I’ve been doing some practicing this afternoon.
I started with drawing pebbles continuously on paper with a marker just to get the feel for the movement and direction. Even though writing with a pen and stitching with a free motion foot is not quite the same, I wanted a sense of the flow from one pebble to the next.
Then I pulled out some plain fabric and leftover batting and made a sandwich to practice on.
I also took out the quilting table that came with my machine. I was supposed to trade this in for a piece that fit in my sewing machine table and never did but I figured out how to screw it right to the table. It is not perfectly flat but the edges are bevelled so I don’t think that makes a difference. And having that firm flat surface continuously up to the needle really really helps.
Here are my first 2 samples:
Boy my forearms are sore, too. It is hard work holding the fabric and moving it. No wonder people wear grippy gloves to do this.
I might practice some more but I think my technique is good enough for dark thread on dark patterned fabric. Even on light, plain fabric it doesn’t look awful.
Updated: I’ve got 2 sides of the actual wallhanging quilted. See my Flickr for photos (use the sidebar widget to get there).