Sunday, April 18, 2021

Week 3 of #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art)

It's getting harder to keep up but I sort of did. I managed to forget to post on Friday (although I was sure that I had but didn't check...) Oh well, it's not really going to make any difference in anyone's life so I guess it's fine.😊 For those of you who haven't been following along, the #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art) is hosted by Frédérique as part of the larger #AtoZchallenge2021. For 26 days in April, with Sunday's off, we post about our subject - mine is art quilts. So every day I post the letter of the day on Instagram and them link up to Frédérique's linking party. So, here are my posts of the week, from J to O.

J is for Journal

I posted my big Stitcher's Journal that I had created from old embroidery pieces that I had done when I took up embroidery after at least 20 years off! 

These are samplers made from the book, Beginner's Guide to Freestyle Embroidery by Christina Marsh. If you are beginning to embroider and like simple books with lots of projects, I highly recommend this one!

Nature Lover's Journal
I've also made many, many more journals since taking the workshop with Ali Ferguson through the Stitch Club at  These are so easy to make and can hold all kinds of fun things, from stitchy treasures to your thoughts of gratitude.

Gratitude Journal

K is for Knots, French

You may remember this piece from last summer when I made "Ça va bien aller" for my daughter. It’s based on a workshop with Haf Weighton through  If  you look at the center of the daisies, they are full of French Knots. You can read the story behind it in the original post whose link is in Related links below.

 "Ça va bien aller" 

L is for Leaves 

The piece is called Swirling Leaves and was made for the Hello Fall Blog Hop hosted by Carla of Creatin' in the sticks. The leaves are all hand-dyed fabrics and I had a great time FMQ it. 

Swirling Leaves

Using variegated threads for the leaves 

Photo shoot in the garden

M is for Mark Making

Marks and Stitches was made following Gregory Todd Wilkins' workshop with We started by painting panels with various colours, stencils etc. From there, I chose one panel to embroider and bead.  It was a wonderfully portable project that I took while we did a mini trip last summer.

Marks and Stitches

Eight painted panels
A great way to play with different embroidery stitches

N is for Nature

Clover at Dusk was created without a workshop or challenge. It was pure inspiration. As I was walking at dusk with Chevy, we went by a sea of clover in the grass. Behind it were wonderful changing leaves cascading from the fence and a few blinking fireflies to add to the scene. When I got home, I sketched it from memory and went back the next day to see it in daylight. It's a good thing that I went the next day because by that evening, the owner had mowed the law and all of the clover flowers were gone!

Clover at Dusk art quilt

O is for Old (reuse and recycle)

This is a Flower sampler embroidered with plastic strips from plastic grocery bags. It was made following a workshop with Susie Vickery through  The background is an old chenille throw that has had many different uses, including the most comfortable pillows on the couch. The chenille was perfect to stitch through.  

Flower sampler embroidered with plastic strips

Embroidering on chenille with plastic
required a hoop

What I learned

  • As I've been going through my posts, I've seen a few interesting patterns.
    • I use the word "more" too often in post titles.
    • I often forget to take pictures while I'm making projects. 
    • At the beginning, a large number of my art quilts were created in blog hops and challenges.
    • Once I started taking workshops through, most of the art quilts originated from there.
  • I am very glad that last weekend I got ahead of planning my posts. It was too lovely not to work in the garden this weekend and I am exhausted!

Related links

Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on out there! The first party is at Frédérique's Patchwork and Quilts. If you have time, check out the other participants of the  #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt. There are some very cool posts to see. Put Your Foot DownOff the Wall FridayCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?Peacock Party, Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap!, Monday Making

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Planets, Stars and More on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks, week 327. This is probably the last post on the progress of this Pinwheels and Stars baby quilt. I'm really hoping that the next post with be the big finish 😁.

Planets, Stars and More...

There are many wonders in our sky - so here are the latest additions to the sky surrounded by pinwheels and stars.

A nebula and oh....a UFO (not of the fabric kind) 😊

 Here is the negative space viewed in two parts.

A view of the top part

A view of the bottom part

And now we have a view of most of the quilt.

Major elements FMQ onto the negative space of the quilt

What's left to do
    The sky
  • I will be FMQ small stars and swirls around the major elements. This will even out the quilting and give it a bit more stability and durability. I'll be using either regular white thread or Bottom Line white thread. I haven't decided yet. If I'm smart, I'll practice to see how the tension is and how it looks.
  • I also need to square off the quilt - not my idea of fun, but certainly less difficult when it's a smaller quilt.
  • Next comes the binding and a label. 
  • I really want this done by my next Free Motion Mavericks post which is on April 29th. It would also be in time for my One Monthly Goal of April 😊

What I learned

  • I love it when I do things the way that I should, and that it pays off. This was one of those times. Since I was taking a virtual ruler quilting course on the weekend, I had quite a few sandwiches that hadn't been used. I took one of those last night and practiced some of the designs that I was going to FMQ, including the space ship. I also got some new King Tut variegated thread to try out at the same time.

Practicing my FMQ of the space ship and 
trying out new variegated thread.

  • I'm sorry that I didn't use some of the wilder variegated thread for the actual quilting. As beautiful as the thread it, some of it just doesn't show off as well. On the other hand, there will be a lot for a child to discover as they grow up with this quilt.
  • The nebula is actually a Wavy Spiral. I found it incredibly difficult to FMQ since I've been working hard for years to have lovely curved lines - wavy may have been natural at the beginning, but it isn't any more 😊
  • I'm really looking forward to finishing this quilt - it's been a UFO and a WIF for way too long!

Related links

  • Christa Watson, 99 Machine Quilting Designs - Wavy Spiral design (#20)
  • Latest Pinwheels and Stars baby quilt post
    • Orbiting planets and funky stars on Free Motion Mavericks, April 01, 2021

Linking parties
I will be linking up to many fun linking parties out there is blog land. Let's find out what's going on...after you link up to Free Motion Mavericks below, of course! Monday Making, Midweek Makers, Let's Make Baby Quilts, Put Your Foot Down, Off the Wall Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Peacock Party, Patchwork & Quilts, Design Wall Monday

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome. I'm really glad that you're taking the time to link up, whether you have done FMQ or not. Last time, we had an exceptional quilt linked up by Sandra of mmm quilts. One day, this is how I want my quilts to come out...of course I would have to actually quilt large quilts and I believe that having an Avril would help, but still...I'm sure that Sandra will tell you that it's all about practice. Here is Heading North in the Make Modern Issue 39. What a beauty. If you didn't read Sandra's post yet, it's a must do and see.
Sandra's amazing Heading North quilt

It's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Week 2 of #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art)

I've managed to stay organised and on time for week 2 of the #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art). My next challenge is to do the same for week 3 😊 I want to say thank you to Frédérique for hosting this wonderful challenge.💝 If you didn't catch my posts on Instagram or through Frédérique's daily linking parties, here is the recap with bonus material.

D is for Dyeing fabric and thread

The first image is of all the perle cotton (#8 and #12) that I dyed in the last year. The very bright pink (there are technically 2 different shades but I can't really tell them apart), was dyed last July. You can access the posts in Related links below.  

The gray was done a month later while the other colours were dyed in two different batches in February of this year, but I haven't posted about those yet.

Perle Cotton dyed in the last year

The purple cotton was also dyed in February. There was no fancy tying, just rolling it up and tying where I could with hair ties. I just love the effect. Of course I have to idea what I'll be doing with it, but I'm sure that it will be perfect for a project one day!

Lovely purple dyed fabric

In the second batch of dying that I did in February, I dyed a white bamboo fitted sheet for my daughter. If this doesn't make for happy dreams, I don't know what will!

Bamboo fitted sheet for great dreams

E is for Embroidery Stitches

These are my three favourite meditation blocks on the Traveller’s Blanket (so far). There is a house, seascape, a rose block and lots of different embroidery stitches. The embroidery included blanket stitch, cording, cross stitch, French knots, back stitch, chain stitch, stem stitch, satin stitch and fly stitch. 

For the house block, I appliquéd the house onto some hand-dyed fabric. I had a lot of fun embroidering the block itself and then around it on the blanket. I forgot to add the Palestrina stitch on my list of stitches. It's the outside border stitch that looks like lace. It's time consuming but super easy to do. 

The house block - love the Palestrina stitch

This one is called the Shining rose block. Once upon a time I had stitched a rose on a napkin, but obviously never got around to making the whole set. At some point, I dyed the napkin and then cut it up to make this meditation block. I added shiny ribbon that I save up when I buy things and used metallic floss.

The Shining Rose block surrounded by chain stitch

I made this block after making the seashell container (see G for Grommet below). I used dyed cheese cloth over a piece of dyed cloth. I added the seashells and lots of stitching. The seashells come from a necklace that I purchased on a trip. That's how I get a lot of my lovely beads, stones and shells!

The seascape block with variations of the fly stitch

F is for Free Motion Quilting (FMQ)

The piece is Lone Tree 2: Tired or Overachiever?  It was part of the Colour Unboxed Exhibition with the Out Of The Box fibre artists group (OOTB). I learned a lot when making this piece, especially about the importance of value in design.

Lone Tree 2: Tired or Overachiever?
It features tons of free motion quilting

G is for Grommet

The piece is a Seashell Container made during a workshop with Debbie Lyddon through the's Stitch Club. It was the first time that I hand-stitched a grommet. 

Seashell Container with hand-stitched grommets

Inside the Seashell Container
Front of Seashell Container

H is for Hexies

This piece is Sweet Memories: Northern Lights It was the first time that I did English Paper Piecing (EPP) and it was love at first try! It's also about the night that I was speaking on the phone to my mother, who was about 600 km (350 miles) away. I was looking out the north facing window and saw the Northern Lights. I told my mother this and she went to her office window and we watched them together. It was indeed a sweet memory. 

Sweet Memories: Northern Lights
featuring English Paper Pieced hexies

I is for Improv Piecing

The piece is Exit Strategy 1. It’s all about trying out new techniques on a foundation of improv pieced batik fabric.

Exit Strategy - made on an improv pieced background

I learned many techniques while making Exit Strategy and it took me over a year to finish. If you want to read about it, see the link to the Exit Strategy page in Related links.

What I learned

  • I have finally mastered the art of copying and pasting my information and adding one or two images in Instagram. You see, practice does help 😊 I've also gotten much better at linking my Instagram post to Frédérique's linking party. Yeah me!!!
  • I haven't mastered the art of getting up early to post though. Let's face it, it doesn't really matter what time I post as long as it's within the day. One night I couldn't sleep and it was posted at 4 am. Hopefully that won't happen again!
  • My secret to participating is being organised. It was easy to write the post for week 1 since it was only three days. This post took me much longer. However, since I included all of the blog posts in my working document, it did make it easier.
  • I'm now going to start getting ready for week 3. Although I have my words figured out, it will start getting more difficult to find examples of work that I haven't previously used.
Related links

Linking parties
I will be linking up to Frédérique's Patchwork & Quilts as well as Free Motion Mavericks with Muv (I'll be hosting on Thursday). Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap!, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Peacock Party, Off The Wall Friday, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Week 1 of #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art)

The #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt started April 1 and I posted my first three letters on Instagram. If you didn't catch them, here is a recap.

A is for Art appliqué 

The piece is A White History of Art and the image that I used to illustrate Art Appliqué is the close-up of the representation of The White Girl by Whistler.

It was created for Art with Fabric Blog Hop, Fall 2018. It is based on a BBC series called History of Art in Three Colours. This piece is an interpretation of the White episode and the picture below portrays  The White Girl by Whistler.

Representation of a Symphony in White, No. 1:
The White Girl by Whistler

Here is an image of the entire piece. If you're interested in reading more about it, see Related links below.

A White History of Art

B is for Batik

The piece is called Peek-a-boo Red. It's totally hand-stitched with embroidery and beading. Peeking out from behind the curtain, you can see the batik hexies.

It's one of four mini art quilts that I create for the Summer Fibrations Art Show by the Out of the Box (OOTB) Artists Group which was held at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte Ontario in June - July 2019.

Peek-a-boo Red with Batik Hexies peeking out from the curtain

C is for Couching and Cording

The piece is called BIG Mandala to Help Heal the World. It was created for the Project Quilting Quarantine 2020. I made my own cording and then couched it down between the different parts of the Mandala. 

Hand-made cording that is couched down

BIG Mandala to help heal the world - PQQ 2020

What I learned

  • I am very impressed that I was really organised and ready to post all of these without too much effort. 
  • I don't generally like to post on Instagram because I have to write all of the information, including # tags on my phone. It's a really pain. It's not perfected yet but I wrote all three posts in a Word document and copied the wording for all three in an email. I was then able to go back to the email, copy the text and post it in Instagram.
  • I'm actually getting better on my phone, switching from one window to the other....that always made me nervous but I'm better at it now.
  • Posting from Instagram to the #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt linking party with Frédérique at Quilting, Patchwork, Appliqué using my phone was more of a challenge. I don't think that the problem is with InLinkz (who were very helpful) but with Instagram. Even now I'm wouldn't know that it was linked if not for going on the computer to check. 
  • It's definitely a learning process and I expect to be an expert by the end of April 😊 
  • I'm really glad that it's a really long weekend so that I'll have time to prepare for next week, and maybe even more!

Related links

Linking parties
I will be linking up to lots of fun linking parties. Be sure to check them out if you get a chance! Patchwork & QuiltsPut Your Foot DownOff the Wall FridaysCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?Peacock Party, Oh Scrap!, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Orbiting planets and funky stars on Free Motion Mavericks

I had a really fun time last evening doing some free motion quilting (FMQ) for this post. I can't wait to show you what I've been up to 😊 

Adding planets and then funky stars

I started by doing some research using my trusty National Geographic "The New Universe, Here, Now, and Beyond". It was published in 2010 and you would think that the information would be up-to-date, but it turns out that a LOT has happened in astronomy in the last 12 years. However it was perfect for my purposes - pretty pictures, good descriptions and a map of our solar system. 

Here is my quilted universe to date. I'm really sorry that the pictures aren't more vivid but it was a dark cloudy day.

Our far

An asteroid, Neptune, and a Swirling Star

Mercury, the Sun, a faint
Flaming Sun, Venus,
Uranus and a Swirling Star

A Flaming Star and a Swirling Sphere

I also took the time to look through the many FMQ e-books that I own. These were really great resources. When I found a star or something that could possibly be found in the Universe, I snipped a picture of it to put into my project folder so that everything is easily accessible. I also wrote the names of the design, the book it came from and the page number on a sheet so that I could easily find them again. See, working in information management for the last 9 years has paid off! 😊 

The list of the funky stars I used so far are in Related links below. At the end of the project I will make a montage of the designs I used to help anyone interested in finding these.

Here is the labelled image of the "real" planets. You can click on the picture to make it larger.

Finally here is a close-up of a Flaming Sun.

Close-up of Flaming Sun
One Monthly Goal (OMG)
I will be linking up this project to Elm Street Quilts' OMG for April. It's time that this baby gets finished!

What I learned
  • Finding the FMQ designs of stars and other things that might be found in the Universe was really easy with the ebooks. This was definitely an advantage to ebooks. 
  • I practiced drawing the designs for a couple of days. I managed to reproduce a few very well while others still need work - but that's what practice is all about! My Swirling Star was getting better the second time around.
  • Most of the FMQ designs were for a series or an all-over design. I adapted these for this project. I really loved FMQ Sheila Sinclair Snyder's Flaming Star (she called them Spurs but that didn't go with my Universe!) 
  •  It was a lot of fun using variegated thread for the funky stars. I wanted them to be different from the "real" planets on the quilt.
  • So far, the plan is to keep adding stars, nebula etc. to the quilt and then to use some white Bottom Line thread to add smaller meandering stars between the larger planets and stars. It's possible that the FMQ of this quilt will be done by the end of April. I would like that - I think that it's time to get to my son's quilt!!!😯
Related links
Linking parties
I will be linking up to many linking parties this week. I hope that you will check them out. Remember to also link up your projects below! One Monthly Goal, Monday Making, Put Your Foot Down, Finished or Not Finished, Off the Wall Fridays, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Peacock Party, Patchwork & Quilts, Let's Make Baby Quilts

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks Week 325. Thank you for linking up last time. If you didn't get a chance to see Quilting Gail's t-shirt quilt, you really have to visit. I think that she had fun playing with different FMQ designs!  

Gail of Quilting Gail's FMQ of a t-shirt quilt
It's your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, March 27, 2021

#AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art)

It seems to be happening again....I've decided to join a challenge with Frédérique of Quilting Patchwork Appliqué for the month of April. At least this one isn't about making a quilted item, but rather to blog or use Instagram to post pictures about them. If I get organized this should be manageable. I hope those are not my famous last words! 😊

#AtoZchallengeQuilt - Art style

I'm looking forward to it - all kinds of words about or related to art quilts. My plan is to use Instagram every day for my daily post and link up to Frédérique's daily linking party through Instagram, and then write up a weekly post on Sunday (since we aren't linking up for the challenge on Sundays).

How many art quilt words could you come up with based on just these two pieces? You can click on the images to get a better look.

Momigami Tree from a workshop with Cas Holmes

A White History of Art

Here is the challenge logo and description.

#AtoZchallenge2021Quilt with Frédérique 

I really hope that you will join this fun party. As well, you may want to follow Frédérique as she also participates in the regular #AtoZchallenge2021 with an upcycling, recycling and repurposing approach. See links below. 

I was really interested in joining Frédérique on the original #AtoZchallenge2021 and decided that if I could come up with at least one word related to art quilts for every letter, that I would join it. Yesterday I still had a few empty spots on my list but then my daughter helped me with the missing ones. So, I've decided to join the  #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt 😊 

What I learned

  • I'm proud of myself for not just jumping into a challenge without having thought about it thoroughly. 
  • I'll be spending some time this weekend getting my Instagram posts ready so that it won't take me long to do this every day. My only concern is when to post these - I guess that it will have to be as soon as I get up (ouch!) so it will really have to be a no-brainer 😊 
  • As I was getting a couple of pictures to use as examples, I discovered that I forgot to write a post on my Momigami Tree. I guess I'll have to write that up soon!
  • I'm sure that I will have learned many things during this challenge and I am looking forward to it.

Related links

Linking Parties

I'll be linking up to many fun linky parties - we need to spread the word about this great upcoming challenge. I hope that you'll join in the fun! Free Motion Mavericks (with Muv this week), Patchwork & Quilts, Off The Wall Friday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, 15 Minutes to Stitch in 2021, Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap!, Peacock Party, Design Wall Monday, Monday Making, Midweek Makers