Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2012 SewCalGal FMQ Challenge final post

Ode to the 2012 SewCalGal FMQ Challenge

It's time to say goodbye much too soon...
but I'd like to take this time
to add a 'thank you' line
to my SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge blogger pals!

These are the only gals
who understood my 'tension'
when I about FMQ to my online family would mention
Who else would ever understand and know
exactly how tough (and eventually rewarding ) it would be to give it a 'go'?

But through all our thread trials and tension tribulations
we simply must make considerations
for none of us is perfect, but it is alright to shine
through fabric, batting, thread and the comments of blogger friends of mine!

Link to monthly challenges.
View all Grand Prize entries HERE.

I really appreciated Miss Moore's video tutorial and by starting us out with a very do-able FMQ design of leaves.
Entry #154. Mary Ann @ RocknQuilts (*Photos are 'broken', my apologies.  Please advise how to fix.)

2.  February with Expert Diane Guardynski
Miss Guardynski is a skilled expert and her blog as well as her detailed tutorial really helped raise the bar.
She made feathers something I would begin to attempt, before this tutorial I had always shied away.

3.  March with Expert Ann Fahl
Miss Fahl provided us with tremendous insight about how to begin to utilize the proper thread, needle, tension, etc. with a booklet that I was lucky enough to print out within the month it was offered.  I also chose to purchase her book and have found it has greatly added to my FMQ knowledge.

I ordered two of Mr. Linn's books and found them wonderfully easy to understand.  His approach makes a person feel successful right away.  His method of transfer is one I have used again and again.  I used this method to transfer a Pooh bear to an infant's quilt.
Entry #28.  Mary Ann @ RocknQuilts *
I was able to manage to salvage this photo of his transfer method:

Miss Day is raising a family and perfecting her FMQ skills.  Her unique designs and blog are full of tremendously valuable information.  I used her designs in my camping checkers quilt.

6.  June with Expert Cindy Needham
Miss Needham showed us the beauty of whole cloth quilting on antique linens.  I also purchased her book, but am still too shy to begin quilting on one of my great grandmother's antique linen tablecloths.

7.  July with Expert Angela Walters
As a part of the Creative Troupe, I was lucky enough to preview her first book before it came out.  Modern free motion quilting techniques are her specialty and this was yet another aspect of the many-faceted FMQ challenge.  I found out that I really like quilting straight lines, too.

Miss Sheppard let us know that organic and less than perfect is good.  This was a relief to me :-)  I was able to relax and enjoy her "Jester's Hats" design.
Entry #18.  Mary Ann @ RocknQuilts
This result 'resulted' in the purchase of a new machine!

Miss Reid showed us how to utilitze our space to make it possible to quilt large quilts and support them while using a domestic machine.  Her practical tips about gripping fabric and sliding the fabric were something I continue to use each FMQ day.

10.  October with Expert Teri Lucas
Miss Lucas challenged us to go beyond cotton and use satin or silk and many various types of threads and thread weights.  I found out that silk is really challenging for me personally (as it is so fine), but that rayon looks shiny and beautiful and is easier to use.

Miss Loomis just blew me away.  By this point in the year, I was 'ready' for her challenge.  After printing out the PDF file she provided, I used Don Linn's method of transfer and with cotton in the bobbin, rayon embroidery thread in the needle and a beautiful cotton sheen fabric, I created the most satisfying and fulfilling design and free motion quilting I have ever made before.  I am finally happy with my creation!

Miss Vedeler also provided PDF files for practice with pencil and paper before thread and fabric.  I didn't practice much, but visualized alot and was happy with the creation of her 'spirals' design.  This will be perfect for windy scenes, nautical themes or to depict snow falling.  Spirals creates a nice 'movement'.

Thank you sew very much, SewCalGal for making all of this possible - I learned so much this year thanks to you and your FMQ experts!  I sincerely hope that you will consider hosting this event again in the future.  Please comment if you agree!

All the Best,

Friday, November 30, 2012

SewCalGal FMQ Challenge November 2012

Wow, is this late!  It's 10:31 p.m. on 11/30/2012 and I'm just now posting my www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com November results:

Lots of practice first with pencil and paper, though...plus I do have more practice squares waiting (getting ready for the holidays simply got in the way this time!)

Thanks to both SewCalGal and Sarah Vedeler, the November FMQ Expert and her wonderful tutorial

I loved the swirls and realized that if I trusted myself to relax and go quickly, it would go well...and it did!
Thanks to all those who tried and advised, too!

All the Best,


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Simple, quilted stockings for Christmas - make one in 30 minutes!

My granddaughter and I had so much fun with this project :-)
Eight stockings in four hours today!

If you would like to create these, I put together the following picture tutorial for you to enjoy making these with your loved ones, too.

Step 1)  gather your fabric -  you'll need 1/2 yard for one stocking OR 1/4 yard of cotton fabric for one stocking and 1/4 yard of fleece for the backing, 
fusible batting (1/4 yard), one piece of felt for the embroidered name and the loop for hanging the stocking,
embroidery thread in various colors (we chose Madeira's Christmas Red, Bright Green and metallic Gold plus white embroidery bobbin thread), & an old stocking to use as your 'pattern' or draw one up on paper.

Clover chalk works well as a marking tool for this!

Choose a font you like and embroider names or use a fabric marker and draw them onto the felt squares.  After marking or embroidering, cut to size (leaving 1 1/2" around the sides, top and bottom).

Using a blanket stitch (or your favorite), stitch the felt name tag onto the top fabric.  Layer the fusible batting and backing piece, then press with the iron according to the fusible batting package directions.  
Sew seven 2 1/2" strips together to make a strip set and then cut the stocking at an angle for a fun look!

This picture above shows the fused, quilted piece with a piece of cotton fabric for the backing (to be serged around edges.)  

Here's an assortment of stockings waiting for the edges to be serged.

Chain serge across the tops of each of the finished, quilted tops, then...

Serge across the tops of each of the 'backs', whether they be cotton or fleece.

Place a 1"w x 6-8"l piece of felt or ribbon in upper, inside corner of reverse side of backing and pin to secure.

Place top, felt or ribbon loop, and backing together, zig zag, reverse stitch to secure.

Serge around entire piece, going slow around the corners.

The beauty of a serger is that it cuts while serging and takes 'extra' away if your cutting hasn't been exactly straight (like mine!).

I tried Madeira metallic thread with my Pfaff Creative Performance and had no troubles!  :-)

Blanket stitching.

For this, we used the Brother Simplicity SB 700T.  This is a little machine that you can purchase a 1/4" foot for and it does a great job with the blanket stitch.  
My ten year old granddaughter really enjoys using this machine.

Hope this project will bring you and yours some holiday joy! 

Time spent together is time well spent :-)

All the Best,


Monday, November 19, 2012

Congratulations to Catskill Quilter and Barbara Woods and a free, online pattern for ALL OF YOU, too!

CONGRATULATIONS - Catskill Quilter and Barbara Woods have each WON one signed pattern each from Pamela  at Aardvark Quilts, who was recently featured here on RocknQuilts!!  Thank you for offering two free patterns to give away, Pamela!  We're also looking forward to your book that comes out in February 2013 with a forward by the oh-so-famous gentleman from Sweden - Kaffee Fassett!  Not to mention awaiting your first and fabulous new fabric line!!!

About "Dreaming in Color":  “Kaffe Fassett is to color what Julia Child was to French cooking."
I can honestly say that Pamela Goecke-Dindorf of Aardvark Quilts is to quilting what Julia Child was to French cooking!  Her designs and color values are strikingly beautiful....

Catskill Quilter wins:
a signed copy of 'Electric Fans'

and Barbara Woods wins:
a signed copy of 'Squares Squared'

Both Catskill Quilter and Barbara Woods have been contacted via e-mail and will receive their pattern shortly via snail mail.

Thank you to everyone who participated and as a 'thank you', here's a great tip: AccuQuilt  for 35% percent off more than 100 items!  If you detest standing in line (like I do) on Black Friday, then this is really a great time to get into a Baby Go! for only $89 - I've never seen it that low before anywhere, have  you?  Even the big cutters are deeply discounted.  If I had the room..... :-)

Also, a FREE pattern for all of you from AccuQuilt and myself....
AccuStars and Stripes pillow designed by Mary Ann @ RocknQuilts
Free shipping on order $99 and above, so get yourself a die to go with that Baby Go!  I highly recommend the 2 1/2" die for strip sets, jelly rolls and quilt bindings, plus 2 1/2" squares.  See that tip HERE.

All the Best,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Give-Away!!! + Meet a fabulous designer and quiltmaker!

Color value


Aboriginal, jungle and Asian fabrics

Simple construction, yet...

fabulous results!

Inspired by books or everyday objects

"Memoirs of a Geisha" - inspired fans utilizing Asian Geisha prints

Fresh, modern

inspired by tradition, yet utilizes

striking details like striped borders

and sashiko-stitching

whimsical prints for "Baby Aardvark Quilts"

together with sixty-five different designs

of such tremendous variety

(perfect for a Russian Samovar)

effective simplicity


use of stripes and color values creating tremendous interest

and diamonds throughout the beautiful "Harlequin" pattern are very striking...

please allow me to introduce the designer of these beautiful quilts
who creates all her own from drafting to cutting, sewing and binding...

"Tannenbaum Tree Skirt"
Mary Ann of RocknQuilts with Pamela Goecke Dinndorf of Aardvark Quilts

Pamela Goecke Dinndorf of

is celebrating her debut at the Houston Quilt Show with a pattern GIVE-AWAY
here on

Here's how to WIN one of TWO patterns being given away!!

1.  Visit her website and come back here with the name of your favorite pattern

2.  Tell us what intrigued you about the pattern in a separate entry

3.  "Like" Aardvark Quilts on facebook for a third chance to win!

This give-away is open to all.

Pamela is coming out with her own fabric line and book (with forward by none other than K. Fassett!!) in 2014, so watch for her work!!!

Good luck - buen suerte - Viel Glueck - bon chance!

Winners will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 18th, 2013


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