Thursday, April 15, 2021

Practice, Practice, Practice

The Cowboy quilt is coming along... The quilting of the borders and sashing strips were fun and easy to do with FMQ vines and leaves.  The outlining of the cowboys went quickly as well.  

 The background area will have loops and twirls and each block will include a butterfly, bumble bee or dragonfly.  It was the suggestion of Dave and I loved it, though I was intimidated the the thought of actually making them LOOK like the creatures they are to be.

I pulled out a step-by-step FMQ "lesson" from a past issue of American Quilter and started envisioning in my head the motions that would make them up.  Dave does some engraving and knows how much practice can go into a piece and he was very supportive.

I showed him a set-up that Tish Stemple had shared on her blog do be able to do such practice on a piece of plastic with a dry-erase marker.  He quickly responded with "I can make you one of those with a couple blocks of wood and a piece of plexiglass."  Yay!

Despite having his own work that he should have been focusing on, he created a FMQ jig for me in one day!  What a guy!  I think I'll keep him. 💗

You can see that I started with tracing the design and as I feel comfortable, I will move on to doing it free-hand.  

The next step with be trying it out on the machine... if it turns out fairly decent I may make some mug rugs out of them. 

I remember being so afraid of FMQ!  I love it now, even if I do get a little intimidated now and then.  But the best way to grow and improve it to keep trying and push yourself, even if only a little bit... 

What quilting skill/s would you like to improve?  

When I first started quilting I joined a block of the month.  The blocks for the sampler quilt varied in difficulty and technique.  And while I felt I was proficient as a sewer, my 1/4" seams were off and I ended up with cut off points and wavy blocks.  I didn't give up though!  

I am hosting a new sew along ~ Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail ~ that will feature primarily simple and basic blocks, perfect for beginners. Patterns are released every three weeks along with an excerpt of the book "Land of Enchantment" which is a memoir of Marian Russell who traveled the Santa Fe Trail five times, the first when she was just 7 years old. The first block and story are both available on the Kit In The Korner post.  Details of the sew along are in the announcement post.  Just follow the highlighted links. 

I must go practice!  Don't forget to leave a comment...



Linking with:

Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland


  1. How neat! This is a great way to train the brain in FMQ. Makes the doodling a thing of the past!

  2. Those look great! I believe that you have to practice before doing FMQ too. I start by tracing it with my mouse/cursor on the computer.

  3. Love your jig!!! You'll be FMQ with confidence in no time!
    Happy Quilting! :-)

  4. Your cowboy quilt is so sweet and what an awesome way to practice machine quilting.

  5. Your jig is a great idea for practicing! Cute cow-boys quilt ;)
    Thank you for linking up today!

  6. Oh how fun that cowboy quilt looks! Great idea for practicing free motion quilting. I seem to stick to the same couple of designs when FMQing, but really should try branching out a little more. Happy Sewing :)

  7. Nice to have a "quilters support staff" that is eager to help! What a sweet quilt!

  8. That is for sure a clever idea, kind of like a panto on a longarm. Again, I love that Sam quilt. Thank you for linking up to Put your foot down.