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About a month ago, I took a free-motion quilting class. They taught us how to “lower the feed dogs” on our machines, attach a special presser foot and then begin attempting to quilt our 3 layers (top, backing and batting) together. When I got home, I took photos of the machine quilted patterns on my quilts that are already completed. Now that I am attempting to do a bit of my own machine quilting – I am paying more attention to the computer guided patterns. They are so lovely!

Machine Quilting Patterns – Computer Guided

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Me – Free Motion

After the class, it was up to us to practice at home. Learning to free motion quilt is sort of like learning to write.


It is a very messy process.

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My samples need a little work before I am ready to machine quilt something that I’ve already spent days, hours and good money on! I did try something fun, I wrote my name in the stitches below. See it?


During the class, I did have a little free-motion fun with some “doodling.” I made a flower garden.


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These are really messy, but totally fun to do! I am really enjoying learning to free-motion quilt. The only problem is that now I know what those $7,000 long-arm machines are used for! Before, I just though – gosh – I hope I don’t want one of those someday. However, I think I’ll be able to do plenty of machine quilting on my Molly machine for quite some time yet. I think the only time I would need/want a long-arm machine is for larger quilts like a queen or king. Who knows if I’ll have the patience to do one of those anyway! No need to rush.


One reason I’m enjoying this is because of what I call: the joy of being a beginner. You just have to do it. You don’t have to do it well! There is a lot of freedom in that idea. It brings a sense of play that “adults” don’t allow themselves very often.

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Those were all my samples from the Saturday class. Now, I am practicing at home on some smaller projects for the Six Squared Fundraiser, where I am entering a 6 in by 6 in mini-quilt. So – developing this new skill is going to take time. I’ve got plenty of time. I can’t start flower beds until the snow finally melts. So, I’m still stitching away.

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Thanks for reading! Sierra Shea


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!