Patsy Thompson is an amazing designer, author, teacher and FMQ Expert.

During the 2012 FMQ Challenge, Patsy provided us a wonderful tutorial to create a stunning quilt with borders of beautiful FMQ designs.

Here are some of the quilts that the participants created using Patsy’s tutorial:

{above} Janmusingsagain

{above} Joan at Leschenault

{above} Terry (Today in Kenogami)

SewCalGal believes all of those that used Patsy’s tutorial had fun learning/improving their FMQ skills and everyone created a beautiful quilt.  This tutorial has inspired many quilters to fall in love with whole cloth quilting as well as incorporating spectacular FMQ borders on their projects.  If you haven’t yet completed this tutorial, you are encouraged to do so this summer.   And, I’m sure you’ll be delighted you did.

As SewCalGal has learned a lot from Patsy’s DVDs and books.  So, I feel it is also appropriate to let you know about a sale at Patsy Thompson Designs:
PTD  currently has a sale that runs through May 31st (9am EST) for 25% off all retail purchases of PTD Books and DVDs (excluding  bundles) and Appli-K-Kutz fabric cutting dies  (excluding bundles).  Enter the code: “May 2013” at checkout to get the discount. 

If you would like to learn more about Patsy and her designs, you can find her at: 

The Challenge – It’s All About Borders!

This challenge builds off of Patsy’s tutorial released in the 2012 FMQ Challenge, but you’ll need to apply your own creativity and decide the size and design of your project.  

Your design may result in a table runner, wall hanging or quilt.  It should contain 8-10 different border sashings with at least two FMQ design from the tutorial provided by Patsy and you get to decide which FMQ designs you want to apply to the other borders, as well as what the widths will be for each border!  To clarify, this is not a challenge to replicate the project in Patsy’s tutorial, but to have you create a quilt that utilizes a number of borders for each FMQ design.

You can vary the width of each border, add corner stones or not.  You can use 100% solids, solids and prints, etc.  Your choice, your design.  It just needs 8-10 different border sashings and at least FMQ designs used in Patsy’s 2012 tutorials.

For those that really need design ideas to create, SewCalGal will be sharing posts with some design options.  And, I want to encourage those that are on Facebook and joined the group for this challenge to share images of any design idea you  feel appropriate.  I will try to periodically update this post with links to be insert here to posts with design ideas.  So, check back.  But, I do want to encourage everyone to do some doodling on paper and see what design options inspire you for this challenge.
EQ Design Ideas and EQ Challenge for It’s All About Borders

And, don’t forget to look to Patsy for inspiration too!  Visit Patsy’s site, blog, Facebook page, watch her DVDs, read her books, check out the other entries for her 2012 FMQ tutorial challenge.  These  are all great resources. 

Take time to doodle your ideas on paper to plan out your design. For those using EQ7 (or earlier versions), you may also want to play with your software.  Think about what type of fabrics and threads you may want to use for this challenge as you’ll want to use things that will allow your FMQ to shine, not be hidden in busy prints!


Rules to enter this challenge:
Deadline to enter is October 31st, 2013.  SewCalGal is coordinating working with sponsors and will announce prizes soon.  But everyone is encouraged to participate in this challenge for the purpose of learning/improving your FMQ skills and not just to win prizes!  Still, it is fun to have prizes in a challenge so SewCalGal is working with sponsors to get some prizes that are perfect for those interested in free-motion quilting!
For bloggers:
Please post your entry on your blog. To clarify, you can include as many photos of this  exercise in your post, but you can only add one link to the linky tool below. You may also want to include insights in your post about your past FMQ experience and thoughts about this tutorial. Totally, optional, but you may also want to also let inspire others to learn/improve their FMQ skills and encourage them to participate in this challenge too, by including a link in your post back to this challenge.
Bloggers should not add a link to their blog, but a direct link to their blog post that shares evidence that they completed this challenge between today and before October 31st.
For non-Bloggers:


1) You will need to have a Flickr account ( 
2) Upload your photos for this month’s challenge to Flickr, batch organize, send your photos to groups, select “FMQ Challenge“. While Flickr, limits the amount of text you can share in your description, feel free to share your perspective on this exercise and/or your past FMQ experience, if you wish.
3) After your photos have successfully been loaded to the “FMQ Challenge” group, click on your best photo in that group, ideally one that shows you created a project or sharing your practice sandwich that reflects insights shared in this  tutorial.  Be sure to Copy the URL link to your specific photo entry. Add that link to the linky tool above, to officially enter this show.

Don’t forget to periodically check the main page for this event as it will be updated to show links to the challenges, as they are released.  And, it will soon be updated to recognize all the sponsors and show all the prizes.  A special post will be created where participants can link up to show that they’ve completed 4 or more of the 2013 FMQ Challenges.  All 2013 Challenges and the linky post (for winning prizes) will be released by the first week of June.


SewCalGal will host 6 FMQ Challenges in 2013.  The focus should be on learning/improving your skills, but there will also prizes.  For more information on these challenges please check the main page for this event, which can be found on a tab labeled “FMQ Challenge” at the top of this page.

Have fun.   And, I hope you’ll pop over and follow Patsy on her blog.You’ll find inspirational posts and may find some more ideas this summer for creating quilts with spectacular borders too!  SewCalGal is a happy follower.



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5 comments on “2013 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge #5 – It’s All About Borders, with Patsy Thompson”

  1. I am so no structured this year…I apologize for not getting into the challenge this time. I had every intention to take part; but just can’t manage it. I have way too much on my agenda this year…

    But I am keeping an eye on what you are doing….keep up the great work!!!!

  2. hahaha How many borders??? Now that is giving us masses of room for ideas with our new learned talents. WooHoo I am in for this most definitely. Thinking cap on.

  3. hahaha How many borders??? Now that is giving us masses of room for ideas with our new learned talents. WooHoo I am in for this most definitely. Thinking cap on.

  4. This is the third challenge I will do, and I am hoping to complete it in September. I learned so much from Patsy’s challenge last year. I think that is when feathers finally started to click for me. I look forward to playing with border designs and creating something that will hang on my sewing room wall.

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