> ~ Insights by SewCalGal ~

Saturday, March 31, 2012

FMQ Challenge Recap - March 2012

First, I want to recognize and formally thank Ann Fahl, our March FMQ Expert for her wonderful tutorial

Ann shared insights with us on the basics of FMQ (feet, thread, needles, marking, batting, notebook ideas, etc.).  She also shared insights about the machine quilting process (hand positions, blocking/basting, tips for practicing and for challenging yourself).  She also shared insights on FMQ designs that work for overall quilting and fillers of detailed FMQ designs.

To help express appreciation to Ann, I am taking the liberty to share a few comments and observations that I've seen this month, from the participants in this challenge:

Everyone had fun learning and/or improving their FMQ skills using Ann's tutorial.

Anne Powell Cowan shared on Facebook "I actually think that I am getting a little better with the free motion tutorials!! I have done several quilts this month and have enjoyed using the designs shared with us."

Tina Gilley shared on her blog (Quilting for Enjoyment) photos of her practice sandwiches with the March tutorial, as well as how she applied some of these designs to make a beautiful quilted tote.

Quilters of all levels, from all over the world, are participating in this challenge.  While some have experience doing FMQ, many are quite new.  But, we all enjoyed Ann's tutorial very much! 

Per Ann's request, her March tutorial will be removed shortly from the original tutorial post.  It was her intent to provide the free tutorial to those participating in this challenge, for the designated month only.  And, we all appreciate her sharing her insights with us, through this tutorial.

On behalf of all the participants, I want to extend a special thank you to Ann for providing us such a wonderful tutorial and inspiring us to learn and improve our free-motion quilting skills. 


There are over 2,000 quilters that have taken the Pledge to complete all 12 tutorials in 2012, which is a requirement to win a Grand Prize. And, there are many more quilters that are participating, but have acknowledged their schedule won't allow them to complete all 12 tutorials. At the time of writing this post, there are 175+ quilters that complete the March tutorial and took time to enter it in the monthly challenge, to win a Monthly prize.  To clarify, everyone that completes the tutorial and enters via the link is automatically entered to win a monthly prize.  The winner will randomly be selected and announced on the main page for this challenge, early April.

The objective of the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge is to encourage quilters to learn and improve their FMQ skills, as well as gain more awareness to various FMQ Experts, opportunities to learn, tools that are helpful for those doing FMQ, all on a home sewing machine. While the focus is on learning, and SewCalGal does not want the focus to become all about winning prizes, I'm also delighted that many generous sponsors have donated wonderful Grand Prizes and Monthly prizes, that will be awarded to participants randomly. It doesn't matter how good you are at FMQ, what matters is you take time to learn and improve.

Details on how to win a monthly prize will always be shared in the same post for the monthly tutorial. Details on how to win a Grand Prize will be shared later this year, but hte basic rule will be that you will need to complete all 12 FMQ tutorials "anytime" in 2012 to be eligible to win a Grand Prize.

SewCalGal is proud to recognize our
for this challenge.


Sponsor(s) Prize(s)
The Fat Quarter Shop
Six prizes for Grand Prize Winners:
1 - $250 GC
1 - $150 GC
1 - $100 GC
3 - $50 GCs
logo One lucky winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to The Stencil Company where they can pick out their favorite continuous line stencil designs that are perfect for quilting
Dream World
One lucky winner will receive a Pieceful Holiday Quilting Package, which includes:
a Steady portable tables, a Travel/Storage Bag, Sew Straight Guide, Spinner Tray and Polish Kit
Pieceful Quilting Holiday Package w/ Drawer Tray
estimated value: $149.99
The Electric Quilt Company One lucky winner will receive a copy of EQ7

Retail price: $189.95
June Tailor A bundle of June Tailor products, perfect for free motion quilting, with an estimated value over $100
A bundle of books, perfect for those interested in free motion quilting, with an estimated value over $100

SewCalGal is proud to recognize our
for this challenge.

Sponsor(s) Prize(s)

sampler pack of 5 threads (12)

Silk Stars Thread kit, with 12 spools of 40 wt threads:

Aurifil Silk Stars Thread Collection-


SewSlip has donated 12 SewSlips!
Revolving Sewslip images
Sewline: Trio Three Color Fabric Marking Pencils with an extra refill package.
Sewline Products
Quilters Touch Quilters Touch has donated 12 bundles, each with a value of $27.95:
Machinge 1 (Medium)

  • Sew Precise Sew Fast Machine Binding DVD (retail $19.95),
Electric Quilt winners' choice of Quiltmaker Quilting Designs software
from Volume 1-7

Quiltmaker Volume 7 software

The Prize Bundle for this Monthly Challenge includes:
  • a sampler pack of 5 Aurifil threads, donated by Aurifil.
  • a SewSlip, donated by SewSlip
Revolving Sewslip images

Quilters Touch has donated a pair of  Machingers quilting gloves value $8 each
Machinge 1 (Medium)

And, Quilters Touch donated a Sew Precise Sew Fast Machine Binding DVD (retail $19.95),

Sewline has donated a Trio Three Color Fabric Marking Pencils, with an extra refill package.
Sewline Products
There is still time to enter to win a prize, simply visit the March tutorial for more information. But all entries for this monthly challenge need to be submitted in March, so this is the last day you can enter to win a monthly prize. This post will be updated by mid-April, to announce the March winner. And, an email will also be sent to the winner.

The April tuturial will be released on April lst. An email announcement, with additional information, will also be sent to those that signed up for optional emails for this event. If you didn't sign up for such emails and are interested, click here to sign up.

Don't forget that you can find Ann Fahl at:
blog: http://annfahl.blogspot.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1537707467

You may also want to let your Quilt Guild and/or local Quilt Shop know that you'd like to have Ann Fahl come give a presentation and/or workshop.  They can contact Ann directly to schedule a program on free-motion quilting, applique', or one of Ann's many specialty programs.


Debi R said...

Thank you, Ann!

teachpany said...

Thank you, Ann. I really appreciated the information you provided, and enjoy seeing your work. Thanks for your time!

Heather Vitella said...

Thank you Ann! My quilting improved dramatically under your tutelage. I appreciate all you shared with us, especially the push to freehand the patterns you shared!


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial. I've spent a lot of time studying how you integrate the many designs into your quilt backgrounds, and this has been so valuable in learning to go from one set design to improvisational - something my linear brain has a hard time wrapping itself around! Thank you!
Pat in OR

Ray and Jeanne said...

Thank you Ann! I thoroughly enjoyed your tutorial. It continues to be a great help to me as I learn FMQ. ~Jeanne

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Ann! You gave us some good filler stitching (as well as info to get to the stitching itself) and encouraged us to try doing other variations as our comfort level grew. It was wonderful!

Sally King said...

Ann your tutorial gave me the courage to just go for it. Thanks so much for sharing your great talent with us.

Cookie said...

Thank you so much for a great tutorial. I enjoyed it very much!

sao said...

Thank you, Ann - I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about FMQ!

sao in Midlothian, VA

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Thank you Ann for sharing your expertise and tutorial with us in our FMQ'ing Challenge. I actually got the rhythm with these exercises more so than the feathers - maybe they will come improved now.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Thank you so much Ann....I have learned so much from your tutorial. Seriously, each month has been great. I am understanding and getting more comfortable each time I sit down to it. But this month's was more relaxing than the feathers...but I must say; they are getting a little better too....So; I appreciate it immensely....

Unknown said...

Thanks very much for your tutorial, and for challenging us to use our creativity!

Unknown said...

Thanks very much for challenging us to use our own creativity Anne!

Josie McRazie said...

oh, I just realized it is the last day of the montha and I have to get my pics up! I have been doodling all month! But i think my doodles are better than what turned out in my stitchin! well try again I will! :)

Dana Gaffney said...

Oh I agree, thank you so much Ann, to me your tutorial was all about be free and do what you like, just not stippling ;)

Mare said...

Thank you so much Ann for your March challenge and for all the information you provided which was so helpful. It's making FMQ more fun for me.

Anne C said...

Ann, Your information on needles and threads was very helpful. The encouragement to JUST DO IT was great! You have really got me doing some designs on fabric, not just on paper. THANK YOU!

Linda said...

Thanks so much Ann for the wonderful tutorial. I appreciate it very much.

Karen said...

Thanks Ann & SewCalGal -- I loved the tutorial -- and the encouraging posts !


Joan said...

Thank you so much Ann and SewCalGal - its been another great month, and much has been learned. You have been greatly appreciated.

MARIKA said...

Thanks to Ann & SewCalGal very useful and instructive information. I look forward eagerly following presentation

M and M plus 3 said...

Thank you for organizing this SewCalGal and for sharing your knowledge Miss Ann. Your instruction has pushed me to try something new and out of my comfort zone.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for teaching us Ann! For me personally the most beneficial advice was when you told us to look at your quilts and see what we liked or didn't like. Not that I found anything that I didn't like, but it opened my eyes to the diversity and beauty of mixing different elements together the way you do! The thought had simply never occurred to me before. Thank you again for taking the time to teach us!!

Cathy Swiss

thimble said...

Thank you for your tutorial, unfortunately I didn't complete my March project until today so can't post it on the thread..... BUT.... it is done (couldn't be a drop out after only 2 months!!!) :-) .... and have watched the video for April..... is there a way to post our project into the March area... knowing that it doesn't "qualify" as such....but just to let us post the picture to show we have completed?

SewCal Gal said...

Thimble, your settings are as a no reply blogger, so I can't email you a reply.

While the linky is closed, if you are a blogger, late entries can still be blogged about if any blogger wishes to do so. For non-bloggers, they can certainly still upload their photo(s) to the Flickr group, they just can't add back to a link.

If you are on the optional email, I believe this was addressed. But, I'll probably cover it in next months email, as it does come up periodically as a question. Even if you didn't enter it in the monthly challenge, it will count for you to enter to win a Grand Prize. You just need to keep track of your photos/practice sandwiches as to enter to win a grand prize you'll need to show evidence that you completed any 12 of the FMQ tutorials (e.g. by experts and/or bonus FMQ tutorials).

thimble said...

Thanks so much for your reply! Yes I did upload it to the March flickr group already. I don't have a blog.