Thursday, April 29, 2021

An Out of this World Finish on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks, week 329. After making the Pinwheels and Stars blocks years ago, putting them together to make a baby quilt and then using it as my free motion quilting (FMQ) project for almost a year, it's now finished!  

Pinwheels and Stars baby quilt

It's finally over 😊. Although not technically perfect, I really love how this quilt came out.

Pinwheels & Stars  baby quilt finished!

The picture on the chair pose

Chevy's turn

As I mentioned in my #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art) post this weekend, (under U for UFO), I added some swirls, loops and stars. I did it all in white Omni Thread from Superior Threads and my regular lilac WonderFil Konfetti in the bobbin. I did take the time to make sure that these threads worked well together...and they did!

Free Motion Quilting between space related objects

Free Motion Quilting between space related objects

If I'm a little late publishing this post, it's because it's too late to get good pictures of the finished quilt tonight and this is too important of a finish to settle for night pictures. I'm not sure that tomorrow will be much better with all the rain in the forecast, but at least there will be daylight.

Just to recap this project:

  • I introduced the Pinwheels & Stars Baby Quilt on May 13 of last year - so almost a year ago!
  • I drew some pinwheel FMQ designs that I found on the Internet and started quilting the next week.
  • On July 8 I finished FMQ the pinwheel blocks

    image of 7 FMQ designs for pinwheel blocks
    Seven FMQ designs for pinwheel blocks

  • By the end of July, I had found some star FMQ designs and started the quilting in August.
  • By the end of November, with a few weeks off for other projects, I finished FMQ the star blocks and started making plans for all of that yummy negative space.
image of 6 FMQ designs for star blocks
Six FMQ designs for star blocks
This was the original flexible plan.

Drawing of a possible FMQ plan for the negative space

  • I then started doing research and practiced drawing the important elements like the Earth and the Moon.
  • I also discovered on the NASA and the Canadian Space Agency websites, information about the Artemis Project. I practiced drawing and then in January, started FMQ and added the Earth, the Moon and these to the quilt. If you want to learn more, you'll have to go to the original posts (see Related links).
  • The Sun was added in March and then things got productive after that. In April I added all of the other planets of our Solar System as well as some funky and fun stars, nebula and even a UFO! 
Our far

What I learned
  • It's been an amazing journey. I found some great designs to FMQ the pinwheels and stars. 
  • Then came all of the space journey - Wow! 
  • The FMQ filler between the space objects was fast and furious. I loved it! I actually did slow down so that my tension would be ok but I just zipped along which was really nice after working so hard on coming up with different motifs for the rest of the quilt.
  • I wasn't sure how it would all look before I added the background quilting but I am so, so happy with it. 😁 It's exactly what it needed. 
  • I had a bit of a stressful moment when I realised that I didn't have any more backing fabric, which I was going to use for the binding. So I contacted my local quilt shop, Quilty Pleasures, and told the salesperson what I wanted - a very, very light mauve or purple, either solid or close to it. She had exactly what I needed. I ordered it online and picked it up that afternoon.

Related links

Here are the links that I mentioned, in the same order:

Linking parties

This is my April One Monthly Goal...Yeah it's done!!! I will also be linking up to all of those fun finished parties that I don't often link to 😊. Before you check them out, make sure to link up your own project to Free Motion Mavericks below. Put Your Foot Down, Needle & Thread Thursday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, TGIFF!. Brag About Your Beauties, Let's Make Baby Quilts!, Favorite Finish Monthly Linkup, Off The Wall Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Peacock Party, Patchwork & Quilts, Monday Making

Very cool news! I was featured on Kelly's Needle & Thread Thursday (NTT) 😊

Free Motion Mavericks

Thanks to those who joined us last time. It was really great to see the SAHRR (Stay At Home Round Robin) Parade Finale at Quilting Gail's. I wish I had joined them in this very cool project, but I did hear that there should be another one next winter, so I'm going to try to plan around that! If you didn't see the great quilts, including Gail's lovely here, do check them out!

Quilting Gail's finish for the SAHRR

It's your turn!

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Week 4 of #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art)

Wow, I'm keeping up with the #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art) on Instagram. It's been a long, hard week but I managed it. This is the second last week of April and I'm going to show you what I posted, from P to U!

P is for Paper

The piece is Momigami tree and was created based on a workshop with Cas Holmes through in August 2020. Momigami is Japanese for cloth made of kneaded paper.  We adapted the process by using long-fibred paper and kneading it with a little bit of oil until it become more supple. This was hand-stitched onto fabric to create a small landscape. 

Momigami tree

Since I haven't written a post about this piece yet, I don't want to give it all away. Let's just say that along with hand-dyed cotton, tulle, cheese-cloth and yarn, there are also pages from magazines and a potato bag.

Building up the piece

Q is for Quilting Wholecloth

The piece is Flower of Life, created for Project Quilting 2020. The theme was Notably Numeric. This had me stumped because math is not my idea of fun, however there was mention of geometry so that wasn't too bad. I started one of those rabbit hole journeys on the internet and ended up with the Flower of Life. It turns out that it's a Sacred Geometry pattern and it was very cool to learn about it. 
I actually drew the pattern, which is a series of circles, onto the fabric but since I used a frixion pen, it left a shadow on the fabric. Not a problem - I quilted it from the back 😊. This was only some of the problem solving in this project. You can read more about it in the two posts found below in Related links.

The free motion quilting from the back

A series of circles

I added beads to the centre of the intersecting circles. It breaks up the pattern a bit but I love the orange peel pattern almost as much as I love hexies!

The Flower of Life

R is for Reverse Appliqué

This piece is called Funky Flower Mola, made for the Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop. The book was Molas!: Patterns, Techniques & Projects for Colorful Applique by Kate Mathews. In her book, Kate Mathews explains the origins of Molas. It's a textile tradition of the Kuna, an aboriginal people from the Panama area. You may not know what they are called, but odds are you've seen some before. The are colourful and joyful - everything that attracts me to textiles.

My version of a Mola. It has several layers of fabric.

Adding green to the layers
The idea is to layer fabrics and then cut through them to create the variations in colours. The square flower in the middle is made up of three layers of fabric. I added a green layer of fabric between the others to the right of the piece, and some yellow and lilac layers to the left.
Adding yellow
and purple layers

The square flower has a layer
of hot pink, maroon and pink

This was done in February 2019, before I started doing so much hand-stitching and embroidery. I think that if I made a Mola today, that it would be much better. It was a lot of fun and reverse appliqué is not that difficult - more fussy than anything. I'm actually working on a piece that will require lots of reverse appliqué so I'm bound to get better at it😊.

S is for Strings

This piece is called “Tries to play nice with others” and was created for the All About Strings Blog Hop. It has blocks that are string pieced, two layers of batting for extra fluffiness and a lot of fun free motion quilting. Of course, it also includes hexies. 

“Tries to play nice with others” 
This piece includes all of my favourite things! Easy piecing, great colours, hexies and lots and lots of free motion quilting!

Featuring bright colours, hexies and FMQ - my favourite things!

T is for Transparent or Translucent

Flower Impressions - Pink Campion was created based on a workshop with Vinny Stapley through I love the transparent look of textiles but didn't think that I would like working with it. I'm happy to say that I was wrong - I love it and it's really not difficult to work with, at least by hand.

Flower Impressions - Pink Campion

Using tulle and organza of all kinds and colours,
including hand-dyed silk organza

I really hope to explore transparency and translucence in the future. There is so much that I would like to try 😊
The inspiration for the piece,
pink campion in my garden

Playing with different types of embroidery stitches

U is for UFO

If you've been following my blog for a while, you will recognize my Pinwheels and Stars baby quilt. It was adapted from the quilt, Make a Wish, from the Quilt Almanac, 2011. In the centre of the quilt, I created a type of wholecloth negative section to quilt. Last year I quilted the pinwheels and stars and I’m now finishing the middle with free motion quilting (FMQ). This include our solar system, the Artemis project,  the Perseverance Rover landing on Mars as well as some funky space nebula, stars and a UFO. 

This is the annotated image of the FMQ with the names of the planets and the Artemis Project.

Our Solar System

The UFO on my UFO!

This is a preview of the FMQ around the planets, stars and other special objects.  

Adding swirls, loops and stars between the planets.

More swirls, loops and stars

I finished the FMQ and squared the quilt up. It's now ready to bind and post. The finale will be on April 29th in the Free Motion Mavericks' post - just in time for April's One Monthly Goal (OMG). 

What I learned
  • Not much to add except that this is all time consuming but I've learned a lot about posting on Instagram and to linky parties with my phone.
  • I'm pretty impressed with the number of art quilts that I've made. So far I haven't had to re-use any of the art quilts that I've featured.
  • I'm running behind...I haven't really prepared V to Z yet, but I'm sure that they will be posted more or less on time 😊
Related links
Linking parties

I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. If you're interested in seeing the other participants in the #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art), make sure to check out Frédérique's link ups during the week. There are some really great posts and participants! Patchwork & QuiltsFree Motion Mavericks with Muv, 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Week 3 of #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art)

It's getting harder to keep up but I sort of did. I managed to forget to post on Friday (although I was sure that I had but didn't check...) Oh well, it's not really going to make any difference in anyone's life so I guess it's fine.😊 For those of you who haven't been following along, the #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art) is hosted by Frédérique as part of the larger #AtoZchallenge2021. For 26 days in April, with Sunday's off, we post about our subject - mine is art quilts. So every day I post the letter of the day on Instagram and them link up to Frédérique's linking party. So, here are my posts of the week, from J to O.

J is for Journal

I posted my big Stitcher's Journal that I had created from old embroidery pieces that I had done when I took up embroidery after at least 20 years off! 

These are samplers made from the book, Beginner's Guide to Freestyle Embroidery by Christina Marsh. If you are beginning to embroider and like simple books with lots of projects, I highly recommend this one!

Nature Lover's Journal
I've also made many, many more journals since taking the workshop with Ali Ferguson through the Stitch Club at  These are so easy to make and can hold all kinds of fun things, from stitchy treasures to your thoughts of gratitude.

Gratitude Journal

K is for Knots, French

You may remember this piece from last summer when I made "Ça va bien aller" for my daughter. It’s based on a workshop with Haf Weighton through  If  you look at the center of the daisies, they are full of French Knots. You can read the story behind it in the original post whose link is in Related links below.

 "Ça va bien aller" 

L is for Leaves 

The piece is called Swirling Leaves and was made for the Hello Fall Blog Hop hosted by Carla of Creatin' in the sticks. The leaves are all hand-dyed fabrics and I had a great time FMQ it. 

Swirling Leaves

Using variegated threads for the leaves 

Photo shoot in the garden

M is for Mark Making

Marks and Stitches was made following Gregory Todd Wilkins' workshop with We started by painting panels with various colours, stencils etc. From there, I chose one panel to embroider and bead.  It was a wonderfully portable project that I took while we did a mini trip last summer.

Marks and Stitches

Eight painted panels
A great way to play with different embroidery stitches

N is for Nature

Clover at Dusk was created without a workshop or challenge. It was pure inspiration. As I was walking at dusk with Chevy, we went by a sea of clover in the grass. Behind it were wonderful changing leaves cascading from the fence and a few blinking fireflies to add to the scene. When I got home, I sketched it from memory and went back the next day to see it in daylight. It's a good thing that I went the next day because by that evening, the owner had mowed the law and all of the clover flowers were gone!

Clover at Dusk art quilt

O is for Old (reuse and recycle)

This is a Flower sampler embroidered with plastic strips from plastic grocery bags. It was made following a workshop with Susie Vickery through  The background is an old chenille throw that has had many different uses, including the most comfortable pillows on the couch. The chenille was perfect to stitch through.  

Flower sampler embroidered with plastic strips

Embroidering on chenille with plastic
required a hoop

What I learned

  • As I've been going through my posts, I've seen a few interesting patterns.
    • I use the word "more" too often in post titles.
    • I often forget to take pictures while I'm making projects. 
    • At the beginning, a large number of my art quilts were created in blog hops and challenges.
    • Once I started taking workshops through, most of the art quilts originated from there.
  • I am very glad that last weekend I got ahead of planning my posts. It was too lovely not to work in the garden this weekend and I am exhausted!

Related links

Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on out there! The first party is at Frédérique's Patchwork and Quilts. If you have time, check out the other participants of the  #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt. There are some very cool posts to see. Put Your Foot DownOff the Wall FridayCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?Peacock Party, Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap!, Monday Making, Midweek Makers

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Planets, Stars and More on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks, week 327. This is probably the last post on the progress of this Pinwheels and Stars baby quilt. I'm really hoping that the next post with be the big finish 😁.

Planets, Stars and More...

There are many wonders in our sky - so here are the latest additions to the sky surrounded by pinwheels and stars.

A nebula and oh....a UFO (not of the fabric kind) 😊

 Here is the negative space viewed in two parts.

A view of the top part

A view of the bottom part

And now we have a view of most of the quilt.

Major elements FMQ onto the negative space of the quilt

What's left to do
    The sky
  • I will be FMQ small stars and swirls around the major elements. This will even out the quilting and give it a bit more stability and durability. I'll be using either regular white thread or Bottom Line white thread. I haven't decided yet. If I'm smart, I'll practice to see how the tension is and how it looks.
  • I also need to square off the quilt - not my idea of fun, but certainly less difficult when it's a smaller quilt.
  • Next comes the binding and a label. 
  • I really want this done by my next Free Motion Mavericks post which is on April 29th. It would also be in time for my One Monthly Goal of April 😊

What I learned

  • I love it when I do things the way that I should, and that it pays off. This was one of those times. Since I was taking a virtual ruler quilting course on the weekend, I had quite a few sandwiches that hadn't been used. I took one of those last night and practiced some of the designs that I was going to FMQ, including the space ship. I also got some new King Tut variegated thread to try out at the same time.

Practicing my FMQ of the space ship and 
trying out new variegated thread.

  • I'm sorry that I didn't use some of the wilder variegated thread for the actual quilting. As beautiful as the thread it, some of it just doesn't show off as well. On the other hand, there will be a lot for a child to discover as they grow up with this quilt.
  • The nebula is actually a Wavy Spiral. I found it incredibly difficult to FMQ since I've been working hard for years to have lovely curved lines - wavy may have been natural at the beginning, but it isn't any more 😊
  • I'm really looking forward to finishing this quilt - it's been a UFO and a WIF for way too long!

Related links

  • Christa Watson, 99 Machine Quilting Designs - Wavy Spiral design (#20)
  • Latest Pinwheels and Stars baby quilt post
    • Orbiting planets and funky stars on Free Motion Mavericks, April 01, 2021

Linking parties
I will be linking up to many fun linking parties out there is blog land. Let's find out what's going on...after you link up to Free Motion Mavericks below, of course! Monday Making, Midweek Makers, Let's Make Baby Quilts, Put Your Foot Down, Off the Wall Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Peacock Party, Patchwork & Quilts, Design Wall Monday

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome. I'm really glad that you're taking the time to link up, whether you have done FMQ or not. Last time, we had an exceptional quilt linked up by Sandra of mmm quilts. One day, this is how I want my quilts to come out...of course I would have to actually quilt large quilts and I believe that having an Avril would help, but still...I'm sure that Sandra will tell you that it's all about practice. Here is Heading North in the Make Modern Issue 39. What a beauty. If you didn't read Sandra's post yet, it's a must do and see.
Sandra's amazing Heading North quilt

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