Quick Tip–Machine Quilting


Happy Monday, Quilters!

Just a Quick Tip for free motion quilting a smooth line...

When free motion quilting,  your hands form a “hoop”.  You can move the “hoop” left or right and up and down, but when you need to move your hands —to change the position of your “hoop”–STOP STITCHING!

Many beginners try to move their hand position while quilting.

It is nearly impossible to maintain a smooth stitching line while moving both your hands and the quilt.

So if  YOU are trying to move your hands, move your quilt, watch TV, plan dinner….

Consider doing one thing at a time-

YOUR ASSIGNMENT–sit down at your sewing machine and give it a try.

You might also like this:  The Myth of Multitasking



PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

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27 thoughts on “Quick Tip–Machine Quilting

  1. I can FMQ pretty well on a small sandwich of fabric, but how do you manage to do it on a large quilt with a small machine? I would love to see that. Thanks! Carol

  2. Love the quiz….test shows I am not so hot at multitasking–now I know why I am screwing up things….ha ha I need something to blame it on. mickie


  3. hmmm
    I multi task all the time.
    however, doing two writing assignments at the same time as described in the article, or for example, playing two songs on the piano at the same time, can be interesting, and might even turn out some wonderful ideas, or unknown skills realized.
    I treadmill and answer emails and watch tv at the same time. I do sew three projects at the same time. I am perhaps very silly, but I love to multitask.
    Many jobs require it. 30 years ago, I was an RN in a very busy orthopaedic office, and multitasking was something I was exceptional at.

    I have tendencies toward ADHD and OCD (not in the nutty sense) and I go by the twenty minute task formula.
    That being said, I agree that there are things that require full attention, and it is actually very good to practice focusing on an endeavor – such as finishing, and completing and ending the job.

    I have a small quilt on my machine in the dining room. It has been sitting under the needle on that very strong, mechanical White machine — for months.
    We have had some big bumps in life over here. I mean to get back to that and finish it.
    This is great advice. Never rush or do something if you are not in the right state of mind. Consistency will always give you greater satisfaction
    Happy New year Lori <3

    • Most people that have many tasks to do. Some supposedly smart person made the incredible discovery that most people that have many tasks experience more focus in the first 20 minutes.
      So if you have to do laundry, other household duties, work on several projects, make dinner, clean out a cabinet, vacuum. If you set each task at 20 minutes, then you move to a new task. For instance, sewing for more than 20 minutes is not good for you if you are sitting and focusing the entire time. (sitting is the “new smoking” – go figure)
      So let’s say you have some things you want to accomplish;
      You can start vacuuming an area of your home, then after 20 minutes, you can sit, rest and sew, then, don your latex gloves and go clean the bathroom, and maybe wash one of the vacuumed floors. Toss your gloves (or if you are weird like me, you wash them like you wash your hands and carefully remove them and lay them by the laundry sink or something) then, go have another session with your sewing machine,
      After 20 minutes, you can eat lunch and also perhaps pull out a pot and make dinner (I used to do this all the time at 11AM when my kiddos were tots)
      As long as you have a plan. You can get things done.
      If you have a cook and a maid, forget everything I suggested. 😀 😀 😀 I think there is some write up somewhere on the internets. about this crazy way to function, but it works for me.

      • Thank you Rosemary !! I will try that ! But I must warn you, if anyone watches me, they will see that my “normal” is 5-12-20-3-10-14-minute pattern… my daughter calls it adhd…LOL Joking, but I do spend too much time in chairs… computer and at sewing machine… hours at a time,, not good. will try to adjust that. My arthritis doctor told me years ago..Don’t sit longer
        than 45 minutes at a time…try invoking that on a long car trip with a male driver who “wants to get there” yesterday. 🙂 He
        has mellowed over the years.

      • Hi Rosemary,
        Thank you for all of your tips. I like the idea of the twenty minute rule. When I’m cleaning, I often set a timer for 15-20 minutes per room. It helps me focus. Thanks for your links.

  4. Lori, how timely this is! After 70 years of living and 60 years of sewing, quilting has provided me with so many lessons…most of them from your blog. One: not all thread is alike… LOL Two: Fabric will not disappear during the night if I don’t stay up late, very late, to finish the project. Three: It is OK to take foot off the “accelerator” in mid
    seam to run to the restroom and return. Four: It is OK to take gentle time to sew a seam at slower speed instead of running the Indianapolis 500. Five: I will not die if I have to “rip” a seam out ( actually it can be a relaxing break I now enjoy). Six: I enjoy learning new tips instead of blundering thru in ignorance.
    We fans could write a book: title: “Thank you, Lori !!!”, dedication page: To Lori
    Kennedy for her devotion to teaching, Chapter One, Thank you, Lori, Chapter Two,
    Thank you ! Chapter Three, Thank you so much !! Chapter Four, We would like
    to thank you !!!! Chapter Five, Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Finis.

  5. I found that allowing myself to stop was the hardest part of free motion quilting. The second hardest is paying attention to the sound change when threads get caught on the back side.

  6. Brain research shows that the brain can only focus on one thing at a time. It is capable of changing focus very quickly, but real focus is singular.

  7. Hello Lori,
    First, I love your blog and I have both of the Craftsy classes. Love them.
    I finally finished the sunflower sampler and I’m pleased with how it came out,however,I can’t seem to remove the guidelines. I used the same marker tool you did (I have almost every kind so I used what you did). How do you remove your markings. I tried rubbing with a damp towel then I did toss it into the washing machine with no luck. It didn’t go into a dryer so I’m hoping I can still remove them somehow

  8. Wow Genius!. Lori I have a question, do you free motion stitch with your needle position down? I have a Bernina 820 and am trying how to get the machine to stop before moving my hands without making a mess of thread.

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