Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting

I’m not a beginner to quilting, exactly, but I’ve only ever done quilting by hand. It takes foreverrrrrr so I decided to take a class at my local quilt shop to see if there was an easier way. Surprise! There is!

It's a quilted journal cover

It’s a quilted journal cover

See all those turquoise stitches? That’s the quilting holding the layers together. And I didn’t have to do them by hand! I did them with THIS:

It's my walking foot!

It’s my walking foot!

It’s basically a heavy-duty version of the normal foot that goes on my machine, so I’m not calling that trying something new. No, to do that we have to take this quilting rave to THE NEXT LEVEL.

FREE MOTION FOOT

FREE MOTION FOOT

That’s a free motion quilting foot, which basically allows you to draw using thread and your machine instead of graphite and a pencil. As you might recall, I’ve always kind of sucked at drawing so this was not easy.

The horror

The horror

It’s especially hard because the machine is doing nothing except moving the needle up and down in this kind of quilting. The length of your stitches as well as their placement depends entirely on how you move the fabric and how hard you press down on the pedal (making the needle go up and down faster or slower). Clearly it takes some serious practice to get anything approaching a non-mess.

A non-mess: not pictured here

A non-mess: not pictured here

Even hearts are hard!

Even hearts are hard!

The class I took was 3 hours, and I was definitely better at the end than at the beginning! I’m not sure how often I will be using this skill in the future, but I’m glad I’ve added it to my quilting arsenal. Maybe I’ll be signing my quilts like this from now on:

But how do you dot the I's?

But how do you dot the I’s?

Previously: Candy Making
Next: POLE DANCING

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