Saturday, April 14, 2018

Free Motion Challenge Quilt Along update

I've got a lot of projects on the go, but they're not really at a stage to include in a post yet. So here's one update:

Free Motion Challenge Quilt Along with Angela Walters

I've really enjoyed the weekly videos that Angela produces, even if I haven't watched them or practiced them in order. Since I'm behind anyway, I've decided to start with the ones I like.

From Week 7 I did both the Swirl and the Feather Meanders

Swirl FMQ pattern

Feather Meanders FMQ pattern

Feather Meanders from the back 

As I got near the end of the Feather Meanders, I could feel myself getting into a grove. That's why I'm quilting my friend's batik quilt with Feather Meanders. I love it!

Week 8 was Clam shells.

Angela just drew the horizontal lines to make the different rows even but I drew in the first row of clam shells to make sure that they would be relatively even. As you can see, I tried a few variations based on both Angela's tutorial and her eye candy.

Clam shells and a few variations

From Week 6, I practiced the Serpentine. That was tough, even if I practiced a lot with pen on paper. I've always had problems with "S" curves. I seem to have a flair for curls more than "S" curves!

"S" curves or serpentine
What I learned
  • I thought that it would be a great idea to work on sandwiched blocks instead of a whole quilt. In theory it sounds great, but it gets really difficult when you FMQ near the edge of the block.
  • I liked the swirls a lot. If they were a little longer and elongated, they would be perfect for a windy sky.
  • I really liked the idea of clam shells within clam shells (the top right).  
  • My cathedral windows didn't really come out well because the original clam shells were more long than wide. I think that it's best if it's worked within a square, like a grid.  
  • My "S" curves or Serpentine stitch may not be individually great, but when there's a whole wack of them, it's not quite as bad. I think that as long as you don't make something really wildly off, it will probably end up blending in. I don't think that I'll be making rows of Serpentine again but I do like them in smaller areas within a quilt.
  • If you want to practice your FMQ, this is a great way to do it. However, when FMQ on real quilts with fabric that isn't a solid, and using thread that blends, FMQ is very forgiving - thank goodness. 😊 
Related links
Linking parties


  1. Hi Andree,
    I have been sort of following along with this challenge. I would love to have lots of time to spend on practicing these tips. Angela sure makes it look easy, doesn't she?! I think you did a great job - your swirls and feathers look as good as hers! ~smile~ Roseanne

    1. Thanks Roseanne. When it comes to quilting, I always find time to do FMQ. That's my favourite part!!!! Unfortunately I can't do it as often as I want because I have to be on the ball when FMQ - and sometimes I'm too tired. Isn't life great! If that's all I have to complain about, I think that I'm doing well :-)

  2. Your designs look great. I think you made a good point. Individually, an element may not be 'perfect' but when there's a lot of them, and in a large quilt, those imperfections won't be noticed. Great job!

    1. Thanks Beth. I think that quilting them around swirly contour lines might also be better than these straight lines that accentuate those little imperfections :-)

  3. Somehow I missed this quilt-along; looks like fun!

    1. Hi Claire, you'll have to check out Angela's site since she's going to do another one.

  4. Isn't that annoying to run out of thread?! Nice pattern you quilted. Angela Walters is full of good ideas.

    1. Hi! It really is annoying, especially since I have to order the thread. Oh well, I'll just have to work on something else for a while!

  5. Those look really good - much better than what I could do on a sit down machine.

    1. Thanks Susan - all it takes is practice :-) It's great when it starts to pay off.

  6. Hello Andrée,

    Really great samples. The clam shell variations are especially pretty.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv


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