Heather Thomas

Determining Free Motion Quilting Stitch Length

Heather Thomas
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Duration:   6  mins

How do I know what my free motion quilting stitch length should be? This is a very common question when it comes to free motion quilting. Heather Thomas explains what a good stitch length should be, shows you how to achieve it, and provides some examples of stitch lengths that are too long and too short.

Free Motion Quilting

Getting a consistent free motion quilting stitch length can be difficult in the beginning because most quilters are used to their machine determining the stitch length for them. Heather explains that when free motion quilting, YOU determine your stitch length based on how fast your machine is stitching in relation to how fast you are moving your fabric under the needle.

Heather further explains this concept and shows what free motion quilting should look like. She shows examples of stitches that are too long, which is caused when you are moving too fast in relation to how fast your machine is stitching and examples of stitches that are too short, which is when you are moving too slow.

She then shows what a good pace of movement should look like and gives tips on how to better achieve it with hand placements and machine speed settings. Heather then explains that it is also important to be consistent with your free motion quilting stitch length. She gives an example of a number of stitches per inch that you should work towards and shows how you can practice free motion quilting and then select several areas on your work to count stitches to see if you are consistent.

Once you feel comfortable and consistent with the movement of the stitching, you can use free motion quilting to create unique designs. Once you’ve mastered free motion quilting, move on to this fun class where you’ll learn new ways of machine quilting.

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One Response to “Determining Free Motion Quilting Stitch Length”

  1. Judith

    I am a new member, just to let you all know. I have watched two of Heather Thomas' videos. I am impressed with her ability to explain the techniques of free motion quilting. The techinques work. I hope to find more informational videos by Heather Thomas. Thank you, Judith

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