Free motion couching

I love my Bernina and will be sad when I finally wear it out, but it’s still got lots of good years in it (where’s that ‘fingers crossed emoji when you need it?). One of the best ideas they had for a foot is a free motion couching foot. I love regular couching and regular free motion quilting, so I expected to be in heaven when this foot came out years ago.

Well, it never quite worked the way I expected it to. Of course, my expectations were not necessarily in line with the manufacturer’s product. And I’m not sure that I’ve ever used a material that was perfect for it either. That never stops me from playing, though, and that’s what I did today.

Yarn is a bit too loosely woven to be couched with this straight stitch, but I actually sewed very slowly with it and it worked fairly well. Perhaps that’s my lesson for the day–not every minute at the machine needs to be at top speed!

It looked quite good on the first section I did and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go further. Or maybe just emphasize what I sewed with beading. But I took the advice of a former art teacher and put more, all over the quilt and I like it.

I’m still not sure if it will get some sparkly beads or not, but I was very pleased with my free motion couching foot today. When you use equipment successfully on something for which it was not really intended………well, it was a good day!


This piece has never made me entirely happy. I loved the dye job and thought I wanted it to be a whole cloth piece, but it really didn’t turn out how I thought it would.

So I put it away for awhile. It sat on the shelf and you know it was thinking all the time about what it wanted to become. I think it spoke to me in a dream last night!

Diamonds…that’s what it said. Set that squareness on point, make diamond shapes and it will be a lot more interesting. Maybe keep it all together in one piece or maybe make them separate.

Don’t know where the idea will take me yet, but I think it has lots of possibilities to make me become happy with it.

Experiments shall commence………..sometime after my showcase!!!



Between other projects, I have been working on my big leaf piece. It has a distant deadline so there’s no push to grind it out. It’s giving me time to think and plan.

When I thought I had a good solution to sewing my transparent leaves down, I really went to town and did a lot of stitching.

It held it down, all right! Waaaaaay too much. I wanted to end up with floaty, loose edges and didn’t get that effect at all.

Lots and lots of overlapping stitching holding the organza down. It looked nice–if the stitching was the part I wanted to show off.  So now I get to go over the whole thing searching for those edges and UNSEW. I think I would have been better off going slowly and hand sewing these leaves to start with. Unsewing takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R.

Whenever I get done, I hope to have all the floaty edges I could wish for, just like this!

I am also continuing to unearth bits and pieces of projects. Deciding whether or not they can be utilized is rather refreshing, now that there has been some time distance from them. One piece I found went right to the cutting board to salvage large bits of the ONE fabric I liked in it!!! That actually felt rather good.

It appears that I attempted a bit of play with transparent fabrics before this latest venture, too. I found these purple leaves made with organdy–not nearly as transparent as the organza–but I liked it enough to finish it up.

Yes, it’s my least favorite color, but it may have originally been an attempt to use up those purples! I’m pleased with it now, and even though it was started a while ago, I learned from it. Yep–learned that I still don’t care for purple, but magenta thread helps! And that I now use a lighter weight fusible and it is much easier to sew through. Also, some metallics work better in the bobbin and some are fine on top, even sewing through heavy fusible!

Daily work on final, boring details on lots of stuff–hanging sleeves, wire on stretched canvas frames, labels. Nit-picky work that must be done, and then I can do the boring cleaning required to have my Artisan Showcase here on Nov. 2. Looking forward to that, for sure! The show, NOT the cleaning……………..




Museum day

This was not a week for sewing at all. Monday and Tuesday were spent doing laundry, sorting all the stuff I took to Blue Lake with me, hanging with the grandson and being home again. Wednesday was an ‘organize myself’ day, with a little work on this,

and Thursday I went to the AQS show in Grand Rapids. That was fun but I took no photos–I find that I don’t go back and look at the work of others, so I am just enjoying it in the moment. Wonderful work, for sure.

It was also a day for connections. I met two of my social media friends for real, Jenny Lyon and Robin Koehler and we chatted as though we had seen each other every day! Great to meet them both.

And there was this vendor…………….a connection was made and there is the possibility of writing patterns using their fabrics. It’s got my brain spinning, but what is there to lose? Sounds interesting.

Friday was so much fun with the grandson. We try to take him to the Toledo Museum of Art occasionally and we always have a great time. The good time started right inside the door with an interactive art and music exhibit. The outdoor exhibits get a visit also and when I took this photo

I remembered that we had done the same photo before…in 2016, it turns out. Mr. AJ has grown a bit since then!

My plans for this week were to catch up on all my neglected garden projects, but that may be changed now. My brain is absolutely spinning with pattern ideas and that must be resolved so I can concentrate on day to day obligations a little bit, too!

I WILL get that lawn mown today, though. As well as being a necessity, it’s a great time for planning out a pattern as I work!

Slow stitching

Knot Even Quilters meeting today and we had decided to do a slow stitching round robin and simply enjoy the time. Everyone brought their project and the materials needed to work on it and even some general foo-foo to share. Not surprisingly, as soon as the stitching began, the conversation dropped to a low murmur!

The plan was for us to stitch and switch after 15 minutes and that time limit was immediately discarded. Most of us wanted to produce quality work on each piece we worked on, so we spent a bit more time before we switched. We had some “skip me, I need a few more minutes” but in the end we all worked on all the pieces. Sooooo much fun, but no pictures. Maybe when we bring them all back finished…don’t laugh! It could happen. In fact, most members of the group ARE finishers, so it will be fun to see.

My project was a last minute two-fer. Another group I belong to is going to have a challenge and make a round robin scroll piece…decided last night and I need to have a sample for the next meeting. Sooo–I grabbed a bunch of supplies, some background fabric and used my KEQ friends to get me started!

I am using lace, sheers, vintage linens and my aim is to have a lavish and vintage piece. They are such good friends and started me off so well!

I’m going to put so much more stitching into this and I don’t want to work on any of my other deadline pushing projects. However, I forced myself to put this away. Out of sight means that I will get the obligations finished first.

And, as promised, blog posts will be fewer during the busy-ness of summer fun. Grandson hockey camp this week.

Swimming and picnic with him and his friend Friday. Quilt guild Saturday………………….looking forward to Sunday. Maybe not a ‘day of rest’ but surely a day of quiet sewing.

And that darn grass just keeps on growing………………!!

Aaaaaand, it’s finished…sort of!

My big turquoise project is all quilted and I definitely could call it finished. It’s put together as I first envisioned it and I’m quite happy with it.

Even breaking 5–yes FIVE–needles on the stupid beaded peach fabric! I haven’t broken that many needles in five years, but those beads were vicious!

And it is actually incomplete. As I study it, I realize that it’s a pretty nice background. Color coordinated, nicely decorated, lots of good texture, but what’s missing? A good focal point!

And one of my first questions to myself is about that hanging sleeve. Is it all right as is?

Do I need to add stitch, paint or something to it? Or do I just need to fold it to the back and sew it down?

Then there are several ways I’m contemplating for adding a real focal area. First is area, such as a swath of color or a small, concentrated area.

Then there is color itself. All white, all peachy, various colors, black?

My plan is to create leaves from organza; same leaves that I used for the stamping. I would love to hear your opinions and ideas! There is no rush to finish on this one, so I can take my time and really think it through, not jump into it willy-nilly.

I have some leftover blocks that I want to utilize in a smaller piece, very similar, but no batting, more overlap of the leaves and probably no hand stitching…or maybe MORE hand stitching. Have a couple of challenge obligations to finish first, though! And Blue Lake teaching is coming up and I have no samples, so I’d better get on that, too.

I never yet have run out of things to do or ideas to try. The universe is soooo good to me that way!

KEQ Silk/wool Challenge

While I’m getting the big turquoise project quilted in odd bits of time, there are other odd bits of time more suitable for hand stitching. The latest KEQ challenge with wool and bits of silk is the perfect project.

Started at the last meeting and always intended for hand stitching, it seemed that simplicity would work best. I showed you how I added the cabachon . Then the rest of the project needed only rows of running stitch.

It was originally intended to become a 12″ square, but now it’s kind of rectangular. Usually I show you the finished product or a cropped picture before finishing. Since I’m not totally sure how it will be trimmed, this is the raw piece.

Another decision waiting to be made……….sigh!