In this post, I’m gonna be sharing with you 3 essential mindset tips on how to start free motion quilting on your home sewing machine.

These tips are not exactly the practical tips that get you onto the machine but these are the tips that are oftentimes missed but in my opinion, are very important tips for all beginner free-motion quilters. 

So if you’ve been wanting to free motion quilt, or on your way to getting better at it, you don’t want to miss these tips. 

Prefer to watch the video instead of reading through, watch these tips explained in this video:


Free Motion Quilting Tip #1: Know that it is going to hard, but it gets easy with practice.

You have to know that in order to be successful in free motion quilt your quilts on your home machine, you are definitely going to go through a learning curve.

You have to know that everyone starts somewhere and they get better with practice.

Hence, you’ll have to resist not giving up just after the first few practices. Your first few practices are going to be far from what your expectation or the beautiful stitches you see on the internet. Yes, most quilters often time don’t share their failures and only share pretty pictures. This is great too cause they get us inspired to make beautiful quilts too. But the reality is everyone starts “ugly”. And they get better with practice. 

cupcake wallhanging quilt

So, keep that in mind and just keep on practicing. If you are not sure what to practice – join our free email course and just take the actions listed in there. Repeat those practices until you’re happy with it before moving onto your real project. 

Free Motion Quilting on home sewing machine tip #2:

Don’t start practicing straight away on the large quilt top

Please don’t practice your first attempt on your new dearly made quilt top.

I know you may think that it is a good idea. Yes, might as well get that quilt done and start practicing right away right?

If you’ve just learned from watching (only watching) tons of free motion quilting videos but have not yet practice small, doing this is going to cause you to burn out pretty quickly or get frustrated that you’ve ruined your quilt top.

I know that because I went through that myself. I thought I could just quilt a baby quilt straight away. Well, the quilt did finished and looked okay from the front but there were tons of folds on the backing. And I didn’t even dare to take a photo of it, that was how frustrated I was with it. 

Another thing is that just thinking about getting straight to practicing the large quilt is also causing you to procrastinate and never really taking the action. 

You get scared that you’ll ruin your quilt top itself and never really take the action need to learn the skill to free motion quilting.

So I would say, stop pressuring yourself into getting straight to quilting the big quilt, but instead, start small. Start with a small-ish project like a hot mat, table topper, or pouches. And when you get better at it move onto larger projects step-by-step. 

This way there is no way that you’re wasting fabrics or supplies. You’re not only getting the practice needed but you also get to use your practice piece into something useful. I love my small hot pad projects and use them without worrying that I’ll ruin them.

Free Motion Quilting on home sewing machine tip #3: Be kind to yourself!

And now we have come to my last tip; have a lot of grace for yourself when practicing.

Be okay with the wonky supposedly smooth lines.

Pat yourself on the back for all the little improvement you make and stop comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle. It will only slow you down from taking the actions you need which is to just keep on practicing. 

free motion quilting on regular sewing machine

While there are tons of tutorials out there to teach you how to get started, what to practice, and how to get better at free-motion quilting, I would love to invite you to join this Free Mini Email course. The mini-series will take you through the tools you need and where to start. That way, you’ll be on your way to the right start to your successful free motion quilting journey. I teach you the way to practice so that you’ll transition to quilting a larger piece of quilt easily. 

Yes. Those are actually two different learning curves – being able to free motion quilt and free motion quilt a large size quilt. But don’t worry I’ll be sure to share with you more tips through this blog.

Check out some of the related posts below:


  1. Ruth Skinner Reply

    Thank you for the pep talk which I needed. Hoping to get more information about free motion quilting from you.

    • littlemushroomcap@gmail.com Reply

      You’re welcome, I always need a pep talk myself too. 🙂

  2. I absolutely love your personality! I also love the fact that you are real and honest about how we all feel as we get started. I had not thought of a hot pad, but that sounds do able. Thank you for your insight and encouraging words.

  3. Pingback: Home Machine Quilting Tips and Strategies – The Little Mushroom Cap: A Quilting Blog

  4. Pingback: How to do Machine Quilting on a Regular Domestic Home Machine – The Little Mushroom Cap: A Quilting Blog

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