Thursday, April 16, 2020

Free Motion Maverick and Community Stitch Challenge

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks, week 276. I hope that this finds you and yours healthy and sane!

Community Stitch Challenge - Week 4

On Monday, the host of this week's challenge was Richard McVetis. His work exploring time and stitching is quite fascinating. Our challenge this week is to work with the couching stitch. I was quite happy because it's one of my favourites and it was great to see that it held much more potential than I would have thought!

He suggested that we use geometric shapes or shapes of things in our home to explore this versatile stitch. I don't draw much, but I can draw the shape of a book, since I've made so many of those foundation paper pieced book blocks. I like that it has specific sections that can be represented differently with thread.
Book image using various forms of couching embroidery
Couched book as well as the drawn shape
These are the assorted yarns that I used as background. Missing is some black embroidery thread that I used to outline the book. I used two strands to couch the other 6 strands. I've been collecting yarn for this type of work for years. I'm glad that I had a nice assortment to play with.
Book image with the yarns used for couched embroidery
Most of the yarn that I used for the couching background
 Couching the bright blue almost felt like weaving - which was my first textile love.

Book outline filled in with couched yarns
Couched book
I had so much fun making this. I drew my images at lunch time and then worked on it all evening. That's why there is no FMQ in my post...maybe next time 😊

Update on the Community Stitch Challenge - Week 2 Re-do

In my last post I mentioned that I was re-doing the Week 2 challenge. I'm now making progress on the piece. I found a lovely peasant skirt that I bought but never wore because it needed serious alterations and mending. I think that this is a better use of it! You can see it at the top of the piece.

Fabric collage used to make textile art piece
Adding a top layer from a skirt

Update on fabric collage to make textile art piece
I'm starting to like the progress
Since I want this piece to depict these strange times, I'm not rushing it since there are probably a few more weeks of things to add to this piece. I'm going to enjoy densely stitching it. The joy of making this piece is definitely about embracing the slow process.

Cute puggle sleeping on the couch
Chevy - expert at couching!

What I learned

  • I learned that couching is even more versatile than I thought. 
  • I had never outlined an image using a couching stitch. It's not as clean as using a regular embroidery stitch but I'm sure that it could be used effectively. I'll have to think about that.
  • Here's this morning's joke, courtesy of my bored children. It turns out that Chevy is a couching expert....since she sleeps on the couch most of the day!😉

Related links

Linking parties

I will be linking up to many great parties. Make sure to visit some and take the time to link up below!
Tuesday Colour & Inspiration, Monday Making, Midweek MakersNeedle & Thread Thursday, Put Your Foot Down, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Friday Foto Fun, Oh Scrap!, Slow Sunday Stitching,

Free Motion Mavericks

Thanks to everyone who linked up last time! What wonderful quilting and quilting events to keep us productive and sane. We are really lucky to be a part of this amazing community😊 If you didn't get the chance to congratulate Sandra of mmm! quilts on her latest published pattern, Stars Aligned, make sure to check it out and download the free Modern by the Yard magazine.

Stars Aligned quilt created by Sandra at mmm! quilts
Stars Aligned by Sandra of mmm! quilts
It's your turn.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. You know I have a couching foot for my old Singer that has never been used. In fact, I couldn't tell you how to use it,lol. I love all of these creative projects you participate in, I'm a boring quilter compared to you. Chevy has the right idea, he and Enzo would make quick friends. Thank you for the linky party and always linking up with me.

    1. Hi Denise. I was supposed to do the cording on the Mandala with a couching foot but frankly couldn't be bothered to go looking. I think that my mother's machine might have one. I just like sitting there and stitching. You are not boring with your amazing foundation paper pieced quilt right now. I wish that I had the mental energy to make it - but it is printed...

  2. You are certainly very creative!

    1. Thanks Susan. What can I say - this stuff comes naturally while anything requiring accuracy is very challenging. I do hope to make your amazing chocolate runner one day :-)

  3. haha, that sounds exactly like a joke one of my kids would come up with. I like your couching and the variety of yarns you have accumulated... and a great idea to reuse the book template.

    1. Thanks Dione. It was a lot of fun to make. I was supposed to make 4, so maybe eventually since it's amazing what you can do with couching :-)

  4. Your Chevy is an expert "coucher" for sure! What a neat process -- are you couching those yarns by hand or by machine? Not long before the pandemic hit, I visited a new-to-me yarn store and brought home a few luscious balls even though I don't knit. Was thinking of doing some machine couching with monofilament in the needle, perhaps?

    1. Hi Rebecca, that sounds like fun. I did it all by hand, mostly because I couldn't be bothered to see if I actually had a couching foot. I do my hand stitching in the family room when everyone is sleeping, as opposed to using my sewing machine in my bedroom when hubby is sleeping.

  5. Oh my are not only talented but endowed with much patience! I do come from an hand embroidering Grandmother and Mother both did fabulous hand, unfortunately not so much....I have always had an "instant gratification" problem so my embroidery all comes from my machine....although I do a pretty good job with hand stitching Doll Yarn hair! Now back to your wonderful work....Love the couching and your other handwork. I perused some of your 2019 finishes...the Mola, Heart, and Moose are!

    1. Thanks so much Ida. I love the embroidery and hand work, as long as it doesn't need to be neat and precise. I probably couldn't do your Grandmother and Mother's embroidery! Thanks for you kind words and I hope you'll keep visiting :-)


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