Category: free-motion quilting

Free Motion Quilting With Rulers – Opportunities on Craftsy

There are a lot of ways to learn/improve your skills for using rulers for free-motion quilting on a domestic machine.  Today, I want to share insights about some amazing classes on Craftsy, to help you learn about using rulers for FMQ on a domestic machine.  But there are also many classes filled with #CreativeGoodness available via Craftsy and EVERY class on Crafty is on on sale this weekend for < $20 USD.

For those interested in learning/improving their skills for FMQ using rulers, check out:

Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine, by Amy Johnson


Creative Quilting with Amy Johnson


Craftsy has plenty of free-motion quilting classes, quilting in general, cooking, gardening, photography, and many more topics.


You can find Craftsy at:

Here is a list of previous posts about RulerWork

Ruler Work on Domestic Machines

This is a simple post today, all about Ruler work on domestic machines, which is rapidly growing in popularity.  

Many that have tried free-motion quilting (FMQ) and do beautiful work are incorporating ruler work in their projects, many modern quilters are using only ruler work, and there are many newbies to FMQ that are learning thru ruler work.

I’m hoping you’ll share your experience with FMQ and ruler work today.  Have you used quilting rulers on a domestic machine?  Are you interested in learning/improving your skills for FMQ using rulers??

Here is a video by Westalee that talks about Ruler Feet for domestic machines, which I think has become a favored tool for many:

Here is a video demonstration by Patsy Thompson that shows off some fun stuff you can create with rulers.

Several sewing machine manufacturers have created a specific ruler foot for their brand, but if not, the adapter feet are highly recommended.  I’ve been able to purchase the recently released Bernina Ruler Foot and absolutely love it.


Again, I’d love to hear from you on your experience with FMQ, Ruler Feet, as well as interest in learning about FMQ using rulers.  For those that have been using rulers for FMQ, do you have “go to” rulers, any classes to recommend, or tips you can share?  

Here is a list of previous posts about RulerWork

The Ultimate Quilting Challenge – Wrap Up

ultimate quilt challenge badge


The Ultimate Quilt Challenge was created to encourage quilters to learn/improve their free-motion quilting skills.  While any free-motion quilting style or motif could be used, the core focus of this challenge was to incorporate any of the versatile Ultimate Quilting Stencils, which have been designed by Cindy Needham, a Master Free-Motion Quilting Expert.  Participants in this challenge could share a project previously completed that incorporated any of these stencils, quilters could use the downloadable  Master Templates to sketch out and share ideas they’ve created on paper or electronically, or the final option to enter, was to stitch out any project, any size, any style, any design, using any of the Ultimate Stencils, but do so during the summer of 2016.  

Today I’m thrilled to share photos from some of the participants. I strongly believe all of the entries were absolutely beautiful and I hope that they inspire you to learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills, as well as see the versatility of using the Ultimate Quilting Stencils.  I also want to encourage you to click thru to visit these blogs, as the participants shared more photos and insights and many have more posts for inspirational FMQ, as well as working with the Ultimate Stencil Collections.

Karen of the Quilt Yarn shared an amazing whole cloth quilt which she had previously created, using some of the stencils from various Ultimate Stencil Collections.   Her project measures 35″x35″ and incorporates the original Ultimate Stencil Collection, as well as some hyperquilting techniques from Patsy Thompson.


Anna of Anna’s Quilting Studio shared her doodle/sketch ideas for designs using some of the Ultimate Stencils.


Karen of the Quilt Yarn shared a variety of doodle/sketch ideas using various Ultimate Stencils.  Karen has also shared a number of blog posts showing more stunning design ideas that she has sketched on paper, but recently she has also been sharing tips for using software for creating electronic sketches for various FMQ motifs appropriate for blocks, or wholecloth quilts.

Patty D of A Stitch N Time also shared inspirational doodle/sketch design ideas.


Kearstie of KB’s Quilting  shared her sketch designs, which incorporated some of the Ultimate Quilting Stencils.  And she shared a lovely project she stitched out with this design this summer.


Laura of Laura Luvs Loons shared sketches with us, for her design idea that incorporated some  of the Ultimate Quilting Stencils. She applied FMQ  ideas to a Vintage Linen to create a stunning table runner which she stitched out this summer.

Vicki of Fabric Under Foot shared her sketches with us, which incorporated some of the Ultimate Background Stencils.  And while Vicki is still stitching out this lovely project, she shared with us a photo show how much she has progressed this summer.

Thank you to our wonderful Sponsors:




Inspired LED

Robert Kaufman Fabrics



While I think anyone that uses any of the Ultimate Stencil Collections is a winner, as they truly are so versatile and help you create stunning free-motion quilting, the Ultimate Quilting Challenge has announced winners.  Congratulations to:  Karen of the Quilt YarnAnna of Anna’s Quilting Studio, Patty D of A Stitch N Time,  Kearstie of KB’s QuiltingLaura of Laura Luvs Loons and Vicki of Fabric Under Foot.  While we didn’t have that many participants in this Challenge,  those that did participate certainly shared inspirational ideas and projects.  Thank you.
You can find Cindy Needham at:

Here is a list of previous posts #UltimateQuiltingChallenge:

San Diego Quilt Show – 2016 – Inspirational Free-Motion Quilting

san diego quilt show

Today I want to share some photos of quilts exhibited at the San Diego Quilt Show, which I found inspirational free-motion quilting:



For those interested in learning/improving your free-motion quilting skills, don’t forget that you have thru September 15th to enter one, or all 3 of the Linky Parties, to be entered to win prizes.  You can even download a free Ultimate Stencil master template, doodle/sketch out a FMQ design idea and share to be entered in Linky Party #2, or use the actual stencil on a practice sandwich to enter Linky Party #3, or, for those that have already completed projects with any of the Ultimate Stencils, share in Linky Party #1.  For more info:

Of course, I also recommend online free-motion quilting classes on Craftsy, as they are a great way to learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills and they have a large selection of classes, from a variety of FMQ Experts.  Of course, I do appreciate those that use my Affiliate link when making such a purchase as while you pay the same price anyplace, I “may” receive a small percentage back and I use those funds to supplement postage expenses for shipping prizes for various events and giveaways which I host.

You can find the San Diego Quilt Show at:

San Diego Quilt Show – Weekend Quilt Fun

san diego quilt showThe San Diego Quilt Show is going on this weekend and I want to share a sneak peek, with more to come soon.  If you have the opportunity to go, definitely go, this year, or in the future.  It is a small, but growing show, which continues to improve.  And this years a fantastic show, with something for everyone:  traditional quilts, art quilts, great classes, wonderful vendors and more.

Edyta Sitar, designer for Moda Fabrics, and founder/owner of Laundry Basket Quilts is the Guest Artist.   She is an amazing woman, very talented and very approachable, and she shared  an amazing display of her spectacular quilts (and fabrics).

san diego quilt show photos by quiltshopgal 1

There are many fun themed quilts, including  pet/animal themes.  This beautiful quilt made by Wanda Pasek caught my attention.  The adorable fox quilt design is Jenni Baker’s design and published in the book “Fun-Size Quilts“, compiled by Karen Burns, published by Martingale.

san diego quilt show photos by quiltshopgal 2

There are many quilts with inspirational free-motion quilting.  I also enjoyed watching people take time to admire the stitching on these quilts.  While many caught my attention, I wanted to share a sneak peek on a close up of a quilt made by Katie Greene.

san diego quilt show photos by quiltshopgal 3


There is a great  Vendor Mall.  And   Pacific Rim Quilt Company even introduced a new pattern at the show (not yet available via their website, or any store, but will be soon).  Here is a sneak peek:

san diego quilt show photos by quiltshopgal 4


I do hope you have a chance to visit the San Diego Quilt Show this year, or in the future. If you live far away, San Diego can be a great vacation place.  I met attendees of this event that had come from England, as well as Australia and they loved it!  But as I realize we can’t travel and visit every quilt show, I will be sharing more insights about this show in the very near future.

Lastly, I want to share that Craftsy has ALL of their classes on sale for $19.99, or less, including their new classes.  Treat yourself to a class this Fall, as your own personal back to school personal development plan.



You can find the San Diego Quilt Show at:

#CreativeGoodness With Modern Quilting And Free-Motion Quilting

Today I want to recognize Pamela Gavin, of Bakersfield, California, for her stunning quilt “Modern Glacier”, which was displayed  at QuiltCon West 2016, this past February.



This quilt drew me in to look and admire.




The variety of quilting motifs, as well as shapes and their respective fills, created interest.



Total #CreativeGoodness.



I hope you enjoy seeing Pamela’s quilt as much as I did.P1140640


Great job Pamela.  Total #CreativeGoodness.

You can find Pamela at:


You can find the QuiltCon at:




The Ultimate Free-Motion Quilting Challenge – Summer 2016 – Linky Party #3 – Learn/Improve Your Free-Motion Quilting Skills This Summer

ultimate quilt challenge badge

Welcome to the 3rd Linky Party for the Ultimate Quilting Challenge, hosted by QuiltShopGal this summer.   This parties is all about learning/improving your FMQ skills by using any/all of the Ultimate Stencil Collections on any project, including a practice quilt sandwich, this summer.  To clarify, you get to make the decision to use a UFO that needs quilting, a pieced, applique’, or whole cloth quilt.  You can even create a new project specific for this challenge, or do something simple on a practice quilt sandwich.  Your entry can be simple, with minimal quilting or dense, with plenty of stitching.  Again, totally up to you as I simply want everyone to practice, learn, have fun and inspire. 

Sponsors for this event include:



ultimate quilt challenge linky party #3 supplies

Let the Party begin!  Please be sure to read the rules before you add an entry to this Linky Party #3.  This event is open to bloggers and non-bloggers, all around the world.


  • Bloggers and non-bloggers are eligible to enter:
    1. Bloggers need to share their entry in a current post, dated during this event (links to old posts will be removed).  Not required, but appreciated if you also let others know about this Ultimate FMQ  Challenge and include a link in your post.  Of course, you can share more than one doodle/sketch design idea with as many photos and insights as you wish to share, but only one link per person.
    2. Non-Bloggers have a variety of ways to share, but they need to ensure that they only share one link in the linky post. Depending on the tool you use to share, you can reference that you are participating in this event and clarify if you have additional photos that can be viewed. For example, if you upload to Flickr you can link one picture, but share more via a folder, just be sure your security is open to anyone to view.  You can also share via uploading to Pinterest, or other free online sites, but you do need to ensure the site you upload your photo entry is open so that anyone can view it.  To eliminate the risk of having your link deleted, consider asking others to check for you.
  • For this linky party, you need to share any project, any style, any size that you quilted this summer using any of the Ultimate Stencil collections by Cindy Needham.  You can even do FMQ on a practice piece and enter.  And projects need not be completed, but should have enough quilted to clearly show you have used any of the Ultimate Stencils.
  • When you share a project in any of the three Linky Parties for this event you are giving permission for QuiltShopGal and Cindy Needham to share a picture of your project, to recognize you, on our blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.
  • Prizes will be randomly awarded the last week of September.

To clarify all entries must incorporate The Ultimate Stencil Collection and/ or The Ultimate Background Stencil Collection, by Cindy Needham. Of course, you can also incorporate other FMQ motifs, as desired.

Cindy has also written many handbooks (aka  e:books), which she updates annually.  While you can purchase these books individually, when you purchase the Complete Collection, you receive updated copies for free, every year.  Trust me, you’ll want the Complete Collection.  It is an amazing value, packed with Cindy’s insights for creating beautiful free-motion quilting, with easy to follow instructions and great visuals.

For a complete list of prizes for this event, visit the Main Page which you can find underneath the blog header labeled “The Ultimate Quilting Challenge 2016“.

You can find Cindy Needham at:

If you have any questions, please email me. I also encourage you to add a comment on this post and I’m hoping others may also help out by replying to your comment, should I not be able to respond in a timely manner (bless those that help others).

email address for quiltshopgal

Don’t forget there are three linky parties, three ways you can enter the 2016 Ultimate Quilting Challenge to win one or more prizes, but you have to enter by September 15th.

Here is a list of previous posts #UltimateQuiltingChallenge:

#EQ25 – A Tutorial to use EQ7 for Creating Stencils, based on The Ultimate Stencil Collection, by Cindy Needham

The Electric Quilt Companyis celebrating their 25th Anniversary with monthly giveaways.  This month you can win a copy of EQ7 software or a fabric bundle from Art Gallery Fabrics.  

EQ 25 Celebration EQ logos

And, as I love all things EQ, to help with this celebration, I’ve created an EQ7 tutorial for using quilting stencils, which I want to share with you today.  Incorporating stencils into EQ can help to plan your projects, as well as create your own unique FMQ designs.  Of course, for those with EQStitch, you can also easily convert these designs to machine embroidery.  Plus, you could also easily use this technique to incorporate into quilt labels.


While this tutorial shows how to incorporate any stencil, I’m using a stencil from a design collection by Cindy Needham, called the Ultimate Stencil Collection.   You may be aware that I’m also hosting a challenge this summer, with three ways you can enter to win prizes. One is to sketch/doodle FMQ design ideas using any of Cindy’s Ultimate Stencils.  And, while you can certainly sketch on paper, you can also use EQ SW to create your design ideas and share.  And, when you share, you’re automatically entered to win prizes.  Plus, you don’t have to purchase anything to sketch out your design ideas, as Cindy has free downloadable templates.  Of course, there are also ways to enter by using these stencils and doing free-motion quilting on your pieced, applique, or wholecloth quilts, of any size, where you can also win prizes.

It is really easy to use stencils in EQ7 to apply to your designs.  But, admittedly, the Ultimate Stencil collection, Ultimate Background Stencil collection and the new Ultimate Shape collection are all versatile stencils that are so much fun to pull into EQ7 and let your creativity have fun.  Possibilities are endless.

Here are a few auditioning ideas I came up with for some of my doodling using the Ultimate Stencil Collection.  If there is interest, I will happily create a video tutorial, but for now, I hope this will inspire you to play with these stencils in EQ7 to sketch out design ideas for blocks and/or projects.  And don’t forget you can do this for any stencil.


To use stencils in EQ7, here are the basic steps.

Launch (aka run) your EQ7 software.

On the CREATE A NEW PROJECT TAB, type the name of your project (I used “2016 FMQ Challenge FMQ Design Ideas”).

On the file menu bar, on the top, click on BLOCK >> NEW BLOCK >>EASY DRAW + PATCHDRAW BLOCK

Click on the TRACING IMAGE tab


Click on the IMPORT IMAGE button.  Navigate (browse) to the folder where you have stored your image for the Ultimate Stencil – Circle.  A pop up will appear showing you the defaults for the image you scanned for your artwork, for you to crop it.  We do not want to crop, so simply click ok.  And then use your cursor to click anywhere on the Tracing Image tab for your image to appear.


The image appears the size that you saved your scanned image.  In the example I’m sharing, my image was approximately 6”x6”.  As we want this image to be fairly close to the actual size of the stencil, we will manually adjust the size while on the Tracing Image tab.

Use your mouse to click, hold, drag one of the corners of this image outward to enlarge (drag inward to make smaller).

Note:  If you want to create a design larger than the template, that is easy to do using only the stencil and paper, as well as within EQ7.  For EQ7, you simply extend out the lines, and the rings of the stencil to the size you want and add more circles, for the grids that you wish.

Likewise, when using this stencil to design FMQ motifs for blocks that are smaller than the stencil, you simply use only the portion of the stencil needed for your blocks, or the area you want your design to be.

The grids are 1” apart and the design area of the stencils are basically 16”x16”.  In EQ7 we are going to create a template for ¼ of the Ultimate Stencil, where our block will measure 8”x8”.  A ballpark scale in EQ7 is fine, as we’re creating stencil design ideas that will be marked on our projects using the actual stencil.

How we adjust our image, as well as how we draw out our FMQ design ideas in EQ7 do not need to be precise.  What we are using EQ7 for is to create design ideas that we will select from and those we wish to use will be “precisely” transferred to fabric using the Ultimate Stencil.  We will also use our FMQ design ideas for auditioning on blocks and quilts within EQ7, to help us select FMQ designs that we want to stitch out on our project.


How we adjust our image, as well as how we draw out our FMQ design ideas in EQ7 does not need to be precise.  What we are using EQ7 for is to create design ideas that we will select from and those we wish to use will be “precisely” transferred to fabric using the Ultimate Stencil.  We will also use our FMQ design ideas for auditioning on blocks and quilts within EQ7, to help us select FMQ designs that we want to stitch out on our project.

Click on the APPLIQUE tab.

Draw (doodle) within EQ7, saving your design ideas to your sketchbook, as you go.


Use your mouse to select all your design ideas and click COPY.


While in the Sketchbook View click on the STENCILS tab and click paste.

import an image of the Ultimate Stencil – Circle template

Set your block size for the desired size of your block design.

Enlarge/shrink your image to reflect the appropriate scale of the actual stencil.

Now, let’s create a folder for your Ultimate Stencil design ideas in MY LIBRARY, so that you can use these stencil designs for other projects, within other EQ7 project files.

Now, let’s play with these design motifs to see how they would look on your quilt projects.

For purposes of this lesson, I   will walk you thru how to apply on a whole cloth quilt vs quilt blocks of various sizes, but don’t forget you can use the stencil grids to create designs in 1” increments easily up to 16”, as well as manually extend to larger sizes.

On the applique tab

Save your design to your sketchbook

From within the sketchbook on the block tab copy your design, click on the stencil ta  and paste your design.

How about adding a smaller version of the same motif, not just on the sides, but inside of the two larger motifs?   With the Ultimate Stencils having a 1″ grid it is super easy to transfer these designs to your quilts in any size.  And very easy to do an echo line to any of those 1″ gridlines, creating a 1/2″ FMQ echo line.



Distortion ?

Within EQ7 if you do not adjust the size of the image of your stencil equally you will pick up some distortion in your FMQ motif which you design in EQ7.

ultimate stencil square 3

Don’t forget you’ll use your actual plastic Ultimate Stencil to mark your quilt top for FMQ.  Thus, when using EQ7 to plan out your design ideas for the Ultimate Stencil, you need not be 100% precise with your design.  But you do want to be close enough you can use the stencil to mark your fabric to FMQ as desire.


For those that have EQStitch software, it is also super easy to convert these FMQ designs to embroidery designs.  They also work well for creating quilt labels.  To clarify, you can use stencils to create borders for your quilt labels, as well as for adding FMQ motifs within your quilt label.

Again, let me know if you have any questions and/or if you are interested in seeing a video tutorial for creating stencils in EQ7 and/or how to take these stencil designs in EQ7 to convert to embroidery designs using EQStitch.  Today, this tutorial was simplified, not knowing what the interest of using stencils in EQ7/EQStitch might be.  For me, I find them easy to do and offer great fun when it comes to planning out my FMQ, as well as machine embroidery.

I hope this has inspired you to play with the Ultimate Stencils to create designs that you can stitch out on your projects and hopefully share in the Ultimate Quilting Challenge #2 Linky Party (aka Doodle/Sketch) to enter and win prizes.  Incorporating your stencils into EQ7 is easy peasy and so much fun.  Definitely faster and more versatile than using paper to sketch out ideas.


The EQ Team also recently released an EQStitch tutorial, for quilting in the hoop designs, which I want to recommend those with this software, or interested in it, to check out:


EQ and Art Gallery Fabrics have great prizes you could win this month, as part of the EQ 25th Anniversary Celebration: Wouldn’t it be fun to win a bundle of fabric from AGF or a copy of EQ7 this month?

For a complete schedule of events, as well as information on the amazing prizes and generous sponsors:
Use the hashtag #EQ25 on social media throughout the 2016 as much as possible! Pair the hashtag with something related to EQ and you may be chosen to win a prize!


I’m also thrilled to have several blogging friends joining me today, to help celebrate.  As you may already be aware, many of us, will be sharing a EQ themed blog post on the 10th of every month this year, where you’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational projects, as well as hopefully some fun quilty insights, as well as learn about how to win amazing prizes.

Yes, each month several blogging friends are releasing a post on the 10th of each month to help celebrate the EQ 25th Anniversary.  Along the way, you’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational project and various EQ themed insights.  Here are some bloggers that I hope you’ll click thru to visit today:

Carol of Fun Threads Designs

Marian of Seams to be Sew 

Pamela of Pamela Quilts

Tina of Quilting Affection

Lastly, if you are a blogger that loves EQ and wants to help with the 25th Anniversary Celebration, consider releasing an EQ themed post on the 10th of each month (e.g. tip, tutorial, inspirational project you’ve made all showing how you use EQ products).  Let me know and I’ll include you in my blog post, to encourage others to pop by your blog and check out your EQ themed sharing.  I’ll also make sure you are on My Creative Blog List, which is a easy to use site designed to follow creative blogs, as well as increase awareness of blogging events.

 You can find the Electric Quilt Company at:

Here are links to my prior posts for these monthly  #EQ25 celebrations, many include tutorials. And all include links to posts by blogging friends who are also sharing EQ tips, tutorials and inspirational projects on the 10th of each month, to help with the EQ 25th Anniversary Celebration:

The Ultimate Quilting Challenge – How To Tips with Cindy Needham – Twisted Grid

The Ultimate Quilting Challenge is a quilt as desired challenge, using The Ultimate Quilting Stencil Collection and/or The Ultimate Background Stencil Collection, from Cindy Needham. Don’t want to buy a stencil to enter to win a prize?  Don’t worry, one of the three options to enter, to win a prize, is easy peasy and open to everyone.  You can simply download free PDF templates, print and doodle/sketch your design ideas using these FMQ stencil templates.  I’ll also be sharing a tutorial this week, for how those with EQ software can use these stencils to create designs within EQ software.

But today, I want too heighten awareness of how easy these stencils are to use, and one of Cindy’s video tutorials.  This one is for one of the stencils in the Ultimate Background Collection.  I can honestly say I love this stencil, but then I truly love all of the stencils in the three Ultimate Stencil collections:

If you have problems viewing this embedded video, here is a link to watch it directly in Youtube:


You can find Cindy Needham at:

For more info on The Ultimate Quilting Challenge:

Linky Party #1 – for sharing projects previously created using these stencils:

Linky Party #2 – for sharing your doodling/sketching using free downloadable templates for these stencils – kicked off July 15th:

Linky Party #3 – for sharing of any project (any size, style) created this summer that incorporates any of the Ultimate Quilting Stencils  – kicks off August 15th, but your deadline to enter is September 15th.

Here is a list of all previous posts pertaining to the #UltimateQuiltingChallenge:

Free Motion Quilting A Simple Feather, by Amy Johnson

  Full Disclosure - Affiliates with QuiltShopGal