Monday, August 18, 2014

Free Motion Quilting 101

I made this piece from leftovers from my stencil projects, using StencilGirl Products 15-1/2 x 19. You can click on it to see it larger.  The fabrics were fused with Mistyfuse, before they were stenciled with Jacquard Textile Paint.  Then fused to a piece of black wool blended felt and backed with a piece of bright pink wool blended felt.  National Nonwovens #TOY002 (can be purchased at Joann's)

BERNINA screen - I am using the straight stitch to prepare for free motion machine quilting

This is my most favorite foot #29.  It get me through tiny space, and I can see through it.  I also use this foot to sew zipper trim onto my quilts

This is the easiest way to practice the art of free motion quilting.  I think of this as drawing with my sewing machine needed.  An easy way to start is to echo shapes on your quilts.  Don't worry if you draw outside the lines, it's okay.  This is not about perfection.

I am basically going around in a circle, and moving to the next circle by cutting through the rows with my needle.

Same with the houses.  I outlined the houses and roofs and the landscape below.  The stitching brings out the house, sort of pops it out!

and here I am doing my own design of a leaf.  Most of my free motion machine quilting is sort of an organic form with these leaves.  This is just one more step to good design, the quilting portion.

This is the way that I quilt, using my left hand to guide the needle and the quilt to where I want to go

Flowers are very fun to sew around, and with these curves, it can open you up to a doing this on a quilt with no flowers, until you create them in the free motion machine quilting!  I mean how cool is that?

I always press my pieces with a hot iron mid-stream, so it doesn't crimp up during the process.  I want it to stay the same shape, and pressing helps.
I decided to use the zig zag stitch with the free motion foot to outline all of the edges of the dresses.  That's one of the beauty's of the foot, is that you can zig zag with it, without having to change feet.

Here's the dress!

And circles are so fun to do on a quilt!  I love the effect with the stitching!

On this particular one, I added hot pink fabric in the skirt of this one, which I thought was rather fun!

and the Cup of Joe got some fun stitching
You can clearly see the free motion quilting from the back.

Yes, those are embroidery thread knots on the back.

I hope this inspires you to take the leap to teach yourself how to get started with free motion machine quilting!

This was my hand sewing project for a few weeks.

The simple stitching added so much to the art quilt

Background for a dress
The finished art quilt!


  1. Very fun piece to quilt on. I do like to do free motion on smaller pieces. I had to get a new foot since I smashed my first one, I am rough on my machine;)


  2. Loved seeing all your photos of a great quilt. I really like your result.

  3. After vacation I'm going to study this post and get out my new Free Motion attachment and go at it!!

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