So I adopted an idea from my mom. I drew the stencil on to paper and attached it to the quilt, machine quilting the lines on the paper.
Still, the method wasn't perfect. Somehow my mom has the patience and ability to do this by straight-stitching. Me? I couldn't see well enough to follow the lines using the regular stitching foot so I switched to the smallest free motion quilting foot I had.
Now, I could see very well, but I discovered that when using the free motion quilting foot on my beloved Juki, whether I dropped the feed dogs or not, I was in fact free motion quilting. The free motion foot doesn't fit tight enough to be used for regular stitching. Big deep breath. I took the plunge and started to follow the lines.
I'm not sure if this qualifies as full free motion quilting since I am in fact following a pattern as opposed to visualizing and going where that vision leads. However, it is proving to be a very good learning tool. I don't have to think about where I'm going; I just have to concentrate on moving the quilt properly. And it's working! I'm getting better.
Actually, I'd planned to practice on something inconsequential before diving in to free motion quilting, but it came down to giving it a shot or giving up on putting that beautiful corded quilting pattern on the baby quilt. I decided to give it a shot, knowing I could always rip it out. I'm glad I did.