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!
xmasquilt3
xmasquilt4
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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!

Merry Christmas

Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas to everyone, and wishes for a happy, healthy and safe New Year. I’m taking a break from the blog for a couple of weeks but will be back in January.
Below is a picture of my Christmas quilt that I have been working on for the last month or two. I’m just finishing off the binding, so it will make it just in time for the big day!
I used some fabric I bought in New York for the background in the centre medallion- it has line drawings of the NY city skyline. The birds and leaves are a mixture of felt and cotton fabrics and I used ‘scrappy’ fabric for the wonky star border.

Karen Mundt- Oh Christmas tree , pattern by Wendy Williams

Karen Mundt- Oh Christmas tree , pattern by Wendy Williams


See you next year :)

more blocks

A progress report on my blocks for the Splendid Sampler quiltalong- here are five I have made recently:
I changed this first block from the original pattern by taking out the hexagon ‘flower’ and giving the bee some wings on both sides.

Block 51  Bee Happy

Block 51 Bee Happy


Block 52 Coneflower

Block 52 Coneflower


This next block has more of the indigo and blue colours in it:
Block 53 Whirling in Circles

Block 53 Whirling in Circles


You might pick a little error in the fabric placement in this next block- I wasn’t going to unpick it once I realised the mistake at the end!
Block 54 Shell

Block 54 Shell


I have machine-sewn most of the blocks, including this next one where I used the method of raw-edge machine applique:
Block 55 Dedication Rose

Block 55 Dedication Rose

how to make a Christmas gift

A recipe for a handmade book-mark:

Christmas Book-mark:   Karen Mundt

Christmas Book-mark: Karen Mundt


1. Take a piece of hand-painted and stencilled cloth and some sari ribbon of contrasting colours:
2. Lay out the sari ribbon silk strips and sew them down onto the painted cloth- I used a large zig-zag stitch in black thread.
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Then cut across that piece into short strips of varying widths – no ruler needed! Rearrange those short strips- I rearranged so that there would be red pieces of the ribbon popping up in random locations, and then sew them back together.
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3. The piece of re-constructed cloth I had at this stage was about 6″ wide. I then cross-cut that (you know I like to cut things up!) into the pieces that would become the book-mark- 6″ long and about 2.5″ wide. You can make them any size you want by sewing extra strips together or cutting wider or narrower….
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4. I tore up a page from an old book and together with a scrap of fabric attached them onto the top. I used little pieces of text fabric- any words or sayings to do with books or quilts, used black thread and left the thread ends showing on top.
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5. I then ironed onto the back of each of them some thin pellon- but in retrospect it would have been easier to iron that on to the back of the larger piece before cutting them up in Step 3 above :)
6. I used a piece of my hand-dyed cloth (dyed in a workshop quite a few years ago) as the backing- layered that and the top piece, wrong sides together, and sewed around the raw edges. I inserted a piece of ribbon or string as the loop for each one- leaving the cut edges out. Use whatever you have at hand, and they don’t all have to be the same. Sew around the edges at least twice free-style so the stitching looks uneven and ‘rustic’.
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Great to use for Christmas gifts!
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workshopping

A couple of weeks back, I mentioned about the workshop we had here at Gatton, run by Ali George. I realised that I didn’t show many of the pieces I made on the day, so thought I would do so now.
paint5
All of the pieces needed the paints or oil stick or wax set in some way, so I have finally got around to doing that now. We produced quite a variety of different fabrics, and the challenge now is to use them in some way in our art quilts. That can be easier said than done- I find myself staring at all of them trying to come up with ideas on how best to make the most of them. That first picture above shows some leaves that were rolled with paint onto the fabric in a random arrangement, as with the one below:
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This piece started out as black fabric, which I then treated with some soy wax resist and bits of string, as well as gel bleach, to produce the design: I’m sure I can see a definite face.
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This one used fabric paint with a wood block stamp- I like it because it gives the appearance of an aerial view of city streets:
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I think I will probably cut that one up to use in smaller blocks within an art quilt.
This couple were done with oil crayons and rubbing over surfaces- whatever surface could be found at the time:
crayon-page
I used some stencils made with an old card and some gold paint to make the bauble-shapes on top of the blue and purple – it was actually a ‘clean-up’ cloth but now looks special- it might come in handy for some Christmas sewing:
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This next one was also a clean-up cloth until Ali grabbed it to use as a demonstration of the effect you will get when you tie string around a brayer and run it through some paint: those lovely green skinny lines made the cloth resemble scattered poppies. This has turned out to be my favourite piece of the day. I can see it being embellished with lots of hand-stitching:
poppies
This last one has an industrial look to it- produced with paint over a grid of masking tape and bubble-wrap:
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Any suggestions on how to utilise them?!

white, white and more white….

This is a 6″square; a quilted close-up picture of a rose.

Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt


With the colours of this month’s challenge being white and yellow, I set myself a little challenge to see if I could recreate the picture using only shades of white. I found a photo of a white rose with the focus on its beautiful centre. I used a method of Upside Down Applique, which I learnt in an online course I did years ago with the now-defunct Quilt University. It’s the same method I used to create this flower picture, shown here on the blog back in August:
Frangipani- Karen Mundt

Frangipani- Karen Mundt


After taking a photocopy of the photo, I traced around all the little sections where the colour changed and worked out that I could create it with 4 shades of white, which I numbered 1 to 4. I used little bits of yellow for the darkest bits.
We always hear about lots of shades of white- winter white, warm white, bright white etc so when you line up a few against each other, it’s easy to be able to arrange them in order from ‘light’ to ‘dark.’
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I traced the picture onto a piece of stabiliser and numbered all the pieces according to which shade of white was needed. I then used that to applique each little piece, sewing it down from the reverse side.
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I started with the darkest pieces first, working on the rule that dark colours recede and lights advance. The darkest sections in the picture were in fact the deepest recesses of the curled petals. I added a piece of the darkest white fabric to all those spots, following the lines drawn on the stabiliser and therefore sewing from the back side – sort of like how we do foundation piecing. I used a clear monofilament thread in the bobbin and white thread in the needle, sewing exactly along the lines with an embroidery foot and dropped feed dogs.
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Once each piece is sewn down it can be trimmed as close as possible to the sewing line, except those parts where one piece under-laps another piece yet to be added. I sewed all the Number 4 pieces and the yellow, then moved onto White #3, sewed all those, and so on down to White #2 and White #1.
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As I sewed each piece, I coloured in that piece on my little drawing just to keep track of which bits had been sewn.
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After all pieces are sewn down and the edges clipped,
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I turned it around with the front facing up and then did lots of free-motion top-stitching with white thread around all the pieces. The little quilt was then backed and some last quilting done on top.
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I added a little bit of dark pencil to create shadows and add dimension along some of the edges.
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The flower-shape looks a little clearer when seen from a distance, as in the photo below taken with all of the quiltlets made by our quilt group at our recent meeting. One thing that I should have utilised more was the effect that was achieved in the white pieces that surroundered the small yellow pieces. The yellow created a shadow under the white, so in effect performed the role of another ‘colour’ to add to the variations.
You can see in the photo below the interpretations everyone came up with on the Flora & Fauna theme and only using white and yellow.
L-R, Row1: Helen H, Jan M, Meryl, Lyn; Row 2: Jan K, Shirley, Mine, Marilyn; Row 3(top) Cornelia, Trish, Helen S

L-R, Row1: Helen H, Jan M, Meryl, Lyn; Row 2: Jan K, Shirley, Mine, Marilyn; Row 3(top) Cornelia, Trish, Helen S


trishhelen
Trish and Helen S

Jan K

Jan K


Meryl, Lyn

Meryl, Lyn


This next photo is a few quilts left from last month’s orange and white theme.
Clockwise from top left: Helen S, Shirley, Jan M, Meryl

Clockwise from top left: Helen S, Shirley, Jan M, Meryl

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?
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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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art play

We had a workshop last weekend for a dozen or so of us in the Gatton Quilters who are interested in trying out new methods and techniques for perpetuating our memories with art quilts. The very talented and lovely Ali George travelled to us to guide us along the way for the two-day workshop.
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We learnt so many different techniques and tried out a lot of products, samples of which Ali had brought along for us to try and experiment with.
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We firstly used leaves and twigs; covering them with paint and taking a print. This expanded to stencils and masks and stamps, using acrylic paints and wax crayon. Ali showed us how easy it was to make our own stencils out of a piece of card and carve a stamp from an eraser. We tried wax crayons, or paintsticks, to make rubbings from random surfaces, and dipped fabric in rusting and tannin solutions to dye our fabrics.
On this little piece in the next photo, I used a small stencil I cut from card in what I thought was a teardrop shape. But after using some gold and blue paintsticks to rub around the edges, I realised that it actually looks like Christmas baubles! It’s given me some ideas- it might make great handmade Christmas cards!
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wshop1
We also used bleach with random objects to ‘take away’ the colour from black fabric in our own designs, as well as using soy wax as a resist and then spraying with bleach to extend the effects.
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Ali had some great wood blocks and stencils for us to play with.
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Workshops like these are fantastic in giving you time to play and experiment. I’m sure we had all heard of using stamps and paints and dyes etc. but it’s not until you take the time to experiment and play with repetition and variation that you really see what the possibilities are. Ali was a great tutor and very generous with her time and ‘allowing’ us to play. I think I can safely say on behalf of all of us that the weekend was really worthwhile and we’d highly recommend for anyone to invest their time. Go play!

Ali George

Ali George

fond memories

It’s been a year since my trip to America and the Houston Quilt Festival. It was such a great trip and I loved every minute of it. This past weekend was exactly a year since we were at the Festival, and I’ve been seeing lots of photos on social media of this year’s show. It’s making me very nostalgic with lots of reminiscing about what I saw and experienced. I thought I would show you some photos from that trip that I haven’t put here on the blog before to give some idea of the colour and inspiration everywhere.

Houston Quilt Festival 2015

Houston Quilt Festival 2015


Houston 2015

Houston 2015


Houston 2015

Houston 2015


Houston 2015

Houston 2015


Houston 2015

Houston 2015


Houston 2015

Houston 2015


Houston 2015- something for everyone!

Houston 2015- something for everyone!


And in the days before we got to Houston, we were in New Orleans. This was in the lead-up to Halloween, so the whole city was preparing itself for a favourite time of the year! Everywhere we went were skeletons and witches and carved pumpkins- and this was in New York as well, earlier in the trip. The whole country loves their Halloween!
New Orleans- 2015

New Orleans- 2015


New Orleans -2015

New Orleans -2015


New Orleans- 2015

New Orleans- 2015


New Orleans -2015

New Orleans -2015


We saw this sight when we looked in the window of a house as we walked past in the French Quarter!:
New Orleans- 2015

New Orleans- 2015


Happy quilting!

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!