Ivete Tecedor learned to quilt in 2012 and fell so hard for it that she now owns a quilt shop! She is co-owner of Gotham Quilts, an online fabric shop for modern quilters, and lives in a tiny NYC studio apartment with her dachshund, Arnold. Keep up with all the latest from Ivete on the Gotham Quilts blog and the new Gotham Quilts Pinterest site.

Ivete has a goal to improve her free motion quilting skills this year, and fills us in on her plans. What about you? Do you have FMQ resolutions for 2015? Do you have any additional resources or tips? Here are some of our Free Motion Quilting tutorials and projects.

My Crafty Resolution for 2015 is to get better at Free Motion Quilting (and yes, I say it with capital letters in my head!). I’ve been dipping my toes into the FMQ pool for the last year or so, but this coming year I am taking it to a whole ‘nother level. I’m basically approaching it as a challenge to myself, and I can’t wait to get started!

Here’s how I’m going to become proficient in FQM in 2015:

1. Read Free Online “Getting Started” Guides
Here’s a start!: Top 10 Tips for Beginning Free Motion Quilters from Sew Mama Sew and Free Motion Quilting 101 from Generations Quilt Patterns.

2. Go Through Free Online Tutorials
There are so many great, free, online resources to learn and/or practice FMQ. A few of the ones that are on my list are:

Do you know of other FMQ tutorials that I should check out? Tell me in the comments!

3. Dig Out Finished Quilt Tops + Start Quilting
I know I’m not alone in having several finished quilt tops sitting in a pile just waiting to be quilted. Now that they’ve “marinated” for a while and I have some distance from those projects, I have less of that anxious “I’m going to ruin this”-feeling that is usually to blame for putting the tops in the pile in the first place.

And the truth is I’ve never seen a quilt that was “ruined” by the quilting, and I am pretty sure I never will. Somehow we all still have that fear though, don’t we? I’m going to force myself to ignore that little voice in my head whenever it pipes up with doubt. I’m never going to get good at this unless I practice on real actual quilts! Time to dig out those tops and dive in.

Oh, and if you don’t have a pile of quilt tops in a closet somewhere (yet!), here’s a tip… Ask your quilting friends if they want you to quilt some of their finished tops. I bet at least one of them will say yes! And if that fails, there’s always the option to buy finished tops on eBay or at garage sales to practice on.

4. Take Online Classes at Craftsy
I recently bought two Craftsy classes: Secrets to Free Motion Quilting and Dot to Dot Quilting. Being able to watch and interact with instructors is going to be amazing as I build my confidence and skill set.

5. Take In-Person Classes
One of my fellow members of the NYC Metro Mod Quilters Guild is an amazing long arm quilter and she’s agreed to teach me some lessons. If you’d like to see some of her work, she blogs as Rachel Rabbit. This year, I hope to take the leap and buy a long arm, but the truth is I’ve never even touched one before. Taking a few lessons from Rachel will help me decide whether I even want to pursue a long-arm machine at all.

I’m also going to both Quiltcon and MQX this year, and taking quilting classes at both. When you attend huge shows like these you get to take classes from industry leaders you wouldn’t normally have access to, and that’s super exciting. At Quiltcon I’m in two classes with Angela Walters herself… I hope I’m able to learn lots of stuff in between the bouts of intense fan-girling that is bound to happen when I meet her!

6. Practice, Practice, Practice!
As adults, we all seem to think we should be amazingly good at something right away, without having to practice and work on it first. And that sure would be nice! But like anything else, FMQ requires practice in order to get better. Several of the resources above recommend practicing patterns with pen and paper so that you can get better at filling in corners and figuring out where to “go” next. Practicing is probably the most important step of all!

So, I’m off to practice. That gray quilt above still has a ton of negative space for me to fill in with pebbles!