Any time you are learning a new skill, know that there are people who do it better and can show you how. There are things that we can teach ourselves but if you are on a time line, there's no better way than to get lessons with a competent teacher. Here is the proof.
My first attempt at free motion quilting on my own.
After a 7 hours of instruction.
Here is what is great about this, I can now finish 2 quilt tops in my stash and get those projects in use. I can finally work on a quilt project that I bought the fabric for 12 years ago, I can finally make a cover for my headboard in whatever color or design I want, and I can finally forge ahead with that quilted suede skirt I've wanted to add to my wardrobe.
Find a great teacher, pay them for their time, and it will pay you back 10 fold.
Oh and this is the machine I used, so you really don't have to go crazy spending money on a specialized machine to start learning the techiniques.