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 😊.

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 😊.

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 😊 

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

It's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. J'aime beaucoup ta palette de couleurs, quelle bonne idée de mélanger les fils pour ajouter des variations.
    Oups, Poppy a été mouillée contre son gré ;))

    1. Merci bien Frédérique. Ce fut une expérience trÚs profitable. La seule chose de difficile est de mettre ces fils dans une aiguille :-) Poppy n'était pas trÚs heureuse lol

  2. Ah, Stratford! When I was in high school (55 years ago or so) I was blessed to see the company on tour -- Shakespeare -- in Montreal. It wasn't until a friend and I visited Stratford, ON itself in 2016 that I saw a performance there -- "A Chorus Line". **Fabulous**! As for "Rent" -- I've never seen it, but I'm thinking it's that generation's equivalent of what "Hair" was for my generation -- and I've seen "Hair" twice: in London, England and in Calgary, Alberta. At the latter performance, my late DH and I danced on stage with the cast at the end. "Preserve your memories; they're all that's left you." -- Simon & Garfunkel, "Old Friends".

    1. Those are wonderful memories. Thanks so much for sharing them. I've been going to Stratford since I was a teenager. I went with my mother and my aunt several times. I do miss the very classical, historical costumes but everything else was wonderful. I also saw King Lear - I'm not really a fan of tragedies and it drives me nuts that they would have just talked about everything and avoided the blood spill!

  3. Your Rent sampler is very colorful and playful. Your thread sampler is really interesting. What a cool way to play with color!

    1. Thanks so much Kate. It's so much fun to make these small mindful pieces to remember events by. I did learn a lot about colours and even used different threads in a piece that I'm now making.

  4. Poor baby, and no she does not look amused. You have had your hands full, love all of your projects. Thank you for always linking up.

    1. Thanks so much Denise. I must add that I was just as wet! lol
      I do love working on many projects, but I have to start focusing on the t-shirt quilt. It will happen within the month! Take care.


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