Well, my break from the blog turned out to be a little longer than I first thought it would be! I’ve actually been thinking hard about whether to continue with this blog as it seems that blog-reading has widely taken a downturn in favour of other forms of social media. I constantly use Instagram where I post photos of my works in progress so I found myself turning to that more and more. The number of visits to this blog are also not in great numbers- sometimes I’m not even sure there is anyone out there reading it! Let me know if you are in the comments while I make up my mind…
This quilt I’m showing today is one I have just finished, after working on it for over 12 months on and off. It is called the Shimmer quilt, pattern is by Jenny Bowker. It especially looks colourful against that great blue sky!

Shimmer- Karen Mundt

Shimmer- Karen Mundt

I love how the blocks shimmer across into each other, using the half-square triangles to blend the colours in.
The hardest part of this was working out which fabrics to use and where to place them. Fabric choice was all important, and there were a few blocks that I put up on my wall that didn’t make the final cut, and some that had to be re-made when I moved them around.
There was lots of cutting and piecing involved…
The movement of the colour across the quilt was really important to manage. Looking at the final image of it now, the yellow/orange diagonal streak across the quilt stands out even though it wasn’t planned that way.
I quilted it on my longarm with a freehand design- it is so ‘busy’ that nothing too complicated was needed.
This quilt will be in an exhibition at the Lockyer Valley Art Gallery from 23 April until 27 May. My local group, Gatton Quilters, is mounting a great display of quilts and other pieces to showcase the results of all our hard work over the past couple of years. Try and take a look if you find yourself coming past this way!

eye candy in Paris

We managed to find a few sewing and quilting-related shops on our recent trip to France & England. It was handy to have looked them up before we went so we had a list of possibles to try and find. While we didn’t get to all of them, we enjoyed the ones we did!
This little Mercerie in Paris, called “Ultramod” was just a beautiful little old shop- which I know doesn’t seem so from its name!
We found it in a little side road, with a relatively unassuming exterior. It was like stepping into a treasure trove. It still used original wooden fixtures and cardboard boxes. It had a huge assortment of buttons…
and laces and trims…

some lovelies to just look at...

some lovelies to just look at…

And on another note, Gatton Quilters’ new monthly quilt art challenge is to create a quilted or mixed-media postcard. The first month was…. Paris!
Here is my little postcard: a map quilt created with bits of fabric, some embellishment and hand stitching to top it off.
Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt

Top: Marilyn, Karen, Helen S; Row 2: Trish, Jan M, Marg; Row 3: Helen H, Shirley, Lyn

Top: Marilyn, Karen, Helen S; Row 2: Trish, Jan M, Marg; Row 3: Helen H, Shirley, Lyn

And some other works that were shown at the meeting:
Kaye C- sashiko table runner

Kaye C- sashiko table runner

Marilyn- table runners

Marilyn- table runners

And on another another Note!: I will be taking a break from my long-arm quilting business. I have a number of clients’s quilts to finish off by the end of the year, but won’t be taking in any new business after that. I hope to spend more time to do some of my own sewing and quilting, and creating some new things. But you never know what the future holds- I may change my mind and come back to it at some stage! I’ll keep you updated :)
Have a lovely week quilting!

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!

what I’ve been up to….

So it’s July and we are half-way through the year. The stitching project I embarked on in January- ‘1 Year of Stitches’ is now also 6-months old. I stitch a little every day, sometimes only a few stitches, sometimes a little more. Looking at the latest progress photo, I’m wondering whether I’ve used up more than half of the available background?!

Karen M- Year of Stitches

Karen M- Year of Stitches

There is still a lot of filling of gaps to do yet, so I shouldn’t run out before year’s end. (I post a progress photo on Instagram every few days if you want to see more.) It’s turning into a little community. See the waves of the beach over to the right with the friendly whale! There’s also a ship with the Aussie flag- a little nod to my son in the Navy.
I’ve also completed the block for June for the do.Good. stitches charity quilt group: our instructions were to use only shades of green, yellow and white with a pink centre.
June- Cherish group- do.Good

June- Cherish group- do.Good

And apart from that, I’ve also been busy with client’s quilts on the longarm. Here’s a couple of recent finishes:
Such a gorgeous blue on this children’s quilt.
Hope you are also having a productive week!

colour, colour and more colour

Today’s post is all about colour. Just a few random shots of the colourful things I’ve got happening in my sewing room at the moment.
I was rummaging around in this jar of silk sari strips looking for something in orange and red (the colours for this month’s sinchies challenge), and in the process, tipping it all out. The bright jewel colours of the scraps contrasted so beautifully with the little pile of blue fabrics I had lying on the table.bigcity1
On my longarm machine I am currently quilting this quilt of my own- this big Bright Lights, Big City quilt top that I actually finished some months ago. It certainly has lots of colour going on, with as many different fabrics as I could fit in it! I’m only just starting it, so still working out a quilting design for it.
And I am currently working on a new quilt- another one with lots of piecing and making full advantage of colours playing with each other. The pattern is ‘Shimmer’ by Jenny Bowker. The image above shows the start of arranging the colour blocks and playing with placement. (The white spaces haven’t been filled in yet.) It has blocks of big patterns, interspersed with self-patterned blocks of colour and blocks of half-triangle squares which cause the colours to ‘shimmer’ into the surrounding blocks.
These are some of the triangle blocks I’ve been sewing- more bright colours!
And, if I’m talking about colour, it would be remiss of me not to include a shot of these beautiful perfectly-shaped roses from our garden!roses1
Hope you’re having a colourful week!

green and white

I first ‘created’ this fabric in a workshop on printing, painting, enhancing and embellishing fabric. We used leaves and sticks and various surfaces for mono-prints and transferring images and rubbings. This fabric had various green paints and leaf shapes, so I decided to use it for this month’s green and white Sinchie challenge with Gatton Quilters.
I added further rubbing using a crayon to transfer extra leaf outlines and fill in some spaces.
After cutting out a smaller-sized piece, I started hand-stitching large running stitches across its surface. I used 3 strands of DMC cotton, starting with 3 dark green colour on one side and gradually introducing varying shades of green, changing to a light green by the time I got to the other side.
I also cut out some little pieces of lace from a discarded remnant and incorporated them on the surface with the stitching.
I then added some iron-on pellon to the back, cut out a piece of another fabric and sewed them, right-sides together to make a little quilt.
We often produce lots of pieces of fabric in workshops and classes which can sit in our cupboards for ages before being put to good use. I’m working on trying to incorporate my various bits and pieces in art quilt projects- after all, we can always make more! This is a look at some of the other pieces created by members in our group:

Top row: Marilyn, Marg, Helen H, me Bottom row: Meryl, Lyn, Jan K, Shirley

Top row: Marilyn, Marg, Helen H, me
Bottom row: Meryl, Lyn, Jan K, Shirley

A quilted runner made by Marilyn:


… and a quilt I recently quilted on the long-arm for a special niece’s birthday!
Until next week…

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:
It was quilted in a hand-guided custom design using an off-white thread.

Hope you are having a good week!

Tula in Toowoomba

Lots of colour to show you this week! The following quilt is one that I did not make, but I did do the quilting.
Meryl made this and asked me to quilt it. It’s a bargello-style quilt that makes the most out of the multi-coloured batik fabric.
I quilted it in an overall design with long horizontal looped lines which highlighted the colour changes in the fabric, in a dark gold thread.
It’s a beautiful and brightly coloured quilt.
Last week, fabric and quilt designer Tula Pink visited Toowoomba to give a talk on how she came to do what she does so very well, and to show some of her quilts.

Tula Pink

Tula Pink

Tula is a very entertaining speaker, naturally funny and quick-witted. She spoke at the Precious Time quilt shop in Toowoomba and everyone there had a great time, both listening to her and getting a peek at some fabulous quilts. Tula said that all the quilting on her quilts is done by Angela Walters, so I was very interested to have a close-up look at the quilting- just fantastic work.
We also got a sneak peek at her newest fabric line, Slow and Steady, which is about to b ereleased. All her fabric lines feature animals, and this new one will be a play on the tortoise and the hare fable.
She made this quilt out of that new fabric:
A lot of the people there brought along the quilts they have made with her fabric, and some even got Tula to sign their quilt. This first one below is some hexie quilt!
It was a great day to get some injection of inspiration to get sewing!

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.
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…
and this little girl at the window…
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.
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.
I backed it with a white and brown stripe, which I also used for the binding.
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

Longarm quilting

Just a few photos of a recent quilt I finished on my longarm machine for Lyn.
2016-03-08 21.24.03
This was a quilt embellished with crocheted doileys, lace and bits and pieces that all have sentimental memories.
2016-03-08 21.23.25
I didnt take many photos to show, but you get the idea. I have done a few of these quilts now, and always the tricky part is deciding how to quilt it. There’s not a lot of open area so the quilting has to go in and around the embellishments. But, the areas that are covered by the doileys and lace are too big to leave unquilted so they still have to be quilted as well.
2016-03-08 21.22.43
I did some ruler-work in this one for something different- a curving ‘border’ of 1/4″ lines around the edge and a large diamond of ‘background’ lines in the centre.
2016-02-19 16.32.10
Onto the next quilt!