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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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!

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!

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.
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Block 42


a collection of blocks

a collection of blocks

Have a great week!

playing

I’ve just had a great weekend, especially with taking my lovely daughter to a pasta-making class in Brisbane. I had given the tickets to her for her birthday which was back in July, but this week was the first class vacancy they had. We had such a great time- it was held at Angelo’s Fresh Pasta, and they truly treated us very well.

I'm learning to roll the pasta

I’m learning to roll the pasta


We learnt how to first make the pasta dough and then roll it out on those nifty rolling machines- who knew there was an electric version?!- but also cut and roll into shapes or cut into ribbons for fettucine.
I so need to get one of these!

I so need to get one of these!


After the class we were treated to a 3-course lunch which was fantastic- fresh pasta is so much better than the packet dried version!
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My daughter mastering the roller

My daughter mastering the roller


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In last week’s post I showed my small quilt that I made for the ‘Orange & Purple’ challenge. I also have some photos of some of the other group members’ 6in quilt to show you here.
This is a group photo, followed by a few close-ups.:
Top row, L-R: Helen H, Lyn, Jan M,Karen; Row 2: Marg, Jan K, Meryl, Marilyn; Row 3: Shirley, Helen S, Trish

Top row, L-R: Helen H, Lyn, Jan M,Karen; Row 2: Marg, Jan K, Meryl, Marilyn; Row 3: Shirley, Helen S, Trish


Marg

Marg


Shirley

Shirley


Trish

Trish


Plus, here are some other works by the group members:
Jan K

Jan K


helenh Helen H

Enjoy your quilting week!

Spring

September is a beautiful month isn’t it? The start of Spring and perfect weather- warm days and cool nights, nothing too extreme. I thought I would indulge a little and give you a photo essay this week- our garden, and a few furry children thrown in!

Hayley

Hayley – 4 years


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Little Chloe- the matriarch, ~14 years

Little Chloe- the matriarch, ~14 years


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Lemons

Lemons


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This was my mother's fern- >13 years old.

This was my mother’s fern- >13 years old.


Dublin 4.5 yrs; acting smoochy

Dublin 4.5 yrs; acting smoochy


Hope you are having a good week!

the weekend

Weekends are what we all look forward to. Ah, the promise of it- all that time to do ‘other stuff’ – besides work! Last week we had a weekend in Brisbane. We had a night out, and of course I took some photos.

Brisbane- August 2016

Brisbane- August 2016


There’s something about city skylines and cityscapes that I love, and often a theme in my art quilts.
This was Brisbane at night…
Brisbane - August 2016

Brisbane – August 2016


just as impressive as New York at night- don’t you think?…
Karen Mundt  NYC- from the Empire State Building; October 2015

Karen Mundt NYC- from the Empire State Building; October 2015


We even had a steam train ride in and around the city. It got me thinking. We live about an hour from Brisbane and even though I visit Brisbane fairly regularly I don’t know it overly well as I mainly just go into the city. There is a lot about it that I haven’t seen so there is always lots to look at and investigate if you put your mind to it.
And I have a couple of photos from the recent Gatton Quilters meeting day. Kaye finished this quilt top that she was working on at our Coolum retreat, using the Grandmother’s Fan block:
Kaye

Kaye


This was Cornelia’s blue and green block from last month’s challenge- note the ‘banana hair’ in the centre that she made and dyed that beautiful blue:
Cornelia

Cornelia


Cornelia

Cornelia


and another one from Cornelia- she was catching up!:
Cornelia- Batik fabric challenge

Cornelia- Batik fabric challenge


Makes you want to just get in there and create!

green and purple galore

I’ve had some fun thinking up a small quilt- 6″ square- for my quilter’s group monthly colour challenge. This month it was all about green and purple. We could create anything using any techniques and materials to the loose theme of flora and fauna, but we could only use the two colours of green and purple. This is my little thistle flower.

Karen -thistle flower

Karen -thistle flower


I did it as an exercise in thread painting. I started out with a photo of a thistle that I printed onto some inkjet printable fabric. I also had to choose some threads to use so pulled out all the green and purple threads I had!
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I certainly didn’t use all of these, but I did need to have a variety of darks, mediums and lights to choose from. It was then a matter of just starting somewhere, so I started in the middle, primarily with some colour that I knew would be behind, or underneath, other more prominent colours on top. This next photo was just after I started, with dark olive green in the middle and lighter highlights:
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That bright green was used in the middle and was later covered up to leave just little specks of it showing through. A close-up:
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It took lots of free-motion stitching back and forth to get the coverage. I just wanted the main flower to be stitched and to leave the printed photo as the rest of the background.
Karen

Karen


Here is a photo of the ‘sinchies’ made by the rest of our talented group:
L-R Bottom row: Jan M, Cornelia, Lyn, Jan K; middle row: Meryl, Helen S, mine, Helen H; Top row: Shirley, Trish, Marilyn

L-R Bottom row: Jan M, Cornelia, Lyn, Jan K; middle row: Meryl, Helen S, mine, Helen H; Top row: Shirley, Trish, Marilyn

The best part of these challenges is seeing what everyone else comes up with! Happy quilting!

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!

lovely makes

I’ve been very busy doing some longarm quilting for others- so I don’t have a lot of my own sewing that’s new to show you this week! My supervisor, Dublin, lounges on the chair in my sewing room keeping an eye on me and occasionally gives me his opinion, although I don’t know where he thinks he gets his knowledge of quilting from…..
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Last week at Gatton Quilters, we had a few people showing what they had completed over the Christmas break. Jan Knight showed us her little collection of ‘Gorgeous Girlz’ which she made over the course of last year as a monthly program with the Thread Studio. Lots of lovely little bits and pieces were sent each month, which Jan used to create these most lovely brooches:
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Meryl has finished her lovely red-work quilt top: (apologies for the unclear photo)
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.. and this is Marilyn’s butterfly runner:
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In 2015, we were lucky to have a workshop delivered by Robyn Christoffel in thread painting, embellishing and 3D texture. This is Kaye’s rainforest:
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In the meantime, I’ll get back to quilting. A little sneak peek of Lyn’s quilt-:
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Have a good week!