Thursday, August 11, 2022

Planning a quilt and Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks, week 394. I  don't have any new free motion quilting (FMQ) to show you this time. It's been busy but I have made time to play with paper, fabric and thread - of the slow kind 😲. That's a good thing since it keeps me somewhat grounded and calm 😊.

Planning and making a special book

Although I didn't do any FMQ, I am very slowly working on my daughter's Paddington Bear quilt. You may have seen the accordion books that I made a short while back. I decided to embellish and use the accordion book with a flap to record the planning and making of this quilt. 

Accordion book with flap - now featuring Paddington Bear

Isn't it gorgeous? I attached the image that I used to make the medallion appliqué, to the front of the book. The flap was sort of in the way so it's a good thing that I had a second copy of the image to make adjustments.

Book with the flap open

Inside the book I added the fabrics that I used for the appliqué as well as the other Paddington Bear fabric that I have and will incorporate into the quilt. The funny looking Paddington Bear image is made up of the hand-dyed fabrics that I used on the appliqué. I added a pocket to include the pattern that I am creating. 

Fabric swatches and pattern

The next page includes more of the lovely fabric that I was able to accumulate. Like Paddington, a lot of the fabric travelled from far to get to my home.

More great Paddington Bear fabrics

FMQ design inspiration

As I was dog-sitting at my son's apartment, I took a few pictures of a London towel that they have (as well as pictures of Poppy of course)! I'll be using the images on the towel as inspiration for the FMQ that I'll use on this quilt. A few years ago, there was tons of fabric like this featuring London. I sure wish that I had bought some!

Great images of London to base some FMQ designs on

Here is the Paddington Bear appliqué that I made for the centre medallion of the quilt. 

Paddington Bear appliqué

My daughter and I have decided on a variety of gray Kona Cotton for the background of the quilt. I can't wait to go on a road trip to pick some up. I do want to figure out what other Kona colours that I could use on this since it will have real quilted blocks 😲. Yes, I know, I'll be making real blocks....that's how much I love my daughter!
The wonderful Poppy


What I learned
  • I really wanted to buy some of that London fabric but didn't clue in about where I could use it. The worst part is that I was already planning this quilt at the time!!!
  • My mother made my son a book with the designs that she used when she made his quilt. I think that it's a wonderful keepsake. As I make more books, it would be a great opportunity to record these quilty ideas and give the book to the person who gets the quilt. This will be my first one.
  • I adapted my Paddington Bear book by adding a pocket and some extra pages. I'm sure that my technique will get better as I make more books!
  • I've discovered "good" paper (stuff other than photocopy paper). That could get as addictive as fabric 😍

Related links
  • Accordion book with 4 panels and flap
  • Version 2.0 duo-tang
  • Paddington Bear quilt
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. I hope that you'll check them out and also take the time to link up your projects below. It doesn't have to be FMQ related 😎 Needle & Thread ThursdayPut your foot down with AndiOff The Wall FridayPeacock Party, Slow Sunday Stitching, Patchwork & Quilts, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Makers

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome! Did you get to check out Angie in SoCal of the Quilting Reader's Garden blog's finish? She made a table topper for the July Table Scraps Challenge and FMQ it. Way to go Angie!

July table topper by Angie in SoCal

It's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Sun printing and Post 500

Hi, I hope that you are all doing well and enjoying whatever weather happens to be going on in your part of this wonderful planet 😊. Discussing the weather is a very Canadian thing to do. Is it part of your culture also? In Ottawa, the heatwave has finally lifted and we now have rain and cooler weather. Yeah! I'm sure that the heat will be back, but I'm going to enjoy this lovely break.

Sun printing

Last week I was able to do some sun printing. My results were so-so but I did enjoy the process and look forward to learning more and doing better. I also read an article about over-printing so I'm going to touch up some of my fabrics eventually.

My first attempt at sun printing this year

Some interesting plants from my yard

Mixing up the colours

Results of sun printing


This first piece (at the bottom of the first image) was the first that I did. I was really nervous and trying to get the first two done at the same time. 
  • A couple of the dandelion leaves on the left came out. 
  • The fern in the middle was not touching the fabric enough to get a good print. I think that I needed more paint. 
  • Next to it was a bunch of clover. It didn't adhere enough, but the two clover leaves at the top are great. 
  • The individual leaves didn't do too badly. 

Interesting results

I love the clover at the top edge of the first piece

The second piece was not very successful. There are faint images of ferns but not much else. I suspect that there wasn't enough paint and the plants were not touching the fabric enough. This piece will probably be much better with some over printing.

Not very successful sun printing

Faint outline of ferns

The little blue piece was not successful but I did better on my last two pieces. By then I was doing only one piece at a time, and was getting the hang of it.

I was hoping that the red would lighten up with more water - I would love to have gotten some pink in there. I think that I needed more paint (again) but the leaves did stick to the fabric so that the outlines, although pretty subtle, are better.

Green and red with some leaves outlined


Lovely violet leaves

This orange and yellow piece is my most successful as far as the sun print goes. Most of them are quite clear. Next time, I'll have to work on my composition 😊

Much better outlines of the leaves

Finally a pretty good image of a fern leaf.

What I learned

  • Sun printing is done with diluted transparent paint. I used Pébéo Setacolor light or transparent fabric paint but I think that I should have applied more paint to the fabric.
  • Also, since the paint dries fairly quickly outside in the sun, I should have done one piece at a time. I did spritz some water onto the fabric to keep it wet so that the image could transfer.
  • Plants that you can lie flat against the fabric work best. Some of the fern leaves I used were too rigid and didn't lie flat.
  • It's also important to work on the composition part so that if the sun prints work, that they will look nice together.
  • I've just found a tutorial on YouTube using the plant as a stencil to make plant prints. I've listed it below because I think that it would be great to use that technique also.
  • Finally, I found some articles by Lynda Heines. I've included the link below.
  • This is my 500th post! Youppi!!! I've been blogging for over 10 years, since March 2012. Wow, what a learning journey. I hope that it goes on for a long, long time 😎

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's go see what's happening out there! Muv is hosting Free Motion Mavericks until tomorrow. Remember to go link up! Patchwork and Quilts, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Maker, Put your foot down (hosted by Andi this week), Needle & Thread Thursday, Off The Wall Friday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Peacock Party



Thursday, July 28, 2022

Paper is a fibre too at Free Motion Mavericks

Hi! Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks, Week 392. The title of this post might indicate that I didn't get any free motion quilting (FMQ) done this week. It's the correct assumption to make. I guess that my overseas partner (Muv) and I have that in common - except that she's having a great time on holidays while I'm still in my studio 😊. I did however, play with paper and paint. Wow, what an adventure!

Making Accordion Books

I found another course/challenge to follow. I know....yet another one but I've been having so much fun 😍 Did you know that paper is a fibre? As a fibre artist, this is all part of learning to make and play....ok I'm really trying to justify my taking yet another course, but I've had a wonderful time making these accordion books.

Day 1 - Accordion book with 8 pockets

The 5-Day Accordion Books Challenge is organised by Vintage Page Designs through The Handmade Book Club (you will find the links in Related links below).

I had to go to my local art supplier to find the correct paper. I was a little nervous because I generally work with printing paper - so it was a new experience for me. The organisers gave us enough information that I was able to find the 2 sheets of 22" x 30" paper of the correct weight. I did buy 3 sheets of the paper and I'm glad since I have ideas on how to use these books...but more on that later 😊

Day 1 Accordion book with 8 pockets

Day 1 had us cutting all of the paper so that we would be ready for all of the challenges. I love working with this paper. It's a good weight but not too stiff. It's really perfect for these projects. We cut each sheet in four so we ended up with 8 strips of about 7½" x 22". 

For our first book, we also cut up some paper for tags to put into the pockets. 

For each day we have a series of short videos to watch. They are really well made and I found them very simple to watch and follow. The organisers also have a Facebook group for the challenge as well as Zoom calls twice a day to answer questions. 

Tags or bookmarks in the pockets

Each day also includes a video from a guest artist who demonstrates techniques for decorating the accordion book. The guest artist for Day 1 was a collage artist, Kat Kirby. I will put all of the week's guest artists' links in Related links.

I don't remember the last time that I played with water colour paint. I picked up a set a while back but never used it. I also found some spray ink in my box of "paint supplies" that I never use. That's what I used for the front and back of the accordion book.

Book with pockets filled with tags

Back of the accordion book with 8 pockets

My husband was quite impressed with this accordion book. Since he's always running out of bookmarks, I'll make him one and included a couple of bookmarks with it. He said that he'll fill up the other pockets with the bookmarks he has.

Day 2 Accordion book with 4 panels and flap

I made this accordion book but haven't had time to embellish it. It has 4 pages, a flap and a closure. 

Day 2, a 4 panel accordion book with flap

Here's how to close the flap

Accordion book ready to be embellished and used

Day 3 Layered Accordion Book

I made this accordion book but adjusted it to have more pages instead of an inside layer. The inside layer was like a band inside the book. It's pretty but I really want to be able to use these books.

Stitched fabric on the front of the book

I just had to add fabric to one of the books. I cut the fabric and then sewed it onto the paper using the walking foot that was still on my machine. I did increase the length of the thread so that it wouldn't just puncture the paper.

Instead of keeping the layer in, I cut the middle to make extra pages

The book also had a belly band to keep it closed. I stitched fabric to the outside of the band.

Accordion book with belly band

Here are the three accordion books posing in front of my Jag 😊

Three accordion books posing in front of the Jag!

Day 4 is a spinning accordion book while day 5 is a flag accordion book. Both look very intriguing. I'll have to write another post when I've made possibly embellished them. 

What I learned

  • I can see how people who don't want to paint, could have fun using water colours. I just might try more of this one day.
  • I found that water colours are a lot like painting on fabric in that it doesn't really matter what you paint, you can always add stencils and stamps (or FMQ to fabric) to make it look good....and that's exactly what I did! 
  • I love making these accordion books and I love it when they can actually be useful (to me or others!)
  • I had to re-attach the button on the accordion book with 8 pockets. Paper is not as strong as fabric so I ended up placing a piece of scrap fabric on both sides of the paper and then stitching the button through these scraps. It should be pretty secure now.
  • I have a few ideas for using these books. I was thinking that I could use two of them to illustrate or explain Stéphane's Version 2.0 quilt as well as Jeannine's Paddington quilt. I'm sure that I could play and make a variation of these with some pockets to hold things as well as space to draw or write. It would make a great souvenir of the making of their quilts. My mother made a book for the original Stéphane quilt and it's been really useful to the making of Version 2.0.

Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun parties. Let's see what's going on. Remember to link up your project below! Put your foot down, Needle & Thread Thursday, TGIFF, Beauty Pageant, Peacock Party, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Off The Wall Friday, Patchwork & Quilts, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Makers

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks. If you didn't get any FMQ done, you're not the only one, so don't let that stop you from linking up to this party!

Last time Dawn, of Quilting by Dawn, showed us her Sweet Summer Strawberries Quilt. This is my favourite photo of the quilt. What a beauty. If you didn't see it last time, go check it out!

Sweet Summer Strawberries by Quilting by Dawn

It's now your turn.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, July 25, 2022

Happy hexie flower mug rugs

Hi! It would seem that hexies are back into my life. They are very meditative to prepare and to stitch together (i.e. relatively mindless but enjoyable for a short time). 

Happy Purple & Spots

July's colour for the 2022 Table Scraps challenge is purple and the theme is circles, spots and dots. Until last year I had very few fabrics with spots but because of a wonderful gift of scraps, I now have tons.😊

Two English paper pieced, appliquéd, purple & spots mug rugs

As soon as I saw the July theme of spots, I knew that I had the perfect scraps to English paper piece (EPP) some hexies. I also had some gorgeous purple hand-dyed fabrics in my scrap bin. This project was meant to be!

Making the Mug Rug

My first try at stitching the hexies onto the background and batting was a dud since I used free motion quilting (FMQ). It was a mess. I don't often take things apart, but I did this time. I then took my time, pinned down my hexies and very carefully used the walking foot to stitch on the outside of the hexie flower. If you enlarge the picture below you can see puncture marks of very crooked stitch lines around the edges of the flower, 

Second attempt at appliquéing the hexie flower

Using a walking foot

Hexie flower stitched down

The next step was to make the mug rug. I had actually planned ahead a little bit and knew that I wanted an envelope or pillowcase type finish. The background piece was twice the length of the mug rug so that it could be used for the background. Below you see that the edges are stitched on two sides of the fabric and the one side is the fold. I left one side open so that I could flip the front out.

Leaving one side open
I learned a couple of lessons during the making of the first mug rug that I was able to apply to the second one (see below). 

Stitching the envelope of the second mug rug

Stitched on two sides, ready to be turned inside-out.


Flipped over through the open side

I found that the trickiest part was closing up the open side. Again, I learned a couple of things with the first one that I was able to put into practice on the second.

Over-stitching around the four edges of the background

Two Finished Mug Rugs


First happy hexie flower mug rug



Second happy hexie flower mug rug

Mug rugs in the clover

Mug rugs on a very large Hosta :-)

More Mug Rugs in progress


A third mug rug appliquéd and stitched by hand (WIP)
 

Last hexie mug rug (WIP)

What I learned
  • My most important lesson learned is to attach a hexie flower to the background using a walking foot, not FMQ. Lines need to be straight. With all of the layers of fabric, it's a perfect job for the walking foot.
  • It was very useful to make one mug rug at a time. I was able to use a couple of tricks that I learned from my first try:
    • It was easier to make the batting a ¼" smaller than the background, and then use the outside of the batting as a guide to stitch around the edges.
    • When leaving an opening to turn the mug rug over, it's best if the opening is a smaller opening than a full side. It was very easy once right-side out, to stitch up the open portion when a side had been partially stitched on both ends.
  • You may have noticed that none of my hexie flower mug rugs are centered. I was hoping that I would get better at that as I made more but I seem to have regressed, so my advice is to make it obviously not centered so that it looks like a design feature. 😊

Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties, including Muv's Free Motion Mavericks which is still on until tomorrow; as well as Joyful Quilter's 2022 Table Scraps Challenge, as soon as the party opens. Off The Wall Friday, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Patchwork & QuiltsSlow Sunday Stitching, Beauty Pageant, Oh Scrap!, Put Your Foot Down, Needle & Thread Thursday, Midweek Maker

Project details




Happy hexie flower mug rugs 
4¾" x 4½" and 4½" x 4½"
Materials: commercial scraps, hand-dyed background fabric, ¾" English paper pieced hexies
Techniques: English paper piecing, appliqué, quilting with walking foot.










Thursday, July 14, 2022

Books everywhere on Free Motion Mavericks

My favourite summer pastime is reading. In this post, we are celebrating all kinds of books - the free motion quilted (FMQ) and the paper pieced kind 😊 

FMQ books of the Version 2.0 kind

I wanted to FMQ something on my son's quilt but it had to be simple and relatively mindless. As I looked at the PowerPoint map of the Version 2.0 quilt, I realised that I could quilt a whole bunch of books onto one of the maroon stripes. Yeah!

FMQ books following the patterns copied
 onto Golden Thread quilting paper 

I started by tracing 5 or 6 images of books from the internet. From the first tracing, I made a second copy and then pinned them onto the stripe.

All of the traced images are pinned on the stripe

Eventually I had to remove some of the traced images since they were getting in the way of the FMQ. It was easy to pin them back when I was ready to quilt them. 

I wish I could say that it was easy and mindless to quilt but that would not be true! Since the quilt is queen size, it's awkward to quilt to begin with. I figured out that I had to start at a top corner of an image so that I could work my way forward and actually see the tracing. I also quilted all of the books sideways since it was the easiest way to place the quilt within the machine.

Here are a couple more pictures!

All kinds of different books -
 some even have a feather pen!

Many books as well as the night sky


Update on the Summer Book Club

I'm quite behind on the making of my Tall Tales blocks but I did manage to make ten so far.

Here are my ten lovely book blocks


What I learned
  • I'm glad that I ended up doing some FMQ on my son's Version 2.0. It's so lovely to see the different areas slowly being filled! It's very encouraging.
  • Next time, I think that I'll use a thin marker to trace the images so that they'll be easier to see.
  • There is a blue stripe next to the maroon one that I may tackle next. I'm going to FMQ some herbs since it's something that Stéphane is growing. I hope that he has better luck than me! I hope to practice drawing these and then quilt them without tracing paper. 
  • I'm not going to predict how my Summer Book Club will go but I think that if I make the blocks in an assembly-line fashion, that I'll have better luck with them. I did make a huge effort to concentrate on the last block and it did go well, but I still used the seam ripper a little bit.
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on out there...and remember to link up your project below - it doesn't have to be FMQ related! Midweek Makers, Design Wall Monday, Off The Wall Friday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Peacock Party, Patchwork & Quilts, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday

Free Motion Mavericks


Welcome to week 388 of Free Motion Mavericks. I hope that you're enjoying your summer so far!
Gail, of Quilting Gail, finished her Pop Star Quilt using mmm quilts' pattern during the QAL. If you didn't see it, here it is.

Gail's beautifully quilted Pop Star quilt

It's your turn 😊


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter