I’m hoping this mini quilt is the first of many free motion quilting projects that I’ll be sharing on Craftcore. This is brand new territory, so there’s plenty of improvements to be made.
I’ve wanted to try free motion quilting for a while, but my sewing machines didn’t have an easy way to lower the feed dogs to stop the fabric from being pulled. When I picked up a retro White sewing machine with easy-to-drop feed dogs, I decided it was time to order a darning foot to take the plunge.
First, let’s start with some ugly attempts. Figure 1: this deer covered in a stitchy mess.
To practice, I sandwiched a mini quilt and just went wild, trying to get a feel for how fast I needed to guide the fabric compared to how much pressure I needed to press on the foot pedal. It’s really easy to make your stitches too close together or too far apart – no fancy stitch regulators in my sewing setup!
Figure 2: My next mini quilt sandwich was better, with more intentional swooshes and curls. However, I still had problems with too-long stitches.
I wanted to try it on a larger quilt sandwich, but not so large that it was intimidating. Using some scraps, I put together a mini quilt, slightly smaller than a placement, using a pinwheel block flanked with two rectangles.
Within each triangle, I tried a different design. While if you look closely, they’re not great, but don’t look too carefully, and they look alright for a beginner. I have some loose swooshes, tighter curls, and sketchy circles.
Free motion quilting wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. With practice, I think the process will become more zen. With this smaller project under my belt, I’m going to start working on a larger project, a reindeer-themed lap quilt for the holidays.