Christmas sewing

Got a bit of spare time over Christmas? Need to get away from the turkey and sprouts?

A quick little make, or a new technique to try?

This year I’ve used my grandsons drawing to create a few small journal quilts.

I make these little images as stand alone journal quilts or bigger wall hangings.

I usually use whole cloth or create a background using fabric and/or paint. As they are not ment to be washed I have the freedom to do this.

Never free motioned before? I find the most important thing is to be able to drop the feed dogs on your machine, your machine won’t thread fabric through, so you need to move it yourself. I use a hopping/darning foot that keeps the fabric free to be moved as you wish. I have never found the need to move my tension as there shouldn’t be any. But you may need to do what your machine prefers. If this is your first go, please use google or you tube, there are so many tutorials out there that will be far more comprehensive than I. Also if you are not used to FM put your fabric into a hoop to keep it taught, or it will be dragged by the needle into the bed of the machine. You could also use pelmet vylene, or whatever it’s new name is to hold your fabric stiff. And the hoop keeps your fingers away from the needle. As you hold the hoop not the fabric.

I layered 3 fabrics together as my background. An old wool blanked as the batting, a piece of an old quilt with trees and a sheer fabric as snow. You can also put a cotton layer as the backing at this stage if you wish. I recycle whenever i can. It’s at this point you may wish to quilt the background . I followed the lines of some of the trees to hold all 3 layers together.



There are many ways to prepare your design. I photocopy or trace my grandsons drawings. To give me a copy from which to work. If you need to enlarge or shrink the design, now is the time to do it.


The fun bit, choosing your fabrics.

You could now use bondaweb to back your chosen fabrics and then transfer the design to it, cut it out then iron in place. Remember not all fabrics like ironing, if recycling as I do, check fabric won’t melt first. This means you can build up your design before stitching giving you the choice of changing your design if you wish. You can also do this without bondaweb by lightly tacking or pining your shapes into place before stitching. I suggest cutting out the largest areas first and adding smaller details last, working as a painter might from background to foreground.

I choose to work in reverse. I attach my design to the back


Then stitch each fabric individually, trimming up to the stitched line. Continuing in this way until the design is completed.

You can now add any extra trimming or paint or notions you wish.


This small robin will make a lovely card for next year.


I also added them into a larger wall hanging.

I hope this has inspired you to have a go at Free motion stitching.

Have fun.