quilted strata

This month’s two-colour challenge for the Art Quilt group I belong to, was purple and orange. We could do anything within the general theme of flora and fauna, using only the two colours of orange and purple. This is my final result.

Orange & purple challenge: 6 * 6 inches

Orange & purple challenge: 6 * 6 inches


I want to use these challenges to try out different techniques and different media, as I figure it’s an excellent opportunity to play and experiment. So therefore my approach in creating this month’s task was not to think about what could I depict using only those two colours, but instead to consider what method or materials I wanted to try out this month. I started off by deciding to use paper as the base. Using paper, I wanted something with up-and-down texture on the surface by manipulating the paper.
Who knows what mysterious paths the brain takes as it mulls things over, considers all the options and factors, discards this idea and that before settling on something. For some reason, the image of strata popped in my head, as well as a fossil. That would do- a fossil fits in the flora and fauna scheme?!
I then remembered I had some ‘Modelling Compound’ that I’d once bought but not yet used: using that could achieve the rough texture to resemble layers of strata. So I started.
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I used some hand-made paper and painted it with some purple ink. I stirred up the modelling compound, which has the texture of really thick white goop, and to that mixed in some orange acrylic paint.
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I traced a shape of a fossil onto some freezer paper and stuck it in the centre where I wanted the fossil to appear. This was just to act as a mask and stop the paste flowing over it, as well as allowing that circle to be indented with the strata edges rising around it, like a fossil would have.
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I then spread the orange paste over it all , putting lines and heavier bits in some sections, and digging some back out to reveal little glimpses of the purple. I then left it to dry.
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Taking off the freezer paper mask in the middle, I had smeared just a little colour over that centre circle. It set with a rubbery texture so I was able to then do free-motion stitching all over it to (attempt to) resemble strata lines. I also stitched the fossil shape. The needle went through the orange ridges and stitched easily enough, although I did have to experiment with the thread to find one which could resist being ‘cut’ or breaking on the fine edges of the strata.
op-close
I think it sort of looked how I envisaged! although the paper I originally wanted to utilise ended up being an under-layer and not a feature. The orange appears a little too intense, so it could have been toned down a little. In fact, I would even say it is a little ugly, but it was fun experimenting!
orangepurple1

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!
thistle3
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:
thistle1
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:
thistle2
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!

blue and green should be seen

This block is for the Cherish do.Good.Stitches group quilt that I am contributing to this year. It is an Octagon block, very easy to make using paper foundation, piecing a large triangle unit then joining them together into squares.
Octagon-Cherish
I can see that once you have a whole lot of these blocks and assemble them together they would make an excellent colourful ‘scrappy’ quilt. The corner triangles would form a secondary octagon as well.
Speaking of colour, the Gatton Quilters Art group has started a small monthly challenge. We have to produce a 6″ block using whatever methods we like, but only two colours. The colours for our first month were blue and green.

Karen Mundt- blue and green

Karen Mundt- blue and green


I had a beautiful piece of blue and green batik fabric that I thought would fit the bill, so decided I would just hand-stitch all over the batik, improvising as I went along.
G&B3
I echoed some lines that were suggested by the shapes in the colour swirls and played with a few stitch variations. I also used a variety of thread weights to contrast the texture. I then just finished the block with a small facing finish.
G&B2
Do you remember that old saying about blue and green should never be seen together? Rubbish- I think they look fantastic together!
These are the blocks produced by others in the group. The best part of such challenges is seeing the endless variations that can be produced by people expanding their imagination and having a play.
AllG&B2
L-R Row 1: Shirley, Marilyn, Helen H; Row 2: mine, Lyn, Trish; Row 3: Helen S, Jan K, Meryl
AllG&B3 Helen H and Trish
AllG&B4 Lyn and Jan K

Looking forward to seeing what next month’s blocks using green and purple will look like!

my small world quilt

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

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.
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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…
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and this little girl at the window…
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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.
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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.
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I backed it with a white and brown stripe, which I also used for the binding.
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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!
Karen Mundt- My Small World

Karen Mundt- My Small World

creating with bias strips

This mini quilt top was created by using bias strips- brightly coloured strips on texty backgrounds.

Karen Mundt- Symbols

Karen Mundt- Symbols


I used one of those little bias maker tools, where you feed in the strips of fabric cut on the bias and it turns over the edges so you can iron them down as it comes out the other end. Do you have one of those sitting in your drawer, not used for a long time, like me?!

I joined the Mighty Lucky club which is going to highlight some new methods and techniques each month. I thought it would be good to get me thinking about new things and to just have a play. The first month was about using bias strips to create a modern quilt.
bias3
For some reason these symbols popped into my head so I decided to try and make a few of them. I used a 3/4″ strip because I thought I would need it to be a bit on the thinner side to get it to curve how I needed.
bias4
However in retrospect I think wider strips might have looked a bit better- the symbols look a bit ‘spindly’ to my eyes- what do you think? I’m not over-pleased with it, but it’s okay!

It was fairly easy to do- I arranged the strips into the shapes and then used some glue to hold them in place while I sewed them down by machine. Using the Edgestitch foot (#10C on my Bernina) made that easy.
bias1
The instructions that were given included the use of iron-on adhesive which I didn’t have any of, so the Roxanne glue did a good job instead. I used a monofilament thread but of course you can use any coloured threads to make the stitching a feature.
Not sure what I will do with this now though- it may even end up being slashed and re-assembled for another modern quilt along the way!

neighbourhood watch- slow cloth

I have a small project that is actually finished! I don’t feel like I get to say that often enough- an actual finish, yay! This is a little story cloth, stitched over quite a long while. I probably started it about 2 years ago, just working slowly and enjoying the process.
watch1
It is a stitched piece utilising re-purposed cloth and scraps, torn little bits from here and there. It has raw edges and loose threads…
watch2
…bits saved from here and there just added where they looked to fit. There was no plan- I would add one piece then stop and look before adding something else. I guess you could call it an improv cloth! Lots of hand-stitching was added to the top. Its title is Neighbourhood Watch.
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It was enjoyable and comforting to work on; the feel of the cloth soft in my hands. I cut up one of my mum’s old pillow-cases, that must have been washed a thousand times in its life, to use as the background. My original inspiration for it was from following Jude Hill on Spirit Cloth, both on her blog and various online classes I’ve taken. I so love her work, and while mine doesn’t look anything like hers, I use her techniques and the inspiration she provides.
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I bound it by using strips from fabric left over from the days of sewing my clothes; the frayed selvedges turned to the front and running stitches with perle cotton to keep them in place. I also lightly hand quilted, using the same thread with big stitches.
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Truth be told, I’m a little sad it’s actually finished! I guess I’ll have to start another one….

oh, Christmas tree….

I love Christmas, I love Christmas trees and I love families coming together at Christmas. There’s a real festive spirit when all the shops have Christmas trees and decorations. So, when I was away recently, the last leg of our trip was a stop in Hawaii and we did a spot of shopping- well, more looking than actual shopping! But, I couldn’t resist taking some photos of the Christmas trees that were all through Macy’s department store.
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They didn’t just have trees trimmed with the same colour scheme on all the store levels as normally happens here, but each tree I saw in this one store was different!
tree-haw1-crop
They were all decorated so beautifully.
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So cute and sparkly and colourful!
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tree-haw5
You can’t have Christmas without a Christmas party or year-end break-up, and Gatton Quilters was no exception. In addition to the gathering together we also bring along any ‘Show and Tell’ that may have been finished since last we met.
party1
party2

Meryl- White Challenge square

Meryl- White Challenge square


Lyn- Orange Challenge square

Lyn- Orange Challenge square


Jan M- Black colour challenge square

Jan M- Black colour challenge square


Marilyn- Red colour challenge block

Marilyn- Red colour challenge block


Meryl- workshop with Robyn Christoffel

Meryl- workshop with Robyn Christoffel


More of Meryl's work, originating from the Robyn Christoffel workshop

More of Meryl’s work, originating from the Robyn Christoffel workshop


We have lots of talented and creative people in our Quilting Group!
Happy Christmas to everyone :)
Myer- Toowoomba

Myer- Toowoomba

stitch a white Christmas

We’re getting to the end of the year and I’m sure everyone is busy finishing off lots of quilt projects and challenges. The challenge that my local quilt group worked on was to do a small art quilt each month to a different colour- using only that colour, or at least predominantly that colour. I’ve shown on here throughout the year the results of the challenge- both mine and some of the other group members. Coming back from my trip, I had to catch up on the last two months of black and white. This is the complete set of all of my little quilts for this challenge:

Karen- colour challenge 2015

Karen- colour challenge 2015

The black challenge was a little hard- I tried to think of something that would use contrasts with texture or you wouldn’t be able to discern anything when looking at it. I did buy some trimming when shopping in New York that I thought I could use…
black3
..but then changed my mind. I got some old black poly-silk taffeta out of my cupboard and pleated it by sewing rows of 1/4inch tucks.I then sewed across it, allowing some tucks to lay one direction, then the other- trying for a 3-D sort-of look to it.Then what to do next….
black-pleats
I thought of using reverse-applique so that you could see the pleated fabric through a star-shaped hole in the top fabric.
I drew out the star shape in two halves and sewed them together, then lay them under the prepared top piece for which I had used a star drawn on paper for a template. I used that to cut the star out of the top fabric, turned the edges under and hand-sewed around the inside edges.
black-cutting star
After sewing that together, I damp-stretched it on a cork board over-night to stretch back into place, before sandwiching with the backing and then quilting with lines only 1/4inch apart. You might also be able to see a little piece of the black trimming that I slipped into some of the folds.
black2
Sort of a modern quilting appraoch!

Karen-black

Karen-black


When approaching the last challenge, I made a little winter wonderland for my ‘white’ project- a scene about as far removed from my local environment as you can get!
Karen-white

Karen-white


I had a couple of little pieces I made years ago in a class- the tree and the star, so started with them and created some more shapes to add to them. They were made with wash away solvy, stitching down the outside trim first then the grid of interlocking rows of stitching.
white3
When I ran out of the trim I crocheted a length of chain with No.8 cotton and used that for the outside edges. You then stitch across from side to side: I used a small zigzag stitch or a straight stitch would work also. As long as the stitching all connects with each other then it all stays together when you rinse it in water to remove the plastic solvy. I made some extra trees of varying sizes, and also made some ‘machine-lace’- just stitching allover with a swirly pattern all on top of each other, back and forth. I wasn’t sure what this would be for but liked the look of it. I ended up putting it on top of one of the hills, so it looked like a snow-capped mountain.
white2
For the background, I used some pieces of old and re-purposed fabric and remnants cut into shapes to resemble a landscape with hills and valleys. This was just trial and error, arranging and re-arranging, trimming a bit here and there until it looked ‘right’.
Those pieces were backed with some iron-on adhesive and ironed in place. I top-stitched the hills and then free-motion quilted a tree-pattern all over it before adding the backing fabric. I arranged the little lacy pieces on top and free-motion stitched them down through all 3 layers. I just bound it as normal. Because it was all machine-sewn it really didn’t take too long at all.
Karen- colour challenge 2015

Karen- colour challenge 2015


Challenges such as these are designed to make you think, to try out methods and techniques and experiment. For all of these little quilts, I used only what fabric and resources (except a small piece of black trim!) I already had at home. In the collage above, I think my favourite is the yellow one- you can see how I made it here, with the red square a close second, but then I also liked the orange one….. and the blue birds which was my own design, mmm…

mini quilt swap

This year, for the first time, I took part in a Mini Quilt Swap. It was run by a website but also via Instagram. I signed up to make a mini quilt for a partner assigned to me living in the USA. Back in early October I showed you my finished quilt:

Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt


I posted it to her while I was in New York, and she has since received it and by all accounts is very happy with it!
mini4
I also made a couple of extra little things to include in the package, because that’s apparently the thing to do! A little birdie….
little_birdie
and some quilted art pieces…
Karen-mini-quilt4
Last week, I received my mini quilt in the post- its lovely getting a surprise in the mail! This little quilt was made by a German quilter:
mini-swap-quilt1
Lovely colours, and I think the design is her own. The quilter’s name is Aylin and she also has a blog.
In addition to the quilt, she sent me some fabric and this cute little pouch which will, I’m sure, be put to good use.
mini-swap-quilt2
So, if you’re thinking of joining a Swap, go ahead and give it a try. It’s all good fun!
Some more pictures from my trip now – these ones taken in Hawaii. First, I saw this skirt when shopping at a huge shopping mall in Waikiki- don’t you love the quilting blocks fabric! It’s actually made by a big-name fashion designer (whose name escapes me at the moment), with a price tag to match, so needless to say it stayed where it was!
skirt
You can also design your own flip-flops in Hawaii:
flip-flops
and I came across this shop specialising in Hawaiian quilts:
Hawaii-quilt-shop2
This particular shop only sold ready-made quilts and smaller items-lovely to look around.
Hawaii-quilt-shop
Hawaii-quilt-shop3
Happy quilting until next week!