oldies but goodies

Old and vintage fabrics, stitcheries and embroideries, old cloth and linen- I love all of these and love to work with them when I can. I have various bits and pieces that I’ve been lucky enough to be given or have found in op shops or craft stalls etc. The rider is, of course, that I always say that I will probably be cutting it up or tearing into pieces to make something ‘new’, so as long as everyone is happy with that, I’ll take whatever I’m given!
Some years ago, I went shopping with my daughter in a second-hand shop and we came across a beautiful powder-blue dress which probably dated from the sixties. It was a short close-fitting sheaf, with a satin lining and lace overlay. It fit my daughter’s slim figure perfectly, so I just had to take the length up a little and she wore it to a race day. The strip of lace and fabric I had to cut off didn’t get thrown away- I kept it and just recently found a use for it.
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I’be been experimenting with stitching paper and cloth and laces etc. as part of an online course with Karen Ruane. We are experimenting and making little bits and pieces that can be attached to pages in an ‘artist book’, or a little journal if you like. I used the lace scrap to stitch onto some tracing paper.
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Using free-motion machine stitching, I stitched round and round in a random fashion. The tissue paper can then be torn off, leaving little paper scraps left behind, or leave it on as you wish.
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It can then be enhanced with further stitching including hand-stitching and embellished, as I did below. I cut off one section of th elace, removed the tissue paper from the middle part, and hand-stitched it onto some cream hand-made khadi paper.The little wooden beads are from an old necklace of mine that broke years ago.

Karen Mundt- artist book scrap

Karen Mundt- artist book scrap


Little pieces of loveliness!

how to make a Christmas gift

A recipe for a handmade book-mark:

Christmas Book-mark:   Karen Mundt

Christmas Book-mark: Karen Mundt


1. Take a piece of hand-painted and stencilled cloth and some sari ribbon of contrasting colours:
2. Lay out the sari ribbon silk strips and sew them down onto the painted cloth- I used a large zig-zag stitch in black thread.
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Then cut across that piece into short strips of varying widths – no ruler needed! Rearrange those short strips- I rearranged so that there would be red pieces of the ribbon popping up in random locations, and then sew them back together.
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3. The piece of re-constructed cloth I had at this stage was about 6″ wide. I then cross-cut that (you know I like to cut things up!) into the pieces that would become the book-mark- 6″ long and about 2.5″ wide. You can make them any size you want by sewing extra strips together or cutting wider or narrower….
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4. I tore up a page from an old book and together with a scrap of fabric attached them onto the top. I used little pieces of text fabric- any words or sayings to do with books or quilts, used black thread and left the thread ends showing on top.
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5. I then ironed onto the back of each of them some thin pellon- but in retrospect it would have been easier to iron that on to the back of the larger piece before cutting them up in Step 3 above :)
6. I used a piece of my hand-dyed cloth (dyed in a workshop quite a few years ago) as the backing- layered that and the top piece, wrong sides together, and sewed around the raw edges. I inserted a piece of ribbon or string as the loop for each one- leaving the cut edges out. Use whatever you have at hand, and they don’t all have to be the same. Sew around the edges at least twice free-style so the stitching looks uneven and ‘rustic’.
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Great to use for Christmas gifts!
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white, white and more white….

This is a 6″square; a quilted close-up picture of a rose.

Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt


With the colours of this month’s challenge being white and yellow, I set myself a little challenge to see if I could recreate the picture using only shades of white. I found a photo of a white rose with the focus on its beautiful centre. I used a method of Upside Down Applique, which I learnt in an online course I did years ago with the now-defunct Quilt University. It’s the same method I used to create this flower picture, shown here on the blog back in August:
Frangipani- Karen Mundt

Frangipani- Karen Mundt


After taking a photocopy of the photo, I traced around all the little sections where the colour changed and worked out that I could create it with 4 shades of white, which I numbered 1 to 4. I used little bits of yellow for the darkest bits.
We always hear about lots of shades of white- winter white, warm white, bright white etc so when you line up a few against each other, it’s easy to be able to arrange them in order from ‘light’ to ‘dark.’
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I traced the picture onto a piece of stabiliser and numbered all the pieces according to which shade of white was needed. I then used that to applique each little piece, sewing it down from the reverse side.
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I started with the darkest pieces first, working on the rule that dark colours recede and lights advance. The darkest sections in the picture were in fact the deepest recesses of the curled petals. I added a piece of the darkest white fabric to all those spots, following the lines drawn on the stabiliser and therefore sewing from the back side – sort of like how we do foundation piecing. I used a clear monofilament thread in the bobbin and white thread in the needle, sewing exactly along the lines with an embroidery foot and dropped feed dogs.
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Once each piece is sewn down it can be trimmed as close as possible to the sewing line, except those parts where one piece under-laps another piece yet to be added. I sewed all the Number 4 pieces and the yellow, then moved onto White #3, sewed all those, and so on down to White #2 and White #1.
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As I sewed each piece, I coloured in that piece on my little drawing just to keep track of which bits had been sewn.
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After all pieces are sewn down and the edges clipped,
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I turned it around with the front facing up and then did lots of free-motion top-stitching with white thread around all the pieces. The little quilt was then backed and some last quilting done on top.
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I added a little bit of dark pencil to create shadows and add dimension along some of the edges.
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The flower-shape looks a little clearer when seen from a distance, as in the photo below taken with all of the quiltlets made by our quilt group at our recent meeting. One thing that I should have utilised more was the effect that was achieved in the white pieces that surroundered the small yellow pieces. The yellow created a shadow under the white, so in effect performed the role of another ‘colour’ to add to the variations.
You can see in the photo below the interpretations everyone came up with on the Flora & Fauna theme and only using white and yellow.
L-R, Row1: Helen H, Jan M, Meryl, Lyn; Row 2: Jan K, Shirley, Mine, Marilyn; Row 3(top) Cornelia, Trish, Helen S

L-R, Row1: Helen H, Jan M, Meryl, Lyn; Row 2: Jan K, Shirley, Mine, Marilyn; Row 3(top) Cornelia, Trish, Helen S


trishhelen
Trish and Helen S

Jan K

Jan K


Meryl, Lyn

Meryl, Lyn


This next photo is a few quilts left from last month’s orange and white theme.
Clockwise from top left: Helen S, Shirley, Jan M, Meryl

Clockwise from top left: Helen S, Shirley, Jan M, Meryl

orange and white

Working with white can be a little tricky. It is very stark and bright-especially when combined with orange! Those were the two colours for this month’s art quilt group challenge. Once again, a 6″square using only two colours, and something to do with flora or fauna.
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I took quite awhile to decide on what to do with this one, as I usually do. More time is spent in the thinking and designing than there is on the actual creating. An orange when dissected, that is orange fruit, is actually just orange and white and no other colour. So I thought to depict a cut orange off-centred and partly off the square would fill the brief.
I first drew out the orange and the components I would need to get them well-proportioned and placed how I wanted them. I then used that as my ‘pattern’ and traced out the segments onto vliesofix.
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I then ironed those parts onto some of my own hand-dyed orange fabric and then cut out and placed the pieces of orange fabric on a square of white felt as the background.
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I free-motion stitched around the orange pieces, and did some stippling in white thread on the background to give some contrast in the texture.
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Here are the interpretations from other quilters in the group:

Top row, L-R: Marilyn, Jan K; Centre row: mine, Marg, Helen H; Bottom row: Cornelia,Trish, Lyn

Top row, L-R: Marilyn, Jan K; Centre row: mine, Marg, Helen H; Bottom row: Cornelia,Trish, Lyn


Such fun to see what they all come up with!

can I make you a quilt?

I started my longarm quilting business back in about 2012-2013. I was a novice and taught myself to use the machine- a Gammill Classic Plus. Quilt by quilt I slowly progressed, and I’m thankful to those who trusted their quilts to me to do my best. My longarm machine is not computerised; it has a stitch regulator but all quilting is hand-guided with free-motion quilting or sometimes following a stencil or pantograph.

Karen- My Small World quilt (Jen Kingwell pattern).

Karen- My Small World quilt (Jen Kingwell pattern).


I’m now looking to expand and extend my quilting endeavours by making quilts for sale or on commission. I have been making my own quilts for many years, and that’s my real love. I could sit and sew patchwork quilts all day! I know there are many people who love and appreciate quilts but perhaps don’t wish to make their own. If you know anyone who wants to buy a ready-made quilt or wants a quilt made with their own choice of pattern and fabric, I would love it if you suggest my name to them!
Mini quilt made for a swap in 2015

Mini quilt made for a swap in 2015


I have a number of quilts already that I plan to put up for sale, and that will happen over the next few weeks.
I also do a lot of art quilting for something a little different.
Small art quilt to my own design

Small art quilt to my own design


This is just my first step in this direction, and I’m yet to work out the specifics of prices and accepting payments etc. (maybe an Etsy store? or an online shop?) I’m not sure whether there is a big enough market out there for me to join it, or indeed whether people are willing to pay an appropriate price for a genuine, hand-made quality quilt. What do you think?

In the meantime, here are a few pictures of a recent quilt that I quilted for a customer:
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It was quilted in a hand-guided custom design using an off-white thread.
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Hope you are having a good week!

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.
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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!
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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!

gorgeous georgie

I’d like you to meet my giraffe that I’ve named Gorgeous Georgie- cute, isn’t he!

Gorgeous Georgie- Karen Mundt

Gorgeous Georgie- Karen Mundt


He is a little art quilt I made in response to a challenge within my local art quilt group. We were all given a piece of fabric that had to be used in whichever way we wanted to make a quilted piece with irregular edges. This is the fabric we were given- a batik in browns and yellows and green:
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To begin with, I couldn’t think what to do with it so I pinned it on the wall for a couple of weeks just looking at it and waiting for inspiration. One day, when I walked into my sewing room, it occurred to me that the fabric looked very much like it could be an animal, and as my favourite animal is a giraffe, I thought – that’s it! I decided I would create it by using a fabric collage method. First I had to find a picture of a giraffe that I could use just for the outline and shapes. That took some time, because I wanted one with the head looking directly at me- I didn’t want the whole animal. I found this one on Shutterstock (royalty-free) images:
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I photocopied the picture to the size I wanted, then used a plain piece of white cotton to trace the giraffe head and neck- just the main lines and features. My plan was to create the collaged piece first, then cut it out and applique to a final background. I could place it so that the horns on the top of his head protruded from the background, as well as leaves from a tree over to one side, and this would satisfy the criteria for irregular edges.
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The fabric had within it different areas of predominant colour, so I cut it apart and divided it up so I had a mainly dark group, mainly lights and a green group. I could add in a tree with leaves that would use the green pieces.
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I then added to these fabrics other assorted scraps in the right colour-tones and cut them up into smaller pieces. I started placing all the pieces, taking careful note of where the darker sections were on the picture I used as my guide. It was important to carefully look at every scrap I picked up for its value; darker pieces can be used to indicate curves in his face, along his nose and jaw etc. I have followed the techniques that Susan Carlson teaches on her blog and in books.
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Each piece had a dab of glue on the back so it would stay when placed, the edges were left free so other pieces could be placed under and around where needed. Many pieces were added and taken away and moved here and there.The eyes were assembled as little parts on their own before placing down, and building around them.
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As shown in the photos, I started at the top of the head and moved down. The long neck had darker pieces placed first with the large ‘spots’ in a lighter value added on top.
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Once I was finished with placing all the pieces I added a little more glue to the edges of the pieces to make them secure. I then free-motion quilted all over as well as adding a backing to the horns that would be sticking up past the edge in the final piece. For his little mane, I used the selvedge edge of a piece of black fabric which had been treated with bleach discharge so it had a mix of dark brown and black along its edge. I made the background out of some blue hand-dyed fabric with a brown homespun. The tree was made in a collage fashion with some of the leaves made as separate pieces as they would be attached to the tree but not completely sewn down. They also had to be double-sided as they were sticking out past the edge.
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I did more machine-quilting over all of it to secure the various parts down and create the background of the landscape and a little perspective. I probably haven’t got it all completely accurate, but I’m using artistic license here! I added the backing in the pillow-case method after most of the quilting had been done, and then just added the final stitching to secure the layers and finish it off.
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I like him- I think he looks cute!
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So, what do you think? What would you have made with the piece of batik fabric?
Here are some pictures of the pieces made by the other members in my group:
Marilyn

Marilyn


Lyn

Lyn


Meryl

Meryl


Helen H

Helen H


Jan K

Jan K


L- Shirley R-Allison

L- Shirley R-Allison


I really like this one by Trish- very clever I thought:
Trish K

Trish K


Trish

Trish


Hope you’ve enjoyed these- have a good week!

long-arm quilting

By the very act of quilting other people’s quilts, I get to see a lot more quilts than I possibly would otherwise. I can look at the design they’ve used, the colour choices they’ve made and the fabrics they have chosen. This client’s quilt that I recently quilted is a beautiful big quilt, made to cover a queen-sized bed with enough to hang over and cover the edge of the bed. It was also made in one of my favourite colour combinations- blue and brown.
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It had a lovely range of fabrics in it, ranging from creams to browns to blues which made the surface a fairly ‘busy’ one…
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… so the quilting didn’t have to be too elaborate. I decided to use straight lines at an angle around the border area of the quilt and in between the on-point blocks. Those blocks had a curly feathery/paisley type radiating out from the centre.
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This is the back:
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I used a cream thread for the quilting.
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And here is the quilt already bound and on its bed!
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This next quilt was a completely different quilt altogether. This client made a bargello-style quilt using self-striping fabric. Completely opposite in its colours and style..
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It was quilted very simply with wavy lines echoing the peaks and troughs produced by the arrangement of the coloured strips, and the borders in a free-motion loopy pattern.
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It was quilted with a charcoal-coloured thread which also suited the back:
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Have a good quilting week everyone!

long-arm quilting…

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I so love Christmas! I love the trees, all decorated with tinsel and lights, baubles and hand-made ornaments..
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I love families coming together, sharing food and laughs and good times. And I especially love getting out all my hand-made Christmas hangings and stitcheries that have been hidden away for 12 months. So far I have the tree up, the rest will follow soon!
I have been very busy since getting back from my holiday, with lots of long-arm quilting to do. Here are a couple of quilts just recently finished. The first one is made by Lyn, using some unusual fabric that resembles the glaciers.

Lyn

Lyn


The quilting only had to be very simple to echo the ‘mountain-tops’ created by the piecing of the wide strips.
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And this next one is similar to another that I quilted a couple of months ago. It’s an heirloom quilt, made with treasured doileys and lace handkerchiefs..
Wyn

Wyn


This was a tricky quilt to do, with lots of bits and bobs to maneuver around. I tried to avoid stitching on the lace and crocheted pieces but did have to put a few lines through them to avoid having large areas with no quilting. That was probably the trickiest because its hard to see what you are stitching through the crocheted doileys, and even though it doesn’t really show on the top, it still has to look good on the backing.
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It was custom-quilted- each block was different so each quilted to reflect its design.. this one above is the centre block with its lace collar. There were bits of lace and braid and crocheted edges..
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.. feathers and swirls..
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more feathers..
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I still have some more quilts to finish before Christmas, so I better get a move on!
How are your Christmas plans coming about?
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