Friday, December 13, 2019

How to prep tour machine and getting started with free motion quilting

On Wednesday I shared how to prepare for free motion quilting.   Today, I want to share how to get your machine ready and get started with free motion quilting.

Before we go too far though, let me share a few goals with you.   I would love to have a business of quilting for others.  That may be a ways in the future though.  I would also like to make quilts from start to finish and sell them.  That may also be a ways in the future.  I would also like to teach some quilting classes.   Teach how to make a quilt and then teach how to machine quilt.   I love to share the joy of quilting with others.

Now back to the reason for the post.

One question that seems to come up a lot is do I need an expensive machine to free motion.  No.  Any machine that can have the feed dogs drop works great.  You can even cover the feed dogs.

What else do I need?
A free motion quilting foot.  Usually you can find one from your manufacturer.  I like the ones that are spring loaded and hop as you are sewing. 

You may also get a ruler foot for your machine.  I have requested one for Christmas.

Then you need scissors, thread -  my choice is glide thread by I can't get it locally so I order through the mail.  One of the places I order from is  they have some of the best prices.

And you need a quilt sandwhich.  For practice this could be a layer of muslin, batting and then another layer of muslin.

Now you need to set up your machine.

First thing you need to do is drop your feed dogs.   I use a juki tl98q and I have a little switch that I turn.

This is the lever or switch I use to drop my feed dogs

Then turn your stitch length to "0".   You will be controlling the length of your stitch with how fast you move your hands and fabric.   I will tell you that this will take practice.

Stitch length is set to "0"

The more you practice, the easier it will become for you.

Remember the sketchbook idea I shared with you?   Start by drawing loop de loops, or "l's"   and "e's".

L's and E's sketching practice

Loop de loops practice

I hope these posts are helpful for those of you who want to learn free motion quilting.

For those of you who want to learn to quilt what things would you like to learn? Let me know in the comments, please. 

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