a baby quilt – Little Owl

I recently finished this baby quilt as a gift for a recipient that likes lots of bright colours! I first spotted the fabric with the black and white animals- the owl, the bear and fox, and bought a length of it to play with.

Karen Mundt-Little Owl

Karen Mundt-Little Owl

I thought it might look good to cut the animal squares out into separate pieces and put together with improv-pieced blocks, some coloured accents and some black and white diamond print fabric which I already had- it fitted in perfectly!
I think the little fox is my favourite..
I also quilted it myself on the long-arm and added the label on the back, and it’s all done!
I’m going away soon to visit the UK Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, so my posting on here may be a little erratic! But I’ll have lots of photos to show you of what we see and do while we are there.
Happy quilting!

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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!

some more splendid sampler

The blocks I’m making as part of the Splendid Sampler, hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, are coming along surely and steadily, even if I’m a little behind!
I’m still making them with mainly Japanese taupes, linens, some indigo patterns and whatever else fits within that scheme. I usually make quilts that are bright and with as many fabrics as I can, so it feels a little strange to restrict myself with this palette; I’m still having second thoughts whenever I look at these blocks that appear so ‘traditional’ to me! But, its’s giving me practise at working with values and putting more thought into colour.
Here’s a little catch-up since the last time I showed some blocks on here, with their name and block designer’s name:

#30-Simple Surprises by Amy Ellis

#30-Simple Surprises by Amy Ellis

#32 The Constat Needle by Laurie Simpson

#32 The Constant Needle by Laurie Simpson

This next one provided a good opportunity to use some of the selvedges that I’ve been saving for ages:
#33 Selvedge Saver by Pat Sloan

#33 Selvedge Saver by Pat Sloan

Block 34 - Lemonade by Amy Gibson

Block 34 – Lemonade by Amy Gibson

This block originally had hand-stitching along the ‘garden paths’ but I decided to try out some of the decorative stitches on my machine which also don’t get used that often! In the centre, I put a little square of braid from a piece I bought in New York last year.
#35 The Wishful Garden by Kristyne Czepuryk

#35 The Wishful Garden by Kristyne Czepuryk

Block 36 gave me the chance to do some little hexagons. Aren’t they cute! Each of the larger hexagon is made of tiny little hexies.
#36 Inchy Hexagon Club designed by Jane Davidson

#36 Inchy Hexagon Club designed by Jane Davidson

I like making hexagons- I might have to think about making a hexagon quilt (some day).
So, back to the sewing machine!

my small world quilt- growing the city

Time for another update on My Small World Quilt. I started this back here and am getting bits done when I can, but I’m probably a little behind others who are taking part in the quilt-along. This is Part 4 added to the others (numbered right to left):

Karen Mundt-My Small World quilt

Karen Mundt-My Small World quilt

This part had some more hand-stitching; I substituted the Statue of Liberty for the Pisa Tower:
as well as some applique and piecing,
including some clam shells…
You can see that I have been making my sky sections out of a variety of neutrals with a few text fabrics and some light blue squares thrown in here and there…
I’ve used as many fabrics as I can for that scrappy look, although I am also repeating a fabric in a patch occasionally so that it hopefully will all meld together. When I’m looking at a scrappy quilt, I like to look at all the blocks and the fabrics used and pick out where a certain fabric might have been used- my eye travels around the quilt looking for other placements so in my mind that helps to make it feel connected.
On now to Part 5!

9-patch improv

Improvisation in quilt-making is something I love to play with- the ultimate ‘What If?” So when I saw a call for quilters to try a new method and make a quilt that could possibly be shown in a to-be-published book, I thought why not?!
The book, which comes out in March, is called the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, by Sherri Lynn Wood.
This is the quilt I made:
Sherri provided us with a ‘score’ that guided us in making the quilt. There were no specific patterns to follow; the score provided a framework which we then interpreted in our own way. There were about ten different scores and a lot of quilters working with each one, from which Sherri would choose a selection to feature in her book. While my quilt didn’t get included in the book, it was still a fun process to go through.
The score I received was ‘Flying Geese’. I can’t give the details of how the score worked, but I can show a few photos of what I did. I decided to put my own take on it by limiting myself to striped fabrics and my hand-dyed fabrics that I’ve made over the years. I made lots of flying geese and it was fun to see how some of the colour combinations I put together looked really good…
I didn’t have any preconceived idea of what the finished quilt would look like but went along making decisions as I went.
I auditioned lots of different border fabrics with the original idea to use white or some other light colour, because that seems to be the common colour with many modern quilts. However, the best effect was achieved with black so the bright colours could pop against it.
And for some reason, when putting it all together, the smaller blocks wanted to arrange themselves into a rough grouping that resembled a 9-patch, hence the name Flying 9 patch.
I free-hand quilted it myself on my long-arm, using a bright variegated thread and lots of lines and angles, and bound it using a fused machine binding.
So even though, my quilt didn’t make the cut- I’m not sure whether those quilts will be mentioned at all in the book- I guess I will have to get the book when it’s published and have a look!
Linking up here to Nina-Marie’s Off-The-Wall-Friday!

work in progress….

What have I been working on, wellll….I’ve gone back to this medallion quilt, started in a Gwen Marston workshop last year, which I return to every now and then in between other projects. As I’ve mentioned here and here before, it is improvisational so the goal is to make the parts and put it together as you go along.
The latest additions include the red/cream half-square-triangle border around the centre panel, and the two wider strips top and bottom.
I want it to become a rectangle shaped quilt, which is why I didn’t add that light green border all the way around.
I’ve also been making lots of random blocks, without knowing where they will all go in the quilt just yet. Looking for some ideas and wanting to have a play, I decided to try a couple of blocks from this little booklet that came with an issue of the “Love Modern Quilting” magazine earlier this year.
Have you ever utilised these ‘free’ booklets or patterns that often accompany magazines? I just thought I might as well try a couple of them in some of the fabrics I’m using for this quilt. This first one is ‘Cross Check’.
The green strips are made with a Reece Scannell shot cotton, so it photgraphs a little funny, but such a beautiful fabric.
The patterns in the book are for 12″ blocks, but I’ve scaled them down to make 6″ blocks to fit in better with my quilt.
I also tried ‘Paving Stones':
The quilt top is going to be a sampler of sorts, with lots of different blocks and the intention of putting it all together at the end like a puzzle. I also made these improvisational blocks – cutting odd-sized strips without a ruler and sewing them together. Hoping they will fit in there somewhere as well!
And this block is one of the Aurifil ‘Designer of the Month’ blocks, which I have been playing along with, like here, although not exactly every month :) – this is the block for July:

making a mosaiic

There is a really neat competition happening over in the blog Stitched in Color. You make a mosaiic of photos to a colour theme and enter it in to her competition to win some lovely fabric! To make the mosaiic, you go to the Mosaiic Maker tool and follow the instructions. The theme was ‘Washed Earth”, and this was my mosaiic:
mosaicc72f764df12d4ea5b28e52cbe15d2c22d1eb14cd (2)
It’s made from fabric photos on the Pink Chalk website, and you pick and choose which fabric photos to put in to the mosaiic.
Or you could just go and make up a mosaiic using your own images for fun :)
Go and have a look and a play!

scrappy tripping

I don’t know where the days go to; certainly too fast to get much sewing done lately!
I mentioned months ago that I was doing a scrappy Round-the-world-trip quilt, and I had quite a few blocks finished early in the year. I was tired of it hanging around ! so decided to try and get it finished when I was away at the coast a few weekends ago. Here are all the blocks laid out:
I only had a few to go to finish, but once they were done the next decision was to work out their arrangement. It is an interesting concept: the original RTW quilts used a limited colour palette with the colours arranged in a defined order to create the pattern. Using a scrappy arrangement of colours meant that there was no particular order but you could still see a pattern emerging by using a variety of darks and lights. Here is another arrangement I tried out:
They are all sewn together now, but the next bit is to decide whether to add a border or two, and what colour will they be? Still thinking on that one.

And on another note, the Gatton Quilters are having an Airing of the Quilts on September 28:

Gatton Quilters Inc.

Celebrate 30 Years of Quilting in the Lockyer Valley

Airing of the Quilts

10 am to 3 pm

Saturday 28 September 2013
Gatton Historical Village
Freemans Road

Free entry
BYO Picnic Lunch

Musical entertainment by the
Moreton Bay Symphony Orchestra

If you are in the area stop by!

what is a background

I was casting my eye around looking for a photo for the theme of ‘background’, and of course my mind immediately started thinking of background fabrics we use in quilting and embroidery. I was thinking how important a seemingly inocuous fabric can be- how it forms the foil for whatever is going to be placed on top of it. The appliques or the sttcheries we place on it usually get so much more attention, and often a pale or light-coloured fabric is chosen for the background so as not to clash.
I often like to choose a spot or textured fabric for some variety, so I like to think I have moved on a little in my background choices, but I aim to be more adventurous in future- step by step!
In these lollipop-tree blocks I have used spots
and for this block the text fabric was used as the ‘background’ fabric.
When looking around my garden I realised that the group of native trees and plants we have would often be seen as a background for other more flashy plantings in front of them, or maybe as a setting for a family or special-occasion photo. But why can’t they be special in their own right? They struck me as being beautiful as they are.


And another thing, I recently went with some friends to see the exhibition of quilts at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art which I can highly recommend. If you have a chance to get to Brisbane sometime, you really need to see it! The quilts are from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, but also include the Rajah quilt, which is a quilt-top pieced by female convicts deported to Australia in 1841. It’s probably even worth more than a single visit!

A class with Gwen Marston

I had so much fun at the Gwen Marston workshop, held in Toowoomba last week. I think we were so fortunate to have a quilter of her calibre to visit. Gwen is a lovely person; lively and funny and generous and down-to-earth with her advice.
She brought along her own quilts to show us. Each day had adifferent focus. The first day was working on medallion quilts and before we started she would show us some of her own quilts, many of which were featured in her book. It was fantastic to see them up close!
These are some of her quilts which show some Amish influences and improvisational piecing and quilting.
The second day was based around her most recent book “37 Sketches”, in which she created lots of little quilts.
With these she played and experimented with lots of improvisation in the shapes she used, free-hand cutting, and restricting or expanding the colour palette. She said that she used them as an artist would a sketch: perhaps dealing with a square shape and the variations she could make with it, and then the next one would have one other shape added to it, or strips inserted in; using all dark colours in one, or all light in another.
We played by creating lots of little ‘spare parts’, trying out her techniques of piecing skinny triangles together, or making little strips with just a pop of colour here and there, or wonky nine-patches, and so on. Some people got as far as joining them all together to make a little quiltlet top, while some of us made a good start on a collection of parts.
Here is how far I got with my medallion centre: I went with this print which I was initially a little undecided on. I cut out a square which I then put on-point and chopped off some corners:
To that, I made some little hourglass blocks:
and added them into a border with some cornerstone blocks of a fabric which looked just perfect for the job!
Next up are my little spare parts. I tried to stick to about 5 or 6 different colours.
Here is a selection of what some of the workshop participants produced in the workshop.
One lady, Jan, had this quilt top to show the class that she had made before the workshop, very much in the style of Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran’s Liberated quilting style:
Beautiful colour and very clever!