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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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!
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But we all had fun, so it’s all good!
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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
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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.
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The main theme I had in mind was a play on a cityscape. There are narrow buildings and structures in amongst rooflines of houses.
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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!
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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.
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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

gardens

So, every now and then I post here some photos from our garden. Often we are in near-drought conditions and the grass is decidedly crunchy underfoot, but just now we have been fortunate to get some rain over the last week or two.
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So now there is a lot of lawn mowing and weed-eating happening around the neighbourhood… as well as little crops of mushrooms popping up here and there! I find them fascinating- I know those with more scientific knowledge probably know the answers to these questions already! but I like to ponder about why they appear at some times after rain and not others, and why do they often appear in circles?
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And all our plants and roses are happy….
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As I write this, the north coast of Queensland is preparing itself for a tropical cyclone due to cross in the next 12 hours. Our thoughts are with everyone living up there, and hope TC Debbie goes easy on you all!

green and white

I first ‘created’ this fabric in a workshop on printing, painting, enhancing and embellishing fabric. We used leaves and sticks and various surfaces for mono-prints and transferring images and rubbings. This fabric had various green paints and leaf shapes, so I decided to use it for this month’s green and white Sinchie challenge with Gatton Quilters.
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I added further rubbing using a crayon to transfer extra leaf outlines and fill in some spaces.
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After cutting out a smaller-sized piece, I started hand-stitching large running stitches across its surface. I used 3 strands of DMC cotton, starting with 3 dark green colour on one side and gradually introducing varying shades of green, changing to a light green by the time I got to the other side.
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I also cut out some little pieces of lace from a discarded remnant and incorporated them on the surface with the stitching.
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I then added some iron-on pellon to the back, cut out a piece of another fabric and sewed them, right-sides together to make a little quilt.
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We often produce lots of pieces of fabric in workshops and classes which can sit in our cupboards for ages before being put to good use. I’m working on trying to incorporate my various bits and pieces in art quilt projects- after all, we can always make more! This is a look at some of the other pieces created by members in our group:

Top row: Marilyn, Marg, Helen H, me Bottom row: Meryl, Lyn, Jan K, Shirley

Top row: Marilyn, Marg, Helen H, me
Bottom row: Meryl, Lyn, Jan K, Shirley


A quilted runner made by Marilyn:
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Marilyn


… and a quilt I recently quilted on the long-arm for a special niece’s birthday!
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Until next week…

shades of purple

The challenge for the art quilt group I belong to was to make a 6inch quiltlet using only two colours- for January it was purple and yellow, and for February it was purple and white.This is the first one:

Karen --purple lotus

Karen –purple lotus


These small pieces are an excellent way of playing and experimenting- not just with a design restricted to two colours, but also techniques and materials. I’ve tried to vary all of these in each month’s piece that I’ve made. I had use of a needle felting machine over the Christmas period so thought I would have a play with it. I used scraps of jewel-coloured sari silk and wool roving which I tore up into bits and laid over a piece of soft wool felt as the background. It probably doesn’t look overly recognisable, but the look I was going for was a lotus flower (!).
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Varieties of purple pieces were felted down over an outline of petals, with yellow silk for the middle. I did try to do some shading, making some petal edges a different shade, but then added on afterwards some small pieces of torn cotton fabric to the edges for further emphasis. I did lots of free-motion stitching over the flower itself, and some scribble-stitching around the whole flower.
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To finish it off, I sewed it down onto a piece of hand-dyed purple cotton, sewing roughly around the edges numerous times, not wanting it to look too neat! I then trimmed that down (we are making them all at 6″ square),added a back on to it and turned it through, pillow-case style.
For the next one, using only purple and white, I decided to do a foundation-pieced butterfly.
Karen-purple flutterby

Karen-purple flutterby


I found a pattern somewhere in one of my books and made it using a variety of purples and whites, and some of my own painted fabric for the background pieces. I then added a striped border with mitred corners-
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At the monthly meeting we all got to see everyone else’s interpretation of the flora and fauna theme with those colours:
Clockwise from TL: Helen H, Marg Y, Cornelia, Shirley, Marilyn, Helen S, Jan K, Lyn

Clockwise from TL: Helen H, Marg Y, Cornelia, Shirley, Marilyn, Helen S, Jan K, Lyn


Clockwise from TL-Shirley, JanK, me, Helen S, HelenH, Lyn, Marg, Meryl

Clockwise from TL-Shirley, JanK, me, Helen S, HelenH, Lyn, Marg, Meryl

rows of colour

It seems everywhere around my part of the world is baking hot at the moment. With temperatures in the upper 30’s (C) for day after day, in fact over 40′ today, and no relief at night-time, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying it does get a little wearying! If you are lucky enough to have air conditioning or cooling of some type, then I think the best place to be is inside doing some sewing!
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Over the last month or two, in between my long-arm quilting jobs, I’ve been trying to get this quilt top together. My local quilt group has been working on a number of quilts that we plan to give away to various charity or community groups. We were fortunate to have a lot of fabric donated to us, so it was just a matter of everyone picking a pattern, choosing the fabric from the pile and start sewing. I chose to make a children’s quilt, with lots of colour. I picked this pattern from a 2015 issue of Homespun:
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The featured quilt has an applique block which I’ve replaced with more of the smaller oblong blocks, and enlarged the quilt slightly to make it single-bed-size. There was lots and lots of cutting involved to start with, but once that was done the sewing is pretty straight forward.
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Once I had the little blocks made, I laid them out to look for an arrangement. I started off thinking to make an all-over scrappy quilt, but then changed my mind and put the blocks in gradated colour change from corner to corner.
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It looks nice and bright, and hopefully will appeal to some of the younger recipients of these quilts.
Once I had the layout, I had to carefully pick the squares up in order and keep each row together. I’ve been chain-piecing the blocks into rows in between other jobs. Hope I keep them all in the chosen order!
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I’m not sure what border to add to it yet- I’ll leave that decision for later.
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I thought I would include here annual photos of my three family pets. This week is the 5th birthday of our lovely girl Hayley, she of the awesome catching skills and lightening speed:

Hayley aged 5

Hayley aged 5


Her big little sister is Chloe, who -even though she is the littlest- is the matriarch:
Chloe- aged 14

Chloe- aged 14


And Dublin, who has them all bluffed and likes you to think he is the big tough cat:
Dublin- 6 years

Dublin- 6 years

See you next week!

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.
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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.
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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!
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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…..
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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!