Free Motion Quilting – Embellished Towels

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Working on your Fee-Motion Quilting skills?  This Free Motion Quilted Hand Towel Tutorial Is just what you need to help improve your quilting skills!

free motion quilting

Ever since I started dabbling in quilting, free motion quilting has been on my list of things to learn.

Over the holidays, I ordered a generic quilting/darning foot to fit my machine.  I figured I should start with a small project, and thought a cute and girly set of hand towels for my daughter’s bathroom would be perfect.  (I also used this technique on her tooth fairy pillow as well.)

quilted towels

I grabbed a set of 4 towels on my last trip to Wal-mart and while I was there, found this cute little fat quarter set of coordinating pink and brown fabrics.

pink fat quarter set

Adding the fabric to the towels was super easy, you’ll love the results!

embellished towels

Free Motion Quilted Towel Tutorial:

Cut a piece of fabric about an inch taller and wider than your towel.

Fold the edges of the 2 long sides and one short side over 1/4 inch and iron them flat.

Pin the fabric in place, lining up the one ironed short side with the side of the towel and fold the other side in/under to line up with the other side of the towel.

Then, sew along the edge of the fabric about 1/8 inch form the edge, all the way around the towel.

If you want to try a little quilting yourself, make sure you are using quilting needles (they are very sharp), otherwise you may have problems with your bobbin thread getting tangled up and not looking pretty.

Here is a shot of the quilting foot.  The presser foot is all the way in the down position, notice how high up it sits?  This makes it much easier to move the fabric around.  (Make sure you lower the feed dogs too.)

I am not very artistic, so my loops and swirls are pretty sad looking, but when you use a thread that blends better you can’t even tell…

It’s hard to see in these pictures, but I quilted different patterns on each towel.  (Actually, I left the photo below fairly large.  To see the details better, right click and open the picture in a new window an you can see it up close.  This function only works when you are reading on my blog page- not in a reader or the email version.)

I traced the floral design on the floral fabric.

embellished handtowels

I love the free motion quilting for small projects like this, but I’m not 100% sure I would do it on a full or queen size quilt.  It seems like it might take longer or be more difficult than straight line quilting.

What do you think?  Have you free motion quilted a large quilt on a regular sewing machine?  I would love to hear how it went for you or just get more advice…

Looking for more easy Quilt projects?  Check these out too!

Free Zig Zag Quilt Pattern

Quilted Camera Case

Simple Fat Quarter Quilt

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  1. Laurie Spencer says:

    The embellished towels are a great idea! I think you should give yourself a chance. I bet you can do a large quilt. I have done small quilts mostly stitch in a ditch, then I did a twin-sized quilt for my granddaughter and did many different kinds of free motion quilting in the different blocks; some of the quilting was better than others, but I learned a lot. This past year I tackled a king-sized quilt to give as a wedding gift to my son. I did an overall pattern of meandering; it turned out wonderfully! I was so pleased. I did it on my home Janome sewing machine. I think what helped me is I got experience doing the twin quilt growing my confidence along with learning how to start and stop and hold my hands etc. I know you can do it! (Really like your blog and projects)

    1. Thank you! A king project was quite a project to take on. I still may do a full sized quilt for my missy. (If we can agree on fabrics, lol.)

  2. Grandma Sue says:

    Dear DIY Dreamer: Your quilting is nice. We had a lady come to teach us at our quilt club. She recommends a 10" X 12" quilt sandwich to practice on 15 minutes a day. One tip of hers was to remember that you need space to come out of your swirl or whatever. Don't just go in real tight. I love outline quilting. It's pretty easy; just keep echoing your flower or whatever. When you feel you've gone far enough, do another one; maybe a leaf and made a nice vee or curve to join the two outlines or echoes.

  3. Christine says:

    Oh so CUTE and practical!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality last week!!!

  4. Emily Thompson says:

    cute! I have not tried the free motion quilting on my machine… but I know it can do it. Yours turned out SUPER cute! I host a Tuesday link party that I would LOVE for you to come check out. http://www.nap-timecreations.com

  5. Alison Bayne says:

    Saying hi from the UK – found you on Frugal Days Sustainable Ways and am following you now! These towels look GREAT, something I really want to try. If you fancy doing a guest post on Mumtopia, let me know 🙂 http://mumtopia.blogspot.co.uk/

  6. Your towels look beautiful! What a great way to try out the free motion quilting!
    I've only made one quilt – I enjoyed it and would like to learn more! It's on my long list of things to do!!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  7. Cute towels!! Popped over from the Sew Can Do party. 🙂

  8. Tanya @ Greetings From the Asylum says:

    This is something I really want to try! Thanks for the tip about the quilting needles. I would have jumped in with the same old needle I always use. I am visiting from Sugar Bee!

  9. I do most of my quilting on my domestic sewing machine. The trick is practice. Lots and lots of practice. Another thing to remember is "no guts, no glory". Take risks and push yourself. You will be surprised at how quickly your skills will develop!