Doodling Quilting Designs

I've said it before, "Drawing the designs makes your free motion quilting so much better!"

Don't just take my word for it, FMQ teachers everywhere agree. Here's a great video of Longarm quilter and teacher Jamie Wallen saying the same thing. He says that you can't learn it by watching and looking, but by doing. (my paraphrase)

I really believe drawing the designs over and over while sitting with my hubby during his chemo is the main reason I've been able to learn to free motion so well so fast. That was a little less than 4 years ago!

free motion quilting doodles

Some of my drawings.

On the kids' magnadoodle and on my tablet too.

If you watch the second half of the video, he's making dragonflies. Guess what my daughter is dying for me to make for her? Yup. Dragonflies are in  my future. I might have to use a dragonfly project as a "carrot" for her keeping her room clean. Earlier this week, the chaos came to a head and I (!) cleaned her room, decluttering all the while. She's a crafty, creative girl and the room was full of bits of yarn, snippets of paper, and bits of other creative debris. The trash can was very clean though, since it was empty!


  1. Drawing/doodling is certainly a critical ingredient just as sitting at the machine and doing it! Along with becoming "one" with the design.....becoming "one" with the machine is 'key'. Being able to 'hear' the machine and coordinate it with the moving of the hands/fabric (the "eye/hand" thing) is the skill that comes with time spent (I imagine the practical learning is a bit different for the longarmer). I don't use a stitch regulator on my Sweet Sixteen or my Bernina 440QE......that accessory seems to be more of a hindrance than a help to me.

  2. I have to say, I so very much agree with you. I have been trying to doodle as much as possible lately. And I am finding it fun as well as knowing it will help me fmq. I am also enjoying your blog and youtube videos. Thank you!

  3. What app do you use for doodling on your tablet?

    1. It’s called “Draw Something Sketchy”, a fun little program.