recent challenges

Creating a textile or mixed-media art postcard illustrating travel destinations of the world- this is the current challenge of Gatton Quilters.
The theme for October is Mexico. Continuing on with my theme of maps, I did this little map of the country. I used raw-edge applique with a machine button-hole as well as some free-motion machine stitching.

Karen - Mexico

Karen – Mexico


Here are a few others completed by the members of the art group:
Row 1, L-R: Marilyn, Marg, JanM; Row 2: JanK, Karen, Lyn; Row 3: Shirley, Trish

Row 1, L-R: Marilyn, Marg, JanM; Row 2: JanK, Karen, Lyn; Row 3: Shirley, Trish


All different styles as you can see, which is always the fun part of seeing what everyone comes up with.
Lyn

Lyn


Trish

Trish


And some ‘show and tell’ – Jan showed these lovely works at the meeting: I can’t resist a birdie!
Jan K

Jan K


Jan K

Jan K

That’s all I have this week!- I’m very busy with some long-arm quilting at the moment but hope to get back to my own work soon. Have a good week :)

eye candy in Paris

We managed to find a few sewing and quilting-related shops on our recent trip to France & England. It was handy to have looked them up before we went so we had a list of possibles to try and find. While we didn’t get to all of them, we enjoyed the ones we did!
This little Mercerie in Paris, called “Ultramod” was just a beautiful little old shop- which I know doesn’t seem so from its name!
shop3
Paris-shop
We found it in a little side road, with a relatively unassuming exterior. It was like stepping into a treasure trove. It still used original wooden fixtures and cardboard boxes. It had a huge assortment of buttons…
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and laces and trims…
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shop4
shop7
shop5

some lovelies to just look at...

some lovelies to just look at…


And on another note, Gatton Quilters’ new monthly quilt art challenge is to create a quilted or mixed-media postcard. The first month was…. Paris!
Here is my little postcard: a map quilt created with bits of fabric, some embellishment and hand stitching to top it off.
Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt


Paris-card1
Paris-card3
Top: Marilyn, Karen, Helen S; Row 2: Trish, Jan M, Marg; Row 3: Helen H, Shirley, Lyn

Top: Marilyn, Karen, Helen S; Row 2: Trish, Jan M, Marg; Row 3: Helen H, Shirley, Lyn


And some other works that were shown at the meeting:
Kaye C- sashiko table runner

Kaye C- sashiko table runner


Marilyn- table runners

Marilyn- table runners

And on another another Note!: I will be taking a break from my long-arm quilting business. I have a number of clients’s quilts to finish off by the end of the year, but won’t be taking in any new business after that. I hope to spend more time to do some of my own sewing and quilting, and creating some new things. But you never know what the future holds- I may change my mind and come back to it at some stage! I’ll keep you updated :)
Have a lovely week quilting!

catch up

Well, I’ve been away from this blog for about a month now while on holiday. I’ve been over to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK, as well as lots of other sights in England and France. If I can get back into a routine and a bit organised, I might show you some photos on here over the next few weeks!

'House' by Irina Voronina

‘House’ by Irina Voronina


The Festival was fantastic; lots to see of course but I also enjoyed seeing quite a few of the quilt artists themselves demonstrating in their booths and giving us an insight into how they work. There were a lot of quilts on display but unfortunately I only got to see a fraction of them. The quilts I’m showing here today are ones that caught my eye and that I especially loved. Some were just included in one of the many exhibitions, some were entered in competition.
'Corinth Canal, Horizon' by Fenella Davies

‘Corinth Canal, Horizon’ by Fenella Davies


'Home/Less' by Eszter Bornemisza

‘Home/Less’ by Eszter Bornemisza


'My Place' by Susan Denton

‘My Place’ by Susan Denton


'Woman and Thoughts of 3' by Alison Garrett (entered in the Contemporary Quilts comp)

‘Woman and Thoughts of 3′ by Alison Garrett (entered in the Contemporary Quilts comp)


'Woodpecker' by Noriko Endo, Japan (Contemporary Quilts)

‘Woodpecker’ by Noriko Endo, Japan (Contemporary Quilts)


'Betula' by Liz Howlett  (Contemporary Quilts)

‘Betula’ by Liz Howlett (Contemporary Quilts)


'Applique Alphabet' by Sue Trevor (Contemporary Quilts)

‘Applique Alphabet’ by Sue Trevor (Contemporary Quilts)


'Coastal Drift' by Liz Heywood

‘Coastal Drift’ by Liz Heywood (Contemporary Quilts)

'The Art of Integration' by Moniek Hulsebos

‘The Art of Integration’ by Moniek Hulsebos (Contemporary Quilts)


'Bark' Group quilt category by the Exe Valley CQ Group

‘Bark’ Group quilt category by the Exe Valley CQ Group; 3rd Prize Winner

red and purple

I have this desire to re-create a textile version of a close-up picture of a flower. I’ve tried a few times with varying levels of success. I love to take macro photos of flowers, to show the detail of those beautiful petals and the way they fold and layer in and around each other. So for this month’s sinchies challenge with my quilt group, and the last in this series, I had another try using just two colours of red and purple.

Karen Mundt- red and purple challenge

Karen Mundt- red and purple challenge


This was the photo I used as my inspiration: redpurpleinsp
My version is made with just two layers of fabric, the purple on top of the red. I first traced around the purple petals onto paper and lay that drawing on top of the 2 pieces. I stitched around the outlines of the purple parts and then cut away where I wanted the red to show through. I then started to draw with some Inktense water colour pencils:
redpurple7
I kept the picture near me to use for reference.
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It took a lot of shading with the pencils to be able to get that illusion of the petals. I did a few layers, dampening the fabric first then colouring with the pencils.
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The last step was then to do lots of top-stitching with purple thread- free-motion stitching to embellish just the purple petals.
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When I look at the final picture up close I’m not convinced that it’s turned out as good as I would like, but to look at photos of it, the shading with the pencils does seem to give a realistic interpretation.
Karen Mundt- red and purple challenge

Karen Mundt- red and purple challenge


The rest of the quilt group also had their sinchie challenge pieces to show at our recent meeting day- we could use any two colours this month:
group-july1
Row 1: me (Karen), Trish, Jan K, Helen S
Row 2: Meryl, Marilyn, Lyn, Shirley
Isn’t that little bird by Trish so cute- she has been learning to make hand-made lace:
Trish

Trish


Also at the meeting we saw this marvellous quilt by Kaye:
Made by Kaye C

Made by Kaye C


and some sashiko stitching by Marilyn:
Marilyn

Marilyn


I hope you are all happily quilting!

red and blue

This month at Gatton Quilters’ monthly get together, there was a lot on show. Those of us in the Art Quilt group had our 6″ square in the colours of red and blue to show and tell. I decided to do a little bird, and picked a Crimson Rosella to portray.
June4
I firstly found a photo of the bird that I liked and traced it and then enlarged it, doing it the old-fashioned way using a grid and free-hand drawing it square by square.
June1
I traced each of the pieces off to make little paper pattern pieces, and placed them on the red and blue wool felt to cut each of them out.
June2
By using the felt, I didn’t have to worry about seam allowances, except those sections which overlapped, and also didn’t have to turn edges under. I stitched each of the pieces in to place on the background fabric. I used a small overcast stitch in matching thread.I then just had to do some further embellishment- I added some red braid and stitching down his chest, straight stitch on his wings and a little cross -stitch near his head. His legs are done with long bullion stitches in charcoal wool. I then sandwiched the piece with some backing and did some free-motion ‘scribbling’ to quilt it together.
June3
He was initially too big to fit on the sinchie so I had intended trimming off his tail once I had him in place, but then didn’t have the heart to! so I left that to hang out over the side.
Here are a few of the sinchies completed by other members of the group:

Top row: Helen S, Marg Y, Trish K; Row 2: Helen H, Marilyn, me; Row 3: Shirley.

Top row: Helen S, Marg Y, Trish K; Row 2: Helen H, Marilyn, me; Row 3: Shirley.


And some other work by the whole group:
Jeanette O

Jeanette O


Helen H

Helen H


Kaye C- prize-winning quit!

Kaye C- prize-winning quit!


Shirley- children's quilt

Shirley- children’s quilt

orange marmalade

A few updates on what I’ve been sewing lately. This month’s colour sinchie challenge(Gatton Quilters Art Group) was to use the two colours orange and red. This is what I decided to do.

May- Orange and Red Sinchie Challenge

May- Orange and Red Sinchie Challenge


I used a piece of hand-dyed orange cotton I did in a workshop quite a few years ago -which I still have lots of and comes in handy quite often!- as the backing. I hand-sewed a cat to put on top- an orange and red striped tabby. I only used variations of orange and red in the block, but quite a few different values of those colours. It’s great fun to see what effect you can have but still only keep the limit to 2 colours.
orange-red2
I added a piece of silk sari ribbon scrap on the side and added more hand-sewn embellishment plus some hand-stitching to the right side. It was then finished off by just backing with some thin batting and zig-zagging around the edge. hence, Marmalade the cat!
orange-red3
I also had a lovely weekend staying at the Bunya Mountains with a group of sewing & crafting ladies. It is a beautiful place up there in the Bunyas and we had an excellent house for the stay. Lots of wallabies visited us, including this youngster who, despite Mum’s encouragement, didn’t want to leave home!
Bunya wallaby

Bunya wallaby


I took along the makings of a baby quilt. I had found a lovely animal panel which i cut up into the individual blocks and my plan is to sew those into a quilt surroundered by coloured pices and strips. The colourful fabric I used was from the ‘Story Collection’ by Carrie Bllomston, which I had admired for some time and was happy to have something to use it for!
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I made some flying geese blocks and some quarter-square triangle blocks and cut strips and set about to put them altogether in a random fashion.
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That quilt top is about half-made now, so hopefully I can get stuck into it and finish it off in the next few weeks.
bunya-sewing
And one last thing- this is the block for May for the do.Good.Stitches quilt that I am taking part in. This block was made by sewing together randomly-sized wedges of fabric to make a sort-of starburst block. Our instructions were to use bright colours which I think I did!
May-do.Good Stitches- Cherish group

May-do.Good Stitches- Cherish group


Have a great week!

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.
orange-green6
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.
orange-green4
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
orange-green2
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.:)

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.
g&w1
I added further rubbing using a crayon to transfer extra leaf outlines and fill in some spaces.
g&w2
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.
g&w3
I also cut out some little pieces of lace from a discarded remnant and incorporated them on the surface with the stitching.
g&w5
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.
g&w4
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:
Marilyn

Marilyn


… and a quilt I recently quilted on the long-arm for a special niece’s birthday!
longarm1
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.
felt5
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-
p-w3
p-w1
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

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.
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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:
paint4
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.
wax-resist1
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:
paint2
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:
paint3
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:
paint1
Any suggestions on how to utilise them?!