Tuesday, December 18, 2012

FMQ Challenge Wrap-up

What a year this has been!  It may be the first year in more than I care to remember that I actually completed my major New Year's Resolutions!  First and foremost was the Free Motion Quilting Challenge sponsored by SewCalGal, who has become a dear blogging friend to so many would-be quilters, including myself.  A huge Thank You! to SewCalGal for pulling together some of the most outstanding free motion quilters to provide a series of fantastic tutorials all designed to help us on our journey to become more proficient quilters.  What fun to see the progress everyone has made as we post a summary show-and-tell of our monthly samplers completed this year.

Here, then are the samples I've completed to date.  I still plan to do the last two bonus tutorials in the near future, most likely after the first of the year.  Nice to have a couple more to look forward to!

Our January tutorial was presented by Frances Moore who demonstrated a leaf design filler that I used on several quilts this year:

February featured feathers, with an outstanding tutorial and subsequent blog posts with additional photos and advice,  provided by Diane Gaudynski. 

March's tutorial was provided by Ann Fahl, who taught loopy free-form designs alternating with a simple five-petal flower motif.  My photo for March shows elements of each of the first three month's of tutorials - and LOTS of feather practice!

In April, Don Linn taught us a great method for transferring a design to your fabric for quilting, easier than cutting a stencil!

Leah Day brought us stippling variations in May.

June brought another favorite tutorial for me, presented by Cindy Needham, who taught us her divide-and-conquer method for quilting in large open spaces.  More feather practice and other new design motifs!

In July, Angela Walters brought us a tiling design, very adaptable to large or irregular areas.  Any number of filler designs can be used within the tiles.  

Wendy Sheppard provided our August tutorial:  a deceptively simple Jesters Hat motif that proved to be fairly difficult to move evenly across a large area!  Still, that design is intriguing and such a useful overall quilt design!  I ended up using this design on a twin size quilt completed in September.

Paula Reid provided us with practice in quilting along lines during September, with this great stencil pattern.  

In October, Teri Lucas challenged us to quilt our name in one area of our sample, then outline it and go on from there to create an overall quilt picture.  She also showed us a great shell design.

November's Challenge was to practice quilting rows of spirals or swirls in a variety of sizes.  Sarah Vedeler provided an excellent tutorial on creating a variety of swirl designs.

Our final monthly tutorial for December was all about design principles for creating interesting and eye-catching borders.  Patsy Thompson, so well known for her beautiful freestyle feather designs, provided an excellent tutorial and video demonstration.

We were also treated to bonus tutorials!  The first was provided by Linda Moran, who demonstrated free style quilting following patterns on gorgeous hand-marbled fabrics.  In this sample I used the hand marbled fabric to frame a piece of my grandson's art work that had been printed on commercial fabric for a school fundraiser.

Our second bonus tutorial, provided by Susan Brubaker Knapp, focused on finding design inspiration from things in our own environment.  We worked from macro photos we had shot of plants, architectural elements, etc.  This one is a sampling of hens-and-chicks.

Our final two bonus tutorials were presented by Diane Loomis and Teri Lucas.  I'm looking forward to getting these underway soon!

A huge thank you to each and every one of our tutorial experts who so generously gave of their time and quilting expertise to provide these invaluable lessons and insights; and to those who also took the time to answer individual questions about technique and other quilting-related issues with machines, tension, threads, etc.  And again, to SewCalGal, who made all this possible!


  1. This is wonderful!!! So much fun to see them all together. I really love the spiral quilt!!! Have a very Merry Christmas!!!!

  2. All of these are absolutely gorgeous!! Isn't it amazing how much we have all learned?

  3. Beautiful free motion quilting Pat, absolutely fabulous. My favourite of all your work are those darling little seahorses. Thanks tons for sharing your talents with us.

  4. The fmq project was a lot of fun and a terrific confidence booster! I love that you framed your grandson's artwork with your wonderful quilting!

  5. Love how you presented the FMQ challenge throughout the year. Your work is beautiful! I'm so glad I kept up with it. It was such fun!

  6. Great work, Pat. You've applied the FMQ skills you've learned t some lovely pieces too.

  7. Beautiful seahorses Pat. I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas

  8. Several times I have regretted not doing the FMQ challenge - and seeing your post is one of those times. I couldn't have managed the time this year but maybe I can revisit those posts this winter and play with a few. Thanks for showing these. blessings, marlene

  9. What beautiful work and congrats for getting all of these done! I did a few and it was so much fun!

  10. So impressive that you completed each months challenge, and they came out so beautiful!

  11. Your FMQ is amazing! We seemed to have the same favorites too! So much fun, and great to meet such nice people as well!

  12. Your challenges turned out to be so great. I remember the seahorse one which I showed my daughter who loves all things that have to do with the ocean. I really like your divide and conquer piece.
    I think it is so great that you used some of the challenge designs to quilt your grandchildren's quilts. Well done!

  13. Beautiful work - I love it that you were able to use so many of the lessons on "real" quilts! That's my next goal for FMQ!

  14. Congratulations on your win Pat. I hope you get lots of useful goodies from June Taylor. While none of us entered the challenge for the prizes, it's still a lovely surprise to receive one


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