Free Motion Machine Quilting: Not for Type A Lesley

I’m Type A. I’ll admit it. Everybody I know knows it about me. I will say that I have gotten better over the years. I’m not as much of a perfectionist as I used to be, which is a good thing…just ask my family. However, I’m still pretty picky.

So why am I telling you all of this?

Well, I took a free motion machine quilting class on Saturday. I’ve tried free motion machine quilting before and I quickly gave up. 1. It’s not easy. 2. It takes A LOT of thread. 3. I’m not good at it. 4. It takes a lot of practice. I thought taking a class would 1. Make it easier. 2. Make me better at it. 3. Give me more practice.

So, the class did give me more practice, but it definitely did not make it easier and it did not make me better at it. I think I sucked. Terribly. And I HATED what I did…except the stippling. I like stippling. I know I’m being hard on myself, but I just didn’t like what I did AT ALL.

Free Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting


I was actually feeling REALLY good about the class up until we started actually quilting. The instructor was great throughout the whole class and I have absolutely NO problems with her. She gave great tips and advice. We started out drawing and I was pretty impressed with some of the stuff I was drawing…especially feathers. But then we started quilting.

Free Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting

Here’s why I’m never going to be good at free motion machine quilting:

1. I like things fairly perfect. And it’s REALLY hard for free motion quilting to be perfect even with lots of practice.

2. Free motion machine quilting takes a lot of practice and patience that I just don’t want to put into it and that I don’t have.

3. I’ve realized I actually prefer the look of straight line quilting to free motion quilting.

4. I’m not willing to pay for the thread for me to practice to get somewhat good at free motion quilting. And then I’m not going to pay for the thread to actually free motion quilt a quilt.

I had too many expectations for this class. I wanted some magic tip that instantly made me better at free motion quilting. That doesn’t exist. And I knew that, but I forgot momentarily. With that said, I don’t regret the class at all, but I will not be taking another free motion quilting class in the future and I won’t be free motion quilting in the future. And please remind me of all of this if I ever try to take up free motion quilting again.

But, hey! At least I was able to turn my scribbles into a cute little bag. And it promptly went inside another bag and onto the top of my closet. 😉

Free Motion Quilting

  1. Sharon B’s avatar

    I’m sorry you didn’t feel better about your experience. I think FMQ can be quite liberating once you realize it doesn’t have to be perfect or even uniform.


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