Thursday, February 02, 2023

A new art project with FMQ on Free Motion Mavericks

Hi! Welcome to another week of Free Motion Mavericks. Today I have some free motion quilting (FMQ) that will be enhanced with a lot of hand stitching. I'm still trying to figure out what to do exactly, but I have ideas 😊

FMQ an image transferred to fabric

This is the first panel of a project that includes photo transfers on fabric. The transfer came out OK (more about that in the What I learned section below), and was clear enough to FMQ. I did use a pencil to outline some of the less prominent sections and then added the FMQ on top.

FMQ on a black and white image of fish in
their habitat, transferred on fabric

Here is the original photo in colour.

Original photo of fish in their habitat.

I transferred only one colour photo. Here is the result. I love the soft colours of this one. It's actually a little brighter in real life.

A beautiful yellow and blue fish that I
 chased around to get a good picture.

Here is the original photo.

The illusive little guy kept darting in and out of other slower fish.
It took many tries before I got a decent photo!

Image transfer

This project is the latest's Stitch Club workshop. Our teacher is the wonderful Cas Holmes who showed us how to make an image transfer onto fabric using acrylic gel medium or acrylic paint. Depending on your image, you can get some pretty cool results. The process is like using photo transfer medium but I think that the finish is not as rubbery. 

Here is another photo that I printed in black and white and used the gel medium on to transfer.

Another photo of fish in their habitat

It's quite difficult to see but I used a light box to trace out the images. I did a tiny bit of FMQ but decided that I will embroider this one instead. 

Last photo image that worked

I have two other photo transfers that really didn't work well. I think that my photos didn't have enough contrast. I will be using those two to practice embroidering so that I don't mess up the images that did transfer better.

Update February 5, 2023

Embroidering the different pieces

What I learned
  • If you are transferring black and white images onto fabric in this way, I believe that you require a lot of contrast in your photo.
  • I have been wanting to make an art quilt about fish for a long time. I have some great fish fabric but most of the fabric are rather large scale so that I would have to make a large quilt. I'm not ready for that, so this is a great way to practice and see what I can do on a smaller scale.
  • I have some beautiful stones, beads and shells that I'll be able to incorporate into this piece.
  • I do have an amazing batik background that will be perfect (I hope) for this piece. I guess we'll find out eventually how perfect it is 😊
  • I'm glad that I have a couple of photo transfer to play with before I start stitching into the good ones. I'm a little nervous about this.
  • In case you're wondering, I took these photos at the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto earlier this year. It's all great but there is a section that is truly beautiful. This is where I took most of the photos.
  • I'm still fascinated with photo transferring and have more techniques to try. I'm sure that you'll read about these eventually here 😉

Related links

Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Why not check them out after you've linked up below? Sew & TellPut your foot down, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off The Wall Friday, Finished (or Not) Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Peacock PartyPatchwork & Quilts, Slow Sunday Stitching

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 418 of Free Motion Mavericks. I'm really glad that you've been dropping by and linking up! We have four FMQ projects to share from last week. 

Melva finished her Ladders and Steppingstones and used FMQ outlining feathers and vines and leaves. It's such a lovely comfy looking quilt. If you didn't see it last week, you'll want to check it out!

Ladders and Steppingstones by Melva

Quilting Gail participated in the Shades of Blue blog hop. She made 3 runners and then used these to teach 3 different techniques on how to bind them in a class. She used different stitches on her machine to secure the binding. What a great way to participate in a blog hop and create a teaching aid!

Quilting Gail's runners for the Shades of Blue blog hop

Sandra of mmm quilts participated in the Fast and Fun Blog Hop with Villa Rosa Designs. She adapted one of the patterns and made a stunning quilt called The Art of Riding Thermals. The quilt looks so intricate but it's all the same block going in different directions. Sandra used a double loop meander and some straight lines in the quilting - it's really amazing. 

The Art of Riding Thermals by Sandra of mmm quilts

Dawn of Quilting by Dawn, took a class and made a lovely improv quilt. After the class, she added a border and quilted it with straight lines. It's a very effective way to quilt it and I love that she turned the piece on its side so that it looks like flames! She called her piece, Flame your Passions

Flame your Passions by Dawn

Thanks so much for joining us! Now it's your turn.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Interesting technique. It is not one that have heard of before. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for the shout out :)

    1. Thanks Melva. I'm slowly adding to the project with embroidery. I'm glad that it's starting to take shape. Thanks for joining in the party!

  2. Thanks for the feature Andrée! Your new project is one I've long wanted to try - wanted to thread paint a portrait of our two dogs, now gone over the rainbow bridge. One of these days!

    1. Hi Sandra, it sounds like a wonderful future project. You would want to use a more "perfect" transfer method but there are so many ways to make a portrait of our beloved dogs. Thanks for joining the party!

  3. I am so intrigued and excited to about following your progress on this one. My very first fmq project on my domestic was a little applique and a lot of green stitching over traced lines on fabric. With your links and visuals I am learning so much, hopefully one day I will have the time to explore all these mediums. Thank you for linking up to PYFD. Wish I had something new I could share in your linky.

  4. Je n'ai jamais testé le transfert, ton expérience est intéressante. Ce sera une belle pièce, et bonne idée d'incorporer des coquillages, entre autres. Je vais suivre le projet avec intérêt !

    1. Merci beaucoup Frédérique. Ça va être un autre projet rempli de broderie et perlage. J'aime bien ça mais ce n'est pas quelque chose qu'on peut "rusher"! Bonne semaine :-)

  5. Very interesting - and looks like loads of fun - and learning!

    1. Thanks Raewyn, those are always my favourite projects - usually long but rewarding!

  6. You always seem to have the best fun, Andree, with your playing and experimenting with needle and thread and whatever else you imagine along the way. Your FMQ pretty looks fabulous!

    1. Thanks so much Kim. I decided not to FMQ the other piece because my eyes just couldn't keep up with the machine. At least when it's embroidery, my eyes and hands don't need to rush! Take care Kim :-)


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