Thursday, March 19, 2009


In the last post I told you about the Foolproof Machine Quilting book. I am trying some of the techniques out on my Whirlygiggle quilt. Here soon I will have it done and will post a picture, but it's going to be a bit. I'm just getting into quilting all three layers. Piecing and designing quilts are still my thing.

I did take the plunge and I dropped my feed dog and tried free motion quilting. It's not as bad as I thought it might be. I have tried it before with little luck. I lack the luck because I did not stick with it. When in reality it's just mind over matter. I just need to get in there and do it. Practice, practice, practice that is the key. A book that has helped me out is Learn To Machine Quilt with Pat Sloan.

Here is what I've been doing. It's working for me. I take some fabric that I no longer like. The kind you say why in the hell did I ever end up with this. I know you have some. If not get some cheap cheap fabric to play with. I take batting and fabric and make approximately 18" squares. I do not baste this with pins, but with spray glue. Remember we do not care what it looks like. We're not going to show it to anyone. I used a fabric marker - the kind that will disappear with water or light. You could even use a sharpie, it's only for practice. Never use a sharpie on your real quilt it will not come out! Draw some lines, curves, loops, swirls, a simple picture or any design of your choosing. Now start free-motion quilting. No, it won't be perfect the first, second, third, fourth even fifth time you try it, but over time it will get better. Yes, over time it will get better and easier. Here is my first time.

Click on picture for close up

I found that I can use the same 18" square over again by putting new top and backing fabric on the first practice piece. Saves on batting too.

I am going to practice 3 times a week and before you know it I will get dang good at this free motion thing!

Wish me luck,


Grand Reveal coming tomorrow.


  1. I need to do a lot more practice on this too. I just hate changing out the foot -because I have to take off the usual foot holder to put on the darning foot. It isn't nearly as quick as changing the other feet. The same with the walking foot, which by the way, does'nt seem to make much difference to me anyway.

  2. I know people who have managed to do free-motion with the WALKING foot and not the darning foot. They seem to like it better. I'm not good at it no matter what foot I try. I do have Pat Sloan's machine quilting book and have the one you mentioned the other day on reserve at the library. So...we shall see what happens. Of course, this book will come in before my new machine gets back from being repaired and I don't think I can do machine quilting with my older machines. *sigh*

  3. this is good advice. i found with my whirlygiggles that by the end of the quilt i was much better. that was hours and hours of practice in that quilt.

  4. good luck with your free motion quilting-the process definitely has a learning curve, but it's so worth it in the end!

  5. Hey Charlie, your free motion looks so much better than what I did the other day. I don't even want to show it to anyone, I threw it away! Keep practicing, you will get there


  6. Way to go Charlie! keep practicing, it's so worth it :o) When you are comfortable with curves, loop the loops and squiggles, try writing your name!!

  7. I'm tempted to give this a try too! I've tried and tried but become very frustrated. This idea sounds like it's worth one more try.


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