Friday, June 29, 2012

June's FMQ Challenge Piece

I was so excited to see Cindy Needham's challenge on SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge. This "divide and conquer" design is part of what started my FMQ internet search 9 months ago.  I have been absolutely blown away by the support, growth and talent shown on the associated Facebook page. 

Some of these folks have been quilting on satin-type fabric.  Those pieces have looked phenomenal, but I figured that the slippery fabric would be too hard to work with.  But when I came across a large piece that had been water stained and was good for nothing else, I thought, "What the heck, why not?"

So, without further ado, here is my piece for the June Challenge.


I am absolutely thrilled with how this turned out.  Not only was the silky fabric easy to work with, but it hid a multitude of mistakes - places where I had wandered when I traveled, not quite round circles, and just plain "oopses."  

As I said, Cindy's challenge was perfect for me. I have doodled these designs my whole life.  In fact, within the last year I had done this one:

Now I find out that someone has labeled my type of doodling "Zentangles."  Who knew?  If I had just thought to publish my doodles I could be rich and famous!  I had shown a couple of my friends this particular one, and both of their reactions were, "You should quilt that!"  Riiggght...Sure... I'll get right on it. NOT!!  At the time I couldn't see any way, short of working with an overhead projector and tracing the doodle onto a large piece of fabric, to quilt this.

Enter Leah Day and her wonderful Free Motion Quilting Project with 365 designs and I had a glimmer of an idea.  Then this month Cindy shows up and voila!  I'm off and running.  I started with some more doodles, this time done in color.  My future son-in-law gave me some great pens for Christmas, I just had to use them!

And then I started on some practice sandwiches.  I wasn't very happy with the results.  I was using "normal" Coats & Clark sewing thread and found that it had a tendency to break when I sewed over the same line multiple times.  Since these were practice pieces I just trimmed the threads close, rethreaded, and kept on going.

first practice piece

My second piece was on scrap fabric, which was quite busy.  You can see the design better on the back.  It's not filled up yet, so I will go back to it and practice some more.  I'm finally learning to move my hands slower.

second practice piece - front

second practice piece - back

Here's some more close ups of my silky satin piece.  And one with a pen in it for scale.  I used some tri-lobal polyester on it in a matching gray. I think it was 40 wt, but the label has come off of the bobbin.  I don't think the thread broke once!  I just keep "petting" it.  It looks and feels so neat!

Thank you so much, Cindy, for showing me the way!  I can't wait to get back to my new machine and do some more!

Happy Quilting, if you're a quilter.  If not... just ooh and ahh over your friend's quilting projects!

Kathy R.


  1. Fantastic! That satiny fabric adds such dimension!

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! You are inspiring me to try some satin!!

  3. What an inspiration you are -dont you love thae silky fabric... and doesnt it 'pop' Yours is beautiful!

  4. Thank you all! Yes Joan, I love the silky fabric. I keep going back and "petting" it, smushing the puffy bits of the feathers, and just generally going "wow, this turned out so good, I can't believe I made it!"