Skip to main content

A Fun Way to Practice Free Motion Quilting

I’m back for Day 2 (or Day 4 for everyone else who started on time!) of the 31 Day Blog Challenge. Today I wanted to share a simple way to practice free motion quilting (fmq).

I really enjoy making bags! What quilter doesn’t need 273 bags to carry fabric, notions and other supplies to and from the quilt store, retreats and so on?! Bag patterns certainly range from simple to complex, but one commonality is that they are smaller (at least usually!) than a quilt top. Having a smaller project can make taking a spin at fmq - or even walking foot quilting- feel less daunting.

I tend to think that a quilt is much more precious to me overall than a bag. This feeling makes me nervous to try out fmq – I do not want to screw up all the hard work I did making the quilt top. But with a bag top, if something doesn’t quite go right, I’m okay with either the imperfection or even starting over if needed. This is why I like to practice my fmq skills with bags.

Typically, I will use batting and muslin to make my quilt sandwich with the exterior of the bag. The muslin is thinner than a regular quilt back, so it’s important to keep this difference in mind. I will pin (or spray-baste which is a technique still new to me) simply to practice this as well. Then, I have fun! I decide what type of quilting I want to do. Now, I also practice straight line quilting or quilting with my integrated walking foot. That is what I did with the bag image on this post. My goal was to make organic triangle shapes. I started in a straight line, stopping to pivot where needed and continuing on in a straight line again. I love the result and feel more confident with each bit of practice I get!

How do you practice your fmq or straight line quilting skills?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2020 Planning

I recently learned about Yvonne Fuch’s ( QuiltingJetGirl on Instagram !) #2020PlanningParty and I thought it was just the swift kick in the pants I needed to really think about my professional and personal quilting goals in 2020. Here are my thoughts leading into the new year. Professional Goals 1. Teach new quilters. The wheels have been set into motion for an opportunity to teach a quilting 101 class in my community in the spring. I’ve spent the last several months developing a beginner sampler pattern and I’ll be wrapping it up in a few weeks. Here’s hoping there are a few people interested in learning how to quilt! 2. Print four of my patterns. A few shops and guilds have asked me about printed patterns for their stores or for upcoming lecturers. Currently I only offer patterns as PDFs so I have a goal of getting a small batch of four specific patterns printed in 2020. 3. Release three new patterns. With some of my other professional and personal quilting goals in 2020, I’

Quilt Project Tracking Document

Have you ever found yourself staring at a WIP not knowing where you left off? Have you ever started to fill out a quilt show form and realized you didn't have all the details needed? There are several missing details on quilts I've made that I sure wish I would have better tracked! A couple years ago, I started a quilt project tracking document to keep better record of my quilts. The document has basic information like project name, year started, pattern, fabric, status (cut, pieced, quilted, bound) and year finished. There's also a general notes field so I can add whatever detail I'd like to have down the road. It's been exciting to look back at the document and see what I've accomplished! I have a current projects tab and a completed projects tab so I have an accurate look at what I'm working on. I tend to work on 10-20 projects at a time, so it's easy to forget where I was or what else I need to work on without the document. Since I am a pattern w

Hera Marker - Quilt Notion Review

I have used a variety of marking pencils and chalks to mark my quilts but nothing compares, in my opinion, to the hera marker. What is a Hera Marker? A hera marker is a small piece of plastic with a curved tip used to make a crease in the fabric. I use the “Clover Hera Marker Slim” which is a slightly longer, slimmer version than the regular “Clover Hera Marker.” Honestly, I couldn’t tell you why I chose the slim version – all I remember is trying to find one online because I wanted to try it and this is what I ended up with. How Does it Work? To use the hera marker, line up the curved tip on the fabric and press down, like you're using a pencil, to create the lines or shapes you desire to quilt. I use my quilting rulers in order to achieve straight lines. The curved plastic creates a temporary crease in the fabric. I’ve used it on all shades of fabric, from light to dark, and have always been able to see the crease as I quilt on my machine. Also, there’s no harm if you deci