Free Motion Quilting (FMQ)

During this course, you will learn a creative sewing technique called “Free Motion Quilting (FMQ)” to create a unique piece of quilted artwork.

The course produces spectacular results and leaves you with a great sense of achievement by learning a new skill which can be applied to many different projects:   jackets, bags, cushions, quilts to name a few.

You will work on a design of one of four feathered friends by Gail Lawther (the Pheasant, Cockerel, Oystercatcher or Heron), or you can bring along your own design template if you prefer.

You will learn how to fuse your design onto your background fabric and use the free motion quilting technique to create texture with your sewing machine. The course combines applique with FMQ and is suitable for all levels.

Skills / Technique that you will learn:

  • Machine quilting including free motion quilting
  • Applique technique
  • Fusing methods
  • Quilting tips and techniques

Materials required for the workshop include:

For all quilting courses, students are to provide their own sewing materials and resources. Please see this link for the suggested items in no special order.

It’s always best to learn on your own sewing machine.  Please bring your sewing machine, sewing machine accessories including the sewing machine manual, pedal and power cord.

Should you not have a sewing machine, then we do have machines available for your use including the associated accessories.

For this course, you will require a FMQ foot or Embroidery Foot, which I will show you how to attach to your machine.  You will learn how set up your machine and drop the feed dogs to enable the fabric to be moved freely, in any direction to shadow the motif shape easily.

Depending on which bird you choose from the list below, or should you choose to bring your own template, you will need to bring the respective supplies and scraps of 100% quilting cotton fabric in a variety of colours for your chosen bird and colour pallet.

Please ensure that all fabrics are pre-washed, starched and ironed as this reduces shrinkage and fraying of your fabric.

The finished design size for your design will be 18 x 14 inches (roughly 45 x 36cm).

The designs makes use of an iron-on adhesive to fuse the motif into place.

  • Bondaweb or Steam-a-Seam Lite at least 18 x 15” (46 x 38cm) – (not Heat ‘n Bond).
  • Black tulle net for the shadows, 18 x 15” (46 x 38cm).
  • Variety of Threads: Black sewing thread for quilting and a thread to match your binding. Yellow, Red / bright orange, White thread for the eye of the bird.
  • Backing Fabric – 20 x 16” (50 x 40cm).
  • Binding strip – 2 yards (2m) binding strip cut 2.5” (6.5cm) wide.
  • Background Fabric – 20 x 16 inches (roughly 50 x 40 cm). For simplicity, I would suggest using one piece of fabric.
  • Wadding – Flat wadding 20 x 16” (roughly 50 x 40cm).  Please no polyester. 
  • Free motion foot or embroidery foot for free motion quilting.
  • 505 Temporary Adhesive Glue (Amazon).
  • Dylon Spray Starch (obtainable from any supermarket).
  • Half a meter of baking parchment.

You are free to make your own artistic fabric colour interpretations however, here is a suggestion: 

If you choose the Heron you will need:

  • Darkish-grey for the body 12 x 8” (30 x 20 cm).
  • Pinkish-grey for the legs 8 x 4” (20 x 10cm).
  • Scraps of pale grey for the beak and tail feather.
  • White thread for the centre of the eye.


If you choose the Oystercatcher you will need:

  • Black for the body 12 x 6” (30 x 15cm).
  • White for the stomach 10 x 5” (25 x 13cm).
  • Pink for the legs 8 x 4” (20 x 10cm).
  • Long scrap of orange for the beak.
  • Red / bright orange thread for the eye.

If you choose the Pheasant you will need:

  • Mid-brown for the body 10 x 6” (25 x 15cm)
  • Brown / black stripe for the tail 10 x 4” (25 x 10cm)
  • Dark brown for the stomach 8 x 5” (20 x 13cm).Purple blue for the chest 4” (10cm) square.
  • Large scraps of assorted mottled / striped brownish fabric for the various feathers (bring an assortment of tones – dark, medium and light).
  • Scraps of white, green purple, grey and red for the head and legs.
  • Yellow thread for the eye.


If you choose the Cockerel you will need:

  • A selection of batiks or multicoloured fabrics in bright colours for the plumage. All at least 7” (18cm) square.
  • Orange-red for the stomach and face 8 x 5” (20 x 13cm).
  • Scraps of red for the coxcomb and wattle.
  • Yellow for the beak; Brown for the legs; Black thread for the eye.

We will break about half way through each session for tea, coffee and cake to keep us going as sewing is thirsty work for mind and body. However, if you have any dietary or allergy requirements, please do let us know in advance so we can try and cater accordingly.

Level: 2-3. This is an intermediate level class, and not suitable for complete beginners. You will need to have some knowledge of sewing and how to use the sewing machine. If you have sewn years ago and want to freshen up this is a great way to do just that.

Class Length: Four, 3 hour sessions

Max in a class: 5

Price: £160

I also carry a stock of fabrics and haberdashery should you wish to purchase on the day (card payment facility available). or you can also browse and buy fabrics at our online fabric shop.