Free motion quilting, mistakes and all.

Last week my friend Kit asked me to show off some of my free motion quilting and I hate to disappoint. First, I'd like to show off the two mistakes I make most often.

Large stitches:

free motion quilting

This is what happens when I move the quilt too quickly while running the machine too slowly. This happens all the time because it feels weird to run the machine so fast…it goes against my sewing instincts. But, it’s necessary and I’m getting better at it, I think.

The opposite problem happens when the quilt is too heavy or gets stuck on a corner of the table or gets bunched up against the side of the machine so that I can't move it very easily...I get stitches that are too small. I need to remember to slow the machine when this happens.

Skips or points:

free motion quilting

Skips happen for a couple of reasons:
-I stop quilting to readjust my hands and I can’t remember what direction I was quilting and I end up with a curve that isn’t very smooth or worse, a point instead of a curve.
-I stop quilting to readjust my hands and the quilt pulls to one side before the needle is down.

Since I haven’t found a good way to avoid this problem every time and since I have to readjust my hands quite often, I try to stop quilting on a light colored fabric if I’m using a light colored thread. That way this mistake isn’t quite as visible.

Here's an example of better quilting…smooth lines and mostly even stitches.

blue flower quilt

So, as you can see, more practice is definitely necessary. I'd like to make a doll quilt or table runner to practice on something small and easy to maneuver. I'll show you how it turns out, mistakes and all.


  1. I love the flower within a flower on the last quilting... lookin' good!

  2. Man, I must have low standards or something, but those still look better than anything I could do. I think it's good that you keep pushing yourself to just get better all the time. We should all be doing that.

  3. Yay! Thank you for posting your quilting "mistakes and all".

    That first one I do allllllll the time, and you're right - it feels counterintuitive to run the machine fast.

    I've tried practicing on small pieces, but for me, it doesn't work because the weight of a real-sized completely changes how it feels.

    I love your free hand flowers - I may try those on an upcoming quilt.

    Thanks for posting. :)

  4. that quilting flower is so pretty! holy canole. i never even thought of that. shows you what an amateur quilter i am. and by far not as much a perfectionist as i think, because big stitches, that's just tough luck for the quilt ;)
    i also have a hard time running the machine very fast. i'm afraid it might explode into my face if i do, or break,maybe. it's working so hard, anyway!
    now these flowers you quilted, they're something else. i will try them soonest!

    i am really not a fan of triangle quilt blocks, but yours for the brushfire project are, as anything that comes from your craftiness, beauuutiful! i'm not just being nice :-D


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