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:
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
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.
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.
The main theme I had in mind was a play on a cityscape. There are narrow buildings and structures in amongst rooflines of houses.
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!
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.
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:
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.
I added further rubbing using a crayon to transfer extra leaf outlines and fill in some spaces.
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.
I also cut out some little pieces of lace from a discarded remnant and incorporated them on the surface with the stitching.
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.
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
A quilted runner made by Marilyn:
… and a quilt I recently quilted on the long-arm for a special niece’s birthday!
This is a 6″square; a quilted close-up picture of a rose.
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
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.’
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.
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.
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.
As I sewed each piece, I coloured in that piece on my little drawing just to keep track of which bits had been sewn.
After all pieces are sewn down and the edges clipped,
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.
I added a little bit of dark pencil to create shadows and add dimension along some of the edges.
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
Trish and Helen S
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
I started my longarm quilting business back in about 2012-2013. I was a novice and taught myself to use the machine- a Gammill Classic Plus. Quilt by quilt I slowly progressed, and I’m thankful to those who trusted their quilts to me to do my best. My longarm machine is not computerised; it has a stitch regulator but all quilting is hand-guided with free-motion quilting or sometimes following a stencil or pantograph.
Karen- My Small World quilt (Jen Kingwell pattern).
I’m now looking to expand and extend my quilting endeavours by making quilts for sale or on commission. I have been making my own quilts for many years, and that’s my real love. I could sit and sew patchwork quilts all day! I know there are many people who love and appreciate quilts but perhaps don’t wish to make their own. If you know anyone who wants to buy a ready-made quilt or wants a quilt made with their own choice of pattern and fabric, I would love it if you suggest my name to them!
Mini quilt made for a swap in 2015
I have a number of quilts already that I plan to put up for sale, and that will happen over the next few weeks.
I also do a lot of art quilting for something a little different.
Small art quilt to my own design
This is just my first step in this direction, and I’m yet to work out the specifics of prices and accepting payments etc. (maybe an Etsy store? or an online shop?) I’m not sure whether there is a big enough market out there for me to join it, or indeed whether people are willing to pay an appropriate price for a genuine, hand-made quality quilt. What do you think?
In the meantime, here are a few pictures of a recent quilt that I quilted for a customer:
It was quilted in a hand-guided custom design using an off-white thread.
Lots of colour to show you this week! The following quilt is one that I did not make, but I did do the quilting.
Meryl made this and asked me to quilt it. It’s a bargello-style quilt that makes the most out of the multi-coloured batik fabric.
I quilted it in an overall design with long horizontal looped lines which highlighted the colour changes in the fabric, in a dark gold thread.
It’s a beautiful and brightly coloured quilt.
Last week, fabric and quilt designer Tula Pink visited Toowoomba to give a talk on how she came to do what she does so very well, and to show some of her quilts.
Tula is a very entertaining speaker, naturally funny and quick-witted. She spoke at the Precious Time quilt shop in Toowoomba and everyone there had a great time, both listening to her and getting a peek at some fabulous quilts. Tula said that all the quilting on her quilts is done by Angela Walters, so I was very interested to have a close-up look at the quilting- just fantastic work.
We also got a sneak peek at her newest fabric line, Slow and Steady, which is about to b ereleased. All her fabric lines feature animals, and this new one will be a play on the tortoise and the hare fable.
She made this quilt out of that new fabric:
A lot of the people there brought along the quilts they have made with her fabric, and some even got Tula to sign their quilt. This first one below is some hexie quilt!
It was a great day to get some injection of inspiration to get sewing!
I started this art quilt last year. My Small World Quilt is made from a pattern by Jane Kingwell, and was featured in the Quiltmania magazine.
Karen Mundt- My Small World
It combines my loves of lots of different fabrics- the ‘scrappy look’- with the theme of buildings and houses. Of course, how you choose what fabrics to use is entirely an individual choice. At the time there was an online Quilt-Along and accompanying Instagram groups, so it was fun to check them out to see how others interpreted it.
I used only fabrics that I already had, and it was a chance to use some different little bits and pieces. Like this little doggy…
and this little girl at the window…
I used light low-volume fabrics for the sky area, some with text, some with spots or self-patterns. I started with some pale blues and pinks close to the skyline, fading them to lighter colours as it went higher.
I also made one little change. In place of the little Pisa tower block, I instead added in a little hand-embroidered block of the Statue of Liberty. That was to reflect my trip to the States, taken during the time I was making it.
It also took me a long time to decide on how to quilt it. I actually put the needle in at an arbitrary place, grabbed the ruler and decided to quilt first one line, then another, turned that into a diamond. Echoed that, did another diamond further across, repeat. That was for the top half- the sky. When I got to the lower half, I just quilted all over in an irregular grid about 2 inches apart.
I backed it with a white and brown stripe, which I also used for the binding.
I really enjoyed making this quilt. With all the different blocks and fabric choices to make, you don’t get bored with it and its fun to see what the next section will look like! I enjoyed it so much, I may even make another version some day!
The instructions for the March block in the do. Good Stitches quilting bee ( I showed the February block here) were to make two quarter log cabin blocks, using blues and greys. So I have finished these and they are on to the quilt ‘assembler’ today.
I also recently finished quilting this quilt for Jan Knight:
I didn’t have a handy tall person around at the time to hold it up, so apologies for the ‘bend’ in the middle!
Jan wanted to do some hand quilting around and between the applique so I had to leave some space for that. It has a mixture of free-hand designs …
zig-zagging in the inner border and straight lines on the house blocks…
Don’t those plaids and checks all play well together?
It is a lovely quilt, thank you Jan for letting me quilt it for you.
Have a good quilting week!
Just a few photos of a recent quilt I finished on my longarm machine for Lyn.
This was a quilt embellished with crocheted doileys, lace and bits and pieces that all have sentimental memories.
I didnt take many photos to show, but you get the idea. I have done a few of these quilts now, and always the tricky part is deciding how to quilt it. There’s not a lot of open area so the quilting has to go in and around the embellishments. But, the areas that are covered by the doileys and lace are too big to leave unquilted so they still have to be quilted as well.
I did some ruler-work in this one for something different- a curving ‘border’ of 1/4″ lines around the edge and a large diamond of ‘background’ lines in the centre.
By the very act of quilting other people’s quilts, I get to see a lot more quilts than I possibly would otherwise. I can look at the design they’ve used, the colour choices they’ve made and the fabrics they have chosen. This client’s quilt that I recently quilted is a beautiful big quilt, made to cover a queen-sized bed with enough to hang over and cover the edge of the bed. It was also made in one of my favourite colour combinations- blue and brown.
It had a lovely range of fabrics in it, ranging from creams to browns to blues which made the surface a fairly ‘busy’ one…
… so the quilting didn’t have to be too elaborate. I decided to use straight lines at an angle around the border area of the quilt and in between the on-point blocks. Those blocks had a curly feathery/paisley type radiating out from the centre.
This is the back:
I used a cream thread for the quilting.
And here is the quilt already bound and on its bed!
This next quilt was a completely different quilt altogether. This client made a bargello-style quilt using self-striping fabric. Completely opposite in its colours and style..
It was quilted very simply with wavy lines echoing the peaks and troughs produced by the arrangement of the coloured strips, and the borders in a free-motion loopy pattern.
It was quilted with a charcoal-coloured thread which also suited the back: