Thursday, February 29, 2024

Swirling Leaves 3

Hi and welcome! I'm thrilled to say that I finished my February Monthly Goal (OMG). It's a great motivator. Thanks Anne-Marie. 😁

Finishing Swirling Leaves 3

By mid-February, Swirling Leaves 3 had been free motion quilted (FMQ). I knew that I had the rest of the month to finish it, until I realised that I would be out of town.... It was time to get it done!

Swirling Leaves 3 finished ✔

I don't know how you feel about finishing your quilts, but it's not my favourite thing to do. In the last year, I've been working on my binding skills and I'm happy to report that this was the best binding that I ever did! I took my time, remembered my tips such as, 
  • How to make those corners straight, (see Related links below)
  • Checked to make sure that the seams would not be in the corners and 
  • Finally did lots of ironing after putting the binding on, and 
  • Since it was going so well, sewed it on by machine!
It wasn't perfect but much better than usual! 

Machine stitched the binding down

Of course we all know that it's not the end of the finishing work if it's a wall hanging that we are giving away. Next comes the label and then the hanging sleeve. 

I've managed to find a quick and easy way to make the label. 
  • I cut the fabric that I want to use, 
  • Add fusible web to the back, 
  • Use pinking sheers to trim the edges and then 
  • Iron on the label to the quilt. 
  • I also practice what I want to write on a piece of paper before using a permanent fine marker to write it up.
Label ironed on but not written on yet

Here are a couple of tips for the hanging sleeve. 
  • I use a FriXion pen to make a straight line that I follow when stitching it on. There's nothing worse than having to re-stitch it because it's crooked! 
  • I also add a dowel for the hanging and tell the person that they can add wire or string at both ends, or just hold up the wall hanging on short nails or long push pins at each end of the dowel.

What I learned
  • The binding was better because I took my time and practiced what I have learned. I do believe however that the Quilting Goddess was smiling upon me!😍
  • I used a two inch strip for the binding, even if it wasn't folded. I'm so worried about the binding not being wide enough but the next time, I'll try a 1¾" strip and see how that goes. 
  • I wrote myself a note on my bulletin board about using the 1¾" strip, referencing this post. Hopefully I'll see it!
  • I'm glad that I realised that I needed to get this done before the end of the month because even if it's a leap year, February is still a few days short!
  • The pictures are really not the best - not enough light, too much light....I need to get this post up, so this is what you get!😕
  • On a personal note, I'm back from my trip and my appointment went very well - the tumor in my eye is shrinking. It's going to be a slow process but "tout va bien aller!" (everything will be fine!)
Related links
Linking parties

Project Details

Swirling Leaves 3
Size: 22" x 18½"
Materials: commercial and hand-dyed fabric scraps
Techniques: improv piecing, appliqué, free motion quilting 

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 571 of Free Motion Mavericks. 

Diann of Little Penguin Quilts made a lovely red scrappy placemat for the February Table Scraps Challenge. She used the Hanging Diamonds quilting design and it looks great! 

red scrappy placemat by Little Penguin Quilts

It's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Having Fun with Panels on Free Motion Mavericks

Hi and welcome 😊. This is week 570 of the Free Motion Mavericks linking party. I've been busy learning how to create a wall hanging with a couple of companion panels. Let's see how it's going!

Fun with Panels with Cyndi McChesney

Last week, the Common Thread Quilt Guilt (CTQG), had Cyndi McChesney as the virtual guest speaker. A few days later, there was the first of a two-part workshop on Zoom with Cyndi to teach us how to make wonderful quilts with our panels.

Here is the companion panels that I purchased for my husband a few years ago. "Healing Waters" was created by Anishinaabe/Ojibwe artist Mark Anthony Jacobson for Northcott Studios. There was an entire collection, but I just purchased these two amazing panels.

Large panels

Small companion panel

Cyndi McChesney is the author of the book, Fun with Panels. She has another book, Playful Panel Quilts, coming out in the spring. Our course was supposed to be Montages with Panels, which is what her newest book is about, but the panels that the participants had were better suited for her first method. If you're interested, check out Related links below.

When I showed my husband the panels, he absolutely loved them - but I had no idea how to begin putting everything together into a large wall hanging.

The first thing that we did in class was to talk about our panels. We were then put into groups to brainstorm what kind of traditional blocks we could use with out panels. Here were some of the questions we considered:
  • Does the panels have a theme that could translate into some traditional blocks? For example, flying geese would be great for a panel with birds. 
  • Are there visual elements in the panel that could be used for appliqué or be found in traditional blocks?
  • Are there visual elements that could be used for background or complimentary fabric, etc.?
  • Can some of the blocks be cut up and used?
As we brainstormed each of our panels, someone mentioned elongated blocks and improve. That's when I knew that I had found my answer.

Measuring, graphing and cutting 

I knew that I would be cutting up the panels to make the wall hanging. I measured each image and noted where there was extra fabric for the seam allowances and where it would be very tight to get a full image with enough of a seam allowance. 

I cut the individual images based on those measurements. For example, with the image below, I knew that I wanted to keep as much of the image intact as possible, but that the images directly above and below had extra fabric that I could cut into for a larger seam allowance.

Taking extra fabric above and below
the panel for the seam allowances

You may have noticed the masking tape at the top of this panel. I gave each image a number so that they could be easily identified when I created the graph. 

Graph of possible setting

This is my plan so far. I attended our second class this morning and got some positive feedback on my plan to date. You can see my proposed design and some improv strips between the panels.

Panels with improv strips at the top

This is what the improv strips look like between the panels.

Wonky improv strips that will be the background

More improv strips made of Kona solids

I'll be working on this project for a while. At least the improv strips can be sewn up and adjusted as required.

What I learned
  • It's been a very busy week. I didn't intend to take this class but after hearing Cyndi McChesney speak at our guild, I knew that this is what I needed to get the panel wall hanging done.
  • Cyndi is an excellent teacher and had some really great advice. I bought a Kindle version of her book - it really is wonderful and comprehensive. I'm looking forward to seeing her latest book. Her panel collages are very special.
  • I am so glad that we did some brainstorming in groups at the beginning of the class. I'm not sure that I would have thought of improv strips.
  • Between the large panels, I've decided that the improv strips will be at least 2". I think that this will be proportionate to the size of the panels.
  • The wonky improv strips are fun to make. I started off making regular improv piecing but I didn't like the joined strips showing since there is already so much going on. I will probably have to join some strips together at the top since that's the only way to avoid "y seams" but I'll be matching them as much as possible so they won't be too visible.
  • This quilt was on my list for 2024 so I'm glad that it's finally started.
  • I started a cold this week- so I've been pretty out of it the last few days. I sure won't be sewing any of this together until I can think again.
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking to many fun linking parties this week. Why not check one out after you've linked up below? Design Wall Monday, Sew & Tell, Midweek Makers, Put your foot down, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off The Wall Friday, Patchwork & Quilts, Oh Scrap!, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2024

Free Motion Mavericks

We had lots of quilting and blogging going on in the last week. Thanks to everyone who linked up 😊

Melva gave new life to a vintage linen runner by attaching it to a lovely batik and then quilting it. What a great way to showcase and keep using it. 

Giving a second life to a vintage linen runner

Donnalee finished an Attic Windows block quilt for her guild's charity group. She quilted it with a serpentine stitch and variegated orange thread. 

A lovely colourful quilt for someone to love!

It's now your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, February 15, 2024

FMQ Swirling Leaves 3 on Free Motion Mavericks

Hi and welcome to week 569 of Free Motion Mavericks. I want to emphasize that this linking party is all about the quilter guiding the machine, whether it's a domestic sewing machine or a long-arm. We do this by using free motion quilting, ruler work or a walking foot. This party is as inclusive as possible as we share our quilting journeys.😊

Swirling Leaves 3

Last week I started FMQ Swirling Leaves 3. I started by using a dark red thread to quilt the veins of the leaves and then around the red leaves. I then used a variegated beige to brown thread to do the same with the three leaves that were not red.

Once that was done, it was all about quilting the swirls that give the quilt its name. I FMQ swirls around the leaves into the first checkered border. That was difficult because the thread matched the fabric colours so well that I could barely see what I had quilted. 

FMQ Falling Leaves 3

For the outside border, it wasn't just difficult to see, it was impossible to see what I was quilting, so I quilted the border from the back! Before switching to the back, I stitched at the outside edge of the border so that I would know where to stop.

FMQ the border from the back
between the two lines

Swirling Leaves 3 on my design wall

What I learned
  • If you can't see what you're quilting because the thread blends too well with your fabric, go to the back of your quilt and stitch from there.
    • Remember to outline the area that needs to be quilted!
    • Make sure that your bobbin thread is the same as your top thread.
    • Your tension needs to be good😊
  • In the next week, I'll be digging out fabric for the binding. I'm really hoping that I have more of that second binding fabric, and that I can find it! Update: Found the fabric. Yeah!!!!
  • This quilt will be completed by the end of the month since it's my February One Monthly Goal (OMG).
  • For some reason, I keep calling this Falling Leaves instead of Swirling Leaves. I'm going to go back and fix some older posts but if you see Falling Leaves - it's the same project!
Related links
Linking parties

Free Motion Mavericks

Thanks to everyone who linked up last week. 

Here are the wonderful projects from last week that were quilted either with free motion quilting, ruler work or a walking foot. 

From Time 4 stitchn, we have some wonderful feathers and feathered wreaths. It's a beauty and no longer a UFO. Congratulations! Check out the post to see more of the FMQ.

Wonderful feathers and feathered wreaths by Time 4 stitchn

Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts had two lovely quilts for the Island Batik Log Cabin Challenge and Blog Hop. Here is Dashing Doors and Aprajita.

Dashing Doors by Preeti

Aprajita by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts

Melva from Melva Loves Scraps made valentine cards out of this very cute quilted corn fabric. The grandchildren must have loved that!

Melva's  quilted corn fabric cards

It's now your turn 😊

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, February 09, 2024

Project Quilting 15.3 - Inside Out, Challenge 3

Hi and welcome to another Project Quilting (PQ) challenge. This week, we were asked to create a quilt based on the theme, Inside Out. What an interesting idea. It did take me a while to figure out what I wanted to do. The obvious would have been to make a mini quilt with the seams showing, but I was hoping for something a little more original. 

Inside Out or Inside Looking Out

I ended up making a meditation piece with a backing and many layers of fabric that were all hand-stitched. I also did a little bit of research on how or what do fish see. Are these enough clues?

Inside looking out - from a fish's perspective

I was dog sitting this week and brought a few things with me, but there's always something missing, like scissors and the right thread colour! With pins, borrowed scissors and lots of patience (NOT), I created an outline of my fish bowl. I had a great time creating the window, curtains and couch. It took me a while to get all of those French Knots done but I wanted it to look like pebbles at the bottom of the aquarium. 
Almost done!

When I got home, I found the right coloured thread and then looked in my scraps for things that I could add to the room. The sewing machine and bear were great. Then I place the organza over the whole piece and stitched along the aquarium lines (the dark blue) and the bubbles. I took my sharpest scissors to cut the fabric as close to the stitching as I dared.

I added the plant at the bottom of the aquarium and finally found a fish to make it super obvious that it was an aquarium.

Inside Looking Out - in my mindful stitching journal

What I learned
  • I love the addition of the organza. I didn't iron it on purpose so that the creases look like the distorted view through the glass.
  • In my research, I found that fish can see very well, just differently from us. They also don't see the water, just like we don't see the air.
  • I've added this piece to my Mindful stitching journal.
Related links
Linking parties

Project details

Mindful stitching piece: Inside looking out - from a fish's perspective.
Made for Project Quilting 15.3 - Inside Out
Size: 4" x 5½"
Materials: flannel base, hand-dyed and commercial cotton, and organza, thread and embroidery floss
Techniques: hand-stitching and embroidery

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

School Agenda Cover on Free Motion Mavericks

Hi and welcome to week 568 of Free Motion Mavericks. At the end of January I made a school agenda cover for my niece while she was visiting. It was quickly done and it's now keeping her organised in Copenhagen! 😊 

School Agenda Cover

When I told my niece that I make a new agenda cover each year, I saw her eyes light up. Of course she was too polite to ask, so when I figured out that I had enough time to make her one before she went back to school, she was thrilled. She came over for tea and then we looked at fabric. She sure is her parents' daughter - she choose a black gradation with silver triangles. 

Front of my niece's school agenda cover

Back of the school agenda cover - FMQ with triangles

I don't have any progress pictures. Here's a pictures of the lining and then of the open agenda. In the first image you can see that the side panels are made up of the same fabric as the front. However, my fabric wasn't long enough so I pieced it and then added decorative stitches to highlight it.

Side panels with decorative stitching and the lining

The open agenda

Finally, here is a photo of the front and back of the open agenda. The FMQ is easier to see when the flecks of silver are less prominent. For the FMQ, I made a couple of wavy lines and then quilted linked triangles and repeated four times.

School agenda cover open to show the front and back FMQ

I don't usually know much about my fabric but in this case, I bought 6 fat quarters from the same collection. It's called Snippets by Chelsea Design Works for Studio E fabrics. I had purple, pink, red, bleu and teal, but she chose black!

What I learned
  • Since I've made many quilted journal and agenda covers, it was fairly quick to find the information that I required to make it. It's from a Craftsy course, Free Motion Quilted Gifts with Christina Cameli.
  • Over the years, I have written lots of comments in the instruction PDF. These have been very useful. However, I didn't realize how thick an agenda can be compared to most of the journal covers that I've made. I also had to take into account the rings that hold the pages. 
  • This agenda cover was very tight. Since I didn't give it to my niece until the next day, I used a book making trick. I very carefully added clips around the sides of the agenda and then covered it with a few heavy books. This helped the agenda flatten out and stay closed.
  • When I made my own agenda cover a few days later (PQ 15-2, Sky colours), I made the cover an extra inch wider. It was probably too much and the cover is a little big, but it's not too tight!
  • I find that when I do something that isn't part of the original design, like piecing the side panels, it's good to actually highlight them as a design feature. I was lucky that the piecing of both panels ended up at roughly the same spot. I used a different fancy stitch over each of the the seams.
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? Design Wall Monday, Sew & Tell, Midweek Makers, Put your foot down, Off The Wall FridayCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Beauties Pageant, Finished (Or Not) Friday, TGIFFPatchwork & Quilts,

Project Details

Free Motion Quilted (FMQ) Agenda Cover
based on "Free Motion Quilted Gifts" on Craftsy
Size: 8" x 9"
Materials: commercial cotton, batting and thread
Technique: free motion quilting and sewing

Free Motion Mavericks

As always, thanks to everyone who linked up!

Donnalee finished reorganizing her stash and closet and found some lovely fabrics that she made into table toppers and runners

Lovely table toppers and runners, made from "found" fabric!

Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts had two of her quilt patterns published lately. Kashvi was published in Make Modern #55, while Sunshine Garden, is in Annie's Scrap-Happy Quilts. Congrats!

Kashvi - published in Make Modern #55

Sunshine Garden by Preeti
It's now your turn 😎

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Spending Quality Time Slow Stitching

It's already February although outside it feels like spring is in the air. 🌞 Frankly I don't mind if spring comes a few times this year 😊! I've done quite a bit of slow stitching this week and it's been lovely. 

Lots of Hexies

This summer, the #100hexies100days2023 challenge started in August. I started off well but life really got in the way in the fall. Lets face it, 100 days is pretty long! On Instagram, I made it to week 11 with hexies of fruits since I didn't have enough berry fabric 😁 I did make 3 more hexie flowers with Christmas scraps but never did post them. That gets me to week 14 which is one week shy of the 15 for the challenge. I can live with that.

Berries and fruit for week 11

Christmas hexies for three more weeks

These hexie flowers haven't been added to the rest of my scrappy hexie blanket yet because I wanted to fix my very wonky side. This image shows it best. If the top row is relatively even, then the side row is really, really off. 

Side row of double hexie flowers are off!

I undid the last three double hexie flowers. It's not perfect but it's better than it was.

I won't be winning any prizes for accuracy but it's a little better!

This is how much extra hexies I had to add before stitching the double hexie flowers back. 

Trying to make the edge a little straighter

I worked on these hexies for a few days. Since I'm dog sitting Poppy this week, I'll keep working on adding these hexie flowers and making more double flowers.

Daily Meditation Stitching

Actually, this is no longer daily and not always meditative but it is stitching! You may remember the hand-woven tablecloth from Turkey that I'm stitching.  It is coming along, but instead of daily, it's more in spurts.

It's not daily but I did ensure that I stitched the 24th block for my daughter's 30th birthday!

Celebrating my daughter's 30th birthday!

Here are some of my favourites, in no particular order. Sometimes I was experimenting and other times just stitching and playing with the thread.

Playing with variegated thread

Experimenting with variations of the fly stitch

Trying out battlement stitches


Trying to make fly and chain stitches work together.
I haven't succeeded yet!

One Monthly Goal

I have two objectives this month - to quilt my girlfriend's quilt and to finish Falling Swirling Leaves 3. My February OMG is the Falling Swirling Leaves 3 quilt. I worked on it and appliquéd all of the leaves. It's now ready to quilt!
A great way to remember the size of the 
zig-zag stitch that I'm using for the appliqué

A couple of the leaves appliquéd

Exhibition - Chez Lucien Restaurant in Ottawa

Some members of the Out of the Box (OOTB) Fibre artists are exhibiting at the Chez Lucien Restaurant in the market. I have a wonderful lunch with my girlfriend, and we were surrounded by some very lovely art. 

Wall art at Chez Lucien

Do you recognize the birds in Home to Feed?

What I learned
  • If it looks like I have trouble establishing a routine, especially when it comes to stitching, then looks are not deceiving. I've never been a routine person, so why would I expect to be one now?
  • I don't need a plan to stitch or quilt every day because that is what I do - and when I don't, it's usually because I need a rest. I am learning to listen to my body.
  • I do know that I have to bring more interesting thread from the studio to the living room where I do all of my slow stitching. That does help me stay motivated.
  • I undid the double flowers on the hexie blanket and then proceeded to stitch them back pretty much the way that they had originally been. The problem is that they look like they are in a straight line. It's just compared to the other line that they are not straight. Besides, try to make a straight line with hexies! 😁 
  • I had a wonderful lunch at Chez Lucien. It's so cool to see my art on the wall! The other members of the OOTB also had some great pieces.
  • Poppy is not impressed with me - I've been writing this post instead of playing with her! Thank goodness that a few treats will set things right.
  • Did you see the Project Quilting challenge this week? The theme is inside out. I really have to think this one through!

Related links

Linking parties
I'll be linking up to the February One Monthly Goal (OMG) as well as many other parties. Why not check them out? Patchwork & Quilts, Oh Scrap!, Slow Sunday Stitching