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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June's FMQ Challenge

Yes, I'm actually posting this month's Sew Cal Gal challenge before the end of the month! I have a really busy month or three coming up, and so I'm working hard to get everything in.

This month's expert is Cindy Needham. Cindy does beautiful whole cloth quilts from old, hand worked linens. I was lucky enough to attend her Open Thread Bar when she visited my guild last year. I had been periodically reading her blog, and it was there I first heard of this challenge. As a new machine quilter, it seemed to be just what I needed, so I signed up. I'm so glad I did!

Cindy's challenge had us draw a random squiggle pattern on our quilt sandwich and then fill in each resulting section with a filler of some type - repeating lines, circles, feathers, etc. For me, this was the most fun challenge to date. Somehow the smaller sections seemed less daunting than one big, open chunk of fabric. I would fill one section, stop, think about what to do next and where to do it, then quilt another. I liked trying to think of new ways to combine the options.

Actually, I started out drawing on paper, as I always do when there's a new pattern to learn. I was very happy with the drawings. Here are a few:

After doing a number of these (each of which took me more than an hour to draw - I had to think a lot) I finally worked up the courage to go to the fabric. I made some marks and then filled them in. This is the result:
Not quite as smooth as my drawings, but I was pretty happy with the results. I feel that the practice is starting to pay off. I'm still not quite where I want to be, but I'm definitely improving!