Thursday 20 November 2014

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 22 - Stitching by Numbers

Yes, I know, it has the look of early to mid 1960s wallpaper.  I can just imagine my mum and dad chatting with the decorator circa 1966.. "Oh yes, it would be ideal for the chimney breast above the gas fire, with the rest of the room done in magnolia emulsion..."

This is the sum total of my free motion quilting this week - an A4 sized sampler for my own reference.  Having enjoyed doing landscapes with variegated thread, I decided I needed something like a colour chart.  I have been using Gutermann Sulky Cotton 30 and building up the colour by quilting close parallel lines. The effect when working with variegated colours on undyed calico is fascinating, but sometimes it is hard to predict exactly how a particular shade will look once it is stitched.  Filling in rectangles would have been too boring for words - I wanted to do something that would serve its purpose as a colour reference and as a miniature wall hanging.

So I did leaves against a changing background.  The leaf on the left is very close in colour...

... to the leaf on the right.  On the reel it is hard to tell which one would look darker when stitched.  Once stitched the difference between the two shades is more apparent.

I love this fresh aqua green...

... and this green with russet has a definite autumnal feel.

It is very handy to have 11 shades stitched in a sampler already - especially at this time of year, when the subtler shades all fade into insignificance under the electric light in the evening.  If I know in advance which colours to use, I could get on with a landscape in the evenings.

blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg

Here goes for week 22...

Last week's participants showed a fascinating collection of projects.

First, a big welcome to Jen, the first person to link up from New Zealand.  Not only did she show us a lovely quilt, but also her peonies in her garden.  It is hard for us in the northern hemisphere to imagine spring coming in November!

Next, a special mention for Janine, who quilts on her Singer 115-1 treadle.  Truly a girl after my own heart!

And congratulations to Hilary who has some rather exciting news this week...

Also, many thanks to  CaroleMaartjeGwyned and Linda  for linking up last time  - a great collection of projects.  

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 and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
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 USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland and New Zealand have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday
and Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday
and Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday
and Barbara's blog Cat Patches for the November NewFO.  The October NewFO is now a finished 12 x 12 seascape, and the latest development in the September NewFO is a cockerel.


  1. Well, I thought it was absolutely gorgeous as a wall hanging never mind a colour chart! This is a wonderful design. I love the lay out of the leaves, they way their center and steam create the break in the background - very clever and the colour washes created by the various threads provide variety whilst also blending together. Beautiful,

  2. I love leaves, and yours are gorgeous .... 1962 notwithstanding.

  3. I can see how useful this would be, and much prettier than just stitching blocks. But even if it weren't useful, it would still be lovely to look at.

  4. What a FANTASTIC way to sample your threads. Thank you so much for this idea!!

  5. What a lovely way to make a thread sampler! Thanks for sharing! I have not tried variegated threads because I just couldn't visualize how they'd look, so I can see how this would be so helpful. But then to have it be artwork, too. Wonderful!

  6. I am totally inspired to try this technique! Thanks for sharing!

  7. liked it so much I book marked it for future reference

  8. This experimentation of yours looks really cool! Right on Muv! Hee hee... actually I think your leaves look quite contemporary! No "magnolia emulsion" needed. Very nice!



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