Thursday, 23 June 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 387 - Poppies

 


One flower that is absolutely everywhere this time of year is the wild poppy.  Why has it taken me years to come up with the idea of quilting it?  I tried out a few ideas on paper, then quilted a sample.  The quilt has a number of 6 inch squares to be filled in, and I wanted a fairly compact design.  This is the first attempt, and apart from the red thread breaking (for once I'll blame the thread - I think it's a dud reel) it was quite quick and easy.  After just one test I was ready to fill in squares on the quilt.


All but one of them were worked on dark red fabric.  I had a good look at the poppies growing at the local allotments, and saw that the general idea is drooping stems for flower buds, upright or slightly drooping for open flowers, and upright stems for seed pods.  As for the leaves, they are deeply cut and generally rather messy in real life, so when quilting they are perfect as an infill on either side of the stems.  I was a little worried they might look too much like seaweed, but people probably wouldn't think so unless I suggested that to them.



I tried the design on the brick red, but prefer it on the darker red.  For some reason the flower shape of this one is more like a Californian poppy.


This flower is more true to life, but as usual I have taken a few botanical liberties.  All told, I'm pleased with how they turned out.



Here goes for Week 387:-

Many thanks to Gail for linking up with her design for a quilt in Jewel Carvings batiks - this version is made by her friend Amy.  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, 9 June 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 385 - Vine Leaves

 



For this quilt I am trying out a few new designs so I can include lots of plants from Spain.  Grapes are on the list, but I haven't quilted grapes for years and wanted to improve on the vines I have quilted before.  I have only quilted them once, way back in 2013.  This time I wanted to make the leaves more true to life, so I looked at plenty of pictures online to see the outline I needed to aim for.  Because I always quilt the veins on the leaves before the actual outline, I took advantage of artistic licence and departed from nature for the actual veins, and arranged them in a way that guides me in the right direction.  To fill in the gaps in between I have enjoyed quilting long tendrils, letting them twist and curl about.

This afternoon I have done a practice piece to work out how best to quilt a bunch of grapes (sounds messy).  The obvious struck me this week.  It is far easier to start at the bottom of the bunch and work upwards.  Why didn't I work that out nine years ago?  The reason I haven't quilted any since then is that I started at the top, got to the bottom and couldn't work out how to get back to the top without taking the work out from the machine.  Today I turned the sample piece upside down, started with the bottom grape, gradually widened the bunch to reach the top, and turned the work round once I got there.  The experiment paid off!




Here goes for Week 385:-

Many thanks to Andrée for linking up last time with her chevron potholders.  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.

Friday, 27 May 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 383 - Progress and Mishaps

 


Every time you think things are going swimmingly, you can guarantee you will run into problems.  Slowly but surely I am filling in the sections with free motion quilting, and have just done over 40 so far, so I am nearly halfway there.  This is the first flower I have done, one of my favourite designs, and one I have been looking forward to.  These will mainly be on yellow fabrics, and there will be four or five of them scattered across the quilt.   


I have quilted a few more olives, and they work really well on this dark red and black stripe.  This was the panel I was quilting when the problems really started.  The thread kept breaking, and after the fourth break I decided to stop blaming the thread and change the needle.  That was when I discovered the sorry state of my needle supply.  The next needle I put in made the characteristic thunking noise to tell me it was blunt, and I had to rummage in my tin again and reconcile myself to the fact that I shouldn't mix used needles with unused ones.


After seven or eight thread breaks and three changes of needle the quilter's nightmare happened.  A little bit of black oil-soaked fluff dropped down, and of course it had to happen when I was sewing on a pale pinky yellow.  I had to dash into kitchen and dab on some bicarbonate of soda.  Let's just say that the stain is now mainly gone, but I still have another process to try.

Meanwhile I have been rapidly running out of thread for the bobbin colours, so I was glad to get out for a shopping trip to buy thread and machine needles.  Now I have to train myself not to mix my needles.



Here goes for Week 383:-

Many thanks to Andrée for linking up last time, showing pieces entered for the Conversations exhibition.  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, 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.

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