I recently completed a lap quilt for one of my students whose family lost their home in the Bastrop fires in Sept. It took me a long time to complete, although it was just a simple patchwork design. I wanted to FMQ it, but wasn't sure I could do a good job since I have very little experience with FMQ. But I went ahead, despite my fears, and did it anyway. The quilt featured cowboy fabrics, so I thought I would do a design that would loop a little bit like a lariat being thrown in the air. I did what I was told to: I drew practice sketches for a general design and to get my hands and eyes working in unison. I can definitely tell that my stitching became more confident as I moved across the quilt, but overall, I'm pretty happy with the results. I used flannel for the backing and borders. I definitely needed to do a spray basting instead of just pinning because I did get some pleats. So, fellow newbies at FMQ, take heart! There's only one way we're ever going to improve and that's practice, practice, and practice.