bright red

A few projects are coming along, bit by bit, so today’s post is a kind of progress report! First up, my red block for the Gatton Quilters monthly colour challenge.
Each colour comes with its own challenges. Red has a lot of different shades so I needed to come up with something where little pieces of all those different reds could be utilised.
This is a block that has been foundation-paper-pieced. I love this technique- it enables you to get a seemingly intricate block all pieced together with nice sharp points, with minimal effort! This in-the-round arrows block is called ‘Marvelous Millie’- it was a pattern found in the ‘Love Patchwork & Quilting’ magazine (Issue 22). In the magazine version, it was made with white as the main colour and a print for the accent pieces. I decided to see how I could make it with lots of reds.
From the photos you can see how some of the pieces have quite an orange look to them, and some photos look more ‘orangey’ than others, but they were all reds. I used red hand-dyeds for the main colour sections, and red prints and patterns for the accent pieces. I’m still making my mind up on whether there is enough contrast to really show the block off… I think most of the fabrics were all around a medium value, so it probably would be better if I had some lighter red pieces to add a bit more contrast. It also hasn’t yet been quilted.
I’ve also started on Part 5 of the My Small World quilt. Just piecing together the little squares for the sky….
and getting started on the little hexagons needed for the bottom of that section. Lots of cutting and piecing in this quilt!
And one last thing…
todays’ photo of a Dear Jane block. This one is called A9 Cabin Fever- it was also foundation-paper-pieced.

A9-Cabin Fever

A9-Cabin Fever

Have a good week!

little frangipani quilt

Have you ever tried an online quilting course? There are so many out there, although one that I started with quite a few years ago actually no longer exists. ‘Quilt University’ gave me an introduction into techniques and patterns and basic quilting knowledge that I couldn’t get elsewhere, so I did quite a few different classes with them. This little quilted piece is one that I started in a class called Flower Power.

Frangipani- Karen Mundt

Frangipani- Karen Mundt

The goal was to be able to create a realistic portrayal of a photo image. We used a technique called upside-down applique. It was achieved by tracing the photo carefully, marking in all the areas that had a change in colour, or hue. I used a photo I had taken years ago of my daughter’s little flower crown she had made from frangipanis in our garden.
The tracing was placed on the back of the background fabric and you placed the pieces of fabric underneath, then sewed around the edges, which made it a raw-edge on the right side. I used batik fabrics, cottons, hand-dyes, silk- whatever I could find to replicate the fragile colouring of the frangipani blooms.
After all fabric pieces are in place, lots of stitching is needed with decorative threads to outline and emphasize the shapes. It was at this stage that I had stopped, so I decided to finish it earlier this year.
Actually, what prompted me to finish it was to enter it in to a Reader Challenge in the Quilting Arts magazine. They had called for small art quilts on the theme of ‘Blossoms, Buds and Blooms’. This was the first time I had tried entering something like this, but unfortunately wasn’t successful in having my piece chosen. Oh, well- next time! You can see the results of the challenge in the June edition of the magazine.
Dear Jane block:
This week’s block is A1 Pinwheel gone awry- it’s the first block in the first row of the quilt.
A1- Pinwheel gone awry

A1- Pinwheel gone awry

(Block is untrimmed, with seam allowances.)

for display

If you happen to be coming through Gatton in the next month, don’t forget to drop in to the Lockyer Valley Art Gallery to view the exhibition of quilts and assorted textile works that the Gatton Quilters have on display. Here’s a few photos of the works on show:

Fractured Picture Challenge quilts

Fractured Picture Challenge quilts

This next one, by Jan Knight, is a lovely nostalgic piece, ‘recycling’ one of her own baby dresses:
Another recycled challenge quilt- a cheeky take on using up dog show ribbons! by Shirley:
Some challenge quilts under the theme of ‘Seasons':
Even though we have all seen them ourselves many times before, it’s still a novelty to see them hanging all together in the gallery setting.
Hope you find some time to go along and check them out!

And another thing….
another in my occasional posting of the blocks I’m making for the Dear Jane quilt. This one is called Crossed Swords:

D12- Crossed Swords

D12- Crossed Swords

Hope you have a great (quilting) week!

between the bush and the city

A lot of my favourite blogs that I read are from quilters overseas- in the UK or America, for example. It’s always interesting to see the references they make to the weather and the landscape in their part of the world, for their seasons are the exact opposite to ours.
The difference was brought home to me on this long weekend we had here in Aus, when I went on a picnic with my sister and brother-in-law to Crows Nest Falls, just north of Toowoomba. Under a sky of brilliant blue and lots of bright colours, our landscape can also be full of these beautiful muted grey-greens of the leaves, the greys and browns of the bush and the greys and taupes of the rocks.

Crows Nest Falls 2015

Crows Nest Falls 2015

I also had the chance to start a new quilt. This is the quilt called ‘My Small World’, designed by Jen Kingwell and printed in the Spring issue of QuiltMania.
I have a thing for using the cityscape and buildings theme in quilts so this appealed to me straight away. There is also a Quilt-Along for this little quilt, hosted by a few other blog sites like this. It will be interesting to see how others interpret the pattern and put their own spin on the design. I’ve just started the first part, cutting up lots of squares for the sky and putting together a few of the buildings.
I’m mainly using fabrics I already have with just a few extra neutrals to use in the sky. Lots of little squares!

Dear Jane quilt
Here’s another of the blocks for this long-term project of mine: Block K7 called “Rose of Sharing”. I used reverse applique to construct it with two contrasting batik fabrics.

K7 Rose of Sharing

K7 Rose of Sharing

blue birds- a tessellating pattern

This little quilt was made as my response to this month’s art quilt challenge with my local group, Gatton Quilters. Each month we are creating a quilt using only one colour, and as you can see this month it was blue!

Blue Birds- Karen Mundt

Blue Birds- Karen Mundt

Using only one colour can be quite a challenge. You need to create something that is appealing, still shows pattern and texture, variety, shade – all while not having a variety of colours at your disposal. I took the opportunity to try out something that had been stirring around in my mind for awhile.
I’m interested in tessellating patterns- where a repetitive shape can cover a surface without any gaps or overlapping. I had a play with some graph paper and drew up a bird shape. To see the bird shapes would require different fabrics or colours or darks/lights to distinguish between each bird.
I want to eventually make a large quilt using this pattern but saw this challenge as a way of practising it, or a trial run if you like.
Because this quilt only had to be 14″ square, the size of the individual squares had to be small enough to create a number of birds across the surface. I decided on each square measuring 3/4″ (finished) and was able to create the pattern using whole squares and half-square triangles.
I had some beautiful Reece Scannell shot cottons in a variety of blues which were ideal for this. These cottons are lovely and soft and their colours so lovely to look at in different lights or angles.
Blue Birds- Karen Mundt

Blue Birds- Karen Mundt

This is only the top finished at this stage. I’m thinking of adding a mitred border to finish it off.
Blue Birds- Karen Mundt

Blue Birds- Karen Mundt

Dear Jane quilt block: this is F12 Starburst (although it looks different to the one in the book!- I think I made the original design on point. Oh well, you wouldn’t have known if I didn’t tell you, right?!


Linking up to ‘WIP Wednesday’ on the Freshly Pieced blog.

some more Jane

Just a quick post this week- I don’t have a lot of new work to show because I’ve been long-arm quilting for a client the last week or so. Hopefully I can show that here next week.
I do have some more Dear Jane blocks to show you. In case I haven’t mentioned before, these blocks are all taken from the book of the same name by Brenda Manges Papadakis. The author named the blocks herself. The book includes a diagram of each block so you can trace each one, with its parts, and then use whichever method you prefer to construct it. Some blocks can be hand-pieced, some can be foundation-pieced, some have applique and some use reverse-applique. All of these below have used reverse-applique in some way.
E11 Wagon Wheel

B1 Bachelor's Buttons

B1 Bachelor’s Buttons

F11 On Target

F11 On Target

( N.B. these haven’t been trimmed yet, and don’t mind the loose threads!)


If you think block B1 looks a little smaller than the others, then you would be right. It was one of the very first I did, and at that time wasn’t aware of needing to include a seam allowance around the outside edge. I intend to add a narrow border around the couple of blocks that aren’t the right size when I put them all together.
Until next week, happy quilting!

everything’s green

If you were given a challenge to make a small quilt, no bigger than 14″ square, to the theme of “Green”, what would you do? The art quilt group of Gatton Quilters recently held such a challenge, and some really inventive works were created.
I decided to make a piece from strips of as many green coloured fabrics that I could find in my stash, with the aim to still see a pattern within the arrangement. This is the result:

Karen - Green challenge

Karen – Green challenge

I started by cutting lots of strips of no particular width and then arranged them on a backing. I originally thought of a more random arrangement between the varying hues but after a little experimentation settled with placing bright light greens in a strip across the middle and mainly darks and mid hues working out from that.
Once all the pieces had been auditioned and final placement decided, I put a little drop of glue to hold them in place on a foundation piece.
I then added some wadding and backing before taking it to the machine and quilting parallel lines about 1/4″ apart. I put a facing around the edges instead of binding. I think it even looks a little like a city skyline, which makes me happy as I do have a fondness for cityscapes :)

Here are some other Green challenge quilts by members of the group. Some are little quiltlets like mine and some are blocks that might have others added to them further down the track:

Jan M

Jan M

Lyn L

Lyn L

Meryl-green Meryl


Trisha k- green Trish
Trish K also brought this cushion in that she had recently finished with some lovely embroidery:

… and another thing, just thought I’d show this Clamshell Quilt, first talked about here, which I’ve now finished hand quilting:

Karen- Clamshell quilt

Karen- Clamshell quilt

Linking up here to the Stitched in Color blog which hosted the Clambake quiltalong.

…and last but not least, here is this week’s Dear Jane block- B4 titled ‘Chris’s Soccer Field':

getting the Gammill ready to quilt

I spent some of this past weekend quilting a client’s quilt on my long-arm machine, and had the idea that you might like to see a little more of the machine. I have a Gammill Classic Plus long-arm quilting machine, and while it does look fairly big and intimidating when you first look at it, I’ve come around to thinking it is just like a big sewing machine after all.

Before I start every new quilt on it, there are some little jobs to do first. I always give it a good wipe-down to clear any dust – and not just because I’m not a great housekeeper!- but because the smooth movement of the machine requires dust-free tracks.
I use an old pastry brush to dust along the tracks on the machine bed, as well as it’s own wheels. It’s best to get rid of any fluff or threads that might prevent the machine from moving in any direction that you’ll need while quilting.
It then has to be oiled, so I use the provided oil to put a drop in all the recommended spots, including the bobbin race.
I also change the needle after every big quilt or maybe two little quilts, because that needle does a lot of work.
I have to check whether I have any loaded bobbins with the correct thread, and if not put an empty bobbin on the winder and thread it up.
The needle thread also has to be threaded on the other side- I used to take a long time to thread the machine, checking the instructions at each step, but it’s like second nature now.
If I haven’t yet done so, I now load the quilt on the machine, which is done in order of the top first, then the backing and the batting. This can also take awhile to make sure they are loaded straight and firm.
Once that it is done, I usually do a little test run on some scrap that I pin to the side. This lets me check that the tension is correct and the stitches are being made correctly in the quilt- all threads work uniquely. Plus this is when I might test out a design- I do a lot of free-motion work so its good to test out a design I might have just practised with pen and paper. I try to avoid marking a quilt where possible.
This is a little sneak peek of the quilt I loaded on the weekend- it will have an all-over freehand design. Hope you are having fun with whatever stage of a quilt you are at!
and not to forget my Dear Jane block: this is one of the very first I made, using the reverse-applique method. This is B1 “Bachelor Buttons”.

the little jobs- sewing a quilt sleeve

Catching up on those last little finishing jobs that come with quilts- that sometimes get put off for awhile, or even left by the wayside!
I’ve been finishing some binding, adding some sleeves on to the back of quilts, as well as the labels for the back.
This is the way I add a sleeve- it may not be the correct way? or may not be the way that you do it? Let me know if you think I can improve on what I’m doing!
I first cut the strip for the sleeve- about 3″ less than the width of the quilt, and about 4″ deep. Then I machine-sew a little turned edge all around, and press the strip with a tuck of about 1 – 1.5″ all along the length.
sleeve1 This tuck gives it some room for when you put the rod or dowell in the back to hang it. I then hand-sew it down along the two long edges. The turned edge enables me to do a slip stitch so the stitches aren’t as obvious, and make it quicker than just turning th eedge over as you go.
And for the labels- I recently came across a panel of labels that you can cut off individual labels and use, like these: (this one’s not sewn down yet)
I thought they were a great idea, because sometimes I can’t find anything suitable to use for the label.
This one I incorporated into the faced-back when sewing the seams, and then hand-quilted over the top- which is still to be finished!
And here is this week’s Dear Jane block:

I4 - Stability

I4 – Stability

Have a great week!

friendly sewing

The photos below are of recently finished projects of the members of my quilting group, Gatton Quilters. We recently had our meeting, the first of the year, so everyone had lots of Show and Tell! We are currently working on a number of Challenges, which will all contribute towards our Exhibition we will be holding in July.
On the left is Helen’s response to the Recycled theme: Starry Nights utilising sari pieces. The work on the right is Lyn’s response to the theme of Recycled: she has depicted the journey from green leaves to compost.

L: Helen   R: Lyn- Nature's Recycling Plant

L: Helen R: Lyn- Nature’s Recycling Plant

The other theme we are working toward is Seasons. Helen’s work on the right is Annabelle’s Seasons Restaurant. Shirley’s work shows all four seasons together in the one piece.
L: Shirley   R: Helen-

L: Shirley R: Helen-

We also had both Trisha and Val showing their lovely, all hand appliqued tops called “Love Entwined”.




In a workshop last year we all learnt about sashiko stitching, and Marilyn has really taken off with it, completing some extra lovely projects.
I was also recently sewing with a group of friends on a leisurely Sunday afternoon. We had machine sewing and hand sewing going on, and look at this most cutest teapot for our afternoon tea!
afternoon sewing
That’s the great thing about quilting and sewing- it’s nice to get together and catch up while also making some headway in a current project. It’s all good!
Oh, and here is this week’s Dear Jane block: A12 Framed Fancy.
A12  Framed Fancy

A12 Framed Fancy