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. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. Billie K Says:

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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


  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. Dianne Giles Says:

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

  24. Nadine Says: