Monday, December 31, 2012

Sew Cal Gal's FMQ Challenge Year End Review!

Sew Cal Gal's Free Motion Quilting 2012 Challenge has been a blast. I have looked forward to working on each and every FMQ project. I have learned many new techniques and my confidence has dramatically improved. So here is a look back at the 2012 challenges.

January 2012 - Heart Leaves tutorial by Frances Moore
(Click here for January's post)
This motif actually got stitched into two quilts this year. And I'm happy to report that both are completed.
Sea Glass Quilt
Sea Glass quilt

Hip To Be Square quilt (free motion sampler)

February 2012 - Echo Feather Plume tutorial by Diane Gaudynski
(Click here for February's post)
I love stitching feathers, especially free form. So for this month I stitched up a pair of potholders.

I actually use these potholders daily. I think it maybe time for some new ones!

March 2012 - Doodled Designs tutorial by Ann Fahl
(Click here for March's post)
By March, I was feeling much bolder and willing to try new things. So I doodled (one of my favorite pastimes) and came up with this little heart design.
Original doodle

Doodle stitching

Doodle stitching gone wild

Finished piece painted with Lumiere paint.

April 2012 - Motif Transfer Technique tutorial by Don Linn
(Click here for April's post)
This was the most awesome technique to transfer designs onto a quilt. I have used this technique repeatedly over the year. For the challenge, I transferred a bird, which was eventually turned into a cool little throw pillow.
Don Linn Transfer Method
Bird in flight

Front and back of the pillow
Same design stitched into my Expanding Possibilities quilt.

May 2012 - Train Tracks tutorial by Leah Day
(Click here for May's post)
As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Leah Day and participate in her weekly QAL Wednesdays. So it was wonderful to stitch out train tracks for my may challenge. For this challenge, I also incorporated Don Linn's transfer method for the train and micro-zippling from Leah Day's QAL.

A pillow for my Grandson's 4th Birthday.

June 2012 - Divide and Conquer tutorial by Cindy Needham
(Click here for June's post)
By June, I was having some fun now and had the chance to remember my childhood with a little flower power. Cindy's tutorial had us divide up the space and use different fills. Lots of fun.
Flower Power





Finished as a small wall hanging.

July 2012 - Tiles tutorial by Angela Walters
(Click here for July's post)
July was a step backwards for me. I purchase a new machine, a Pfaff QE 4.0. I do like this machine, but it has been a challenge getting it to stitch well all of the time. Of course, I thought I should be able to just stitch out this design, right into a quilt. Well.... maybe eventually.
First attempt with the new machine

This was the back

I did finally get the design stitched out and the quilt finished. This quilt was donated to the Ogden House in Alabama

August 2012 - Jester's Hat tutorial by Wendy Sheppard
(Click here for August's post)
This is a great quilting motif, but I will have to say I had to draw this design over and over again until I could naturally go from one "hat" to the next. Just a little muscle memory challenge.
The trick with this design was figuring out how to turn the design and go different directions. Pivot on the swirl.

Jester's hat was stitched into my Wonky/Improv quilt.

September 2012 - Fancy Feather tutorial by Paula Reid
(Click here for September's post)
By September I was feel confident again and decided to do a little changing up of the design.

October 2012 - Playing with Threads tutorial by Teri Lucas
(Click here for October's post)
I love thread almost as much as I love fabric. The more I quilt, the more thread types I want to experiment with. So this was a fun month to play!

All the different threads I used.

November 2012 - Spiral Variations tutorial by Sarah Vedeler
(Click here for November's post) 
I do love me some spirals. It was the perfect motif to stitch into the sides of my Expanding Possibilities quilt.

December 2012 - FMQ Borders tutorial by Patsy Thompson
(Click here for December's post) 
Don't we all love border fills. This month's tutorial didn't disappoint, it even inspired a quilt design, my Koi Pond quilt (I can't wait to start quilting all those borders). So I decided, for the sake of time, to create a pond pillow top with lots of FMQ borders.

I would be remiss if I didn't give some serious thank you's to Sew Cal Gal and her fabulous sponsors and a huge thank you to all of the FMQ experts that took the time to create these great tutorials.


I'm linking up for my final time to Sew Cal Gal's 2012 FMQ Grand Prize Challenge!

Color Me Quilty!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sew Cal Gal FMQ Challenge for December

I have had so much fun this year with Sew Cal Gal's FMQ challenge. December is no exception. Patsy Thompson gave a great tutorial on borders and feathers. As a matter of fact, it was all those borders that were the inspiration for my latest quilt, Koi Pond. I didn't have time to quilt that quilt, so I decided to make a coordinating pillow to use as my assignment this month.
Pond Pillow

I really love the bright colors and the stitching just seems to set it all off. I've done feathers before, but never like these. I love how they fill the whole border. I used three different threads. Orange Isacord for the center, a varigated green King Tut for the spirals and feathers and a orangy-red polyester for the outer border.

The fabric on the back isn't really pretty. It was just some fabric I had in my stash, since it will be on the inside of the pillow. Thank you Patsy Thompson for a great tutorial.

I'm linking up with Sew Cal Gal for December's FMQ Challenge.

Color Me Quilty!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Koi Pond Quilt Top

Well, I've been a bit under the weather the last few days with the flu, yesterday I decided I felt good enough to quilt. I decided to work on something completely new and different. I didn't have a complete plan for this quilt, just and idea swimming in my head. So I just went for it and had fun.

 These aren't the greatest pictures, but it's a fairly large (approx. 58" x 78") quilt to put up on my design wall. I had so much fun just attaching borders with abandon and adding in little areas of bling.  I have some fun ideas for the navy center, which I'm sure you can guest from my title. I'm going to try to machine embroider koi as part of the quilting. I know you can do it, the question is can "I" do it. Hmm, we shall see.
Since I finished this quilt top today, I think I will link up to TGIFF at Sparrow In Flight and Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya Quilts. 

Color Me Quilty!