The Free Motion Quilting Project: Great Chat with Pat Sloan

Monday, April 29, 2013

Great Chat with Pat Sloan

Pat Sloan once again had me on her show - American Patchwork and Quilting Radio today and we had a great chat about getting started with free motion quilting: what issues most beginners struggle with, why free motion quilting seems so hard, and some tools and supplies that might make it easier to get the hang of.

Click here to search for and then download the podcast!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
In the radio show, I mentioned a video teaching you how to break your foot to make it work better. Click here to see this video and find the generic darning foot I'm modifying. This foot will fit on most machines (not all of them) but you will need to know if your machine is compatible with high shank or low shank machines. Just google your machine name and "shank" and you can usually find that information easily online.

Also in the show, I talked about getting started free motion quilting and seeing some really UGLY stitches! This is totally normal! The key is don't be afraid of it. Grab a layer cake or cut some 10 inch squares and give yourself permission to practice and play. It won't be pretty, but you will learn a lot!

By the way, all the tools I mentioned in the radio show are available right here in our Quilt Shop. I only carry the tools that I actually use and find helpful for quilting on a domestic sewing machine. Here's a run down of my 3 favorites:

Supreme Slider - This is a slick, Teflon sheet that sticks to your sewing machine and table and it makes your quilt slide and glide much easier. This dramatically reduces drag and that feeling of having to pull and tug on the quilt to get it where you want it.

Machingers Gloves - I swear by quilting gloves because I've used them since my very first quilting class and just cannot quilt as well without them. With gloves on I have much better grip over the quilt and a solid feeling of control. A lot of beginners complain of a "out of control" feeling and this can really help!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers - These little Teflon washers go inside your bobbin case and help your bobbin to glide and slide so much easier within your machine. I immediately noticed fewer thread breaks, better tension, and I never had to pick out a nasty birds nest of thread again!

You can actually find all three tools in the Ultimate Quilting Kit which gives you a great deal on exactly what you need to get started.

Let's go quilt!


1 comment:

  1. Just viewed the article on adapting a quilting foot - brilliant. I have an open toe foot and love quilting but the constant hopping up and down was annoying and distracting. Now having modified it following your suggestions it is wonderful, so many thanks for such a useful article. Regards Chris


Help us create more quilting tutorials! Check out our quilt shop at