Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Mindful Stitching and a thread sampler at Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 445 of Free Motion Mavericks. I've been doing a lot of slow stitching in the last week as I take care of Poppy at her place. She's still the sweetest dog and we've been taking walks, playing tug-of-war and then she rests while I stitch ๐Ÿ˜Š.

Mindful Stitching of Rent

While in Stratford a few weeks ago, my daughter and I saw Rent. It's my all time favourite musical since I was forced encouraged to attend the show on Broadway, many moons ago with her. It was wonderful to see it so many years later - and it's still great! 

Mindful Stitching of Rent - the musical

The piece includes elements of the set like the Christmas Tree, graffiti, phrases from the musical as well as the lovely gardens and river in Stratford. Since I was doing hexies during the trip, I used a hexie cow that jumps over the moon ๐Ÿ˜Š.

The set of Rent in Stratford ON

I also used a picture of the commemorative AIDS quilt that was created for the show. The picture is cut from the program. If you want to read more about the original quilt, see Related links below. I took this picture at the end of the performance. It turns out that I wasn't supposed to take a picture while the actors were one stage - honestly, I just wanted a picture of the quilt!

The Aids quilt (and the cast)

A close up of the piece

Making a Thread Sampler

I have also been stitching a less dramatic but just as exciting thread sampler based on a workshop with Katherine Diuguid. Her workshop is called "Building a palette of threads". It's a very practical method to see how thread colours blend. 

Building a palette of threads

The exercise is essentially a mind map of 8 colours from the colour wheel that are mixed with a base colour. For my first sampler, my base colour is a bright pink (the colour blob in the middle). The next layer is a small sample of the colours I chose to represent the colour wheel. Then each level has some of the base colour with the various colours. Each level has a sample of three strands of quilting cotton thread while the fourth has four strands.  

It's really great to see how these strands of thread interact with each other. Katherine Diuguid was fascinated by Impressionist paintings and wanted to see how to create those lovely colours with thread.

I had a very wet Poppy today ๐Ÿ˜Š 

A wet Poppy - she isn't amused!

What I learned
  • There are so many options for exploring the mixing of thread colours,
  • Each colour on the colour wheel has so many variations in tones and tints, as well as value when stitched with another.  
  • I've taken a few classes and tried to read books on colour value. It's interesting but until I actually try things, it doesn't mean very much to me. This is a great concrete way of seeing how these threads mix and play (or not) with each other.
  • To make sure that each thread interacts with the other threads, each strand of the embroidery floss must be removed individually and then put together again.
  • I also learned that I can put two threads in a needle and then carefully add the third. I still think that the hardest part of stitching is putting that darn thread into the needle! 
  • The picture on the computer is interesting but it always looks so different from the real thing. Between the light when the picture is taken and the setting on your computer or phone, colour can be seriously distorted. It does, however show you how the exercise works.

Related links

Linking parties

Free Motion Mavericks

It would seem that we haven't been free motion quilting (FMQ) much. Last week though we had some hand quilting and quilting with a pantograph. 

Melva made another sweet mini called Love Beads

Love Beads mini by Melva

Jocelyn, the Canadian Needle Nana is hand quilting her lovely Book Club quilt

Jocelyn is hand-quilting her Book Club quilt

Nancy celebrated National Dog Day by making, quilting and posting her granddaughter's new Patrol Paw quilt. She used a Paws 2 pantograph. It's really cute.

Check out Nancy's Patrol Paw quilt

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Thursday, August 24, 2023

More Hexie Fun on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 444 of the Free Motion Mavericks link up. Thanks for visiting and linking up last time. I went on a short family vacation but I did bring my hexies with me since it's #100hexies100days2023 challenge. This all takes place on Instagram with weekly themes.  Usually I make one hexie flower per week but my Scrappy Hexie Blanket is getting big and I would love to finish it this year, so I'm making more than one hexie flower per week.

Week 3: Notions and a Safari

The theme for week 3 was notions. I took out the few fabrics that I have with a sewing theme and found one with a knitting theme. They made for great hexies.

Notions among the wildlife 

A ladybug on my notion ๐Ÿ˜Š

Driving through the African Lion Safari in Cambridge, we saw lots of wildlife. Are we observing the animals or are we the strange beings in the moving cages being observed?

Posing for us?

Majestic giraffes 

Hippo taking a refreshing mud bath

Week 4: Flower Power

Flowers are easy to find in my stash. I got a little carried away making many hexie flowers.

Hexies, a poster and lovely tats!

Flower Power on a bench in Stratford ON

Hexie flowers back at home

I believe that flowers are music for our other senses. That's why I included the music hexie in the centre.

Flowers - music for our other senses

So many flowers ๐Ÿ˜Š

Amanda McCavour's Wanderings and Traces!

While in Cambridge, we took the opportunity to visit one location of Amanda McCavour's exhibition, Wanderings and Traces. I love her work and have taken two workshops with her. She creates mostly with free motion quilting (FMQ) on water soluble textile (like Solvy) to make two and three dimensional art. 

This is an amazing installation. I can't imagine making that many of anything!

Pink Field Blue Bog

Details of Sample Wall

Amanda's Sample Wall 

Cloud of Colour hanging from the rafters

What I learned
  • Bringing an easy and versatile English paper piecing (EPP) project is great for travelling. I'm lucky that I can stitch in the car. I really got lots done on my hexies.
  • I often want to visit an art exhibition when I travel, but end up not doing it because it's difficult to find or I'm too tired. My daughter helped me plan this so that we visited the exhibit first, then had lunch and onto the African Lion Safari, all around Cambridge ON. 
  • I've been enjoying the cooler weather and stitching outside as much as possible. I finally mowed what passes for the lawn in my back yard - it's a little less wild, but it'll grow back ๐Ÿ˜Ž
  • Great news - I've added about half of the fusible interfacing to the back of the t-shirts for my niece's quilt. By the end of the weekend, I should be planning the layout of the t-shirt quilt. Finally!

Related links

Linking parties
I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on out there! Design Wall Monday, Sew & Tell, Put your foot down, Off The Wall Friday, Finished (or Not) Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Peacock Party, Patchwork & Quilts, Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap!, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2023

Free Motion Mavericks

Thank you so much for linking up while I was gone. You are working on some wonderful projects!

For Island Batik's Challenge, It's All Up To You, Gail made herself a housecoat. Wow! She deconstructed a silk robe and made the housecoat using her stash of Island Batik fabric and silk batting.

The front of Gail's housecoat

The back of Gail's housecoat

I'm sorry, I missed DonnaLee's lovely toppers. What a great way to use up Christmas and other scraps!

One of DonnaLee's table toppers

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Wednesday, August 09, 2023

An Exhibition and Hexie Love on Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 443 of the Free Motion Mavericks linking party. I'm still not spending much time in my studio, but it's because I have a companion who would rather spend time outside or in the living room than in my studio ๐Ÿถ. It's also #100hexies100days2023, so I've been having tons of fun going back to my hexies. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Dog Days of Summer Into Fall

The Out of the Box Fibre Artists group has an exhibition up in one of our local libraries. The Alta Vista branch has a lot of wall space. I'm really looking forward to seeing the exhibit. I'm also thrilled that one of my pieces made the poster!

Out of the box Fibre Arts Exhibit

These are my two pieces. Clover at Dusk was made after a walk with Chevy. It was magical - in the field of clover were several fire flies twinkling around. The background was a fence and vines that were starting to turn red. It's a tiny piece, only 7½" x 8½". 

Clover at Dusk 

My second piece is Swirling Leaves. You've seen this one a few times because I created a similar one for an auction. I'm going to make a third one this fall as a wedding gift for my daughter's friend.

The original Swirling Leaves

If you're in the area, I hope that you have a chance to see the exhibit. Just check the library's hours.

Dog Days of Summer Into Fall exhibit

Hexie Love!

It's been a while since I played with hexies. As I reviewed my posts, I saw that I made a fun hexie project for Quilting Project this year (see Related links below) and then only posted about my Scrappy Hexie Blanket last November. This was the last time that I added anything to it. 

I love the #100hexiesin100days2023 challenge on Instagram and have participated in many of them.

Here are my hexies for week 1. The theme was "This is ME". I included a mono-printed hexie with mostly floral fabrics. That purple flowers hexie is from the curtains of my favourite purple bathroom many moons ago. My son and his fiancรฉ are on holidays in the East Coast of Canada - that blue-green reminds me of the sea ๐Ÿ˜Šand of them.

Week one hexies - "This is ME"

There hexies are from week 2 - Summer Vibes. I'm getting more creative now. This time it includes summer critters as well as blueberries and books. They are all surrounded by a very happy sun ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

Summer Vibes displayed with rocks gathered on summer trips

Summer Vibes and my stash of ready-to-go hexies

As I was at it, I created a double flower hexie to add to my Scrappy Hexie Blanket. It started of as this lovely yellow hexie flower with a brown centre.

Playing with hexies outside in the back yard

It then made it to this double flower - poor Poppy acted as a not impressed prop for my picture ๐Ÿ˜

Poppy and the double flower

You may have noticed that I messed up the order of the outside hexies. Oh well, I doubt that it will show surrounded by all of the other hexies!

Attached double flower

Here is the week 2 flower added to the rest.

Week 2 flower now part of the gang!

Finally, here is my very crooked Scrappy Hexie Blanket. The double hexie flowers at the top are actually the bottom of the blanket. I have one side finished and will keep extending the other side and making it a little wider. I am then going to figure out how to make it more even, probably by adding some whitish hexies as a kind of border...we'll see. 

Scrappy Hexie Blanket so far 

This is what the Scrappy Hexie Blanket started as during the #100hexies100days2018

The beginnings of Scrappy Hexie Blanket in 2018

My Companion

When it wasn't raining, I spent a lot of time in the backyard garden with Poppy.  I love these photos. If the garden looks like a jungle, it's because it is ๐Ÿ˜Š The lawn (mostly plants) desperately needs a cut!

Poppy - waiting to see wildlife

Poppy reluctantly posing

Poppy in the sun. She doesn't care
if the lawn is cut!

What I learned
  • I'm really looking forward to seeing the exhibition. I saw the pieces when I dropped off mine, but couldn't stay because I had a stomach flu and didn't want to share it!
  • It was really nice to spend time playing with my hexies. It had been almost a year.
  • I'm going to have to raid my fabric stash to get a little more creative as the challenge goes on.
  • I've also been spending time stitching on my watercolour pieces. I'm trying to get a little more creative. Hopefully I'll have something interesting to share soon.
Related links
Linking parties

Free Motion Mavericks

We didn't have any free motion quilting going on last week but Melva finished another mini, Margo Yang is working on a baby quilt, and Gail made a cool bag for her phone, to use while she walks the dog. 

Melva's black and white mini 

Margo's design for a baby quilt

Gail's cell phone bag

Please note: there won't be a Free Motion Mavericks post next week, so I'll leave the party running a while longer. Feel free to link up anything you're working on and as often as you want. See you later ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Thursday, August 03, 2023

Stitching and watercolour on Free Motion Mavericks

I don't seem to be ready to get back to my machine, either to sew or to do some free motion quilting (FMQ). I guess I just need to some quiet time. My thread and needles are never far away (although I keep having to look for my scissors!). The weather had been cooler so it's been nice to stitch outside. 

Trying for an abstract watercolour

There is a new workshop in the Textile Artist Stitch Club - this time creating an abstract watercolour piece and then stitching through it. Our teacher, Sam Owen Hull, does very cool work with watercolour and stitching (see Related links). 

My first two watercolour embroidered pieces

We were supposed to start with photos that we can then create abstract paintings with. I did take some amazing photos in the garden but the abstraction was easier said than done. I tried to take close-up images of partial flowers or of interesting foliage and then cropped them further with my "Resize Me" app. 

I love this one but haven't painted it...yet?

This was my first try at abstraction in watercolour. It was a mess but might be interesting once it's stitched....but I can't find it ๐Ÿ˜”

Unfurling beauty

I started painting this one is watercolour but it was too gray. I ended up turning the rock into the next image.

Rocks and vegetation 

The Echinacea is my next one to make. Not very abstract but closer?

Echinacea close-up 

Started of as a rock and turned into a flower๐Ÿ˜

The image below was my first attempt. I really love the stitching that I did, but it's not abstract!

Two interesting Echinacea

This is the finished image. 

First finished piece - stitching on watercolour

The next piece that I did has abstract shapes. I was playing with different types of watercolour paints.

Small 4" x 4" abstract watercolour and stitching

Echinacea flowers - real, watercolour and thread 

What I learned
  • This is one of my first attempts at watercolour. I had no idea what I was doing and I'm not sure that I want to invest a lot of time learning. Seems to me that I have more than enough learning happening ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • Having said that, I really do like the stitching on paper. I've been wanting to do that for a long time and I'm glad that I'm doing more of it.
  • I had been told that you have to pre-punch your holes to stitch through paper...and I found out why! If you punch the paper from the back, it leaves a little mound of paper (the stuff that you displaced by making the hole) on the front. This shows a lot if you're using a stiffer paper or cardboard.
  • I did learn however that you don't have to punch all of the holes before you stitch. You can put your needle through the paper at any time, as long as it's from the front of the piece. This is good to know because I stitch very intuitively and planning the whole piece before stitching is a problem.
  • I also learned that the thickness and colour of the thread matters. For my first piece I had used thinner thread. It was ok but didn't show up very much. Eventually I decided to stitch over some of the original parts with a heavier linen thread (both pink and dark green). That worked really well and showed up much better. The holes were already punched, so it was relatively easy to do.
  • For the seed head of the flower, I used two strands of Bengal silk thread from Maiwa - these are the two cones in the picture below. I really like the effect that it gave.

Adding a thicker linen thread over the original thread
  • Because the watercolour paper is stiffer than fabric, you can also create longer stitches. As long as your tension is good, they will stay that way. I did a lot of experimenting with stitches on the small abstract piece.
  • The stitching is possibly more mindful when it's on paper because you have to figure out how you make the stitch, so that you can make the appropriate holes. When it's on fabric, I don't think much about my stitches, I just do them!
  • Stitching on paper is also forgiving. As long as you don't mess up the holes, you can cut the thread and start over, or stitch on top of your original thread with heavier thread. 

Related links

Linking parties

Free Motion Mavericks

Thanks to everyone who linked up!

Gail finished her Trivet last week. It's for Joy’s One gift a Month! If you go to Quilting Gail's post, you can access a link to the tutorial. 

Trivet - a Friday Finish for Quilting Gail

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