there’s a lion in there

I made this little quilt for our recent quilt show. All our members were tasked with using some of the fabric we had created at various workshops over the years. In the past we have had workshops on eco-dyeing, painting, stencilling, stamping hand-dyeing and so on, which results in various pieces of fabric without a particular plan to use them! So for this one, I started off looking through some of the pieces I had in my cupboard to choose something to work with.

Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt

This piece was stamped with leaves that had been rolled with some paint and pressed onto the cloth. Blues and purples are always my favourites. lion2
I added to that some hand-dyes that I made quite a few years ago and some commercial fabrics. I don’t know how I came up with the design, but I just started with the idea of making something using the quarter-square triangle block.
I don’t use my Sizzix cutter that often but thought I should make the effort this time so used it to cut the triangles. The bonus of course is that I could just work with the size die that I had and base the quilt size around that. I incorporated some Tula Pink tiger/lion fabric which had the effect of looking like an animal was hiding and peeking out.
Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt

I named it ‘There’s a lion in there!’

catch up

Well, I’ve been away from this blog for about a month now while on holiday. I’ve been over to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK, as well as lots of other sights in England and France. If I can get back into a routine and a bit organised, I might show you some photos on here over the next few weeks!

'House' by Irina Voronina

‘House’ by Irina Voronina

The Festival was fantastic; lots to see of course but I also enjoyed seeing quite a few of the quilt artists themselves demonstrating in their booths and giving us an insight into how they work. There were a lot of quilts on display but unfortunately I only got to see a fraction of them. The quilts I’m showing here today are ones that caught my eye and that I especially loved. Some were just included in one of the many exhibitions, some were entered in competition.
'Corinth Canal, Horizon' by Fenella Davies

‘Corinth Canal, Horizon’ by Fenella Davies

'Home/Less' by Eszter Bornemisza

‘Home/Less’ by Eszter Bornemisza

'My Place' by Susan Denton

‘My Place’ by Susan Denton

'Woman and Thoughts of 3' by Alison Garrett (entered in the Contemporary Quilts comp)

‘Woman and Thoughts of 3′ by Alison Garrett (entered in the Contemporary Quilts comp)

'Woodpecker' by Noriko Endo, Japan (Contemporary Quilts)

‘Woodpecker’ by Noriko Endo, Japan (Contemporary Quilts)

'Betula' by Liz Howlett  (Contemporary Quilts)

‘Betula’ by Liz Howlett (Contemporary Quilts)

'Applique Alphabet' by Sue Trevor (Contemporary Quilts)

‘Applique Alphabet’ by Sue Trevor (Contemporary Quilts)

'Coastal Drift' by Liz Heywood

‘Coastal Drift’ by Liz Heywood (Contemporary Quilts)

'The Art of Integration' by Moniek Hulsebos

‘The Art of Integration’ by Moniek Hulsebos (Contemporary Quilts)

'Bark' Group quilt category by the Exe Valley CQ Group

‘Bark’ Group quilt category by the Exe Valley CQ Group; 3rd Prize Winner

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!

urban sprawl

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

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.
Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt

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:


Mt Gravatt Show Grounds

1644 Logan Rd Mt Gravatt

(best entrance via Broadwater Rd)

Thurs 27 to Sat 29 April 2017.

Karen Mundt

Karen Mundt

building scraps

I’ve been playing with scraps lately. Cutting up lots of pieces and sewing them back together, as we do. I started making these pieces of improvisation a couple of months ago, just constructing blocks of no particular size or shape and no design in mind.
When I got them back out again this weekend I put up on a board the bits I had already made, to get some ideas on how I want them to all be joined up together.
A very favourite theme of mine is cityscapes, so it’s not surprising that I finally decided on building a quilt around that idea- a view of a city in a sort-of deconstructed way. I have some lop-sided flying geese blocks, triangles and log cabin blocks which when put together resemble houses and buildings. I like that idea, and I’m on my way!
I am using lots of white with pops of colour, some greens and blues, a little purple and brown spots. I want it to be a ‘modern’ style quilt, so the aim is to have lots of negative space.
I’ve also made this month’s blocks for the Cherish do.Good.Stitches charity quilt that I contribute to: these are the Delectable Mountain block, or sometimes known by a few different names like Mountain Majesties, in black, grey and white:
I’m off to put them in the post!

a workshop

I went to a quilting workshop recently. We all had to take our sewing machines, our irons and ironing boards, a cutting board…
a random pick of fabrics, including old blocks left from previous projects and sewing tools, but no rulers.
The day was spent playing with fabric, making free-form cuts in fabric and adding them to any other bits of fabric that your hand might fall on.
I decided to use a lighter colour scheme than I usually work with- some creams, whites, browns and muted colours. These blocks I’m showing here haven’t been trimmed yet.
I also took some old blocks left from a previous project and split them up, then added some slivers of hand-dyed colour.
Our tutor, Peggy Phelps, started us off with some ideas of blocks to start with using lots of techniques such as strip-piecing, wonky flying geese, chequerboard units and uneven log cabin blocks.
A few workshop participants took a little time to get used to ‘not being neat’ but soon got into the swing of it!
And Peggy showed us some of her quilts where she has used lots of lovely bright colour!

Peggy Phelps

Peggy Phelps

Peggy Phelps

Peggy Phelps

Cornelia's blocks

Cornelia’s blocks







I find that any workshop you can do is worth spending the time to do it- there’s always something you pick up along the way- whether it be a new technique or even some inspiration to try something different of your own.

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

creating with bias strips

This mini quilt top was created by using bias strips- brightly coloured strips on texty backgrounds.

Karen Mundt- Symbols

Karen Mundt- Symbols

I used one of those little bias maker tools, where you feed in the strips of fabric cut on the bias and it turns over the edges so you can iron them down as it comes out the other end. Do you have one of those sitting in your drawer, not used for a long time, like me?!

I joined the Mighty Lucky club which is going to highlight some new methods and techniques each month. I thought it would be good to get me thinking about new things and to just have a play. The first month was about using bias strips to create a modern quilt.
For some reason these symbols popped into my head so I decided to try and make a few of them. I used a 3/4″ strip because I thought I would need it to be a bit on the thinner side to get it to curve how I needed.
However in retrospect I think wider strips might have looked a bit better- the symbols look a bit ‘spindly’ to my eyes- what do you think? I’m not over-pleased with it, but it’s okay!

It was fairly easy to do- I arranged the strips into the shapes and then used some glue to hold them in place while I sewed them down by machine. Using the Edgestitch foot (#10C on my Bernina) made that easy.
The instructions that were given included the use of iron-on adhesive which I didn’t have any of, so the Roxanne glue did a good job instead. I used a monofilament thread but of course you can use any coloured threads to make the stitching a feature.
Not sure what I will do with this now though- it may even end up being slashed and re-assembled for another modern quilt along the way!

it’s a small world..

I’ve been working away on the ‘My Small World’ quilt (pattern by Jen Kingwell), also following the quiltalong hosted by Very Kerry Berry, among others. In Part 5, there is a lot of work in some paper piecing and applique. One section is a half-moon, or maybe half sun?- shape made up of hexagons. There are 30 little hexagons about 1/2 inch.
2015-09-01 22.25.34
I haven’t done much with hexagons in the past, so I was eager to try them out, especially as they would all be in colourful scraps and nothing matching- my favourite! Here they are joined together, along with the smallest foundation-pieced triangle arc below it.
I think some more hexies might be in my future! I love seeing them all pieced, especially using all different colours as I have, and they are quite quick to put together.
This pattern doesn’t give a lot of detailed instructions on the various sections, so you are open to using your own favourite methods for constructing the components. For the pieced arcs, template shapes for the triangles are given, with the intention being that you trace lots of little triangles and then piece them together. To me, these arcs looked like the arcs in a New York Beauty block, which is my most favourite block, so I decided to construct the arcs using foundation paper piecing. This is the picture from the pattern just to show what we are aiming at:

Jen Kingwell's My Small World Quilt

Jen Kingwell’s My Small World Quilt

I just had to work out the size of the arcs by looking at the pictures given on how many of the one-inch squares it covers. As you can see, the little hexie component partly covers one edge of the pieced arcs anyway, so it doesn’t matter if the final component isn’t the exact size that is in the original pattern. I drew them on graph paper first, then traced those onto paper to use for piecing.
From there it was just piecing the fabric scraps together as I would a NY Beauty arc, sewing along the lines and getting nice sharp points.
That’s the first arc, another few to go!

blogger’s quilt festival

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

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!