Free Motion Quilting ~ Home Machine Features & Tips

on April 29 | in Sewing + Quilting Tips, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 191 Comments

We know many of you want to learn more about free motion stitching on your home machine. Kellie from our board and Don’t Look Now blog does a lot of free motion stitching and does it well! Today she shares some tips so you can feel comfortable jumping in and trying it out on your own machine, plus features to consider when looking for a new machine conducive to free motion stitching!

From Kellie: So would you like to try your hand at free motion stitching? Or perhaps you’ve been wondering if your sewing machine can handle it? Maybe you’re thinking about purchasing a new sewing machine and would like to know what features you should look for in a machine that will make the process a whole lot easier? Hopefully I will be able to shed a little light on this for you.

#QMIIKellie1.jpg title=

What is Free Motion Stitching and why would I ever want to do it?
Free motion stitching gives you total control over the direction and stitch length of your sewing. Normally when you sew, your sewing machine takes care of all of these things. When you push down on your foot pedal activating the motor of your machine, the feed dogs under your presser foot move in perfect timing with the movement of your presser foot, bobbin & needle creating the stitches in your fabric. Aren’t sewing machines wonderful?!

Free motion sewing involves lowering your machine’s feed dogs and releasing the pressure on your presser foot… Once you have done this it’s now up to you to move the fabric while gauging the speed of your machine’s motor to perfectly time the creation of your stitches… Sounds tricky! It is definitely a learned skill, and one that requires patience and perseverance to perfect, but it isn’t rocket science and anyone can do this with practice!

#QMIIKellie2.jpg title=

Free motion stitching is used to create the beautiful swirls and curls and any other number of designs that you may like to use to quilt your quilt. Free motion sewing allows you to move your project in any direction you desire to create whatever design you desire! Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? It can also be used to finish the edges of appliqué, which I love because it provides me with the freedom to create any design I dream up!

There are a few features that will make the process of Free Motion Stitching a whole lot easier should you want to give this technique a burl…. Here are a few:

Lowering Feed-Dogs: This is enables you to disengage your feed-dogs which stops the machine from grabbing hold of the underside of your project in an attempt to feed it under the presser foot. If your machine doesn’t have this feature then you are able to cover your feed-dogs with a plate… However, I would guess that if your machine doesn’t have this feature it would be unlikely to have many (if any) of the other features that make this process more pleasurable!

#QMIIKellie3.jpg title=

There are people who don’t lower their feed dogs when they quilt. I have on occasions spent time sewing away only to find that I haven’t lowered my feed-dogs. My stitches are fine and no one would probably ever be able to tell… However I find that the drag created by the feed-dogs makes it harder to make my project move smoothly under my machine.

Needle Down: This feature enables you to program your sewing machine to stop with it’s needle down. This is a particularly desirable feature because it means that your project doesn’t move around while you reposition your hands, readjust your quilt or take a sip of your cup of tea!

Again this isn’t essential. If you are particularly careful you can try and time your stopping to coincide with the needle being in the down position. Alternatively, you just need to make sure that you hold your project still while you lower the needle with your other hand.

#QMIIKellie4.jpg title=

Hands-Free Needle Down: This is a terrific feature that allows you to raise & lower your needle using your foot pedal. This allows you to keep your hands on your project the entire time. When you need to raise or lower your needle you only need to give your foot pedal a little tap.

Knee Lift: This is one of my absolute favorite features! It took some getting used to but I wouldn’t be without one of these now! When using a knee-lift your presser foot is controlled by your knee! This is perfect for free motion stitching because you never have to lift your hand while you are sewing a project – giving you more control and you will be more likely to create better shapes.

Darning/Free Motion Foot: There are many different looks to these feet. In addition to this there are many different styles for each different brand of sewing machine! My best advice to you when you are looking at purchasing one of these feet: Make sure that you can see your work clearly around it! Many brands also have a lot of mechanics around this area and it can make it virtually impossible to see behind the foot, so look out for this if you a buying a new machine!

#QMIIKellie6.jpg title=

This foot looks like it would be easy to work with, however I find that the clear plastic actually distorts the view of your project beneath it making it very hard to sew precise and intricate patterns or around the edges of shapes. You can get a foot similar to this one with the centre part between the two red lines removed which corrects this issue

#QMIIKellie7.jpg title=

This foot is particularly difficult to work with. The metal foot obscures your vision and the mechanics behind it are right in your field of view.

#QMIIKellie5.jpg title=

This foot isn’t a bad one as it has a clear field of vision behind the foot and the front of the foot is open. I do find that the clear plastic is not as easy to work with as the next example…

#QMIIKellie8.jpg title=

This foot not only allows you to see your needle, it also allows you to see the stitches around it and your project behind the presser foot. It’s amazing how much of a difference being able to see your work makes!

Extension Table (or a cabinet capable of lowering your machine into): Being able to work on a large flat surface really helps to make your free motion stitching lines and shapes smoother and more consistent.

#QMIIKellie9.jpg title=

Many machines have optional extension tables or even better if you have a sewing table that your machine can lower into you will be amazed at how this alone improves your technique… It also helps a lot with your posture!

If you do give this technique a try make sure you are kind to your machine! Free Motion Stitching can be hard work for a domestic sewing machine! Clean out the areas around your bobbin case and under the foot plate regularly! Oil your machine regularly. Change your sewing machine needles regularly– They don’t last any longer than around 5 hours of sewing!

If you are looking to buy a new machine and you intend to use it for free motion stitching, make sure you sit down and try out the technique on the machine before you buy it! No good just taking my word or the advice of others as to how good or bad a machine might be! Sit down and give it a try… Last but not least, if you want to free-motion sew or you think that you may want to at some time in the future and the machine you can afford doesn’t have these attributes wait and save up a little more money… You won’t be disappointed!

Enter to win win one of these fabulous prizes::

Win one of THREE $25 Gift Certificates to Connecting Threads; Color Your Cloth: A Quilter’s Guide to Dyeing and Patterning Fabric; Win one of TWO copies of 200 Quilting Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets: An Indispensable Reference of Technical Know-How and Troubleshooting Tips

Pin It

Related Posts

191 Responses to Free Motion Quilting ~ Home Machine Features & Tips

  1. bertha says:

    I really enjoy your article. I would like to know what fabrics did you use for the tree, and where can I buy the pattern. Thanks!!!! Where can I see more pictures????

  2. Alison Marie says:

    Great article. I would love to know the machines/manufacturers of the feet in the photos.

  3. thanx so much i was given a link to this post and very much enjoyed it i am about to take on the challenge of making my first quilt when my foot arrives in the post!!!! x

  4. That tree is amazing.

  5. Jeane says:

    Thank you for the wonderful tips on FM quilting. I love using my treadle sewing machine to FM, gives me the control!
    Jeane

  6. Laurel says:

    What a beautiful pattern! Makes me get itchy to sew!

  7. Mirja says:

    Thanks for the great tips and help!

  8. Leah Grace says:

    I have long admired Kellie’s beautiful work but have never been brave enough to try it myself. I just didn’t think I could do something that amazing. But after reading this article I think I might be able to give it a go.

  9. Maureen says:

    Still practing my free-motion stitching!

  10. Deelee says:

    I’ve been a fan of your blog for a long time and I’ve admired all the work your students produce. I wish I could go to a workshop but Australia is a little far away! Beautiful patterns and quilts!

  11. Candi says:

    Free motion quilting has been my nemesis! I’m going to try again and use the foot Kellie recommends. Hopefully that will make a big difference!

  12. HI! Thanks so much. I’m in the market for a new machine. My 28 year old viking just quit being able to do any stitch except a straight one! (Yesterday) And after I stuck up for it! I had just told my sister that this sewing machine was going to last me for a long time (already 28 years, mind you) and now it just about fizzled out! Love your blog!

  13. Danielle says:

    A great article – thank you! I have done a workshop with Kellie and she is a fantastic teacher. Practice definitely does make perfect but learning this technique is so much fun!

  14. WOW! I am amazed!!!
    What beautiful things one can make with those tips.
    Thanks a lot!
    Daniela

  15. Stacy says:

    I’ve tried a bit of free motion quilting on my machine, but it kept snagging. I wound up doing it on my aunt’s quilting machine instead.

  16. Marcia W. says:

    Excellent ideas. I have never done this and wish to try.

  17. yvonne Sirugue says:

    thank you so much for this tip.I’ve stopted quilting by hand and forgotten that i’d this free motion accessories.Y.S France

  18. Andrea says:

    I particularly appreciate the detailed information about the different types of feet and pros/cons. Thank you!

  19. VickiT says:

    Thank you for such a great article. I LOVE the way this looks and just love that top picture. Beautiful. I’ve tried to do this and it is totally something that takes a lot of practice and patience too.

  20. Erin R says:

    These are super useful tips. I’ve tried free motion quilting on small projects and it’s been ok, but when I stepped it up to a big project, I had all sorts of issues with the backing moving just a smidge so it isn’t exactly flat…. it’s so disheartening when the top looks fantastic and I need to rip it all out because the back is off. Any suggestions? (I basted with safety pins about every 6-8″ so I didn’t think movement would be an issue)

  21. mathea says:

    Thank you for all the great advice (and pictures!) of different free motion feet – now I know what to look for in my next one – my plastic one broke the other day :-(
    Your work is, as always, beautiful!

  22. Marcelle says:

    Great tips but I’m still green at free motion, will need a lot of practice.

  23. Tally says:

    I proudly bought a quilting foot for my old, but tough machine, but unfortunately it is one I can’t see very much. This article inspired me to go searching for another one. Too bad for the money, but I like free motion stitching so very much.

  24. Tracy T. says:

    FMQ is my achilles heel. I soo want to be able to do this, but have yet to master it. Someday?

  25. Janet says:

    Thanks for the great tips. I keep plugging away hoping to get better. Would love to take a class from someone as talented as you.

  26. Jeannie says:

    I LOVE Kellie’s beautiful work. Thanks for all the tips. I wish one day I will personally attend one of her classes.

  27. sharonj says:

    Love Kellie! She does such beautiful work it is truly amazing! Thanks Sharonj.

  28. Dacia says:

    this is just what I was needing. I have been trying out some free motion recently, but was having a little difficulty! now I will use these tips! so glad I have most of those features on my machine!

  29. Beth Woodman says:

    GORGEOUS quilts. I love the stirped trees and the birds. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Thank you Kellie! I am printing this so I can read it again when I start my next free motion quilting project!

  31. susana says:

    Thanks for this. I hope to upgrade from the world’s most basic machine ever some time (soon, I hope), and it’s good to know what to be on the lookout for. Also,Kellie’s quilts: wow!

  32. Lauretta Reyes says:

    Wonderful tips. I keep my feed dogs up in the beginning and lower as I get the hang of what I am quilting.
    Thank you for the great pictures. What machine is the great metal small darning foot from?

  33. Barb B says:

    I am just starting to do some free motion quilting and am finding it frustrating. I want so bad to have nece even stitches but they are haphazard. I will just have to keep practicing. Thanks for the great tips on the foot. Maybe I need to try a different one.

  34. Kimberly says:

    This is so helpful. Thank you!

  35. Rochelle says:

    Wow! That free motion quilting in the top pic is positively perfect!!

  36. Molly says:

    I used to be fairly good at this, but am totally rusty – thanks for the tips to help me get back in shape (so to speak).

  37. Melissa says:

    I am so sad that quilting month is coming to a close!

  38. Ann says:

    Helpful tips and wow is her work amazing! I am just trying to do basic random stippling that doesn’t look too bad right now.

  39. Rachelle says:

    I think my machine has a few of these capabilities. I must admit I am really nervous to give this a try. Maybe I’ll try it on some scrap stuff before I try an actual quilt. Thanks for all the great info.

  40. Deanna says:

    I’m going to have to take the plunge! Thanks for the tips.

  41. Manechka says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I think now I have enough guts to give free motion quilting a try!

  42. susan says:

    Her work is truly inspirational! Thanks for all the wonderful hint and tips!

  43. tanja says:

    Wow!

    I’m so happy, my Free Motion Foot arrived. But I’m afraid, I will never make so beautiful designs.

  44. Christine says:

    I like the quilts. Very cute. My simple little machine won’t let me lower the feed dogs.

  45. Cinnamon Sangria says:

    Great tips. I bought my machine two years ago with all the bells and whistles so that one day I could use them. Of course I’ve used nothing but a straight stitch but this goes on my list of to-do’s.

  46. Ethne says:

    Keilie this is a post to read and read again for advice and inspirition – thank you

  47. Megan Presley says:

    Thanks for the info! I’ve done two (small) projects with free motion quilting, but am scared to tackle anything bigger (like a large quilt). I love learning more though and can’t wait to practice some more. Maybe with practice I can get the hang of it!

  48. Nichole says:

    Thanks for the great tips. Your free motion work is awesome!

  49. Zarina says:

    I have been following Kelly’s blog for a while now. This is a very useful post – even though I have read many times about cleaning out under the plate, only last weekend I had to do it because a pin got caught in the bobbin casing. Fortunately, I was able to rectify that and started sewing again an hour later.

  50. Diana says:

    Wonderful, love it!

  51. Aparna Mulgund says:

    All the quilts are so beautiful, I wish I can make such designs like Kellie. Thank you so much for the great tips, I am going to give it a try.

  52. SewSofie says:

    Fantastic tips here. I, being a relative novice, know nothing about free motion quilting on a domestic machine. Now I feel like Im armed with information that will help me try it on my little machine. The tips on looking for a new machine with these features are invaluable. Thanks Kellie. Your work is wonderful.

  53. GailM says:

    Thanks for the free motion foot info. What is the brand of that last free motion foot that you showed. I really need to get one.

  54. rosie says:

    those designs are incredible! i’m just learning to use my machine for regular sewing, but perhaps one day i’ll have to try this!

  55. Maddie says:

    I know this is comment like 101 or something so don’t know if anyone will see it.. but great help in free motion are quilters gloves, the quilting Halo and the Supreme Slider. Each of these products makes it easier to move your work around with less stress on you. Most of a the nicer quilt shops will carry these items.

    Maddie

  56. PeachRainbow says:

    wonderful article, thank you so much!

  57. Annabel says:

    ThaNKS FOR THE LOWDOWN, i’VE BEEN WONDERING IF MY MACHINE WAS UP TO IT!

  58. Teresa says:

    Some great tips thanks. I’m sure it takes LOTS of practice to get as good as that!!
    Teresa

  59. Frauke says:

    its lovely! Just like summer :-)

  60. Sylvie says:

    Thank you for the tips! I think I will try again free motion quilting some day.

  61. Katrina H says:

    I love the pictures of your free motion skills!

  62. Becca says:

    Great information and beautiful quilting! I can’t wait until I’m “ready” to do something like this!!

  63. Wow. Such beautiful work. Thanks for the tute.

  64. 4vs1 says:

    Great info! :)

  65. Cindy says:

    I really love free motion quilting and I would love to do more interesting stitching–this post was a big help and encouragement! Thank you!

  66. omama says:

    More more more! If you aren’t already planning to, I’d love info on how to take free motion beyond stipling. Thanks for being such a resource!

  67. Ramona says:

    Wonderful tips. Thank you.

  68. Trudy M says:

    Thanks for tips

  69. MIka says:

    very helpful. Thanks for the article. I love the photos.

  70. Julia says:

    This is really encouraging! I’m just a bit closer to feeling brave enough to try free motion myself!!

  71. Rose L says:

    Wow, your quilting is beautiful!

  72. Debbie Bishop says:

    Thanks for the tips. These quilts shown are absolutely gorgeous!

  73. Kelli says:

    Great advice! When my husband built cabinets and a countertop for me in my craft room he offered to cut a hole for my machine to fit in so I could have an easier time sewing and free-motion quilting. He doesn’t know a thing about it, but had seen some of the sewing shows I watch on TV and how they’re machines were set in to give a flat surface. It’s a big help starting out because it’s one less thing to worry about. Free motion quilting can be scary, but the best thing to do is know your seam ripper is handy if you mess up and just go for it!

  74. Anna says:

    Kelly’s work is so striking and amazing! I saw one of her quilts in my local patchwork shop and it took my breath away. If only I had the patience to try it myself…!

  75. Margaret says:

    Thanks for the free motion tips….you make it look easy.

  76. Lisa says:

    Beautiful quilt and fabulous quilting. I love free motion quilting. It is so much fun!

  77. Thea says:

    I am totally a hand quilting person but I would love to learn to machine quilt (hand quilting and piecing takes me years — especially now that I have two little ones running around — I am insanely jealous of how fast a machine pieced and quilted quilt is finished.) So this is a great introduction. Thanks

  78. lisa says:

    Oh Kellie, your work is amazing! I loved doing one of Kellie’s workshops and it gave me the courage to just get stuck in with free motion sewing. I still need lots of practice but I love it!

  79. Vanna says:

    These are great tips! I so wish that I could free-motion like Kellie…. I guess I need to start practicing!

  80. Char says:

    Thanks for the tips. I just purchased a new machine for quilting only.

  81. Shelly says:

    I have to admit it scary to try but I have been practicing. Thanks for the tips. The only way to get better is to practice. I always forget to drop the feed dogs which makes a big difference.

  82. Munaiba says:

    What great advice. Thanks. I’m looking to buy a new machine and I may just save up that bit extra now.

  83. Nancy says:

    Thank you for the tips about the feet. I really need to get the right extension table to do this. Your work is beautiful.

  84. MamaBee says:

    This is very helpful. Thank you!

  85. SoozeM says:

    Beautiful quilting!!

  86. Claire says:

    Wow, I love the tree and birds quilt. I really want to try free motion quilting now!

  87. Shawn says:

    Lovely quilting. Great tips. Thanks for sharing….. and a new blog to add!

  88. Sara says:

    I like the knee lift feature instead of always reaching behind to lower and raise the feet. I also like that you described, in your opinion, which free motion quilting foot to use most effectively. I haven’t tried free motion yet, but someday I would like to experiment!

  89. Pam says:

    Kellie’s work is inspiring. Love her colors.

  90. Beth says:

    Such great advice! I love Kellie’s blog and am in fact working on a wall hanging right this minute that’s totally inspired by her. I also just found my free motion foot and it looks like the very first one. I am more excited to try it out now that I know more about it. Thanks for the great article SMS!

  91. Valerie says:

    Her quilting is lovely! This was a very interesting article!

  92. kelly jo says:

    Fantastic tips! I am so intrigued by these designs! Beautiful work!

  93. Awesome Tips and Great Advice – Kellie is so very talented and has a great since for color……

  94. Lauren says:

    Two other attributes that seem very helpful are the automatic detector that tells you when your bobbin is running low, and then the button you push that automatically cuts your threads. While these aren’t necessary, I will definitely look for them when purchasing my next machine.

  95. Katy Yo says:

    OMG Kellie is so talented! Thank you for another wonderful tute and blog!

  96. Jeanne says:

    Love the tutorial, and am itching to try it, I am making a Vintage Linens Quilt and hope to try free motion quilting on it. Thanks for sharing.

  97. Morgan says:

    Very informative, thanks.

  98. Leah says:

    Great tips!

  99. Courtenay says:

    I have absolutely been dying to try this technique, but I am so scared to! My new machine will work beautifully for this, but I have to practice a lot!

  100. sewlindaann says:

    Thank you for the article. I’m still trying and trying to do well at machine quilting. I’ll keep at it but straight lines still work best for me.!!

  101. georgia says:

    perfect–thank you!

  102. Mel says:

    Thank you for writing this article! With the machine that I have currently, I am only able to quilt straight lines using a walking foot. I hope to one day be able to purchase a fancier machine that can free motion quilt. This tips will definately help in the process!

  103. KerryQ says:

    Thanks for making this sound so do-able!

  104. alisha says:

    This is exactly what I needed! Thank you!

  105. Natacha says:

    Thanks for the advice. I also loved the beautiful quilting pictured.

  106. Mindy says:

    What is the best machine for this?

  107. Lisa says:

    great tips all..i was lusting over that quilt though..think i have a new fm design going in my head now!!

  108. Leslie says:

    I need this advice. I am still learning and my machine quilting is terrible.

  109. Kylie says:

    Great timing for this post! I’m looking at buying a new machine and now I know what I need to be looking for! The information on different feet is perfect! I have problems with my existing one and now I know why and what to avoid.

  110. Megan says:

    I’m just beginning to learn how to free motion quilt so this info came at a great time! Thanks for showing the different presser foot options – who knew?!?! Now it’s practice, practice, practice!

  111. Lindsey says:

    I have not tried free motion quilting yet. Thanks for the tips on features to look out for when purchasing the quilting foot.

  112. I’ve been wondering about this for a while. Maybe I should give it a shot?

  113. Cat says:

    I would really love to be able to do this so beautifully . . . I think I need to master sewing straight first though.

  114. leslie says:

    wonderful! I need to find the time now to get started on my 1st quilt for my little girl! (think it’ll make her sleep better at night if she’s sleeping under some homemade goodness?) :)

  115. Jane says:

    Great tips, thanks Kellie

  116. Emily S. says:

    This is so timely- I’m currently looking for a new maching. Thanks for the tips!

  117. Sarah S says:

    Great tips, I love free motion and upgrading to a Janome MC-6600 has made all the difference!

  118. Christina says:

    I just quilted for two hours the other day before realizing the feed dogs were up! No harm done :) thanks for the tips, may try a new foot.

  119. Carole Lee Criddle says:

    Wow! Can’t wait to start practicing. Your sample photos show beautiful work.

  120. Jordan Durbin says:

    fabulous advice!

  121. Sorahart says:

    I am looking to try free motion quilting as soon as I can get my hands on the right kind of presser foot. I’m excited! Thanks for the tips.

  122. Doris says:

    Kellie is amazing! I’ve read her blog for a long time…love this advice.

  123. Sheetal says:

    Sigh! maybe one day I will have the guts to try this….its soo pretty!

  124. Maeve says:

    I love doing free motion quilting. Your tips are great and your quilting is so beautiful!!! Great post!

  125. Such gorgeous examples–and clearly written info–I’m going to have to try this! Thank you for the post!

  126. Joy says:

    Very helpful! Thanks for explaining the pros/cons of the different feet in particular.

  127. Kristal says:

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve been trying to learn free motion quilting and your advice is awesome.

  128. Andi says:

    Thanks for the tips. I didn’t realize that there were so many different kinds of darning feet – I’ll have to see if I can find a better one for my machine!

  129. Ariane says:

    Your quilts are beautiful. I’ll have to give free-motion quilting a try sometime.

  130. Carmen says:

    I *love* the look of the applique popping out from the free motion quilting!:)

  131. qsogirl says:

    thank you for all the tips. Your quilting is stunning. I’d like to try free-motion quilting soon!

  132. Kristy V. says:

    Great tips! I’ve always wanted to try free motion quilting, I’m going to have to look into darning feet soon think!

  133. Krystina says:

    Thanks for the tips!

  134. tracy_a says:

    Thank you! Your quilting is inspiring and beautiful!

  135. Liz says:

    Thank you! I look forward to going beyond “stitching in the ditch” someday.

  136. Thanks for the tips! So far I’ve done stippling but not anything with a regular pattern. Now I have some more ideas about how to do that, with a bit of practice of course!
    Lovely quilts too :-)

  137. Rachel says:

    I need to get the guts to try this!

  138. amy says:

    Great info!

  139. Latrilla says:

    Your quilts are beautiful! I was wondering do you draw your desgins on the quilt or is it strictly free motion?

  140. Jane says:

    I’ve recently started free motion quilting and I love it! I’d love a new machine with needle down and knee lift. Maybe for Christmas?!

  141. Katie in Texas says:

    While I’ve done some free motion quilting, I was unaware of all of the different foot options. Thanks so much for the informational article! Your quilting is beautiful!

  142. starry says:

    I have always wanted to learn to quilt.I never knew there was something as “free motion quilting.”so many useful tips.Thnks for sharing.I love the beautiful designs on your quilts.really beautiful.

  143. Hannah says:

    Thanks for the great info.

  144. Thanks for the tips. I thought the best one was seeing all the different pressure feet and the pros and cons of each.

  145. christy says:

    What a helpful post. And your machine quilting is lovely!

  146. ~Helena~ says:

    Thanks for sharing, I guess it’s time I tried to pratice on my machine.

  147. Jessica says:

    I am about to embark on free motion sewing, I definately needed some tips!

  148. Care says:

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve been free-motion quilting for a long time now, but it’s good to have a little refresher! :o)

  149. Jennwith4 says:

    Great post! Thanks. I’ve been wanting to try free motion quilting but haven’t had the guts yet. I think I’ll pull out some scrap fabric and batting and give it a shot.

  150. Mama Lusco says:

    Thanks for the tips. Adding this technique to my list of things to learn :)

  151. Elizabeth says:

    That’s is a great tutorial! I can’t wait to start free motion sewing!

  152. Michelle says:

    Wow, thanks, Kellie. Very valuable information, especially the explanation and photos of all the different darning feet! One can only hope to be a fraction as good as you, some day!

  153. Katie says:

    I’m planning on giving free-motion quilting another shot, so this was a good little pep talk for me.

  154. Sherrie says:

    I love your quilts, Kellie! I’ve seen them before and was amazed. I have started free-motion quilting and each time I get a bit better at it. It does take practice, but I love the results!

  155. Julia says:

    I would love to be able to get all my stitchces the same length when I free motion quilt. I just can’t seem to get the hang of it yet though. Thanks for the helpful walk through!

  156. Lee says:

    great information and i love her free motion designs

  157. miranda says:

    i wish i had this talent!!!

  158. upstatelisa says:

    thanks Kellie! I need an extension table!

  159. karendibee says:

    I love your circular quilting technique. I’m planning to buy a new machine some time soon, so you gave me some great tips. I doubt my mothers’ Singer Featherweight can handle anything very big. Plus it’s already so old I don’t want to wear it out. Thanks for all the tips!

  160. Tong says:

    Great info, I need to get an extension table for my machine!

  161. WHATUPDUCK says:

    I have all those parts, but haven’t taken the time to try them. Thanks for the encouragement! And a beautiful quilt, BTW. Love the bright colors against white!

    Check out my website today for a Kaffe Fassett giveaway!

  162. gale says:

    I have ordered a Janome TB12 which I have heard good things about for use as a quilting machine. My Brother cs6000i is my current machine and it is a struggle to do FMQ with it.

    Great tips, thanks!

  163. Lisa Eichholtz says:

    What a great lesson! I have hesitated to try free motion quilting, but I think this give me enough info to give it a shot. thanks again for all you do to make this blog for us..

  164. Thanks! Free motion quilting is so much fun!

  165. Melissa says:

    Your free motion is beautiful!! Thanks for all of the great tips!

  166. Kim says:

    It’s time I gave this a go!!!

  167. Perfect timing of this post! I just pieced a baby quilt top last night that I’m going to use to try out free motion quilting. I really like the way it looks, but I’ve heard it takes lots of practice to get the hang of it. Thanks for all these tips. I’m bookmarking this so I can reference it later.

  168. Addy says:

    Thanks! I’ve always wanted to try this on my little machine!

  169. Jaime B says:

    I have a free motion foot with my Janome machine but rarely try anything other than stipple quilting, can you suggest a few easy patterns outside of this stitch to practice or follow up this post with your favorite patterns?
    Thanks for a great post.

  170. Chris says:

    Just the kind of tips I was hoping to find…now to locate the right foot for my older Bernina.

  171. Thanks for the tips. I really want to start doing my own machine quilting. This is really helpful!

  172. Dana St John says:

    Oh my goodness the quilt above with the tree and the birds has got to be the most beautiful one Iv ever seen!!! I love every piece of fabric on it!. Did you make this? Where can I get one?!

  173. Kristine says:

    Ah, I need one of those feet. I’ve been using the clear plastic one without the gap and I’m excited to find out there’s better ones out there!

  174. alison says:

    Thank you so much for the great tips! I love the look of free motion quilting and really want to try it. Maybe now with your tips it won’t be so intimidating.

  175. Sarah says:

    Thanks for all the great tips! I have wanted to try free motion quilting for a while–I’m just a little gun shy. I tried once on a scrap sandwich, the front stitches looked ok, but the back stitches were almost triple the length of the front–not sure what is causing this.

  176. Sequana says:

    I can hardly see the example of the best free motion foot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before. Could you give us a little more info on it, pls?

  177. Lauree Myler says:

    amazing tips…. thanks for sharing!

  178. Melanie says:

    Really helpful! I’ve been wanting to try free motion quilting and now I REALLY can’t wait to give it a try.

  179. Jeni says:

    Awesome tips!

  180. Danielle says:

    I love the quilting styles that she uses and the tips are wonderful. I am not a good quilter yet but I am getting there. Also love the bird and tree quilt. Too cute

  181. Fawn says:

    Hooray! Excellent tips! I know Elizabeth Hartman does a lot of free motion quilting and I love her quilts. This definitely makes me feel like it’s a technique I can eventually master (sooner rather than later). And since I know I’ll probably need a new sewing machine in the next couple of years I’ll definitely know what to look for! Thanks so much:)

  182. sara says:

    Great info, thank you!

  183. Amanda says:

    Thanks for the tips! I just bought a new machine and I’m anxious to learn how to do free motion quilting on it. Now I just need to make the time to do so.

  184. Jenny says:

    lots of good info, thanks!

  185. Rebecca says:

    Great Advice. I will hopefully be free-motion quilting for the first time soon!

  186. Robyn Brown says:

    awesome tips, thanks!

  187. Kathy says:

    Lots of great information. I’ll be able to free-motion quilt one of these days!

  188. Mary Lou says:

    I’m just trying to learn free motion quilting and these tips are helpful. My machine is old and a hand me down from my mother-in-law. I inherited my mother’s sewing machine and cabinet. Her machine was even older, 1950′s at least but the “newer” machine fits in it’s cabinet and it does make the machine quilting much easier.

  189. Alice S says:

    I wish I could do beautiful designs on my quilts like Kellie does. Lovely!

  190. Kathy says:

    OMG that quilt with the flowers and lady bug looks so yummy and delicious, it makes me want to drop what I’m doing and make one right now!

  191. Katie B says:

    Great tips! I’m surprised that my little cheapo machine can handle free-motion quilting fairly well.

« »

Subscribe to the sewmamasew.com newsletter

Sewing inspiration, projects, events and offers delivered conveniently to your email.

SUBSCRIBE +

Get the latest sewmamasew.com news via