Thursday, February 25, 2021

Celebrating Mars' Perseverance Rover Landing on Free Motion Mavericks

It's a good thing that our last post's mission to Mars was postponed because there was a wonderful event last week as the Perseverance Rover landed on Mars. It was a huge success and is now immortalised in the Pinwheels & Stars baby quilt.

A Safe Landing on Mars

I never thought that I would be interested, but it's amazing what NASA has done since I was last interested in space (which was Armstrong's landing on the Moon which I watched at my Uncle's cabin in the woods). In my last post at the end of January (see Related links below) I talked about the Artemis Mission and free motion quilted (FMQ) the Moon, the Space Launch System (SLS) Rocket and the Orion Space Craft.

Since the Perseverance Rover landed on Mars last week, that's my FMQ for this post.

Mars and the landing of the Perseverance Rover

Here is a detailed look at the capsule as it takes the Perseverance to Mars. I watched part of the live landing but if you want to see how it was done, your best bet is to fast forward through the "entry-descent-landing" simulation on NASA's website. The links are all in the Related links below.

A close-up of the capsule taking the
Perseverance Rover onto Mars

As you can imagine, the dimensions are all off on the quilt. It is, after all a baby quilt, not a science project! 😊
The Pinwheels & Stars baby quilt so far

What I learned
  • Mars, the red planet (although more brown than red) is the closest planet to Earth. Although smaller than Earth and barren, it does have traces of having been eroded by water at some point.
  • I'm finding it difficult to FMQ colourful planets on a white background. Since it's a baby quilt and I said that I would FMQ the centre as a wholecloth quilt, I don't want to add or appliqué fabric to it - but wouldn't it be great with some sheer overlay? So I've had to figure out how much FMQ to do to add colour. I may end up going back on some of the less quilted elements and add more colour to them.
  • Since I've had the energy and the interest to research and FMQ the Perseverance on Mars, I guess that my rest period was effective.

Related links

  • Going to Space on Free Motion Mavericks, January 28, 2021
  • NASA Science Mars 2020 Mission Perseverance Rover
  • Linking parties

    I will be linking up to these fun linky parties. Join us and see what's going on in quilty blog land. Put Your Foot Down, Needle & Thread Thursday, Let's Make Baby Quilts, Peacock Party, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Off The Wall Friday, Patchwork & Quilts, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Makers

    Free Motion Mavericks

    Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks, week 320. We've been having a good number of link ups. Thanks! It's really inspiring to see FMQ by other quilters. This week I want to draw your attention to Key Elements' Fire and Ice quilt. If you didn't catch it, it's worth taking a look (after you link up of course😊)

    Details of Fire and Ice quilt by Key Elements
    Now it's your turn!
    *If you're looking for the latest Free Motion Mavericks, Muv will be hosting it next week. Thanks 😊

    You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

    Click here to enter

    Saturday, February 20, 2021

    Another Hexie Mania

    I hope that February has been treating you well. Personally, I'm getting ready for Spring, whether Mother Nature cooperates or not 😊 Actually after some cold and lots of snow, they are predicting above freezing during the upcoming days. I'll take it!

    Hexie Mania

    Since the last few weeks have been about resting, I've been adding to my hexie collection. It's about as slow and mindless as it gets. 

    Progress on my hexie blanket

    This is what it looked like the last time I played with it. Generally the mass of hexies are from the 100 Hexies in 100 Days parties on Instagram (2018 and 2019) #100hexies100days2018 and #100hexies100days2019  You can find out more in Related link below.

    Three hexie flowers on one edge

    I won't bore you with a play-by-play but here are the highlights 😊

    Adding large hexie flowers to the edge

    Eight hexie flowers on the border

    Adding the ninth hexie flower

    My very loose plan is to add flower hexies around the borders and probably some white or beige hexies around those to finish it off.  I now have the width of the lap quilt, so it's a matter of adding to the height and then to keep adding flower hexies around the borders.

    What I learned

    • I'm not going for beautiful but I hope that the flowers around the mass of bright fabric in the middle will help bring it together. Anyway it's too much work to give to anyone...this is my mass of bright fabric 😎
    • It's amazing how much this project has grown since the beginning of February. Doing hexies and listening to audio books has been a real treat. Very calm!
    • As I add to the middle puddle of hexies, I think that I'll sneak in a few odd shapes to keep it interesting. A diamond or two certainly can't hurt!

    Related links

    Linking parties

    I'll be linking this post up to many fun linking parties. Why not check them out? Put Your Foot Down, Off The Wall Friday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Oh Scrap!, Slow Sunday Stitching, Patchwork & Quilts, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2021, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Makers

    Thursday, February 11, 2021

    More Stitchers' Journals

    Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks, Week 318. I'm afraid that this week's trip to Mars has been postponed. 😊 I hope to be back in a fortnight with Mars as a FMQ addition to the Pinwheels & Stars baby quilt. Until then, here are more journals that have not had their post yet! 

    Stitcher's Journals

    As I mentioned in my last post, I have made many Stitcher's Journals based on Ali Ferguson's workshop through's Stitch Club. Here are my latest two.

    Nature Lover's Journal - Front

    Nature Lover's Journal - Back

    Nature Lover's Journal - open

    This next journal was made using A3 Kraft paper. I wanted a large journal that could hold my in-progress pieces such as the pieces I've made for my Glimpses of Childhood Places project. I also have larger embroidered pieces that are 8" x 8", which are too big to keep in the smaller journals. This journal measured 11½" x 11½", which is really perfect for these slightly larger pieces.

    I wanted to use some old embroidery pieces that I made a few years ago. For the front of the journal, I used a hand-dyed piece of fabric and reverse appliquéd the embroidery to it. Of course as I've been prone to do, I misjudged the size of the area I needed for the embroidery. Thank goodness that the embroidery still fit within it!😊 Below is the image before I stitched the pink border to the embroidery. I then cut and machine stitched the edges of the border.

    Framed embroidery piece to add to the front

    The journal is made like the smaller journals except that instead of folding the paper sheets in half, each large sheet of paper is taped to another. I ended up folding the Kraft paper about a half inch on the binding edge and then taping it with washi tape.

    Front of the Large Stitcher's Journal

    I reverse appliquéd the two smaller embroideries in the back - again with hand-dyed fabric. I really love how these came out. It's a great way to use up these lovely embroidered pieces.

    Back of the Large Stitcher's Journal

    Here is what the inside looks like.

    Inside the Large Stitcher's Journal - two pieces made for the "Glimpses of Childhood Places" project

    What I learned
    • These are so much fun to make. I did forget to place the cardboard piece on the backing of the front and page covers. I had to make a work-around but it turned out fine in the end.
    • All of these small mistakes creative changes are a symptom of my present mental and physical state - a small burnout. I've taken the month of February off from both work and most of my art. I need to learn to slow down, stay calm 😊 and pace myself. Something I had hoped to learn by now but it's never too late to learn....I am a work in progress!

    Related links

    Linking parties

    I will be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's go see what's going on in the Quilting World! Put Your Foot Down, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Off The Wall Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Beauty Pageant, Peacock Party, TGIFF with Slice of Pi Quilts, Oh Scrap!. Slow Sunday Stitching, Patchwork & Quilts, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2021Colour & Inspiration Tuesday Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Maker

    Free Motion Mavericks

    Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks, week 318. Last time we had a good number of link ups. Thanks so much for linking up your projects. They don't have to include Free Motion Quilting. 😊 I did want to highlight Sandra's Rainbow Way quilt. She played with all kinds of great FMQ designs and looks like she had lots of fun. She doesn't live that far away from me but you can see from her photos that they have a lot less snow than we do in the Ottawa Valley! 

    Rainbow Way by Sandra of MMM quilts 

    It's your turn!

    You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

    Click here to enter

    Monday, February 08, 2021

    Catching up on posting projects

     Hi, I hope that February finds you well. I thought that I would take the time to write about projects that were completed recently but not posted.

    Finishing a Journal Cover 

    In the last few months I finished a special journal cover for a dear friend. 

    Finished Japanese Journal Cover - Front
    Here is a view of the back.
    Finished Japanese Journal Cover - Back

    You may remember the original fabric that I free motion quilted (FMQ) last March (see Related links below).

    The piece was meant for a larger journal but when I came to make it, I did measure three times, only it was the wrong measurement! 😒 A few weeks later I found a smaller journal that it would fit - actually I think that this new journal is even better 😊. So the journal is made and will go to my friend when we are able to see each other again.

    FMQ beautiful Japanese fabric

    Making More Stitchers' Journals

    In November, in the's Stitch Club, Ali Ferguson taught us how to make a stitcher's sketchbook or journal with paper, and then to cover and embellish it with fabrics. This has been one of my favourite projects since it's easy to make, practical and so very beautiful.

    The first one

    This is the first one that I made, with fabric made during a mark-making workshop with Gregory T. Wilkins. I wrote a post on this journal (see Related links).

    My first Stitcher's Journal
    using painted and stenciled fabric

    Pages within my first journal

    As you can glimpse from the inside of the journals, I used a wide assortment of paper. There is some garden printed paper, as well as coloured and white printed paper. I also used different sizes of fun scrap-booking paper. 

    Gratitude Journal

    For the Gratitude Journal, I used two of the cutest fabrics I have. My daughter loved it.

    Pages inside of the
    Gratitude Journal
    Gratitude Journal - front

    Open Gratitude Journal

    Back of the Gratitude Journal

    Quilted Stitcher's Journal

    Front of the Quilted Stitcher's Journal
    I made this journal from quilted fabric that I used a very long time ago to make a quilted jacket. I thought that this would be a perfect way to use up some of the scraps. I love it!

    Open Quilted Stitcher's Journal

    I use this journal to keep my Sashiko stitching samples.

    Samples: Rice Stitch and
    Rice Stitch Variation 2
    Samples: Stacked Running Stitches and
    Persimmon Flower

    Samples: Zigzag Crosses and
    Offset Crosses

    What I learned

    • As I mentioned, this is my favourite project in the's Stitch Club. Ali Ferguson showed us many ways of making journals. Her journals were a little more organic than mine, but really there is no limit to what you can do.
    • I always have one or two in the process of being made. They are low effort and fun to make. 
    • I'm having problems with the thread that I've used to make these. It needs to be strong enough to pull tightly - something that I tend to over do (I'm always breaking my poor silk thread as I stitch hexies together!) It also needs to be thin enough to pull through a needle. I used a quilting thread for my first one and I think that I'll have to go back to it. It's the best thing that I've found so far. 

    Related links

    Linking parties
    I'll be linking up to some fun linking parties, including Free Motion Mavericks with Muv. Come back on Thursday to link up your FMQ beauties. I'll be my turn to post😊 Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Patchwork & Quilts, Oh Scrap!, Colour & Inspiration Tuesday, Midweek MakersFinished or Not Finished FridayOff The Wall FridayCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?Beauty PageantPeacock PartyTGIFF with Slice of Pi Quilts

    Wonderful news! Frédérique of Patchwork & Quilts has featured my quilted journal! Merci beaucoup!