Last night the Boulder Modern Quilt Guild got together for an evening sew and meeting. Superlative quilter Cynthia brought in a stack of charity quilts that she’d quilted in the last two weeks, including one made from my quick cross blocks.
And those stitches! Even, flowing, confident arcs. How on earth did she do it?
Fortunately for us, Cynthia led a discussion on free motion quilting during the meeting to share exactly that. Among the tips I’ll be trying out during my first attempt at FMQ later this summer:
Get your hands and the machine working together at the right speed first. Once that’s part of your muscle memory, you can work on your patterns without worrying about your stitch length.
Use a marker and paper, or a dry-erase board, to practice your patterns. You can learn how to get out of corners and fill space evenly before you start on a quilt.
Use a rectangular table and clamps to baste: it’s easier than crawling around on the floor.
Thanks to Cynthia, we all have a lot less anxiety around this topic. Last night was such a lovely example of how we can all learn in a supportive community, no matter what our level of skill. Here’s to you, sewists, for creating that kind of space wherever you are!