If you’re just learning how to quilt, the idea of free motion quilting can be intimidating. You’re just figuring out how to piece blocks together, and now you have to figure out a design to quilt for the top! As Angela says in the video below, “Learning how to free motion quilt and learning a new design is kind of like learning how to drive in a new city.” This is such an accurate comparison! When you’re learning a new skill – especially one that requires you to make snap judgments and figure out how to fill in spaces on the fly, it can be helpful to put on some training wheels!
In this case, training wheels refer to three different methods of helping you get used to the motions and designs of free motion quilting. The first method is to use stencils. These can be helpful if you have no idea what to quilt. They are also great for learning new designs that you can practice and later on do without the help of the stencil.
Another method is to use printed fabric as a template. Printed or panel fabric gives you some boundaries to work within so you don’t have to think about where to stop and start. You can start off easy with a panel fabric and practice echoing. Then, you can move on to a print with a lot of free space – like the photo above. Go ahead and see all of the methods for free motion quilting in the video below!