Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Free Motion Quilting Ideas

Last week at the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild we brainstormed free motion quilting (FMQ) ideas.  I just have to say first off that I love my quilt group.  I haven't missed a meeting since we first got together more than a year ago.  It's a great group of women who have fabulous ideas and talent.  I'm always inspired when I go.  If you are a modern quilter in the SLC area, you need to come to our group.  Members honestly plan their vacations around the group to make sure they can come.  I look forward to it every month.  Now, moving onto the topic of the post.

In our group we've had many discussions about FMQ and how to break out of the stippling rut.  We all seem to have our favorite basic pattern.  I tend to feel safest doing a loopy pattern.  I'm always afraid of doing much more because I'm worried I'll ruin my quilt. Earlier this month at our Saturday sew-in we had Andrea show some of her favorite techniques.  Then at last week's meeting other members had the chance to doodle their favorite designs.

Leigh from Leedle Deedle Quilts just started up a flickr group called Modern Free Motion Quilting: A Reference.  This group is only for close-up pictures of FMQ done on home machines rather than long-arm.  It's meant to be exactly what it's called--a reference or a catalog of FMQ ideas.  I'm excited to see what pops up in that group.

Here are some of the ideas people came up with. Poor lighting and the reflection from the white board made picture taking a bit difficult, but you get the idea.

Erin from Two More Seconds:

Konda from Moose on the Porch Quilts showed how to do wood grain:

Leigh from Leedle Deedle Quilts:

This one is made by quilting a straight line with a free motion foot, stopping and quilting the inner circle, returning to the same position, then continuing on the same straight line and quilting the second circle.

Rachel from Creative Quilt Girl showed her fabulous puzzle design as well as a flower design:

The puzzle is done on a grid with the free motion foot, alternating the puzzle connections.  This is easiest when you're able to use quilt seams as a guide.

Kayli from Quilt Finishing is a long arm quilter and had lots of ideas as well:

Now go check out the Modern Free Motion Quilting: A Reference, join the group and stick a picture or two in there if you have some.  I'm vowing to be a bit more adventurous in my FMQ from now on.  I really want to start trying some new designs.


  1. When you invited me into that group last night, that was the first thing I thought about - breaking out of the rut! I just special-requested every FMQ book from my local library, and hope to start doodling some ideas myself real soon. Thank you for starting up this Flickr group! :)

  2. Thank you for sharing! Got some great ideas. :D

  3. Great ideas!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for posting these, Kati. I was so surprised to see how easily some of the designs came together (like Rachel's puzzle). Obviously, my brain tries to make things more complicated than they need to be. =)

  5. I signed right up for the group! Already favorited one of the pictures. What a fun meeting with the white board.

  6. Thanks for the new group. It will be great to get some new inspiration.

  7. Thanks for this post and the photos!! If they're not uploaded to the Flickr group they should be - super inspiration!

  8. This is a great idea! I know I'll be encouraged to try new things.

  9. thank you for the inspiration and the peek into your MQG meeting :)

  10. Great flickr group to get inspiration from.
    Not sure if you're familiar with this blog:
    She gives free ideas for FMQ every week and its done on a home machine too.
    Sew much inspiration!

  11. Hey that's my hand! And man, my drawing looks terrible, doesn't it? I blame it on the pen ;] Thanks for documenting this!

  12. Thank you for sharing. You have some amazing examples from your group here. I'm bookmarking this post!!