Thursday, April 11, 2013

Free Motion Quilting...Oh My!!!!

You look at pictures of quilts, and you!  Look at all that beautiful quilting!  It isn't just about the piecing or the applique, it's also about amazing quilt stitches!  And, true...many quilts are done by a professional with a longarm quilting machine.  But, many aren't. I look at those and I know that if I don't learn to free motion quilt, I will never have such beautiful quilts! I love intricate designs, and for the most part I have only quilted baby quilts or lapthrows, so turning my quilt under my needle (and stuffing it through the machine throat) wasn't TOO hard....but what about the larger quilts!

Sooooo I am doing my very first free motion quilting...and I have to tell you, it's difficult! :-)  Yes, I'd tried it a couple of times in the past, but not with my new machine, so I practiced for about fifteen minutes on a scrap fabric. Granted, I probably should have kept practicing for about six more MONTHS before I started doing it on my quilt, but I was impatient!  I have removed about a third of the stitching I have done (boy, going backwards is REALLY hard!) but I have to say even with the un-sewing I am enjoying learning this new skill!  Here's a sneak peek....

This was the first thing I did...I didn't even draw it in first.  I have four of these on each corner of a grandmother's flower garden block, and then placed a flower right in the center.

I had already sewn the leaf shapes, but added free motion veins. (Compare them to the quilting I show on my last post--no veins. Big difference!)

I had already made this lozenge shape with straight sewing also, then added the interior designs.  You can see where my straight lines are not up to par!!!

More leaves.

Leaves on part of the center panel, and leaves on the border of that panel. I like the light blue quilting against both the muslin and the darker fabrics.


  1. That is very interesting. I think you are doing a really good job. My daughter does something like that. She just does it to do it...she doesn't call it anything or even follow any kind of pattern. It's just how she started using the sewing machine.

  2. Oh, Marie, there are good days, there are bad days, and some really bad days for me...I sometimes wonder if I will ever get really good at FMQing...but I love trying. Most of the time. I think you did pretty darn good here. The extra harp area of my Juki made all the difference to me in even wanting to attempt it.

  3. You are doing great! I love leafy flowery designs. The long arm quilter I go to is very good at nature designs. I would like to get good at doing free motion quilting, too. I tried with my old Singer...couldn't even drop the feed dogs on that one...and managed to do a couple of simple quilts with it, but the thread broke constantly. Then I got a new machine so I could learn to do free motion and it is terrible for doing it. I can't get the tension on it right. I love it otherwise, but have ended up just not even trying the free motion any more. I even took a class with a teacher hoping she could get the tension set and help me. I need to practice and keep trying. I think unless I get a different machine, my chances of learning just aren't good and I can't afford a different machine right now. I may try buying a cheap machine that I can take to classes and hope that it is good for free motion. Will test it first to know for sure! See you soon! We leave tomorrow for Tucson!

  4. I am so impressed - I didn't even know this was possible.

  5. I have heard of free motion before. You have done such a beautiful job!

  6. Look at you go... Marie. You are doing great and I am so glad you are enjoying it. I will be looking for more projects in the future.

  7. I'm impressed. I never could get the hang of free motion quilting. I haven't done any quilting in a long time but am missing it. I like to hand quilt. It's a meditation for me. But I'm mighty impressed with your efforts here!