Free! That is the key word! Free motion is just that, and you can do it! Free up your mind and relax a bit. There are a lot of “rules” in quilting and they are very useful, but if you want to free motion, get relaxed.
Free motion quilting works differently to normal quilting and straight line quilting. The quilt is relaxed. It’s puddled up around the quilting foot. There is no tension on the quilt. You don’t need an exceptional machine. A vintage machine in a cabinet is perfect because it’s s natural flatbed.
You will need some determination to get the machine set up correctly, but it’s worth it!
I always always do a test piece before commencing, as tiny differences in needle size, thread and thread tension can make a difference. Here’s my practice piece from this morning….it’s not perfect, I’m checking how the machine is behaving, the thread and the needle and just getting a feel for the design.
Today I am quilting Dahlias and loops. If you can doodle, you can free motion quilt. It’s a continuous line drawing.
Here you can see the dahlias emerging. In order to keep the design continuous, I quilt the dahlias then use the loops to “travel” to the next opening to quilt a dahlia. The beauty of this type of quilting is that it is an edge to edge design. The dahlias and loops can be made bigger or smaller to fit the available space, just as in nature, flower sizes and perfection are varied and that is the approach I like to take with the quilting. I’m not looking for perfection but an overall pleasing landscape of dahlia flowers. I believe this gives some artistic freedom and a more relaxed feel about the quilt which I like.
This quilt is very scrappy and to be honest, the quilting will give it texture but not necessarily be the feature of the quilt. This is a baby quilt which I am hoping will be well used and loved. So to that end the quilting is somewhat utilitarian. That’s okay, because it’s a baby quilt. It’s not a show quilt just for looking at.
Here you can see how the design is looking from the back of the quilt.
For more information on beginning free motion quilting click on the link below.
View of the quilt back after quilting and binding.
This is the back of the Framing Pinwheels Quilt.
Susan Stuklis 2016