Thursday, December 27, 2012

Free Motion Challenge - December and wrap up

This is the last month of the Free Motion Challenge over at Sew Cal Gal, and it was a challenge.  Not only did it involve my nemesis - feathers - but we also had to try to make them mirror images.  Whew!  It was tough, but I enjoyed it!  Patsy Thompson provided a really wonderful tutorial.

December Free Motion Front

And I must say that I think these are the best feathers I've made so far!

Dec. FMQ Close Up

We were supposed to pay extra attention to the "take off" points (in the center of my borders), and the "kissing zones" (the corners of my borders).  I feel like I did a better job of mirroring the images in the take off points than the kissing zones.  It probably had to do with the angle I was quilting.  I tried to experiment a bit with this, but those ended up being the corners that really got goofy.

December Free Motion back

Here is the obligatory back shot.

Patsy Thompson's tutorial is really great.  I even learned about a new product that I had never heard of before - flexible rulers.  And what do you know?  Some ended up in my stocking this year - amazing!  In this project, they were used to mark the spines and get a identical mirror image around the quilt.

And to wrap up the challenge, a mosaic of all 12 of my placemats.  I think I have really come a long way this year.  I can certainly see a big change, especially from the feathers in February to the ones now!

Free Motion Mosaic
1. Front March FMC, 2. Front of April FMC w/filler, 3. Front January FMC, 4. May FMQ front, 5. June free motion challenge, 6. July Free Motion Challenge (back), 7. August FMC - front, 8. September FMQ Challenge, 9. October FMQ Challenge, 10. November FMQ Challenge Front, 11. December Free Motion Front, 12. February Free Motion Challenge</

I learned so much during this challenge.  I think the biggest take away was just getting comfortable with free motion and my machine.  Practice really does make closer to perfect.  Some of the challenges, I practiced over and over again on paper, then practice sandwiches, then my final placemat.  Towards the end of the challenge, there was less of that - my brain was starting to figure it out.  Last month's spirals were completely on the fly because I have been doing spirals all year.

What fun!  I wonder what Sew Cal Gal has cooking for 2013!

Thanks for reading today,



  1. Wow, you've done a beautiful group of monthly samples! And your feathers are wonderful! I understand totally about the "kissing zone" - mine turned out more like a game of Keep-away, lol! Thanks for sharing all your samples for the year - great job!

  2. Those feathers look great! I have yet to really give FMQ a go, but all these posts are so inspiring.. I think I will have to make it a goal for 2013!

  3. You've made a very pretty little quilt. I like the way you have put in the center feather. It all looks great!

  4. Wow, Jen -- this is impressive. I love how you pieced your borders on the sample in different solids rather than just marking lines, because it's a much better approximation of the borders on a larger quilt, and your border quilting looks great. Plus, coming in with all 12 challenge pieces finished on time at the end of the year? That's something to really be proud of! I had to grant myself an extension into the new year because I'm 5 months behind, just got a new sewbaby that I haven't figured out how to thread yet (and sold the old one on eBay already!), and my husband has finally, FINALLY, after 7 LONG YEARS of my begging, gotten "in the mood" to help me with my sewing room, adding can lights and rebuilding my sewing cabinet and storage. I had to act quickly and get all my stuff out of the room before he changed his mind! ;-)


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