Free Motion Quilting Update

Okay, so I have been free motion quilting (FMQ). This is setting a quilt, or in my case, a practice sandwich under your sewing machine needle and without marking anything, just sew.


Sounds scary! Well it is, I won’t lie.


Sew Cal Gal is sponsoring this challenge. She has organized a whole bunch of experts in the field of FMQing to give us little tutorials. This months tutorial was from Frances Moore


You can even watch it here yourself. It is free!  Frances Moore Video

or if that doesn’t work.


I don’t know if you have never heard of this technique or if you are a seasoned pro, but I am going to share a few of my insights as a pure beginner.


1. Relax. This is hard for me. I hate ripping out anything, so if this goes wrong and looks bad, I will be stuck with it.

2. Practice on paper first. I have none to very little natural drawing talent. My brother is an awesome drawer and almost all of my children are great at art, but it seems to have gone all around me. I have never been able to work with a pencil and paper, that is why I stick to a needle and thread. I have never nurtured that side of me and I can barely draw a straight line.

3. Ready to quilt something?


  • Always start with a good needle. There are lots of recommendations on this and everyone has a favorite. I am using a titanium size 80 by Superior Threads, but I have heard good things about Schmdtz Quilting size 70 or 80.
  • Lower your feed dogs.
  • Relax.
  • Always pull your bobbin thread up to the top, otherwise you get bird nests underneath.


What not to do.

Thread Nest


  • Adjust your tension slowly (I’m still working on this.) As you can see by the above photo that I do have issues here.
  • Use the same weight thread in the top and bobbin.
  • Try to keep your feet and hands in sync.
  • Relax.


  • Practice #1

    It doesn't look so bad from the front.


    Close up

    Here is a close-up!


    I have been a good girl and I have practiced quite a bit. (okay, probably not as much as I should.)


    But I have other fun things I am working on too. Here is a sneak peek at another project that has kept me busy.


    Sneak Peek

    Here is a Sneak Peek


    Until next time, Happy Quilting!


4 thoughts on “Free Motion Quilting Update

  1. Barb

    I hate the birds nest, sometimes I try so hard and still get them… You are coming right along on this challenge…I am in it too and think it is soooo fun.

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