Finishing your Ultimate Beginner Quilt at home on your standard sewing machine is easy and fun, and I'm excited to show you how I learned!
I was so excited when The Fat Quarter Shop asked me to be part of the Ultimate Beginner Quilt Series, because the quilting part is my FAVORITE part! I joined Kimberly Jolly and her fantasticly fun crew last week, and we had so many laughs! We filmed three different videos; one showing my tips on basting, another going over straight line quilting on your home machine, and now I am super pumped to share the free motion quilting video. Free motion means I dropped the feed dogs on the machine, added the darning foot and free hand stitched. I learned to quilt my projects years ago on my home sewing machine, and I've since transferred those skills to the long arm machine. Today I am going to show you the first few steps I used when I learned...
My name is Gina Tell, and I am a long arm quilter for the Fat Quarter Shop. It is truly amazing to be part of their team, because I get to see so many fun fabrics, test some really great patterns and share so many creative projects. I have not always been a long arm quilter, I learned FMQ (free motion quilting) several years ago by practicing on my home machine, just like I am showing today. So I want to remind you that sometimes when you see things at first, it looks hard and intimidating, but quilting is not hard, it's all about practice, and anyone can do it! The quilting part is no exception, I like to think of it like learning cursive handwriting. At first it feels kinda awkward, but the more you do it the better it looks and the more fun you can have personalizing the look. You can practice at home on your machine, and you should also practice on paper too. Doodle as much as you can! Try to see how much you can do without picking your pen up from the paper, get used to doodling with your arm & hand up from the paper, so your muscles get used to this new activity. I like to turn music on, relax and enjoy the time to make something that is all you. Remember there is no way you can do it wrong, if you like how it looks, then it's right! That's why I love it, because there are no rules I have to follow, I am in charge! We all start somewhere, and I was really terrible when I first started too, if you have the extra time, I share some hilarious stories in previous blogs about my first quilts, I hope you will stop by. Oh and I'd love if you'd follow me on Instagram (links at the bottom of the page) I post a lot of new fun things there and I love all my quilty friends!!
In the videos I show the meander design, we picked this design because it's the first design I ever tried when starting my free motion quilting journey. There are lots of other beginner designs that you are going to love to learn in your next steps. Since I've been sewing along with you during each step in the Ultimate Beginner Quilt Event, I also wanted to share some pictures of my own quilt here. These are just to give inspiration, and show what lots of practice at home can produce. I want to remind you that it's ok to not be perfect the first several times, enjoy the learning process. The pictures below is all free motion quilting, I stitched a variety of different designs in no particular order, it's called graffiti quilting, and it's how I came up with my business name. This is my favorite, I just smoosh all kinds of different swirls, pebbles, flowers and some other things that have no name until I fill up the quilt. There is no right or wrong placement. Once you build your muscle memory in your arm through practice and doodling, the curves will become consistent and then you can just swirl yourself around the quilt.
If you like the colors of my quilt you can order the bundle, it's called Zen Chic Bella Solids Bundle, it's got some fabulous fabric that you can use in all sorts of projects.
Click HERE for the link.
Here is a short video I did a home to go over a few beginner designs that you can try on your home sewing machine. I don't do a lot of YouTube videos on my own, I leave that stuff for the pros, technology is not my area of expertise LOL, so please no negative comments on my poor video quality :)
Now it's time to trim it up, make your binding, and attach it to your quilt. When I trim I like to leave .25 inches of batting/backing all the way around, this looks great when you fold the binding over to the back side, it fills up the gap. I hope you return for my next blog post on Oct 24, 2019, I am going to have a full video tutorial showing how I add binding to my own quilt, and step by step pictures for you to follow along....
If you are just finding this sew along, you can still join in on the fun, The Fat Quarter Shop has created 2 kits that make it very easy to start. One kit has all the fabric you need to make a BEAUTIFUL quilt (link HERE) and the second kit has all the notions that you will need (link HERE) notions is just another word for all the other "stuff" you need to sew with. Like thread, pins, rulers, etc. There are also video tutorials and lots of tips to follow along on The Fat Quarter Shops YouTube channel, EACH step has videos from start to finish! All the videos will be around forever online, so it's never too late to jump in.
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I hope you enjoyed the videos, feel free to reach out or comment if you have questions,
I love to help people learn and grow!
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Hey Y'all, I'm Gina Tell! I live on Lake Travis just North of Austin Texas. I'm a full time long arm quilter and lover of all this art and outdoors!!