Friday, 21 July 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 147 - The Sun Keeps Shining

Summer is having an effect on me.  Just too relaxed for words.  No sewing, lots of gardening and a total unwind.  Last week we stayed for five days with my brother and his family and both my husband and I managed to leave our cameras behind, so I can't even post a totally irrelevant photo to try and deflect attention from the fact that I am enjoying a very extended holiday at home.  Like all good things, it will come to an abrupt end sooner or later and I shall be flying into the arms of my sewing machine for consolation.

Here goes for Week 147.

The project that caught my eye in Week 146 was Linda and Karen's Pueblo Rhapsody quilt. 
If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.





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 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.


Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Picture for Sunday - Sissinghurst


Dazzling orange and yellow under a pale grey sky at Sissinghurst Castle Garden is strangely relaxing, far from the usual reaction I have to 1970s colour combinations.  Perhaps with a blue sky it would all have been too much.

My guest photographer this week is my husband.  We have just spent the best part of a week with my brother in Surrey, and took a trip out to Kent on Thursday.  Sissinghurst was an absolute treat as it is one of the best known gardens in England.  I have seen it countless times on television, and this was the first time I have seen it in real life.  


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 146 - Distraction Tactics


Really tiny drawers are what my husband has been working on - this is a model of a table he is making as a belated wedding present for our son and daughter in law.  My contribution to the project was to pack the model in a plastic box and send it in the post to them for their approval.  Now he is working on the real thing.

Now that I have distracted you from the fact that I have done zero sewing again (it's not my fault the weather is so good - I'm not used to it) I shall just launch straight into this week's linky.  If anyone wants to use the comments box for some creative nagging to get me sewing again, please feel free.  I need it.


Here goes for Week 146.

The project that caught my eye in Week 145 was Margarita's stained glass panel. 
If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.





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 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.


Sunday, 2 July 2017

A Picture for Sunday - Peacock


At last!  I have been trying for years to get a picture of a peacock, but they are very skittish butterflies and fly off too readily.  This one settled on the path in front of me when I was out walking, so I zoomed in on him.  Now I have to aim for a photo of a peacock showing all four eyes.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 145 - Summer Sabbatical


When the choice is between staying in and sewing or being out making the most of my allotment, you can see why sewing is losing out at the moment.  It is glorious at this time of year when the hollyhocks are out.  Even on a grey damp evening there is an air of magic about it.  I still have plenty of fruit to pick, and am making jam and stocking up the freezer. 

Now that life has returned to normal and we are having cool rainy days I thought I might have some sewing time ahead of me.  Photobucket have scotched my plans somewhat by pulling the plug on me today and disabling my blog button.  I can restore it if I pay an annual subscription of $399.99.  Such comedians.  I expect I shall be fooling around on the computer this week to work out how to make another.


Here goes for Week 145.

The project that caught my eye in Week 144 was Alison's marigold mini quilt. 
If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.





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 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.


Friday, 23 June 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 144 - Cropping Redcurrants


The fruits of my labours this week are redcurrants.  The bush on my allotment is absolutely laden. 

Yet again, outdoor pursuits have come before everything else, especially as it has been far too hot to sew.  Flaming June has given us a proper heatwave this year, with temperatures around 85°F for days on end.  I'm not used to it.  Midsummer's Day is usually marked by wind and rain and lots of wet Druids at Stonehenge.

So yet again, a week without sewing.  And somehow I think I might be making jam soon.

If you haven't been sewing, have you been doing any interesting cooking?





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Here goes for Week 144.

The project that caught my eye in Week 143 was Margarita's House of Lilies quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.


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 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.



Sunday, 18 June 2017

Friday, 16 June 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 143 - Outdoor Pursuits



Cushion covers can wait.

The sewing machines are idle, but I'm not.  Every spare minute (hours, actually) and ounce of energy is being spent on the allotment, watching vegetables struggle to grow for lack of rain, and eagerly looking forward to the annual display of hollyhocks.


What has everyone else been doing?





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Here goes for Week 143.

The project that caught my eye in Week 142 was Olena's horses  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.


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 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.


Friday, 9 June 2017

Thrifty Sewing


Ragged edges to towels are annoying and unsightly, especially when the towels have plenty of life left in them otherwise.  None of these towels was wearing thin at the middle, so I could not bring myself to throw them out.  The answer was to bind them.

The white towels, which ceased being truly white long ago, belonged to my husband's parents.  They are just the right size to wrap around my head after a hair wash.  The tiny brown check makes a pleasing contrast, and gives the illusion that the towels were bought as a matching pair.

The greenish turquoise towel is one of two given to us as a wedding present, so it will be thirty years old this year.  I can't believe it has lasted so well.  It has ended up with ducklings all round the edge.



This project felt like something straight out of one of my old sewing books, with the emphasis on thrift.  For added authenticity, here is a tiny patch I had to sew where a serious tear was threatening to take hold.  An oddment of 1 inch bias binding was all that was needed to make the patch.

The material I used for the binding all came out of the stash left by my sister in law's mother.  Both the brown check and the ducklings are synthetics, which I thought would be better than cotton, which might have a tendency to retain the damp.

Three done so far, and I am eyeing up at least another two for the same treatment.  It would have been quicker and easier to go out and buy new towels, but binding the old ones has been so much more satisfying.

Linking up with 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.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 142 - Slow Progress


Extremely slow, in fact.  I've pulled some scraps of material out of the cupboard, but that is far as I have got with the project I was mulling over last week.  Quilting has had to take a back seat to sorting the house out.  It's a big job catching up on several years' backlog of spring cleaning.





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Here goes for Week 142.

The project that caught my eye in Week 141 was Andrée's reversible placemat.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.


Free motion quilting on the classic side of the placemat



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 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.


Sunday, 4 June 2017

A Picture for Sunday - Ford Model A


Motoring in the 1930s must have been such a stylish affair.  This is a Ford Model A Tudor saloon, first registered in November 1930, which cost £98 15s  6d  new.  Here it is perched on a hill in County Wicklow at a country fair.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 141 - Having A Sort Out


Fraying at the edges and with slightly dud quilting, these two panels of quilting are the rejects left over from when I put a sampler quilt together last year.  The intention is to make a couple of cushions.  At the moment I am having a bit of a rest from sewing and concentrating on gardening and generally sorting out the house.  However I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms, and need to get my teeth into a super quick project.  A couple of quick cushions could be just the therapy I need.



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Here goes for Week 141.

The project that caught my eye in Week 140 was Cynthia's colourful Covered in Love quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.



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 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.




Sunday, 28 May 2017

A Picture for Sunday - Toadstools and Daisies


Only three inches tall, the toadstools only last a few days, but such a delightful sight!  A brief glimpse of Fairyland.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 140 - A Walk in the Woods


Sometimes life is far too exciting to get down to any sewing - for instance, when an online quilting friend materialises from the other side of the Atlantic, and she becomes three-dimensional, talks, and even walks.

Late last year while exchanging emails with Gwyned she told me that she and her husband Dana were making plans to visit England to walk the Cotswold Way.  She hadn't realised how close she would be to where I live.  We decided that we couldn't miss the opportunity to meet up, so she emailed me her itinerary so we could make plans.  The best day for us was last Saturday, and we arranged to meet at nine o'clock in the morning at her overnight stop, the Falcon Inn at Painswick.

What followed was sheer delight - a walk through beautiful meadows and woods, with views across the landscape, and all the while getting to know each other.  At lunchtime we had a rendezvous with Gwyned's brother Nick and his wife Kate, who had driven over from Oxford to join us for the rest of the day's walk.  The photo was taken by Dana while we took a pause in the woods - left to right: Nick, me, Gwyned, Kate and my husband Alex.

What did we find to talk about?  Between us all, plenty, and surprisingly little about sewing and quilting.  However, Gwyned did say with some considerable feeling that she couldn't wait to get home and start working with plenty of colour.  I got the impression that she was totally greened out.  Later on while discussing the ease with which a walk turns into a series of detours, Kate redefined getting lost as free motion walking.  Yes, we even did a little bit of that too.

Truly a wonderful day! 



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Here goes for Week 140.

The project that caught my eye in Week 139 was Andrée's Reason and Passion quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.




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 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.



Thursday, 18 May 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 139 - Using Up Offcuts


Every project produces scraps, and my Mother of the Groom outfit has left me with a pile of quilted offcuts.  Today I started putting a few together with the intention of making a cushion cover.


It is a bit of a brain teaser, because there are so many awkward shapes and so few straight lines.  This project might take a little longer than I anticipated.


blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg





Here goes for Week 139.

The project that caught my eye in Week 138 was Afton's Wonderland Quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.




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 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.





Sunday, 14 May 2017

A Picture for Sunday - Wise Owl


You wouldn't want to be a mouse with this owl watching you.  He posed nicely on a stump at a display at a country show in County Wicklow, and kept a careful eye on everything going on around him.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 138 - Mother of the Groom Outfit


Expensive isn't my usual look, but for my son's wedding I decided the time had come to enjoy wearing a posh and unique outfit without breaking the bank.  Rather than go shopping for clothes, which I find frustrating and terrifying, I opted to invent and make my own.

I knew I wanted a jacket and skirt, and did some pattern hacking.  Although the mock up jacket I made wanted to overlap and transform itself into a double breasted version, the finished item definitely needed to be single breasted.  Only three buttons were required - any more would have been too many.


To make life difficult for myself, I started experimenting with silk, with a view to making a quilted jacket.  To test how quilted silk would behave when making seams and buttonholes, I made a cushion.  Because the wadding is so thin, it was easier to work with than I anticipated.

The silk I chose is a blue dupion shot with dark red.  The red only really shows at certain angles and depends also on the light, which is why the colour varies in the photos.  The red element also influenced the choice of colour for the lining

Once I had bought the silk, the next step was to measure all the pattern pieces and then quilt panels of different sizes.

This photo shows the upper section of the back of the jacket.  I used the leaves and berries quilting design which I had tested in different coloured threads on the cushion.  I went for a thread with minimum contrast so as not to distract from the shot effect of the silk.



To cut out the pieces, I drew around them in tailor's chalk on the back.  This photo shows two panels - on the left are the front facings and back neck facing, and on the right are the two front panels.  These were definitely the scariest pieces, because I had had to learn some pattern drafting.  I wanted a shawl collar, but the pattern I had adapted had a stand-up mandarin collar.  


 
This is the You tube video that I found easiest to understand because the graphics are so clear.


I was pleased with how well the collar folded over into place once it was finished.  I am hoping that the back of the jacket looked better on me than it does on the home-made dress form, which has no neck or shoulders. 



One of the most time consuming jobs was trimming the seam allowances on the inside to reduce bulk.
The trickiest bit to trim was where the top and bottom collar pieces meet, because both have a seam at the middle.  If you count quilted fabric as three layers, then you have twenty four layers to contend with inside the seam.  Ruthless trimming was called for.


The hard work with the collar paid off in the end, and I was really pleased with the way the embroidered blouse complemented the quilting.


The skirt is plain at the front, with an exceptionally messy hem that looks in need of a good pressing.  This is because I had to sew in a ridiculous number of weights to prevent the skirt riding up.  I would rather have a less than perfect hem than worry about showing far too much leg for my age.  Nobody would have noticed the bumpy hem on the day because I was constantly moving or talking.


Rather than have a pleat or straight vent at the back, I made an edge to edge opening with curves echoing the lower front of the jacket.  The curve on the jacket just happened to be exactly the same size as one of our plates, so that came in handy when drafting the skirt pattern.  Then to add just a slight touch of raciness, I stitched on a large bow.


At last I have conquered my fear of zips, and am proud to show my first ever invisible (as opposed to visible) invisible zip.  I am rather less proud of the creasing just below the waistband, but I have no idea whether that actually showed on the real me.  I don't think anyone noticed or would have cared.  The most important thing is that I made sure the waistband wasn't too tight on me and that I had plenty of room for my dinner.

While I was making the outfit I often wondered whether I might end up too hot on the day in a quilted jacket.  The weather at the end of April can be either glorious or ghastly, and I was preparing for the latter.  As it turned out, my instinct was right.  When we went into church it was overcast and breezy.  When we came out it was blowing a gale.  My fascinator went flying, my hairdo made a rapid change from bun to pony tail, my daughter clung onto her skirt for dear life, and plans for photos outside the church were instantly abandoned.  But I found it all hilarious because I was warm.  I needed all the layers after all.


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Here goes for Week 138..




Unfortunately nobody linked up with a free motion quilting project last week, so there is no featured project to show this 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 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 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 with 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.



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