Machine Quilting: Beginning Free Motion & Tools

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“I never strive for perfect. I always strive for finished,” says instructor Mary Smallegan who has completed over a thousand quilts. Learn the products that make machine quilting easier. Find out about thread, needles, tension, basting, and batting. Then try your hand at free-motion quilting as you practice on a prepurchased sampler or one you have made from the downloadable materials included with the class. Get comfortable with meandering and making loops and swirls. Mary explains how to successfully quilt large quilts so you can move beyond quilting only smaller pieces. Throughout the class, Mary gives helpful suggestions and urges you to practice along with her and gain the confidence you need to complete beautiful quilts on your home machine.

Course Curriculum

Machine Quilting: Beginning Free Motion & Tools by Mary Smallegan - 1hr 7min
Lesson 1. Class Introduction 0 Hours 2 Minutes00:02
Lesson 2. Machine Setup 0 Hours 11 Minutes00:11
Lesson 3. Thread 0 Hours 9 Minutes00:09
Lesson 4. Needles 0 Hours 8 Minutes00:08
Lesson 5. Tension 0 Hours 8 Minutes00:08
Lesson 6. Batting & Basting 0 Hours 10 Minutes00:10
Lesson 7. Free Motion Basics 0 Hours 12 Minutes00:12
Lesson 8. Handling Larger Quilts 0 Hours 7 Minutes00:07



  • Muslin or solid colors
  • Batting: any batting except polyester
  • Make several practice quilt sandwiches, approximately 18" x 20", consisting of top, batting, and backing.
  • Sandwiches may be basted with adhesive spray, thread, or quilting pins.
  • If using optional Skill Builder #1, make a quilt sandwich using the top and:
  • Backing: 36" x 45"
  • Batting: any batting except polyester, 36" x 45"


  • YLI Wash-A-Way
  • 50 wt. cotton


  • Size 11 or 12

Sewing Foot:

  • Darning foot

Other Supplies

  • Lickity Grip
  • Extended table


  • Sullivan’s Silicone Spray
  • Skill Builder #1 panel by RGA Design
  • Thread stand
  • Gypsy Quilter™ Sit Upon
  • Basting or safety pins
  • Iron
  • Ironing Surface
  • Electric Quilt® 8 quilt design software (EQ8)
  1. I see quilts that are professionally quilted and admire the ones at quilt shows and feel like I could never do that. Is machine quilting really hard?
    Like anything new, machine quilting can be intimidating. Mary starts with the basics by letting you know about some products that will help you progress. She is an encouraging instructor who wants her students to follow their passion and let go of seeking perfection in their quilting. She also knows that practice is an important key to success. This class will give you the impetus you need to pull your quilt tops out of the closet, dust off the machine, and feel the satisfaction of completing those quilts on your own!
  2. If I really don’t know what I am doing at my machine but want to learn to quilt on it, is this a good class for me?
    This is a wonderful class for someone who is an absolute beginner to machine quilting. See the supply list for thread to buy, fill the bobbin, and thread your machine. Now you’re ready to learn to quilt right along with Mary. Make the quilt sandwiches. Buy the skill builder she uses in the class or make one of your own from the downloadable materials. Then sit, quilt, and enjoy! Mary has a knack for making you comfortable and more confident as you progress.
  3. What if I have questions?
    We recommend that you watch the class in its entirety and become familiar with the downloadable materials. At that point, if something is unclear, go to the tab that allows you to ask a question and Mary will get back with you via email. Please do not contact iquilt instructors by telephone.
  4. When can I start the class?
    We know you are excited to get started. After you have purchased the class, you can enjoy it anywhere and anytime you have the Internet. The class belongs to you, so watch it as many times as you like!

Instructor Gallery

  1. Millie Shenton


    This class is an absolute MUST if you are a beginner quilter and/or if you have never quilted on a domestic machine before. Mary shares information that pertains only to the home sewing machine and that is what she uses in the class. She is very clear and the video is well done. I elected to get the skill builder panel and the vanishing thread - such fun!! You won't be sorry if you buy this cl

  2. Tina Black


    Mary was great! As a beginning quilter, she gave me EVERYTHING I needed to get started. The information on machine set up, thread, needles, tension and batting were the "Keys to the Kingdom" for me. I have been sewing for many years, but these basics are what I was missing to to successfully cross over to quilting. I've gone back to review several times. The ongoing access makes a world of di

    fference. This was a great investment!
  3. LynnAnn Weed


    Thank you Mary - I enjoyed your class and learned a lot. I've been a straight line quilter and want to make my quilts more interesting with
    loops and curves - I thought it would be easier when I tried it for the first time but found it was harder than I thought - your lesson on thread and tension was very interesting as well. I will try setting my stitch length to 0 and try with the feeddogs up

    too. Many options on ways to set up my machine. It's not what you know it's what you don't know. Thank you again LynnAnn from Connecticut
  4. Susan Kohloff


    Love all of your lessons!!!

Member Price: $19.96
Members Save: $4.99
Regular Price: $24.95
  • ( 4 Reviews )
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