Thursday, 1 November 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 206 - Resting

Well this is embarrassing.  No linky last Thursday and nothing to show this week.  The fact that I was ill for a few days has a lot to do with it.  Plus the fact that my daughter is at home at the moment until Saturday.  And I shall be going away next week on a jaunt with my brother, so there will be no linky next week either.  All this adds up to quite a long bloggy break.  I shall have to make the most of it and come back in a couple of weeks' time reinvigorated and full of enthusiasm.  

So without further ado...

Here goes for week 206:-

Many thanks to Olena for linking up last time with her starfish quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.



If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.



Thursday, 18 October 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 205 - Three French Hens


This is the 12 x 12 quilt that I have made for this year's exhibition at Midsomer Quilting.  The theme was "Think of a Number", so I hit on the idea of Three French Hens.

The bold stitched outlines are chain stitched using my Willcox and Gibbs Automatic machine.  It took a while to set up the machine for use because the belt had slackened.  After cutting sections from the leg of an old pair of tights I finally cut one of the right circumference to adequately grip the wheel and give good traction. 



Each of the hens is based on photographs of French breeds of poultry.  I tried to make each hen match what it is saying, so the "oui" hen is this nice agreeable looking Ardennais cock.



By contrast, the big brute of a hen saying "non" is this rather intimidating de Pavilly cock.



And cowering down in the corner is the rather nervous looking yet conciliatory Gascony hen, which is by far my favourite.  It must be the slightly coquettish way she is showing her half-profile.
  


The "i" should have been dotted with a French knot, but I couldn't remember how to do them and was feeling far too idle to get a book down from the shelf, so it is just a little cluster of stitches, slightly lost amongst all the scattered quilting stitches in the background.

The hand quilting wasn't part of the original plan, but the light caught the surface, which was far from even, so I had to aim for some sort of texture.  I should have free-motion quilted it, but my sewing room became a temporary dumping ground while we were redecorating the front room, and I haven't got round to tidying it up yet, so my machine is surrounded with clutter.  I thought the hand stitching would be quick and simple, but I was wrong on both counts.  There, I've confessed.



"Non" is the only word I could sew in an uninterrupted line of stitching.



"Yes No Perhaps" would have been fairly straightforward to stitch, but French, being French, throws a hyphen and a circumflex accent at me just to make life difficult.  

I made sure I left this writing until last, by which time I was getting the hang of it.  The chain is the back of the stitch, so I had to work from the back.  I wrote the words backwards on the back of the fabric and stitched along the line, which was a little tricky because the foot on the Willcox and Gibbs hasn't got a groove in it, so I would lose sight of the line when it disappeared under the metal on its way to the needle.  Anyway, despite the difficulties I am immensely chuffed that I managed to stitch handwritten French backwards with a machine made in 1888.  The only bit I unpicked was the crossbar on one of the "t"s because it wasn't quite at the right angle, and that only took a moment because with chain stitch all you need to do is pull the end of the thread to undo it.



The rest of the sewing, that is the outline quilting around the hens and attaching the binding, was done with my 1916 Singer 99K.

I shall be delivering the quilt to Midsomer quilting next week and shall be kissing it goodbye because it is going into the charity auction.  Perhaps I will make another one one day.


Here goes for week 205:-


If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.


If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art.... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 204 - And Another Hen


Almost finished... the hens quilt is quilted and bound, but still needs a little work on it.  There is a little fullness in the background, which shows up shadows when the quilt is seen from across a room.  Rather than leave it and be irked by it, I have decided to do hand stitching to hold the layers together.  So for the moment, here is a preview.  I quite like this particular hen.  She is calm and composed, whereas one of the other hens is an absolute brute.

All shall be revealed next week.

Here goes for week 204:-

If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

A Picture for Sunday - Sika Stag


Had this stag used the twisted branches behind him as camouflage, echoing the shape of his antlers, or was it just coincidence?  He wasn't at all timid, browsing just a matter of yards away from a very busy path at Glendalough.  Just like the grey wagtail I photographed about half an hour later, he seemed used to an endless stream of curious people with cameras.

I was really pleased to be able to identify him as a sika deer, because this is a different type to the roe deer we see at home.  The roe deer are prettier (I'm biased), but seeing this solid sika deer has made me realise how scrawny the little roebuck is.  Our local deer must have been suffering in the drought this summer.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Knitting a New Stitch


This is my first foray into brioche rib.  It is a reversible, two colour stitch, which is thick enough for a tea cosy and ideal for woolly jumpers for winter.  I used to stare at the single colour version of this stitch when I was a kid and rack my brains trying to work out how it was done.  I never did fathom it out.  Then when I saw the two colour version a few months ago I knew I had to find out how to do it.  Hooray for Youtube.  After watching a few videos and finding that there are different ways of doing it, I settled on the method that I liked best.

Rather than making a high contrast between front and back, I opted for blues.  This is the front...


… and this is the back.

I am making a little baby cardigan, using the soft snuggly random blue for the inside and the plain blue for the outside.  

I am killing several birds with one stone - using up the wool I have stashed, adding to the reserve supply of presents ready to give to new babies, and working out various problems that might arise on a small project rather than getting myself into a twist on an adult sized project.  Just looking at the picture of the tea cosy this morning I have realised that I have to work out a better method for the beginning and end of each row than the one I have been using.  The joys of knitting! 

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 203 - It's A Hen!


Done over the past three days... at last I have made a start!  

This is the beginning of my 12 x 12 quilt for this year's exhibition at Midsomer Quilting.  After taking months to come up with a subject for the theme, which is "think of a number", I have ended up with poultry.  Because I have left it so late, I needed to decide on a quick method and bold design, so the emphasis is on outline.  I have been using my oldest machine, the Willcox and Gibbs Automatic, which gives a bold line of chain stitch.  The quilt should be finished in a matter of days, and it should be a bit of a laugh.


Here goes for week 203:-


Many thanks to Janice for linking up last week with the beautiful quilt she made for her daughter.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more:-



If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.


Friday, 28 September 2018

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 202 - More of the Same


On a roll or in a rut?  I'm not sure.  

The trouble with making these strips of squares is that I always end up with a batch of eight, and I only need five to make a cradle quilt.  So I make another set of eight, which added to the three left over, gives me enough strips for two more quilt tops, and I have one left over... and so it goes on...

So here is the third top, and the fourth won't take me long.  One of these days I will get round to quilting them.  I'm just not sure how soon, because we have just started an Indian summer, which is infinitely more pleasant than the actual summer, which quite frankly I was glad to see the end of.  I am finally getting the gardening done, and am inclined to leave sewing until the next time it rains.

Which leads to my next quandary.  Doing all this easy piecing has kick-started my imagination.  The annual 12 x 12 exhibition at Midsomer Quilting is fast approaching, and I haven't started anything yet because I couldn't think up a project for this year's challenge, which is "Think of a Number."  I have had since last December to come up with an idea, and didn't have anything approaching a brainwave until last week while waiting for a bus.  Then this morning the brain decided to overburden me with a second flash of inspiration.  Serves me right for mulling it over at a bus stop and letting the idea think it was a bus.  Nothing for months, then two in a matter of days.

Can I finish two mini quilts in six weeks?  Or shall I be an adolescent about it and not even bother?  It all depends on the weather.

Here goes for week 202:-

Many thanks to Yanicka for linking up last week with her kitty quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more:-
If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

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