Quilting Bugs and Gardens

Bugs in my Garden quiltFrom the Sewing Room: free-motion Bugs in my Garden quilting motif

Welcome back! Today we are looking at bug and garden free-motion quilt motifs you can use to quilt a relaxed and friendly child’s quilt. You can use these motifs in almost endless combinations to personalise all sorts of projects. It will be fun! 🙂

At our house, we like bugs and slugs, and most things creepy crawly. Not actually in our house…. outside, thanks! However, we do have half a dozen buggy residents who are welcome in our house. (If you hate insects, look away now!! Please don’t unfollow…. I’m not likely to post them again!) Otherwise, if you’re game, meet “the girls”…..

Spiny Leaf Insect
This is one of our Spiny Leaf Insects. They are Australian natives and very low care pets. This old girl is well past her expected life span and is mum or aunty to all our other girls. She is about 15 cm long, stretched out.
Spiny Leaf Insect
One of our half-grown Spinys. She’s proof-reading my blog while I clean her cage. 🙂

Insects and other garden dwellers are a regular feature in family discussions around here. Accordingly, I have quilted bugs on quite a few projects in the last few years. So when I received a colourful bug and flower-themed quilt sandwich to quilt for a charity group, for once I knew exactly what to do with it!

Bugs in my Garden FMQ

I only quilt friendly bugs. Nothing that bites, and no spiders to date. And I always quilt the bugs a place to live. So my go-to “Bugs in my Garden” free-motion set consists of caterpillars, snails, dragonflies, butterflies, leaves, flowers and suns. I have also added hearts to this particular quilt. All the motifs are linked with a simple loop-de-loop. This collection is fast to quilt, and results in a nice amount of quilting that leaves the quilt snuggly soft. It is also fun for children to hunt the motifs on their quilts. After the formal trapunto project with feathers and micro stippling last week, quilting Bugs in my Garden felt like dancing!

Here is the finished quilt. Now it goes off to another charity quilter to be bound.

Bugs in my Garden quit
Simple and cheerful. I wanted it to stay that way after quilting.

More about the Bugs in my Garden FMQ motifs

Here are some close-ups of the quilting:

Bugs in my garden quilting
Bugs in my Garden: sun, dragonfly and heart shapes
Bugs in my garden quilting
Bugs in my Garden: snail and leaves

Here are some even closer views of the critters in my garden:

Bugs in the Garden: Caterpillar
Bugs in the Garden: dragonfly
Bugs in the Garden: Snail
Bugs in my Garden: Butterfly

And some of the garden motifs too:

Bugs in the Garden: Daisy flower
Daisy Flower
Bugs in my Garden: Sun

Want to try “Bugs in the Garden”?

FMQ pdf download
FMQ pdf download

I’m hoping you like Bugs in my Garden and can think of someone who would like to explore a quilt covered in these fun motifs. If you would like to try them yourself, I have put them all the motifs together in a 4-page pdf you can download for free. You don’t have to follow my blog or sell me your soul. Just promise me you’ll pay it forward a little. 🙂
Download here: Bugs in my Garden motifs

This pdf contains line drawings of the motifs with travelling directions marked so you can see how each motif is constructed.  

green clever chameleon logoI hope you have caught the quilting bug!

Sorry! My daughter has been learning about puns at school this week 🙂

P.S. This is my second link up with  the Quilt Bloggers Festival at Amy’s Creative Side. Come on over to see a huge number of quilt bloggers in one place!

P.P.S. Also linking up with my favourite linky parties as they open: 
Free Motion Mavericks
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Busy Hands Quilts

P.P.P.S. I always always have other stuff I am busting to tell you….. for instance, yesterday I was looking through my Pinterest feed and I found a very cool hexagon ladybird quilt. And, then when I visited the source page, it turns out the post was written for one of Amy’s early Quilt Blogger Festivals in 2010! If you want to see the quilt I stumbled on, visit this archive of Personalized Sketches and Sentiments. I have to say I was a little amazed at the coincidence, being in the process of writing a buggy post for Amy’s festival in 2017 and all! For more amazing and weirdly relevant quilt finds on the internet be sure to follow the clever chameleon where ever she goes…… soon I’ll be posting from Vanuatu!

Dream Big Trapunto Mini Quilt Finished

Dream Big mini quilt detailHow do you Hang your Mini Quilts?

Howdy……. Normally I do not post on a Wednesday. But today, I want to show off my finish from last week (I was going to show you in my usual end of week post, but that draft is getting too long already). So I have split my ravings into two doses this week. I hope you don’t mind…..

Anyway, do you remember last week I was madly trying out some trapunto as homework for my local Handi Quilter club? Well, I was. I chose to play with a free design from Geta’s Quilting Studio, that you can access too if you wish. Then I added a heap of FMQ as decoration and practice. And then I ran out of time. But it is now trimmed and bound and hung. Voila!

Dream Big mini quilt
Dream Big mini quilt stuck directly on the wall

I bound it by machine and it was a bit of a rush job. I probably will refrain from doing that again. But I have just found out we need to head overseas for work for a couple of weeks and I have committed to a fair few too many things between now and then. So, in the belief that finished is better than perfect, it is done. Apart from NOT needing any more UFOs, there are two other reasons why I wanted this finished. The first is, that I wanted to try hanging a quilt with these:

Command hooks
Just so you know, I have no relationship with 3M/Command. I’m just exploring my world and sharing with you as I see fit.

These are adhesive velcro-like strips that clip together and stick to your wall and your picture. I have used 3M brand hooks for a long time, and always have found them to perform very well, so when someone mentioned to me that they use them to hang quilts, I was intrigued. To be honest, also a little bit skeptical. I was not sure that the adhesive strips would hold that well to fabric…. and what of the long term consequences to the quilt? Best to test it out on something not too precious.

Hanging the “Dream Big” mini

So “Dream Big” was always going to be my test piece for this experiment. I added one strip to each corner. In theory, the weight of this quilt probably only needs 1 or 2 strips, but one in each corner will keep it flush to the wall. And I want to pin my show ribbons to it as a display. So over time it should increase in weight! How’s that for optimism!! hahahaha. Please don’t think I am being conceited…… I am currently laughing quite hard….. 🙂 Accumulation of dust is likely the bigger hazard! “Dream Big” is a reminder to myself about sticking with this blog, and believing in my husband’s humanitarian goals, not show quilting.

Anyway, to begin with, the adhesive didn’t seem to bond very well with the Dream Big quilt. But the strips have been on there for four days now, and I have to admit, they are feeling pretty firmly stuck now. I have even become game enough to add two ribbons… the one I got from the local show this year and a second place I won in 2014.

Dream Big with ribbons
Dream Big is now my ribbon display quilt.


Dream big sitting flush
No hanging gap.

I’ll let you know if it comes crashing down. In which case, I will be opting to use hanging corner pockets on my mini quilts instead. But I do like how this hanging method leaves the quilt completely flush against the wall. And the instant gratification of quilt onto wall works for me as well!

Have you ever tried these hooks, or a similar product on a quilt? How do they perform over time?

I am linking this post up with Amy’s Creative Side for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. It’s the first time I have participated in this and I’m quite excited….. this is the upside of being a brand new blogger (and easily amused…)! There are a lot of prizes up for grabs for just participating, so if you blog about your quilts, head on over and join us. Link ups finish the end of this week. Good luck!

If you are a blogger having arrived here from Amy’s quilt festival, welcome and please leave a comment – it would be a pleasure to “meet” you.

purple Clever Chameleon logoHow do you hang your mini quilts? I’d love to hear from you. Comments make my day, and I’m always amazed at the plethora of ideas out there when quilters start sharing tips!!

I hope I will catch you again in a day or two with my main post. We are going to be quilting garden motifs. Until then, Happy Quilting!!

P.S I have also shared this post on Finish it Up Friday.  Boy, the quilters are out in force this week – lots of great ideas here!