My Favorite Free Motion Quilting Tips

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I've posted this information before at the bottom of a previous post.  I thought it was worth posting on its own.

These are some of the tools and processes I find most useful when FMQ'ing.  I'll start out with the first five and add a few more over the next few Fridays.

1. Find quilting gloves that work for you.  I love, love, love Quilter's Comfort Gloves by Dritz Longarm.  They have gripper dots on the palm and fingers.  What puts them over the top for me?  It's a mild compression glove!  They're usually $30, but I wait until Joann Fabrics has them on sale or I wait until I have a 50% off coupon.  You can also try Machingers or Fons & Porter Grip Gloves.

2. Use a slider on your machine.  My Babylock Crescendo has a TruGlide Overlay accessory. It makes it easier to get a nice groove going and to keep it going when FMQ'ing.  If your machine doesn't have a custom one as an accessory, you can try a Supreme Slider.  It comes in two sizes 8 x 11 1/2 and 11 1/2 x 17.

3. Find your machine's sweet spot.  The point at which your machine is running just right for optimal performance when FMQ'ing.  Cindy Needham calls it the "Hum Purr" of the machine.  If you haven't already taken her Craftsy class, it is filled with so many great lessons, I highly recommend it.

4. Invest in yourself.  Give yourself time to improve your skills.  Give yourself the training you need to improve your skills.  Whether it's a book, LQS/guild workshop, Craftsy class, or tip you heard or read online, if improving your craft is important to you, make it and yourself a priority.  

5. Buy a sketchbook.  Now use it!  I keep a 5 x 8.25" moleskin graph notebook in my purse.  When I have a bit of free time, I practice FMQ'ing designs, plan the quilting for one of my tops, or design quilts.  It gives me a safe place to practice and design.  Plus, I almost always have it with me.  I also date each of the pages so I can track my design work.

I hope you find these tips helpful! 

Quilt. Create. Enjoy!


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