Wednesday, October 28, 2020

FMQ using an abstract template on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to another Free Motion Mavericks linking party (Week 304). Last week I learned how to create an abstract piece using paper and then adding free motion quilting (FMQ). 

Creating an abstract template

As you may know, I've been fully immersed in's Stitch Club 2020. We've had some amazing teachers and workshops. Last week's teacher was Sabine Kaner. To help us create an abstract piece, she had us crumple up a piece of paper and then draw the lines that the crumpling had made to create an abstract piece. 

FMQ with variegated thread in each of the sections

I made two pieces, but in this post I'll tell you about my second project. For this piece, I used a brown paper bag which is a rigid paper that created larger sections when it was crumpled.

Creating the abstract template
using a brown paper bag

After making the template with the paper bag, I used a marker to enhance the lines and then transferred the pattern to some white fabric using a light box. 

I had an idea and tried to applique fabric in the sections but it was a mess, so I ripped it all out (I almost never do that but the alternative was putting it in the garbage - which I did but I took it out the next day!)

I just wanted to make something interesting but easy. My first piece was a lot of work and I didn't want to spend all that time making a second piece. Since I still had the FMQ or darning foot on the machine, I thought that I would at least sew around the lines. I attached a sheet of Ricky Tim's Stable Stuff Poly on the back and then started FMQ.

Close-up of the stitching

As I was looking for different threads to use, I realised that I had quite a few variegated threads that I hadn't used yet and didn't really know what they looked like when stitched. So, I decided to use these threads to stitch each section, while also practicing different FMQ designs.

Another close-up of the stitching
As I was changing threads, I kept track of each thread I used in each section.

List of threads used
in each section
FMQ Journal

Template, list and practice piece
attached in my FMQ Journal

A great FMQ resource
What I learned
  • After having made my first project, I had little patience for that second project, even if I had loved making the first one.
  • I'm glad that I literally took the project out of the garbage to remove the applique and continue in a different way.
  • It's a very useful guide of both the variegated threads that I have as well as some FMQ designs.
  • I found one thread that I hadn't used before that is absolutely beautiful. I'm looking forward to using it again!
  • This project used only one aspect of Sabine Kaner's technique. My first piece, that I will post later this week is a little more in line with her work. Here's a sneak peek! Come back on the weekend to check it out 😊
My first project,
Translucent Meanderings
Related links
Linking parties
I will be linking up this post to many fun linking parties. Let's check out what's happening around the quilting blog world! Colour & Inspiration Tuesday, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, Patchwork & Quilting, Off the Wall Friday, Beauties Pageant, Peacock Party, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2020
This piece was a bit of a squirrel since I don't usually make 2 projects from one workshop. I'm linking up to DrEAMi! with Sandra at mmmQuilts.

Free Motion Mavericks

What a great turn out we had last time. Thanks so much for linking up and sharing your lovely projects. This week I thought that I would feature A Bloom Finish by Leanne at Devoted Quilter. Leanne started quilting it one way and when she wasn't happy, very resourcefully changed tactics. She also had to do some troubleshooting when she couldn't see her thread as she was stippling the background. She ended up quilting the background from the back, since she could see the bright thread on her white backing. If you didn't see it, take a look at A Bloom Finish. Way to go Leanne!

A Bloom Finish by Leanne at Devoted Quilter

Now it's your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. What a cool idea! I have plans to make an abstract, improv applique plus quilting piece someday. crumpling a piece of paper is a clever way to get those abstract lines. Your piece is just lovely!

    1. Hi Vasudha, it was a great idea. I just posted about my other project using the same technique. It was a blast to make. Thanks so much for dropping by. Take care.

  2. I love your Translucent Meanderings! Excellente idée et merci pour le process ;-)

    1. Merci beaucoup Frédérique! J'ai vraiment aimé le faire - ce soir j'ai écris mon article.

  3. I am so intrigued by this technique and the stitching in colorful threads. I love seeing something new that tickles my creativity! This is surely something I'd like to play with. Thank you for the invitation to join your link-up!

    1. Hi Kathy, I'm so glad that you joined us! I know that you found (4 years ago) FMQ very stressful. It isn't for everyone but just in case you haven't tried, I found that the secret, even before practicing, is drawing or doodling the design. It's amazing what a few days of just drawing a couple of designs will do because your hand then really knows what it needs to do. Either way, I do hope that you will keep joining us. Take care.

  4. I absolutely LOVE this idea, and I love your end result. Thank you for linking up with DrEAMi! I totally see how this is a squirrel that you chase from start to beautiful finish!

    1. Thanks so much Sandra - and thanks for linking up. Your quilting is always so lovely.

  5. What a great save on your second project. You made it work for you and what a great reference to have for the future. Pretty and useful!

    1. Thanks Kate - yes, I've never gone as far as rescuing a project from the garbage. I am glad that I kept at it, but in a different direction. Take care.


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