LOL, I am getting into quilting and bought my first stencil template. It has swirling flower shapes and I knew it was a hard one to start with but I loved it. I've never free motion quilited and didn't even know if I had to for the stencil but I googled and apparently I do. Set my machine up with it's free motion foot, read a lot of my machine's manual and off I went.
The lady at the store had already shown me how the stencil is cleverly designed so that one line leads to another. I was, wonder of wonders, smart enough to know I should practice so I drew good heavy, easy to follow lines and I used stablizer.
Tie off, stitch to end of traced line, tie off, move to next line; tie off, stitch curve around to end of line, tie off; move small amount to next line, stitch next part of same curve, tie off and so on. "Boy", I'm thinking to myself, "It's really not going to be fun cutting out all those little pieces of thread that join each stitched line between the tie offs."
And that's when the light bulb went on, finally. LOL. The stencil only has gaps in the lines to hold it together. If all the gaps were cut out and the lines were continuous the stencil would fall apart. I'm supposed to sew through the gaps to the next line, none of that stopping and starting and tieing off stuff. Needless to say, the last two thirds of my practice piece went a lot faster than the beginning did.
Hope I explained this well enough that you are all having a good chuckle. I know I did.