Anyone can free motion quilt - it does takes practice - that's what we will be doing for the next 21 days! I have put together 21 exercises that will start you on your way to stippling and other fun free motion options! You can follow along and do each exercise on the day that it's posted, or you may want to practice at your own pace. You will find these lessons (titled Day # - 21 Days to Free Motion Quilting Success) under "Topics" on the left sidebar of this blog under Free Motion.
Let's get started:
- Prepare a 12" x 12" quilt sandwich (front, batting, backing secured with either basting spray or safety pins.
- Put your free motion foot on your sewing machine (consult your manual if you aren't sure which foot you should use).
- Drop your feed dogs.
- Reduce top tension slightly to start.
- Thread your machine with good quality thread.
- Install a new needle (let's use a Universal 80/12 needle to start).
- With your practice quilt sandwich under the presser foot, lower the needle and raise it to bring bobbin thread to the top of the sandwich. As you start sewing, hold onto both threads to start.
Here is your first assignment: Make rows of small (approximately 1/2" high) "hills and valleys" as shown on the right. The sample does not have to be beautiful (see my sample - definitely not perfect!). This exercise puts you in control of the machine and allows you to experience the feeling of free motion! Allow yourself to fill in approximately 1/4 of your quilt sandwich. Leave the rest of your sanwich for tomorrow! Tomorrow we will start looking at stitch quality and consistency.