Building a Rock Solid Routine for Free Motion Quilting

Bernina Sewing ManualMost of us have very little time to spend quilting each day.  In order to make the most of our time, we must be very organized.

No time can be wasted finding our supplies,  searching for our sewing machine  manual or fumbling with our machine settings…

Today we will be beginning a new series:  Building a Rock Solid Routine for Free Motion Quilting

Bernina Sewing ManualEach week, we will have tips designed to help make our creative time more productive and more creative…

One of the key skills every quilter must master is KNOW YOUR SEWING MACHINE…

Bernina Sewing ManualFor Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) , every quilter must know how and be efficient at

  • Cleaning and Oiling
  • Changing the Throat Plate–Use a single-hole throat plate for FMQ
  • Threading
  • Lower Feed Dogs
  • Needle Down Position –whenever the quilter stops sewing, the needle will end in the needle down position (not available in older machines)
  • Tension Adjustments

Bernina Sewing ManualIn order to build YOUR Rock Solid Routine, your mission this week:

  1. Find your sewing machine manual –or look it up online
  2. Mark the pages for the topics above
  3. Read those sections.  (Even if you think you know your machine, reading the manual often reveals new options…)

That’s it!  Three easy steps this week…

Bernina Sewing ManualAnd of course…Doodle…Doodle Always,


Ready to Rock and Roll my Routine,


PS…All tutorials, information and images are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.   Feel free to re-blog and Pin and share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!


25 thoughts on “Building a Rock Solid Routine for Free Motion Quilting

  1. What a great idea! I’m really going to try to follow your program because I have a terrible time finding time! Let’s go, Lori!

  2. So timely! This week I resolved to organize something – anything sewing-related – every week. I started with finding all of the presser feet for my domestic machine, which I am ashamed to admit were scattered across 4 or 5 storage spots, and bringing them all together in racks in my sewing cabinet drawer. They are now in numeric order yay. Next week’s task is to trim down the package insert that came with each of them and that describes how to use and how to configure settings – I want to make them more manageable in size by removing all the foreign-language iterations. Am thinking to place them in vinyl sleeves to keep with my machine manual. Woo-hoo!

  3. What a timely project-for everyone. We recently moved and I just finished organizing my new sewing room yesterday. I had been at it for several days-in between all the necessities of life. It is nice to have a larger space than I had before. I am an organizer by nature so it has been fun to set it up. I used so many ideas I have found other places to utilize space and make it easier to use and put away objects I need. Today, I learned a new one. The previous writer talked of saving space in presser foot storage containers by cutting away all of the foreign language information sheets. I will incorporate that idea today. We had an old shelf unit that was about useless because the shelf spaces did not efficiently hold the twelve quart plastic boxes I store fabric in. One day I thought about turning the unit on its side. Now, I can store 35 containers-seven stacks of five boxes. I store them in rainbow order. It is very pretty and will be easy to find what I need. I also have pegboard to store rulers and a magnetic strip to store extra scissors. The last step, yesterday, was new lights. My husband installed two sets of track lights instead of general light fixtures. Yeah, I’m ready to sew. I will follow this subject for new ideas.

  4. I do this to a point, and it is very helpful. It’s just a mental checklist, so maybe creating a physical one would be practical.

  5. As Julie Andrews sings, “Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start”. I am looking forward to following along on this journey, I am very happy I came across your site from a recent internet “hop”…thanks!

  6. Love to get any organizational tips being offered. So helpful to me. Can you tell me where to get a roll of tape with the pointing finger to mark pages of interest? Than you for sharing all you do with the rest of us.

  7. I love the idea of getting organized. Thank you. I was wondering why you do not use the Bernina Stitch Regulator.

    • I learned to FMQ before they were available. Later when I tried to use one it really threw my timing off.

  8. I got the MN Model A put back together after much cleaning and the cabinet all cleaned and moved in downstairs…my daughter came over so we ran downstairs to see if we could get it stitching a nice stitch. She stopped dead in her tracks down there and said OMGosh Mom…what’s going on? I asked why…she said cuz it’s all clean down here…not a fabric pile in sight…!! LOL! I admit it gets deep but as you said…once items start disappearing I spend more time searching for it than I do sewing. That’s when I have to stop and “dig out”. It’s time to sort the little areas too….nice rainy day for it and seriously I feel more creative in a nice clean sewing area! 🙂 I really try hard to put all my sewing supplies away in the same spot every time even if it did lay on the table for a week or so first. As sometimes when I “clean” there’s always that one item I wonder where the heck I stuck it after it laid in my way for a month. 🙂

  9. My 45 yr old sewing machine was stored in basement and not used for 8 yrs. Brought it upstairs, oiled and cleaned it, and works great. My newer one is another story. Read the instruction book and could not oil it myself and I. Fact is difficult to clean. Brought it to be serviced to the tune of $99.00. I’m not getting rid of my old machine!!!

  10. Wonderful. I am so ready for this. Just finished re-arranging my sewing space to make room for another treadle sewing machine. Oh my, do I have a ton of projects to finish and organize.

  11. Your tutorials are terrific! I eagerly look forward to each. The “Know Your Sewing Machine” is soooo important. I’ve really worked at that, and it does make a huge difference. Now to improve my actual FMQ stitching.

    Thanks so much for your lessons/tips and the work it takes for the lessons. Your FMQ is absolutely awesome!

  12. I purchased two ( nail/screw holder) containers with clear lids and adjustable separators. Each slot is assigned numbered machine foot in box A and in box B i have all of my machine needles sorted into slots according to their size and type. These boxes are stacked and stored on a shelf within reach of my machine. Works well for me.

  13. Pingback: Build a Rock Solid Routine for FMQ-Supply List | The Inbox Jaunt

  14. Pingback: Building a Rock Solid Routine for FMQ–Know the Motif | The Inbox Jaunt

Comments are closed.