Saturday, December 29, 2012

December FMQ Challenge and a Recap

I can't believe I really did it. I almost dropped out more than once, but as the year comes to a close I can say I completed each of the monthly challenges of the SewCalGal FMQ Challenge. Each month I would read the new challenge and sometimes my immediate thought would be, "I can't do that." But I stayed with it--I tried it all, and I am so glad I did. I am anything but a pro, however this challenge has moved me out of the rank of beginner.
I need to start this out with my December project.
Our FMQ expert this month has been Patsy Thompson. I had already acquired some of her DVDs earlier this year, and had downloaded all of her free designs from her website, so I was familiar with her. The focus of her challenge was working with border designs. I need help with borders, so this was right up my alley. But when I saw that we would need to do feathers, I shuddered. I had told myself that in 2013 I was going to focus on improving my feathers, but here it was facing me down in December. Well, I had made it this far. I wasn't going to quit now!

I downloaded the worksheets and did lots of drawing.


Filled a few scraps with practice designs.
Gave a little extra practice to the feathers.

Then went to work on this.  It is not a work of art, but I have to say,
the feathers turned out better than I had dared hope. This was my
first attempt at the "bump-bump" feather. I didn't think I would like
doing it, but I believe I could get to the point that I could use this.































Okay, here is the obligatory recap of the year.
January
February

June
July
March
April
Blogger loaded these photos so randomly. I couldn't get them in order to save me, but at least they are all here.
I learned many new things from this challenge, including the making of your own stencils, different feather styles, and new filler designs.




May
I have learned the "stuff and fluff" technique of  quilting. I have become aware of many quilting tools that were not familiar to me before. I have quilted 2 crib quilts, 2 twin size quilts, and a queen size, along with several table runners and minis. Though I had dipped my toe into the FMQ pond a couple of months before the challenge began, I was so limited in my skills and had no confidence in my ability to become a machine quilter. This challenge has jerked me out of my comfort zone and kept me moving away from it the whole year. Interestingly enough, I find that many of those "uncomfortable" things have actually become fun. I no longer fear free motion quilting. There are many designs I actually enjoy. And you know what? Those feathers weren't so bad this time around!


August
October

November
December
September
There you have it, folks, my SewCalGal FMQ Challenge 2012 results. My sincere thanks go to SewCalGal and all of the experts who have given so freely of their knowledge and time this year.
Until next time,
Janet O.

p.s. I couldn't resist coming back and adding this picture from a post over a year ago. In October of 2011 (fourteen months ago) I took my first class in FMQ and this is my earliest effort from that day. Remember this--and how you were my new best friend if you could see a pumpkin anywhere on it? How well I remember feeling like the class klutz. I share this thinking it might give another beginner some hope. : )








39 comments:

  1. Janet. The FMQ is amazing. Great job on the samples. I loved seeing your attempts. Very inspirational

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  2. good for you! I hope to do the same thing next year.
    I really want to improve my machine quilting skills
    Kathie

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  3. Absolutely fabulous feathers, Janet. I know exactly what you mean about being pushed and falling in love with this aspect of our craft. How cool to look back and see those first efforts and how much you/we have learnt. Here's to many happy hours fmq-ing in 2013!!

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  4. You did an amazing job Janet! Clapping, clapping for you!

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  5. Good job. I'm glad I kept some old samples so I can tell how far I've come too.

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  6. You have come a very long way in your skills! This month's piece is fabulous....your feathers look so wonderful. A year of practice and devotion to mastering and improving have really paid off. So glad you stuck with it. Congrats!!

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  7. Beautiful!!! You are really the main reason that I even considered FMQ - so thank you! I hope to be half as good as you some day! If you know of another FMQ challenge going on in blogland, let me know! I think I'm ready to try it!!

    Blessings Dear Friend!

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  8. Wow! Your progress is amazing! You are doing so well - I can't wait to see what you do over the next 12 months.

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  9. All I can say is, "WOW!" Well, I guess I can say more than that. Hee Hee! I wish I could say I finished all 12 months, but I can identify with what you said about getting out of our comfort zone. I feel so much more confident and like you, find that it is actually fun!!! You did great on your last month's challenge - all of them, actually. I'm so glad that I did at least the 10 months and plan to keep on trying to improve. Thanks for your recap too.

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  10. Holy cow, Janet! Your December piece is awesome! And I love that you showed your pumpkin piece.....I remember that, and thought you were on your way.....but who could have thought you'd be so amazing in just a year! WOW! You are no longer the class klutz......but the Star Student! Well done!

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  11. What an exciting year of machine quilting!!!! Woot! woot!!

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  12. You've come a long way, baby! Good job on the Feathers. I personally LOVE doing feathers. it's the all over part that I can't get quite right about my free-motion quilting. So much space to fill. The borders give a boundary. Looking forward to 2013 and many more quilts DONE!

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  13. you have come so far...you should be proud of yourself

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  14. Wow - your recap says it all! You are a natural at FMQ, your pieces, even the earliest ones are wonderful! Feathers, echoes, jesters hats, tiles, headbands, you do them all so beautifully and with such a natural movement. Your designs literally flow into each other. What a wonderful year of learning we've had!

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  15. Ahhh-mazing! I am really impressed on several levels --- from your actual finished work to your dedication and perseverance and everything in between. Can't wait to see what you crank out in 2013!

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  16. We all start as beginners, your post is fabulous as it shows how Practice, practice, practice pays off, great job! Happy New Years!

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  17. Great job, Janet!!! :) Happy New Year!

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  18. The improvement in your quilting is amazing and your feathers are truly lovely! Makes me want to go back and study all the months that I have not yet completed. Thanks for sharing all the detailed photos of your progress. It is inspiring!

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  19. Way to stay with it Janet!You deserve to be proud of yourself! Also, love your header picture... what a view!

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  20. Your progress is amazing! Way to stick with it and practice...looks great!

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  21. That is a great collection of fear-busting FMQ! Glad you persevered despite your negative self-talk :) I would be most pleased to have a few feathers under my belt at this point!

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  22. Good for you!! You've really become an accomplished FMQ-er!

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  23. You've mace SUCH progress - I'm impressed! That shows what you can accomplish when you stick with it - congrats for not giving up!

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  24. Wow, Janet -- you've done a marvelous job with this challenge! Congratulations on finishing strong!! :)

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  25. Janet you inspire me to take a chance on "making a mistake" and do more challenging thread play! I'm making it a priority in 2013 to spend some real quality time Lulu (cousin to your Gidget) and expand my skills. Happy New Year to you and blessings to you and your family.

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  26. Congratulations, Janet! Well done! You should be proud. I took 2 classes with Patsy Thompson a few years ago. One day was just on feathers. I really like her method. It made it doable for me. Happy New Year!

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  27. Congratulations! Applause! What a wonderful accomplishment! I hoped to play along, but alas, I did not. However, your inspirational post has reignited my desire to learn FMQ so thank you. I can not improve if I don't practice. Your progress is impressive and thank you for sharing your journey.

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  28. WOW Janet...Your quilting is fabulous. Are you ready to take in other peoples' quilts yet?? Hope you have a wonderful new year!

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  29. You are a machine! Seriously, you amaze me. Nice job on the craft, but mostly with the sticking-to-it-ness.

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  30. Your machine is just gorgeous, and if the FMQ challenge is offered again next year I'll sign on. Your feathers are just beautiful!!!!

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  31. If it's a challenge that's offered yearly, I hope it'll work out so I can sign up for the next one.
    Your progress from beginning to end is spectacular! Bravo for not quitting. Your confidence and skill have increased beautifully. Well done, Janet. You have to be so proud of yourself!

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  32. Beautiful work - I especially love December (fabulous feather border)! Haven't we come a long way this year!

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  33. Amazing Mother! You definitely have come a long way (it was fun to see your first attempts again :)
    Like everything else you do, you work at it until it's perfect. Nicely done!

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  34. WOW..You've come a l-o-n-g way baby!!!!

    I'm most impressed and hold you in
    high' quilty' esteem!

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  35. Wow Janet! What a perfect showcase of all that you've learned this year in the FMQ Challenge! You definitely encouraged me to do the challenges this year. Your December challenge quilt is absolutely gorgeous - you should be so proud of it!!!

    Happy & Blessed New Years to you and yours dear friend!

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  36. Well done Janet! so nice of you to share too ;-)
    You have accomplished so much this year.
    Wishing you and yours all the best in 2013!!

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  37. Oh! The plaid quilt is fantastic! It's just a beauty! You amaze me at the amount of sewing that gets done at your house.

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  38. WOW! You took to FMQ like a fish to water! Beautiful job!

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