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Thread: Beginner Machine Quilting Question

  1. #1
    Junior Member Sarint's Avatar
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    Beginner Machine Quilting Question

    I bought the Flynn Multi-frame quilting system last year and am just now getting ready to try it out. I have been hiring a longarm quilter up until now.

    My specific question is do the feeddogs on the machine need to be down for this type of quilting?

    I have an old Kenmore machine, nothing fancy. Any other advice will be appreciated, expecially if anyone has experience with the Flynn quilting frame. I have the one with the light weight 48 " PVC pipes.

  2. #2
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    if you are doing free-motion quilting the feeddogs need to be down-and you need to use a hopping/darning foot-
    if you are doing straightline quilting (stitch in the ditch/ cross-hatch) you can use a walking foot with feed dogs up (engaged)
    and don't start right out with a quilt----put together some practice (sandwiches- top, batting/backing) and do some practicing before trying to quilt something (real)
    it takes practice, practice, patience, and more practice before you will be ready to attack a quilt-
    we used to purchase a bolt of fairly inexpensive muslin and when we wanted to practice we would cut (2) 2 yd pieces- load them up for a top & bottom with inexpensive (what ever was on sale) batting- thread machine with some colored thread (top & bobbin) so we could see what we were doing----& practice---
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
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    Yes, you need the feed dogs down. Let me know how you like the Flynn?

    I'm new to free motion quilting, not very good at it yet but I'll keep at it.

  4. #4
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Or you can not lower the feed dogs and set your stitch length to zero. Then they won't move. Some people find FMQ easier this way

  5. #5
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    i bought the flynn system a year ago--used, and never have tried it. i'm very very interested to hear what you have to say about it!

    betsey

  6. #6
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Whatever you do DO NOT just start in on your quilt! make sure that you get some practice in on a practice sandwich or quilt that you don't have lots of time invested in. You may be a natural at FMQ, but it takes most folks dozens of hours before they get the hang of it. I don't want to discourage you, it's lots of fun, but your first quilted item should be a practice piece. Do a search on this board for FMQ and Free Motion Quilting. Lots of tips available.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  7. #7
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    I have been practicing on my mid-arm machine. I have used old sheets and blankets from estate sales. I do buy the solid color sheets, and use the blankets for batting. You can get them VERY CHEAP I paid about $1 for the king or queen sheets, and $2.50 for the blankets. When I finished the first one a fellow quilter saw it and insisted that I bind and keep it -- as it was my first project on the mid-arm. So I did bind it and love it. Last week my daughter was over, and asked me if she could have it, as she really liked the way it looked. I told her no, as I have become attached to it as a first project!

  8. #8
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    To practice I suggest the following:

    Pretend you are doing a penmanship exercise. That is if you are old enough (LOL) to have had the pleasure of penmanship in school Do loops, circles, squigglies, worm tracks, drunks walking the straight line......etc. You need to get the feel of moving the fabric to make the design rather than the machine doing it for you. Work to find the balance between the speed of the machine and the speed of your hands. The faster the machine the faster you need to move the fabric.....slower the machine, the slower the hands etc. Some suggest to rev up the speed of the machine to a high slow to medium speed and then match your hand movement accordingly. Some also suggest putting the maching on 1/2 speed if your machine has this feature This way you won't be tempted to go fast. Pretend you are doing a hula hoop motion. Make as many motifs as you can without repositoning your hands. When you need to reposition then stop with the needle down until you get good grip then begin. Don't move out until you have control of the fabric. Let the needle go up and down a couple times and then move forward....And never ever let your hands leave the fabric. some try to dog paddle to keep the fabric moving. This causes one to loose control.
    And yes, feed dogs down and darning foot.

  9. #9
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    The flynn frame is alright for crib size but so is a regular sewing machine.
    Any bigger and it is not so good. It gets hard to handle and the pvc rollers keep falling off the table. It also takes up alot of room when passing all the way thru your machine from one side to the other.
    I gave mine away.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Sarint's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the helpful information. I may have to buy a darning foot for my machine if I can't find the one that came with it. I can see it will take a lot of practice and will take up more space than I thought. I have a space I can clean out and use but it doesn't have heat or air yet. I will see how this goes.

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