Monday, December 31, 2012

Free Motion Challenge: The End of the Beginning

With the end of 2012 comes the end of the yearlong Free Motion Challenge by SewCalGal.  It has been interesting, educational, fun and well, challenging.  I was able to complete 11 of the monthly challenges and one of the bonus tutorials.   Each of the experts has her/his own special approach to FMQ, so I felt as though I had private instruction on free motion quilting in all its variations.

The list of things I learned doing this Challenge would be quite long indeed, but several things stand out:  how to let the sound of the sewing machine help me regulate my speed, how to follow a marked design, how to use different motifs in adjacent areas and most importantly, that frequent practice really makes a difference.

I enjoyed doing all of the challenges and will certainly return to the tutorials to improve and reinforce the skills I learned.  This is not the end of my personal free motion challenge;  it's the end of the beginning.

Thank you to all of the free motion experts who contributed to the challenge and especially to SewCalGal who organized this year-long adventure.  It has been a wonderful experience!

Here's my album of samples, my free motion journey of 2012.









Bonus #3

 Happy quilting!  Happy New Year!

December: A Gift and a Bonus Tutorial

 The Free Motion Challenge teacher for December was Patsy Thompson who provided a wonderful lesson on quilting borders in text, pictures and video.  The lesson and challenge had several parts, and while I started the month with good intentions, I did not complete the challenge to my satisfaction.  I'm going to spend some time in January doing the December challenge.  Patsy is a wonderful teacher who has made lots of instructional DVDs that are now on my wish list.

 I did, however, bake hundreds of cookies, decorate the house and the tree, make some Christmas gifts and do all other things Christmas-y.

And I completed one of the Bonus Tutorials that SewCalGal added to the Free Motion Challenge.  The one I did was by Diane Loomis who taught us to do machine trapunto.  This is something I have always wanted to try, and the tutorial was very clear and easy to follow.  I am really pleased with the results and am certainly going to incorporate trapunto into some projects in the future.  Diane suggested we use silk thread for our sample.  The thread I used was a #50, so it is more obvious than the #100 she suggested.  I used off-white fabric on the top and a pale gold and white rose print on the back.  I followed her directions to the letter and marked the cross-hatching lines for the background.
I am really happy with the top.

I'm even happier with the back because the gold thread works so well on the fabric.  I have more of the backing fabric left and I'm going to try this again using it as the top.

Thank you, Diane Loomis! And thank you, SewCalGal!

One of the Christmas-y sewing projects was this little Christmas quilt I made for friends.  I machine quilted garlands on the trees with metallic thread and hearts on the hearts with red thread. 

I love how the red striped binding and the gifty backing.

We had a wonderful Christmas and hope you did too.