Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Favorite Tutorials: Free Motion Quilting

A few posts back I showed you my recently finished Layer Cake quilt. This quilt was different from others I've made because it was my first attempt at Free Motion Quilting. (FMQ) I am NOT an expert, nor never plan to be, but I thought I'd pass along some of the tutorials I used and a few tips I learned along the way.

There are a gazillon tutorials out there on how to FMQ which is great because if one doesn't speak 'your language' - does that ever happen to you with a tutorial? - you can just try another one. I looked at dozens of tutorials and the ones I will mention here were my favorites.

My two three cents:

Cent #1: PRACTICE. Not once, or twice, but several or a dozen times before you try it on your beautiful quilt. I made and practiced on at least a dozen mini quilt sandwiches before I attempted my quilt. Just take pieces of batting and sandwich between two pieces of fabric, 12x12 is a great practice size. Once you have a handle on the practice squares, dive into that quilt!

Cent #2: Thread matters. I tried different types of thread when I practiced on my mini-quilt sandwiches. My favorite 'look' was achieved by using Gutterman's 100% cotton machine quilting thread. You can find this at any JoAnn's and with a coupon it isn't too pricey. Oh, Frannson's Freemotion Quilting tutorial, see below, gives great suggestions for thread.

Cent #3: In my opinion, you really don't get the feel of the whole process until you are doing your quilt. The feel is just completely different with a quilt compared to the little quilt sandwiches. So don't be surprised if it takes a little time, even with all your practicing, to get the feel down of doing a quilt. My first attempt at FMQ was not perfect, but no one will notice. :)

K...on to the pros...

Favorite Tutorials:

First off, if you need a good overview of quilt basics, check Elizabeth Hartman's series over at Oh, Fransson!. She writes wonderful tutorials and is very detailed in her explanations. 

Making a Quilt Sandwich by Oh, Frannson!

Basting by Lella Boutique
After she adds the borders to her quilt, she shows you how to baste your quilt sandwich with basting spray. (Have never tried this technique, but I will on my next quilt.)

Finish a Quilt by Cluck, Cluck Sew
Gives clarity to that vague statement of baste, quilt, and bind that we all read on quilt patterns. Gives it all to you from start to finish. Her tutorial is in a Google Doc located in her right-hand side bar under the heading 'My Buttons and Links.' Just look for the below picture.

Freemotion Qutiling by Oh, Franson!
Again, very detailed and great information. She has great info on thread selection.

Freehand Machine Quilting by Lella Boutique - After reading several tutorials about how to  FMQ, it was great to actually see the process 'in motion'. I found it helpful to see how to guide the quilt as you FMQ.

So there you go! This is one of the many reasons I love the internet, people are so willing to share their knowledge on various subjects. If you are looking to learn how to FMQ I hope these tutorials help you out. I know they helped me loads and I look forward to attempting another quilt soon. :)

Happy Tuesday!


1 comment:

  1. hi! found you thru a search about crafting and loved this quick tute on fmq. i have been wanting to dabble in it but still need to get the "walking foot" or whatever that little thing is called! thanks


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