Friday 17 May 2019

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 229 - Back to the Drawing Board

Not the easiest start to a project I have ever had...

I thought I was about to get started, and then I stalled.  Somehow I wasn't really getting to grips with this landscape, and couldn't fully work out why.  Then last week I was watching TV and stumbled across an art challenge for celebrities.  I got hooked.  If the celebrity wasn't 55 or over I didn't know who they were, but I'm a sucker for competitions and programmes about art, so I had to watch.  Seeing how they had to overcome problems of composition and technique got me thinking.  What really clinched it was when the three competitors who were left were told by the judges that none of them had really grasped the task in hand, and they should all start again.

So I have started again.  I have not changed my mind as to which photo I am using, I have just totally rethought it.  This meant recropping the image, changing the focus of the composition.  I enlarged the photo on the computer screen, and then traced the outlines of the main areas onto greaseproof paper.  This came out at 10 x 10 inches, whereas the finished landscape has to be 12 x 12 inches.  I am enlarging the outline by eye onto another sheet of paper, and I will use the larger sheet as a guide once I actually start the machine stitching.

Why has this one been so difficult to start?  Probably because it has no obvious starting point.  All my early experiments, and my last landscape, started with the horizon, and I worked from there, gradually filling up the fabric from above and below until I had the picture.  This meant that the fabric didn't end up puckering, because I was systematically working away from a definite line.  This picture, however, hasn't got a convenient horizon that runs across its whole width.  Preparing the tracings has helped with visualising how to stitch it, where to start, and how the avoid the dreaded puckering.

Meanwhile, the weather and colours outside have been exactly the same as in the photo.  I really need to get started.  As I have been saying for several weeks (or months?) now... 

Here goes for week 229:-

Because I am a day late posting this linky, it will stay open until midnight on Tuesday.

Many thanks to Sue for showing us Becky's beautiful quilt on week 227 of the linky.  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.


  1. Hi Muv, good luck with your piece. I find that when a project isn't going forward, there's usually something that needs to come together in my thought process. Good luck.

    1. Thanks Andrée! I think I have finally got over the first hurdle now.



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