Welcome to the Quilting Board!
I just started FMQ last week. There is a blog called Free Motion Quilting Project with Leah Day who has great tutorials on just about every quilt design imaginable. And plenty of helpful hints. Her tutorials are also on Youtube if you care to go there. I notice an improvement in only a week because I really do want to become proficient at FMQ. Good luck and don't give up.
I agree, not bad for a first try. You should have seen my first try - stitches from miniscule to 1/2" long. One of the best tips I got was from Leah Day. Get a striped piece of fabric and FMQ straight down the lines. You're used to sewing in that direction. Concentrate on the sound of your machine to get your hands moving at the same speed as your machine, might have to change the speed of your machine several times to find a speed you can stay right on the lines and keep stitches even. Don't look at the stitches, just follow the line and feel your machine. My stitches started coming out very even. It is harder when you start going in other directions and start doing circles, but this exercise did help me quite a bit.
there is nothing wrong with that. try on a place mat size next time. you did a great job. I see you went around the pictures. don't be so hard on yourself. it is great and you will only get better. just go bigger next time. easier to control.
SMILE- it will make everyone wonder what you are up to.
Stay strong and keep looking up.
I think you did just fine. I'm still a novice but I learned from someone (?) to practice on folded papertowels (about 3). It works really well and doesn't use any of your stash. It helped me quite a bit. Also, I bought the FMQ gloves and they make all the difference in the world in moving your quilt around freely. Mine still isn't great but using this medium really helped. Best of luck!
Proud mom of a daughter in the U.S. Navy currently stationed in Japan.
Yup... I think you're being too hard on yourself. Looks just fine to me.
I would suggest not trying to outline the 'objects' in the fabric at least right now. Try something really simple, like cursive lower case L's, or lower case e's. They are graceful, and usually look pretty good for everyone. Your stitch length looks really small. You can sew slower--you don't have to put the petal to the metal. Every class I have every taken has you make a quilt sandwich--use some of your muslin, or ugly fabric, and practice. After you practice, try your potholder, or placemat. When you start making mistakes stop. Walk around. Take a break. When you come back, try your practice piece for a bit then go back to your project. It is going to be frustrating. You will feel like it isn't looking like you are making progress, but you are! By the way, look at your tension on the back and the front. I've found you need to check it fairly often, it loves to give me trouble!
Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain
Hang in there and keep after it before you know it you'll be doing full size quilts with no problems. but in the mean time be nice to yourself as many others have pointed out, it takes a lot of practice and time.
Cherish your family for they are your treasure. A lifetime of memories, wealth beyond measure!
Into every life, a little rain must fall. Sorry, could not help myself with that one. So now that you had your laugh, enjoy the free motion stuff. It really helps when you are relaxed.