Free-Motion Quilting: Retrospect on 2015 and Looking Forward in 2016


While you may not (yet) be interested in free-motion quilting (FMQ, one of my goals this year is to continue to learn and improve my FMQ skills, as well as continue to inspire others to do so too! Personally,  I’ll confess I’m not an expert, and I don’t want anyone to ever think I’m an expert on anything.  But I do believe everyone can do free-motion quilting, with just a little practice and commitment to learn and improve.  

In 2012, 2013 and 2015 I hosted a FMQ challenge that focused on trying to increase awareness of various FMQ Experts, as well as encourage everyone to learn/improve their FMQ skills.  Unfortunately, I totally botched hosting the 2015 FMQ Challenge due to lack of time and organization on my part.  But, I appreciate patience by those who won a prize and have not yet received it.  I’m currently working on awarding December and Grand Prizes, as well as shipping what feels like a ton of prizes.  And, I will then go thru and complete an audit to ensure everyone that one, throughout this challenge has received their prizes.

My lesson learned: I will no longer going to host a challenge that runs throughout the year, with monthly challenges.  I just don’t have the time to do it properly.  


For 2016, I do plan on hosting a variety of fairly small FMQ events and I hope you’ll participate in one or all.  Some will have sponsored prizes and some won’t.  But I truly hope you are committed to learning/improving your FMQ skills for you and not just to win a prize.  Events that I’m planning will include UFO FMQ Challenges, FMQ Stitch A Longs, as well as FMQ Challenges that showcase an Expert.  And, throughout the year I’m still committed to increase awareness of FMQ Experts, Books, Classes, notions and tools that are perfect for those stitching FMQ.


This coming Saturday, I’ll kick off my first FMQ Stitch A Long of the year, where I’ll showcase Leah Day, an amazing FMQ Expert.  Last Fall, Leah released a virtual Heart and Feather Wholecloth Workshop that includes a pattern to make a wholecloth quilt, as well as special video tutorials available to those that purchase this workshop from Leah Day Designs:


Everyone is welcome to join me in this event.  Of course those that have already completed this workshop are also encouraged to share what they created, as well as stitch along with us and make another one. As QuiltShopGal, I’m hosting this event to promote learning FMQ, with Leah Day’s workshop to help us learn/improve our FMQ skills, while having loads of fun.

Stitch A Long Template Leah Day

We’ll have a Linky Party where you can share your progress, as well as any finished project that you may have made using techniques and designs taught by Leah in this workshop.  And, those on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram will also be encouraged to share photos using hashtags #StitchAlong and/or  #FMQStitchAlong.


In this Stitch Along, you can sew at your own pace, but my goal is to have mine completed in time to enjoy on Valentines Day.

Don’t forget you can use any fabric and supplies from your stash, but Leah does have a few kits that are available.


Martingale will be our sponsor for this event.  I’ll be sharing insights on prizes, as this event officially kicks off.martingale-text-logo (1)


Leah is also hosting a Machine Quilting Block Party that looks like loads of fun and a great way to learn/improve your FMQ skills.



You can find Leah at:


Don’t forget, our first FMQ Stitch Along for 2016 starts this coming Saturday.  I hope you’ll come join the fun.

0 thoughts on “Free-Motion Quilting: Retrospect on 2015 and Looking Forward in 2016

  1. I must say it is one of my goals to continue improving my FMQ skills. I have pieced 3 smaller quilts so I can do some practising on smaller projects. I want to be able to do more than stipling.


  2. I’ve been working the last few years to improve my FMQ. Practice certainly does lead to progress! I’ll have to keep an eye out for your challenges, and hopefully I can join in for a few of them!


  3. I like to think that improving my skills is the winning prize. I didn’t take part in last years link ups, but I read them all, watched videos and practiced at my own pace, learning plenty. Thank you!


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