Free Motion Friday -- But... I can't quilt because....


I'm on vacation this week, meaning I'm writing this post at the same time I wrote last weeks, and I just don't have it in me to do two full tutorials. So this week, here are a few tips (and some rambling) FREE MOTION FRIDAY!

I love free motion quilting. Like, seriously. LOVE. I have since I started when I was 14. The nice thing about starting free motion when you are 14, is you (or at least I) am not as picky... those first quilts I did, looking at them now are pretty terrible. Mom actually uses them as samples in her quilting class to show "this is what you should NOT do" as well as "you WILL get better with practice". And you will, I promise.

So, some thoughts on free motion, poorly organized.

  • PRACTICE. ON QUILTS. Eventually you just have to get over yourself and quilt a quilt. You can practice on sample pieces for years, and I know how picky some people (not me) can be, but at a certain point, you just have to quilt an actual quilt. And it might not be perfect, but no one cares but you. So quilt a quilt.
  • Not having a long-arm doesn't not mean that you can't have beautifully quilts. Not everyone can have a long arm in their living room.  But there are ways to get the same results:
    • use a ruler. You CAN use a ruler with a domestic machine-- some machines have special feet for ruler work even. It's not as easy, but is possible, probably what I would do instead though is
    • sew straight lines with your walking foot, then go in and free motion around them. This is what I did on my swoon quilt. It was quilted on a domestic machine, the straight lines done with a walking foot, then free motion quilting done around. And it's not that hard, and you get the look of a beautifully long armed quilt.
  • Take classes. Every time I take a class, my quilting improves by leaps and bounds. It always surprises me. Not everyone can take classes from Angela Walters and Judy Madsen, but you can take free motion classes at your local quilt store, and learn lots! I took classes from my mom at QFTH, and those really helped a lot! I'm taking all quilting classes at QuiltCon in February, and I'M SO EXCITED YOU HAVE NO IDEA SO I HAVE TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS.

Anyways, I guess I don't have that much to say... as this publishes I shall be whitewater rafting down the Clearwater river, so my mind isn't really on quilting at the moment.

Later days! Kathleen.