Thursday, March 05, 2020

Mixing it all up at Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks' linkup (week 270). I finally have some free motion quilting (FMQ) to show you 😊.

Mixing it all up

As you may know, I really like to learn and try new things. I especially love mixing up all kinds of techniques that aren't usually found together, such as embroidery, improv piecing, beading and FMQ. That's what Exit Strategy is all about! Here's what's been happening to that piece.
Adding FMQ to Exit Strategy 1
You can see some of the FMQ that's been added. Let's look at each block.

Block 1 is about triangles and organic straight lines (i.e. not so straight 😊 ) I only have the top triangle block to FMQ. I'm not sure what I'm going to do there yet, but I'm likely to follow the path of the fern print.
Block 1 - the triangles
Block 2 is all about texture. It's more diverse with embroidery, lots of couched fibres and a hexie. At this time, I believe that it's finished, but of course I reserve the right to change my mind. The FMQ has created a lot of contrast and the light blue triangle in the middle, which is not FMQ, is very puffy - I love it.
Block 2 - Texture and contrast
Here is a shot looking down at the block to show some of the texture and FMQ.

Block 2 - At an angle to see more of the texture
Blocks 3 and 4 are more structured. I think that they may need more embroidery in a couple of spots and maybe a few seed beads.

Block 3 - A more structured block
I've FMQ the two orange blocks but I haven't figured out the rest yet.
Block 4 - Still considering my options

Making Triangles - Shuttered Windows & Openwork

When I first wrote a post about this piece, I said that I would explain how I made these triangles. I read about this technique in "Exploring Textile Arts" by Creative Publishing International (2002). I combined two techniques. The first is a type of negative or reverse appliqué, like when I made a Mola piece (see Related links). The other technique, what I call "thread lines," is used in Openwork but can be added on top of the open triangle window.
Shuttered Windows and Openwork

  • Draw a triangle on the fabric.
  • Decide which side of your triangle will be the "flap", then cut one of the other two sides of the triangle following the line.
  • Place a contrasting piece of fabric, face up, under the drawn triangle.
  • Sew over the entire outline of your drawn triangle. 
  • Cut the other side of the top fabric of your triangle (make sure it's not the flap).
  • Move the flap of the triangle (the uncut side) out of the way. 
  • Sew a zigzag, satin or decorative stitch around the two cut sides. If your top fabric does not fray, you can add your thread lines before this stitch.
    • Thread lines: You will be following the previously stitched line around the two open sides of the triangle. Using a straight stitch, back stitch a little, then lift your sewing foot and extend the thread across to the other side of the triangle. Back stitch the thread in place and continue to where you want the next thread to cross the triangle. Keep doing this until you have the number of threads your want.
    • This can also be done by hand. 
  • Pleat the flap of the triangle and use a button or bead to keep it in place.
Since I didn't want to use a zigzag, satin or decorative stitch around the triangle, I just covered my machine stitches with a blanket or a chain stitch.

One Monthly Goal (OMG)

Exit Strategy 1 is my March monthly goal. I need to have it finished by March 31 to place it in the Out of the Box's Fibre Fling 2020 Exhibit and Sale.

What I learned
  • Some of the FMQ designs practically shouted out to me but some are keeping very quiet. I'm going to have to listen carefully to those quiet ones.
  • I will be adding some embroidery, particularly to Block 3. I'm hoping that it will be easier to FMQ after that.
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to the March OMG linkup, as well as a number of great parties. Let's see what's going on in quilt land😊 What I Made Monday, Colour and Inspiration Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Put your foot down, Needle & Thread ThursdayPeacock Party, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Off the wall Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Beauty Pageant, Friday Foto Fun, Oh Scrap!15 minutes to stitch 2020, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday,

Free Motion Mavericks

We had some wonderful projects link up last time. Mel Beach experimented with using two threads at a time in her FMQ while Caryl Quilts is really practicing her FMQ and getting lovely results. If you didn't see their post, check them out!

Caryl Quilts - FMQ an improv scrappy tablerunner

Mel Beach - playing with thread combinations

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. Thank you for featuring me in this post. I really like your Exit Strategy....I love combining different techniques and I need to explore more ideas....such an inspiration!

    1. Hi Caryl, I'm glad that you're having fun with FMQ. I was surprised that I loved it so much. Now I would rather quilt than piece, any day! I'm not sure what's going to happen next with Exit Strategy but I'll do the embroidery that I want and that might give me some ideas.

  2. These are great blocks. You just gave me an idea in an upcoming crazy quilt. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Denise. There's so much you can do with crazy quilts! Have fun :-)

  3. I love watching how Exit Strategy is evolving, and how it has so many interesting elements. Hopefully I'll have something link-worthy soon.... probably no FMQ in my immediate future, but some appliqué is forecast. :)

    1. Thanks Dione. Exit Strategy is taking on a life of its own. I'm really enjoying the process. I love your posts - so don't worry about things being "link worthy"!

  4. Goodness! You were certainly having fun!

  5. Oh, très joli ! Le free motion ajoute un beau relief, tes blocs sont super !

    1. Merci beaucoup Frédérique. J'aime bien le relief du FMQ et j'adore utiliser toutes ces techniques ensembles!

  6. Love it. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and good luck with your project.

    1. Thanks Patty. I think that a month will be exactly what I need! As always, thanks for hosting the OMG. I'm always sorry when I miss the link (like last month although I did finish my unlinked project)!

  7. A very dramatic and fun project.

  8. Back again to thank you for linking up to Put your foot down.

    1. You are welcome Denise. It's always a pleasure reading your post and linking up!


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