Tuesday Tutor - free motion quilting

Posted by Ruth on 5 April 2011 | 0 Comments

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How about learning a little bit of free-motion quilting to finish off our sampler. You could of course just use straight stitch, but why not practice free-motion instead. This is a great opportunity to try it. To make it easier, I'm going to include a video so you can actually see it in action.

Free-motion quilting is my favorite quilting technique, mainly because you can do so much with it. There are thousands of designs you can try or you can simply use it to meander or stipple in the background. Today we will look at some warm up skills to get you started. You can then go on and fill in some areas of your quilt.

The first thing you need is a darning foot. These vary somewhat but are usually circular or oval in shape. You also need to lower your feed dogs or cover them. You will be the one moving the fabric, not the machine.

When starting, bring the bobbin thread up to the top of the quilt by dropping the needle down and back up to pull it through. Once the bobbin thread is at the top, you can lower the needle back down in the same hole ready to start.

Run your machine reasonably quickly and move the fabric underneath the needle. Find a comfortable speed to wrok at, remembering if the machine is running fast and your hands are moving slow, you will have very short stitches. On the other hand, if the machine is running slow and your hands are moving fast, you'll have very long stitches. Find a happy medium. A little smaller is better than too big and easier to make nice curves.

Practice stitching curves, squares, lines and even write your name if you like. You can see me write mine in the video. Let's get started.

Free-motion video link

If you want to learn more about free-motion quilting join my online class at the Academy of Quilting.

machine quilting class online

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting


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