Thursday, October 28, 2021

Trying for something different and Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome! I do have some free motion quilting (FMQ) to show you, but not on my son's Jag is getting a long overdue tune-up and it could take a few weeks.

Creating an improv quilt during a playdate 

The Out of the Box Fibre Artist Group had a playdate which I attended, since at the last minute, I had decided to take the day off work. Our playdate host, one of our members, did a great job of introducing us to improv piecing and stripes. Who knew that there was anything to say about stripes other than wide, thin, horizontal and vertical!😁

Improv piece with Shadow Stripes

I don't have any pictures until I got to this stage. With the FMQ, I wanted to try different effects on the solid fabrics. In the end, since I wasn't sure what to do next, I put it on my design wall and took pictures. 

I liked the piece but it was just ordinary. What can I I've started hand stitching, everything is calling out to be embellished somehow, and this piece was no exception.

Adding embellishments

The first thing I did was add this bright pink ribbon in one corner and then embroider fly stitches and stars. The ribbon is fun because it's translucent and has wire within the edges to give it body.

Pink ribbon and stitching off the quilt

After this beautiful embellishment, I had no idea what to do. So, I started thinking about what I wanted the piece to represent and made a mind-map to get me going.

The improv shadow striped piece is now called "Glimpses of Joy". I want it to represent life, the messiness and the joys, since I don't think that we can have one without the other. The background improv piecing depicts the messiness of life where lines don't necessarily join evenly, but they are beautiful despite this.

I started thinking about some of the things that bring me joy. There is a whole list, but I'll explore these one at a time as I make something to depict it on the quilt. The first one is the Sun.

The Sun - source of life
I had lots of fun making the sun. I wanted to use some yellow hand-dyed silk organza as well as cheese cloth. Since I collect absolutely everything for my art, I though of using these plastic discs that are at the bottom of Keurig coffee pods. They have these lovely holes to stitch through.

Covering up the disk with fabric

Stitching the fabric to the disk 

The rays of the sun are made from a silk scarf that I bought on our trip to China. 

The wonky heart is filled with all kinds of stuff - love, hope, fears, pain, gratitude, envy, etc. There are so many things that fill our hearts. I'm probably not finished with this one yet, but we'll see.

The next piece is from one of my eco-prints. I embroidered it and then attached it to the piece. There is so much in nature that brings me joy, as well as learning new things such as eco-printing and stitching😊
Embroidering on eco-printed linen

Wonky heart full of so much stuff!

This is what "Glimpses of Joy" looks like so far.

It's coming along

What I learned
  • A lot of the art quilting that I do start off intuitively. However, sometimes intuition only takes me so far, and then I need to think about the details of design.
  • I learned years ago how to create a mind-map. I mostly use it to help me think things through, and to keep me organised when I have guests over for a meal. This is one of the things that really stresses me out - so having all of the steps and considerations needed to get things done on a mind-map is my life-boat.
  • I'm still posting on Instagram. The wonky heart today was Day 45/100. Tomorrow's post will be the leaf. I'm enjoy the process of posting - not daily but about 5 times/week. It's encouraging me to keep stitching but it doesn't stress me out if I miss a day or two. 

Related links

Linking parties

Free Motion Mavericks

This is week 353. I hope that you had time go see Muv's post, Very Newly Wed, with her daughter in her wedding dress. It looks like it was a wonderful event! 

Last time, if you didn't catch Karin's FMQ with rulers, go visit. It's well worth it! 

Patience Corner Quilt Finished by Karin

Thanks for visiting - it's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Oh, I love that you are doing a series about joy. We need joy is this crazy world!

    1. Thanks Angela. It is important to focus on the good stuff. Thanks for dropping by. Take care.

  2. Love your mind map idea! Very nice improv with your stitches!

    1. Thanks Celia. It's a great tool for many things, including flushing out a theme for a quilt. Thanks for dropping by. Take care.

  3. Quilting my quilts is like your art quilts, often starts by intuition, but then I often stop and have a think about connections, theme... and then from there it goes back and forth between more planned quilting and intuition still! I like what you're doing with this symbolic piece.

    1. Thanks so much Sandra. I'm working on a few stitching UFOs while a post on Instagram. It's really been fun and productive. Glad you dropped by!

  4. I like how you made your sun, and how it turned out!!! All your embellishments really make your improv piece special!!!

  5. What a cool improv piece!! and yay for a vacation day!

  6. Your improvisation is inspiring! So many different kinds of fabric and stitches. I love it!

  7. Improv quilting to me is absolutely the most fun and I really loved reading about your process and thinking. this!


Hi! I would love to hear from you and I will try to answer you. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a message. :-)