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free motion quilting

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I apologize for the faulty links that WordPress has posted from me. I’m not sure what is going on there, but definitely it’s not what I want it to do. Ain’t computers just grand?!

I’ve been looking around the web at free motion quilting tutorials of late. I will be teaching an intro class to FMQ myself this summer and am interested in what other teachers are doing. I also am becoming a bit of an online student at Craftsy, Craft Daily and a few other sites. I find that learning and listening in my jammies with my beverage of choice suits my style these days. I came across this blurb for a book/class on bobbin quilting by Michele Scott which is intriguing. That girl has an attitude! I’ve seen her work online and a few pieces at a national show, and she is very talented. Oh that I could do a bit of what she does with her machine. Click here to see the blurb yourself. Maybe you’d enjoy a class with her too.

Do you quilt your own quilts? What’s your favorite technique? I will quilt my own pieces up to the size of a generous lap quilt or throw. Beyond that I send them to a long armer. I tried quilting the larger sizes back when I was first learning to free motion quilt. Somehow I thought if you didn’t quilt your work yourself, that it was a mark in the demerit column. Ha! Not anymore! Although I am proficient at free motion now, and better at creative walking foot quilting, I have no qualms about letting someone else quilt my larger pieces. Why not take advantage of the talented long arm quilters out there? Quilting makes the quilt I think. More than once a quilt that I was not enchanted with has come back from the long armer looking much better than when I sent it.

How do you weigh-in on long arm quilting, or on paying to have your pieces finished by a professional?


  1. knitnkwilt says:

    I agree. Some quilts I do myself, and some I send out. Size is one determining feature, but importance of the finished product is another. I still consider myself practicing FMQ, so use it where the recipient won’t care about imperfections (mostly child quilts). I did do a twin size for myself–I too can live with imperfection. While I could manage the twin size, there were limits to design possibilities–I can’t do nice big arcs smoothly, for example.

    I’ve been around since only hand quilting was considered acceptable. So glad machine quilting has improved and attitudes have changed.

  2. Mary Ellen says:

    Me too. I started quilting back in the pre-rotary cutter days, when templates and ruler tick marks were the way to go. Some of the more senior members of our guild and I have laughed about how much work quilting used to be, and marveled at the fact that we stuck with it! There used to be a similar attitudes about hand piecing versus machine pieced quilts. So glad that times are a-changing.

  3. I will quilt any size quilt depending on how much I like it or how fast I want to get it done. I’ve had a longarmer quilt a few large quilts. Lately I’ve been experimenting with quilting in the hoop using my embroidery machine. My newest fun thing is ruler work! I found out how to use the rulers made for longarm machines on my domestic. Too bad I still have to go to work!

  4. JoAnn Castiglia says:

    I’m still practicing free motion quilting. I’ll do small pieces, like wall hangings and placemats. My favorite free motion quilting blog is The Inbox Jaunt by Lori Kennedy.. Great tutorials!

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