Free Motion Quilting Adventures

I haven’t been quilting for long, but I decided recently that I was ready for something a bit more creative than just stitching straight lines. I’ve seen free motion quilting on quite a few blogs, and I’ve decided I’d like to give it a try. Everything I’ve done so far has been quilted using straight lines like this mat. It’s a lovely clean look and I’ll do it again in future – I just want to build my skill set further.

I’ve been doing a Craftsy course – Free Motion Quilting A Sampler with Leah Day. I am loving it! I am part of the Craftsy affliliate program (so I may earn a small commission if you use my links) because I think their classes are such a great service. As much as lessons at local quilting stores are excellent, sometimes that traditional format just doesn’t work for me. My husband works really erratic hours and I can’t commit to being somewhere every week at the same time. Being able to access my classes anytime at home on my laptop or ipad is brilliant! And also – the prices equate to about $3 per class. Can’t really beat that.

I’ve done a few practice pieces but I feel like I need to try something properly, so I stitched up some scrappy pieces and random charm squares into this little quilt top. It will be a doll quilt for Anna’s toy cradle.

You can see evidence of past projects in amongst that colour bomb – see if you can spy some Cuzco, Joel Dewberry, Lotta Jansdotter, Half Moon Modern and Lucy’s Crab Shack! That little quilt will be a perfect size to do some practicing with. I’m thinking some basic loops and swirls. Not too detailed yet!
Here is one of my practice attempts so far (it’s a bit of a mess).  So strange to be doing the work for the feed dogs. Your hands start to hurt very quickly! You can see I’ve followed the class instructions – starting with straight lines, moving to wavy lines, then going to repetitive designs.
I’ll keep you updated with the dolls quilt – wish me luck! I’m looking forward to having a bit of fun with it. I really like Leah Day as an instructor, she is really clear and gives great tips – just little things that I wouldn’t have guessed if I tried to learn on my own.
I’ve also just signed up for Creative Quilt Backs with Elizabeth Hartmann, which is a free class – a great way to see if Craftsy classes are something you’d like. They have several free classes. I adore Elizabeth’s blog Oh Fransson – she is a bit of a quilting rock star, so I’m looking forward to that. I also have plans to sign up to Beginner Serging. I only use my overlocker to finish seams and roll hems, and I’m sure there is much more versatility to it. I’d like to be as comfortable with my overlocker as I am with my sewing machine.
In the meantime, I plan to get quilting with this pretty thing. Even though it’s completely random, I think the colours work quite nicely together!
It will also be a nice little project to practice further with binding. I’ll definitely make my own in some fun bright colours.
Have you tried a Craftsy class yet? I’d love to hear your experiences. If you haven’t, you can check it out here – it’s a good idea to sign up so you can receive the newsletters, they often have great sales where you can pick up classes for bargain prices.

14 thoughts on “Free Motion Quilting Adventures

  1. I've never taken a Craftsy course, but I keep meaning to try some free motion quilting… I've only done straight lines, too! Someday I'll go buy a quilting foot and give it a go 🙂

  2. Have fun with the FMQ! I'm learning too, and loving the whole process. I have taken a couple of Craftsy courses, and I love the whole format. It's great to have access to classes I'd never get otherwise, with fabulous instructors and I can see it whenever I want. I have no doubt I will sign up for more.

  3. Hey Ros. It is looking good. My tip for FMQ to stop your hands getting sore is – buy a cheap $2 pair of gardening gloves – the ones with the dots on them. Put them on and the fabric holds like nothing else. Someone gave me that tip a year ago and now it is soooooo much easier. The quilting gloves cost heaps but are the same thing essentially.

    1. Check out the kids gloves my mum has little hands too. She always wears gloves, I've been wanting to try free motion quilting I only ever do in the ditch and diagonal. Doing the mat was the first time I tried anything different 🙂

  4. As you know I'm not the biggest fan of quilting, but I really admire the free motion quilting that I've seen. Do you need a special foot for it?
    I love the scraps you've used for the toy cot quilt… looks cute!

  5. Oh that is lovely. I've been meaning to try some for ages (need a foot too!). I think I'm just not able to let go of the control. Straight lines are so uniform. Perfect. Free motion is soooo um free!

    Can't wait to see what you do.

  6. I wouldn't even have a clue about what you're talking about. I thought you had to have a proper quilting machine. I'll be watching closely and I'll certainly look at that Craftsy link on your site too, when I get the chance.

    Anne xx

  7. My tip for free-motion quilting is to put on some jazz music, and have a glass of wine. You need to be "feeling the motion", to get the rhythm going 🙂

  8. Good luck 🙂
    So far the quilt top looks really cute!
    I've had some craftsy classes downloaded for ages…I just haven't gotten around to starting them 😛
    I'm also thinking about doing the beginner serging one. My hubby bought me a 2nd hand one a few months ago…I used it once on some scrap and the treads came un-threaded from the machine, I've tried retreading it according to the instructions, but I don't have the manual and it hasn't been right ever since 🙁
    So I was thinking the craftsy class would be good (I think it's on sale at the moment too :D) to help me work it out…

  9. The quilt top looks great. Free motion quilting is fun. I regrettably started quilting Isabella's quilt with squiggles very close together – took me forever!!! but looks great:)

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