> ~ Insights by SewCalGal ~

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

FMQ Challenge Recap - February 2012

First, I want to recognize and formally thank Diane Gaudynski, our February FMQ expert for her wonderful tutorial, as well as all the insights she shared on her blog, to provide supplemental information and inspiration. Of course, I always enjoy her blog, but it was greatly appreciated to have her so active in support of her tutorial this month.

Diane showed us how to create beautiful feathers, outlined in a lovely echo stitch.

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

Quilters of all levels are participating in this challenge.  For many they are quite new to FMQ and this was the first time to stitch feathers for many, whereas others may have experience with feathers, but learned an new feather style.  Everyone that practiced created beautiful feathers.

Many turned their practice sandwiches and turned them into various quilted projects.

While this tutorial was certainly challenging to many, it was fun to see the results and hear feedback on how happy quilters were with what they were learning, even though many initally thought it might be impossible for them to quilt a feather. 

On behalf of all the participants, I want to extend a special thank you to Diane 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 200+ quilters that complete the January 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 March.

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.
IF you are interested in being a Grand Prize sponsor, please email SewCalGal for more info.

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 February tutorial for more information. But all entries for this monthly challenge need to be submitted in February, so this is the last day you can enter to win a monthly prize. This post will be updated later this week, to announce the February winner. And, an email will also be sent to the winner.

The February tuturial will be released on February 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 Diane's February tutorial will be available for a limited time.  SewCalGal encourages everyone to continue to practice with this excellent tutorial, to be able to apply it to your quilting projects.    And, don't forget to follow Diane's blog, as she always shares great tips & inspiration.  I also highly recommend Diane's two books, published by AQS. 
My BooksBook #1
I also want to share that "Guide to Machine Quilting" will soon be out of print, plus the price on Amazon is absolutely amazing.  This is a must have book for anyone that wants to master a variety of spectacular FMQ designs.  "Quilt Savvy" is another excellent book for those serious about learning FMQ and Amazon has an amazing price. 

Don't forget that you can find Diane Gaudynski at:
blog: http://dianegaudynski.blogspot.com/


Editfolt said...

Thank you, that I have chosen my picture too! I like it. I love FMQ challenge.

Josie McRazie said...

I have had a great time feathering! Even if they often look like butterflies on crack! LOL! I think I am getting better! I can't wait to see what March will bring!!

Maria said...

Thank you for this great feather tutorial, I really enjoyed it. I bought the "Guide of Machine Quilting" on Amazon Germany, lets not talk about the price!! and now I am waiting for tomorrow and my new book. Love this challenge :)

Diane Gaudynski said...

SewCalGal, You are all so welcome! I have had a terrific time watching the results come in, and being thrilled and amazed by them. Thanks so much to everyone for participating and giving it your best; it has been such a pleasure for me to be part of this project. Hope all of you continue to succeed each month so you gain all sorts of different skills and inspirations. Congratulations everyone, and keep quilting! Your work gets better every day....

mwhite said...

Thank you so much SewCalGal for this challenge. It has inspired me to get busy and try fmq. I am starting late but am determined to finish this challenge and become a better quilter by the end of the year, and have fun doing so. I am having lots of fun so far.

Rhonda said...

I loved this tutorial. But I can see that I need a lot, lot, more practice.

Doreen said...

Thanks so much for "setting the challenge" before us! Over the years I have done a feeble attempt, or two, at feathers but with the information that you have brought together I (along with many others) am so very encouraged! My technique may be very different than others but there are certain common tips that can be applied so that the final design is better than the last attempt! May we all encourage one another! Hugs, Doreen

Jacquelin said...

Realmente el de febrero ha sido un gran tutorial, nunca había probado unas plumas y realmente creo que mis adelantos en el acolchado han mejorado mucho. Si en dos meses que llevamos he podido adelantar todo lo que he hecho ¿hasta dónde podremos llegar a lo largo del año? Gracias por organizar este FMQ y gracias a Frances y a Diane. Estoy impaciente por ver qué nos depara Marzo. Un gran abrazo. Jacqueline B.

Carrie P. said...

I had fun trying to make feathers this past month. What great feather projects you shared from other quilters.

MalinisQuilts said...

Feathers were really fun to do. They do take lot of patients to quilt, but the rewards of looking at it priceless. Thank you SewCalGal for giving us this opportunity to learn.
Thank you @Diane for teaching novice quilter like me to quilt beautiful feathers.

Norma said...

I really enjoyed this tutorial and challenge. I have been a fan of Diane's work for many years. I think my computers just know her web site by heart, I have been on it so often. Her work inspires me and I can only hope to become so talented a quilter. Thank you Sewcalgal and Diane for brighting up a dull February.

In stitches and seams said...

thanks Diane for the great tut. I have caught you on Simply quilts a few years back and thought your work was great... such a treat to have you share with us.You give set the bar a little higher for our own quilting.