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Thread: Any Tips for a beginner FMQ-er?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    I would like to become a good FMQ. Not sure why it is important to me, but it is. i don't need to be great - but good would be nice :-)

    Any tips? I read somewhere that you need to practice 20 minutes a day - for a bizzillion days (or something like that!). I have no problem with the practice part - just the bazzillion day part :P

    Any tips for a newbie? Any patterns that would be good to start with to get the feel for things?

    TIA

  2. #2
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    I took a class last year on my new/used Bernina. The instructor said to put the motor speed on half speed and put the pedal to the metal. Let me tell you, that makes a huge difference! You would think that going faster would be good, but in fact it's the opposite when you're first starting out.

    I recommend creating a sandwich to practice on first. You can even write notes on the sandwich for future reference.

    My friend Beth says that I don't breathe when I quilt, so don't forget to breathe! :thumbup: :lol:

  3. #3
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    If you go to Search on top and type in FMQ there are lots of posts.

  4. #4
    deema's Avatar
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    I'm pretty new to FMQ myself. It definitely takes practice. I think I'm doing...OK with it.:)

    I agree with Quilter 7x. When you first start, set your speed on medium (if you can set the speed control...if you can't, it might be a bit more difficult to maintain a steady speed with your machine, and that makes it more difficult), pedal to the metal, and move the quilt slowly.

    A BIG pointer that I read here...slow your HANDS down when you're making a tight curve or loop in your stitches. I found myself going too fast (moving the quilt, not the sewing machine speed) for those tighter loops and would have those loopies in my thread on the back...if you take it nice and slow around, it prevents that.

    Before *every* quilt, do a test sandwich with the same fabric and thread that you will be quilting to get your tension sorted out before you start the real thing.

    Relax your shoulders and sit up straight or you'll be hurting.

    Listen to some music, it will help you to keep a steady pace with your hands.

    Good luck!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Leah Day has a wealth of information about FMQ, including how to set a your machine and table just to mention a couple. Go to her website, daystyle.com and then the links from there. Excellant information.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Leah Day has a wealth of information about FMQ, including how to set a your machine and table just to mention a couple. Go to her website, daystyle.com and then the links from there. Excellant information.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Little RoO's Avatar
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    I have just started to FMQ too......I might not be much good but I am really enjoying it....it feels like going out on a drive on your own after endless lessons....such freedom and such fun.....I agree with the advice about tension, and foot control speed...and also check your needle...smaller for lighter weight cotton, larger (16) for heavy weight, really makes a different, and don't forget to put the feed dogs down !

  8. #8
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    I remember reading a post from a gal that practiced her FMQ by making pot holders. Didn't matter what they looked like in the end, but she gained a lot of control without regulating her machine speed. To me, FMQ is having hand control, not just speed control.

  9. #9
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    IMHO quilting gloves really help! I use Top Stitch needles when quilting. A term that I have heard and like - 'FINDING YOUR SWEET SPOT' - each person and machine are different, so what works for your neighbor or me, might not work for you. Machine speed, hand movements, etc, etc. With the practice you will FIND YOUR SWEET SPOT!

  10. #10
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    the more you practice the better you will become- just like practicing your piano lessons- practice is the important part. take regular breaks, practice good body mechanics and you will enjoy the process more- if you over do it- it will become a chore.
    :thumbup:

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