Tips for overcoming fear of free motion quilting

The bed runner design (there will be additional background fabric either end to hang over the side of the bed).

Phew! After much procrastination and preparation I am progressing through the quilting of the bed runner I’m making for my parents. It will be a gift to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Of course I want it to be perfect and, of course, that’s not possible.

I started writing the long version of this quilting story but decided to delete most of the details, add photos and give my tips for overcoming fear of free motion quilting 🙂

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Choosing and stitching a walking foot quilting design

At last Saturday’s Beginners Course we reached the quilting stage of constructing our quilts. I demonstrated a few ideas for quilting using a walking foot eg. in-the-ditch, echoing, wavy lines… I’d had a think about how to quilt my version of the Dashing Stars quilt. In-the-ditch would work but I favoured stitching a quilting design over the patchwork to add ‘movement’, helping to take the eye roaming around the patchwork design. I considered a diagonal hatch across the quilt and considered curves, maybe echoing arcs or a swirl. Eventually I came up with stitching a large zig-zag down the centre of the quilt and then echoing the shape to either side.

Dashing Stars quilting diagram by Allison Reid
Quilting diagram. The thick black line represents the first zig-zag, the thinner green lines the lines of echo stitching and the pink dotted lines the chalk lines used to mark where the next quilting line should pivot.

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