Do You Fear Free Motion?
There are many quilters out there that feel more comfortable working from the back of their longarm machine. Just thinking about moving around to the front of the machine brings a cold sweat to their forehead. I realize that you may think using a pantograph or pattern makes life less stressful. But what if I told you that isn’t necessarily the case? I am here to encourage a few of you out there to give “Free Motion” a whirl. And here’s why:
Pencil, Paper, I Can’t Draw! Are you sure about that? Purchasing a sketch book where you can doodle until your heart’s content is a wonderful tool for discovering the creativity in yourself . Laugh at yourself if need be, (a glass of wine doesn’t hurt either) because initially it will feel quite awkward and you may feel a bit childish. Relax, don’t overthink what your clever mind wants to transfer onto paper.
Rid yourself of those artistic inhibitions and let your self go! Doodle for a while, try different designs, and see where your pencil takes you. The beautiful thing about owning a sketch book is you will be able to visually see your progress. And yes, there will be progress! You needn’t be a Picasso, just be open minded. Bottom line..if you can draw it you can quilt it! You might just witnessing yourself setting aside a pantograph for one of your designs! A one of a kind, yes indeed!
Lacking the “Artist” in You, “I’m not creative.” “There is no way I can fabricate a design on my own.” “Producing a design for an ENTIRE quilt, are you CRAZY?” These are all mental statements that have been sabotaging any notion of trying Free Motion. ALL quilters are creative, in their own way, and with their own style. We are so hard on ourselves and we feel the need to measure up to what “Quinn the Queen Quilter” has designed. Insecurity is our biggest creative buster. Allowing self-doubt only inhibits your growth, and that’s just not acceptable!
She said it, get out there and set the artists in you free! How do you know you aren’t creative if you haven’t dabbled in a Free Motion? Moreover, experts say you need to try something more than once to truly know if you like it or not (I keep telling my red-headed assistant she needs to give Hot Yoga another shot…yeah not happening).
There is Less Room for Error. Really? Mentally you convince yourself of that statement. However, that isn’t always the case. Regardless of whether you are in the front or the back of your machine, mistakes happen. Like it or not, you will screw up in whichever position you choose to quilt.
Errors are frustrating. We immediately know that we are going to be spending unwanted time on corrections, and that does not make any quilter smile. Working from the back of a machine with a pantograph or pattern doesn’t exonerate anyone from yielding ERRORS. Yes, there will be moments when spacing will be off or uneven. Mistakes happen. Mistakes improve our quilting and provide the quilter with insight on what to do and what not to do in the future. Get over the mistake issue!
Be Brave and Get in the Front Seat of Your Longarm. Simply take it nice and slow. Allow yourself short little periods at the front of your machine. Easing into Free Motion removes that reckless “what am I doing?” feeling and eventually has you sitting nice and comfortable in the driver’s seat. Before you know it, you’ll be wanting a pair of sunglasses as you feel like you’re cruising along some smooth fabric on a nice summer day.
Who Knows? You may even be pleasantly surprised with what transpires the go around. Heck you may even look at your first attempt at Free Motion and think, “Huh, not bad, not bad at all”. Heaven forbid you’re a natural at free motion! Even if you gaze over your material and cringe, keep in mind we all initially cringed at one time or another (I still cringe). Coming to the front of the machine brings a whole new meaning to quilting with a longarm. No one says you have to completely abandon the back of the machine, but please don’t neglect the front of the machine. Fear of Free Motion is only allowing one side of the magic that lies in your longarm to appear. Utilize the entire machine and step into the Free Motion arena. I guarantee you will say, “Why did I fear Free Motion?”
Do you have a fear of giving Free Motion a try? If so what keeps you from the front of your machine?