Your Ultimate Guide to Free Motion Quilting at Home

Guide to Free Motion Quilting at HomeWould it surprise you to learn that quilting is a very expensive hobby? If you make your living as a quilter, you already know this!

The typical serious quilter owns $13000 in quilting tools and supplies, like thread, needles, quilter gloves, etc. and $6000 in fabric.

Are you a quilter? Do you own reams of fabric and an expensive quilting machine? Do you make or watch machine quilting tutorials? Did you know that you can use a standard machine for free motion quilting?

If you are new to free motion quilting (fmq quilting), you’ll be eager to learn. A quilter at any skill level can learn free motion quilting. To help, you could always find classes near you for quilting and other techniques. Here’s everything you need to know as a beginner.

Guide to Free Motion Quilting

Free motion quilting might sound daunting to you if you’ve spent years making straight-line quilts. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

What is Free Motion Quilting?

FMQ quilting is a quilting technique where you add stitches to the surface of the quilt by sewing in any direction.

When using a standard machine, you have to disconnect the feed dogs and switch out the foot to give yourself the range of motion necessary.

If you are unable to disengage the feed dogs on your machine, you can use a Supreme Slider. This product enables your quilt to glide on the slippery surface it creates.

Use a Large Table to Hold the Quilt

The quilt needs to be on a level surface so that it doesn’t slide and pull the stitches.

Tip: When using a standard machine, a drop-in table is your best option. Drop the machine in so that it is flush with the table.

Practice Makes Perfect

Don’t jump right into making a large quilt. Practice first on scraps or smaller projects.

Do you have a certain free motion quilting pattern in mind? Try it out first to get the hang of it.

Some small project suggestions are potholders, a baby quilt or even a table runner.

What Does It Mean to Sandwich a Quilt?

A quilt sandwich consists of a top layer, the batting, and the quilt backing. These layers to together with basting stitches.

Once the quilt is basted, you can move on to the main seams.

Stitch the Main Seams

For this step, use the walking foot to stitch all of the main seams of your quilt.

Follow a plan or sequence. Test the tension of your thread as you go. If you are concerned about the tension allowing the bobbin thread to poke through, use the same color thread for the top and bobbin.

Quilt With Feed Dogs Up or Down Depending on Your Machine

In most instances, FMQ calls for lowering the feed dogs. This is so it doesn’t interfere with the fabric motion. There are some new machines that require the feed dogs to be up while free motion quilting.

Once you find the proper way to do it on your machine, gently move your quilt under the needle to create the free motion pattern you desire.

Expanding Your Creativity

Now that you’ve learned more about free motion quilting, are you ready to try it? We at Ruthie’s are here to help you expand your creativity. Contact us for all of your sewing needs.

How to Applique Like a Total Pro

How to Applique Like a Total ProSewing and other handicrafts are seeing a huge boom recently. Part of the trend is due to the therapeutic benefits of the hobby.

When you sew, you not only create beautiful things you can be proud of, but you can improve your health. You can relieve stress and anxiety, improve your fine motor skills, promote brain cell production, release more dopamine, and help prevent dementia.

Knowing this, it’s a great idea to learn how to applique. Practicing more difficult sewing techniques can likely increase the positive effects of this hobby. Look for classes near you where you can learn techniques.

To find out more about how to applique like a pro, continue reading the guide below.

What Is Applique?

Applique is a complex form of needlework that results in ornamental designs. The process is essentially the act of sewing a smaller piece of fabric onto a larger piece. It can, however, consist of many pieces of fabric sewn to create an intricate design.

This fascinating technique can even be dated back to the ancient Egyptians. In fact, cultures around the world use it to create beautiful garments.

How to Applique

Like most sewing projects, applique can be a time-consuming activity. If you go with a simpler design, however, it can be an easy project. Of course, there are many steps to follow, and your decisions at each step can add time to your project.

Choose Your Design

Before you begin working, you need to choose a design. You can find a pre-made design from a template, or create your own.

It’s no surprise that creating your own applique design will take time. Make sure to use fabric scraps first so you don’t ruin your intended fabric. The more tight corners in your design, the more difficult it will be to sew.

Preparing Your Design

For the next step, you’ll need template plastic or cardstock. You will trace and cut your design on this.

Once you have the fabric in the right shape, use fusible or transfer web to temporarily adhere it to the surface you’re sewing it onto. This will make it much easier to sew correctly.

By Hand vs. by Machine

Lastly, decide how you want to sew your applique. More specifically, do you want to do it by hand or by machine? Again, this will affect the time it takes to complete the project.

The main difference here is that a machine cannot turn under the edges of the design. It can, however, save you loads of time. With a machine, you can choose between a satin stitch, blanket stitch, straight stitch, or zig-zag stitch.

Remember that the color of your thread will make a huge difference in the finished product. Complementary colors will make the edges of your design stand out, while analogous colors will make the edges blend into the backing fabric.

How to Applique and More

Learning how to applique is not the easiest process, but it’s a beneficial one. Once you master the technique, you can make unique gifts for friends and family that no one could ever find in a store.

If you’re looking for the perfect machine to start your applique adventure, don’t forget to check out our Baby Lock or Brother embroidery and sewing machines.

Come to Ruthies!!

Why Come to Ruthie’s? Why not?!

Why would you want to purchase your Brother or Baby Lock machines from Ruthie’s Notions?

You may think Amazon has it all. You may get it the same day or even the next day. But who is going to train you on your new Brother or Baby Lock machines? We offer some of the most awesome training and classes in the sewing industry today.

Don’t you love going to football games and really enjoy the game especially if your team is winning? Why not enjoy sewing, embroidery, serving, quilting and take it to the next level that you have never been before at Ruthie’s Notions in Baker, FL. We are down a little country road, people say out in the middle of nowhere, but people are finding us everyday and purchasing top of the line Brother 10 Needles and Baby Lock embroidery machines, sergers that even thread the needles and sewing/embroidery machine combinations along with sewing machines for as little as $198.

We offer the very best classes and training in the industry today. We have teachers from Australia, Switzerland, California, even South Africa. Mike Johns is one of the very best teachers I have ever seen. His expertise and knowledge of the machines and latest software and Scan-N-Cut and Cameo cutting machines is astounding. Mike Johns classes are always filling up fast. People really want to know how to get the most out of their Brother or Baby Lock machines and at Ruthie’s Notions we take care of business like no other sewing shop I know of anywhere else in the USA.

We offer classes almost every weekend of the month. We cover multitudes of different aspects of sewing, embroidery, quilting, and software. You will some of the best hands-on classes in the industry today going on at Ruthie’s.

Why not experience Ruthie’s Notions in Baker, FL. for yourself – you will love it! Check our website and Facebook page often so you don’t miss a class we are doing. We only let our schedule out a little at a time. A lot of our classes are really FREE!! Seriously- no-one else does the classes we do for free! You will also receive a FREE catered lunch at each class. Can you stand it! Come visit Ruthies today!!

Love Ruthie!

Ruthies Sells Brother Machines Now Too!

Baby Lock New Brother Dealer

Ruthies Notions in Baker FL, has now started selling Brother Machines!

After much praying and talking with Jeff Bray, Director of Sales for Brother International, we decided sell the Brother line of machines too!

They are excellent beyond words. You will love how the Brother Dream Machine II sews and embroiders. The Brother 1050X 10-needle is outstanding and so user friendly. You will be stitching 14 x 14 designs with the brand new sturdy frames from Durkee Hoops to create some of the most awesome designs you ever saw.

Why not come into Ruthies today and see how really awesome they are. You will love the features on them that make embroidery and sewing a dream.

We have excellent pricing and you sure get your moneys worth at Ruthies Notions in Baker Fl.

It is well worth the drive – just ask our 1,000’s of customers why by their machines from Ruthies.

We really take care of you and offer the very best classes in the industry today! Check out what we have planned for embroidery and sewing classes this year!



We offer special financing too!! (to qualified buyers)

Another Great Year at Ruthies Notions

We are so grateful 1st and foremost for God’s blessing on us to allow us another year to help us take care of our customers offering them some of the most excellent classes out there and also training on Baby Lock machines when you purchase them.

Our customers are very important to us. No-one else in the industry we know of offers the variety of embroidery and sewing classes we do and most of our classes are FREE, including our Anita Goodesign classes that fill up as soon as we put them on our website. If you have never attended our classes why not watch our class schedule? We are adding some of the most exciting classes ever!!

I pray Our Lord Jesus blesses you and yours measurably beyond words and hope you consider Ruthies Notions – Sewing by Ruth Barnhill when you need a new Baby Lock Machine. We have been selling Baby Lock machines for over 30 years and have been at the top in sales since we started. No-one else we know gives you all the extras to help get you started right and the training and classes we offer.

Just ask some of our customers who have purchased their Baby Lock machines from us over the years. This business is the Lords we want to do our best for him. I love what I do and our heart is to help you learn and enjoy your Baby Lock machine to the fullest possibilities.

Wait until you experience the classes at Ruthies Notions. You will love, love, love them. You will not want to miss any of them!



Praise the Lord from who all blessings flow.

What could you do with your own Baby Lock machine?

What if you could start your own business and be your own boss?

Take your ideas and dreams to extraordinary heights with our Baby Lock line of embroidery, sewing machines and sergers.

We will teach you how to use your machine, how to order wholesale, how to price your finished products and much, much more!

New Website

Ruthie’s Notions has a brand new website. As this new website may take some time for you to get use to, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.