Friday, January 20, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Challenge

Back in October, I gave a brief presentation at quilt guild about the machine quilting classes I'd taken (see previous post for info on classes), and later a fellow quilter, Joanna, sent me info about SewCalGal and her Free-Motion Quilting Challenge (thanks Joanna, and thanks SewCalGal!) and since I needed to work on my FMQ skills, I took the pledge and joined up.  

In this challenge, a different well-known and generous expert quilter will give some kind of instruction/quilting pattern/tutorial/new technique each month, and everyone is to practice and post their efforts.  This month, Frances Moore gave us a video of how to do a heart-shaped leaf fill pattern, so here it is.  

First was to practice the pattern by drawing it out.
(not quite as heart-shaped as it should be, but close)

Next was to try it out - (starts in the upper left corner).
OK, so the leaf shape gets a little wonky, and the leaf size is pretty varied, and the fill doesn't really flow well, but it's not horrible (and yes, I threw in some random spirals in a moment of frustration - an extra pattern from Frances' blog), and my thread tension was good, mostly, so there's hope for the future.

Then, after reading Leah's blog post about quilting in quadrants (more about her and the Free Motion Quilting Project in my next post), I tried again.
I really liked the quadrants - I didn't have to worry about where to go next, and it was much easier to find a flow with this method.  However, I found that when I was concentrating on the quadrant, I lost the heart shape and went back to my default leaf shape (from the baby quilt).

So I drew another page of heart leaves and tried stitching again.
Now I've mostly got the heart shape back, but my size is random again!  Oh well, that's what practice is for!

Having fun, anyhow!


  1. I think your leaves and stitches look great. Wonky is cool. Obviously you are having fun with the challenge. Bravo... well done.

  2. I love your leaves! The leaves are supposed to be different sizes,you did good;)

  3. Your leaves are great and I like the random sizes, perfect!

  4. Thanks for all your kind comments - FMQ quilters are such lovely people!

  5. Love the leaves - a realy great challenge to join :-)