Monday 23 June 2014

Free Motion Quilting with Mary Palmer

This weekend, I attended my first quilting class!  Mary Palmer was giving a class at the Limerick Quilt Centre on Free Motion quilting.  It was great fun!  We saw lots of inspirational work at the beginning of the day.  Mary had brought a huge pile of quilts for Show and Tell and talked us through the design process and quilting choices.  They were all so different and some were quilted on a teeny tiny scale!

Mary helped us set up our machines, ensure tension looked good (something I struggle with on my own at home!), gave us lots of tips and introduced us to FMQ designs like loops, hearts and flowers and out of the 12 panels most of us got 7 done.  These are my squares:

We were sent home with the instructions to practice, practice, practice!  From the few quilts I free motion quilted and my previous practice sessions at home I’ve been working on a much larger scale.

Figure of 8 is probably my new favourite design, though I wobble on starts and stops!  I have now added waves to my skill set too.

For our practice panels we were working in a space 8” square.  I found the smaller scale gave me much more confidence with FMQ and  I am determined to practice more and get spirals nailed down next.  After all, I have 5 blank squares left to fill up!

I can highly recommend this Free Motion Quilting Class, Mary was lovely and her quilts were fantastic as learning tools and inspiration.  We all had great fun, chatting the day away while practising what we were taught and the day flew by!

We were advised to use what we learned on a small project like a cushion.  Don't think I'll have a problem with that one! 


  1. I think larger scale is much easier to work than small scale, you have more space to move and your stitches get more relaxed :) Have fun!

    BTW I totally have tension issues too, my machine loves piecing but hates quilting- I've gone through various settings and I think I need to loosen my bobbin tension very slightly, so what I'm going to do it get a new bobbin case specifically for quilting so once it's set, it's done and I can switch between the two....

  2. Great job! I would love to attend a FMQ class. I'm trying it on my own with the help of Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters book. Fantastic book by the way! I love your figure 8's. They turned out beautiful. And practice does seems to make it better :)

  3. Your class sounded wonderful, and I love your practice. I find quilting larger, but not too large is easier for me. I need to try those eights.

  4. What a great opportunity! I'm so glad you dove in and took full advantage.

  5. There is nothing like having a go with an expert on hand, it looks like it was a great class!


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