Free machine quilting with monoprint with Christine Chester

Sewing, embroidery and accessories

Ref: S2D12052

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About this course

Free motion quilting is demystified as you learn how to pattern fabric using monoprint techniques to put designs onto the fabric surface and inspire your imagination. Then learn how to create texture and pattern using the sewing machine. Explore tips to make free motion quilting smoother.

Course Description

Your sewing machine can be a great tool to help you draw on to fabric, making patterns and lines, but free motion quilting can be quite daunting to start by yourself. Christine will show you the correct way to start without getting into an immediate tangle. You will then develop a series of patterns that will help you begin to get into a rhythm with your machine.

Monoprinting fabric with a series of simple shapes and patterns will give your fabric a structure that you can then work into with the machine without having to think too much about how to draw patterns on to a large piece of plain fabric.

Christine has many years of experience working with a wide variety of makes of sewing machine and she can act as a technician to help you get the most from your machine.

Once you are confident with the basics, Christine will show you how to vary some of your stitches to create thicker lines from the regular basic quilting lines.

By the end of the course you will be able to make a range of patterns, some of which you have designed yourself. You will be able to work around shapes on your fabric working into spaces and gaps as you would do on a patchwork top or patterned fabric. You will also know how to vary the weight of the line that you are using to add emphasis to any area of your work.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply some of the materials including acrylic paint for printing.

What students need to bring

  • Sewing machine, with shelf and instruction booklet – please check that your machine has an embroidery/darning setting to drop the feed dogs, or that you have the plate that covers the teeth if your machine does not retract them. (The College has sewing machines to borrow on the course, if needed – please email us to reserve one:
  • Spare machine needles – topstitch or microtext sharps sizes 80 & 90 – or quilting needles 75.
  • Hand sewing needles for tacking and finishing off threads.
  • Free motion foot (could be an embroidery foot or a darning foot depending on the age of your machine).
  • 1m of plain cotton – you will work with at least 2 quilt sandwiches so the metre could be made up of different colours of plain fabric if you don’t want to keep working on the same one all the time.
  • 1m 80/20 wadding – can be 100% cotton but no polyester wadding unless it is low loft/compressed (please email the tutor no later than 10 days in advance, via if you would like some to be supplied – see below).
  • 1m plain backing fabric
  • Fabric scissors.
  • Small embroidery scissors.
  • Machine threads – the best thing is to bring threads in the colours you like that co-ordinate or contrast with your fabric – rayon/cotton/quilting/metallic
  • A tacking thread.
  • Pack 50 safety pins (or thereabouts) for quilt sandwich (basting spray is not particularly user friendly for the whole class and classroom so the tutor aims to use alternative ways of keeping a sandwich together).
  • A couple of tools for printing, for example – small pieces of doweling or plastic pipe/cotton reels/small pieces of rectangular wood (like a ruler)/anything that will make simple geometric or circular marks.
  • A pencil, felt tip pen or fine liner – any colour.
  • An apron
  • Kitchen rolls
  • 2 pair latex/nitrile gloves – one for printing and a clean pair for quilting (the College can supply these).

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Wadding
  • Basic white cotton
  • Cartridge paper
  • Available from tutor:
  • 80/20 wadding 90” wide @ £15 per metre, 45” wide @ £7.50 per metre.
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e., no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Christine Chester

Christine Chester is an artist and teacher working from a textile studio in Eastbourne, having previously worked for 20 years in the Adult and FE sector. After being accepted into several juried competitions, Christine has a solo gallery at Festival of Quilts this year, alongside working to complete her Masters degree.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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