14 December 2012

Overview of the 2012 FMQ Challenge

SewCalGal hosted an incredible quilt challenge this year where we had an expert quilter every month who gave a tutorial on their particular field of free motion quilting.  I knew very little about this art when we started in January and was so excited to begin this course. 

Oh my goodness, words just cannot describe what I learned during this course.  What I was able to produce each month tells the story!  I gained confidence in myself; that I could do it and with practice it actually got better.  I enjoyed reading about each tutor when SewCalGal introduced them at the beginning of the tutorial and they became more than just names I had heard of.  I learned more about basic essentials needed to make free motion quilting easier to handle - from adjusting my chair to the correct height to using a "Supreme Slider", gloves and bobbin washers that I ordered from Leah Day.  Wow what a difference they made. We were encouraged to try different threads, in fact my variety of threads has grown so much that I've had to buy additonal containers for them all.  We were encouraged to try different battings.  Unfortunately where we live in South Africa, I do not have access to the many battings that are available in the States or UK, so these are definitely on my bucket list for ordering online.  Learning about the different needles I found very interesting too.  My favourite now is the titanium 80/12 for doing free motion. 

Free motion quilting has become my passion; feathers and swirls are my favourites and I've already used them in many of my projects.  As a young child learns to write, the formation of the letters change as they practice and gain more confidence.  The same applies to free motion quilting - you develop your own style after a while which becomes unique to you.

And now I would love to show you what I have achieved this year. My very sincere thanks go to you SewCal Gal.  I know that it has taken much of your time and effort, not to mention the expense and time away from your precious family to host this year of  FMQ tutorials.  Hopefully you will find rest over the festive season!

Challenge Quilt 2012

I would love to sneak in a photo of a quilt I have recently completed putting all I have learned this year into practice, using many different stitches we have learned.  I pieced it with a lot of negative space to show the quilting.  It has pride of place in my lounge!
Chocolat et Creme



12 December 2012

FMQ - December

Oh boy, was I looking forward to this month's challenge by Patsy Thompson; and it did not disappoint!  I enjoy Patsy's website and have watched and learned so much from her video tutorials.  What an exciting world.

She taught us that the border zones of a quilt are special areas in that they act as frames for whatever is inside them.  What a lovely way to put it!  Multiple borders quilted in different designs and the way they will interact with each other will add a new richness to a quilt.  Here is an example of different border designs she so kindly gave us to download.  I love the look of those feathers - so different.


Here is my final December fmq done on my Challenge Quilt.  My entry falls under her number 3 of her challenge to us.  Unfortunately when I made this "challenge quilt" in January, I did not put enough thought into the fabric that I chose for the border as it's difficult to see the quilted design, but if you click on the photo it does enlarge it and is a little clearer.

Challenge Quilt 2012

Here is a close up of a corner but still not very clear.

Top right corner

Here is a shot of the back showing a little of the border where the feathers are clearer.

Back of quilt

Well, sadly this was the last of 12 months of wonderful tutorials on perfecting our free motion quilting skills.  A huge thank you to SewCalGal for your time and effort you have put into organizing  professional teachers who have kindly given of their time and expertise to share their knowledge of this exciting art.  My fmq skills have certainly surpassed my expectations and the confidence I have in myself to produce beautiful work (I'm still getting there), is beyond thanks!  And of course the many lovely "friends" I have made along the way.....hopefully we have all been an encouragement to each other.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a quiltfull 2013!