Thursday, August 05, 2021

Improv piecing and FMQ

Welcome to week   of Free Motion Mavericks linking party. I'm not sure if the eye candy will show up today since I waited too late in the day to take pictures.

Playing with improv piecing and FMQ

I'm really into mindless at this time. The heat is back and Chevy is not letting me sleep as much as I need to! All that to say that last night I wanted to sew but I didn't want to follow a pattern or plan, therefore, improv piecing! Since I also wanted some free motion quilting for today's post, I added solid fabric in the middle of the improv piecing.

FMQ the Improv piece

For the improv piecing, I used up fabrics from a box of partially stitched pieces that didn't make it into an improv quilt. Since I wanted to be able to FMQ and hand-stitch, it needed some solid fabric. This is what the piece looked like this morning. I kept looking at it during the day, hoping for inspiration on what to FMQ on it. 

Improv pieced background

In the end, I decided on various shapes. I was inspired by a placemat under my work laptop in the dining room. There were boxes within boxes and diamonds on them. I added a circle, some hexies (of course), and other shapes.

This is what it looks like so far. I used mostly variegated thread for the stitching, which doesn't show up well.

Close up of the free motion quilting

What's next?

Playing with thread - both hand stitching and possibly more FMQ.

Last week I discovered Maiwa. Two orders in less than two weeks later, I'm in big trouble. I'm totally addicted 😊 I think that it's a great addiction - it's socially acceptable (there may be some eye rolling from non textile people), it has no calories and it takes up less space than fabric. That's a win, win, win situation!

In the box are two sets of hand-dyed Bengal thread - silk and linen. They also have cotton and wool in these colours but I couldn't resist the silk and linen. I have started using them and I'll tell you all about them in another post. 

Bengal hand-dyed thread from Maiwa (silk and linen) 

These are hand-dyed linen, also from Maiwa

I will be using these and other threads to add to the FMQ. I'm really not sure what I'll be doing except for using some fun stitches over and around the FMQ. You'll have to come back next time to see what I end up doing!

What I learned
  • It's really hard to not plan a project. The improv piecing was straight forward but I really didn't want to spend much time planning the FMQ. I hope that the use of shapes was a good idea...we'll see.
  • The trick when hand stitching will be to make the piece interesting, with mouvement and cohesion.
  • I discovered Maiwa from an article where Sue Stone is interviewed and she talked about some of the supplies that she uses. When I read that Maiwa was a Canadian company, I just had to check it out. Wow! (See Related links below)
  • I'm really looking forward to using the linen thread. I bought a white skein to eventually dye. That could be a lot of fun!
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Join me to see what's going on out there (but that's after you've linked up below!) Midweek Makers, Put Your Foot Down, Needle & Thread ThursdayOff The Wall Friday, Patchwork & Quilts, Slow Sunday Stitching, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2021Monday Making,

Free Motion Mavericks

It was a small intimate party last time but wow - the FMQ was impressive. I'm going to be featuring them all!
Let's start with Rebecca's White On White Bailee Quilt. Rebecca may be using a computerized long arm but that baby needs some guidance to quilt this kind of quilting. 

Rebecca Grace's incredible White on White Bailee Quilt

Sandra of mmm quilts participated in the Just One Charm Pack Blog Hop with a lovely quilt designed by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Design. The Blog Hop was to showcase quilts from Cheryl's book, Just One Charm Pack Quilts. It's really amazing how the fabric and the quilting can change the look of a quilt. Sandra did a stunning job, as usual 😊.

Sandra's version of Blossom Chains, called Captiva Meadow

Gail of Quilting Gail got another UFO finished! She had some trouble with a couple of rows of swirls and found out that a new needle was the solution. It's a painful lesson to learn, but at least the solution was simple! Check out Gail's swirls. She did a great job of putting those two sets of panels together to make the quilt.

Another UFO finish by Quilting Gail!

And now it's your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Your inprov free motion is fun and I LOVE the hand dyed silks. I've never seen threads wound in that shape before :)

    1. Thanks Janine. Those threads are amazing. It's been lots of fun stitching with them and seeing how they work. Take care.

  2. Oooooooooh les beaux fils ! Tu vas te faire plaisir avec ces belles couleurs, et ces belles matières !

    1. Bonjour Frédérique, c'est bien intéressant de jouer avec ces fils si différents. Bonne semaine :-)

  3. What absolutely beautiful threads here. Bengal silk and linen, wow! I'm so impressed that you're doing all this improv piecing and quilting! Fun right?! Thank you so much for featuring my Captiva Meadow quilt!

    1. Thanks Sandra, I just wanted to do something fun and quick. I guess the joke is on me...100 days is not so quick :-) but I am enjoying it.

  4. How lovely your new addiction looks. Love all those pretty colours of the silk and linen wound in those shapes. Your improv free motion looks fun. I look forward to seeing more. Love those pretty fabrics dancing around your improv. Oh my goodness, the quilting from those ladies is incredible. Such artistry. I am off to visit Maiwa.

    1. Hi Kim, there should be a beware sign as you look at Maiwa's website - it's all so gorgeous. I've enjoyed stitching with these threads and I hope I enjoy as much in 99 days :-) Take care.

  5. Your improv project looks me an idea to practice my own FMQ. Your variegated thread looks fun!

    1. Thanks! I've had lots of fun doing this and there is so much FMQ that you can do on just a little top. Variegated threads sure add lots of fun to a piece. Enjoy.

  6. You are an amazing FMQuilter!! And I can't wait to see what you do with the Maiwa threads!!! So colorful!

    1. Thanks so much Nancy. I really enjoy FMQ and a small piece is hopefully going to get me back to my son's quilt. I haven't even finished stitching in the ditch since it's too hot in my studio to have a queen size quilt on my lap while I quilt! Take care.

  7. What a fun project you have been working on. Your improv quilting looks amazing.

    1. Thanks so much Melisa. It's been a lot of fun so far...but there are 95 days left to go as of today!

  8. Sometimes you just need the mindless stitching time. You picked some fun quilting options too. Happy stitching this week.

  9. Thanks for the feature, Andree! :-). Your improv piece with the shapes looks like a fun experiment, and WOW, those new hand dyed threads look marvelous!


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