When I got into quilting in 2007, I was determined to "do it all myself".
I did not have the $$$ to pay a long-arm quilter to finish for me. I was also drawn to the look of FMQ.
detail of "BowWow" 2009
I dove in. No lifejacket. No one around to teach me. Started free-motion quilting the tops I was finishing. (I am over 100 quilts now!)
Read everything I could get my hands on.
Kept sewing. Raced through simple piecing projects just to get to the FMQ.
Then, found a class in 2009. Learned some tricks, received confirmation on some of the tricks I had learned on my on.
Kept reading and stitching.
Started teaching others. (Love teaching!) Kept sewing.
Seems everyone has something they say you "should" do to be successful at FMQ.
detail of "Scrappy Star" 2011 - Queen sized
Here's what I know for sure:
Everyone stitches differently, just like handwriting, your FMQ is unique.
You must learn your machine, be comfortable making tension adjustments, and keeping it clean.
Nothing takes the place of practice.
Then more practice.
Keep doing it, keep reading, take classes. You will get better! And I hope, you will grow to love the activity as much as I do!
And feel free to email any questions or concerns to me. I will help you find the answers, and I will cheer you on!