What to Expect When Doing Free-Motion Quilting?

For those who haven’t tried free motion quilting before, it cannot be easy.

You can sew your pieces together in free motion without using your feed dogs. They help guide your fabric along a straight line.

Is free-motion quilting hard?

It would help if you had plenty of space and practice to free-motion quilt. However, one method may be easier than the other. Free-motion quilting can require that you make some adjustments to your usual style.

It isn’t easy to create desired patterns using feed dogs, so most quilters use free motion quilting to create patterns with threading and sewing.

This article will cover everything about free-motion quilting.

Is it difficult to get started with free-motion quilting?

To get started in free motion quilting, there are some things you should know.

Before you start, here are some things you should know:

You need to ensure you have enough space

Quilting is all about space.

You might not be aware of how much space a large blanket or quilt takes up if you’ve never made one before.

You can have your quilt pull-down or be weighted if you don’t have enough room. This can cause your stitching to become difficult.

You can prevent drag by lifting your quilt off the ground onto a table or another surface that supports it while you sew.

Practice first

Every thread and fabric combination is different, so you’ll want to practice using a scrap of fabric with the thread and fabric you plan to use.

Practice first before you sew the actual project. This will help you spot issues such as thread tension and sewing difficulties.

You will be able to find potential problems by practicing first, but it will also help you narrow down the type of design you are interested in and give you an indication of your ability to sew the design.

Create a plan

You should practice and plan your project before you begin.

You can avoid making mistakes when sewing your quilt together if you plan.

Here are some ways you can sketch or plan your design:

  • Take a photo and arrange your items.
  • Drawing a design by hand
  • Sketch your quilt design using a quilting design program

Start simple

You won’t want to begin free motion quilting if you are just starting. Instead, you will want to choose something simpler.

You want to be successful when you start your first free motion quilting project. This will allow you to start learning free motion quilting, even if the design is complicated.

Do you require a special quilting machine?

Free motion quilting has the best part: you don’t need an expensive sewing machine to get started.

You can still use your regular sewing machine if you’re not sure which free-motion quilting machine is suitable for you.

You can reduce the tension on your machine’s feed dogs to prevent it from pushing your fabric forwards when sewing. This will also allow you to create any pattern that you like.

A special sewing machine for quilting can be a great investment if you want to achieve a professional look.

What materials and equipment are needed for free-motion quilting?

Before you can start free-motion quilting, there are a few things you should know. A free-motion quilting machine foot is one thing you’ll need. This will allow you full movement and not limit the direction of your machine.

You might consider an extension table if you plan to quilt frequently.

A few tools can also help transfer your design to your quilt.

These are just a few of the things you should be aware of:

  • You can use marking tools to mark your quilt with ease.
  • A quilting ruler will guide your fabric through the machine.
  • You can use a plastic sheet slider to cover your feed dogs. It will also make it easier to sew.
  • A quilting guide is a ring with a weight that you place on top of your quilt. It allows you to quilt within it.

Also, you will need to have the usual sewing supplies such as a needle and scissors, desired material, seam ripper for mistakes, and any other items that you might use in your normal project.

How can you make free motion quilting easier?

You might want to learn how to make free-motion sewing easier.

You can make free-motion quilting easier by knowing what to do.

These are just a few of the things you should be aware of:

Start small

Do not try to do too much the first time.

If you’re just starting, you can start with a smaller project. Then you will have more practice and be able to work with fewer fabrics.

Because of their bulk and weight, larger materials can be more difficult to work with.


Practice is key to mastering any skill, including quilting.

You can always use felt fabric to practice if you don’t want to spend much on test fabric. Felt can be as inexpensive as fabric and performs the same way.

Take it slow

Your foot pedal can control your speed, so starting slowly when quilting your first time is best.

You may find it difficult to quilt at a faster speed if you try to do so.

Take it easy on yourself.

When you start quilting, you are unlikely to become an expert.

It is one of the most important things you can do to let go of the pressure.

It can be very frustrating to expect to be a professional at quilting when you’re just starting.

You can enjoy quilting and learning if you let go of the pressure.

How do you even get stitched when doing free-motion quilting?

It can make a big difference in the appearance of your quilt.

It is very similar to sewing in any other way to get even stitches in your quilt.

You might have one of these problems if you don’t get stitches.

Tension problems

Tension problems can arise from uneven stitches.

You will need to ensure that your thread tension is the same for the top and bottom threads.

You can cause knotting or uneven stitches if your tensions aren’t matched.

You should check your top and bottom threads if you have this problem.

To check your thread tension, you can always test the fabric on a test strip to ensure everything is working properly.

Not pulling enough

You could end up with a longer length of stitch if you pull on your fabric too much.

The feed dogs on your machine usually prevent this. However, if you are free motion quilting, the feed dog will not work to keep your stitches even.

This can be fixed by gently guiding the thread through the machine instead of pulling it through.

Machine error

You might have a problem with your machine if you are experiencing an issue with the length of your stitches, and it isn’t due to any of the reasons above.

If you do not easily diagnose the problem, take the machine to a specialist or contact the manufacturer.

They can diagnose the problem and help you fix it.

How to prepare a quilt to achieve the best result?

It is a good idea to prepare your quilt before you begin. This will ensure that your quilting project runs smoothly.

  • You will need to prepare your quilt by doing the following:
  • You must ensure that your quilt top is square. Your quilt top should be larger than your batting/backing.
  • You should have backed at least 8 or 10 inches in width.
  • Trim all threads from your quilt on either the back or top of your quilting fabric.
  • Don’t pin your quilt top on the backing. Quilting should be tight, so your quilt looks even.
  • Iron any fabric you plan to use without wrinkles, and the fabric lies flat when sewing.
  • Before you sew your fabric together, wash it. This will allow the fabric to shrink before you sew it together, so your quilt won’t be damaged the first time it is washed.

Make sure to prepare your quilt and get the right equipment before you begin quilting.

This will allow you to create the quilt you desire!

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