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Last spring, I taught a Circles, Lines, & Curves free motion quilting class at Capital Quilts. I think it helps in a class to see the free motion quilting stitched out on actual fabric, so I stitched up a ton of small samples.
I plan to share 25 of my “go to” free motion quilting designs in 3 parts– Circles, Lines, and Curves. I hope that having a number of designs in one place will help inspire you–either to try one of them out, or to try something different.
These are not original designs–some of them I learned from friends, others from books, others from cruising the internet and seeing something that inspired me.
If you are new to free motion quilting (quilting done with a darning foot where you actually move the fabric [domestic machine] or the needle [long arm]), or would like to improve your skills, I suggest that you practice, practice, practice. Draw your quilting designs, then draw them to scale, then draw them out again. Buy a book or borrow a friend’s. Take a class, either at a local quilt shop or online (lots of machine quilting classes available at Craftsy).
Master a “simple” stitch, like a circle, and then add variations. Try stitching Pebbles of varying sizes, filling in the quilt top or block with small and large pebbles. Then, try Skipping Rocks, where you gradually quilt bigger and bigger circles, or try stitching large pebbles in the top left corner, and get smaller as you go diagonally across the quilt. Then, add in straight lines, and quilt a String of Pearls. The options are almost endless. Practice, practice, and then practice some more! And don’t forget to relax, lower your shoulders, unclench your teeth, and have some fun!
Note: I used contrasting thread on these samples so the stitches would be easy to see. I normally use thread that blends in a little bit better.