Free Motion Quilting – First Attempt

6 Apr

Not much sewing has been going on here this week, today was the first time I got my machine out with the intention of challenging myself with a bit of free motion quilting….  My Mum talked me through the basics of how to when she was over here last summer.

I thought I’d try properly, it takes practise and a bit of getting used to.  Firstly the feed dog is down and the darning foot seemed not to sit flat on the piece I was working on – is this right?

I found it hard getting the stitches even and there were definitely a few wobbles along the way, the block was more moveable than I thought it would be, but I loved the freedom of it and when you don’t look too close it looks OK.

Now all I need to do is practise, practise, practise, so I feel confident enough to use free motion when quilting my block for the London Modern Quilt Guild April challenge.

Have a good weekend,



20 Responses to “Free Motion Quilting – First Attempt”

  1. Quilter in Motion April 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    It’s looks nice, Diana. Keep practicing!

    • diannajessie April 7, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      Thank you:) I need lots of practise, but its fun to be quilting ‘outside the box’

  2. Teri Lucas Terificreations April 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Feed dogs can be up or down since the stitch length is set at zero. I find that having the feed dogs up with finer threads is helpful.
    The foot needs to float over the surface of the quilt so that you can move the quilt freely under the needle.
    Remember to breathe & blink. Watch where you’re going rather than watching the needle, watching the needle can be rather hypnotic.


    • diannajessie April 7, 2012 at 8:22 am #

      Thanks Teri, I’m glad you confirmed the darning foot position I was unsure whether it was right, I think I need to hold the fabric more firmly with both hands too, to control the wobbles! Your advice is fab:)

  3. judysew4th April 6, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    I like your FMQ piece! You are very adventurous and inspiring!
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Handmade by Claire Bear April 7, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    This is a brilliant first attempt. It’s way better than my efforts at free motion quilting. Well done.

  5. Charlotte April 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    that’s pretty darn impressive! I can’t believe that’s your first attempt – I haven’t really ventured beyond stippling!

    • diannajessie April 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      Thanks:) got a long way to go before I feel confident…

  6. janelightfoot April 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    That’s an amazing first attempt. Not really quilted with free motion embroidery but just appliqued and it really is addictive! Main thing is to relax your shoulders and to think ahead where you want the stitching to go, leave needle down to re-position hands is also helpful. Some of the new machines actually sense how quickly the fabric is being moved to ensure an even stitch length!Amazing

    • diannajessie April 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      I’d like one of those machines – my stitch length is all over the place.

  7. Shevvy April 7, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Thats an amazing first attempt. I just stippled for ages before I tried anything else. It is just practise and not fretting too much over stitch length. They improve with time and I read once that as long as it is small enough to stop a little finger getting under it then you don’t need to worry.

    • diannajessie April 8, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Thank you, it’s my mission to get better at it now!

  8. craftingismybliss April 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    So cool. Nice job. I can only do stitch in the ditch and loops.

  9. Laurie April 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Well, I find this inspirational. I’m 9 months into quilting and plan to try free-motion before I end the year.

  10. SewCalGal April 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Very nice. Definitely draws the eye in, leaving the feeling of wanting to see more. Great job.


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