Free-Motion Quilting Challenge – Pumpkins, Sponsored by Martingale

If you have not yet tried free-motion quilting, or not yet feeling comfortable with it, I hope this challenge encourages you to give it a try.  Likewise, for those that have tried FMQ, maybe comfortable with it (or not), I hope you’ll also give it a try.  Learning/improving our FMQ skills does require practice, practice, practice.  Even 15 minutes a day can make a big difference.  Initially practice is needed just to learn the basics and feel comfortable.  Then, practice is needed to learn more FMQ motifs.  But every FMQ Expert I’ve ever talked to tells me that they still practice FMQ before they begin to work on a project, even when they know the designs. And, they spend more time practicing when working on a new FMQ motif.

I’m hosting this FMQ Challenge to help encourage everyone to learn/improve your FMQ skills. And, I hope those with experience will also participate to share and inspire others.  This simple challenge has a Fall theme and incorporates two FMQ tutorials for beautiful pumpkin motifs.

Pumpkins are perfect for decorating anytime in the Fall, not just for Halloween.  Actually, they look beautiful anytime of the year.Thus, this Challenge is not just a FMQ Challenge, but a pumpkin challenge that showcases two FMQ tutorials, by two amazing quilters, teachers, designers and authors.  I hope you will join the fun and use this challenge to learn/improve your FMQ skills, as well as inspire others with your sharing.  Participants that share, automatically get entered to win a prize with each project that they share!

Plenty of ways to enter:

 1.  Learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills by utilizing one or both FMQ tutorials for stitching pumpkins, by:

LORI KENNEDY  (The Inbox Jaunt) – 2015 FMQ Challenge  Reboot – practice, practice, practice this tutorial to learn and improve your FMQ skills, as well as create a beautiful project with a pumpkin motif.


LEAH DAY – MAGICAL PUMPKINS – practice, practice practice this FMQ tutorial to learn and improve your FMQ skills, as well as create a project that incorporates this beautiful design.

2.  You can create and share any type of project, or practice sandwich that you desire  But of course, finished projects are very inspirational.  Maybe you’ll want to incorporate this challenge into a table runner, wall hanging, mug rug, pillow, quilt, etc..  The possibilities are endless.

3.  While you can practice and learn FMQ by one or both of the above FMQ tutorials, if you have previously done so you can share any project you previously created.  Of course, I want to encourage everyone to practice again, and again, to improve your FMQ skills, ideally practicing more than once with each of the above tutorials.  So, to clarify, the more projects you create the more entries you get, regardless of when you make them. They just need to be shared before this Challenge ends in November, to qualify for an entry to win prizes.

4.  Practice, practice, practice and share your results with us no later than November 30th, to be eligible to win a prize.  To share,  you have two options:  a) post a copy on my facebook page at  or email me your photo entries with your contact info, no later than November 27th,  and I will post on Facebook no later than November 30th.  To clarify, you need not have a Facebook account, nor be a blogger.  But, for those who are bloggers if you opt to do a blog post to share what you create, you are also encouraged to add a link when you share on my Facebook page or share the link in your email to me so that I include it when I share your photos on my Facebook page (only applicable for those that don’t have a Facebook account).

Thanks to Martingale for sponsoring this Challenge.  One lucky winner will be randomly selected early December and have their choice of one of the following books, which QuiltShopGal will ship directly to the lucky winner, anywhere in the world!

This Challenge is open to WW participants.

Please email me if you have any questions.   



You can find Lori Kennedy at:

You can find Leah at:

You can find Martingale at:
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Note:  I’m currently researching to see if I can replicate this challenge with a Winter of Christmas theme, as well as one for Spring.  It will also depend on how many participate in this challenge.  Thus, I hope if you are interested in seeing such challenges you will encourage others to participate too!  

Who Turned 34 and Celebrating with a Great Sale ?

Did you hear Leah Day turned 34 this week?  Happy Birthday to Leah and thank you for all you do to make our world of quilting so wonderful.  She shared her heartfelt thoughts in a sweet video that I found very positive and want to encourage everyone to watch:

To celebrate her 34th birthday she is hosting a 40% off sale on all her downloadable books, patterns and workshops available thru her online store at



Click thru and check out the amazing deals for her workshops, downloadable books & patterns, even fun machine embroidery designs all at 40% off (what a steal).

If you don’t yet have a copy of Leah’s 365 Free Motion Quilting designs I recommend this book as a “must have” for anyone interested in FMQ.  It is a great resource to plan out your projects, as well as to plan out designs you want to master.  A downloadable copy can be helpful to have on a laptop when traveling and/or a tablet, that you can also set near your machine when you are quilting.

There are also other items on sale, while not 40% off, there are still more deals on her site. Plus, her regular prices are always reasonable.  So click thru and check out her Birthday sale.  What a fun way to celebrate Leah’s 34th birthday – where you get to buy yourself a present.  Heck, if you don’t have time to take the workshop now, this is such a steal you can wrap it up and give it to yourself for Christmas and complete the workshop next year.



Don’t forget this sale ends tomorrow, Monday at midnight.


You can find Leah at:

Call for Quilts – #QuiltsForVegas

Thanks to Christa Watson for sharing a post on her blog (Christa Quilts), which caught my attention for #QuiltsForVegas.

The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild has a call for #quiltsforVegas and today I’m trying to heighten awareness and ultimately encourage quilters and quilt guilds to participate.  Help is needed to make and donate quilts, even quilt blocks that will be turned into quits.  But I also suspect that more ways to volunteer would be appreciated (e.g. donation of batting, fabrics, longarm skills, etc.).  Help is also needed to contact your guild board members, even local quilt store owners, to see if they can help rally volunteers for this very worthwhile cause.

The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild has stepped forward to help quilters, from around the world, help give much needed quilty hugs to  get quilts to the victims and first responders.    Using block patterns from Cluck Cluck Sew, using the 10 inch finished block size, where a heart block (located anywhere in the quilt), will certainly provide the recipient a good quilty hug of comfort. Grayscale blocks, in any arrangement along with one heart block somewhere on the quilt. They want you to use 2 fabrics in each block; white and a happy contrasting color but feel free to mix it up however you like!  


I love the cheerfulness from these quilts.

The easy to sew design is also very versatile.  There is no right or wrong.  And, the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild is also open to receive quilts from other designs that could offer good quilty hugs and comforts to those impacted by the Las Vegas shootings.

For more info:

If you have questions email:

Don’t forget, help is needed to increase awareness for this call for quilts #quitsforvegas  – you can make a difference by helping to spread the word.  Let your quilt guild, quilt shop owners and quilting friends know.  Even making a quilt block for this cause can make a difference, but the word needs to get out to let people know how they can help spread much needed quilty hugs to those impacted by the shootings in Las Vegas.


I’m back

Whew, what a summer.  Traveling with limited internet, my laptop died, lost access to edit my blog and my primary quiltshopgal email address.  But looks like I’m back in the saddle again and all is well in the world (or the world is sorta ok).  How have you been?  Anyone miss me?  I can honestly say I missed you and hope you had a wonderful summer and all is well in your world.   I have some news to share this week, so stay tuned.

Pets On Quilts Show – 2017

It’s time.  I can honestly say this is my favorite event of the year – The Annual Pets on Quilts Show, hosted by Snoodles of Lily Pad Quilting.

Pets on Quilts 2017
I love seeing all the cute pets on beautiful quilts.  This is a super fun event for bloggers and non-bloggers who love animals.  I’ll confess I love all sorts of animals and I love quilting, so this show is meant to be.  Plus, Snoodles does such a great job hosting this event and has lined up amazing sponsors who have donated generous prizes.  But while winning prizes can be great fun, the fun is really all about seeing all the sweet pets and beautiful quilts.  And, you’ll even find pet themed quilts that are inspirational.


I’ll also confess, I don’t have a pet.  All my pets are now in pet heaven.  While I’d love to adopt a pet from a shelter, I’m a few years off from being able to offer a furr-ever loving home. In the meantime, I volunteer to pet watch and walk where ever I can.


I thought I’d share a picture of a sweet dog on a recent quilt I made.  The quilt was a free pattern and video tutorial from the Fat Quarter Shop for a classic Jacob’s Ladder Quilt.


This cute dog is a long hair Corgi.  He was all about food and fortunately I had dog biscuits that his 2 legged mother approved me giving him one.  He wanted to explore everything and became super excited once he found my quilt.  He actually didn’t seem to want to get off of it.  While I would have approved him to stay for an extended visit (even longer than a summer), his 2 legged mother insisted that he had to go with her when she left.


I want to encourage everyone to check out the Pets on Quilts Show which officially begins today.  You can find a Linky Party tool on Lily Pad Quilting.  Participants can share anytime during the show (linky tool is live), so you may want to bookmark and go back.  I love to click thru all the entries to learn more about the sweet pets, as well as the beautiful quilts.  IF you have a pet or a pet themed quilt, don’t overlook the fact that even though this show started today, there is still time to snap some photos and enter.  Just pop by Lily Pad Quilting for more info on this super fun event.  And, I hope you’ll help spread the word too!

The Brain of a Creative Person

For generations, many have felt that the brain of an creative person was better (memory, creativity, communication skills, etc.) than a non-creative person.  You have probably seen this artwork before, but I wanted to share it today, as well as get us all thinking about our creative brains.

quilters brain patchwork

I’ve personally witnessed designers design and I’m convinced they have fireworks going off in their brain when they create.  I’m convinced that Creative Souls, not just musicians, have amazing brains (far better than mine).  So when I came across this Youtube video about the brain of a musician, I knew I wanted to share it with you today.

What do you think?  Would we  get similar results if such a study was performed on creative individuals, who might be quilters, embroidering enthusiasts, sewing enthusiasts, jewelry designers, painters, or any form of #CreativeGoodness?  Watch it and let me know what you think.

CNN also shared an interesting article “This is your brain on crafting” that shows evidence that creative activities may protect against aging, be a natural anti-depressant, and offer similar effects as meditation.

Personally, I’m convinced your brain is firing on my pistons than the non-creative brain.   I hope you’ll consider leaving a comment to share insights about your creative brain.  Maybe ideas for how you fuel it, re-energize it, or even your observations on others with creative brains.   Of course, I also want to encouraging sharing of ideas for how we inspire future generations with creative brains.  So please share your thoughts on this topic.

July Book Releases: New Books with #CreativeGoodness by Martingale

Today I want to share insights about three new books published by Martingale this month, each packed with #CreativeGoodness: 

badge for books with #CreativeGoodness copy

BABY QUILTS FOR BEGINNERS: Easy to Make, Fun to Give, compiled by Karen M. Burns


13 sweet projects from top designers including Kimberly Jolly, Amy Ellis, Melissa Corry, Sue Pfau, and more.   Perfect projects to make for babies and while perfect for beginners, I think even experienced quilters would enjoy making the projects in this new book.   And, don’t forget if you don’t have a baby in mind to make such a quilt for, many charity programs (e.g. Operation Homefront, Linus, shelters, etc) always appreciate the donation of handmade baby quilts.

SEW MANY NOTIONS: Wonderful Wool Appliques, Simple Stitcheries, and More, by Debbie Busby


18 simple little applique’ projects that are absolutely perfect for those that love wool, including those wanting to learn to work with wool.  These projects are perfect to decorate your sewing space, as well as to make for gifts.  Projects include such items as: pincushions, needle holders, mini-quilts, a table mat, and much more. All of the designs have easy to follow instructions, with great visuals, making this an excellent resource for quilters of all levels.

A PIECE OF CAKE: Sweet and Simple Quilts from Layer Cake Squares by Peta Peace


16 fun projects that range in size from 15 ½ x 15 ½” to 84 ½ x 84 ½”, as well as a pillow, table runners, wall-hangings and full size quilts. All of the designs have easy to follow instructions, with great visuals, making this an excellent resource for quilters of all levels.


I hope you get a chance to check out these books at your favorite quilt shop.  Of course, if you don’t see them do let them know you are interested in having them make these books available.  They are so new, that they may not be aware of them.  Don’t forget you can also check them out online at Martingale or Amazon.

You can find Martingale at:
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Traditional Quilting in India

Today I want to share a Youtube video that shows how a woman in India makes a traditional quilt. It is a fairly short video which shows an interesting technique.  This is also how this quilter earns a living for her family.


If you are on a MAC, or have problems watching this embedded video, here is a link where you can watch it directly in Youtube:


The finished length of the quilt is – 80 inches(250 cms)
width is – 40 inches (100cms)

June Book Releases: New Books with #CreativeGoodness by Martingale

Today I want to share insights about three new books published by Martingale this month, each packed with #CreativeGoodness: 

badge for books with #CreativeGoodness copy

COTTON WAY CLASSICS: Fresh Quilts for a Charming Home, by Bonnie Olaveson


The designs in this book are a refreshing blend of traditional designs that would make fun and fast quilts perfect for your home, or to give as a gift. With 13 designs, that each come with well written easy to follow instructions this book is perfect for quilters of all levels.  And, when you consider the price of a standalone pattern, this book is an exceptional value.


BLOCK-BUSTER QUILTS: I Love House Blocks: 14 Quilts from an All-Time Favorite Block, compiled by Karen M. Burns


If you have ever wanted to make a quilt with a house design, or even make another one, this book would be your “go to” book.  Karen has once again, done a fantastic job compiling designs this time with the theme of “I Love House Blocks”.    With 14 all new house theme designs from top-notch designers – including Carrie Nelson, Kimberly Jolly, Jeni Gaston, Jackie White, Corey Yoder, Natalie Barnes, and more – this is an amazing book, with an exceptional value, that is perfect for quilters of all levels.

ROCK SOLID: 13 Stunning Quilts Made with Kona Cottons, compiled by Karen M. Burns 


With 13 quilt designs all from top notch designers, this book lives up to its’ name.  All of the designs just shine with Kona Cottons (solids), but I think they’d also look great in fabric from your stash, or purchase fabric as desired. This book is also perfect for quilters of all levels.


I hope you get a chance to check out these books at your favorite quilt shop.  Of course, if you don’t see them do let them know you are interested in having them make these books available.  They are so new, that they may not be aware of them.  Don’t forget you can also check them out online at Martingale or Amazon.

You can find Martingale at:
martingale logo

Fast-Fold Hexies from Pre-cuts & Stash

Want to learn a super fun and fast way to make quilts with hexies?  How about making some innovative hexie designs?  Today, I’m going to share insights about a new book that was recently published by Landauer Publishing that is packed with #CreativeGoodness.

badge for books with #CreativeGoodness copy

Fast-Fold Hexies, by Mary M Hogan, was officially released at Spring Quilt Market!   Mary shares an innovated technique in this book, as well as some fun projects.




A new way to make hexies!

Quilt makers will be in awe of Mary M. Hogan’s newest innovation – fast-fold hexies! Just when you thought that there can’t be anything new beneath the hexagon quiltmaking sun, along comes a new and clever technique to make what quilters love easier and faster!

Hexagon quilts are certainly on-trend today, and have been around since the 1880s.   Quilters love their versatility because they are so adaptable to both modern and traditional designs.  Yet hexagon quilts can be challenging to piece, and so readers will rejoice at a new technique that streamlines the process.

Fast-Fold Hexies from Pre-cuts & Stash is a slender book jam-packed with how-to wisdom.  It takes readers through the step-by-step process to create each unit from a folded circle of fabric, inserting a hexagon-shaped piece of batting, and then adding another, smaller hexie on top to hide raw edges.  Quilters can sew by machine, or by hand when out and about.  The technique creates one complete hexie unit, and when you sew the units together, you get a two-sided quilt with no separate batting, backing or binding!

Readers will find the following in Fast-Fold Hexies from Pre-cuts & Stash:

  • 4 projects:  from a trivet to a lap quilt
  • Easy how-to and step-by-step: clear photography makes the hexie units’ construction a snap
  • Includes templates for fabric circles and hexagon-shaped batting
  • On-line links to coloring diagrams and additional projects!
  • 16 pages, only $12.95


Fast-Fold Hexies is a very innovative book with a great technique that is perfect for quilters of all levels, as well as easy to follow instructions on 4 creative projects.  When you consider the price of one stand alone pattern, the retail price on this book is an amazing value.

I hope you can check out this new book at your favorite quilt shop.  But, if you don’t see it, do let them know about it as it is such a new book they may not be aware of it.  Of course, you can also check this book at at Landauer Publishing , where you can also find a “look inside” this book. It is also available thru Amazon.

You can find Landauer Publishing at:

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