Friday 29 November 2019

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 257 - Better Late Than Never

Of all my projects ever, I can safely say that this landscape has been the most frustrating, daunting, terrifying, and in the end, most satisfying, that I have ever undertaken.  This is where I was at on Monday, putting the finishing touches to the hedges and trees in the distance

The annual 12 x 12 Exhibition at Midsomer Quilting takes place every year during December.  This year I thought I would get off to an early start, so as to avoid a last minute rush.  So back in May I chose the photo to work from, and made plans.  Then I had to rethink my plans.  When I finally started sewing, it was to put the focal point into position, namely the view of the hill beyond: three horizontal lines didn't look much at the time, but in the end they formed the foundation of one of my favourite parts of the picture. 

The next lines to plot were outlines of the path and hedges on either side.  With hindsight, I can see I haven't plotted a particular line because I couldn't make it out on the original photo.  There is so much green blending from one shade to another, that I couldn't tell where the foreground ended and the middle distance started.  In fact, it was only last week that I finally worked out what I was seeing on the photo, which seems pretty daft, because this is a path I regularly walk along.

Then I was ready to stitch the houses, or rather two houses and two roofs, and start filling in the fields.  

The next stage was the start of the battle against rumpling.  Frankly, this is where I look at the work I have in front of me and wonder why I bother.  The bin is very tempting.  So then I put in a few horizontal lines of colour and kidded myself I was making serious progress.  A few weeks later I took the machine for a walk up the path.

The wooded hill in the distance gave me a little trouble.  I needed to use a dark green, but make sure it wasn't so dark that it formed a heavy block of colour, especially as there would be a tree in the foreground that needed to stand out against it.

The grass alongside and down the middle of the path gave me a bit of a headache because the glorious May green seen in Spring doesn't exist as a thread colour.

By October I hadn't got very far, and felt like a lump of rubbish.  This was when I was hoping to get to grips with this project, but a wretched virus had other plans.  Then I had technical problems.  Why is it that needles that have been fine for previous projects suddenly rebel?  So I bought the fattest needles that I could find, put them through their paces, and got to work.

By n
ow it was late November and I seemed to be making reasonable progress.  I decided that perhaps this landscape wasn't going to end up in the bin after all and I might actually finish it.  So last week I rang Chris at Midsomer Quilting.

"Hello Chris.  When does the exhibition start?"
"The 29th."
"When do the quilts need to be in?"
"The 3rd."

So I'm nearly three weeks late, and I haven't even finished.  Embarrassing, especially as I had resolved to start way back in June to avoid a last minute rush.

Chris agreed to leave a gap on the wall, and I sent him a photo of what I had done so far.

Here it is.  I think he was underwhelmed.

I had about a week at the most to finish, and we had a visitor with us.  Fortunately our visitor is an old friend, extremely easy going, so hours of furious treadling wasn't a problem.

Last weekend the picture was fairly clear, but still had plenty of work to go.  A tree, the greater part of a hedge, masses of greenery, including great clouds of hedge parsley...

Yes, I finished it.  By lunchtime yesterday I was pressing out the rumples and trimming it to size, before jumping into the car to drive to Chilcompton to deliver it to Chris just in time to fill the gap on the wall before the exhibition opens this morning.  

For now I have no decent pictures of the finished work, just a hastily taken photo taken on my mobile phone to send to a couple of friends who were encouraging me from a distance through the last few frantic days.  Expect pictures in January.  In the meantime, the 12 x 12 Exhibition runs until 21st December, and from the sneak preview I had yesterday, I can tell you there are some really fabulous quilts on display.

Finally, I have to thank Chris, De and everyone at Midsomer Quilting for their kindness and patience.  It was a close shave.

Here goes for week 257:-

Many thanks to Gretchen for posting her City View quilt last time.  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 and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up to Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and the Kathleen McMusing blog for TGIFF
and Alycia Quilts - Quiltygirl for Finished or Not Friday 
and Denise's blog For the Love of Geese for Put Your Foot Down
and Sherry's blog Powered by Quilting for Friday Foto Fun.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Frederique! Yes, loads of threads, changing thread every five minutes. So relieved I have finally finished.

  2. Wow! I thought I was bad with procrastination. You take the cake!! I'll be looking forward to seeing a finished shot of your gorgeous quilt.

    1. Thanks! I shall be putting up pictures of the finished picture in the New Year.
      Nothing like a dramatic finish. Serves me right for starting too early.

  3. Look forward to seeing your masterpiece when you can get them up! Thanks for linking to TGIFF!

  4. Lovely! A challenge but way to go!
    We have no internet or phone line as the cable was cut by a hedge trimming tractor driver. Some phones in the village have been reconnected . . . to the wrong houses! I have laughed so much over this! I think the BT engineer doubles as a tractor driver and trims hedges. Keep him away from your masterpiece! Still no line here and piggy backing off the other half's mobile phone! The joys of living somewhere in the middle of your quilt! Well done indeed and racing against time too! xxx

    1. Thanks Kerry!
      Sounds like great fun and games with the crossed telephone lines. Might have uncovered a few scandals. Ooh Mrs.

    2. Oooh hadn't thought of that! Hahaha!
      Still nada on the connection front, but at least my scrap bin has been sorted, trimmed to ready to go pieces! The greenhouse is ready for the next session (with a little wren pottering with me!) so silver linings!!!

  5. Your dedication has paid off, it looks great. Thank you so much for linking up to Put your foot down, I've enjoyed your post.

    1. Thank you!
      Actually I put two feet down on the treadle.

  6. Congratudations Muv! Nothing like good intentions, life and a deadline to keep things hopping. I'm really glad that you were able to finish it on time. Looking forward to seeing the final piece when it gets back to you!

    1. Thanks Andrée!
      I'm having a day out to see the exhibition tomorrow. Should be fun.



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