Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Quilt Along #45 - My FMQ year

This is the last Quilt Along for the year. To start off with, a huge 'Thank you' to Leah from Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesday for organizing and running this weekly Quilt Along. It has been amazing.

Last year actually around this time, I decided that I wanted to concentrate on FMQ for the coming year. This arose out of  a realization that I needed to get a bit more serious about FMQ if I wanted to expand my skill levels. Up to then, I would produce quilt after quilt and every time it came to the quilting I felt I was starting all over again in terms of FMQ...this invariably meant that I would return to the same designs because I felt more comfortable doing them. At one of the quilt shows that year I was again admiring some FMQ and realized it was time I do something about this. While not overly confident, I was sure that this was something that could be learned with time.

These were the two designs that I would normally do on my quilts, some basic stippling and my trusted leaf design.

I went on Leah's blog to look at some designs to pick for some practice when I saw Leah talking about the Quilt Along. I initially hesitated when I realized I probably would need to set up a blog...but then thought 'what the heck'...this also became an adventure, but that is another story.

My FMQ year

We have done some amazing work over the year...I looked back over the posts recently and realized how extensive this was. Initially we did some basic FMQ...lines, in-the-ditch stitching, stippling. Then came the little Wholecloth...I remember taking one look, thinking 'I cannot do that'. Well, it turned out stunning! After that we did several different designs, and I discovered I was born to zipple. I could actually zipple myself out of the tightest spot and fill any space pretty consistent.

I think by then I had produced what I called my 'practice quilt'. Just squares with some sashings in between with a simple border. This was invaluable as it meant that I could just pull it out from week to week and practice the designs on there...a huge time saver. Lots of practice of stitching in-the-ditch and backtracking and most of all, practice in not being perfect. Also discovered that I really do better with fairly contrasting thread rather than the blend-in variety. And who would have thought but I started to use Polyester batting and Polyester thread and ...nothing happened!

The Wonky Block quilt...what an adventure. Never had FMQ an entire quilt before.

I have learned so much this year. I think what has stood out most for me is that I am now:

- not afraid to FMQ in-the-ditch...simply had to get over that
- can backtrack over my stitching in an orderly fashion (more or less)
- not so reluctant to try new and different designs (have a look at my recent post So Inspired)
- able to just sit down and usually FMQ without any major tension or thread issues (and if there are, I am not so clueless)
- able to produce some fairly consistent stitches and seem to know what speed I need to use with different designs, and

I am totally addicted to FMQ!

Practice certainly is the key to FMQ and the Quilt Along has helped in pushing me along. Along the way I have enjoyed the company of other quilters participating in the Quilt Along. Lots of interesting questions and lots of great stitching by everyone and very kind comments all along. I have enjoyed this Quilt Along and am looking forward to the new year.  Definitely will keep up the FMQ.

Until next time



  1. You've done some beautiful work over the past year! You've accomplished so much! Congratulations!

    1. Thank you Rosemary...hopefully I can keep it up. Feel a bit all over the place at the moment and in need of some planning for the coming year.

  2. Great recap, Karin. You've come a long way from being able to do two designs. I'm looking forward to sharing the journey with you in 2013.

    1. Thank you Gwyned...Yes, I am absolutely amazed at how the Quilt Along has helped me develop. I am looking forward to the New Year...just have to decide what to tackle first, at the moment I have got too many ideas.

  3. The modern quilt project was so much fun! You've done nice work and I love your color choices. Let's keep creating in 2013!
    Pamelyn of

    1. Thanks..yes, am in the process of planning what to do first. As usual, I have too many things going at once.

  4. Beautiful work Karin! Your starting FMQ designs look great too.
    Yes, its been an amazing year for all of us. You have done an awesome job. Its been fun knowing you through the blog.

    Happy New Year!


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