I have taken a total of ONE class on free motion quilting. Basically, you drop the feed dogs on the machine, these are the little teeth that pull the fabric through the machine.
This is my original practice fabric.
Then you put a special foot on the sewing machine and while you are pushing on the foot peddle to make the needle go up and down, you place your hands flat on the three layers of fabric and move the fabric in a pattern. I use special gloves with rubberized fingers that help grip the fabric.
Try this while patting your head and rubbing your stomach!
Here are the most difficult parts. You have to keep the pattern you are trying to stitch on the quilt in your head. There is no way to put the pattern on the fabric. You are using thread that matches the fabric, so that it can't be seen. Basically, you are drawing with a pencil with no lead. But the pencil is drawing and you have to move the fabric under the rapidly moving pencil.
The fabric is heavy, so you have to kind of muscle it around. This leaves pull marks on the back of the quilt. I am trying to bunch up the quilt on the sides so that there is some give when I manipulate the fabric, but it is not easy.
The top is looking pretty good. The back, not so much.
This quilt is a gift for my aunt. She will have to keep it face up wherever she uses it. If I get GOOD at this, I may take out the pulled stitches and start over. Maybe. It is a lot of work.