Saturday, October 20, 2012

Freestyle Free Motion Quilting

12Oct20finish For the past few days, I’ve been working on October’s Free Motion Quilting Challenge at SewCalGal's. This month’s challenge was by Teri Lucas who had us do a rather complex freehand design. It was tough. Her challenge involved a lot of echo-ing, which I still haven’t gotten the hang of, and those little nautilus shells 12Oct20shells were a real puzzle! I did several practice runs and they all looked dismal. It didn’t help that my darn thread kept breaking. I picked up this spool of Coats and Clark all purpose thread, polyester covered polyester, on sale at Fabricland a month ago. Never had a problem with C&C before, but this stuff was awful. I changed my needle, I played with the tension. It got better, but it still kept breaking. When I did my final sample, I switched to Gutermann polyester (also from Fabricland, also on sale) and it didn’t break once.

12Oct20practice If nothing else, this year-long challenge is giving me more experience with types of thread in combination with styles of free motion quilting. But, believe it or not, my curves are getting better, I don’t get lost quite so much, and even if I haven’t come close to mastering them, my repertoire of FMQ designs has grown. Whether it’s a good idea or not, I approach FMQ-ing with much less hesitation than I ever did before starting SewCalGal’s Challenge. So, thank you Darlene for organizing this great challenge, and thank you Teri for making me work to get this month’s sample done.

Go here for Teri’s tutorial and scroll down to the bottom of the page for more lovely results of the October challenge.

Until next time,


  1. You are so much braver than I am! The mere thought of trying free-motion quilting gives me hives!

  2. Wendy, you did a great job and you are too hard on yourself. Everything stands out so much with high contrast thread. Your pebbles, your shells, your swirls -- any one of these motifs would look fantastic on a "real" quilt. You get so much better with each practice session -- just look back at your first challenge entry to see how far you've come. Your work is beautiful, and I only wish my own feathers would come out half as lovely as yours. Practice, practice, practice! :-)

  3. I love it Wendy. It looks fantastic. Bravo.. very well done.

  4. Your piece looks great - I especially love the cheerful bright colors of the fabric along with your thread colors - very nice.