Free Motion Quilting on a Domestic Sewing Machine


Free Motion Quilting on a Domestic Sewing Machine

For those are interested in Free Motion Quilting on a home sewing machine.

Members: 291
Latest Activity: on Monday

SewCalGal's FMQ Challenge

This group began as part of a 2012 FMQ Challenge, which is now over, but tutorials from 14 different FMQ Experts are still available for free to use to learn/improve your FMQ Skills.  There were over 2,000 participants in this challenge, with about 1,000 that joined a group on Facebook that allowed them to share insights.

While I didn't want to replicate the 2012 FMQ Challenge, based on interest, I did want to release 4-6 tutorials in 2013 that built on the challenges in 2012.  Currently 4 of the 6 2013 Challenges have been released and I'm working on getting the final two Challenges released this month (My).   I will try to update this group when new challenges are released, but those that follow my blog will always be the first to know (sorry, it just takes awhile to update a variety of sources, so my primary focus is blog updates).

And, the main page for this event will also be updated periodically, to show current links and info:



Discussion Forum

Table Top Long Arm Machines

Started by Lisa Wagner. Last reply by Lisa Wagner on Monday. 2 Replies

Has anyone used any of the table top models of long arm frames with their domestic sewing machines? In theory, they look like a good middle step until I can afford a real long arm. But how do they…Continue

Free-Motion Quilting Classes at Craftsy

Started by SewCal Gal Apr 5. 0 Replies

Craftsy has a sale on 11 quilting classes this weekend, including several excellent free-motion quilting classes: Design…Continue

Tags: Experts, FMQ, classes, quilting, free-motion

Quilting pattern ideas

Started by Ethelda Hillsman. Last reply by Ethelda Hillsman Mar 24. 31 Replies

Looking for suggestions for either an all over pattern or block/sashing patterns for a Bear Track (similar to Bear Paw) quilt top. I made it with batik fabric and have bought a variegated thread the…Continue

Cleaning a quilt.

Started by Susie Kirk. Last reply by Carolyn Hoxton Feb 23. 5 Replies

How do you recommend cleaning a quilt, dry clean, washer and dryer, dry flat, other ideas???????? Would appreciate advice. Now that I have made a few I am scared to wash them.Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Riana Noyes on February 10, 2014 at 11:23am

Playing around with patterns/designs on paper w/pen helps your brain think out the quilting path...even though it's different movingbthe pen across paper tgan moving the quilt under machine, tge more you doodle & draw these things, the easier it is to sew them.

BTW, don't kid yourself, a sewing machine is a power tool. l would never dull my senses even a bit. 

Comment by Riana Noyes on February 10, 2014 at 9:17am

Listening to my favorite music helps me get the rhythmn of the sewing machine in sync w/my hands & arms, ( like dancing), and gets flow going. Frequent coffee breaks & throwing in a load of laundry etc. give eyes a rest too.

At first we need to think of where we are going to sew next...but after practice, that gets easier. Like learning to do anything new, our muscles are unused to new start w/ 15 min. sessions, go to   longer ones in 10 min. increments over first week or so. You could use this to start a "motif " pattern binder. Start with tge easiest ( for you) to learn, then add more difficult ones. After a while, you can use tat as a referance for ideas on projects. When you get really good, you can change out some of your "beginner"efforts. 

Comment by Teri Lucas on February 9, 2014 at 9:54pm

Mary even if we had the perfect ergonomic set up our shoulders would still creep up to our years because we're uncertain of our own skill, slightly (and rightly) afraid of the machine and quite frankly need to develop confidence and learn how to relax. Even after as many HOURS of quilting I've put in I still frequently feel my shoulders and my ears becoming one body part. I have to tell my self to relax and I get up frequently and do a couple of stretches/contractions to get my muscles to relax. Depending on the circumstances I will have a glass of wine.  A glass not a bottle. Just enough to help my body relax without getting into drunk quilting. Drunk quilting leads to major amounts of time with the seam ripper.

Comment by Riana Noyes on February 9, 2014 at 7:50pm

There's 2 reasons for that knot at your shoulder. 1 is "purpose/concentation", and once you are aware of it, you can tell yourself to relax & drop shoulders down from ears,llol. 2. is the "pushing down" effect, in other words that floor scrubbing feeling...definitely a no-no for the very reason you've discovered. Experts tell us to keep the weight of quilt supported on table, lap,etc. and keep a loosely puddled area around the needle area that can easily be manipulared with the fingertips

Comment by Mary Moore on February 9, 2014 at 5:12pm

Is there a trick to relax your shoulders. I try to keep the weight on my arms on the table...but I am still knotting up where shoulder and neck meet. The pain is bad enough that I had to quit.

Comment by Jennifer Schifano Thomas on February 4, 2014 at 11:16am

Great advice, Teri.

Comment by Riana Noyes on February 4, 2014 at 9:23am

Ethelda, on batik, which is dense,l have found that a finer needle pierces through better than a thick one. But watch the speed over seams:)

Comment by Jennifer Schifano Thomas on February 4, 2014 at 9:02am

I agree too, that the sewing machine you are using has an effect on what type of needle you should quilt with.  My Elna works great with the 90/14, but when I quilt on my super fast Juki, I have to use the larger, 100/16's or the thread gets shredded!  You really have to experiment and find what works best for you.

Comment by Jennifer Schifano Thomas on February 4, 2014 at 9:01am

Thanks, Julie.  I get their newsletter & I've even talked to "Bob" before.  I don't know how I missed the needles.  I'll have to take a closer look at this month's newsletter.

Comment by Julie Beard on February 4, 2014 at 8:45am


Superior's needles are truly wonderful and last up to roughy 30 hours of constant sewing before you have to change them.  In this months newsletter their is extra information on the needles and about the coating it's very interesting.  They often have a great deal on the needles and I even buy them from the states to get in on a bargin.  I too also buy some of their threads as many of the aussie stores charge extra for them the posting is not too bad. They are amazing and very helpful if you have any questions. Julie.


Members (291)


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