Dec 31 11

A Fun Resolution for the New Year…and a Give-Away!

About 8 or 9 years ago, I had learned how to free motion quilt, but I was still feeling kind of overwhelmed by the world of thread.  You have to understand that for about the first 25 years of my quilting life, there really wasn’t much out there in the world of thread, but then all of a sudden, thread exploded.  I mean really exploded! There were tons of types of thread, colors of thread, weights of thread, brands of thread, and purposes for thread.  It all just seemed so daunting to me and when I’d ask other quilters about threads, most of them seemed to be as perplexed as me.  This began my first year of what I call “fun resolutions.”

I’d never really been much for New Year’s resolutions, but that New Year’s Eve, I resolved to spend the next year learning as much as I could about all these different types of threads, and to learn how to handle them on my sewing machine.  Little did I know that this was the beginning of one of the most fun journeys I’d ever taken!  Playing with different types of threads to create texture and dimension and colorful embellishments to my quilts has enriched my quilting life in ways I could never have imagined.  Since then, I’ve been making a “fun resolution” every New Year.

I’m bringing this up because there’s something about putting a task on “project status” that seems to ensure getting that task done.  Most of the time, I do this with tasks that I really don’t necessarily want to do, but I need to do.  In quilting, there are all kinds of things I’d love to do, but they take a lot of time, so they keep getting pushed into the future.  That’s where making a “fun resolution comes into play.  It’s a combination of making a commitment and giving yourself permission to devote time on a regular basis to learn something you’d love to learn but keep putting off.  Every time I’ve made one of these fun quilting resolutions, it’s paid off for me in spades, so I’m hoping it will work that way for you.

So, where am I going with all this?  Do you find yourself surfing web sites and blogs and seeing all kinds of quilt photos where you’re wondering how a quilter created some interesting quilting designs?

…or maybe you’re more enchanted by frame designs and you’re wondering how people create quilted designs like these:

…or maybe you’re wondering about how folks make beautiful border designs on their quilts:

Whatever type of free motion quilting you’re aching to learn, there’s a great opportunity just waiting for you in the new year:

Thanks to Darlene of the SewCalGal blog, you have the opportunity to sign up for a free (yes, totally, 100% free!) year of free motion quilting lessons by several wonderful free motion quilters who are putting together all kinds of lessons just for you! I’m happy to say that I’ll be putting together the border lesson for the month of December 2012, but check out this list of quilters who will each be contributing during the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge:

Irene Bluhm
Leah Day
Ann Fahl
Diane Gaudynski
Susan Brubaker Knapp
Don Linn
Frances Moore
Cindy Needham
Paula Reid
Wendy Sheppard
Patsy Thompson
Sarah Vedeler

So, this is your big chance to make a fun resolution to learn all you can about free motion quilting during 2012! Will you need to practice? Of course! Will it be worth the effort? You bet! All it will take for you to get in on the action is to go here to sign up for the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge! And one more thing…I’m cleaning out my sewing room and am happy to give away these 6 spools of thread to a receptive quilter:

If you’d like this thread (4 spools of YLI variegated cotton and 2 spools of King Tut variegated) and are willing to pay shipping, you can enter the give away simply by posting a comment to this blog post telling me what you’d like to learn about free motion quilting over the next year. Entries are open until 11:59 pm eastern time on Wed 1/12/12.


  1. Toni Neilson Says:

    I really want to learn how to get my stitches a little more even and some simple design work, thanks Toni

  2. Liz Noonan Says:

    I started machine patchwork quilting in April this year after finishing work and absolutely love it. I’m completely new to free motion quilting and would love to get started. Any help whatsoever would be much appreciated.

  3. Hettie Says:

    I would love to get the perfect tension every time. I’ve already learnt so much from watching your videos, mastering different feather patterns but I would like to one day not have to use a printed background to hide tension imperfections.

  4. Tina Beard Says:

    I have joined the FMQ Challenge for 2012.I would like to learn how to choose a quilting design for a quilt that will enhance it.

  5. elle Says:

    Playing with and learning about threads is my first fun to-do thing for 2012. It certainly would work with the challenge. Thanks

  6. Rhonda Gillette Says:

    I want to learn everything I can. I’m in two fmq challenges this year and I have yet to get any thread ordered. Thanks for the opp. to enter.

  7. Sheryl Till Says:

    I want to learn how to stitch beautiful feathers! Thanks, Sheryl

  8. Teresa in Music City Says:

    Would love to learn more about how to be more controlled with my quilting stitches so that designs do not look whacky. Also, want to learn more about threads and what to use when to get desired effects. Would LOVE to win the thread!

  9. Trish Rabine Says:

    I’ve signed up for the challenge and I’m excited about it! I purchased a Sweet 16 HandiQuilter sit down machine in October and getting the stitches balanced with different types of thread has been my biggest challenge. Am learning a lot about thread but have lots and lots to learn. Have several of Patsy’s CD’s and am anxious to practice. Would love to win the thread!

  10. Carol Says:

    I would like to learn how to better put different designs together to make a lovely finished quilt.

  11. SewCalGal Says:

    What yummy free-motion quilting and quilts Patsy. And, of course that thread is beautiful too. I’m sure whomever wins will enjoy it.


  12. laurel Says:

    i signed up for the challenge! i think for me, it’s all about smooth curves and looking ahead to see where i’m going – i think (like in most things in my life) i tend to go too quickly…

  13. Pat V. Says:

    I want to become more consistent when I repeat a motif. I really want to learn feathers!

  14. Lori Says:

    I have signed up for the FMQ 2012 Challenge and am super excited about it. I haven’t ever tried FMQ simply because I am terrified. Ok maybe that word is a little strong but I really don’t want to mess us something that I have put so much time into. So I guess over the next year I want to learn to be confident in my abilities and become proficient in FMQ.

  15. Anna Reich Says:

    I have signed for a challenge and can’t wait to start.
    I would love to learn how to balance stitching with FMQ so quilt is nice and even and of course would love to improve my quilting.

  16. Cathy Says:

    I am sorta a beginner FMQ, I have been quilting for about two years now. Never really quilted my tops my self. Have sent them off to have done. But this year I want to learn how to FMQ myself to complete a quit totally by my self. I love the looks of the feathers and would love to learn how to do those.

  17. Dot in NE Georgia Says:

    I am a beginning FMQ and would love to learn how to do feathers. Really looking forward to this year and all the experienced teachers.

  18. Linda E in AZ Says:

    I have a hard time visualizing what sort of quilting I want to do in various areas of my quilt so hope to improve that by doing the FMQ Challenge.
    Thanks so much for all of your information and insights throughout the year!

  19. Pat Says:

    So many things to learn, hard to say what the top priority is, except to advance to the stage where I’m happy with the end result of my FMQ efforts. So, consistency with stitch size and hand movement may be top priority at the moment, but that will hopefully change as the year progresses. These threads would be a nice complement to the Star I’ve always used thus far, the Aurifil Mako 50 and Gutermann I recently purchased but haven’t tried as yet. So much to learn … Can’t wait!

  20. Newbie Jen Says:

    I signed up for the challenge. I am hoping to learn some control. My stitches are all over the place.

  21. SusanBH Says:

    I want to learn to be brave about using different colors of thread. I also want to learn to make big loopy feathers and to get better with marking out designs. I also want to know how those little spiky flowers were made. I have a lot of questions!

  22. Sharon Griffith Says:

    Hi Patsy to be quite honest I would love to learn just not to be afraid of quilting something bigger than a purse on my home sewing machine. And I aim to do just that this year….thanks for hooking up with us and helping us learn about machine quilting……Happy New Year!

  23. Susan Chase Says:

    I would like to be better at looking at a pice & coming up with IDEAS of how to quilt it. It always flumoxs me, never quite sure how to apply the things I have learned.

  24. Carole M Says:

    I just want to become less afraid of FMQ and be more comfortable with trying it in my quilts. I want to learn about threads to use, and needles to use, and templates etc…

  25. Jennifer Ley Says:

    I would like to imporve my stitch consistency and tension.

  26. Shirley Pearce Says:

    FMQ is so new to me. I would like to be consistent in stitching and enjoy the results I have learned.

    Thank you for your generous thread offer and your thoughtful insights in FMQ!


  27. Kitty Letsch Says:

    I’s like to finish machine quilting my quilt and not have the edges ripple like they’re blowing in the breeze. Thank you for being part of the challenge. Happy New Year.

  28. Jackie Says:

    I’d like to learn to relax – and have my curves be gentle and round.

  29. Sharon Says:

    I have played with FMQ but need to put more energy into it. I want to improve the look of my FMQ. Thanks for the chance to win some cool threads.

  30. Jeanne Says:

    I love to do FMQ and hope to improve my feather techniques and learn more background stitches. I would love to win the thread.

  31. Liz Tius Says:

    I was at the MQX show in Portland and had the opportunity to see some of the threads that Superior Threads carries. Oh My!!! it is so beautiful. I am fairly new to FMQ and after reading your blog have decided to sign up for a year of FMQING. I have seen the work of some of the guest quilters and am very eager to give it a try. Here I go…off to sign up. Happy New Year and the threads you are offering are mmmmmm…delicious

  32. What Comes Next? Says:

    I want to quilt just like you and so many other fabulous FMQers! Learning how to decide what to use where is my biggest challenge – if I expand my knowledge base of designs and fillers I’ll be ready for anything a quilt throws at me.

  33. Sheryl McLeroy Says:

    I bought your book “Feather Adventures” today and can’t wait to sit down with it. I’m new at FMQ on a regular machine although I do free motion on a long arm. I haven’t been able to quilt on a domestic machine and I’m anxious to learn the technique.

    Thanks for the generous thread offer.
    Sheryl in SC

  34. Scott Says:

    Your posts are always inspirational. The opportunity to increase my FMQ skills by studying with the quilters you’ve listed will be a privilege…winning the thread will be awesome. Thanks.

  35. Janet Stewart Says:

    I signed up for the FMQ challenge with SewCalGal a couple of weeks ago. i’ve made a lot of progress this past year, and hope that the discipline of the challenge will result in significant improvement in control. I have already been inspired by feather explosion from fun with feathers, and used it to quilt a lap quilt for a friend. I’d love to experiment with variegated thread.

  36. Karen Richardson Says:

    I am a beginning FMQ and want to learn how to do it all but most definitely do it with even, smooth stitching!

  37. Marilyn Strain Says:

    I’ve signed up for the FM Challenge with SewCalGal and hopefully I will be able to get more even stitch and learn how to sew some smooth curves. I can certainly use some new thread in my quilting.

  38. Mandy M Says:

    Oh Patsy, I just placed an order for supplies from your site just for this challenge. I’m so happy to see you are a part of this. I’ve already signed up and look forward to hopefully getting better in my FMQ’ing!

  39. Renate Says:

    I would love to learn not to fear FMQ. I would love to learn not to be so worried about how perfect the designs should be. I would love to learn how to select a design that compliements the piecework I have already done. Oh!!! How I would love to be confident with my FMQ!

  40. Sharon Engel Says:

    I would also like to not fear FMQ. I really want to be consistent with my quilting and learning to do beautiful designs. Trying to become creative with my quilting. Very excited to take this challange.

  41. Andrew Love Says:

    I’m eager just to learn how to keep my stitching even and smooth!

  42. Michelle Says:

    Any excuse to use my lovely threads is a good thing :-) so bring on the lessons……

  43. Colleen Says:

    I just want to get better. I have the basics, but signed up for the quilt along to improve.

  44. Maureen Says:

    I can’t wait to learn more about threads and have the knowledge to use them well

  45. Hannele Says:

    I’m going to participate the Challenge, it is really inspiring with all the best teachers of the subject. I’m quite novice with FMQ and think that a project like this will make it easier to learn it.

  46. Brenda Kroez Says:

    I really want to expand beyond meandering and learn some swirly techniques, working up to the ultimate challenge, feathers! Thanks.

  47. Kellieann Says:

    I really want to feel comfortable doing free motion and really want to LIKE what I have done. I think i am too critical of my work. I also think the proper thread is key.

  48. Robbie Pettapiece Says:

    Love your concept of a “fun resolution”. Thanks for sharing the term which will now become a regular part of my New Year’s ritual. I have signed up for the FMQ challenge so have my 2012 “fun resolution”. Would love to win the thread.

  49. Cathy Says:

    I’d like to have more consistent stitches and consistent spacing in the quilting design. I would love to win the thread. Thanks for offering it to the lucky recipient!

  50. Jean Says:

    I always love to see new quilting designs, and ways to keep the backing fabric smooth and unpuckered.

  51. Eileen Says:

    I want to learn to be more creative. I’m tired of doing the same ol’ stuff. Thanks for the chance to win the thread.
    Happy New Year!

  52. Amy Says:

    I want to learn how to decide what to quilt where. Especially in a tradition pieced top. Your expertise is appreciated. Thanks Patsy!

  53. Billie K Says:

    I want to learn how to get the brain hand thing to work…..grin.

  54. Denise Smart Says:

    I am a beginner FMQ. I do okay on small pieces and outside borders, but would like to learn how to manage the bulk to do the interior of large quilts on a domestic sewing machine. Love your Fast and Free designs.

  55. Donna Says:

    So excited! I have been thinking about FMQ too and have been wondering how to go about putting it as a priority in my quilting life. Have been watching your videos and blog archives for a yearish and have learned alot. I have a Liddia Quigly applique quilt that i was going to send away to be done, until my darling daughter said mum why dont you do your own quilting. So that is where i would like to be as 2012 comes to a close. To feel that my skill level would warrant my own quilting on that quilt. I plan to check out Sewcalgal’s site.Thanks for all you share and boosting confidence in ourselves. Exciting to see what 2012 will bring! Donna

  56. Louisa Lawson Says:

    I want to be a le to control my speed better. I do use the BSR foot on my machine. also I need to get my curves smoother – rather too many jerky circles at present.

  57. michele hester Says:

    I would be happy to give those threads a new home! I have started experimenting with new threads over the last year and have been amazed at what a difference it makes in quilting. I too have signed up for the FMQ challenge and am looking forward to the year of lessons.

  58. Pam Says:

    I have always admired your quilting and the embellishments you use for your quilts. I would love to have threads to use to start my quilting. Signing up for the challenge too!

  59. Kelly Jackson Says:

    I’m already pledged and looking forward to seeing how I’ve improved by the end of the year.

    Please don’t put my name in the hat for thread…I seem to have plenty…LOL


  60. Mary Hayes Says:

    I was so excited when I found the FMQ challenge for the year. This is something I will be doing. I have been working along by myself trying to improve my FMQ skills. This is something I am so fascinated with. I love the look and feel of fabric, that is why I love quilting, but it is just not finished without the thread.

  61. Judith Says:

    I signed up for the challenge and want desparately to learn FMQ. Any help with
    supplies would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

  62. MarciaW Says:

    Thanks for the chance. I’m heading over to check out the challenge. This is my year to try FMQ on one small project as have none of the needed supplies (yet). The variegated thread looks great, and have never used it. Please place my name in the hat.

  63. Peggy St George Says:

    This is my year to become confident quilting feathers. I just purchased your feathers book…which is absolutely fabulous. Now…to get busy and do what I’ve been thinking about doing for a while…quilt feathers. Thank you for your superb guidance.

  64. Karen M Says:

    I have also signed up for the FMQ Challenge. I hope to learn CONTROL of my quilting. I’m sure practice is the key.Thanks for the chance to win.

  65. Becky Greene Says:

    I am going to sign up for the FMQ CHallenge. I am a super-newbie to the whole idea of FMQ, but it is intriguing. Thanks for the chance to win some thread to experiment with!

  66. Dennis Says:

    I want to be less afraid to try to do more. Thank you for a chance to win some thread,always need thread.

  67. Michelle G Says:

    I tried free motion quilting once and it scared me completely. I have always strived for straight lines and this was definitely not straight. My only goal with FMQ is to feel more comfortable with it. And let it expand my notion of quilting.

  68. Kathy Schmidt Says:

    I love FMQ and never know which thread I’m going to want to play with next. I love to play with different threads for different looks all the time.

  69. Lisa Says:

    I did sign up for this challenge and I’m really hoping to learn how to decide what kind of a design suits which quilt and to get that push to just start quilting. To get over that fear of wrecking all my hard work. Thanks for the giveaway.

  70. Hilary McDaniel Says:

    I tried to sign up but I don’t have a blog so it wouldnt let me I’ll follow along anyway I’m thrilled to finally be learning this. your work is breathtaking.

  71. Lyn Blackburn Says:

    I was given your name by my friend. She said to read your blog and it would help me to get to grips with quilting. I have only ever done stitch in the ditch as I can follow the straight lines. But I now want to do a lot more so that my quilts will look so much better. Thank you for a fantastic blog. Lyn

  72. Lyn Blackburn Says:

    I for got to say I would love to have the threads please. I am going home on Friday and will have a long look through all your blog. I can’t wait to start my FMQ. Thanks again. Lyn

  73. Dianne Giles Says:

    I want to learn better control! Thanks for the chance, Dianne

  74. Nadine Says: