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
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.
I made this quilt towards the end of last year but I don’t think I have shown it on here before. I call it Urban Sprawl and it is of my own design.
Karen Mundt- Urban Sprawl
I made it in the improv style; starting with lots of little pieces cut and joined in all manner of ways. It was fun to just play and experiment with putting together building blocks which were then joined with others to gradually make larger pieces of the quilt top.
I had always wanted to make a quilt that was mainly white, or off-white, and little pops of colour. My preference has always been for pieced quilts, so I pieced together wonky flying geese blocks, inserted narrow strips here and there, deliberately didn’t line things up and eschewed the use of a ruler in most cases.
The main theme I had in mind was a play on a cityscape. There are narrow buildings and structures in amongst rooflines of houses.
Probably the hardest part was actually putting it all together at the end; making the pieces fit together with odd-shaped coping, or sashing, strips to put some order into it all. This is where a design wall comes in handy!
I backed it with a white backing and faced it, instead of binding. I quilted it with straight and angled lines, some of which echoed the house and building shapes.
If you are in Brisbane between 27 to 29 April, go along to a quilt display being held by Queensland Quilters, called Quilt Connect. This quilt will be hanging there, along with the quilts of 4 others from my local quilt group, and many others from groups across Queensland, all affiliated with Queensland Quilters. The details are:
What do you think of this quilt? It’s my improvisational medallion quilt that I started in a Gwen Marston workshop in mid-2013, and it’s finally finished!
Karen Mundt- medallion quilt
I’ve written here a few times about the progress, and about how it proved to be a real challenge.
In the Gwen Marston class, we started with a centre block and then started adding onto it, a border at a time. I only got the hour-glass border on during the class, and made up the rest of it myself. Decisions had to be made for each border- what techniques to use, which fabrics, which colours. There are obvious borders out to the half-square triangle border, but then after that it was made up as I went. I wanted to make mine as scrappy as possible, and while I did buy a lot of the fabric to use for it, I also used a lot of left-over fabric from past projects.
I experimented with lots of different block designs, made up some of my own and made wonky versions of blocks. As I made endless blocks, I would put them up on my design wall and move them around. It was this middle stage where I often felt that I wasn’t moving along, so I started to make decisions on a section at a time. I would work out which blocks could go together to make up a large section and piece them all together.
I had started with thinking that I would use a pale green or cream as the calming fabric and filler in between the colourful blocks, but soon realised that wasn’t going to work. So I switched to using red as the filler and that became the constant colour to draw the eye around the quilt. The filler strips and pieces were necessary to ‘fill in’ where some blocks were a little shorter than others or not quite fitting together and made it much easier to piece the sections.
I would work on just making decisions on one section at a time, put that up on the design board and move onto the next. Eventually it got there, after countless re-arranging, contemplation and fiddling!
But once the quilt top was together, I then had to work out how to quilt it. As there weren’t any regular seam lines going all through the top, no large spaces to fill in with a quilting design but lots of seams everywhere, and the fact that it was so busy to look at anyway meant I had to keep the quilting fairly minimal.
I ended up just quilting a quarter-inch echo around most of the blocks and seams.
For the back I used some pink striped fabric and pieced it with bits left from the front..
It’s the time of the year when the Blogger’s Quilt Festival is on over at Amy’s Creative Side blog. It’s a quilt festival for those who can’t get to the festivals in person, instead you can tour around the blogs of all the entrants looking at their amazing quilts. There are also opportunities for prizes so don’t forget to take a look.
I have entered two quilts. The first is this Lollipop Trees quilt, made to the pattern of Kim McLean and using mainly Kaffe Fassett fabrics.
Karen Mundt-Lollipop Trees
I first showed the quilt here.
I’m entering it in the applique section. It was a big quilt for me to make and the most applique I had ever done on a quilt.
My second entry is going in to the Modern category. It’s this quilt I made using one of the score’s from Sherri Lyn Wood’s Improvisational Quilts Handbook, shown on the blog here.
I started with a flying geese block and experimented and improvised, using hand-dyed fabrics and stripes and raw-edged piecing.
I’m not sure what exactly is modern- is anyone?! But it fits the commonly-accepted criteria, so that’s what I’m going with!
Sometimes, working out the best way to quilt a quilt-top is a long process, fraught with indecision, double-guessing and accompanied by lots of sighs. Such was the case when I put this quilt of my own onto the longarm machine last week. This is the medallion quilt that I have mentioned quite a few times over the last year or so, here and here.
I started it in a workshop with Gwen Marston a couple of years ago, and the inspiration is a medallion quilt from her book Liberated Medallion Quilts. I didn’t use any pattern or instructions. It is made from lots of blocks, all made to different sizes and employing a variety of methods. Improv quilting indeed!
Once a large supply of blocks are in hand comes the difficult stage of working out how they can all fit together.
Many a time I was heard to say this is the hardest quilt I’ve ever made! Blocks were put together with strips added in here and there to make up gaps, extra little half-square triangles quickly put together to fill in a space and lots of re-arranging up on the design wall. I used Gwen’s method of ‘liberated quilting’, and made wonky star blocks, lop-sided log cabin blocks and unusual colours together in the hope it would all look okay in the end.
But once the top was all together, silly me thought it was all plain sailing from here. But how do you machine quilt such a top, with irregular seam lines and so many shapes and sizes?
I started with the decision that I didn’t want to do an all-over design or use my favoured method of free-hand quilting because it was so busy anyway and that style of quilting wouldn’t suit it.
I would use the same cream thread all over because otherwise changing threads would be a nightmare, but try to limit its visibility on darker coloured pieces.
So… I’m going to use straight-line quilting wherever possible, although there won’t be a regular 1/4″ around the blocks and some have strips which aren’t a constant width.
It’s in progress at the moment, so excuse the thread-ends in these photos:
Some blocks would be just out-line quilted, on some the quilting would be visible but not so on others, I’ll use in-the-ditch to move from one section to another, and as for the wonky blocks with irregular strip widths and star-points- sigh…..
For the centre square, trying to avoid curvy lines for consistency restricts the options somewhat, so more thinking required here-
This quilt is turning into the hardest one I’ve ever had to quilt.
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!
I’ve been making a little progress on this improvised quilt. I’ve written about it here and here before, and it may seem to onlookers that I’m not making much headway! Making up this quilt as I go along is harder than it seems, really hard. I think it is probably the most difficult quilt top I’ve made!
I have it up on my design wall with all the extra blocks I’ve made so far arranged around it.
The last week or two have been spent looking, re-arranging, looking, sewing bits together, changing my mind and so on. I’ve started worrying that it’s all too busy and will just look chaotic, instead of looking like its meant to be: colourful and scrappy but still just right.
I know that once I have worked out a rough arrangement of the little blocks that are going around the medallion centre, I then will be adding filler strips to make them fit together. Those filler strips will be in the light green that I used in those wide strips top and bottom of the centre, as well as red and some of the stripe. So I’m hoping they will help to pull it together and also give some places for the eye to rest.
Herre are a couple of sections I’ve put together:
It’s been fun making all the extra blocks. Some unexpected pairings of fabrics have revealed some new favourites, like this block:
These are some of my ‘extras’ – little parts to fill in spots where needed.
and lastly, I can’t complain because I have had some help from Dublin the supervisor
I started making some blocks back in January, as part of the Aurifil Block-along, as posted about here.
I intended making these blocks with a view to add them to my scrappy medallion quilt that I’ve been slowly working along in the background between other things. This quilt:
This was the first one, a traditional bowtie block:
Like all the blocks I’m making for this quilt, I put them up on my wall once finished so I can look at them all together. I won’t be arranging them until I have lots made so their final resting place is unkwown for the time being.
But these blocks have been sitting there all this time and each time I look at them I think, they are not right, there’s something I don’t like. I think they are too big and ‘straight’ and ordinary, when most of the other blocks are wonky or improvised, or just different in some way. So, I had to do something with them. Maybe breaking them up, so all four aren’t together in one big block?
No, still too ‘clean-cut’. There’s nothing for it- I have to chop them up.:) So, I cut them across the middle, and inserted a strip. Still not enough; cut them across the other way and inserted another. Here’s the first:
I’m still not completely enamoured of them, but they are better than they were previously. Maybe they can sit up on the wall a bit longer while I ponder….
I’m linking up here to Lily’s quilts and her Small Blog Meet- hope you’ll have a look at some other blogs
Experimenting more with blocks for my medallion quilt, I’ve been sewing scraps together to make a base fabric that I can then use to make blocks out of. Using a variety of odd-shaped scraps that have resulted from the blocks already made for this quilt, I just sew them together:
Once I have a piece big enough I can then pick which block to make from it and cut the necessary components. Here is a couple of blocks where I used the saw-tooth design:
It adds that scrappy look, which I often prefer to the ‘clean-cut’ look! Then, there is also the wonky log-cabin block which has endless varieties:
In this block I added a flying geese block to the top of some randomly pieced strips:
And some more little strip squares:
I’m utilising quite a large selection of fabrics for this quilt, but stearing clear of the brights that I normally favour (except for a little bit of bright lime or fuschia here or there!). I’m taking to heart something I read, where by as long as you have a fabric appearing more than once in your quilt, it will look as if it belongs. Once I get it all together, if I don’t like some blocks, then I can just keep them out for another project along the way!
It’s all good.
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: