What Is Free-Motion Quilting & Guides for Free Motion Quilting

We are home due to the COVID-19 outbreak and are constantly looking at ways to up our quarantine routine and make it entertaining.

Free motion quilting is one such fun technique that one can lay their hands on, especially if the same monotonous routine of cleaning and cooking has become a boring fare.

Hobbies like quilting are quite rejuvenating and if you get completely into it, chances are that you can start your own little business in it. Not just blankets and comforters, but one can make so many other things with this method.

If you are a beginner and want to learn free motion quilting, here's what you need to know. It is easy to do and is definitely a hobby, that you will be eager and excited about. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or already into it, the technique is fun and you can elevate the method in so many ways.

Here's what you need to know if you are a beginner into free motion quilting.

What Is Free Motion Quilting?

What Is Free Motion Quilting?

This is a technique where stitches are added to the surface and it is sewed in one direction. It is a domestic sewing motion in which you make the quilt sandwich without taking the help of the feed dogs.

What Is Feed Dogs In A Machine?

It has two or three short metal bars with diagonal teeth that move forward and backward, with the help of a sewing machine needle plate.

These are some simple definitions that one needs to know about the sewing machine in free motion.

How Free Motion Machine Is Different Than The Others?

In normal sewing, the feed dogs are used to move the fabric and it moves with every stitch. So when feed dogs on a machine are used, the stitching is limited.

Straight and curved lines look stunning on quilting, but if the limitation is removed, there is a possibility of quilting in a more elevated manner.

How Free Motion Is Different Than The Standard One?

Here are some ways to start it

When setting up your machine, disengaging the feed dogs is very important.

In the machines that we use, the feed dogs release the fabric and allow movement while working on every stitch. When you go free-motion quilting, feed dogs are not engaged and hence we need a presser foot to release the fabric.

Free motion quilting has quilting feet known as hopping feet. The reason why it's called that is, it hops as you stitch. It is necessary to let the fabric move while quilting.

Most machines have a variety of presser feet in hopping which is known to be suitable for free motion quilting. The one that gives you great comfort and visibility is what you should buy for free motion quilting.

The one that gives you great comfort and visibility is what you should buy for free motion quilting.

Here are some ways to start it.

  • In some machines, you have to press a button and then the mechanism lowers.
  • In some machines, the feed dogs have to be disengaged.
  • When you start with length to zero, the feed dog remains stagnant. In this case, it is free motion, and the feed dog does not help in advancing the fabric.

This helps give the maker control over the movement of the machine. It can be switched in versatile swirls and twists with so many designs.

Secondly, remember that you will need machine foot, a different type of sewing for free motion quilting.

The feed dogs work in collusion with the presser foot. Since we have changed the functioning of the feed dogs, choosing the right type of presser foot is really important.

Here's how you start the process

Here's how you start the process

Use A Large Table

You need to keep the quilt on a proper surface to make sure it does not slide and the stitches are not pulled.

Practice A Little

When you start quilting, start with smaller projects and don't jump onto a big one. When you have gained enough confidence, to use free motion, you can then start working on it.

Practice on a smaller project till you get a hang of it.

Sandwich A Quilt

Sandwich quilt means that it has a top layer with batting and backing. When these layers come together with the help of basting stitches, it is called a sandwich quilt.

Once it has been basted, you can then move onto working on the seams.

Stitch The Main Seams

You will have to use the walking foot to stitch the seams of your quilt. You can do this in a sequence. Check the tension of your thread before you start and as you go. If you are worried about it, use a bobbin thread. Match the color of the thread here.

Quilting With Feed Dogs

Free motion quilting is usually done by lowering the feed dogs. When you do this, it does not interfere with the fabric while sewing. Some machines need to feed dogs to be up while quilting.

Once you learn how to do it, gently move the quilt below the needle and notice how the free motion work starts showing impeccably.

Enhance Your Creativity

These are the things that will help you learn more and more about free motion quilting. Take up this technique and see how it helps enhance your creativity level. This is one of the best methods to make your house look attractive. Try it out.