Like Paula Reid I found that once I had enough space to the left and back of my machine, my free motion skills improved greatly. I have a wonderful table that my husband cut a hole into so that my machine is level with the surface. Unlike Paula, however I don't like to have the quilt sitting on my lap - probably has something to do with the heat in Charleston most of the year! I tend to "fluff" the whole quilt on the table. I have machine quilted fairly large pieces this way.
The finished project: