Wednesday, January 13, 2021

FMQ the Earth on Free Motion Mavericks

Happy New Year and welcome to my first Free Motion Mavericks' linking party of the year (week 314). I hope that you are a doing well so far. I've been doing a lot of slow stitching but did find time to start work on the centre panel of the Pinwheels & Stars baby quilt.

Earth as seen from space

In late fall, I finished FMQ the pinwheels and stars on the baby quilt and the next step is to FMQ the centre panel - in colour! 😨😊

This is a very rough plan.

Out of this world plan for the centre panel

I found a lovely image of our world as seen from outer space and traced over it on tracing paper. Since there is no way to use a light box through a quilt, I FMQ over the tracing paper. It worked very well. 

FMQ on top of the tracing paper

I outlined the green parts of the Earth first. The rest is essentially water and clouds, so after quilting the land, I removed the tracing paper because the clouds could go anywhere. I FMQ the clouds that are over the earth in white and those over the ocean in blue. 

I don't think that it's finished yet, but there will be lots of time to play and add more stitching along the way, if that's what I decide to do. With a white background, it's difficult to really show the colours of the land and the amazing blue of the oceans. I feel that it might be better to wait to see what the rest of the centre looks like before adding more details to the Earth.

The outline of Earth

Since there isn't much to see in the centre yet, I'm going to let Chevy distract you from the quilt 😊

Chevy putting up with another picture

Next step

The next step will be to add the Moon and a rocket. I drew an image of the moon on some tracing paper and added shadows (based on an image in National Geographic). I think that it should probably be smaller, but what's the fun in that?

Moon drawing on tracing paper

What I learned
  • It's really too early to see if the image of the Earth will be ok, but I have to trust that with a whole bunch of other things in the centre, that it'll be fine - and if it isn't, I'll just add more stitching!
  • Stitching over the tracing paper worked very well. I highly recommend it!
  • I'll have to do my homework and find a rocket that I can draw. 
Related links
  • Last post on Pinwheels & Stars Baby Quilt
Linking parties
I will be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on out there! Monday Making, Colour & Inspiration Tuesday, Midweek MakersNeedle & Thread Thursday

Free Motion Mavericks

With a short break at Christmas, it's been a while since I last hosted Free Motion Mavericks. Considering it was posted on Christmas Eve and open through the holidays, we had a fair number of link-ups. Thank you!

I just have to highlight Rebecca's "My Mission Impossible Quilt" which was accepted to QuiltCon. What wonderful news just before the holidays! If you haven't see it yet, you really need to check it out!

Rebecca Grace Quilting

Now it's your turn.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Project Quilting 2021 - Grey and Yellow

I hope that 2021 has been good to you so far. I've been working away at this year's first challenge of Project Quilting: Illuminating (yellow) + Ultimate Gray. These are the Pantone colours of the year for 2021. I guess just having grey as the colour of the year could have been dull, so these are lovely colours together.

Project Quilting Challenge 12-1

I decided to keep it simple. As you may have read in my last post, my word of the year is calm. I took the opportunity to make myself of reminder of my word and intention.

Keep calm & stitch

It was a very straight forward piece. Find yellow and grey scraps and start sewing pieces together. I just had to go into my stash for a little more grey. I decided to keep it simple and created a log cabin improv block with the grey in the centre and yellow on the outside.

I put the block together in one evening but it took most of my free time this week to stitch it. There is no doubt that slow stitching is just that....slow! It did remind me to stay calm. 

Stitching in progress

After stitching most of the inside grey section, it was time to square off the piece. Lesson learned: if I don't do this before the piece is finished, I'm bound to stitch where the binding goes and cut off some of the stitches. At this point I prepared the scrappy binding and attached it. Then I finished stitching, knowing that I would now stay inside the lines!

Adding more stitching once the binding is on

Here are views of some of the details.

The grey was stitched mostly with running stitches

For Christmas, my son got me the paper copy of Sharon Boggon's Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery. I used Sharon's book for inspiration. I didn't want to get too fancy with stitching but I used some of her ideas for the stitching layouts. 

Adding beads
and couching
Adding beads and 
trying out stitches

What I learned
  • Yesterday I got a little panicky about finishing the piece on time. So I took a deep breath and decided that it was no big deal if it wasn't finished by the deadline - I could just post it after the party. Problem solved, back to calmness. 😊
  • I absolutely love Sharon Boggon's new book. Sharon is the lady who hosts TAST or Take a Stitch Tuesday on her blog, Pintangle. If  you like embroidery, check her out (see Related links below).
  • Now that I have this new project out of my system, it's time to work on my son's quilt!
Related links

Linking parties

I will be linking this post to Project Quilting 12.1. Make sure that you check out what wonders others have created! 
I'll be linking up to many other fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on in quilting/stitching blog land! Sarah Goer has a new linking party - Show me something that's a challenge, that I've linked up to.
Oh Scrap!, Slow Sunday Stitching, Patchwork & Quilts, Colour & Inspiration Tuesday, Design Wall Monday, Monday Making, To-Do Tuesday, Needle & Thread Thursday

Project details

Keep calm & stitch
15" x 11"
Materials: grey and yellow scrap quilting cottons, beads, buttons, embroidery floss, perle cotton
Techniques: improv piecing, embroidery stitching, beading

Thursday, December 31, 2020

What I learned in 2020

I suspect that everyone has been feeling a little off balance this year. I went from periods of incredible productivity to periods of total lethargy. Sometimes these periods lasted weeks and sometimes it was all within a few days or hours. 

Without consciously choosing it, my word of the year for 2020 was Frenzy!

What I learned in 2020

The year started as every other year. I had been working from home since the beginning of December 2019, but had no idea at the time that in a few months everyone else would be doing the same!

Small Projects

This year was dominated by smaller projects. Some were quick, like most of the Project Quilting pieces, the journal covers and some of the's Stitch Club 2020 projects. 

Making Stitcher's Journals

Working with translucent fabrics
I'm happy to say that I used my agenda and extended it to 2021. It's so useful to have one place to put all of my quilting and blogging plans and dates.

FMQ agenda cover

Quilting and blogging agenda

Of course having an agenda is not the same as actually looking at it 😊 as I learned yesterday morning - I was sure that the 2021 - My Stitching Resolution was on December 31st....well it was not 😔 and I was late to the party. That was very typical of my year, so why should it change now?

Major Projects

With all of the small projects going on, I have to say that my major projects this year were rather small, and most of them not finished. I did finish my Exit Strategy 1.  It was supposed to be the first of a series but I wouldn't put any money on it! There are just too many squirrels in my life and my attention span is very short right now. 

Exit Strategy was finished in 2020

For my 350th post, I blogged about starting to piece my son's quilt. This is an ongoing project that is not quite done. My One Monthly Goal (OMG) for December was to finish the quilt top but that won't happen. I am happy to report that I'm not that far off.

Here's a bit of an update as of December 28th.

The parts that are outlined in red
have been re-done

Blue print of the quilt re-do

As you can see, I spent a lot of hours working on this project during the holiday season. Chevy was, as always, hanging around. She slept through all that was going on at the cutting table.

Chevy can sleep anywhere

I took out my large cutting mat
to work on this project

I'm really hoping to post the completed quilt top by mid-January. I'm going for my third round of making this my One Monthly Goal - my January OMG is a finished quilt top!

In May I started working on the Pinwheels and Stars baby quilt during Free Motion Mavericks. I think that working consistently on one project brought some needed stability to my quilting life. Of course now I'm at a part that I can't just fudge my way through, so it may take a little while to get back into it.

A new studio

My pride and joy this year is my new art studio. I am so grateful to have this place to play. 

We all love the new space

What I learned
  • I'm quite happy to say that I reached my blogging goal, which was to write at least as many posts as last year. This is the last one, taking me to 68 for both 2019 and 2020!
  • This post has been about what I learned, but here is my take-away:
    • It's been a difficult year for everyone. I realise more than ever that self-care is important. You can't take care of others if you are not well yourself. I am physically fine but I will need to spend more time in 2021 taking care of my mental health. 
Calm is my 2021 word of the year.

Related links

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2021 - My Stitching Resolution

 My first resolution is to try to keep up with the dates in my calendar - sorry I'm late to the party Carla 😔

2021 Stitching Resolutions and Plans

Last year was incredibly hectic learning and stitching wise. If I resolve to keep it easier, will that really happen? I'm not convinced but here goes!

Long Promised Quilts

There were on my PHD list of UFOs to finish for 2020. This year only 2 long awaited quilts are on my list. First is my son's version 2.0 of the quilt that my mother made him, while the other is my daughter's Paddington Bear quilt.

Version 2.0 of Loved-To-Death quilt

Version 1.0 to be remade

I haven't done anything to my daughter's Paddington Bear quilt other than think about it. It's going to be modern but otherwise, it's still a pretty blank slate.

One Paddington Bear quilt
coming up this year!
Paddington Bear mini

Slow Stitching, Art Quilts, Dyeing and Surface Design

I suspect that I will be spending most of my time learning new things and practicing my slow stitching and making more mini art quilts and samplers. I have a few projects that I started this year that I would like to finish, such as my Traveller's Blanket which is made up of hexies and meditation stitching blocks. I've even been practicing some new embroidery and Sashiko stitching on it. I've been adding Sashiko stitches to my new Stitcher's Journal. I'm sure that I will get caught up in all of this and more with the's Stitch Club.

Traveller's Blanket - lots of progress
made since this image was taken

Practicing my Sashiko stitching


Free Motion Quilting and Free Motion Mavericks

I'm hoping to keep it simple this year. I have a Pinwheels & Star baby quilt to finish FMQ. 

An out-of-this-world FMQ centre for the baby quilt

A big space to fill!

I'm also hoping to FMQ both my son's and eventually my daughter's quilts in 2021. I'll be sharing these projects every fortnight during Free Motion Mavericks' linking parties.

What I learned
  • I was too ambitious last year. I suppose if I had not added the 12 UFOs to the PHD in 2020 it might at least have looked more reasonable!
  • You may have noticed that I didn't add any blog hops and other events on my list. I will try to participate in Project Quilting again this year but only on the weeks that excite me. I'm not committing to anything right now!
Related links
  • Since this post is already late, I'll come back later today to add my links.
  • You can also read about What I learned in 2020, December 31, 2020

#2021 Planning Party with Quilting Jetgirl
I am linking up to Quilting Jetgirl's #2021 Planning Party. I've been so much more reasonable this year. Let's see where that takes us!

2021 - My Stitching Resolution blog hop participants

With Carla from Creatin' in the Sticks
Here are the other participants. Hope you'll get a chance to check them out! Thanks so much Carla for organising this.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Free Motion Mavericks & the Holiday Season

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season for everyone joining us this snowy Christmas eve. Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks week 312. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season

I'm keeping it light on content today. Just have a look at some pretty Christmas and holiday season quilts. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here is my very long post! 😊

Chevy and I wish you a happy, happy holiday

Linking Parties
I will be linking up to some fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on! Remember to link up your FMQ or holiday post below!

Free Motion Mavericks

Thank you for linking up last time. I always love looking at your ongoing projects. Did you get to see Cheryl of Gone Stitchin's  Wonky Hexie Quilt? It includes two of my favourite things in one quilt....wonky and hexie! How cool is that? If you didn't see it, have a peak!

Wonky Hexie Quilt by
Cheryl of Gone Stitchin'

It's now your turn. If you have FMQ a project this week, please link up. However, if you just want to link up a Christmas or holiday related post that is recent or of years ago, please feel free to do so.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter