Wednesday, 7 January 2015

WIP | Playing with FMQ

One of my objectives for 2015 is to improve my free motion quilting skills, and today I thought I'd share one of the ways I intend to meet this goal.

I started by creating a few smallish quilt sandwiches using a collection of solids from my stash and my hoarded batting scraps. Each of the sandwiches is 12 1/2" high but the widths range anywhere from 9-18"+/-, and there's a healthy mix of single pieces of fabrics and some that have been pieced in a colour blocked fashion.  
Next, I scoured Pinterest for FMQ ideas and tutorials (as a side effect, I've become thoroughly addicted to Pinterest).  Then the fun part - actually putting thread to fabric!  As a prolific doodler this whole idea of essentially doodling in thread is right up my alley, and I've been having a lot of fun trying out some new motifs.  And bonus, I'm already noticing an improvement in my skills and my FMQ confidence.  My plan is to eventually join the quilted pieces together using a quilt as you go method (method is TBD, any suggestions?) and create a collage of colour and texture.

Here's a list of the links that have inspired the FMQ pictured above:

  1. Varied wavy lines, by Angela Walters - All People Quilt 
  2. Pebbles - no link, but Natalia Bonner's Beginner's Guide to Free Motion Quilting has excellent instructions and several fun variations. The Matchstick Feathers are from Amy at 13 Spools
  3. Retro Square-ish Motif - This was an accidental variation of an FMQ image from Sew Katie Did
  4. Dogwood, by Elizabeth Hartman - Oh Fransson!
  5. Clams - another linkless pattern that can be found in Beginners Guide to Free Motion Quilting.
  6. Flower Power, by Lori Kennedy - The Inbox Jaunt
  7. Swirls - again, check out Beginners Guide to Free Motion Quilting
  8. Triangle-ish Chain - another variation from the FMQ image from Sew Katie Did
  9. Woodgrain, by Lori Kennedy - The Inbox Jaunt
Or you can find me on Pinterest for quick access to all of these and more - so, so much more - I mentioned my new addiction, right?!

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for the return of WIP Wednesday - I can't wait to see what everyone else has been working on over the holidays!

Happy Wednesday!


  1. Good on you for working to improve your skills! Sandwiches are a good idea for trying different patterns. Leah Day has absolutely tonnes of FMQ ideas if you go to her website. I began learning FMQ last year by doing Leah's Craftsy class - lots of fun! Good luck, your blocks so far show that you're well on your way!

  2. One of my 2015 goals is also to improve my FMQ. I find it interesting that you do not need to have the quilt first.. which is the assumption I made. Your way gets a lot more practice in and I will consider doing that. I too am taking the Leah Day Craftsy class and there are tons of ideas in it.

  3. I'm still working on straight lines and have decided to tackle FM a little later, but great links for when I do! It looks like you're off to a good start!

  4. Oooh... lovely FMQ, especially #3. Good idea to practice... I always chicken out when it comes time to put a new pattern to use on a quilt. I'm afraid I'll ruin it! I did the Pile O' Fabrics SkillBuilder BOM last year and it really pushed me out of my comfort zone with FMQ.