Are You A Confident Free Motion Quilter?


Please click on the title to read the full post.

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to the new readers!

Are you a confident free motion quilter?

If you answered yes, then you don’t have to read this post. Although, there is always room for improvement, right?

When I teach  my dance students, I try to break down a complicated dance steps to its bare essentials. That way it doesn’t seem so daunting.  If you can master a small part of the whole process, you are able to build the whole technique. Of course time and repetition helps!

Confidence is a feeling of knowing you can produce the goods on a reliable basis.  The only way to get that feeling is to practice the right steps in the right sequence until you get your desired result.

So with that I am giving you a time tested method for helping you to get that confidence with specific steps you can take TODAY.

My 5 Step Free Motion Quilting Blueprint

It’s really just a process of elimination.  Try it out and see if it helps you when you get overwhelmed standing in front of your unquilted piece.

Step 1: THREAD CHOICE:  Blend or stand out?  What colors?  What weights? Shine vs. matte? These will determine if your lines will blend or stand out. Pull out your threads and actually lay them onto your quilt to see if they blend or stand out.

Blue thread stands out, white thread blends

Step 2: DESIGNS/PATTERNS:  What kind of patterns do you like?  Preview them on your quilt top with clear plastic and grease pencils or vis-a-vis markers.  Don’t like them? Erase and keep trying new patterns.  Drawing them out will help you with the movement your hands will actually make while quilting.

Clear plastic on top of quilt, red marker lines

Step 3:  PRACTICE:  Make a sandwich of same fabrics, batting and back.  Check tensions, choose bobbin threads. Experiment with the speed of your hands vs. the speed of your foot pedal until you get the right balance. Moving your hands too slowly will result in too tiny stitches. Moving them too fast will result in large uneven stitches. Move your hands at an even pace. If it helps you, and you have one on your machine, use your stitch regulator.

My practice piece using identical fabrics and threads

Step 4: PRACTICE MORE:  Using the patterns you chose, with your thread choices, practice  on the fabrics you used.  This warms you up, diminishes fear and increases confidence!  Bonus: you will also have a small piece that mimics the the larger one to remind you of your journey.  As time goes on and your confidence increases, this step will no longer be necessary.

Step 5: QUILT:  Go quilt your actual piece for 30 mins. then take a break.  If you lose patience or concentration before then, break sooner.  Chocolate is helpful to quilting success!

 And if you get some good results using this method please share your pieces on the JOYFUL ART QUILTING PAGE on Facebook.
 Permission to duplicate: You certainly can use this blog, just be sure to credit me and include this link, Roxane Lessa.


I am opening up my It’s Elemental! online class.  But there’s still time to get on board. It’s 8 weeks and only $97 and includes a group live video session. This may be the last time I am offering this class, and it’s perfect for newbies who want to get a crash course in design and composition.  Here’s the link to find out about it and enroll;

Don’t be shy! Come and join my:

My New Facebook Group

Oh and before I forget- I have a new Facebook Group called Joyful Art Quilting. You can head on over there to discuss your projects in more detail and see what others are up to.  It’s a fun, non-judgmental place to meet and share.  Here’s the link to go join the group:



Have you seen this???

Click on the orange link for more info:

Private Design Intensive for Art Quilters

This is my new Private Intensive for Art Quilters- a 7 week adventure to learn how you can make great art quilts. Whatever your plans for Fall, I hope you include some studio time for yourself.  Make art, make it often, and enjoy it!  And if you want some help, click on the link to get some support!

And if you still have questions, doubts, fears…. please feel free to email me at

Love to all, peace out!



Coming up soon….


If you want to take a class with me- CALL ME at 919-602-2260.   I can teach for a small group of your friends, like I did a while back for my friend Joyce Marks and her quilting buddies.  We had a blast and I tailored the classes to her group’s interests.

And you can always take an online class with me- see below!


For all you online class junkies, I am offering a new class online: Painted Morning Glory


Have you ever wanted to learn how to paint details for depth and realism on your quilts?


If the answer is yes, read on.  My popular Painted & Fused Morning Glory class is going to be offered online  to the general public for the first time.  I have taught this class many times and each time I’m awed at the fabulous results everyone gets, with each flower being slightly different.

This class is open for registration  now and starts January 1 and is only $39.00!

And you can do it at your own pace in your own house, in your jammies, without running around.  All lessons will be available to you at the same time, in case you get inspired and want to work fast.

Here is the linky thingy to register:

I hope you will enjoy this fun class, it will remind you of Spring in the middle of Winter!

And, you will learn all the techniques I used to paint my latest landscape art quilt….

Would you like to work with me one on one? Maybe you would like to make original work, show it and perhaps sell it?

This has actually happened for my client Susan!

 Susan has just let me know, she sold this quilt! Congratulations, Susan!

One of my private clients, Susan, has had her quilt, “Nature Takes Back Her Own”,  that was accepted into the prestigious Houston IQA World of Beauty Show.

NatureTakesBackHerOwn 72

As part of our work together, I coached her on the making of this quilt.  She was able to realize her vision to design, make and get her art quilt into one of the best shows in the world!  How about you, are you ready???


Look into my 6 month Private Coaching Masterclass!

 I have extended my private coaching program, from 3 months to 6 months.  I believe the transformation my students are looking for must take place over a longer period of time to have a lasting impact.

I want you to make the most amazing, original art quilts that you can.  That is why I am now accepting private students who are serious about their creative expression in the world of art quilting.  Take advantage of my 17+ years as a textile artist, and speed up your learning curve. To work with me privately, please set up your initial, no obligation,  free Get Creative Call here: Schedule Appointment You can find out more by clicking on the Testimonials and Private Coaching tabs to the right in the sidebar or at the menu at the top.



Here’s what one guild VP had to say recently:

I’m usually Johnny on the Spot but missed the boat last week re these BIG THANKS.  Loved your presentation. Heard very positive and supportive remarks from the guests…thank you again for the well-defined and creative presentation.  Look forward to seeing you again. 


Here’s a link to my contract with current lecture and class rates:  Contract


Don’t forget to get yours:  Quilting Arts TV has the new 1500 Series available for download-  YES this is the one I am in (squee!!) Click HERE to get yours.


Susan and I on set

My Pinterest: You can take a look at my pins, which are organized on different “boards” HERE.

About RoxaneRoxane-Web-Images-007

Roxane is a full time studio textile artist, teacher, and author, with two girls, who are both growing up too fast!  She recently appeared on Quilting Arts TV, and has taught at the Houston quilt show.  She is also a BERNINA ambassador. Her work is in several private collections and she loves doing custom commissions.  For more info go to

Permission to duplicate: You certainly can use this blog, just be sure to credit me and include this link, Roxane Lessa. Hey, if you like this blog, please hit the FB or Twitter icon in the top right sidebar and share with others! That’s why they are there…..:)


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One thought on “Are You A Confident Free Motion Quilter?

  1. Thanks for sharing the process. It is very effective. I have also found that practicing the pattern with pencil and paper helps.

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