These Simple Free-Motion Quilting Designs Are Perfect for Beginners

Actions

Free-motion quilting can feel intimidating when you're first getting started. After all, you're used to a walking foot doing the hard work of guiding your design. But once you switch to that darning foot, the power is in your hands. And that's a good thing!

These simple designs are perfect for newbies to play with, so incorporate them into your next few projects (maybe in a mini quilt or two?) and see which becomes your fave.

1. Single Loops

Start simple with this meandering design that emulates cursive handwriting — it's great for open backgrounds or an all-over quilt design. Pro tip: Once you make your first loop, pause where the threads cross, then start your next loop in the opposite direction of the first. That way you'll achieve a nice random effect that "wanders" across the fabric.

2. Pebbles

Try your hand at this classic filler design. The key to keeping those circles smooth, clean and even? Looking ahead of where you're stitching. You'll instinctively move your hands in the direction of your gaze!

3. Flower Power

It may look tricky, but trust us — it's super easy to turn this common doodle into a beautiful allover motif. The trick is to use a Guide Grip, which helps you stay relaxed as you stitch the loops and scallops that make up your petals.

4. Basic Spiral

This classic motif is a fun way to add lots of interest to your quilt, and it's more forgiving than you'd think. Learn how stitch in the ditch can be your secret weapon when you need to travel back and fill any holes in your allover spiral design.

5. Switchbacks

Channel the letters U and N as you stitch this back-and-forth design that allows you to easily move around your quilt. This motif is a smart go-to when you need to fill space between two parallel lines, like when you're quilting sashing or a border .

6. Swirl Chain

For more of a challenge, try interlocking swirls that fill your fabric with rich texture. This design takes a little more visual planning to make sure there's space for your motifs to interconnect, but don't sweat it — it's almost impossible to see mistakes with all that swirling, so there's no need to be perfect.

Start a free trial for unlimited access to every project, pattern, recipe and tutorial on Bluprint.
Next for You
Getting started with free motion quilting basics.
Sure, you can trick out a standard sewing machine so you can free-motion quilt. But if you're in the market for a shiny new model, why not get one that will satisfy both your sewing and FMQ needs? These are the free-motion features you should keep an eye out for while shopping.
Christa Watson
Let's be real: quilting calls for loads of notions and supplies. And while that's exciting for a lot of reasons (new stuff to play with! new projects to make!), it can also be overwhelming. After all, which of these tools do you really need?
Emily Dennis
Now Reading
These Simple Free-Motion Quilting Designs Are Perfect for Beginners