No matter how many classes I teach, I am still shocked at how hard quilters can be on themselves. Especially when it comes to free-motion quilting. Many times, I have heard quilters say things like, “I can’t do this,” or “I’m just not artistic enough for machine quilting.” Both are completely incorrect!

I have said it several times, but I will say it again, machine quilting is just like learning to write. Think about it, when a child learns to write, the teacher doesn’t just draw out a letter and tell the class to start writing. Instead, they give them tools to help them learn. Starting with pre-printed letters to trace and paper with guide lines and plenty of practice.  Now most of us can write without even thinking about it.

Quilting is exactly the same way. There are plenty of tools to help you feel comfortable with machine quilting. From sketchbooks to stencils, chances are that you already have some. These tools are like training wheels, guides to get you started until you are comfortable enough to fly on your own.

training wheels for machine quilters

The idea of “training wheels for quilters” was in the back of my head as I designed the fabrics for my newest collection, Drawn. The designs are inspired by quilting, and are made to stand on their own as beautiful fabric. But, they could also be used as training wheels for machine quilters who want a little practice.

You can make a quilt sandwich out of a solid and print and quilt on the lines for a fun wholecloth.


scroll training wheels

The quilt above uses the Scroll extra wide quilt backing on one side and a grey linen on the other side. It’s a great way to practice echoing or quilting swirl scrolls.

Or how about wishbones?

Wishbone training wheels front

Perhaps the ribbon candy design is giving your trouble?

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Or my personal favorite, paisley feathers


Remember, you don’t have to quilt over every line. Instead try out a couple, then fill in the rest of the area with some different!


But no matter what tool you have, the main thing is that you have to practice! All the tips and tricks in the world are no good if you don’t actually quilt. So grab some fabric and start quilting….trust me, it’s the funnest part!


I didn’t forget to draw a winner for the Drawn giveaway! Since there were so many entries (thanks!!!) I drew three winners! Reba, Ellie and Eileen- check your email for some good news!!

Happy Quilting!