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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!


  1. I think it looks great! It looks like you had fun with your doodles, both with ink and thread. I missed out on Doodles 101 in my life, so envy those of you who took the course! I may come back here for ideas! Love them.

    1. I do love doodling. I actually hadn't doodled in years - not since my kids were born, I think. (The oldest is 31.) I had pretty much forgotten how! lol
      It took me a long time to think of designs, but it's getting easier with practice.

  2. Wow! I am impressed. What color thread? Is it black? I have a horrible time with really dark thread showing up smoothly. The stitches always look a big ragged. Yours look great! Love your compositions

    1. Thank you! It is black, a regular Guterman 50 weight. The stitches do look a bit ragged to me, but sometimes when I go back over them (traveling or for emphasis) they appear to even out a bit, at least from a distance. I'm working on making the lines smoother. I think we are often our own worst critics.