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Thread: I can make the quilt tops but what about the quilting?

  1. #1
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    What do you do when you can make all the beautiful quilt tops in the world, but don't know yet how to do any quilting except stitch in the ditch & straight machine quilting?

    I have some beautiful patterns selected for two different wedding quilts I will be making between now & April. I have no qualms about trying these new patterns. In fact, with each quilt I make I am trying to do something different so I learn more as I go. However, it seems like such a disappointment that I can't do anything more than straight stitch machine quilting. Beautiful patterns with boring straight stitching? Blah.

    I've tried FMQ with no success yet, so I am going to take a class in late March. Money to pay for LAQ is not feasible at this time, besides, I want these gifts to be 100% done by me & from me.

    So...what would you do? Can straight stitching be done in a way that looks fancy & more than just corner to corner? And if yes, any samples you could show me?

  2. #2
    np3
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    Power Poster np3's Avatar
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    I know just how you feel. I forced myself to learn FMQ for that very reason. Now it is the most fun part of making the quilt! It takes some practice, but well worth the time.

  3. #3
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by np3
    I know just how you feel. I forced myself to learn FMQ for that very reason. Now it is the most fun part of making the quilt! It takes some practice, but well worth the time.
    Maybe you could drive a couple hours north & spend a day helping me? :D Just kidding (kinda lol)

    I will continue to pursue learning FMQ. I know it will be worth the time to learn FMQ - it is just that I don't have time to learn it before I need to get these 2 quilts done.

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    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    I am in the same boat-I love hand-quilting and for years that is all I did, but it takes so long to finish one quilt! I love piecing tops and got ahead of myself this past year and made 3 queen tops (2 are with applique) and I have just finished basting one to hand-quilt, but the other two I don't want to do now-and I cannot affort to send it out so I guess they will continue to sleep in their zip-lock bags until I can! I am just attempting small stuff with fmq-but I am in no way going to attempt on a large quilt with my machine!

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    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I took a 8-week quilting class that my dealer offered. We started with basic SID (and believe me, I learned a lot of tricks there even if I have been doing it for years) to FMQ, to Bobbin-work and thread-play, to full-on FMQ and ended with Quilt-as-you-go. OMG I still need more practice, but I am no longer afraid.

    What I like about this class in particular is that we worked on basic pieces of light muslin NOT on a top. By not having to produce a quilt, we could focus on the TECHNIQUE!

    We used the book "Machine Quilting Made Easy" by Maureen Noble. There are lots of activities (exercises) to do and they may seem odd but boy, are they helpful.

  6. #6
    Super Member starshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnCowgirl
    Quote Originally Posted by np3
    I know just how you feel. I forced myself to learn FMQ for that very reason. Now it is the most fun part of making the quilt! It takes some practice, but well worth the time.
    Maybe you could drive a couple hours north & spend a day helping me? :D Just kidding (kinda lol)

    I will continue to pursue learning FMQ. I know it will be worth the time to learn FMQ - it is just that I don't have time to learn it before I need to get these 2 quilts done.
    A question and a suggestion.
    1- is FMQ free motion quilting on a standard sewing machine or a long arm machine?

    2- why don't you get a pretty but plain fabric-like polished cotton, in a size for a lap quilt or baby quilt, sandwich it with batting and a back, and practice some stitches. The plain fabric will let you see your stitches. When you are done if you don't care to keep it you can donate it.

  7. #7
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starshine
    A question and a suggestion.
    1- is FMQ free motion quilting on a standard sewing machine or a long arm machine?

    2- why don't you get a pretty but plain fabric-like polished cotton, in a size for a lap quilt or baby quilt, sandwich it with batting and a back, and practice some stitches. The plain fabric will let you see your stitches. When you are done if you don't care to keep it you can donate it.
    Re #1 - FMQ is on a standard sewing machine, with the feed dogs lowered & a quilting or darning foot, so you have "free" motion.

    Re #2 - I've tried it using scraps, but am having problems catching the bobbin thread, so obviously have to troubleshoot that problem before I can practice stitching.

  8. #8
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    My dilemma is that I am going to make these 2 quilts, and want to make them as pretty as can be, but don't see myself mastering FMQ between now & when the quilts have to be finished (one wedding is in Feb & one in April).

    I was hoping for suggestions/examples of what other quilters have accomplished with just straight machine stitching.

  9. #9
    np3
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    Quote Originally Posted by starshine
    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnCowgirl
    Quote Originally Posted by np3
    I know just how you feel. I forced myself to learn FMQ for that very reason. Now it is the most fun part of making the quilt! It takes some practice, but well worth the time.
    Maybe you could drive a couple hours north & spend a day helping me? :D Just kidding (kinda lol)

    I will continue to pursue learning FMQ. I know it will be worth the time to learn FMQ - it is just that I don't have time to learn it before I need to get these 2 quilts done.
    A question and a suggestion.
    1- is FMQ free motion quilting on a standard sewing machine or a long arm machine?

    2- why don't you get a pretty but plain fabric-like polished cotton, in a size for a lap quilt or baby quilt, sandwich it with batting and a back, and practice some stitches. The plain fabric will let you see your stitches. When you are done if you don't care to keep it you can donate it.
    FMQ can be done either way. I started on small projects, like candle mats and hot pads. Then I went to table tops. I practiced the motion with a pencil and paper. Did the meandering around never crossing the line. Then I went to the sewing machine and used the same motion. I discovered that I could do it better when I start with the fabric at the back of the machine and pull it towards me as I quilted. I was less comfortable when I was starting with the fabric in front of the machine (the way you normally sew). It is all trial and error, with lots of practice. You can do this!

    So where do you live?

  10. #10
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by np3
    FMQ can be done either way. I started on small projects, like candle mats and hot pads. Then I went to table tops. I practiced the motion with a pencil and paper. Did the meandering around never crossing the line. Then I went to the sewing machine and used the same motion. I discovered that I could do it better when I start with the fabric at the back of the machine and pull it towards me as I quilted. I was less comfortable when I was starting with the fabric in front of the machine (the way you normally sew). It is all trial and error, with lots of practice. You can do this!

    So where do you live?
    Thanks for the tips about FMQ. If I can figure out my bobbin thread issue, I can probably try some actual FMQ. Maybe this weekend I'll give it another shot.

    I'm in Fresno :)

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