Tag Archives: free motion quilt challenge

Free Motion Quilt Challenge Summary

Thank you so much to SewCalGal and her talented and generous free motion quilting teachers!  I have enjoyed a year’s worth of practice and growth since joining the Free Motion Quilt Challenge.  Each month, in 2012, a new challenge was presented.

In summary:

January

FMQ January Spiral Leaves

Frances Moore  gave us a fun leaf design to practice free motion quilting.  She also gave us a video to view.  You can see this post here.

February

 First Feather Front

One of my favorite experts, Diane Gaudynski, taught feathers this month.  What a treat!  You can see this post here.

March

Flower Meandering

Ann Fahl,  suggested keeping a binder/journal of free motion quilting ideas.  She also suggested learning meandering patterns other than stippling.  You can see this post here.

April

Front Quilted

Don Linn created a video tutorial for April.  He showed a great transfer method for quilt designs!  He also described an easy way to come up with quilting designs.  You can see this post here.

May

DoubleStipple

This month’s free motion quilt expert was the generous Leah Day.  Leah gave two assignments…a Double Stipple and Railroad Tracks.  You can see this post here.

June

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The June Free Motion Quilting Challenge was a tutorial by Cindy Needham.  Cindy gave us so much useful information and lots of practice!  I loved this month!  Cindy suggested the ‘divide and conquer’ method.  You can see this post here.

July

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Angela Walters,  Quilting Is My Therapy, taught how to section off the work and then fill in the sections.  She calls this quilting design Tiles.  You can see this post here.

August

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The August Free Motion Quilt Challenge was a tutorial from Wendy Sheppard.   You can find her blog at Ivory SpringWendy shared her “Jester” free motion quilting design for this challenge.  You can see this post here.

September

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The September Free Motion Quilt Challenge was a tutorial Paula Reid.   Paula’s tutorial had us practice with a stencil.  You can see this post here.

October

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Teri Lucas had us begin this month’s tutorial by drawing our names and designs on paper.  We branched out from there.  You can see this post here.

November

Trapunto added for Texture

Trapunto added for Texture

Sarah Vedeler had us practicing spiral variations; lots of fun!  You can see that post here.

December

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Patsy Thompson shared border design and quilting tips.  She created a terrific video to demonstrate her tips.  I loved this month!  You can see that post here.

Linda Moran, Susan Brubaker Knapp, Diane Loomis and Teri Lucas all provided  bonus challenges.  I look forward to doing those after the holidays.  What a wonderful year of quilting!

Free Motion Quilt Project – December

The December Free Motion Quilt Challenge at SewCalGal is a tutorial from the wonderful designer and teacher, Patsy Thompson.  Patsy is one of my favorite quilt artists, so I was delighted when I found out that she was the guest for this month!

Patsy shared excellent tips for border designing and quilting.  So I got out my high tech practice notebook and went to work.

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I sewed some hand-dyed fabric together, pin basted a quilt sandwich, and, using 100 weight Wonderfil Invisfil, stabilized my sandwich.

And this is where this month’s challenge became a double challenge.  My beloved Bernina (we’ve been together about 25 years) just couldn’t manage a simple straight stitch.  I knew she had troubles…she’d been to the doctor once already (he turned out to be a quack…but that’s another story).   I’d been wanting another sewing machine, but had been putting it off. 

Is it strange to say that I feel guilty sewing with a new Janome, while my Bernina sits on the floor in despair?  (I do hope to find a trustworthy doctor who can perform mechanical miracles.)

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Miss Janome and I have been cramming time getting to know one another.  Christmas is coming so we finally had to say to each other, “Let’s do this!”

So, with lowered feed dogs, and 50 weight Aurifil, we did alot of free motion quilting…Patsy style (or at least our best imitation for where we are in life).

Here’s a couple of close-ups:

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I wouldn’t make such large pebbles on this size quilt in the future…don’t like the look of that, but I thoroughly enjoyed making feathers with a flexi-curve ruler.  I’ve had that ruler for years, yet never realized it’s potential.  Thank you Patsy!

Here’s the back (difficult to see unless you click on the photo for a closer look):

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And here’s the front:

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I have yet to sew with Miss Janome and have the feed dogs up.  I’ll be doing that when I put on the binding.

Free Motion Quilt Project – November

The November Free Motion Quilt Challenge at SewCalGal is a tutorial from the very talented designer and teacher, Sarah Vedeler. 

Sarah had us practicing spirals this month.  She made it easy by establishing a grid on paper.  The boundaries really helped me to  establish a rhythm in drawing the spirals.

For my practice piece, I used hand-dyed fabric scraps, an almost empty spool of Coats & Clark for the top thread, and an assortment of almost empty bobbins with Aurifil 50 weight threads.  I loosened my top tension a bit.  And, yes, I use practice pieces to use up odd bits and pieces unless I have an end result in mind and I really need to know how the materials are going to play together. 

I drew a grid on the fabric with a blue washout marker.

Close Up

The back:

For some practical application, I grabbed another piece of hand-dyed fabric (I wish I had the foresight to see that it would be a lousy choice for photography, as you will soon see.)

On this piece, I free-motion stitched a tree with 30 weight variegated cotton thread.  I should have chosen a different color; then maybe the stitching would have shown better.

I’m calling it “The Ghost Tree” since you can’t see it.  Sigh.

It will help if you click on the photos for a closer look.

The background is filled with free-motion swirls made from 100 weight polyester.  No grid.  Funny…after stitching all of those swirls on a grid, I had a hard time deliberately stitching swirls that are not evenly sized and spaced.  I didn’t want the swirls the same in my background.

Showing Texture

The tree is not flat, but that’s hard to photograph too.

A look at the back:

Free Motion Quilt Challenge – August

The August Free Motion Quilt Challenge at SewCalGal is a tutorial from the very talented Wendy Sheppard.   Wendy is a pattern designer, teaches free motion quilting, and has been published in several quilting magazines.  She generously shares projects, tips and techniques on her blog,  Ivory Spring.

Wendy shares her “Jester” free motion quilting design for this challenge.  I’ve been following her blog for some time, so I’ve had opportunity to practice this design already.  In fact, I used it in June’s challenge.

I decided to use this design in an art quilt that I am working on.  You can find that quilt here.

I’ll be practicing this design more, as I still must concentrate to change directions.  For some reason, I have a mental block changing directions.  I also want to try Wendy’s variation of her design.

This photo is the back.  You can see it better, I think.  I am using Wonderfil Invisfil 100 weight polyester thread in the bobbin and Mettler 60 weight cotton embroidery thread in the top.  My tension is set on 0.

Free Motion Quilt Challenge – July

The July Free Motion Quilt Challenge at SewCalGal is a tutorial from the very talented Angela Walters.   Angela is a professional quilter and successful long arm quilter, as well as teacher and author.  She loves modern quilts and quilting.  Check out her website, Quilting Is My Therapy, for her wonderful books, blogs and tips!

Angela taught how to section off the work and then fill in the sections.  She calls this quilting design Tiles.

Now, I can stipple, pebble and meander, but straight line quilting, without a guide, and swirls are the bane of my free motion existence.  Angela didn’t say I had to practice swirls, but I need to. 

So I drew my tiles and swirls on paper.  I did not take a photo.  You don’t want to see it.  Really, you don’t.  I don’t either.

My fabric sample isn’t much better, but I am starting to relax and feel more confident with the swirls.  Not so much straight lines.

I like the tiling, and its possibilities, so I will keep practicing, and one day, I just might be passably good at it.

Thank you Angela!