A comprehensive training for mastering freehand quilting skills and navigating design decisions.

The Freehand Quilting Masterclass is the standout program that not only teaches specific quilting designs, but also thought processes that enable you to create your own original work with confidence.

The designs are stitched out for you at a longarm on a frame AND ALSO a domestic sewing machine.

Before I tell you all about this practical training, let's talk about exactly who this program is for.

I know for many machine quilters, stitching without a computer or a pantograph feels like letting go of your training wheels.  Your heart races, you start sweating a little….get a bit wobbly….sound familiar?  

Maybe .....

  • you're just beginning your machine quilting journey and don't know how best to conduct your practice sessions
  • you've been quilting for a while, but you've always relied on pantographs or other design aids
  • you're an experienced digital quilter, but want to explore that elusive "free motion quilting"

You, my friend, are in the right place!

I'm going to show you exactly how the Freehand Quilting Masterclass can give you the skills, understanding, and support to launch into fearless quilting.

Think for a second.

How wonderful would it feel to load a quilt and.... just start quilting?

I promise, just like calligraphy or patisserie baking, freehand quilting is a skill that can be learned!

Ever quilted yourself into a corner? 

There's a solution for that!

Have you puzzled over how to travel from one motif to another? 

There's an easy method for that too!

Ever wondered how to avoid the "soldiers-in-a-row" look? Not pretty. And, you guessed it, 

There's a fix for that one too!

My promise?

You'll emerge from this course with no more paralysis! Instead, you'll have confidence in your quilting decisions and skills, a huge repertoire of designs to use in your everyday quilting, and the ability and know-how to create YOUR OWN unique designs!

It's all about elevating your skill, and lowering your shoulder tension😉

Here's what some students have to say

5 star rating

So worth investing in yourself.

Fran Baldwin

This class is worth every penny and then some! The information and hands on demonstrations are priceless. If you want to freehand your quilt tops this clas...

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This class is worth every penny and then some! The information and hands on demonstrations are priceless. If you want to freehand your quilt tops this class will build your confidence all you have to do is practice it’s up to you. So happy I took this class.

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5 star rating

Amazing Teacher - Amazing Suggestions

Sandy Bailey

I am having so much fun with each module. I am learning to do things that I never thought I could, managing to combine elements that I never thought I could...

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I am having so much fun with each module. I am learning to do things that I never thought I could, managing to combine elements that I never thought I could, and having results that I cannot wait to put into practice on actual quilts. My confidence is soaring through Susan's demonstrations and encouragement.

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5 star rating

Great instructor, solid content

Erica Hansen

Susan's patient and friendly teaching style really sets this class apart from the rest. She finds multiple ways to explain things to her students so that ev...

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Susan's patient and friendly teaching style really sets this class apart from the rest. She finds multiple ways to explain things to her students so that everyone understands the concepts, she has some great motifs that I haven't seen in any other courses, and longarm students of all levels will find that they learn something new from Susan. I really enjoyed the course and encourage anyone at any longarm skill level to join the Freehand Quilting Masterclass!

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What's Inside

MODULE 1  A close look at the anatomy of a good freehand design. Analyzing and identifying all its parts will enable you to apply creative criticism to any design you're working with in the future. 

We'll draw and quilt a selection of loopy designs. These are pretty simple, but will open your eyes to the vast possibilities of just adding and tweaking small things.

MODULE 2   Now that you've seen the possibilities with just ONE design, we'll step back a little and explore the use of deliberate practice to really amp up quilting skill. This is where the magic of increased precision and control starts to happen. We'll break practice shapes down into families, so you can begin to see similarities of themes in quilting designs, and how to apply this type of practice to your daily quilting. There will be stories and examples aplenty.

I'll show you some of my favorite low- or no-cost tools for my quilting studio. 

We'll draw and quilt a number of specific shapes for practice.

MODULE 3  Discover the variables of a freehand, repeating design. This is so important for making edits and changes to personalize your work. Also, we'll look for design cues that can inform your quilting choice for any particular project. We'll also talk about thread choices

Now we're starting to build the quilting design repertoire! We'll draw and quilt a number of designs with waves, and straight lines. You'll be astonished at the number of creative possibilities with JUST LINES, and this practice grouping will again advance your precision level.

MODULE 4  We’ll look at more variables; this time more mechanical: stitch length and regulation, methods of basting, and explore when to apply these variables to up-level the quality of your finished quilts. 

Now we're getting into some really fun stuff! We'll be quilting arc-based designs - chrysanthemums, continuous curves, irregular arcs...and more.

MODULE 5  We'll look at change-ups. Whether it's scale, shape or form, elements or transitions - we'll apply these concepts to the designs we've already learned so you can see how endless personalization is possible.

Then we'll draw and quilt a host of designs - some floral, some feathery,  some paisleys, even flames - you're going to love these! (And don't get overwhelmed just thinking about it - you can take these one at a time, and come back to the lessons as often as you like!)

Plus we'll apply some of the the designs we’ve learned as fillers in custom work.

MODULE 6  Practical tips and aids for freehand quilting, such as a no-commitment way to audition designs, how to keep a consistent scale, my favorite marking tools, and how to make your feet keep up with your quilting. Because that's important!

And then we'll explore row-based edge-to-edge designs. These are quilted in rows, but overlap or nest to create the all-over texture we're after.

Freehand Quilting Masterclass

When you enroll, you'll receive:

  • 6 modules providing theory (thought processes...tools...tips...etc AND video quilting demos, both at a longarm on a frame and also on a domestic sewing machine
  • photo galleries of quilts from my studio using the Masterclass designs
  • doodle and practice sheets to help you master the stitching path
  • invitation to a private Facebook group with other students and alumni
  • access to me via email and class Zoom sessions for all 6 weeks

One module will open per week, with its corresponding practice sheets and photo gallery, until all of them have been presented. Then, they are all yours to keep and view as often as you like!

Plus These Bonuses

to help you elevate your production

Bonus #1 Tension Headaches, Anyone?

(an ebook all about tension and stitch diagnostics)

There is NOTHING so frustrating as having ugly stitches, or gnarls of thread on the quilt bottom, or tension problems, and not be able to solve these things, and get on with the quilting.

So I've collected tips from my experience, and other quilters, and pulled them all together in one place for you.  This ebook is organized into easy-to-skim chapters to help you quickly find the solution to your particular dilemma.


Bonus #2 Challenging Quilts

Seldom does a quilt cross our longarm rails that is PERFECT.  I've quilted over 1000 client quilts, and from them I've compiled the posers I've seen, and the approaches I've found effective.

So, you get a whole series of challenges and corresponding tips, PLUS case studies of some severe problems with a ton of photos to show you step-by-step how I addressed each one. 

Bonus #3 Binding on the Longarm

Did you even know this was a thing? Yes! You can easily apply binding to the top/front of a quilt, WHILE THE QUILT IS LOADED, ready for turning and hand stitching in place on the back.  This is fantastic if:

1) you're in the business of quilting and you'd like an additional service to offer your clients,

2) you struggle with the awkwardness or weight of handling quilts at your sewing machine

Simple tools and simple skills are all that's required. I'll show you how to do this step by step.

Bonus #4 

Access to the Freehand Quilting Masterclass private Facebook group. Here you can:

  • ask questions of me
  • discuss projects & problems
  • show off your photos & progress
  • attend live Q and As
  • support other quilters in their journey

Seriously, my friend, I've tried to include EVERYTHING you need to finish your quilts, find answers to thorny quilting problems, and even start a business, if you so choose.

No-risk guarantee

Remember my promise?

Confidence...ease...no more paralysis...plus a huge repertoire of useful designs?

I'm so confident in my practice methods, and so positive you can overcome the "stand and stare syndrome" that I'm offering a 14-day risk-free guarantee.

By the end of those 14 days, you'll have received access to the the first two modules, as well as ALL the bonuses.

You'll have had the chance to experience my teaching style, and test drive my practice method.

If you've practiced and see no progress, and don't feel confident this course will elevate your quilting, reach out to me, and I'll refund your investment. 


  • When does the Masterclass begin and end?

    Each "knot" of students will receive the first module on the Friday following enrollment, and each succeeding Friday thereafter until all 6 modules are released. Watch for specific dates in informational emails. All are pre-recorded and can be watched at your convenience.

  • Do I need to keep up with the module pace? I feel overwhelmed!

    Nope! These lessons are yours for always! However, I suggest working through the modules with your classmates, but choosing just one or two favorite designs from each module to focus your practice on. Once those are super comfortable, you can circle back and add additional ones.

  • When I join, will I receive immediate access to all the modules?

    No. You'll receive immediate welcome and login information. A start date will be provided (the whole knot of students begins on the same day) and a new module will drop each week thereafter.

  • What technology/tools/products are needed for FQM?

    You'll need a device to watch the presentations - I recommend a computer or casting to a TV in order to see it large enough, but you can certainly use a tablet or smartphone as well. You'll need a machine to stitch on - can be a domestic sewing machine, sit down longarm, or a longarm on a frame. You'll need "quilts" to practice on. Charity quilts...ugly fabric sandwiches...anything will do. You'll benefit by having something to doodle on - can be sketch paper...white board...sheet of paper in a plastic page protector; plus dry-erase markers and a scrap of batting for an eraser.

  • How much do I need to practice each week or day?

    This is highly personal, but you will see the most transformation if you commit to practcing regularly. For sure it is better to practice 15-20 minutes 4x per week, than to have one giant 4 hour session once a week. And drawing practice counts too!

  • Will Susan be available to answer my questions if I can't figure out a design?

    Yes! I am very active in the private Facebook group, plus the 6 scheduled LIVE Q and A sessions.

  • How much quilting experience do I need to take this class?

    Not much! You will see growth and transformation no matter where you begin.

  • Does this course include all the longarm basics I need to get started?

    This course focuses on freehand quilting skills (mostly edge-to-edge), and a discussion of my favorite tools. Basic skills, like learning the parts of your machine, or threading it, are best found from your dealership. Many of the episodes on my YouTube channel (youtube.com/stitchedbysusan) highlight day-to-day skills like loading a quilt, choosing threads, etc.

  • Do I need to be present at a certain time for the classes? I live in a much different time zone.

    You do not! All the class material is pre-recorded, so you can watch at your own convenience. Supporting events, such as Q and A sessions, are live, but are also recorded so that you can refer back to them.

Still "thinking about it"?

Let me tell you 5 reasons you'll LOVE freehand quilting:

  1. it's absolutely unique; no one else does the same design in exactly the same way as you
  2. $$ savings - no need to purchase someone else's designs
  3. massive loading/planning/marking time savings
  4. creative freedom to personalize your quilting for many different purposes and aesthetics
  5. opportunity to practice high level skills needed for custom work WHILE producing quilts

That's what keeps you motivated to practice....to learn new skills....to CREATE! 

Your quilts will thank you!

What have you got to lose?

Learning to quilt entirely freehand has enriched my quilting experience so much, and I want to share that feeling with you!

I've travelled the same road you're on - unsure...questioning myself...and my skill...indecisive...and just wanting to get those quilts done!

And gosh, I've known since Kindergarten Show and Tell that I love explaining things😆 So I would love to personally welcome you into this group of enthusiastic quilters, committed to building a skillset, and finding huge creative joy in the process. What have you got to lose besides your shoulder tension?

I look forward to meeting you inside the group, and cheering you on as you find your own personal transformation.

Susan Smith