Monday, December 31, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Year in Review

I actually finished the whole year of the FMQ Challenge from SewCalGal!  
Well, I took "the pledge", so it had to be done - and here it is, last minute-ish, but done!  Yeah!  Hooray!

January - Heart Shaped Leaves tutorial by Frances Moore

Thanks to her fine tutorial plus a little supplemental info from Leah Day at the Free Motion Quilting Project, I learned how to comfortably fill in a space with a wandering fill.  A fun way to start the year.

February - Echo Feathers tutorial by Diane Gaudynski

Great tutorial, but way beyond my abilities back in February - though I learned a ton, all the same (sometimes it's fun to dive into the deep end!).

March - Loopy Loops and Stars tutorial by Anne Fahl

Great fun, and much more comfortable for a beginner - it let me play and be a little wild!  And then I got to learn about how using a new kind of thread can mess you up - and, thanks to Leah Day again, got to learn how to track down those messy tension problems and fix them!

April - Stencil Patterns tutorial by Don Linn (Mr. Quilt) 

Learned a really clever way to transfer printed patterns onto fabric, and learned a lot about how tricky it is to actually follow a marked line/curve/pattern with stitches!

May - Foundational Designs tutorial by Leah Day

A whole new way of thinking about fill patterns - starting with a large flowing line and crossing it/covering it with another pattern - fun!  But more than that, I learned that it's OK to stop and take a breath and think every now and then (still working on that one)!

June - Divide and Conquer Space tutorial by Cindy Needham

Amazing way of looking at a blank area of fabric and changing it into a complex stitched design with texture and movement and pattern.  Plus a great collection of new patterns to use!  And the hum-purr of the sewing machine!

July - Stacked Tiles tutorial by Angela Walters

Another great way to divide and conquer a large blank area!  And though it's a great way to try out a bunch of patterns, it also looks great with only one pattern in each "tile".

August - Jester's Hats tutorial by Wendy Sheppard

A fun little fill pattern that turned out to be a bit of a mind bending little trickster - but oh so satisfying when you finally get the flow of it!

September - Feathered Wreath Stencil tutorial by Paula Reid

Sweet stencil, and good to have another try at the whole stitching on a line thing.  Plus she gave us some great bonus info on how to manage a big quilt on a small machine - that's coming up soon for me!

October - OK, so I actually missed the October lesson, for many reasons, and while I intend to get back to the Teri Lucas tutorial (it looks fun and I love the nautilus shell and the idea of stitching text), I chose to do one of the bonus tutorials as a make-up lesson to try something entirely new and different.

October Bonus Tutorial - Machine Trapunto tutorial by Diane Loomis
Trapunto has intrigued me, and this was a great way to try it out.  And to try out that silk thread, too!

November - Spirals tutorial by Sarah Vedeler

A really nice structured approach to learning a new pattern.  And those pesky in-and-out again, labyrinth patterns have always flummoxed me - so this was great practice!

December - Complex Borders tutorial by Patsy Thompson

What a sweet and fun way to end the year!  I loved trying all the border designs and learning some new feather borders too!

So there you have it - 12 months of fun tutorials from fabulous teachers.  

And I haven't even mentioned all the extra little hints the teachers gave us on threads, needles, handy gadgets, sketchbook practicing, FMQ feet, tension adjustments, fabric handling, keeping in sync with your machine, and more and more.
And I haven't done all there is to do!  Obviously, I've still got the October lesson to return to, and there are still 3 more bonus tutorials that I want to complete, and each lesson had a few extras I never had time for that I still want to try out (Patsy Thompson's "hyperquilting" is at the top of the list), and each lesson had bits that need more practice still, and then I have to start applying this to actual quilts!  And all these teachers have books and videos and classes and websites and blogs!  And on and on!  

Thanks so much to SewCalGal and all the generous quilter/teachers that started me on this path!  It's been a great year and I look forward to continuing on in the New Year to come!


  1. Beautiful work! And it's going to be so nice to get back to the lessons we didn't have time to do during the year as well as refresh on all the tips and techniques. Congratulations on completing 12 challenges, and Happy New Year!

  2. A medida que avanzan los meses se puede ver una mejora de tus acolchados. ¡Felicidades! Objetivo cumplido. Un abrazo.