Thursday, June 30, 2022

Coneflowers and books on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Week 388 of Free Motion Mavericks! I hope that this pre-holiday weekend finds you well 😎. I've got a squirrel and a Summer Book Club update to share with you.

Blue Stripes for a Table Scraps Challenge

This week I was very restless so I grabbed my box of strips, picked out the blue ones (mostly) and started sewing. This is my favourite kinds of piecing! I made it all up as I went along with stripes on the horizontal and vertical while adding some other colours in the mix. As you can guess, this month's Table Scraps theme was stripes and the colours were bright or dark blue. 

Playing with blue stripes

I started with the stripes but knew that I wanted to add more to it. What would happen if I added something on top of the stripes? Would it make a good background?

Blue what?

I started jotting down ideas. 
  • Use hand-dyed scraps for the appliqué.
  • Add complimentary colours - orange with blue.
  • Look for flowers that would fit.
Looking through my collection of Vesey Bulbs garden catalogues, I found the perfect flower - it's a Marcella Butterfly Rainbow Coneflower (I'll try to get some for next year 😊)

I have the most amazing pink orange scrap, so I backed it with a fusible web adhesive. I also did the same with a green piece. Based on my rough drawing, I cut up petal pieces, leaves and the centre cone.

Preparing a drawing and then cutting out fabric

Once I finished the appliqué, it was time to free motion quilt (FMQ). I had a blast stitching the flowers and leaves. I used some newly purchased Gutermann Recycled Polyester Thread. This thread is made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. I bought them from Bridget O'Flaherty when she spoke to our guild about sustainable quilting. The thread stitched really well.

Since my garden is finally presentable (it was so wet and then hot that it was impossible to mow the lawn!), I went out first thing this morning, to take pictures in the dew. It's too bad that it's too early to take a photo with my own coneflowers!

In front of my thriving pink campion

Pretty purple flowers that are related to geranium

My flox are lovey

I think that this runner has found it's new home in my living room 😊

A new table runner for my living room

Summer Book Club QAL 2022

At the beginning of June, I started getting ready for the Summer Book Club QAL. For some crazy reason, my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for June was to make 10 blocks. I don't know what I was thinking but I did come close. If I hadn't make the table runner, I might have reached my goal but since it's the book blocks that made me so restless, I probably wouldn't be in any shape to post about it! 😊 

Don't get me wrong, the Tall Tale book blocks are great to paper piece but for some reason, my distracted brain just couldn't focus! Every block that I made had at least one, and usually many more oops! moments. Unfortunately my new seam ripper has gotten well used.

Here are my first four blocks.

My first 4 lovely book blocks

The first 8 Tall Tale book blocks

What I learned


  • It was really weird how each of my blocks had several things that I had to redo. I just couldn't seem to focus on the piecing - my mind was all over the place.
  • Finally, when I just started piecing together some blue stripes, all was well! The FMQ of the flower went well, although by the time that I had finished the rest of the FMQ, I was getting sloppy. I should have stopped but I wanted to get this ready for this post.
  • It's like the foundation paper piecing wasn't mindless enough but not difficult enough to require my full attention. I'm going to have to work on that if I want to get past 8 blocks!
  • I want to mention Bridget O'Flaherty, our guild's guest speaker for June. I realised through her presentation that I knew her work! In 2008 I got a calendar, Quilts: Canada The land we love. It was all of Bridget's work! This is when I discovered art quilting. Bridget still quilts but with an emphasis on sustainability.
  • I have to apologize to my son for not working on his Version 2.0 quilt but I was too restless. I did start drawing some geology images from his towel though 😊  
  • Happy Canada Day and Fourth of July!

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties, including the June Table Scraps 2022 linking party! I managed to miss the DrEAMi Squirrel linkup again but you may as well check it out! Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Off the Wall Friday, Beauty Pageant, Peacock Party, Patchwork & Quilts, Oh Scrap!, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday

Great news! Susan of Quilt Fabrications featured my runner in her Midweek Makers post! Thanks Susan 😊

Project Details

Flower Power runner
17" x 13"
Materials: commercial and hand-dyed fabric scraps, Gutermann Recycled Polyester Thread 
Techniques: improv piecing, appliqué, and free motion quilting

Free Motion Mavericks

I hope that you've had a chance to work on some free motion quilting (FMQ) this week. Did you see the quilt that Gail from Quilting Gail had in the Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine? If you didn't, then check it out!

Quilting Gail's Summer Sailing

It's now your turn to link up!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Learning from the exhibition

Fibre 15's exhibition, Conversation, ends Sunday. It's been a very busy month with lots of learning. Here's a peak at some of it.

Getting ready

I've been to openings of exhibitions before, but it's a lot more exciting when you're part of a smaller group of artists. The vernissage was very well attended with roughly 100 people showing up. It was also the opening of a new shop as well as the first event of the year for the Stone School Gallery.

Journey of many paths at the exhibition

The vernissage was on the Friday but all of the art had to be delivered to the team that was hanging the exhibition on Wednesday. Since my pieces are not fragile, there was minimal packing but I did have to put labels on all of them as well as wires and dowels for hanging.

Adding the wire on the back of the canvas

Soaking in the stiffener

Letting it dry
For the concertina book, I needed to stiffen the first and last pages so that it would stand properly for display. I used Golden's GAC400 stiffener. It worked quite well.

I also had to add labels. Since creating labels is not something I enjoy doing, I did it as easily as possible. I backed a piece of pale batik with iron-on adhesive and then used a permanent fine marker to write. I also remembered to add in my small fabric label.😊

You'll notice that I wrote a lot more on the Let Them Flourish label in case it was sold (so far, it looks like I get to take it home...I'm very happy about that!)

Label for Let Them Flourish

I kept the label very short on the Please let me play because I knew that it would come home with me. I just added the link to the post since the post explains everything much better than a few words on a label.
The Please let me play label only has my name and ULR to the post.

At the Gallery

The gallery really looked wonderful with all of our art there. Here are some of the photos that I took, which represents a small part of the show.

A lovely corner with art

Let Them Flourish on a pedestal 

The concertina book standing more or less straight 😊

Some of my favourite pieces by Elaine Quehl

Teaching a Meditation Stitching class

Although I have a lot of experience teaching, this was the first time that I taught any kind of art or stitching course. I'm really glad that I chose Meditation Stitching since there is really very little to bring, and no sewing machine to lug around!

Bilingual poster at the Stone School Gallery

Since the gallery is run by volunteers, as exhibitors, we had to volunteer some time to sit at the gallery during visiting hours. I chose to be there last Saturday and Sunday since I was teaching on the Monday. This gave me lots of time to work on my meditative stitching samples for the class.

Sample made of extra flying geese blocks

Sample made with the first English Paper Piecing
that I ever did (a total dud that worked out well for this)

This sampler was created to remember the weekend. It includes a shell and a washer that I found on the beach at my brother's trailer. I haven't finished it since I didn't have all of my thread with me.

Sampler to remember the weekend.

During the class

It's not usually a good sign when a class is very quiet, but in this case, it was excellent! After an introduction, everyone was hard at work stitching. They found that the time flew by very quickly! Here are some of the results of the class.

A lovely blue block from an experience stitcher

Great blocks from a student who had never embroidered!

Lovely blocks on denim by an experienced stitcher

A fun block with lots of stitching by another experience stitcher

During the class I also did some meditation stitching. Instead of the usual 4" block, I made a bookmark. I hope to make more of these.

Lots of stitching on the bookmark
Making a fun bookmark

What I learned
  • It took a lot of effort on everyone's part to get this show done and it looked great!
  • Creating the art work takes time but getting ready to show it is also very time consuming, and includes many of my not-so-favourite tasks!
  • I was so impressed with how the show looked - I really felt like an artist 😊
  • Volunteering for 2 days and then teaching a class the next day was a lot! It took me days to recuperate and that's with everything going well.
  • While I was volunteering at the show, I'm so glad that I brought a variety of work to keep me busy. I love embroidery but I can't do it for 6 hours at a time. Thank goodness I had some English paper piecing (EPP) - hexies - to play with!
  • I'm looking forward to having some fun playtime for the next while. I really need it!
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Remember to drop by Muv's to link up to Free Motion Mavericks this week! Off The Wall Friday, Peacock Party, Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd, Patchwork & Quilts, Oh Scrap!, Slow Sunday Stitching

Thursday, June 16, 2022

First Nation Space on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 386 of the Free Motion Mavericks linking party. I'm back with some free motion quilting (FMQ) on my son's Version 2.0 quilt. This week I want to honour his First Nation's ancestry in a First Nation Space on his quilt.

FMQ a Dream Catcher

The first symbol that comes to my mind is the dream catcher. Our home has many of them, in many sizes, that protect our dreams 😊. Hopefully this one will protect my son and his girlfriend's dreams this fall!

Dream Catcher

My dream catcher
There are many images of dream catchers on the web and after examining these and our own, I finally figured out the pattern. The inside design is a sort of tear-drop shape, as you can see from the image below. It took me a few tries but this is how I drew my template. I then copied over it onto some Golden Threads quilting paper.

Drawing the dream catcher 

Stitching over the template

After FMQ over the template, I removed the paper, added an outside circle and then stitched on the cords, beads and feathers.

Medicine Wheel

The Medicine Wheel is an important symbol but rather difficult to FMQ using only one thread colour! I haven't figured out if I should add anything to it, but this can be done anytime before giving him the quilt.

There is a lot to say about Medicine Wheels but I'll just state the very basic - the colours are white, yellow, red and black. I have included a couple of links in Related links below for anyone who is curious and wants to learn more about all of this information.

Medicine wheel

Thunderbird symbol 

The Thunderbird is the symbol of the Anishinabek Nation. The Anishinaabe are a group of related First Nations that includes the Ojibwe and Algonquin peoples (my son's ancestors). 


Turtle Island

Turtle Island is part of many First Nation's creation story (see Related links to read it). It's such a beautiful story to quilt. In the last Free Motion Mavericks post on Version 2.0, I showed you my practice attempt at quilting it. With a better template of the turtle, I think that this was a success. I'm certainly going to keep the technique for making these windswept white pines!

My version of Turtle Island

The whole First Nation space on the quilt is roughly 18 inches square. Here is what it looks like.

First Nation space

There is still quite a bit of negative space in this square. I will be adding some writing (when I'm 150% certain of how to spell everything 😊). I was thinking that some small vines would be a good background to add between these four images. I will probably use a plastic over the images to draw the vines. 

Since this is about Stéphane, I thought that I would share the latest addition to his (our) family!

Stéphane with Poppy 

What I learned

  • With preparation, these images were not very difficult to draw. 
  • As I mentioned, I would like to add more details to this space but it doesn't have to be now. I want to get it right, as opposed to done!
  • I find it very difficult to use and write about these important First Nation symbols. I want to get it right, and am very aware of cultural appropriation. Since these are for my son, I think that it's fine to include them. 
  • The links below explain these symbols much better than I could. I hope that you'll take the time to read some.

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking this post to many fun linking parties. I do hope that you will also share your quilting with us this time. Put your foot down, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off The Wall Friday, Patchwork & Quilts, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Makers, Wondering Camera, Peacock Party, Finished or Not Finished Friday,   

Free Motion Mavericks

I don't have any linked projects to share today. I hope that we'll have something fun to share next time! Please consider linking up, even if you don't do FMQ.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

June's OMG and Summer Book Club QAL

A quick post to announce that I'm going to be playing with fun fabrics as part of Kate Basti's The Summer Book Club QAL. 

Making more book blocks

I'm thrilled to have found out about The Summer Book Club QAL on Instagram. It uses one of my favourite foundation paper piecing blocks - the Tall Tales Quilt Block. Kate Basti has designed the block and it can be purchased on her Etsy shop (links in Related links below). The pattern is only $1, and she's donating all of her sales of the pattern to the Ronald McDonald House Charities until the end of 2022.

The Summer Book Club QAL on Instagram
with Kate Basti (@katebasti)

I made a few of these blocks as minis in 2019 (feels like so long ago!). I've always wanted to make a quilt of them, since they look amazing on Instagram (#so this is my chance. The block sews up easily and is great for featuring beautiful fabric.

The QAL runs for 8 weeks. 
  • Week 1: Decide Your Project & Pull Your Fabric
  • Week 2–7: Make Tall Tales Blocks
  • Week 8: Assemble Your Project

Week 1: post (an) image(s) of our fabric on Instagram. Here is my fabric pull. As you can see I have lots of choices. I'll be choosing as I go along. I'll be using a variety of solid colours for the book borders.

Critters fabrics - some of my absolute favourites

Misc. fabrics, from cute to books to everything else

Travel fabrics

You may have noticed the small frame that I made to view the fabrics since I will be fussy-cutting them.

Solids for the block borders

More solids

Here are the blocks that I've made. I love that I can add so much to these book covers. Some have appliqué while another is mostly free motion quilted (FMQ).

Paddington book mini for my daughter of course!
for the Nifty Novelties Blog Hop

"The Earth is not flat" book for my son
during the Summer Book Club QAL of 2019

And a few mini book blocks for my colleagues!

Mon jardin with FMQ

A Fantastical Book Block with appliqué

Bambi book, also made during
the Summer Book Club QAL of 2019

June's One Monthly Goal (OMG)

My goal this month is to make 10 blocks for the Summer Book Club QAL. I'll report back here at the end of the month (or before if I need to showoff share 😊)

What I learned
  • I love this versatile block and hope to be inspired to make a whole quilt of it.
  • I'm hoping to use a few techniques, but since it will be a quilt, I won't be adding embellishment (I think!)
  • Ten blocks may be ambitious but I really want to give myself the opportunity to play!
Related links
Linking parties

I'll be linking up to many fun parties including June's OMG, and posting on Instagram. Remember that even if you don't use Instagram, you can check the sides of my blog to see my latest Instagram posts. 
Monday Making, Oh Scrap!, Patchwork & Quilts, Off the Wall Friday, Peacock Party, Put your foot down, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Makers
Muv is hosting Free Motion Mavericks - make sure to check her post out and then come back here on Thursday!