Thursday, June 25, 2020

Embroidering with plastic and Free Motion Mavericks

Hi. Welcome to week 286 of Free Motion Mavericks. Although I'm in the middle of setting up my new studio, I had planned on doing some free motion quilting (FMQ) today on the Pinwheels and Stars Baby Quilt - but I didn't find my supplies until it was too late - so you're going to see how last week, I embroidered using plastic bags 😊

Sampler embroidered with plastic

Susie Vickery hosted the third workshop of Stitch Club 2020 at Susie showed us how to make an embroidery sampler incorporating plastics. It was really fun. Here is my finished piece.

Embroidered piece with plastic strips
Sampler stitched with plastic strips

For my background I used a piece of an old chenille throw. I love the colour and texture and the weave was loose enough to easily stitch through, even with plastic strips. 

I found different coloured plastic bags and mesh. Until recently many grocery stores wouldn't let us bring our own re-useable bags, so I'm sorry to say that I've accumulated lots of plastic bags. I cut a few of them into roughly one inch strips.

I started by couching the purple strips. It was slow going because the plastic was only purple on one side. I then used a piece of yellow mesh behind the flower and then couched each line. I really liked the effect of fanning the plastic at the top.

Making the flower with couched plastic
Using couched purple plastic

It took me a couple of tries to get the leaf stitched. I finally embroidered a feather stitch with perle cotton and then stitching over it with the yellow plastic strip. I then added some green to fill it in. The other feather was outlined in a back stitch in green and then filled in with a satin stitch.

Close-up of the stitched design
Playing with different stitches using plastic strips,
 mesh and perle cotton

I stitched the three leaves over mesh and then added seed stitches with embroidery thread. I also wanted to try to stitch with the purple plastic so I added those curly bits.

Finished sampler stitched using plastic
Finished stitched sampler

What I learned
  • Although I don't want to spend the rest of my artistic life cutting up plastic bags (they leave a gritty film on your hands!), I really do want to continue experimenting with these types of products. 
  • I never thought that plastic strips could be used as thread to embroider but it gave a really different look to the stitches. Most of the plastics had a bit of a shiny finish to them. 
  • Now, not only am I stashing bits of mesh, string and ribbon, I'm also keeping interesting coloured plastic bags!
Related links
  • Susie Vickery is a wonderful artist who works in many mediums. Check out her Citizen Botanist - a puppet with the most incredible costumes! I encourage you to check out the animations and collections tabs on her website. 
Linking parties

Flower sampler embroidered with plastic
6" x 6" with 6"fringe
Materials: chenille fabric, strips cut from plastic bags, mesh, perle cotton and embroidery floss.
Techniques: embroidery stitches: couching, feather, seed, satin and back 

Free Motion Mavericks

It was a quiet week last time. Thanks to Denise and Dione for taking the time to link up. Since both projects are very cool, I thought that I would feature them both!

Here is Denise of For the Love of Geese's Red and White quilt. She was able to salvage her previously cut blocks using her AccuQuilt machine. Check out her free motion quilting!

Denise's Red and White quilt

Dione of Clever Chameleon has been doing some free motion appliqué on her Lunarcy quilt. Check out her Rabbit block!

Dione's Rabbit block from her Lunarcy quilt
Now it's your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Trying more FMQ designs with Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 284 of Free Motion Mavericks. I'm trying more free motion quilting (FMQ) designs for the Pinwheels and Stars Baby Quilt. 

FMQ more pinwheel blocks

Here are two more pinwheel blocks, FMQ using different designs.

pinwheel blocks quilted with triangles
Echoing the triangle in the background fabric

Pinwheel block with borders and inside petals
These blocks have inside borders and
flower petals in the middle

Here is an image of the designs that I had presented when I was planning the FMQ.

Various FMQ designs for the pinwheel blocks
Blocks 1 and 2 were quilted for the last post.
Today I quilted variations of 3 and 4.

What I learned
  • I am really tired today - and I still have to do my FMQ for this post. I am so grateful that I have those drawn quilting options for the pinwheels. It made it fairly easy to choose the design - what ever looked easiest!
  • Since I have to be careful with my FMQ when I'm tired, I only quilted the echoing in the background triangles. If it looks sparse, I can always go back and add the echoing to the other blocks. However, I suspect that I will leave it since not having any quilting on the printed fabric makes the pinwheels pop.
  • Have you noticed that the flower petals are all slightly different in each block? Let's just call that a design element and leave it at that 😊 
Related links
  • Pinwheels on Free Motion Mavericks, May 27, 2020
  • Baby Quilt at Free Motion Mavericks, May 13, 2020
  • I found the magazine that was the original inspiration for this quilt. The pattern was called Make A Wish. It was designed by Karen DuMont and appeared in the Quilt Almanac 2011. I'm sure that it was the cheerful fabrics that attracted me.
Linking parties
I will be linking up to many fun linking parties. Make sure to link up what ever you're working on below! Midweek Makers, Colour & Inspiration Tuesday, Needle & Thread ThursdayFriday Foto FunOh Scrap!, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, What I Made Monday, 

Free Motion Mavericks

We had a good turnout last time. Thanks so much for taking the time to link up, with FMQ projects or anything else. You make the party worthwhile! Today I want to feature Rebecca Grace at Cheeky Cognoscenti for her special "Happy Birthday to Me! 47 Is Gonna Be My Year of Fearless Free-Motion and Ruler Work Quilting". We have to celebrate her spirit of fearlessness because she's finally loving to FMQ on her longarm. If you didn't read it, go check out her post!

See the Cheeky Cognoscenti's post
Now it's your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, June 08, 2020

More hand-stitching fun

As you may  have read previously, I've been doing a lot of slower stitching - hand stitching, mediation stitching, embroidery and other fun stuff. I'm having a blast and learning so much.

Making a seashell container

I've enrolled in the Stitch Club. It's essentially the same concept as their original Stitch Challenge, but for a fee. After all that they have given to the stitching community this spring, I wanted to keep playing and learning as well as support their great initiative.

The first artist, at the end of May, was Debbie Lyddon. She makes very cool textile art. Since she lives near the sea, a lot of her imagery and techniques come from there. For example, she adds grommets to a lot of her work. These are hand done and are used a lot in sailing boats. Our assignment was to make three containers to hold something special to us or our environment.

I'm going to start with the second container that I made since it's much more like the work that Debbie showed us how to make.

Embroidered sea shell container
Hand-stitched seashell container 

I started by painting the fabric, a white on white cotton that came out really well. For this second container, I learned from the Q & A sessions at the end of the week that Debbie dilutes her acrylic paint quite a bit. I hadn't done that for the first piece and so the fabric was very stiff and a little difficult to sew by hand. The darker blue fabric pieces that have Sea and Shells written on them (with markers) are from the first batch of fabric. I could never have embroidered the words on there 😊

Seashell container with lots of embroidery
Other side of the seashell container

I embroidered the bag before I stitched it together. I love using the feather stitch when I don't have to be accurate and follow a line. This stitch is perfect for making sea weeds.

On this side, you can see that the grommets are smaller. I actually used half of a twist tie to make each of them. On the back of the fabric, I drew the circle around the twist tie. I then cut into the hole, leaving most of the fabric there and stitched very densely around the tie. I used a buttonhole wheel stitch to  highlight the grommets. Inside of the small grommets, I stitched a small piece of netting - the stuff that comes from a bag of potatoes.  
stitching on the inside the bag
One the inside with the cheese
 cloth covering the grommets

On the inside of the bag, with the
netting over the small grommets

For the side of the bag with the large grommets (top image), I used a whole twist tie for each grommet. I did it the same way as the small ones but removed some of the excess fabric from the middle. I then put a layer of blue hand-dyed cheese cloth over the holes - one dark and the other lighter blue.

Open bag with seashells
A peak inside!

For the top of the container, I stitched down a long piece of wire (that I use for hanging frames). I had about ½" of fabric on the inside so I added a row of stem stitching right under the stitching for the wire and then about a ¼" from there, a row of chain stitch keeps the seam down on the inside.

A container to display an arrowhead 

container displaying an arrow head
This container is used to display
rather than contain

This was the first container that I made. It was much more complicated than my second one since I wanted to use it to display rather than contain the arrowhead within it.

The prototype for the bottom of the container

I started by painting the fabrics and then made a prototype for the bottom of the container. Since it worked out, I ended up painting it instead of making another one. After that, I sewed three different fabrics together, the brown, green and blue and then stitched them into a tube. My fabric was stiff but not stiff enough to hold the arrowhead, so I inserted a roll of toilet paper inside to strengthen it.

container displaying the arrowhead
Displaying the arrowhead on a shelf

The arrowhead comes from Northern Ontario. I found it near the swamp at the cottage where I spent all of my summers when growing up. This was probably part of the hunting territory of my husband's community. I only realised this as I was making this display container. On the outside, I used markers to draw the tree with deep roots, and birds. Around the top, I stitched on some beads and feather charms in the four directions.

Inside the container I added a stone from the area as well as cedar, sweet grass and sage. These are not the traditional things that you would put inside a pouch but I didn't have any tobacco. I made this container for my children, who are also part of this community.  

What I learned
  • I am really enjoying learning about all of these techniques, but more importantly, I love expanding my knowledge and appreciation of textile art. Some of it can be pretty out there - and I may not be quite there yet, but I'm loving the journey.
  • The art that the other participants are making is sometimes quite intimidating. However, I'm not letting myself be too hard on my work - I haven't been doing this for very long and we all have our paths to work on. I make sure to save many of the work that I would like to learn from. Sometimes it's just a little detail that I might never have thought about but that's how we expand as artists and makers.
  • I used Perle Cotton size 8 for all of the stitching in these projects. I hadn't used it much previously and really love it.
  • The arrowhead container was quite difficult to make because I had no idea what I was doing!😊 I'm really happy with the way both of them came out.
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. I hope that you'll join me to see what else is going on out there! Monday Making, What I Made Monday, Design Wall MondayColour & Inspiration TuesdayMidweek MakersNeedle & Thread Thursday Off the Wall Friday, Friday Foto Fun, Beauties Pageant, Oh Scrap!, Favorite Finish - June 2020 

Sunday, June 07, 2020

UFOs and June's OMG

Welcome to this beautiful sunny but not hot day. 😊
Chevy keeps me company as I play in the yard

A very lush section
of the garden

These pictures were actually taken yesterday, before it got too hot. As you can see, I did a little bit of yard work. It takes me 3 or 4 sessions to mow the back yard lawn, not because it's huge but because I want to keep it as play, not hard work!

The garden has become very lush. Thank goodness I did a lot of work this spring before it got green. Now there's just some minor weeding to do - all manageable if it keeps cool for a few days (as was promised).

I love flowers 😊 
Now to some quilty things!

Completed UFOs to date & June's OMG

As you may remember, at the beginning of the year, I was optimistic out of my mind and listed my favourite 12 UFOs that I would like to finish. Since I'm following Quilting Gail's PHD rules - I can finish other UFOs that will count for the original 12.
June's OMG - finishing the first section of this quilt's
Version 2.0 Loved-to-death quilt

The only UFO project that I actually started from my original list is my son's quilt. I did a little more after my original post in February, but I am about half-way from finishing the first section (circled in blue in the photo).

Finishing this first section is my June One Monthly Goal (OMG). My son has moved out this weekend, so the new quilt should be ready sooner rather than later!

On the plus side, I did finish 3 other smaller projects that were officially UFO since they were begun in 2019. If you want to check them out, the links are in Related links below.
Fantastical book block

Mon Jardin book block

Exit Strategy

Sneak peak at my new art studio

As I mentioned, my son is in the process of moving out. By Monday, everything will be cleared from his room. I am really happy for him and thankful that he is only living 20 minutes away by car. To make me feel better, I started moving in. 😊

Here is the first picture of the art studio - just claiming my space!

Moving my Jag (sewing machine) into my new space
There is a lot more to do but that's for another post.
Have a great week and stay safe, healthy and sane😊

What I learned
  • It's obvious that I like and need to play - that's why when a project feels like work, I tend to procrastinate. I hope that the OMG will help me play with Stéphane's quilt.
  • I also feel that way about playing in the garden - so wish me luck with the cool weather and getting my hands dirty! 

Related links

Linking parties
I'll be linking up to June's One Monthly Goal (OMG) with Patty of Elm Street Quilts. I will also be linking up to Free Motion Mavericks where Muv is knitting a really cool baby blanket. Make sure that you go link up with her this week. There are always great linkups. Let's see what's going on. Friday Foto Fun, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Monday Making, To-Do Tuesday, Colour & Inspiration Tuesday, Midweek Makers

Have a great week and stay safe, healthy and sane😊