I have finished my first block on my FMQ Sampler quilt. The first challenge on Sew Cal Gal’s website was taught by Frances Moore. The pattern we practiced was leaves. As recommended by many free motion teachers, I spent a lot of time drawing leaves on paper trying to memorize just how to draw them with one continuous line. I have trouble with any meandering patterns. I always get myself into a corner with no way out. I suppose I just need more practice. My solution this time was to mark 2” blocks with chalk and make a design using the leaves that I could connect with each block. I like the tidy organized look of it and because it is a sampler I also added my name and the year. I was happy with my sample project and it gave me the confidence to move on to the quilt, but working on the larger quilt proved to be more difficult because of the weight pulling things away from where I wanted them to go. I was fighting the quilt a bit, so I bunched it up and adjusted the weight which helped me a lot. In the past I have set up another table behind my table to give me more quilting space. I am trying to think of a something I can do to make my table wider permanently without buying a new table…still working on that!
I signed up for this challenge because I really want to learn to quilt better and I hope that by practicing the exercises and getting more practice I will build up my confidence. Then I will be ready to finish off some tops that have been waiting a long time for me to get up the courage to quilt them.
It is such an amazing effort that this group of quilters are putting into this project that is spanning through this whole year to help people like me learn this skill. To be able to learn from so many teachers is such a privilege and all because of the internet. Another quilter that is putting great effort into teaching quilters like me is Leah Day. She has been putting together amazing short videos for quite a while now that are free for anyone to watch on her blog, The Free Motion Quilting Project . If you are wanting to learn this skill be sure to visit both of these websites and practice, practice, practice! Most of all enjoy the process and the great tool that the internet has made possible for so many great teachers to share in one place. To top it off they are giving away prizes to a few lucky participants each month and all you have to do is to pledge to give it a try and post your progress. I am not a total newbie to free motion quilting, but this is definitely going to help me get more practice as I learn new techniques.