Quilting in Quarantine - part 2 Free Motion Practice

Bluprint free motion quilting class review

Previously I stitched together a quilt top and was very pleased with the outcome. What I hadn't realised was how much more complicated things were about to get! Seeing as the quilt top I had made is very geometric, I thought that I could do a fair amount of quilting with my walking foot. However, there is a large amount of negative space and I did want to get a little more creative. In order to quilt in more intricate shapes than straight lines, you need a free motion foot for your machine, and a whole new level of skills!


I binge watched several classes on Bluprint whilst it was free to view in order to get the idea. I particularly liked the classes by Christina Camelli and Angela Walters (whose quilt design I was replicating anyway - she has lots of free videos on YouTube too).

Classes I enjoyed most:

  • The secrets of free motion quilting
  • Quilting the grid
  • Machine quilting: negative space
  • 28 days to better free-motion quilting
  • Free motion quilting a sampler

I began practising on some leftover quilting fabrics and batting, quickly realising that a lot more practice was going to be needed!

Bluprint free motion quilting class review
Things I learned - 

  • Some people say to drop the feed dogs and keep your stitch length. Others say to keep them up and set you length to 0. I found things went better with the dogs dropped and the length at 2.
  • Free motion quilting uses a lot of thread. More than I expected by a long way - make sure you have larger reels than usual.
  • In the classes I watched, the tutor's quilt blocks seemed to glide around much more easily than mine did. I'm not sure if the quilting gloves are what made a difference.
  • Have a plan of what designs are going where, otherwise it just looks rubbish and you can get lost halfway through a section.
  • Moving from left to right utilises muscle memory from writing - it's a little bit easier.
  • Look ahead of where you are.
  • Obviously...matching thread looks a hell of a lot better!

Bluprint free motion quilting class review

Practice piece 

I had kept the leftovers from the quilt top that came after trimming down the bias columns. With a bit of quick piecing with other remnants, I put them together in a rectangle that I could use later as a sewing machine mat. I made a quilt sandwich with more leftovers - batting and the same backing fabric as the actual quilt. By practising on this I thought it would be as close as possible to the large quilt I was making.

On here I practised a range of designs, getting a bit better at circles and deciding that I like the paisley look. I bound the edges using the same method as I had used on the t-shirt quilts from before. I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out - ready to have a go on my actual one now!
(I'm probably not really ready, but you know that I tend to run before I can walk).

Bluprint free motion quilting class review

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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