Free Motion Quilt Challenge – January

I am taking the Free Motion Quilt Challenge over at SewCalGal’s blog in the hopes of honing my machine quilting skills (And do they ever need honing!).  I am excited about this challenge; SewCalGal is packed full of helpful tips and information.  She has also gone to the effort of procuring a terrific lineup of expert free motion quilting teachers.

January’s teacher is Frances Moore.  She has given us a leaf design to practice free motion quilting.  Her video can be found here.

And yes, I’m posting at the end of the month.  What can I say?  Better late than never…I’ve been busy…life in the way…dog ate my homework?

I divided a fat quarter into thirds to practice this design.

I think I am practicing hearts, not leaves.  LOL!

On the back, I like to write what needle size, tension, and thread I used for practice.  I don’t remember what I’ve done, so I keep my practice pieces for reference.  I’m the only one with this problem, right?

Leaves (in my case, hearts) with a spiral twist.  Cute!  They are more exciting to me; they dance!  I do need  to pay attention…there is one heart without a spiral in it (don’t strain your eyes…I didn’t capture it in the close-up).

The back looks better here!

Leaves on a stem.  These could be lots of fun; I need to practice with these more, and change the shape.  My brain wanted to make fat leaves, but they would look cool if I elongated them.

The back looks good here too.

I would’ve tried a size 16 needle (just for reference) but didn’t have one.  Also, I am using Schmetz denim needles (for the curious need-to-know).  After looking at the back, I much prefer WonderFil InvisiFil 100wt. or Aurifil 50wt. over Bottom Line with the heavy 30wt. YLI.

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9 responses to “Free Motion Quilt Challenge – January

  1. Those are great!! I especially love those leaves with a spiral twist!!

  2. Very nice look looking – and good documentation – but does that mean you won’t use the samples in a quilt? I don’t even know what needle 14 is – or the other things. My needles are Universal 80/12, my thread is Isacord and I see ET40 on it (but I thought that was the color number – it’s a lime color). I really like the thread with the different colors – that they are bright. All you samples look nice – I especially like the swirl addition that you added! This is a fun monthly project isn’t it?

    • Thank you June. A size 90/14 needle has a larger eye to accomodate the heavier weight (thicker) thread. My brand of choice is a Schmetz denim, but there are other choices. Use a heavier weight thread (the smaller the number, the heavier the thread…30 wt. is much thicker than a very fine 100 wt.), when you want to emphasize the quilting and really have it stand out. I don’t use this weight often. I used it for the sample because I had a leftover spool of it from a project and I just wanted to play with it.

      I may make a quilting sampler, but for now, I’m happy with individual samples and writing my references on the backs.

      Yes…I’m excited about this monthly project; I’m looking forward to learning new quilting designs.

  3. Whaaaa! A Free motion party and I wasn’t invited? This looks so fun. Too bad I’m knee deep in fleece and pit-zips!!!!

    • Indeed you are, and you are doing an excellent job too!

      But you could still do the free motion challenge too. There is no pressure; practice at your own pace. No quilt police here. :O)

  4. Lovely work and extra lovely in the varigated thread!! Great work! Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Pingback: Free Motion Quilt Challenge Summary |

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