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


  1. I too love the Turtle Island creation story. I also LOVE your FMQ-ed white pine and the dreamcatcher! What an incredible quilt you are making for your son. Love the new addition to your family, too. Dogs make our lives that much better.

    1. Thanks so much Sandra. I'm sure that he's looking forward to actually having it :-) We will be the official dog sitters so I hope that we'll have a close relationship with her. Doggy love is the best! Thanks for linking up. Saw lots of pictures on Instagram. Looking forward to reading all about it!


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