation under the machine. Pull it tight and the bowl will have a narrower taller shape as it forms. I was aiming for somewhere in between that and a wide bowl but really, it just formed its own shape! Once you leave it to be wider you can’t really bring it back in so I think the trick is to pay close attention to the shape as you sew each coil down.
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I added some little pieces of fabric here and there, just wrapping a scrap around the cord just before sewing it.
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After the bowl, I had enough to make a little mat. For this one you just have to make sure it doesn’t coil up at all as you go around.
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I love them, I think they turned out really well! I have given these away as a gift, so I am going to have to make another one for myself. The tricky part will be to find the cotton rope or cord which isn’t easy for some reason. I happened across this one hank in a Spotlight store so I’m off to track down some more!
coil6
coil7

Christmas wrap-up

So, here we are in the New Year and Christmas is over already! It’s no secret in my family that I love Christmas, so I’m always a little sad when it’s time to pack up all the Chrissy decorations and bits and pieces. But before I do that I hope you don’t mind that I show a last couple of pictures of various Christmas bits and bobs I found still up around the area
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xmas-page
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And my Christmas quilt that I showed in the last post: I have a few more photos here. The outer star border was made with random text fabrics, with the star points cut out of my scrappy fabric that I put together on the side, as I’ve shown before. I love these blocks in particular- just something about the use of the bright scraps against the black/white text pieces makes me happy!
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I quilted it in an all-over free-hand pattern and took it with me on our little Christmas break to finish hand-sewing the binding.
I did some other Christmas sewing as well- I made this little bag (using the Sew Together pattern by ‘Sew Demented’) for my daughter. These are fun little bags and so very useful with their zippered sections which you can make in different fabrics and coloured zips:
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She could use it for make-up, or sewing or coloured pencils…..
bag1

I have a lot of long-arm quilting waiting for me so I’ll be busy catching up on that for the next little while. Have a good week!

a Christmas quilt

So, I’ve been working on a Christmas quilt. I’ve always wanted to make one, but this is actually the first one I’ve tried. I’m using a pattern by Wendy Williams called “Oh Christmas Tree”, with a combination of felt and cotton fabrics for the applique. I actually started it last year but left it too late to start and didn’t finish in time for Christmas, so now I’m aiming for this year!

Christmas Tree in progress- Karen Mundt

Christmas Tree in progress- Karen Mundt


It’s colourful and cute, with little birdies included!, and provides the opportunity to use colourful threads and stitches for embellishment.
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The fabric I’ve used for the background for the tree is some ‘NYC Line-by-Line Day’ that I bought in New York last year. It’s a fantastic ‘text’-type fabric and I thought this was an ideal project to use it for.
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I’ve just about finished the centre panel and sewn the red triangle border.
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The outside border is made from wonky star blocks, and I decided to make the stars from my ‘scrappy’ fabric. Scrappy fabric is what I make up from stitching together all my scrappy bits and pieces, the left-over bits from everything else. Here is a block I’ve made as a trial. I think it looks okay?
wonkystar
I think I have probably shown my scrappy fabric method here on the blog before. It’s a great little ongoing process to do when you are doing some non-stop string piecing of blocks- you can just sew together a couple of scraps in between runs rather than end and cut the thread after each seam. Some people use a small piece of fabric when they start and end sewing- sometimes called leaders and enders- to stop the fabric getting sucked down into the bobbin when they start sewing, or sew off onto the end rather than waste thread by cutting it each time. Just sew some scraps together instead.
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By just sewing 2 scraps together every now and then, and then sewing that to another piece, and so on and so on, before you know it you have a large piece of scrappy fabric that can be used for another project, and you are actually working on two projects at once. Multi-tasking!
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I just keep joining scraps until I get a fairly large piece, which can also be joined together later if you need it to be bigger.
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I keep a bucket of scraps beside my machine, and occasionally swap that for a different bucket- I have a few of them in my cupboard.:)
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The uneven sides are just straightened up to add other bits to it; you can see the cuts I’ve made in this next photo. Those bits aren’t wasted- they become the start of the next piece!
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Anyway, I need to finish the centre tree panel as well as the star borders and then put it all together. I better get stuck into it or it may turn into a 3-year project!
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quilt alongs

I’ve been doing bits and pieces all over the place lately. Between longarm quilting quilts for clients and sewing blocks for challenges and quilt-alongs, my time has been well used.
The blocks for this month’s do.Good stitches charity quilting bee was a fairly quick and easy one:

do.Good Stitches- Cherish group

do.Good Stitches- Cherish group


The sewer who will put all these blocks together is planning on adding some cut-out silhouette-type figure of a runner on top. Should look very effective.
And then there are the blocks I’m doing for the Splendid Sampler Quiltalong. I’ve slowed down a fair bit on completing these blocks, but still trying to keep in touch and rolling them out slowly.
Block 46- Twirl Time

Block 46- Twirl Time


You’ll notice that with any of the blocks that require applique, I have chosen to use raw-edge machine applique, like in this next one. Of course, you can use any method you like.
Block 47- Circle of Love

Block 47- Circle of Love


I changed the next block a little by sewing some extra pieces of fabric into the pieces and also adding a little sashiko stitching to it.
Block 48- Whim

Block 48- Whim


Block 49 - Summer's Gift

Block 49 – Summer’s Gift


Block 50 - Flights of Fancy

Block 50 – Flights of Fancy


See you next week!

collections

I was reading an article the other day where a craft person was being interviewed, and one of the questions was about collections, and whether that person had ever collected anything. It got me thinking about what a collection is- how many similar items can be classed as a collection? I’m thinking more than 3- do you agree? I’m sure in that case, we would all have a collection of fabric, a collection of quilting books, a collection of scissors or collection of thimbles perhaps?
Besides those obvious ones though, I do have a few other collections. I have this little collection of teapots (which I know is not nearly as many as another local quilter I know ;)…
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teapots
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And then, there is my growing collection of giraffes:
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I am still working on the blocks for the Splendid sampler so I’ve got quite a collection of them:

Block 39 Splendid Sampler

Block 39 Splendid Sampler


Block 40

Block 40


Block 41

Block 41


Some of them I add my own extra touches, such as the sashiko stitching on the hexagons, but I’m still sticking to the Japanese fabrics, taupes and indigo and cream.
Block 42

Block 42


a collection of blocks

a collection of blocks

Have a great week!

building scraps

I’ve been playing with scraps lately. Cutting up lots of pieces and sewing them back together, as we do. I started making these pieces of improvisation a couple of months ago, just constructing blocks of no particular size or shape and no design in mind.
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When I got them back out again this weekend I put up on a board the bits I had already made, to get some ideas on how I want them to all be joined up together.
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A very favourite theme of mine is cityscapes, so it’s not surprising that I finally decided on building a quilt around that idea- a view of a city in a sort-of deconstructed way. I have some lop-sided flying geese blocks, triangles and log cabin blocks which when put together resemble houses and buildings. I like that idea, and I’m on my way!
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I am using lots of white with pops of colour, some greens and blues, a little purple and brown spots. I want it to be a ‘modern’ style quilt, so the aim is to have lots of negative space.
I’ve also made this month’s blocks for the Cherish do.Good.Stitches charity quilt that I contribute to: these are the Delectable Mountain block, or sometimes known by a few different names like Mountain Majesties, in black, grey and white:
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KarenM-August2
I’m off to put them in the post!

sewing retreat

What better way to spend a weekend- sewing and quilting to our heart’s content! This weekend was the annual sewing getaway for the Gatton Quilters group. We go up to Coolum on the lovely Sunshine Coast where we have a large room for everyone to spread out and do their own thing for the whole long weekend. We have our meals cooked for us, there’s no cleaning up or housework or interruptions. Yay!
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My sister and I went up together and we had a lovely trip visiting a couple of quilt shops on the way and a great lunch at the organic marketplace at Forest Glen.
I took a few different projects to work on. I caught up on quite a few Splendid Sampler blocks,
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and started piecing lots of bright squares together for a children’s charity quilt that I’m making with the group.
There’s plenty of room to spread out…
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and big tables to lay out quilts when putting them together or preparing to quilt…

Veronica

Veronica


We get to see each other’s projects that in progress…
Meryl

Meryl


and some that get finished…
Val

Val


Colleen- started in a curved-piecing workshop

Colleen- started in a curved-piecing workshop


and this one also by Colleen- such great colours together..
Colleen

Colleen


Here I am working intently on a block…
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and Amanda making great progress on her fresh colourful quilt for someone special….
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Sharon

Sharon


There’s lots of consulting and advice given…
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and we get to check out other’s sewing accessories and books and magazines..
Helen

Helen


Helen

Helen


and of course the group photo- I’m second from the left in the back row, and Amanda is in the front row, second from the left.
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But, all good things come to an end, so back to work we go. Hope you all have a great week ahead!

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

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:
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and the second:
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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!