Saturday, December 31, 2022

Best of 2022

After looking back in my blog and Instagram posts of 2022, I realise that I had another very productive year! 

Overview of 2022

Although there is some overlapping, my projects seem to fall into five categories: 

  • Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) Version 2.0 quilt, 
  • Small quilty projects, 
  • Artsy projects and quilts, 
  • Meditation stitching, and 
  • Hand-made books.

FMQ Version 2.0 quilt

About half of my Free Motion Mavericks posts were about the Version 2.0 quilt. It's been a very large part of my FMQ year and I'm happy to say that it's almost done! My favourite area is the centre Sun with clouds, stars and a rainbow.

The Sun section, as seen from the back of Version 2.0

Small Quilty Projects

I made many small quilty projects, most of which were FMQ. Some of these were made as part of the Table Scraps Challenge (10 months) and Project Quilting (2 projects). Of course I continued to play with my hexies and added in a few Squirrels!😊

Prayer flags for the Holiday Season

Swirling Leaves 2 

Pink Love for April's Table Scraps Challenge

Still playing with hexies!

I love the foundation paper pieced book blocks and will one day make a whole quilt with them. At this time, it's a UFO (Un-Finished Object).

Blocks for the Summer Book Club 

Artsy Projects and Quilts

A number of my art pieces were created based on workshops in the Stitch Club. I also participated in 3 art shows and events this year.

Let them flourish

Please let me Play!

Wildflower vest

This art quilt was created for the Polar Bear Plunge Blog Hop. 

A true polar bear story

Bonjour La Vie was created following a virtual Fantastic Fusion workshop with Lisa Walton from Australia. 

"Bonjour La Vie"

Journey of Many Paths
aka Traveller's Blanket

Embroidered Seascape

Meditation Stitching

This year, as well as doing a lot of mindful stitching, I taught 2 in-person courses and 1 virtual presentation. For the courses, I made a lot of sample blocks, including ways of presenting them. I also participated in several stitching events such as Zen Stitching and the Embroidery Summit. 

4-drop hanging with meditation blocks

I posted most of the images from these virtual events on Instagram. Here is a needle case made during one of the Zen Stitching events.

Zen stitched needle case

Hand-made books

Last year I made a few journals though the Stitch Club. When the Hand-made Book Club offered a very affordable 5-Day Accordion Books Challenge, I signed up right away...and of course I was hooked! 

Fabric meditation book 

Hand-made book with a woven binding

Quilty recycled pocket journal

Thank you so much Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs for hosting this great link up event. It's great to review what we've done as we plan for the next year.

To keep it simple, I've included the links to the related posts within the text. 

What I learned
  • We have until January 2nd to link up to this party, but one of my blogging objectives (that I didn't share) was to increase the numbers of posts in 2022 to the same number as my 2019 and 2020. By publishing this post in 2022, I've reached my objective. I will have published 68 posts in 2022! Yeah!!!🎆
  • However, writing 4 posts in a little over one week is something that I don't really want to do again. Now I really want to get to my quilting 😊  
  • Thank you so much for following me on my quilting/art journey. I really appreciate your friendships and support.
  • My wish for 2022 had been for calm, joy and play. I think that calm and joy are great long-term objectives but this year I'm keeping it more real and focused. My intention for 2023 is to learn by playing, with mindfulness and contentment
  • I wish you all the best for 2023.
Linking parties

Friday, December 30, 2022

Planning for 2023

Thank you Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for hosting this great linking party again this year. Hopefully it will help keep me focused.

Last year I minimized my plans for 2022. Of course it didn't all get done but that's ok because that's what planning is all about. For 2023, I'm keeping it as simple and general as possible.

My intention for 2023: learn by playing, with mindfulness and contentment


This category is more specific because of my promises to get these projects done. I'm very hopeful of completing these and they'll provide great content for the 2023 Free Motion Mavericks' posts.

Finish Version 2.0 quilt

Version 2.0 will be finished in the first week of January

Make my niece's t-shirt quilt

One of four pictures of her t-shirts

Create my daughter's Paddington Bear quilt

Paddington Bear design book

Fabric samples

Challenges and Hand-made Books

I don't want to add pressure to myself, so I will participate in the Table Scraps 2023 Challenge and create hand-made books whenever I can because these are usually small simple projects where I learn things and they make me happy.

Oranges and Lemons - August's Table Scraps Challenge

Coptic Book Challenge - December 2022 

I made this beautiful coptic book during the challenge, but never got around to writing a post. So here it is! Coptic is the way the book is bound. The cover is made with a background of printed book pages covered with the top layer of a paper napkin. I love the effect!

Coptic Book 

I'm using the book to keep my dried leaves and other natural elements that have been glued onto paper and/or covered with Mod Podge. These are ready to be used in art pieces 😊 

The coptic book is used to hold natural elements ready to use for art

Art Quilts and Mindful Stitching

I am placing these together because they are often inter-related. December has shown me that, for my peace of mind, I need a mindful stitching practice. I believe that any hand-stitching can be mindful, so I'm going to make a real effort to stitch every day. 

Stitching on eco-printed fabric (I forgot about this project!)
Off the Grid sampler in progress

Meditation block in progress

As well, I will participate in more of the workshops, and actually finish the projects. I've started a few projects that I've yet to finish or blog about. Here is one of them.

This project, from Jean Draper's "Stitches in thin air" workshop (August 2021) is still in the percolating phase. I love how the yarn and string, stiffened by glue, makes such interesting patterns. The first image has two layers on top of each other.

Two layers together

I added so much yarn in the top layer that you can't see much of the bottom layers. However, the plan is to separate each layer by at least ⅛ " to ¼" so that the bottom layers can be seen from the side. The overall plan is to create a 3D piece showing the different layers of earth underneath. 

"Stitches in thin air" piece in the percolating phase

Blog and Instagram

2023 Planning Party with
Yvonne of Quilty Jetgirl

In the next few months, I will update the look of the blog and continue posting on Instagram. There is no pressure here but I want to get it done this winter or spring.

What I learned

  • As I mentioned in my Christmas post, "Although I'm retired, my life has not slowed down. It seems that living in minor chaos and stress has become a habit that I need to break!"
    •  This is where my intention of learning by playing, with mindfulness and contentment comes in.
  • I know that this "plan" for 2023 is still a lot but I am retired and have time to play. It's just a matter of setting and living with the intention of playing with mindfulness and contentment.
  • The plan will, of course, shift since I now have a set of panels to FMQ for hubby. I bought the panels years ago and now seems to be the time. It's all good 😊
  • I've already registered for a couple of courses for 2023. I'm going to minimize this since there is already lots of learning included in the Stitch and Hand-make Book clubs.
  • I need to remind myself that although joining blog hops are a lot of fun, they have deadlines and can be quite stressful. I love comments but get very stressed when I have more than a few - which is what happens during blog hops 😕.

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking up to the 2023 Planning Party as well as other fun linky parties. Why not check them out? Off The Wall Friday, Finished (or Not) Friday, Patchwork & Quilts, TGIFF, Peacock Party, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2022

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Feathered Borders on Free Motion Mavericks

Hi! Welcome to the last Free Motion Mavericks linking party of the year! I hope that you have survived the Christmas/holiday festivities😊

FMQ Feathers

Yesterday I free motion quilted (FMQ) two side borders of the Version 2.0 quilt with feathers. I'm not really sure how it's usually done, but I'm going to quilt one huge feather all around the quilt (no start or finish lines). 

Here I am zooming back to quilt the feathers. I had to adjust my technique to suit the borders and the "one feather around the quilt" idea. For the first feather I marked the spine with a chalk pencil but I didn't bother doing that again since I didn't really follow it!😁

Zooming to create a large feather

For that first border I also marked a ½" from the edge of the quilt so that I wouldn't quilt inside the binding (which I always do!)

Here are a few pictures of some interesting variations (nothing complex that's for sure!)

Adding a swirly thing

Varying the size of the feathers

When I got near the end of the first border, I ran out of thread, so I left it there to link up to the top border eventually. On the second border, I managed to turn the corner before having to stop.

Making the corner before stopping

What I learned
  • I didn't practice my FMQ before starting but I did draw some feathers within a 5" area to get the feel of the scale of the feathers. I believe that these are the largest feathers that I've FMQ so far. 
  • It took me a while to get the hang of quilting near the edge of the fabric. That was the hardest thing to get used to.
  • Eventually I got into a rhythm. I would FMQ the spine a few inches ahead, then come back and stitch the right and the left sides as I went.
  • This is very different from my usual quilting of feathers. I usually stitch the spine, come back and then quilt one side and then the other. I'm happy to say that varying my technique wasn't as daunting as I expected. 
  • As I got more comfortable, I started focusing on my stitch length since I tend to make larger stitches on the underside of the feather.
  • I did take a break between sides but when I got near the end of the second side, I skipped a stitch and just stitched over the feather. Then I got to the top, where again it skipped a stitch, and then my hand went numb! I think that's as good a sign as any that it's time to stop 😊
  • I'm hoping that the couple of skipped stitches are due to fatigue (mine and my Jag) and not the need for a new needle, since it is a new titanium needle.
  • My One Monthly Goal for December was to finish the FMQ on the Version 2.0 quilt. It might get done - but the quilt won't be finished since I don't have enough Kona fabric (we had agreed on burgundy) for the binding. Since most of the local quilt shops open January 3rd, I'll be picking some up then. 

Related links

Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Check them out after you've linked up below! Design Wall Monday, Patchwork & Quilts, Finished (or Not) Friday, Peacock Party,  

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 413 of Free Motion Mavericks. Thanks so much for linking up - you really make my day! 😎

Here are the Free Motion Quilting projects from last time. Karin is using Golden Thread paper to copy the quilt design to then FMQ it. What a great way to stitch a design and keep it the same all over the quilt. Here is her lovely Charm Square quilt.

Karin FMQ her Charm Square quilt

Next we have Gail with her beautiful tree skirt that she made for Island Batik’s Fall/Winter ’21 catalogue. Her loops look great on those gorgeous fabrics!

Quilting Gail's tree skirt

Finally Nanette Chopin Cook finished FMQ a couple of quilts. This is her Bunny Quilt.

Nanette's Bunny Quilt

It's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Joyeux Noël - Merry Christmas

Hi, I would like to take a few minutes from preparing digesting Christmas supper to wish you a Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël and a happy holiday season!🎄I am so grateful to have all of you in my life.😊

Last minute Christmas quilting

This week I finished a couple more Christmas scrappy mug rugs. These two went to my son and his girlfriend. 

Two scrappy rug mugs

Some minor FMQ

FMQ following the fabrics' patterns, including Stars!

Blue Christmas fabric for the backs

These two, slightly smaller mug rugs went to my girlfriend.

Two scrappy Christmas mug rugs

Some free motion quilting - with ivy leaves

More free motion quilted ivy leaves

The back of the mug rugs

We've had a couple of winter storms. This one was on December 16th. 

Winter storm as seen from inside 😊

Prayer Flags

I've been wanting to make Prayer Flags for a while now. I thought that finishing them with FMQ would give me some much needed practice. I was finally able to put them up today since the heavy winds have subsided. I'm sending prayers to the Universe for Peace, Joy, and a Merry Christmas through my prayer flags. 

Flags on the snow since it was too windy to put in the trees yesterday

Peace - Inner peace, Serenity and Paix

Wishing for a Merry Christmas (Joyeuses Fêtes)

This one is for JOY (joie)

I'm finishing up with my favourite holiday character - the Grinch!

A Grinch tapestry made a very long time ago!

What I've learned

  • Although I'm retired, my life has not slowed down. It seems that living in minor chaos and stress has become a habit that I need to break!
  • I want to make more time to visit my friends now that I'm not working full time, but this is also something that needs to be worked at!
  • This year I promised to try to not be a Grinch about Christmas. I must say that I didn't enjoy the rushing around to get ready (as usual), but I've had a lot of fun in the last two days.
  • As you know, I've spent a lot of time FMQ the Version 2.0 quilt. There is a possible finish before year end!
  • If I want to finish Version 2.0, I'll be working on it and FMQ full time after Boxing Day. Wish me luck!

Related links
  • Surviving the Holidays (aka 10 strategies for surviving the holidays), December 20, 2021

Linking Parties

I'll be linking up these cute mug rugs to the 2022 Table Scraps Challenge as well as many fun linking parties. Let's check them out 😊. Patchwork & Quilts, Off The Wall Friday, Put your foot down, Peacock Party, Beauties Pageant, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2022, Midweek Makers, Sew & Tell, DrEAMi!, My Corner of the World