2012 FMQ Challenge: Summary

13 12 2012

This year I participated in my first-ever long-distance quilting challenge — the 2012 FMQ Challenge hosted and organised by SewCal Gal, a lady in southern California. Each month, SewCal Gal arranged for a different tutor to teach us a particular technique. All the tutors were great, and I’ve already incorporated many of their techniques in the quilts I’ve quilted this year. Some techniques I may never never use again, but I’m glad I did them. One thing about doing something you’re unfamiliar with is that it forces you to try something new — and even if you don’t like it and will never do it again, at least now you know why.

So this post highlights some of the sample pieces I did over the course of the year. Each month has a link to the blog post I wrote about my process and what I learnt from doing that month’s challenge piece, as well as a photo depicting the practice piece.

I’d like to thank SewCal Gal and all the wonderful tutors for giving up their time and sharing their knowledge so freely (yes, this challenge cost us nothing to enter except our time and dedication). I had a great time doing the challenge pieces and I learnt a LOT! I’d also like to thank all the other participants who so willingly shared their adventures on our Facebook page, and who so kindly helped everyone else, even if was just words of encouragement or ‘Likes’ for a particular piece.

January: Frances Moore: Leaves

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/2012-fmq-challenge-january/


February: Diane Gaudynski: Feathers

Blog posts (yes, there are two!): https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/2012-fmq-challenge-february/ and https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/2012-fmq-challenge-february-more-feathers/


March: Ann Fahl: Loopy fills

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/2012-fmq-challenge-march/

2012 FMQ Challenge March 01

April: Don Linn: Marked designs

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/2012-fmq-challenge-april/

Design 2 stitched out with McTavishing as the external filler

May: Leah Day: Spine designs

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/2012-fmq-challenge-may/


June: Cindy Needham: Micro fills

Blog posts(yes, there are two for this month!): https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/2012-fmq-challenge-june/ and https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/2012-fmq-challenge-june-part-2/


July: Angela Walters: Tiled fills

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/2012-fmq-challenge-july/

July 2012 FMQ Challenge piece

August: Wendy Sheppard: Jester’s hats

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/community-quilt-13-and-2012-fmq-challenge-for-august/


September: Paula Reid: Marked design

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/2012-fmq-challenge-september/


October: Teri Lucas: Name echoing and fills

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/2012-fmq-challenge-october/


November: Sarah Vedeler: Spirals

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/2012-fmq-challenge-november/


December: Patsy Thompson: Border effects

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/2012-fmq-challenge-december/


Bonus tutorial: Susan Brubaker Knapp: Photo

Blog post: https://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/2012-fmq-challenge-bonus-tutorial/



Threads I’ve used in my Sweet Sixteen

13 12 2012

Someone on the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen Yahoo! Group (HQ_Sit_down_model) asked about thread recommendations. Here’s my response in case it helps anyone else.

My experience with my Sweet Sixteen (remember the tension is fully adjustable, and needle size affects breakages too):

  • Superior King Tut – Can get a bit linty/fluffy, especially if you’re going fast. Rarely breaks.
  • Superior Rainbows – Shreds/breaks occasionally; no fluff.
  • Isacord 40 wt polyester – I LOVE this thread in my S16 – it goes through the machine like a hot knife through butter. Never breaks or shreds and no fluff and looks good on the quilt. Big colour range too.
  • Fil-Tec Glide – Similar to Isacord
  • Fil-Tec Harmony – similar to King Tut as it’s also a cotton; can be very fluffy/linty especially when you’re going fast so clean out the bobbin area and the tension disks often.
  • Madeira Rayon – shreds/breaks occasionally; I only ever thread this through no more than two top holes (sometimes only one) otherwise it breaks more often. No fluff.
  • Robison-Anton rayon – as for Madeira Rayon
  • Floriani (embroidery thread?) – as for Madeira Rayon; not sure if this is a rayon or polyester – it’s definitely not cotton.

For bobbin thread, I tend to use lightweight threads, such as Wonderfil’s Deco-Bob (80 wt) or Invisifil (100 wt), or Bobbinfil (70 wt). Update: ALso Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbins (60 wt) — love those!! I have used normal 40 wt thread in the bobbin, but I hate having to change bobbins so often with that 😉 On one lap quilt, I used King Tut in the bobbin and the top – I had more than 10 bobbin changes (I think it was about 12) for that quilt, whereas when I use Deco-Bob or Bobbinfil, I can often get a lap quilt done with just two bobbin changes. And with Invisifil, even fewer (though I think Invisifil is a little thin for a quilt that’s going to be used a lot – it’s good for art quilts, though).

Remember, this is MY experience with MY machine. Your experience with these threads differ. Always test on a scrap sandwich and adjust tension and needle size if you can’t seem to work with the thread.

See also: