Friday, August 26, 2022

Oranges and Lemons on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 396 of Free Motion Mavericks. Sorry for the delay. I guess I'm more ready for the weekend than I thought! 😁

Playing with Oranges and Lemons!

This month on the Table Scraps Challenge, the colour is orange and the theme is Embroidery.

Oranges and Lemons runner 🍊🍋

I started, as I usually do, with a look at my scrap containers. I found these in the scrap bag for English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexies. There are still lots, so it shouldn't affect my hexies supply much 😀

I was trying out my mother's Kenmore sewing machine to make sure that it was ready to give to my son - it made four patches just fine! I attached those to the larger squares and Voilà! It was then time to add an inside border and then the oranges and lemons outside border.

Orange scraps with oranges and lemons border
ready to FMQ

I stitched-in-the-ditch around the borders. I didn't bother with the inside blocks. I then FMQ the oranges and lemons outside border. My FMQ got more elaborate as I went along 😊

FMQ the runner

Finally it was time to FQM the centre blocks. I had just watched Lea Day's video on the Quilting Daily newsletter. She has a series called "Quilted & Bound: Quilting Ideas to Finish Your Quilt Tops Fast and Easy!"  For a scrappy quilt, Leah used the undulation design in all-over style. She had some good tips to share, so if you're interested, you may want to check out her Episode 1 video (see Related links below).

The centre blocks are FMQ using the undulation design in all-over style

I had some lovely light orange yardage that I used for the binding. I believe that the backing fabric comes from an old cotton tablecloth that I mother had. I love the Mediterranean vibes.

Hand-stitching the binding

Since the theme for August is embroidery, I just added a running stitch line of Perle cotton through the border.
Running stitch line of Perle cotton through the border

I shot the finished photos at my son's place last night after finishing the border. They had lovely sunflowers. 

Finished Oranges and Lemons runner with sunflowers

What I learned

  • I had several small squares of orange fabric scraps that I was able to use for the 4 patch.
  • I was worried that the centre blocks would be too much but since they're surrounded by the outside border, it frames them well and the overall effect isn't "too much"!
  • I was going to embroider the border with more than the running stitch, but since I ended up making it quite narrow, I decided for just a thin line of running stitch. I didn't stitch through all of the layers since I would have needed a thimble and didn't have one with me. 
  • I loved FMQ those lemon, orange, lemon and lime slices!😊

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking up to the August 2022 Table Scraps Challenge as well as other fun linking parties. Why not check some of these out, after you've linked up below! Midweek MakersNeedle & Thread Thursday, Put your foot down - this week with True Blue QuiltsOff The Wall Friday TGIFF, Finished or Not Finished FridayPeacock Party, DrEAMi!, Design Wall Monday

Project details

Oranges and Lemons table runner
Materials: commercial fabric scraps, perle cotton
Techniques: 4 patch blocks, FMQ, embroidery

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome! Last time Nancy of Grace and Peace Quilting shared with us her "Bring the Love" mini quilts. If you didn't get a chance to look at these, you may want to check them out now after you link up!

"Bring the Love" mini quilts by Nancy of Grace and Peace Quilting

It's now your turn to link up!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, August 22, 2022

Embroidering a seascape

I've finally gone back to's stitch club. There are so many new wonderful workshops and never enough time 😊

Stitching a seascape

The latest workshop is with Bethany Duffy. Her workshop is about using seashells (or other found objects) and incorporating them into an embroidery. I really love her work (see Related links below).

By the sea

I started with two pieces of light blue hand-dyed fabric and a 4" embroidery hoop. The shells that we use need to have a hole in them to stitch through. That was actually difficult to find! I searched through all of my shells and found two since we generally collect unbroken shells.

My collection of shells in my hand-made bag.

After finding the perfect shell, I added three layers of padding using left-over batting. This helps give it a cascading effect. Then I started stitching, and stitching! There are a lot of long and short stitches. I ended up using two dark blue embroidery floss, then two light blue and finally a very light blue-green for the edge.

Adding padding to the shell

Once I finished stitching the first shell with short and long stitches, I added loopy French knots at the edge, like sea foam.

Finished stitching on the shell

Since there was still a lot of space left in the loop, I thought of adding another shell but then remembered the small bag of sea treasures that my niece and sister-in-law brought back from Prince-Edward Island this summer. There was a perfect little piece of driftwood that would be a great addition.

I added the padding in front of the driftwood but only attached the driftwood once the stitching was completed. You can faintly see the brown silk thread that I used to attach it. I was going to add glue under it, but it seems secure enough.

Driftwood attached with brown silk thread

What I learned

  • It was so enjoyable stitching the sea through the shell. 
  • I'm really glad that the driftwood seems to be quite secure.
  • I learned that adding padding in embroidery is called stumpwork. It gives it a 3D look.
  • I want to learn shisha mirror embroidery since my sea treasures were mostly pieces of sea glass. I would love to add this to my next piece....yes, I really hope to make many more of these 😊
  • I was hoping to give this first piece to my niece who is now studying in Denmark. I didn't get it done on time, so maybe she'll have many to choose from when she's back at Christmas.

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties this week. You may want to check them out! Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Free Motion Mavericks with Muv this week, Patchwork & Quilts, Off The Wall Friday,  Put your foot down with True Blue QuiltsPeacock Party

Project details

By the sea
4" embroidery hoop
Materials: hoop, shell, driftwood, hand-dyed fabric, batting, embroidery floss and silk thread.
Techniques: stumpwork embroidery, long and short stitches and French knots

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Planning a quilt and Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks, week 394. I  don't have any new free motion quilting (FMQ) to show you this time. It's been busy but I have made time to play with paper, fabric and thread - of the slow kind 😲. That's a good thing since it keeps me somewhat grounded and calm 😊.

Planning and making a special book

Although I didn't do any FMQ, I am very slowly working on my daughter's Paddington Bear quilt. You may have seen the accordion books that I made a short while back. I decided to embellish and use the accordion book with a flap to record the planning and making of this quilt. 

Accordion book with flap - now featuring Paddington Bear

Isn't it gorgeous? I attached the image that I used to make the medallion appliqué, to the front of the book. The flap was sort of in the way so it's a good thing that I had a second copy of the image to make adjustments.

Book with the flap open

Inside the book I added the fabrics that I used for the appliqué as well as the other Paddington Bear fabric that I have and will incorporate into the quilt. The funny looking Paddington Bear image is made up of the hand-dyed fabrics that I used on the appliqué. I added a pocket to include the pattern that I am creating. 

Fabric swatches and pattern

The next page includes more of the lovely fabric that I was able to accumulate. Like Paddington, a lot of the fabric travelled from far to get to my home.

More great Paddington Bear fabrics

FMQ design inspiration

As I was dog-sitting at my son's apartment, I took a few pictures of a London towel that they have (as well as pictures of Poppy of course)! I'll be using the images on the towel as inspiration for the FMQ that I'll use on this quilt. A few years ago, there was tons of fabric like this featuring London. I sure wish that I had bought some!

Great images of London to base some FMQ designs on

Here is the Paddington Bear appliqué that I made for the centre medallion of the quilt. 

Paddington Bear appliqué

My daughter and I have decided on a variety of gray Kona Cotton for the background of the quilt. I can't wait to go on a road trip to pick some up. I do want to figure out what other Kona colours that I could use on this since it will have real quilted blocks 😲. Yes, I know, I'll be making real blocks....that's how much I love my daughter!
The wonderful Poppy

What I learned
  • I really wanted to buy some of that London fabric but didn't clue in about where I could use it. The worst part is that I was already planning this quilt at the time!!!
  • My mother made my son a book with the designs that she used when she made his quilt. I think that it's a wonderful keepsake. As I make more books, it would be a great opportunity to record these quilty ideas and give the book to the person who gets the quilt. This will be my first one.
  • I adapted my Paddington Bear book by adding a pocket and some extra pages. I'm sure that my technique will get better as I make more books!
  • I've discovered "good" paper (stuff other than photocopy paper). That could get as addictive as fabric 😍

Related links
  • Accordion book with 4 panels and flap
  • Version 2.0 duo-tang
  • Paddington Bear quilt
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. I hope that you'll check them out and also take the time to link up your projects below. It doesn't have to be FMQ related 😎 Needle & Thread ThursdayPut your foot down with AndiOff The Wall FridayPeacock Party, Slow Sunday Stitching, Patchwork & Quilts, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Makers

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome! Did you get to check out Angie in SoCal of the Quilting Reader's Garden blog's finish? She made a table topper for the July Table Scraps Challenge and FMQ it. Way to go Angie!

July table topper by Angie in SoCal

It's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Sun printing and Post 500

Hi, I hope that you are all doing well and enjoying whatever weather happens to be going on in your part of this wonderful planet 😊. Discussing the weather is a very Canadian thing to do. Is it part of your culture also? In Ottawa, the heatwave has finally lifted and we now have rain and cooler weather. Yeah! I'm sure that the heat will be back, but I'm going to enjoy this lovely break.

Sun printing

Last week I was able to do some sun printing. My results were so-so but I did enjoy the process and look forward to learning more and doing better. I also read an article about over-printing so I'm going to touch up some of my fabrics eventually.

My first attempt at sun printing this year

Some interesting plants from my yard

Mixing up the colours

Results of sun printing

This first piece (at the bottom of the first image) was the first that I did. I was really nervous and trying to get the first two done at the same time. 
  • A couple of the dandelion leaves on the left came out. 
  • The fern in the middle was not touching the fabric enough to get a good print. I think that I needed more paint. 
  • Next to it was a bunch of clover. It didn't adhere enough, but the two clover leaves at the top are great. 
  • The individual leaves didn't do too badly. 

Interesting results

I love the clover at the top edge of the first piece

The second piece was not very successful. There are faint images of ferns but not much else. I suspect that there wasn't enough paint and the plants were not touching the fabric enough. This piece will probably be much better with some over printing.

Not very successful sun printing

Faint outline of ferns

The little blue piece was not successful but I did better on my last two pieces. By then I was doing only one piece at a time, and was getting the hang of it.

I was hoping that the red would lighten up with more water - I would love to have gotten some pink in there. I think that I needed more paint (again) but the leaves did stick to the fabric so that the outlines, although pretty subtle, are better.

Green and red with some leaves outlined

Lovely violet leaves

This orange and yellow piece is my most successful as far as the sun print goes. Most of them are quite clear. Next time, I'll have to work on my composition 😊

Much better outlines of the leaves

Finally a pretty good image of a fern leaf.

What I learned

  • Sun printing is done with diluted transparent paint. I used Pébéo Setacolor light or transparent fabric paint but I think that I should have applied more paint to the fabric.
  • Also, since the paint dries fairly quickly outside in the sun, I should have done one piece at a time. I did spritz some water onto the fabric to keep it wet so that the image could transfer.
  • Plants that you can lie flat against the fabric work best. Some of the fern leaves I used were too rigid and didn't lie flat.
  • It's also important to work on the composition part so that if the sun prints work, that they will look nice together.
  • I've just found a tutorial on YouTube using the plant as a stencil to make plant prints. I've listed it below because I think that it would be great to use that technique also.
  • Finally, I found some articles by Lynda Heines. I've included the link below.
  • This is my 500th post! Youppi!!! I've been blogging for over 10 years, since March 2012. Wow, what a learning journey. I hope that it goes on for a long, long time 😎

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's go see what's happening out there! Muv is hosting Free Motion Mavericks until tomorrow. Remember to go link up! Patchwork and Quilts, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Midweek Maker, Put your foot down (hosted by Andi this week), Needle & Thread Thursday, Off The Wall Friday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Peacock Party

I have linked this post to Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd.