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 there... I'm Sierra!

I am from a family of all girls. I always keep a journal. John & I were married back in 2013. It was a miracle then & it is now. We had three kids between Oct 2014 & August 2018 : Joslyn Shea, J.D., and Jesse Lee. We remodeled two houses & moved three times in our first 5 years. I grew up in Missouri, but was transplanted to South Dakota. I am working on my masters at Sioux Falls Seminary as of 6.1.19.

I started Sierra Shea & Co. as a space to curate encouragement for all women toward creative, redemptive lives as daughters of the King of Kings.