January TSNEM – Free Motion Quilting

First, thanks so much to everyone who’s joined the Facebook group! I love all the interest in trying new things this year! And next, I wanted to make sure that everyone knows it’s ok if you don’t want to follow along with the month’s theme. Stephanie and I thought it would be fun to set themes to give people a little direction and to see other people working on similar projects, but they are definitely not strict guidelines. If you have no interest in the month’s theme, we would still love to have you participate and try whatever you are interested in!

January – Quilting
February– Tactile Craft; paper mache, clay, soap, candlemaking
March– Painting
April– Edible Crafts
May – Hand Sewing
June– Heavy Craft; leather, wood burning, glass etching
July– Yarn Craft; knitting, crochet, weaving
August– Printmaking; fabric or paper
September – Machine Sewing
October– Needlework; embroidery, cross-stitch, crewel, needlepoint
November– Papercraft; origami, scrapbook, calligraphy
December– Choose your own!

At the end of this post there is a chance for you to link up your own project. This will be up until the next month’s theme starts on the first Monday of the month, so you can add your link anytime before then!


Last year I ended up doing a lot of quilting for my TSNEM projects – using a walking foot, binding, using a fabric die cutter, making a log cabin pillow, and foundation paper piecing. One thing that was on my list that I just never got around to was free motion quilting. It’s something I’ve been excited to try but it was also one of the more daunting projects to me.

January TSNEM - Free Motion Quilting from Hugs are Fun

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I got the Janome Darning Foot* to use with my machine and checked out all the free motion quilting books they had at my library.

I wanted so badly to love it and have it be amazing, but that’s just not what happened.

January TSNEM - Free Motion Quilting

I started out trying it with scraps, it’s so much different than regular sewing. You drop your feed dogs and can move the fabric around fluidly. I played around with with just doing curves and loops and it was pretty fun even if it wasn’t pretty. But when I turned it over…

January TSNEM - Free Motion Quilting

it was a complete mess. The tension was all over the place and it was awful. The really concentrated areas of thread are when I was going too slow.

January TSNEM - Free Motion Quilting

When I go too fast it’s more spread out.

January TSNEM - Free Motion Quilting

I took to Instagram and got some advice but nothing helped. I adjusted the speed, tension, replaced the needle, cleaned the machine, tried different thread, rethreaded it about 30 times.

January TSNEM - Free Motion Quilting

I wanted so badly to love it but I just don’t. I didn’t expect to be instantly amazing at it, but I also didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it is to be consistent. I just don’t think I have the patience to put in the effort to be really good at this and I don’t feel like I would ever feel confident enough to free motion quilt anything other than a scrap.

Hopefully you had more success with this month’s theme, I’d love to see what you made.

Make sure to join the Facebook group and follow me on Instagram and post photos using the hashtag #TSNEM

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