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Learn the basics of the 5 shapes that make up all Free Motion Quilting designs and the foundation for all future Free Motion Quilitng. Learn how to set up your machine, the basic mechanics of Free Motion Qulting and how to stitch the 5 basic shapes. This class is ideal for those who have never tried FMQ before, but is also a valuable refresher for those with some experience.



Free Motion Quilting on a domestic machine uses the same basic 5-6 shapes. The trick is to learn to recognize these shapes and how they are put together to create quilting motifs. We’ll be looking at lots of samples and pages of drawn designs. Students will practice drawing and stitching the designs. Free Motion quilting becomes easier with more practice, so we’ll have lots of time for that. 


To get the most out of our time together please—Arrive early to set up your machine for Free Motion Quilting with your darning/FMQ foot on, a fresh needle, bobbins wound and fabric sandwich prepared.


Supplies for Class

  • 1 meter quilt sandwich (1 meter each) of quilt top, low loft batting and backing.  Choose light coloured solid fabrics for the quilt top and back. We’ll want to see the stitches so we can learn about and adjust tension. I like this size of sandwich as it represents a real size quilt and part of the learning process is to manage quilts.

  • Sewing Machine (in good working order) with extension table (recommended) and darning foot. 

  • Size 12-14 quilting, Microtex, denim or top stitch needles.  If students have a variety of sewing machine needles, we can experiment to see which needle works best with which thread.

  • 2 larger spools cotton thread in contrasting colours.  You’ll be asked to thread your machine with Colour A and wind 3-4 bobbins with colour B.

  • Fabric Marking pen/pencil

  • Quilt gloves: I’ll bring a sample of gloves for students to try if unsure of which gloves work best.

  • Blank paper and pen/pencil.

  • Ruler Class: students will need to have a "ruler" quilting foot. It is not a hopping foot and usually has a thicker profile for better stitching. Allison will have plenty of rulers for students to try in this class.


The following are other classes Allison teaches.

  1. Basics: Learn the basics of 5 shapes that make up all FMQ designs. This class is a foundation for all future FMQ. Students will learn how to set up their machines, some of the basic mechanics of Free Motion Quilting and how to stitch the 5 basic shapes. Much of the class is stitching time to practice what they are learning.

  2. Next Steps; Students will gain confidence in their Free Motion Quilting by taking what they learned in the Basics class and learning how to put the basic shapes together to create a variety of quilting motifs. Students who haven’t taken the basics class are welcome to join us, please be aware we will not be discussing machine set up and the tips and tricks learned in the Basics class.

  3. Sashing and Borders; learn how to choose and stitch designs that are perfect for long narrow spaces.

  4. Flowers and Leaves; learn how to use the 5 basic shapes to create a variety of flower and leaf motifs.

  5. Feathers: Free Motion Quilting Feathers are beautiful and not as difficult as you may think. Let me teach you how easy it is to stitch 3 styles of feathers. These 3 classes can be offered as individual classes or combined.

  6. Tear Drop Feathers; Learn how to stitch these versatile feathers as borders, wreaths and background fill designs.

  7. Hook Feathers; These feathers can create some beautiful fill and border designs.

  8. Bounce Back Feathers; learn how to stitch a feather variation and create beautiful quilting motifs.

  9. Sit Down Ruler Quilting: Learn to use quilting templates on your stationary machine. We’ll cover basic information about rulers, how to use them for accurate stitching and stitch a small quilt as we practice quilting free motion with rulers.  In this class we will focus on straight line and shallow curved rulers.


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