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Free Motion Quilting

Hello Quilty Friends! It's been a minute since I've posted. Life has a way of changing our plans, but I'm back and ready to share some exciting news with you.

I'm graduating!!!

I've been taking a free motion quilting class on-line through String and Story because, even though I'm a longarm quilter, I really wanted to learn to free motion quilt on my domestic machine. To be honest, I've dabbled around with free motion quilting on my domestic and quilted a few small projects and they weren't too shabby!

However, meandering and doing loops got to be a little boring for me and I was ready to expand my knowledge and capabilities. So, when I found a Facebook post about String and Story Free Motion Quilting Academy, I signed up immediately and it has been the best thing I've done for my quilting journey.

What I've learned in the last 9 months has given me so much confidence in quilting on my domestic machine and it gives me a bunch more motifs to choose from! *Disclaimer - the course is not 9 months long, it just took me that long to get through it! I work full time outside the house, remember?! The course is actually 12 weeks long. : )

I'm in no way getting paid to promote String and Story, it's just who I happened to take a course from and really loved it. There are other free motion quilting courses out there and lots of books to learn from as well. If you search for "free motion quilting books," you'll see a ton of options.

Two of my favorite books are:

OK, ready for some pictures? In the course, you start out doodling the motifs on paper, so I'm going to show you my very first doodles and move through to the last of the doodles. It was so exciting to see my progress. After doodling, you take what you practice and move to the sewing machine, so I'll show some of those as well. Don't laugh ladies! They are pretty bad!, But, as I've said in previous posts - practice makes perfect! Something I truly believe and you'll see the difference through the pictures.

Here we go:

The first motifs to learn are meandering and loopy meandering, however, I have already mastered those, so I'm only showing some of my very worst ones, so you get an idea of how far I've come!

These are my first swirls. Pretty funny, huh!!?

Moving on to paisley's (and some leaf meanders not part of the motifs we learned). I mean - WOW! Looking at these now, I just have to laugh. LOL

Better paisleys and some leaf meanders. I was happy with these!

I'm not sure what happened to my paper doodle of the rainbows, but here is the first try on fabric. They are pretty wonky in all different sizes and directions. It's a lot easier on paper than on fabric but even some of my paper doodles are pretty bad!!

Here are some rainbows on my final project. Yes, I have come a long way on these. Still not perfect, but SO much better.

I love doodling and quilting gingko leaves but they can get funky pretty fast just like the paisley's and rainbows. You have to be careful to change directions so they don't all face the same way. I think I put gingko's on my final project somewhere. You'll have to look closely at that picture to see if you can find them. : )

Now this one!! This one is a true treasure. HAHAHAHA. I'm not sure I've ever seen a worse feather in my life. This one really takes the prize! I promise, I did get better. Still not perfect, but I'll take the better ones over this!!

Here is a MUCH better feather.

This is a paisley feather stitched out. You can see some paisley meanders, leaves, swirls, pebbles, and some rippling river motifs in this as well. I wasn't super happy with the swirls, but . . . . "practice, practice, practice!"

Feathers in a border. I loved doing this one, but it also can be tricky. You have to learn how to turn corners with your feathers. Apparently, I was pretty proud of myself!!

Are you getting sick of this yet? I promise, I'm almost done. I was so not happy with the way this ribbon candy motif stitched out. I even wrote a little message for myself!!

This motif is called rippling river. This is definitely not a good rendition of it!

McTavishing! It has my heart. So fun to doodle and it looks so cool. It's also fun to stitch out!

I don't think my stitch-out looks as good as my paper doodle, but it was still fun and I'm still getting better at it.

Wood grain was another one I'm pretty proud of. It took ALOT of practicing, but I think it looks great and even better on fabric. Unfortunately, I don't have a stitch-out of it on fabric. Not sure what happened to it.

OK . . . that's all of the comparisons. The last few pictures are of my motif sampler and final project along with quilting plan for the final project.

All done! All 30 motifs quilted onto a Sampler Quilt. I'm so grateful for this experience of learning all of these wonderful motifs. I'm looking forward to using them on smaller projects that I don't necessarily want to load onto the longarm. Now, I can do both!

This is the quilting plan for my final project. This was a part of the graduation requirement. Learning to draw out a quilting plan and then stitching it out on cloth. Although, I didn't stick to it 100%, it's important to have something to go by so it's easier to move into the next motif without stopping. You should be able to stitch from one motif into another and a quilting plan helps you to do just that.

I decided I really wanted to include my business motif into my quilting plan and final project. : )

Drum roll please! Here is my FINAL PROJECT for the class. The sampler quilt and final project pictures were sent to String and Story last week for graduation on Saturday, January 29th. So happy to be graduating!

Thanks for letting me share my free motion quilting journey with you!

Until next time!

Mama J

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Jayna! Thank you for sharing your quilting journey! LOVE that you showed it ALL! Your progress is amazing and that final piece is stunning! Well done!!!

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