Friday, 19 August 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 395 - Raiding the Stash


You have to love this nursery print.  It has been in my stash for about four or five years now, and finally the perfect project for it has cropped up.  There is an autumn baby on the way, and I have been making items for the crib.  

The first items were easy, eight plain white cotton sheets, all cut from a length of sheeting that I bought a couple of weeks ago.  I was lucky to find 100% cotton, because the shop usually only stocks cotton and polyester sheeting, in a full range of colours, but they had one roll of pure cotton, so the sheets had to be white.  Just cutting out rectangles and machine hemming them was the perfect project for earlier this month, because life has been hot and rather chaotic.  We came back from our trip to Ireland to find everywhere looking parched after a heatwave, so the garden and allotment needed serious attention.  We also had extra fun and games because we found the heat had caused a burst in a water heater in the attic.  Fortunately the heat meant that everything had dried out before we got home, but the water had caused an electrical fault with the downstairs lights.  The plumber had a quick straightforward job, but the electrician is with us today to solve the problem.

Just when we thought we were getting cooler weather we were hit by a second heatwave.  Last week the temperatures rose to about 92F every day.  One evening I took a thermometer to the allotment, a real suntrap, with rich clay soil that retains the heat.  I knew it was hot, but was amazed to see the thermometer rise to 102F.  I managed to finish the crib sheets early that week, but after five or so days of such high temperatures it was all getting too much and every afternoon was nap time.

Now we are back to normal since Monday.  It has even rained and we have welcomed it back as an old friend.  So now I can start thinking about quilting again.  The wedding quilt has been put aside for the baby projects.  Now that I have made the sheets, I am planning a quilted lining for the sides of the crib to act as a buffer against the wooden staves and as a draught stopper.  The red and cream trains and toys fabric is perfect for the job, especially as I have enough for both sides.  I just hope I get the measurements right, but with all the photos I have received of the crib showing the tape measure across certain points, I think I can make a start very soon.  



                                                            


 Here goes for Week 395:-


Many thanks to Gail for linking up with a post about alpaca ironing mats - like wool but minus the wet dog smell!  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, 4 August 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 393 - Home Again


My favourite photo taken on our trip away last month - at last we have met our granddaughter Emilia, who is now 21 months old.  We took a two week holiday to Ireland to visit our daughter and son-in-law Genevieve and Gonzalo in Belfast, and son and daughter-in-law Ally and Leah and little Emilia, who live near Dublin.  It was frustrating not being able to see Emilia when she was tiny and having to wait so long to be able to travel.  We have received scores of pictures and videos of her, but it isn't the same as seeing her in real life.  She is every bit as beautiful as we expected, and a bit of a scamp.  She also loves her food, and I found that the best time to get a picture of her was when she was in the high chair.  This is the minced beef picture, where things were fairly well under control.  The chicken curry picture is a far messier affair.



This little hat came with me on our travels.  It was all but finished when we set off, but it needed elastic, which I bought in Northern Ireland, and something on top.  Once we were home I made a pompom, which turned out totally useless so I scrapped it.  Instead I made a knitted flower in grey, and a slightly smaller flower in the blue mix to match the brim.  I can't decide whether the finished item reminds me more of a tea cosy or a Christmas pudding.

I have no quilting projects to show today, so I am looking forward to seeing what appears on the linky this week!


 Here goes for Week 393:-


Many thanks to Andrée for linking up last time with her flower mug rugs.  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 July 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 391- Knitting Hats

We are on our travels, so this is a very brief post written on a slick high-tech computer, and of course I haven't a clue what I'm doing.  The only project I have with me is my knitting and the latest fun is little hats worked on four double ended needles.  As soon as I am able, in other words back to my steam-powered computer, I shall post photos and update you on our adventures.

In the meantime, feel free to link up with your projects, quilting if you are managing to keep on sewing in the summer heat, or anything else you are doing instead.   

                                                             

Here goes for Week 391:-

Many thanks to Gail for linking up with her sunshine quilt.  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, 7 July 2022

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 389 - Quilted Baby Jacket


Recently I have been doing a fair bit of knitting, getting back into making baby cardigans, and only today I remembered that I have this little quilted jacket stashed away from over ten years ago.  I set myself a task, using just four different fabrics, and because it was before I had launched into the thrills of free motion quilting, I hand quilted it.  The piecing and quilting was relatively easy.  The real fun started with the seams, running underneath the arms down the side.  It wasn't a particularly happy experience, in fact I had a right old tussle, which is why I never made another.

To give an idea of the size, the back is just over ten inches square.


I remember looking at photos of Mongolian tribesmen and being fascinated by how their coats always fasten down one side, so I tried out a similar method .  There is an inside button to hold the left front in place when the three outer buttons are fastened.  If I made another jacket like this, now that I have a buttonholer, I might make it double breasted with buttonholes.

This jacket looks as though it would better suit a little girl, with floral designs and buttons on the left.  Were I to make another I would use little boy fabrics and speed up the process with free motion quilting.  However, after all the grief I had with the seams, I would have to think long and hard before even starting.

The wedding quilt is having to take second place to gardening at the moment.  Summer has well and truly arrived, so I am spending hours outside doing battle with weeds and enjoying every minute of it.

Here goes for Week 389:-

Many thanks to my co-host Andrée for linking up last time.  She has been busy exhibiting her work and giving a class.  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, 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.

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