Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Free Motion Quilt Along – Sponsors and Giveaways

I'm so looking forward to starting up the Redbird Quilt Co. 2016 Free Motion Quilt Along using Susybee's adorable Lewe's Balloons Growth Chart.

Are you joining us ?
Click here for the details.

Today I'd like to share our Sponsor contributions for the Free Motion Quilt Along (QAL) -- but before I do that, I'll share a little history of my Susybee growth chart quilting.
My Growth Charts - Image courtesy World of Susybee Buzzz
Susy's characters are adorable, the artwork is amazing and the fabric is oh! so perfect to learn and practice Free Motion Quilting on a home machine.

My journey with Susybee began in August of 2012 when I quilted my first Lewe Growth Chart.

I was VERY new to Free Motion Quilting but anxious to learn and improve my skill.

As you can see, back in 2012, I took a pretty safe route and quilted minimal echo stitches around Lewe and his friends, but I did play with some loops in the borders!
It was very basic quilting -- but important to my FMQ progression
Lewe Growth Chart - Quilted August 2012
Just two months later, October 2012, I broke away from the echo only quilting and included a variety of motifs on this Zoe the Giraffe Growth Chart... Zoe is adorable -- and so fun to quilt!
Zoe the Giraffe - Quilted October 2012
Although I did more quilting on Zoe, I left a considerable amount of negative space un-quilted...  

Fast forward to January, 2013. For the first time ever I quilted Bird -- of course this sweet Redbird stole my heart.   I'm still very new to FMQ at this time but I practiced, practiced, and practiced my pebbles on this fun growth chart.
Bird - Quilted January 2013
Note: Using thread that complements the fabric works wonderfully to cover inconsistencies and beginner issues with starting, stopping and stitch length.  
Don't be hard on yourself - just have fun!

The January 2013 Bird was quilted for our great niece Abbie
Also in January, 2013 I quilted another Zoe the Giraffe.  I did considerably more quilting on this version of Zoe for our grandson Zachary.

With this growth chart you might notice me getting more and more comfortable with FMQ -- the echos are growing and the filler stitching is getting more dense too!
Zoe the Giraffe 2 - Quilted January 2013
Moving ahead to July of 2013, I decided we MUST have a BIRD growth chart for our small cottage at the lake.
You can see in this quilting of Bird that I added swirls among the pebbles... 
So fun!   
Bird - Quilted July 2013
Bird - Quilted July 2013
Finally -- in June of 2014
I quilted Flip the Pig... 
Talk about fun!  
I used yummy Aurifil threads on this chart and share details of the journey
Flip the Pig - Quilted June 2014
Flip the Pig - Quilted June 2014
As you can see, my Free Motion Quilting experience and skill grew considerably from the Summer of 2012 to the Summer of 2014.

I continued doing my own Free Motion Quilting, taking online classes, learning with the famed Karen McTavish and never giving up on my goal of improving my Free Motion skills!  

To this day I continue to learn and grow those skills -- You TOO can experience this progression as you learn and regularly practice your Free Motion Quilting.   

The Free Motion Quilt Along Sponsors

It's time to talk sponsors and giveaways for the upcoming 2016 Free Motion Quilt Along!

We'll start with my favorite 100% Cotton Thread...
If you've followed me over the years you KNOW I love to piece, hand applique, top stitch, and quilt with a variety of luscious Aurifil threads.
Aurifil 50Wt thread allows for dense machine quilting without thread build-up and with very little lint.  

Aurifil 50Wt thread is my go-to thread for machine quilting but at times I'll fold in an Aurifil 40Wt (a little thicker than 50Wt) or a 28Wt (which is much thicker than the 50Wt) for awesome machine quilting highlights.   I also top stitch and blanket stitch with beautiful Aurifil 12Wt thread - I love it!

I've outlined my recommended list of Aurifil thread for Lewe's Balloons Growth Chart on the QAL Supplies page and encourage you try out this fantastic thread during the QAL.

For the QAL giveaway the great folks at Aurifil are sending Subtle Strings -- the beautiful new designer thread collection by my favorite FMQ mentor, Wendy Sheppard.  

Subtle Strings contains 12 spools of Aurifil 50Wt thread -- they're perfect for FMQ'ing most backgrounds and negative space.  

Checkout the beautiful quilting Wendy did with this collection in this blog post -- don't miss it!

Thanks so much Aurifil for this awesome product and giveaway!

Images courtesy:

Next up -- the generous team from Creekside Fabrics, Quilts and Yarns in Arcade, NY.

I had the great pleasure of meeting the owner of this family run business (Sandy) through the Buffalo, Chapter of the American Sewing Guild.   
Subsequently, Sandy invited me North for a multi-day program at the shop including programs for the local Hope Lutheran Quilt Show.

We had fantastic turnout and received heartwarming feedback!  I so look forward to returning in 2016! 

  Creekside Fabrics is a full-service shop and an Elite Dealer for Baby Lock Machines and Products.  
Fabrics, yarns, custom quilting, long arm rental -- you'll find it all at Creekside Fabrics, Quilts and Yarns.

Sandy is providing a $25.00 Shop Certificate for the QAL Giveaway - Sew exciting! 
Thank you Sandy & Creekside Fabrics.
Next up -- the great folks at Quilter's Dream Batting - my favorite batting/waddling. 

Quilter's Dream is a USA based company and sponsor of the annual Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS

I've been using Quilter's Dream 100% Wool batting (Dream Wool) for just over a year and absolutely LOVE it.  You can read about my first encounter and see the awesome quilting results using Aurifil thread and Dream Wool batting in this blog post.

Wool batting provides for great quilting texture, drape-ability, and warmth without adding excessive  weight and with little/no bearding.

Quilter's Dream wool really does Quilt like a Dream.

The great folks at Quilters Dream Batting are providing us two products for the QAL giveaway!

A package of each Dream Wool and Dream Cotton -- Oh So Fun!!!
Thank you Quilter's Dream!

Moving right along... our next sponsor is
Cindy at Sew It Is Quilt Shop
Sew It Is Quilt Shop is a family run business based out of Endicott, NY.   

It's funny, Cindy and I became friends when I realized I could ride my horse to her shop in an afternoon!  Seriously, I found this little shop and this sweet lady a few years ago when looking for a specific fabric.  I'm so happy I did.  

Although compact, this local shop is full of fabric and also offers great long arm quilting services too!

  Be sure to visit SewItIs online (or in person) the next time you can't find something at YOUR local shop.

Sew It Is Quilt Shop is donating another Susybee Quilt Kit for the QAL giveaway.  

  The quilt kit will consist of a Lewe's Play Mat and Susybee border fabric -- Oh you will LOVE quilting the Lewe Play Mat.

Thank you Sew It Is!!

Oh goodness -- another Sponsor!

Our next sponsor is Quilty Pleasures in Geneva, NY
Another family owned business, these two lovely ladies, Val and Roni, invited me in last year to teach Free Motion Quilting on domestic machines.  We had such productive sessions we're looking forward to the weather breaking in the Spring so we can continue the fun!

Quilty Pleasures is another full service shop with beautiful fabrics, classes, and long arm quilting services.  Visit their store in person or online for more information.

Quilty Pleasures is providing a $20 Shop Certificate for the QAL!
Thanks so much Quilty Pleasures!

Last, but certainly not least...  The World of Susybee is joining in the sponsorship fun!

As I mentioned above, I've been quilting Susybee's adorable and whimsical characters for several years now -- oh the joys of improving your Free Motion Quilting skills on such precious panels!

I had an opportunity to meet Glynis, the VP of World of Susybee, at the 2015 Spring Quilt Market.  We've created a wonderful working relationship and are planning some more fun adventures for 2016!  

Glynis, Susy, and the fine folks at World of Susybee are offering up their latest character for the Free Motion QAL giveaway!

Meet Lal the Lamb -- isn't she adorable?  Lal is a 36" panel that can be used as a floor play mat, turned into a pillow or just quilted and hung in the nursery.   
Oh I can't wait to quilt Lal!

Thank you Susy and World of Susybee!

That concludes the QAL Sponsor overview. 

Be sure to show your appreciation of our sponsors by clicking on the links provided and, where applicable, liking or following them on social media. 

To be eligible for the giveaway drawings you'll need to share an image of your quilted Lewe's Balloons Growth Chart on social media or via email. 

Stay tuned - we're nearly ready to begin to piece and baste the Lewe's Balloons Growth Chart.  

Do you have your fabric yet ?  

We recently updated the Supplies page to include distributor information for UK, Australia and Canadian participants.

All information will be indexed through the main QAL page:

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for updates!

#RedbirdQuiltCo2016FMQAlong #Aurifil #QuiltersDream #threadmatters #SewItIsQuiltShop #CreeksideFabrics #QuiltyPleasuresNY #WorldOfSusybee #SusybeeArt 


  1. Oh my, your quilting is gorgeous. So much fun to see you earlier work and how you have progressed. It is all beautiful though. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thank you Joyce... it's been so fun to learn to quilt on these panels. I'm happy you're joining in the adventure!

  2. Your quilting is so beautiful as is Cindy's. I may never get that good but I can still hope.

    1. Hi GranChris -- Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm a true believer that we never stop learning and growing when FMQ'ing. Each day and project is a new learning adventure for all of us. I hope you're joining in the fun so we can improve together <3

  3. I love seeing your journey with FMQ, it will get better we just have to keep at it.

    1. Thank you Jackie - that is exactly what I was trying to share. We all start somewhere and progress at our own paces and I'm so excited to help others along that path. We never stop learning and growing (thankfully). I hope you're joining us!

  4. Your progressive quilting work gives me hope and a challenge to improve my machine quilting in 2016!

    1. Yippee!! I'm so happy to hear that Beverly. Sometimes we forget where we started but it's fun to share it with others who are just starting out. We can learn and grow together. Thanks for the sweet comment.

  5. Really cute quilts! So lovely and wonderful zoo theme!

  6. i'm so new at this FMQ that I do not know where to begin. When and how do the Growth Chart videos/lessons begin?

  7. WOW, Karen your FMQ progress has been so inspirational! Awesome quilting!! Thanks so much for sharing!

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