Category: Molly Hanson

2015 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge – January

Welcome to the 2015 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge.  This month we kick off our January Challenge, with several ways to learn/improve your FMQ skills, have fun, share, inspire, as well as enter to win prizes that will be awarded at the end of this monthly challenge.

2015 fmq challenge badge



Open to quilters of all levels that want to learn/improve their FMQ skills.  There will be a big emphasis, throughout the year, to ~Create ~ Share ~ Inspire ~ #FreeMotionQuiltingGoodness, aka #FMQGoodness.

Each month there will be a linky party where bloggers and non-bloggers can share the FMQ pillow (or pillows) that they created, following the respective monthly challenge.  They’ll need to finish that challenge and share via the linky, but the lst day of the month to enter to win prizes.  But everyone is invited to share any FMQ project any time through a Flickr group that has been created:


Aurifil, Clever Craft Tools/Grip & Stitch, Fabrics N Quilts, Fat Quarter Shop, Martingale, The Stencil Company, Udderly Smooth, Landauer Publishing and more will be announced soon.   Many FMQ Experts have also generously offered prizes too!

Prizes will be awarded monthly, where specific prizes will be showcased, as well as recognition of the monthly sponsors.  To clarify, prizes will vary every month.  Also, many will be shipped directly to the winner from Sponsors, but QuiltShopGal will be shipping some of the prizes using funds earned from Affiliate programs, thanks to Postage Angels.  Some prizes will be identified as only being eligible to participants in the US or US/Canada, but many will be open to WW participants.  Either way, I hope participants join this challenge to learn and have fun and not just to win a prize.


Update:  Winners were randomly selected using the random number generator which drew #40, #18, #21, #28, and #22.  An email has been sent to the winners to confirm they wish to claim their prize, otherwise another name will be drawn.

Sponsor Prize Winners
Aurifilaurifilogoweb Aurifil thread collection of 12 large spools.aurifil perfectly suited for every projectThis prize is open to WW participants and has a retail value of $130 US.
Prize #1 Bente of I Like to Quilt
Udderly Smooth, by RedEx 65668_10151884614025894_331473606_n  A gift pack of Udderly Smooth products.  Product bundle shipped may not be exactly like what QuiltShopGal is showing.Estimated Retail value $25.  Prize is open to participants living in US/Canada.  Prize #2Winner:  Dena of Living Water Quilter
Fat Quarter ShopFatQuarterShop-Circle-275x275 Gift Certificate for $25.  Prize is open to participants WW.  Prize #3 Winner – If I Can, Sew Can You
Molly Hanson Two copies of her book “Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners – and those who think they can’t”Prize is open to participants living in the US.  Estimated retail value of this book is $26.99 Prize # 4 TBA Winner Connie of Free Motion by the River Prize # 5 Jean O. (non-blogger)



Molly Hanson enjoys free-motion quilting her own quilts, as well as quilting for fabric companies, authors, bloggers, and pattern companies. While she has been published in a magazine, had her work featured in videos from fabric manufacturers.  And she can be seen on two episodes of Sewing with Nancy. Molly is also the author of a new FMQ book that is perfect for beginners, as well as those that think they can’t do FMQ!



You may recall I previously wrote a review about her new book “Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners: and those who think they can’t”.  It is an excellent book for those new to FMQ, as it will help you learn how to setup your sewing space for FMQ, understanding tools, prepping your project, sketching, as well as five important prep-steps for FMQ, along with oodles of tips, tricks and reminders.  For those that have expertise with FMQ, you may also enjoy this book and creating some fun projects that show off your FMQ too!

Molly is a very talented and I’m honored to showcase her as an FMQ Expert during this 2015 FMQ Challenge.

You can find Molly at:


  1.  a sketchbook, which is a great place to start whether you are brand new to FMQ, or wanting to plan FMQ on a pillow, quilt or other project.  Sketching a FMQ motif on paper is a great way to embed a design in your muscle memory.
  2. practice quilt  sandwiches are really important.  Even FMQ Experts using practice sandwiches before they stitch any design on a project, even if they have stitched that design previously.  Practice helps you master a design, as well as ensure your machine is stitching properly.
  3. pillow form that is purchased or handmade, of any size, but I personally prefer a 18″x18″ or 16″x16″ pillow for these challenges.
  4. fabric marking pen that will wash out
  5. Quilting Gloves or Grip & Stitch Gloves
  6.  40 or 50wt cotton thread that compliments your fabric.  Aurifil is an excellent choice!
  7. Fabric for your quilt sandwich:
    • Pillow front: minimum of 20″x20″ (or larger) of neutral fabric that will show your stitching, but it is up to you to pick your fabric.
    • Pillow front backing: 20″x20″  (or larger) of any fabric.   As this fabric will be on the inside of your pillow and not visible, this is a great time to pick a fabric from your stash that is your least favorite.
    • Pillow backing: 20″x20″ (or larger) of a fabric that compliments the front of your pillow. Note, the size of your pillow backing should align with the size of the quilt sandwich for your front if you wish to do any FMQ on your back, which is totally optional.
    • Pillow back side – backing: totally optional, if you wish to add FMQ to the back side of your pillow.  Size should match your pillow backing sandwich (see above).


Pillow Pattern will be provided shortly, as well as a pattern to make your own pillow form, I recommend you start with a quilt sandwich that is approximately 20″x20″  to make a pillow that is 16″ or 18″ square in size.

Using a fabric marker and a quilt ruler, mark a square in the center of your sandwich that measures the intended size of your pillow. For example, if you plan on using a 18″x18″ pillow a square that is 18″x18″ would be marked on the center of your quilt sandwich that is at least 20″x20″ in size.



Using the book “Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners: and those who think they can’t “, by Molly Hanson and use the pattern in this book to create a pillow using the FMQ motif instructions in this book.  Of course, this book will teaches ten different FMQ designs and includes 15 different projects that are fun to create and show off your FMQ skills. 

Final B1278 Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners.inddEasy to follow instructions for this pillow, as well as supply requirements, to make this 16″x16″ pillow with free-motion quilting are included in this book which can be purchased in Martingale’s online store, Amazon, or your favorite quilt shop.


Use the free FMQ tutorial provided by Frances Moore, from the 2012 FMQ Challenge, to create a FMQ Pillow using the heart shaped leaf motif in her tutorial video that can be found at:  You can also find a photo of the swirl in heart motif, which is an adaption of the leaf design Frances shared in her free video tutorial.  This motif is also visible on Fran’s blog at:  This is a fun FMQ background filler that is easy to learn, but best to practice by sketching on paper, before stitching on a “practice” sandwich. Apply this filler design, as you wish, to create your FMQ pillow.

heart motif with swirl by frances moore


Create a Pillow with FMQ which incorporates a heart motif.  Use a fabric marker (wash away) to draw out your heart on your quilt sandwich.


Fill your heart with FMQ Feathers and has a background stitched of your choosing.

LuAnn Kessi previously shared sketches of such a feathered motif, that may help to provide you inspiration.  She took step by step photos, which also provide a good visual tutorial.  Still, you are encouraged to sketch out your design on paper, before you stitch it out on your quilt sandwich.

LuAnn Kessi Heart FMQ Step 8

Create a FMQ Pillow with any Heart theme. Consider creating a heart shape with feathers that can be stitched free hand, sketched first, or by using a stencil, or a basic heart that is filled with feathers.  Use the free tutorial by Lu Ann Kessi (Insert a photo and link).



1) Entries need to be completed pillows that show free-motion quilting that aligns with the options defined in this monthly challenge.

2) You can enter one completed pillow for any, or all of the options.  Bloggers can do so in one blog post, but to help with the entries, their post needs to show photos and clarify which options they are entering for this monthly challenge.  Non-bloggers need to reflect the same as bloggers, in the comments for the photo they upload to the flickr group for this challenge. Both bloggers and non-bloggers can add one link to the linky tool, for each of the options they wish to enter.  Note, to help with administration, please be sure the photo in the linky tool reflects which of the challenge options you are claiming when you enter/add the link.

3.   In keeping with the spirit of this challenge, I hope in you encourage others to enter this challenge as well as check out all the entries to get inspired.

4.  In the spirit of ~Create ~ Share ~ Inspire ~ #CreativeGoodness, those that wish to share tips and tutorials during any of these monthly challenges will be appreciated.  And, as always, QuiltShopGal will try to do her best to help increase awareness of such.  Collectively, we can create great fun and help others learn/improve their FMQ Skills.


This linky party will be open thru the last day of the month.  You need to have your project completed and linked to enter to win prizes.  Those that may complete this challenge at a different time, as well as those that want to share any FMQ related project, are encouraged to share photos in the Flickr group created for this challenge:

If you are not familiar with how to use a linky click here for a tutorial.

For blogger participants that are interested in posting a badge, I’m working on creating and hope to have this post updated with such code shortly.


If you have questions for this Challenge, please read the FAQ:

email QuiltShopGal if you still have questions at info @ quiltshopgal dot com and I will try to respond as fast as I can.

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Here is a list of previous posts 2015 FMQ Challenge:

Going to Fall Quilt Market 2014 ? My Top FAVS for Market Attendees and Non-Attendees Too!

Today I’m delighted to share insights for attendees and non-attendees to Fall 2014 Quilt Market, for ways to learn about new products and have fun.
Quilt Market is a Trade Show that is held twice a year, for those in the businesses.  It is a great opportunity for buyers to come learn about new products and place their orders for items that will appear in quilt shops in 2015.  There are also many opportunities for those in the business to learn how to grow their business by attending various panel discussions, which SewCalGal highly recommends for everyone in the business.  

Schoolhouse at Quilt Market is always a great way to learn, but this year there is a special opportunity that SewCalGal encourages all attendees at Market to attend.  F + W President Sara Domville will announce the results of the 2014 Quilting in America Survey, 10am, Schoolhouse opening.  Don’t miss this session and be sure you get a copy of the 2014 Quilting in America Survey.  This is an excellent resource for those in the business to understand trends in the quilting industry as well as use to establish metrics for how well they are doing in the business.  Well worth the nominal expense for this publication and SewCalGal highly recommends it.

Landauer Pub
Has many wonderful new books that they are introducing at Quilt Market.  SewCalGal is anticipating “Recreating Antique Quilts”, by Wendy Sheppard, to be a best seller.

Maywood Studio
New Halloween theme fabric line, by KimberBell Designs, will be introduced at Fall Market.
You can get  get a sneak peak on their YouTube Video:

note:  If you have problems watching this embedded video, or you are on a MAC you can click this link to watch it directly in YouTube:

Aurifil Italian Threads

Pop by to meet Alex and the Aurifil team,  for fun, games, yummy threads, as well as learn about their  new thread colors and amazing bundles. Aurifil has partnered with many talented designers to create spectacular  new collections from Edyta Sitar, Sara Lawson, Camelia Roskelly, Bunny Hill, Bari J., Jill Finley, Michelle Scott, Sheena Norquay, Marti Mitchell, Brigitte Heitland, Sue Daley, Shari Butler, Chelsea Andersen, Melanie McNiece, Katy Jones, Judy and Judel Niemeyer, Tasha Noel, Stacey Mitchell, Lynn Krawczyk, and Debra Gabel.

Twitter users may also want to follow Elena Destro (Elly at Aurfil), to learn current insights on Market.  And, of course, be sure to visit Aurifil at Sample Spree in booth #216, 217.


Pop by the Martingale Booth #tbd to see all of their new books.  There are still some slots open to meet authors and get a signed copy of a new book, from amazing authors.  But be sure if you didn’t pre-register you check in advance, to confirm space for any book signing.  Still, you may want to pop over to attend their Meet the Designer sessions for great fun and inspiration.

SewCalGal anticipates “Nap and Nod” to become a best seller.  Absolutely delightful book!

C&T has many new books that they will be introducing at Market.  SewCalGal is confident that Shape and Shape, by Angela Walters, will be a best seller.

Hoffman California International Fabrics has many amazing new fabrics that they will showcase at Market, as well as designers using their fabrics.  This is definitely a booth to visit at Market, as well as at Shopping Spree.

Kaleidoscope Kreator will be introducing a new machine embroidery design collection at Market, Booth #200.  And for those attending Festival, you can also see their new collection.  Absolutely stunning!

Island Batik has released many new fabrics, including blenders.  And they’ll be showcasing a variety of designers that have created spectacular quilts using their fabrics.  Another booth you will want to visit at market.

Quilt Market has a large list of events going on. Here are a few that caught my attention and I wanted to share and encourage others to join the learning opportunities and fun:

Friday, October, 24th

11:15 – 11:45am
Merchandising Experts Panel Discussion
Join industry experts in a panel discussion on creative ways to move more product. Speakers:  Eleanor Burns of Quilt in a Day, Stacy Michell of Shades Textiles, Elena Gregotti of Aurifil & Deb Luttrell of Stitchin’ Heaven
Room 362C

Schoolhouse presentation: Casey York (CT Pub)  Room 362D

Schoolhouse Session: Wendy Sheppard (Ivory Spring), Recreating Antique Quilts,  Room 382A

New Designer Lines with Island Batik
Join Fourth and Sixth Designs and Stacy Michell of Shades Textiles for fun new patterns featuring their new fabric lines for Island Batik!  Also learn tips for promoting these lines and discover complementary products perfect for bundling and upselling.  Speakers:  Barbara Persing, Mary Hoover and Stacy Michell  Room:  362C

Schoolhouse presentation: Elizabeth Hartman (CT Pub) Room 362D

12:25pm – 12:55pm
Schoolhouse presentation: Victoria Findlay Wolfe (CT Pub) Room 362D
1pm – 1:30pm
Schoolhouse presentation: Angela Walters (CT Pub) Room 362D
1:35pm – 2:05pm
Schoolhouse presentation: Caroline Fairbanks-Critchfield & Sarah Markos (CT Pub) Room 362D
Schoolhouse presentation: Valorie Wells (CT Pub) Room 362D
3:45pm – 4:15PM
Schoolhouse presentation:  Sam Hunter (CT Pub) Room 362D


4:20pm – 4:50pm
Schoolhouse presentation:  Sujata Shah  (CT Pub) Room 362D


4:55pm – 5:25pm
Schoolhouse presentation:  Kathy McGee (CT Pub) Room 362D
Saturday, Oct 25th
Book Signing: Melissa Lunden, Sew A Modern Home, Brewer Booth #1124

Book signing: Kathy McGee, The Happy Bicycle.  C&T Booth #2337

Demonstration: A Flare For Fabric: Creative Projects from the Designers at Henry Glass Fabrics, compiled by Linda Lum  DeBono
Henry Glass Fabrics Booth #608


Book Signing:  Myra Harder, Nap and Nod
Martingale Booth #2113
Book signing: Casey York, Modern Applique’ Illusions. C&T Booth #2337

Book Signing: Dana Bolyard, Imagine Quilts.  EE Schenk Booth #1528

Book signing:  A Flare For Fabric: Creative Projects from the Designers at Henry Glass Fabrics, compiled by Linda Lum  DeBono
Brewer Booth #1124

Book Signing: Sandi Blackwell, Simply Sensational Square-agonals Quilts.  Landauer Publishing Booth #2305
Book Signing:  Kathy Brown, Take 5 Fat Quarters
Martingale Booth #2113

Book Signing: It’s Sew Emma (Fat Quarter Shop) team, Fat Quarter Style, United Notions booth #1932

Book Signing:  Katja Marek, The New Hexagon, Paper Pieces Booth #157

Book Signing:  Molly Hansen, Free-Motion Quilting For Beginners, Brewer #1124

Book Signing: Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson (Sew Kind of Wonderful), Contemporary Curved Quilts.  Landauer Publishing Booth #2305



Book Signing: Dana Bolyard, Imagine Quilts
Martingale Booth #2113

Book Signing: Jean Ann Wright, Jelly Roll Jambalaya Quilts,  Landauer Publishing Booth #2305
Book signing: Shannon Brinkley, Scrappy Bits Applique’.  C&T Booth #2337

Book Signing:  Amy Ellis, Think Big, United Notions Booth #1932
Book Signing: Melissa Lunden, Sew A Modern Home
Martingale Booth #2113

Book Signing: Wendy Sheppard (Ivory Spring), Recreating Antique Quilts,  Landauer Publishing Booth #2305

Book Signing: It’s Sew Emma (Fat Quarter Shop) team, Fat Quarter Style, Riley Blake Designs #1512

Book signing: Jera Brandvig, Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern. C&T Booth #2337

Book signing and demonstrations:  A Flare For Fabric: Creative Projects from the Designers at Henry Glass Fabrics, compiled by Linda Lum  DeBono,  Henry Glass Fabrics, Booth #608

Book Signing: Katja Marek, The New Hexagon, EE Schenck Booth #1528

Book Signing: Amy Ellis, Think Big
Martingale Booth #211


Book signing: Caroline Fairbanks-Critchfield and Sarah Markos,
Just for You-Selfish Sewing with Your Favorite SewCanShe Bloggers C&T Booth #2337

Book Signing:  Kathy Brown, Take 5 Fat Quarters, Red Rooster Fabrics Booth #1556

Book Signing:  Melissa Lunden, Sew A Modern Home, Birch Fabrics, Booth #1050 (or 950?)

Grand Prize Drawings – Henry Glass Fabrics, booth #608

Book Signing: Laurel Albright, Easy-Cut Quilts With A Modern Twist, Landauer Publishing Booth #2305


Book Signing: Jeri Simon, Quilting The Basics and Beyond, Landauer Publishing Booth #2305
Designer Meet & Greet, Martingale booth #2113
Book signing: Sam Hunter, Quilt Talk, C&T Booth #2337
An Evening with the Quilt Marketeers.  Deb Luttrell and panel
#331  Rom 310ABDE

Note:  SewCalGal attended a presentation with this panel last year and highly recommends it.  Great way to learn tips to build strong networking relationships in the Quilting industry, as well as to help grow your business.

Sunday, October 26th

Book Signing:  Katja Marek, The New Hexagon, United Notions Booth #1932 10am

Book Signing: Allie Aller and Valerie Bothell Quilting, Just a Little Bit Crazy, C&T Booth #2337

Demonstration: A Flare For Fabric: Creative Projects from the Designers at Henry Glass Fabrics, compiled by Linda Lum  DeBono
Henry Glass Fabrics Booth #608



Book Signing: Amber Johnson, Vintage Vibe
Martingale Booth #211
Demonstration by Kathy Doughty using her fast2cut® HexEssentials.  Giveaway at the end of each demo, but you need to be present to win.  C&T booth #2337

Book Signing:  Molly Hanson, Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners, EE Schenck Booth #1528

Book Signing: Ruth Chandler, Modern Hand Stitching,  Landauer Publishing Booth #2305


Book Signing: It’s Sew Emma (Fat Quarter Shop) team, Fat Quarter Style,Checker Booth #708/808

Book Signing: Myra Harder, Urban and Amish

Martingale Booth #211
Book Signing: Carolyn Forster, Quilting-on-the-Go Taking It Further,  Landauer Publishing Booth #2305

Book Signing: Valori Wells, My Life in Fabric with Valori Wells, C&T Booth #2337

Book Signing:  Kathy Brown, Take 5 Fat Quarters, EE Schenck Booth #1528


Book Signing: Katja Marek, The New Hexagon
Martingale Booth #211
Book Signing: Karin Hellaby, Sew Simple Hexi-flowers,  Landauer Publishing Booth #2305Book Signing: Elizabeth Hartman, Patchwork City, C&T Booth #2337

Book Signing:  Myra Harder, Nap and Nod, Shannon Fabrics Booth #2044
Book Signing: It’s Sew Emma (Fat Quarter Shop) team, Fat Quarter Style,EE Schench #1528


Book Signing: Molly Hanson, Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners
Martingale Booth #211
Book Signing: Janice Vaine, Embroidery and Patchwork Revisited,  Landauer Publishing Booth #2305

Book Signing: Lesley Riley, Creative Image Transfer – Any Artist, Any Style, Any Surface, C&T Booth #2337

Book Signing: Angela Walters, Shape by Shape Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters, Handi Quilter, Booth #632

Book Signing: Shannon Brinkley, Scrappy Bits Applique’, Prym Booth #844

Book Signing:  Kathy Brown, Take 5 Fat Quarters, United Notions Booth # 1932

Demonstration: A Flare For Fabric: Creative Projects from the Designers at Henry Glass Fabrics, compiled by Linda Lum  DeBono

Henry Glass Fabrics Booth #608
Book Signing: Heather Schrimsher, Graphic Quilts From Everyday Images
Martingale Booth #211
Book Signing: Melanie Greseth and Joanie Holton (TailorMade by Design), Daily Zen Quilts and Projects,  Landauer Publishing Booth #2305

Demonstration by Kathy Doughty using her fast2cut® HexEssentials.  Giveaway at the end of each demo, but you need to be present to win.  C&T booth #2337

Book Signing: Deanne More, Fabric Play, United Notions Booth # 1932

Book Signing:  Donna Lynn Thomas, Quiltmaking Essentials 1, Prym Booth #844

Meet the Designers
Martingale Booth #211



Melissa Mortenson, Project Teen, C&T Booth #2337

Monday, October 27th

Book Signing:  Julie M. Creus, Adventures in Fabric – La Todera Style
C&T Booth #2337


Book Signing: Deanne Moore, Fabric Play
Martingale Booth #211



Book Signing:  Joen Wolfman, Color Play
C&T Booth #2337



Book Signing:  Heather Schrimsher, Graphic Quilts From Everyday Images, EE Schenck Booth #1528

Yazzi has wonderful organizational products and they are introducing some new storage organizers at market. All are high quality, handmade organizers.  SewCalGal wants to encourage everyone to pop by the Yazzi booth #919 to see these great bags.  Be sure to ask about embellishment ideas for these bags, as it is amazing how much fun you can have to make them uniquely yours.  And don’t forget to enter her $100 Yazzi gift certificate for a daily giveaway at market.

Attendees to Quilt Market shouldn’t overlook the benefits of the APP that is available.  You can download

Quilt Market is also encouraging everyone to stop by the Meet the Teachers area in Hall E (at the back of Aisle F) for a full slate of free demonstrations from Festival teachers and other special presenters. Subjects include everything from threadpainting to traditional blocks and studios to “space blankets.”  Additional info can be found at:
See the complete Meet the Teachers schedule for presenter and demo information, as well as dates and times.
See the schedule of Open Studios artists and demonstrations now, and stop by the Open Studios area near the front of the Food Court in Hall A) during the show!

Not attending Quilt Market?

Don’t worry. There are ways to learn about all the new products  introduced at Market and have fun remotely.


Fat Quarter Shop is the best “reporter” on Market.  Twitter users can uers can follow The Fat Quarter Shop,  And, Kimberly will be providing daily recaps of Quilt Market with swag giveaways on their Jolly Jabber Blog.

Twitter users may also want to follow  Mary Andra (MahSistersQT), and Quilt Market to hear insights on Quilt Market.  And don’t forget if you are attending market, to use the hashtag #quiltmarket in your tweets.

Instagram is also an excellent tool to follow what is happening at Quilt Market. The Fat Quarter Shop and  Mary Andra (MahSistersQT) are two who will be be actively sharing via this tool, but I’m sure they’ll be many more.

Non-attendees may also want to participate in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival this weekend. While you won’t learn about new products introduced at Market, you will have fun seeing many inspirational quilts through this virtual quilt show, as well as have the opportunity to win prizes.  Just click this button for more info.


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