Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Mallard Duck Mini Finish with Free Motion Mavericks

Even without my favourite sewing machine, I was able to sew and quilt with the walking foot, my son's Mallard Duck mini. When I showed it to him, he said that he would find a spot for this one and the other two that I've made for him.

Finishing the Mallard Duck

As you saw in my Making a Mallard Duck Mini post, the foundation paper piecing went well. I always manage to make at least one piece that doesn't have enough selvage but I'm really good at problem solving 😊  I would have loved to go crazy with the free motion quilting (FMQ) but this little guy got off easy.

Finished Mallard Duck mini 

In a previous life I was a planner, but you wouldn't know it based on most of my quilting. I had planned to use my extended-border binding technique where I extend the backing fabric to make the binding, but I wasn't thrilled with the backing fabric as a binding. I ended up trimming the piece but if I had through it through, I would have added at least a half inch to the outside so that my binding would be wide enough to look like a frame. 

Carefully measuring the binding for a ½" frame

So, more problem solving to be done. I cut the binding fabric 2" wide but didn't double it. Instead I very carefully measured the front of the binding so that it would be a ½" wide all around the piece. I should be measuring my binding all the time since I tend to have some wider areas. Accuracy and consistency are not my strengths but that doesn't mean that I can't try!😊

Looking for that perfect button

When it came time to choose the perfect button, I went to my giant jar of buttons. I thought that it was a good idea to have all of my buttons in one jar (and it looks good too!) but having to find one tiny button in that jar might not be the most efficient way of storing them...

Writing the label on fabric backed
with freezer paper

The back of the mini

In case you don't know this trick, the next time you need to write up a label, iron a piece of freezer paper to the back of the fabric. It will stabilize the fabric so that it's easy to write on.

What I learned
  • I'm really happy with my finished Mallard Duck mini. I spent a lot of time getting the binding to be the same width so that it looks like a frame.
  • Sometimes I make fancy labels but I kept this one simple. Using the freezer paper really helps me write on the fabric.
  • I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my button jar. It's not like I need buttons very often, so it may not be worth changing it...again!
  • I would have loved to FMQ this little guy - I even found a great picture to follow to make it realistic. Oh well, maybe the next one.
Related links
Linking parties

Project details

Mallard Duck Mini, pattern by Made By Marney
8¾" X 8¼"
Materials: commercial and batik cotton, button
Techniques: foundation paper piecing and quilting with a walking foot 

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 358 of the Free Motion Mavericks' linking party. Last time, Donnalee linked up her red birds on an improv background. She FMQ her background with a serpentine design. It looks very effective. If you didn't see her post, check it out here. She also discovered that using safety pins is a good way to keep her quilt sandwich together. What do you use to keep things together (if you're not using a long-arm)?

DonnaleeQ: Red Birds Improv

Now it's your turn.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Your mallard duck turned out so well - love the fabric you used for the water. My button jar is the same, but I don't have the desire to change it (until I need that one button!)

    1. Thanks Wendy. Yes, the jar looks lovely and since it's not needed often, that's probably for the best :-) Take care.

  2. Love the duck quilt. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish.

    1. Thanks so much Patty for your OMG link up. It got me to finish this one in a time fashion :-) Take care.

  3. Beautifully pieced mallard duck. Specially love the water fabric.


    1. Thanks Soma. That swirly batik was perfect - there was no need to audition other fabrics for the water! Take care.

  4. For some reason my comment that went along with my linkup did not go through. I had been using my gmail to comment but it did not accept it again today. I love this finish and your binding looks great to me, its a struggle for me too. Thank you for the linkup and reminding me.

    1. Thanks for coming to my rescue Denise. I'm just starting to wonder if the link up is worth it. Have a great week!


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