Midnight at the Oasis QAL, Work in progress

2014 Goal #1: overcome fear of FMQ

My first goal in quilting for 2014: overcome my fear of free-motion quilting.

I have only been quilting my own quilts for about a year. Before that, I always paid someone to long-arm quilt them because I was afraid of ruining my hard work. Last year, I started doing some basic quilting, straight lines and using the decorative stitches on my machine (essentially just quilting with my regular sewing foot) as well as my Sashiko machine.


I took a huge risk and decided to start my goal on my Midnight at the Oasis Quilt. I practiced a bit on a small quilt sandwich I made with a scrap block, and then went for it.

I have quilted the center star of my quilt and love it! I chickened out on free-motion quilting the white space because it would show up so much, and stuck with the straight lines I am confident with. I want something in that center green circle, but it scares the wits out of me.


I did free motion the little swirls in all the white triangles of the star, though. I almost lost my nerve after these, because they are really not great. But I don’t think they are terrible, either, and I figure I will only learn if I try.


Jumped in with both feet on the flower border, though! can you see my swirls? Yes, there are some toenail catchers, but overall, I am really excited. I can do this! Still working on regulating the speed so the stitches are even (mine aren’t yet even close), but I was just happy my circular swirls were mostly circular didn’t have too many corners.

Is anybody else quilting their Midnight at the Oasis? getting ready for the final post of the QAL on January 31st? I highly doubt mine will be finished, but I am pretty delighted that it has pushed me to overcome a limitation and start developing a skill I want to have.

What other crafty goals do we have for 2014?


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25 thoughts on “2014 Goal #1: overcome fear of FMQ

  1. Sheryl says:

    Looks good so far. I hope in the end you love the quilt all the more for the fact that you stretched yourself to try something new with the quilting here.

  2. Wonderful work. I wished I would get brave…:)

  3. Way to go its looking fab, keep going its a skill like any other so you just need to practice 🙂

  4. carolyndawn says:

    Congratulations. I become paralysed when thinking of doing my own quilting. You go girl!!!

  5. Cindy says:

    The only way to get better is to do it! Great job! I just love what you did with this pattern and the fact that you’re quilting it yourself makes it even better.

  6. Margreth says:

    It looks great! You must decide for yourself that you can do what ever you like..it’s possible!

  7. This post makes me feel so much better about my fear of FMQ, too! To see someone as prolific and talented as you also daunted makes me realize I’m not alone and every other quilter out there isn’t a whiz at FMQ yet either. The swirls in the small white triangles caught my eye before you pointed them out – you may not love them close up, but they look great in the photo and add the perfect balance of texture next to the bright colors! Plus they really set off the straight lines you used elsewhere. Can’t wait to see the rest of it when you get it completed : )

  8. How about mimicking the orange peel blocks in the border and quilt that design on the center circle?

  9. Jacque says:

    You go, girl! You are rocking that star and swirls….we are all working on our FMQ this year, I think! That is one of my goals, too. This is beautiful!

  10. Looks great! I am happy sitting in my comfort zone of straight line quilting these days. You go! 🙂

  11. LynCC says:

    Sharon, this is great!! I love the loops in the white triangles of the center block, and those lines are a perfect motif for the white space, anyway. Your swirls look better than mine do, so keep on chugging! I think you need to trust yourself more. 😀

  12. Frances says:

    Go for it. I am in a similar dilemma. I want to do a good job, but on a domestic machine it feels like entering the boxing ring!

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