It's time to warm up and begin free motion quilting the panel from our new Free Motion Quilting Starter Kit! Learn how to begin free motion quilting in this video:
Click Here to pick up your Free Motion Quilting Starter Kit! This kit and all of the Start Quilting Videos will work on ANY sewing machine or longarm. It will also be helpful if your machine is set in a table or a frame. This is a series for everyone!
Check out the quilting machine, frame and feet I'm using in this video:
Simple Design to Warm Up When Free Motion Quilting
Wiggles is one of the best designs to stitch when you need to warm up quick. While it may seem rather silly, this simple wiggle can help you practice echo quilting and is a great first step to quilting Stippling, a classic free motion quilting design.
I stitched this across the top of my free motion quilting practice panel just to warm up and get into the flow of free motion quilting.
This is a physical activity, no matter whether you're quilting with a machine in a table or your machine on a frame, you are moving your arms and aiming for smooth, consistent movements.
So when you start "cold" you'll likely see jerky stitches, uneven movement, and feel rather out of control. Give yourself time to warm up with a design like Wiggles and you will see much better stitches within a few minutes.
1st Row - Free Motion Quilting Practice Panel- Wave
The first design printed on our practice panel is a simple wave. Our goal with each printed line is to quilt along it and get the motion and spacing logged into our body.
Yes, your goal is to quilt on the line, but this may not happen perfectly and that's okay! Quilting on a marked line is a skill we build with time and practice.
But quilting on the marked line isn't our only goal. We want to memorize the movement so as the line goes to dashed and then disappears, we're able to continue the design consistently across the row of our quilt.
It's okay if your wave isn't quilted perfectly. Mine certainly wasn't.
And if you want to, you can stop here.
But I want to get the most bang for my buck, so I decided to continue quilting and fill up every inch of this first row.
Quilting Row 1 - Wave - Up a Notch
To the top of the wave, I stitched echoes. Echoing is a process of quilting a line parallel to your first line, or to any shape on your quilt.
To achieve the even spacing, you'll also need to travel quilt. This is a process of quilting right on top of a previous line of stitching.
Traveling and echoing are two major skills required for free motion quilting. Once you master these skills, you can pretty much quilt anything!
To the bottom half of the wave, I quilted more Wiggles. This provided more practice for echoing and space estimation.
Space estimation is the ability to quilt up to a spot, but NOT hit it. This is another major skill for free motion quilting and it's often tricky to build because our foot can block our view of the needle and exactly where we are in the quilt.
This is why I changed foot bases halfway through the video. While I love the ruler foot base for ruler quilting and 1/4-inch echoing, it is challenging to see and estimate space accurately.
So I switched to the frame quilting open toe base. Click Here to find this Convertible Darning Foot which allows you to change bases and get the best view for free motion quilting!
If you're wanting to jump into quilting with both feet, please pick up a Free Motion Quilting Starter Kit and follow along with this Start Quilting series.