Thursday, May 04, 2023

Gelli Printing and Stitching on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 429 of Free Motion Mavericks. This week I got lost in a monoprinting and embroidery project. It's all about learning and having fun here - and that's what I did! 😊 Thanks for dropping by.

Monoprinting on a Gelli Plate

Gelli prints stitched so far

After watching artist Sue Hotchkis' workshop on, I was inspired to do some monoprinting, but this time on my Gelli plate. I've had it for a while but hadn't had the courage to use it yet. After doing some monoprinting, I was ready to give it a try! 

The fabric doesn't have to be plain white. I cut up a large piece of hand-dyed pink and yellow fabric into 5" or 6" squares. The fabric is probably a blend of cotton-polyester because the dye colours came out quite light. It was perfect for over-printing. 

Pieces of fabric being over-printed on the Gelli plate

You can see from the image above that I placed the fabric onto the paint covered Gelli plate in various ways. Sometimes it was the whole piece of fabric and sometimes only smaller sections. My Gelli plate is 5" x 7", so there was usually extra paint that had to be covered. 

Here are the results. I started by adding yellow and red/pink to the plate. eventually I started adding blue to the mix. Since the paint dried quickly, I often added several layers of paint to a piece of fabric. I really love the results - from simple to complex.

The results of monoprinting on the Gelli plate

You can see the one mask that I created - the squirrel. I had copied this squirrel to FMQ on my Wild Hexies baby quilt but it got lost in the mess of my desk. I placed a piece of printing paper under the tracing paper and went over the squirrel with a pencil. I could see the lines on the paper, so then I went over them with a pencil. I cut the template and voilà!  

Close-up of the printed fabric

The rest of the printed fabric

I also cleaned up my brayer on a sketchbook page. Here are the two pages that I created. They will eventually look great incorporate into a handmade journal. 

Sketchbook page 
Second sketchbook page 

Adding stitching 

I hand stitched six pieces together to create the beginning of an art piece. I then cut up an interesting piece of another square and stitched it on top. Our teacher, Sue Hotchkis, demonstrated how to finish a piece that has parts sticking out. I really want to try that technique. I'll let you know all about it when I get there 😊

Starting to stitch the piece, including a part that sticks out.

I started by stitching that extra swirling piece. I stitched it one way but was intrigued by the additional yellow swirls going through it. I decided to stitch those also. I'm not sure if I like all of the additional yellow swirls. I may remove a few - we'll see. 

Stitching in the swirls

Is there too much there? Maybe...😕- we'll see

I was glad to start stitching the other pieces. The second stitched piece was created by putting a dried leaf (another mask) over the paint. The leaf had curled up a bit but flattened out when I placed the fabric over it. I love the result.

I added running stitches with metallic thread on the left. I'm using a lot of variegated embroidery floss while the cross stitches and the leaf outline are done using Mouliné étoile embroidery thread by DMC in a dark blue. 

Stitching around the leaf

I love variegated thread and found the perfect one for the chain stitch on this piece. 

Adding a chain stitch with lovely variegated thread

May's One Monthly Goal

I didn't reach my April OMG but I'm going to try again. I really want to finish my Wild Hexies baby quilt. My May OMG is to finish free motion quilting (FMQ) it. I have a few more critters to add and the border. I also need to fix up the trucks where my quilting went off. 

Wild Hexies baby quilt - May's OMG

What I learned
  • I'm so happy that I can do gelli printing on my desk in the studio. I just cover my cutting mat with a sheet of heavy plastic and everything fits on it. Of course I'm extra careful with the Colour Vie paint that I used, but it does wash off easily.
  • It took me a couple of hours to do all of these prints. I'm really looking forward to playing with it again.
  • I tried to print paper from an old book but that didn't work out. I suspect that I didn't have enough paint on the Gelli plate. I will be trying that out again. 
  • When I did monoprinting for the fist time I used ink onto paper, so I will try that also on the gelli plate.
  • I've been cleaning up my studio - it's a big job because I really needed to re-organise things. I'm about half done and it's so much better. I'll write a post about it eventually. I have learned lots!

Related links

Linking parties

Free Motion Mavericks

We had three FMQ projects last week. Congrats!

DonnaLee quilted her large (40" by 48") Wonky Log Cabin quilt on her domestic sewing machine. She used a serpentine stitch. Way to go! It looks great.

Wonky Log Cabin quilt quilted by DonnaLee

Frédérique helped her friend make a "Grey As Well" quilt. When her friend had trouble quilting it, Frédérique offered to do it for her. I love how she quilted the inside of the larger squares - it really adds texture to the quilt. Bravo Frédérique ! 

Grey as Well quilted by Frédérique

Did you see Gail's finished Melodic Mystery designed by Meadow Mist? What a beauty. Gail used a combination of FMQ and rulers to finish this beauty. It really looks great! 

Quilting Gail's finished Melodic Mystery 

It's your turn now 😎

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Hello Andrée - I love those swirls. My first thought was fingerprints!
    Love, Muv

    1. Thanks Muv - I thought of that too, especially on some of them.

  2. Andree, you are the most adventurous quilter I know!!! Very cool what you're doing with gelli printing!

    1. Thanks so much Nancy :-) I just love trying new things. I am a generalist, no doubt about it! What I like the most is trying to merge all of these different techniques together. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. That squirrel one is so cute, but my favourite are the swirls. Like Muv, my first thought was ooh, fingerprints! Good luck on your OMG, and I will link up my two RSC quilt finishes, as I believe I forgot!

    1. Thanks for linking up Sandra. Those are great quilts. I wasn't able to comment on your post. This piece is coming along nicely but I had better finish up my OMG - so many projects :-)

  4. I am always fascinated with dying and hand stitching.One day, when I retire there will be this huge file cabinet of knowledge in my brain of tips and inspiration I have learned from you. Thank you for reminding me to link up and the linky party. Have a great weekend.

  5. Hi Andree. I finally found you and your linky party. I'm not a FMQ but I've been wanted to for a long time. My biggest draw back is 'how am I going to move all those fabric under the needle!' thought. I don't have a long arm but took a class recently. It was fun and I imagine it can be very rewarding. Thanks for the linky party.

    1. That's wonderful Margo. I'm looking forward to seeing your work! I do all of my FMQ on my domestic sewing machine. It can be challenging on bed quilts but I find that everything else is manageable. Good luck and see you soon :-)

  6. Wow, those prints are really cool. Good luck with your goals.

    1. Thanks so much Anne-Marie. I may need the luck on attaining my goals since I keep getting distracted....squirrel! :-)

  7. Wow, c'est magnifique ! Tu as vraiment des doigts de fée, ces tissus sont très beaux, et l'ajout de fils et de points de broderie variés rendent très bien.

    1. Oups j'ai oublié : merci pour la mise en avant de Grey as Well ;))

    2. Merci beaucoup Frédérique. J'aime bien ce projet et à l'exception de l'écureil, j'ai presque fini :-) Merci beaucoup d'être venue lier ton projet. Il est super!

  8. Andrée, I am always fascinated with the experimentation and fun that goes on at your place. Love those swirls and the pretty chain stitch embroidery. The leaf looks cool as well. Isn't variegated embroidery thread lovely?

    1. Thanks Kim, I love variegated thread (and can now spell it too!) It just adds so much to a piece without being complicated - my kind of thread. I did something different on my other swirls - hopefully it will work out. Thanks so much for dropping by.

  9. I love your gelli prints...something I have never tried. Your stitching really enhances the beauty of the fabrics.

    1. Thanks so much Kathleen. It's going to be difficult going back to commercial fabrics - but then it's not like I produce the yardage required to make a large quilt! Hope you give it a try some day. It's so much fun :-)

  10. Very pretty printing and stitching! Good luck with your May goal.

    1. Thanks Kate. I'm still stitching this one, but almost finished. I hope to square and bind my Wild Hexies quilt this weekend!


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