Free motion quilting sew-in

On Sunday, Dec. 2, we are having a sew-in at Sewtropolis from 12-5pm. This sew-in is free to dues-paying members, so it is a great time to join! The idea is to all either try out or improve our free-motion quilting skills by practicing and helping each other.

If you are not sure what you will need for FMQ, I have a list of suggested supplies to bring below, however, you can bring whatever supplies you would like to use or work on. I will also be bringing a stack of library books on FMQ for those who would like to read a bit.

  • Sewing machine, cord, pedal, and extension cord. If your machine has an extension/quilting  table, bring it, too.
  • Free motion foot. This will look something like the one at right. The bottom will either be plastic or metal, and may be a full oval (closed) or open like the photo. They all work.
  • A variety of needles to try. Some people like Topstitch 90/14, others like Universal 80/12. You should try out a few different ones and see which you like best with your machine. 
  • One or more spools of thread. This will totally depend on your preferences and budget, but a fine 50wt cotton thread like Aurifil,  Essential Cotton Thread, or even the large spools of cotton Coats & Clark from Jo-Ann's would be a good start. You will need a lot of thread--bring a few spools and several bobbins. To make your life easier when practicing, use the same thread for the spool and bobbin.
  • Fabric sandwiches. You can either work on a quilt (a non-precious one, probably), or something like 12-20" squares of muslin or other cheap/ugly fabric sandwiched with batting. Note that you will be better able to see what you are doing if you use plain fabric. 
  • Washable (or not, if you use muslin) fabric markers for marking designs on your fabric.

I would also highly recommend the following links:

For a quick read, Oh, Fransson has this tutorial on how to get started.

The Free Motion Quilting Project is an excellent site with so many different designs. She is running a Free Motion Quilt-Along all through 2012 where she teaches you how to FMQ really well.

SewCalGal is also running a 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge. This one is nice because it includes articles from all kinds of people that know what they are talking about.

For even more videos, check out HGTV or YouTube. Watching someone else do it makes it less scary, I think :)

Anyone else have any thoughts, tips, or links? Leave a comment!

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