> ~ Insights by SewCalGal ~

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recap - 2012 FMQ Challenge - May

First, I want to recognize and formally thank Leah Day , our May FMQ Expert for her wonderful tutorial

Leah shared many FMQ insights, along with two fun Foundational Designs.

Everyone had fun learning and/or improving their FMQ skills using Leah's tutorial.
She encouraged us to "Come into your sewing room turn on the machine every day, sit down and stitch something in free motion quilting".

At the point of writing this post, there are ~150 quilters that have completed this tutorial and entered to win a monthly prize.  (note: there are over 2,000 participants that have registered to complete this challenge, but only a small percentage are entering the monthly challenges).

 It is fun to look at all of they entries, as each of them are truly beautiful.  SewCalGal hopes everyone will be able to view all of the entries too!  There are also more photos, from those that have shared on our optional Facebook Group and/or the Flickr group.

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 Leah's tutorial very much!  And many participants are already applying Leah's insights, and designs shared in this tutorial to their projects.

On behalf of all the participants, SewCalGal and all of the participants want to extend a special thank you to Leah 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, about mid-June.

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 "bundle" 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.


sampler pack of 5 threads (12) which will be used in the monthly "bundle" prizes, every month.

Silk Stars Thread kit, with 12 spools of 40 wt threads, that was awarded to a winner in the January Challenge:

Aurifil Silk Stars Thread Collection-


SewSlip has donated 12 SewSlips, to be awarded to the winner of each monthly "bundle".
Revolving Sewslip images
Sewline: Trio Three Color Fabric Marking Pencils with an extra refill package to be given to winners of monthly prize bundles.
Sewline Products
Quilters TouchQuilters Touch has donated 12 bundles, each with a value of $27.95, which will be given to the winners of the monthly "prize bundles":
Machinge 1 (Medium)

  • Sew Precise Sew Fast Machine Binding DVD (retail $19.95),

note:  As machingers are sized for the winner, they will be shipped directly to the respective winners of the monthly prize bundles, from Quilters Touch.  The other part of the monthly prize bundle will be shipped to the monthly prize bundle winners from SewCalGal.
Electric Quilt winners' choice of Quiltmaker Quilting Designs software
from Volume 1-7.  This prize will be awarded during one of the monthly challenges, in a month where there will be two winners.

Quiltmaker Volume 7 software

The monthly Prize Bundle for this 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 May tutorial for more information. But all entries for this monthly challenge need to be submitted in May, so this is the last day you can enter to win one of three prizes to be randomly awarded to winners of the May Challenge.  To clarify, this is not a judged challenge.  Just simply complete the tutorial and follow the instructions to enter, that are posted on the respective tutorial.  

The main page for this challenge, which has a tab under the header of my blog labeled "Free-Motion Quilting Challenge", will be updated mid-June, to announce the winner of the May Challenge. 
Leah Day

Don't forget to visit Leah's blog.  Each Wednesday a Leah publishes a video lesson, and you have an opportunity to try out the ideas, then link up your progress on her blog.

Leah  has also introduced a new book "365 Free Motion Quilting Designs"   is now available as a digital ebook! This 252 page book features all 365 designs in new, awesome photos. Each design comes with the name and number so you can easily look up Leah's original tutorial here on the project.  SewCalGal highly recommends this new book as it is a great tool to have as you plan FMQ designs for your projects.


365 free motion quilting designs

Lastly, The June tuturial will be released on June 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. 


Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Good morning Darlene....this has been a wonderful challenge; each month. Leah's demo was fantastic as she always is. A huge thank you to you; Darlene and to Leah for the hours of hard work you put into this for all of us.

Ramona said...

Thank you so much for hosting this challenge. It has been a fun learning experience.
I would like to know how you would like us to document participation in all twelve months if we have missed an entry in a particular month??
It took me a couple months to realize there were multiple Flickr groups by month. And obviously we aren't able to add a link after deadline.
Thanks for your help!

sherry said...

good morning
thank you for hosting this challenge...i have enjoyed it...going to start putting my practice squares together today...making a small quilt...thank you once again...learning lots

Anonymous said...

This was a fun tutorial, which made me relax and not feel like it needed to be perfect every single time. Thank you Leah!

Unknown said...

Darlene your recap is great. Takes a lot of time to put these pages together. Thanks for all you do.
I love Leah Day. Her talent is awesome. So happy she shared this tutorial with us.

LindaB said...

Thanks so much for hosting this challenge Darlene. It's helped me to keep up a regular practice and my free motion stitching is definitely improving!
Thanks to Leah for the May tutorial. I have used lots of your designs and have a net book next to my sewing machine, so I can watch the video and then practice.
I'll be buying your 365 days book for certain!

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

I have to add a Big Thank you to you for hosting this challenge. We all appreciate the huge amount of work that you have been and will be putting into this! Although I am falling a bit behind on the monthly work, I will finish all of them. In fact I am picking up useful tips by reading through and watching the videos. Thank you!

Quilting Babcia said...

Thanks Darlene for hosting this challenge. Your recap format is great! And, thanks to Leah for our tutorial this month - a fun and easy overall pattern that I'm sure will appear on many little boys' train quilts before long! So happy to hear you're publishing your 365 FMQ designs in book (print) format too. Looking forward to this one!

Cynthia Stockdon said...

Great post! Thank you for hosting this challenge. I love having an assignment and a due date- it helps me to get to work and improve my skills.

teachpany said...

Leah, thanks so much for posting your info and the challenge designs. It's fun to learn how everyone has opinions about different things. SewCal Gal, thanks again for coordinating another great lesson! I really do hope you have had time to practice, as well!