Thursday, 12 May 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 381 - Olives and Cherries

 

Every time I take photographs of this fabric I wonder whether the quilting will show up.  Hiding among all those stripes are my first FMQ olives.  I looked online for photos so I could see the shape of the leaves and how the olives hang from the branch, but didn't find many that were particularly helpful: then I found the ideal picture in the kitchen on the label of the olive oil bottle.  Then I started quilting and enjoying myself, took a few botanical liberties, and was quite pleased with the result, especially as my brain blended the grey and yellow into a shade of olive green.  I thought it was just my imagination, but when I showed it to my husband he said the fabric was just the right colour for olives.  Greatly encouraged, I sent a photo to my daughter, who said they looked like cherries.


So of course, the next design to try out was cherries.  This time I didn't need to search for photos, but just take a stroll around the corner to the nearest cherry tree and bring home a leaf.  Now I'm wondering whether my daughter will see this piece of quilting as olives.


At least she won't have any difficulty recognising holly.



                                                            

Here goes for Week 381:-

Many thanks to Andrée for linking up last week with her Pink Love table mat.  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 five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.


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

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 379 - Ivy



Design ideas sometimes elude me. Why have I never thought of quilting ivy leaves before?  There is plenty of it growing up our front wall.  Perhaps because it is a nuisance of a plant that I am forever ripping out, so I have no affection for it.  However this week I was scratching around for ideas, went outside and brought in some ivy, and found they were nice and easy, so an instant favourite.  The first time I tried it out was on the black and red stripe, and I opted for a thread with plenty of blue in it to blend in with the strip of blue beneath it.  At first I was considering a thread to pick up the bright orangey red at the top right, which is much more vibrant in real life than in the photo, but thought the shades of red might end up fighting.



I did the same again with the yellow and ochre stripe, and used a thread with a dash of purple to go with the maroon and navy stripe.  It can be quite tricky quilting on the striped fabrics.  If the thread doesn't show up particularly well the quilting design is swamped by the stripe.  If I use a thread that contrasts too sharply with the stripes, then the effect is too heavy, so I often opt for threads with plenty of contrasting shades in them.



Here goes for Week 379:-

Many thanks to Frédérique for linking up with photos of her Friendship Day and showing examples of Japanese quilting.  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 five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.


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

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 377 - An Old Favourite

Everything about this little bit of quilting took me back a few years.  The red and maroon striped fabric is the same as a length I bought back in 2012, and also the quilting pattern, which I devised back in 2014; initially I called it fancy leaves, and later on I christened it Jacobean leaves when I made a video for Youtube.


I used the same design again on the yellow and grey stripe.  The zigzags show up well against the stripes, which I was pleased about.  Of all the fabrics in the quilt, I think this is the one that is the most difficult when it comes to deciding on a quilting design and a thread colour.  The design has to be sufficiently bold to stand out against the stripes, and not too complicated, otherwise it could all look too confusing. 


This variegated thread worked well.  I thought the sharp contrast in the colours - blue, green, yellow and maroon - might not be too easy on the eye, but as it turned out it was perfect, blending in not only with the yellow and grey stripes, but also with the scrappy strips.

This week I finally managed to get all the potatoes planted at the allotment, so over the next month or so I should have more time for quilting!


Update There's a bit of confusion this week - Andrée and I have both put up a linky.  I didn't see her post until after I had published this one.  I'll leave this linky up and see what happens.  This is the first time we have both managed to post the linky in the same week, which isn't bad considering how long we have been co-hosting.


Here goes for Week 377:-

Many thanks to Karin for linking up last time with her background texture improvisation.  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 five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.


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

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Progress At Last



Curls and waves were the best way to start after such a long break from quilting.  All the scrappy strips are now finished, so now I can get going with the interesting part.  I have started with the smallest blocks of colour, only 6 x 4 inches.  This way I can see how the colours of the threads match the fabrics.  All the threads are variegated, which makes it easier with shot cottons.  This rusty red fabric has a green weft, so I used a thread that has green and red in it for the quilting.


This grey stripe was tricky to find a match for.  The grey stripe is quite dominant, and I wanted to avoid it competing with the quilting for attention, so I used a thread with muted shades of grey, blue and pink, and kept the quilting fairly simple.


This is a surprisingly dark red, with black warp and bright red weft.  This is my darkest multicolour thread,  and I liked the way the green toned in with the block of green in the scrappy strip.



For this pinky red fabric, I tried out a thread with shades of red and blue, so the blue could chime in with the stripy blue strip beside it.  It was fun doing these serrated leaves.


When it came to quilting this black and red stripe, I was running out of ideas, so I tried a small scale version of the leaves in the black bryony design.  They turned out to be a great way of introducing hearts into a wedding quilt.

After the slow gentle start, I'm now ready to tackle the larger areas of quilting and am looking forward to it.

Free Motion Mavericks will be here next Thursday.  In the meantime, I hope everyone has a Happy Easter!

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 375 - Out Of Practice



Ready to go with the first line of free motion quilting, and I will admit that I was nervous.  It is so long since I have used the Singer 15K treadle for quilting that I had to really think about what I was doing.  Before starting I cleaned out a bit of old fluff from under the needle plate and oiled the machine.  Also I had to give the the sewing room a bit of a tidy up and a vacuuming, and then I sat down to do a line of quilting.  I decided to start with the strips between the main blocks of colour and to do a straightforward wave pattern.  Somehow I expected something to go wrong.



And it did.  The fabric shifted as I quilted down towards the edge of the block, bending the stripes as if they were blowing in the wind.  At some point later on I shall probably unpick it.  If I had put a pin in at the end of the strip it wouldn't have happened.



The second strip turned out better than the first, but some of the curves are slightly square shaped.  I managed to quilt a few more strips without a problem until I had to change the bobbin thread for a different colour, and I loaded the bobbin incorrectly.  That gave me a nice tangle of thread on the back to sort out.

I am hoping to regain the knack as time goes on.  In theory free-motion quilting should be like riding a bike - you never forget.  So far I have had a poor grip on the handlebars, collided with the kerb and nearly fallen off.  Things can only improve.  Also I have had to shift back my estimate of how soon I might finish the whole quilt.  I was thinking I could have it finished by the end of April, but was forgetting how much time it takes to dig the potato patch.  The weather has been mild and dry for several weeks, so I have been enjoying being outside and getting thoroughly grubby.  Now that we are having a sudden cold spell and I am spending more time indoors, all the fine movement and attention to detail that is needed for quilting has come as a bit of a shock to the system.  Digging the potato bed and making bonfires to get rid of the weeds is kids' stuff in comparison.



 

Here goes for Week 375:-

Many thanks to Andrée for linking up last time with her Traveller's Blanket.  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 five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

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

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 373 - Just Enough Wadding

 

Ever think you lead a charmed life?  

As regular readers might remember hearing before, my maths is total rubbish.  When shopping for fabric my brain reaches a strange state of numerical stasis, like a digital clock frozen inside a block of ice, because fabric is sold in metres and I work in imperial measurements.  After spending at least half an hour in the shop scribbling on several sheets of paper to work out how much backing fabric and wadding I would need, it turned out that there was just enough of the type of wadding I wanted left on the roll, and no more in stock.  So I had all they had in the shop.  Over the past few weeks while I have been making the quilt sandwiches and seeing the vast piece of wadding gradually reduce in size, I have been wondering whether there would be enough after all.  This week I found out.  The last three sandwiches just fitted neatly before the wadding ran out, and I was able to avoid having to use the folded and crinkly bits at the edges and end of the roll.  Such a relief! 

Now I have made all the sandwiches, and done the straight line quilting on 24 of the total of 25.  Hooray!  It is nearly time to start the free motion quilting!  From now on the photographs should get a bit more interesting.



 


Here goes for Week 373:-

Many thanks to Rebecca Grace for linking up last time with the lone star quilt she has quilted for a client.  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 five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.


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

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