> ~ Insights by SewCalGal ~

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 2012 FMQ Challenge Tutorial, by Don Linn

I am happy to introduce Don Linn, as our April FMQ Expert, for the 2012 Free Motion Quilting challenge.

Don has been quilting for  15 years and teaching machine quilting and piecing for over 10 years.  In addition to quilting, he enjoys woodcarving, glass fusing, sandblasting glass, metal sculpture, Blacksmithing, pencil drawing, and most recently, experimenting with water color painting. 

He is an award-winning professional machine quilter, affectionately known by many as "Mr. Quilt", who lives with his wife in Redding, California.

He is also well known for his heirloom quilting.  And, he has professional quilted for others (e.g. Paula Nadelstern, Syaryn Craig, Sally Collins, Pat Collins, etc.). 

Don travels to Quilt Shows, Guilds, Stores and retreats  to teach a variety of classes from Deco Cathedral Quilts, Circles & Curves, Double Wedding Ring, Machine Quilting and many more topics too!  He also teaches machine quilting on a domestic sewing machine, as well as a longarm.

He has been a guest on the HGTV show "Simply Quilts", hosted by Alex Anderson. And, on The Quilt Show, episode #910, with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.


He is an author of three quilting  books:

"free-motion Machine Quilting",

Sophisticated Stitches

    I hope you also fall in love with Don Linn.  I know I have.  You may also want to let your local quilt guild and/or quilt shop know that you'd like to have him come to your area to teach a workshop.  Those that want to schedule such a fun opportunity, can contact Don directly.


    As you can see above, Don is very knowledge on Free-Motion Quilting and has an unique style, while also mastering many common FMQ designs.  His tutorial will share insights on creating stencils, along with insights to inspire you to create your own designs too. 

    A few supplies that you will need for this tutorial are:
    • wooden embroidery hoop (approximately 10" will be fine)
    • Fine mesh tulle fabric.  If you are working on light fabric you will need a white tulle.  If you are working on a dark fabric you'll need a black tulle.
    • Permanent marking pen (aka Sharpie). Black if you are working with light fabric and silver if you are working with dark fabric.
    • Fabric marking pens:  water eraseable blue marking pen or a fabric marking pen of your choice (e.g. Chalk pencil, frixion pen, etc).  Just be sure you can easily remove it by washing or heat set (as your fabric marking pen advises).  But a fine point marking pen works best.
    • Optional, reference book "Sophisticated Stitches" will help you with this exercise, as well as give you more design options, along with more ideas to create your own designs. 

    For those using Google Translate, to translate this post you can visit a post released prior to this post, for a text of Don's video that you can follow, in your respective language, while watching his video.

    This isn't an FMQ tutorial that you need to do any doodling on paper, but it is one where you are encouraged to also try creating your own designs using Don's technique for making stencils. 

    Don kindly provided a PDF of the design he used in this video.  You can click this link to download a copy, from Google docs.  There is a printer icon that you can click to print out a copy, or you can click the File then the Save button to save a copy of it to your desktop (and print later). 

    To clarify, the challenge this month is to use the technique to create a stencil and use it to mark your practice quilt sandwich where you will then use free-motion quilting to stitch along the marked lines.  For those doing the optional FMQ Sampler quilt, this design should be scaled to fit in one of the 8" blocks, or you can adapt this design to fit into one of the 8"x16" blocks, as you feel appropriate.  The arrows on this image do not need to be marked on the stencil, but are intended to help guide you in the direction to stitch, with minimal backtracking.

    This tutorial is for your personal use only, as part of this challenge.  It is not to be copied or shared with others, without approval of SewCalGal and Don Linn.

    While this challenge is focused on learning and/or improving our free-motion quilting skills, you also have the opportunity to win prizes.

    To be eligible to win a monthly prize, simply complete the current months' tutorial in the month it is released and get your entry submitted via the linky tool, at the bottom of this page, no later than April  30th. But do remember this challenge is more about learning and improving your FMQ skills, so don't rush thru the exercise just to enter. Take time to practice and embed this design to your muscle memory, before you enter. To clarify, DO NOT just add a link to your blog, but to your post that shows that you have completed this tutorial. You get one link, so keep practicing until you feel you are finished with this tutorial.

    For bloggers, please post your entry on your blog. To clarify, you can include as many photos of this tutorial exercise in your post, but you can only add one link to the linky tool below. You may also want to include insights in your post about your past FMQ experience and thoughts about this tutorial. Totally, optional, but you may also want to let everyone know that you have taken the Pledge and you did this exercise to enter the the challenge this month, where randomly selected winners will win a prize. You may inspire others to want to join this challenge too!

    Please be sure your post includes photos of your stencil and your quilted result.

    For non-Bloggers:
    1) You will need to have a Flickr account (www.flickr.com).
    2) Upload your photos for this month's challenge to Flickr, batch organize, send your photos to groups, select "2012 FMQ Challenge". While Flickr, limits the amount of text you can share in your description, feel free to share your perspective on this exercise and/or your past FMQ experience, if you wish.
    3) After your photos have successfully been loaded to the "2012 FMQ Challenge" group, click on your best photo in that group, ideally one that shows the stencil and how you quilted using that stencil. Copy the URL link to your particular photo entry. Add that link to the linky tool above, to officially enter this show.

    note: While there was a unique group for the January challenge, based on feedback a Flickr group has been created that will hold all your photos for the remaining monthly challenges, so you will not need to rejoin a group on Flickr every month.

    Three lucky winnesr swill be randomly selected and announced on the main page for this event the middle of May.  A monthly prize bundle will be provided with items donated by Aurifil, SewSlip, Sewline, and Quilters Touch.  Don Linn, has donated a copy of two of his book, where one lucky winner will receive a copy of "free-motion Machine Quilting" and another lucky winner will receive a copy of "Sophisticated Stitches".

    Remember only one link (entry) per person that has taken the pledge to learn and/or improve their Free Motion Quilting Skills, on a home sewing machine, in 2012. Dana (Stormy Days) has also written an excellent tutorial for using linkys, so please take time to read her tutorial if you are not familiar with linkys or have any questions about linkys, in general.
    Please read the rules above, before you enter by way of adding a link below.

    note:To officially be entered in the 2012 FMQ Challenge please take time to fill out the "Pledge Form" . Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out an easy way to get the email addresses collected in the Pledge Form to automatically load to my MailChimp mailing list, as originally planned. While I apologies, I do ask, if you want to receive email reminders when new FMQ tutorials are released each month, please also sign up via the special mailing list for this activity. And, don't forget that the page labeled "2012 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge" is the main page for the FMQ challenge and will be updated throughout the year, to provide a summary of current info and appropriate links.

    There are two "optional" groups that you may also want to join to network with others participating in this challenge:

    If you have not yet completed the previous tutorials:
    • The January tutorial, by Frances Moore, will be available for you to complete anytime.
    • The February tutorial, by Diane Gaudynski was originally planned to be pulled at the end of February, but Diane has approved that her tutorial be left on line for an extended period. To clarify, a date to remove Diane's tutorial has not yet been determined. But, if you have not yet had time to complete the February tutorial I want to encourage you to take time to take advantage of having her excellent tutorial being currently available.   
    • The March tutorial, by Ann Fahl was only available during the month of March. To clarify, this tutorial will be removed shortly, in keeping with the condition by this FMQ Expert. 
    • "Bonus" tutorials will be released, this summer, that will also be options for those needing to complete 12 FMQ tutorials anytime in 2012 to be eligible to enter to win a Grand Prize.

    Don't forget to visit Don's page: http://www.mrquilt.com/

    Don will also be introducing a new DVD on Free-Motion Quilting that will be available for purchase soon. It is not a requirement to purchase this DVD, to participate in this challenge.  SewCalGal will share more information as this DVD becomes available.  And, I'm sure you'll be able to find out more from Don's website too.


    Sew Create It - Jane said...

    That is a fabulous video and a technique I definitely want to try. Thanks so much for sharing Mr. Quilt!

    Bente-I like to QuiltBlog said...

    Thank to Don Linn, really a great tutorial!!!
    I´d know this tecnique.
    I think I´ll use it mostly when I have to add a stitchery motif to a dark fabric,
    and great for needleturn applique on dark fabrics too.
    Vielen Dank!
    Liebe Grüße
    Bente - Germany

    WoolenSails said...

    I love his decorative quilting designs, really beautiful work.
    I have a couple of quilts that i need to finish and quilt, so time to get going, even if I make a mess, lol.
    I will probably do basic stitches on those, nothing fancy.


    Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

    Beautiful design....I haven't seen Don's work; but then I am new to the FMQ ...so; I will be taking lots of looks. Thank you for this opportunity Don and Darlene. greatly appreciate it....you are really challenging me this time....lol

    mwhite said...

    Thank you Don and SewCalGal!!! I love this months challenge!! I cant wait to get to my sewing machine. To bad I need to clean the house this morning, bummer. But this afternoon, I am trying this! I love the way you can transfer the design so easily to blocks.

    Shirley in Canada said...

    Thank you, Don!!! Amazing video and so very clearly explained and shown! Thank you!

    Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

    Thank you both for your time -- the technique and instructions were perfect !!


    teachpany said...

    Excellent idea! It's a great way to transfer designs and change sizes. I'm looking forward to trying it. Thanks for your time, and also for the books as prizes. I'm going to look for them!

    Marika said...

    Köszönöm Don és SewCalGal! Nagyon tanulságos technika sokat segített a sablonok tervezése és átmásolásába .boldog varrást !

    Marika said...

    Thank you Don and SewCalGal! Technique is very instructive and helpful to copy the template design. Happy sewing!

    2ne said...

    Thank you Don - this is an new technique for me - and looking forward to try it out. Love your work.
    2ne - Norway :-)

    Christine Pollhaus said...

    Thank you Don!!! A really great tutorial and a - for me - quite new technique that I did not know yet. I will try this out and it just seems really logical and plausible to me.
    Without knowing what the upcoming April-session will show us, I ordered the "Sophistcated Stitches" book a few days ago and now can't wait to have it. I like to draw a lot and hope to find some nice designs on my own.
    Happy Quilting and greetings from Christine in Germany

    Luv2sew said...

    Wow!!! How come I didn't know about this sooner. Love this technique. Can't wait to try it out! Thank you so much Don!

    Luv2sew said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    cleomisty said...

    HI, I was told if you only learned one new thing a day in quilting you have a bonus.Today I got a bonus what a great tutorial Don Thankyou

    cleomisty said...

    HI, I was told if you only learned one new thing a day in quilting you have a bonus.Today I got a bonus what a great tutorial Don Thankyou

    Anonymous said...

    Genial. Thank you so much. I just tried it out and it works perfect.

    Anonymous said...

    I've always found copying/tracing template designs so tedious that I rarely do it, nor do I want a large collection of plastic templates. This looks like the perfect way to copy designs from any source and transfer to my quilt so easily! Perfect tutorial for right now, thanks!!!

    Norma said...

    What a wonderful technique! I have struggled with marking dark fabric for years. I can't wait to do the tutorial. Thank you Mr. Quilt!

    Ray and Jeanne said...

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This technique is fantastic! ~Jeanne

    KrisR said...

    Great idea and perfect for a project I wanted to get started on. Thanks Don!

    AnnieBikes said...

    Thank you! I did not have tulle, so used Golden Threads paper and traced the design. Then I quilted over it and tore off the paper! It worked great. I know I will use this technique. Thanks Don, for sharing with us.

    Sue Halter said...

    Thank you, Don. I enjoyed the process and even found some designs to make for myself! I so need practice staying on the lines, but all in all, I'm very pleased with my FMQing progress. Great lesson.

    Kathy S. said...

    Thanks, Don! I love what I learned this month in the FMQ Challenge. I especially love what happened to my FMQ sample quilt. It was harder to find my old hoop than it was to do the transfer.

    Raewyn said...

    Thanks for the turorial and sharing the technique Don. I will enjoy using this. Thanks also to SewCalGal for doing all this!!!

    Hannele said...

    This is a tool that was missing from my quilting tool belt - thank you so much for the detailed tutorial!

    quilter99755 said...

    I'm glad I learned this technique. Due to a trip to see a new grandson I didn't have time to do more than one design. I will save this in my design book so I can use it at a later date.

    OT Quilter said...

    I really liked this marking technique. I completed the lesson, blogged about it at Sisforstitch.blogspot.com, and completely forgot to add my link to the list! Oh, well.