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Beginning with Free Motion Quilting

Beginning with Free Motion Quilting
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There are techniques that are vital in helping a quilter better learn the feel for their machine. One of these: free-motion quilting.

We talk about the importance of why you should be starting out with Free Motion Quilting before anything else



Beginning with Free Motion Quilting

One of the most common questions we hear from beginning quilters or new Block Rockit owners is: how long will it take me to learn to quilt?

While the answer to this question is different for everyone, there are some techniques that will help any quilter better learn the feel of their machine. One of these important techniques is free-motion quilting.

Free-motion quilting, for any beginners reading this, is moving the machine on your own without following a pre-drawn pattern. You might have an idea of the design you want to make, but in executing this design, you do not try to trace a pattern with a laser or stylus.

Starting out with Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) on your Block Rockit may be scary but dive in and embrace it!

There are several benefits that come from free-motion quilting. It can help you learn to use smooth, consistent motions, give you greater control of the Block Rockit, make your movements more precise when you use a laser or stylus, develop muscle memory, and build your confidence in using your machine.

I learned first hand the importance of developing muscle memory while working as an industrial seamstress for several years. Every day I practiced the same process repeatedly, and over time my operation became natural and I did not have to consciously put forth as much effort as I did when first learning. I became more efficient and sewed with fewer mistakes as I gained this natural muscle memory.

Just as I was able to improve my sewing through daily repetition, practicing free motion quilting will help you develop the muscle memory necessary to quilt quickly and with precision, gain the control you desire, and build the confidence you need to become an advanced quilter.

We suggest pinning a "practice quilt" with a solid piece of fabric for the top and back with batting you would normally be using on your frame before you plan on quilting any quilts. Use a contrasting thread and quilt every inch of space possible, practicing your free motion and gaining that muscle memory. Do this with a couple "quilts" until you feel confident to move on to your pieced projects. 

Free Motion Quilting on your Block Rockit -- Use a solid piece of fabric with contrasting thread when you first start out

Mark out different "blocks" on your solid piece of fabric to fill with FMQ and try different designs with your Block Rockit

 If you're having a hard time with Free Motion Quilting or ideas check out our Pinterest page for some quilting inspiration. KEEP PRACTICING! You won't regret it! 

About the Author

Rachel graduated from Brigham Young University in 2009 with a teaching degree in Family and Consumer Science. She went on to teach and train industrial sewing operators until 2012. She is now a stay at home mom and works part time from home for Kathy Quilts. She loves to travel, create things, watch movies, go to Disneyland, read, and spend time with her husband and kids.

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