I actually managed to complete all twelve monthly challenges as well as 3 of the 4 bonus challenges as of this writing! You can see a summary of the monthly challenges here.
It was only because of the FMQ Challenge that I was able to have my most productive quilting year ever! Motifs and inspiration from the monthly tutorials can be found in nearly all of the 2012 finished quilts summarized here, with the exception of the first one which was completed very early in January.
So, what did I gain from this FMQ Challenge? Beyond the obvious gift of having access to some of the most talented and creative free motion quilting experts' guidance during our monthly tutorials, it is a new knowledge and confidence that I can, with lots of continuing practice and perseverance, learn this new skill! I've learned what type of free motion quilting comes naturally to me, and what does not! I've learned a LOT about fabrics, threads and needles and how they can work with you or against you if you're not careful! I even learned to leave my comfort zone even further and venture into the
Last, but definitely not least, the gift of friendships made through the FMQ Facebook Group hosted by SewCalGal has led to other new blog acquaintances, some of whom were also working on the Challenge. They in turn have introduced me via their blog links to yet another group of quilty bloggers from across the globe who share their expertise via blog posts and video tutorials! A recent illustration: I first became aware of Rhianon Taylor's gorgeous work and her blog called The Nifty Stitcher early in 2012 through the FMQ Facebook Group. One of Rhianon's recent posts featured a sampler she created on beautiful pale blue satin quilted with a continuous line feather filler. She was inspired to create this piece after seeing the blog and video of a quilter named Natasha who lives in Russia and who also creates her quilted masterpieces on a domestic sewing machine. Rhianon's post included a link to Natasha's blog, and I must say I've watched the videos several times in the past couple of weeks trying to memorize her technique, as well as spending hours admiring her fabulous quilting posted on the blog. I made my first attempt at replicating Natasha's method for the continuous line feathers on the outer borders of my Bonus Challenge #4 completed yesterday, shown below.
I'll be linking up with SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Linky Party, and hope you will head on over there and see what others have created using the tutorials provided by so many wonderful and generous quilting experts! And, it's not too late to check out these great tutorials for yourself if you didn't have a chance to participate last year. Nearly all of the tutorials are still available for use and you can find them by clicking on the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge tab on SewCalGal's blog, scrolling down to the chart containing the entire year's list of monthly tutorials, and then clicking on a highlighted month's link to be directed to that month's tutorial.
Here's to a new year of quilting adventures!