Friday, April 1, 2011

In Progress: Free Motion Quilting

I am finally practicing my hand at some real free motion quilting. I have 42 10"x10" squares on my picnic blanket and I figured that filling all of those in individually with give me a LOT of practice! I know, I should probably practice on practice squares, but I don't want to. :)

I finished my first square last night and it turned out all right. I can definitely tell that I need to work on my speed... there are a few spots where the stitches are TOO long, and a few that are too short, and a few places my tension was off just a little so on the back it looks kind of weird. But over all I'd say it's not too bad. It's definitely not so horrible that I'm going to take it out.

I started another square as well, using more of a straight line design. I think it fits the pattern on the fabric, but it kind of covers it up too. (click on the pic to view it larger)

(I used the idea found here:

I'm just using white thread, which I really like on the back of the quilt, but I think it might be too much on some of the fabric colors. Though I'm sure most will be fine. :) Here are pictures of the back - the first design.


In my search for designs and tips I found a couple of great websites and tutorial videos. The one with the largest pool to draw from is Leah Day Quilting. Here is a page with a million designs to choose from, and I like that you can sort by level difficulty. (You can also sort by design type, and texture. Pretty great! Thanks Leah!

This page has two video tutorials that I think are pretty wise. One is on speed control, and one is about quilting a large quilt on a small machine (glad I found this video before I got too far in my large quilt!)

I really love this Pebble design from A Few Scraps:

Here are a few more pebble variations by Leah Day (there are more than this, but these were my favorite two)

I think if I tried more complex ideas, I would want to practice first. Gen X Quilters makes me see the benefit in practicing. ;)

Really there are so many pictures, designs, and ideas out there. It's fun to look at all the possibilities!

That's a lot of links, and if you google it, there are a million more. Happy quilting!! :)

Oh! And I LOVE this idea of having rock pockets in the corners of my picnic blanket to hold the corners down. I definitely want to add this feature when I'm done! I found it over at Sew Mama Sew!


Fresh Poppy Design


  1. Great post. Thanks for all the links. Im too scared to try free motion at the moment! Yours look really good. Im still baffled by it all. x

  2. That's funny - I can't ever bring myself to practice on "practice" fabric either - it has to be something real. Thanks for the links. I'm taking a machine quilting class soon (as a reward to myself for getting thru my first year as a mom - ha ha).

  3. Good job! Every time I machine quilt I get more comfortable! Keep up the good work!

  4. Good job! It is looking great, I like that you're so bold to jump right into the project!! Thanks for linking to Fabric Tuesday :)


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