About 10 or so years ago, a friend and I took a class at the community college on free-motion quilting. If it were a real class, I would have failed. I just couldn't get the hang of it! So I've never attempted it since. But now I have this top that needs to be quilted . . .
So the other day I took the last few scraps from my quilt and some old, leftover batting, put on my free-motion foot, and gave it a go.
And it wasn't as hard as I'd remembered! I had done some research though - Elizabeth Hartman has some excellent tips on her blog. I've become a huge fan of this lady! I really enjoyed her Craftsy classes - she's a great teacher. And I love her design sense.
So here are my little samples:
The yellow was my first attempt. I found it easier to do straight lines than curves, and I fiddled with the tension quite a bit. It also took me a while to find a good rate of motion; when you do free-motion quilting, the stitch length is set at zero and the feed dogs are down, so any movement that happens is because you make it happen!
This first green piece was my second sample. I was playing around with a boxy quilting design to see if I'd like it on my Disappearing Nine Patch. I'm thinking it's busier than I want though. But I'm pretty proud of how consistent I was able to be!
This was my last piece of scrap, so I tried out a wavy design. I don't think this is right for my top either, and it's a lot harder for me to keep consistent stitch length on curves.
I'm still a little nervous about my ability to maneuver a blanket-sized quilt while keeping my stitches even, but I think in some ways it may be easier than working on these little 6 x 6" squares. I found I didn't have a whole lot to grab on to, and my fingers were getting in the way!
Even though it's a little scary, I'm excited to get all my materials together and start the actual quilting process. Any of you quilters have any other tips to add?